Chains of Causality

My boy was reading “Because a Little Bug Went Kachoo” today in the car and it got me to thinking (yeah, I know).

That book is actually quite profound in that it follows the chain of cause and effect through one series of events.  We don’t ever see that.  We see a bunch of unrelated effects and make a bunch of unrelated causes, but we rarely see an entire chain from beginning (or close enough) to end (or close enough).

I say close enough, because every effect has a cause and we’d have to go all the way to the beginning of the universe and probably before that.

This further reminds me of the Greek Fates.  In non-classical Greek myth, the three fates weave the tapestry of life in which intersections of people are actually the threads of their lives touching. 

Again, it’s not something that we are you to seeing.  I see the guy cut me off in traffic in the morning.  It makes me mad.  I see that cause and feel that effect.  I don’t see how he just got laid off from his job and is going home with no job.  I don’t see how his boss was told he could cut five positions or he could lose his job.  This goes backward… and forward forever.

I think that the little bug in the children’s book is very intriguing because, you see that bug on almost every future page.  The bug gets the rare opportunity to follow a thread (for lack of a better term) of causality that it started itself.  That book can really be seen as a statement not only of the massive changes that small effects can cause, but also how the confluence of smaller causes can result in effects that couldn’t have been predicted.

This book explains why we can’t predict the weather very well.  This has really been an epiphany for me.

There are just too many aspects to things that can’t be taken into account.

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