Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions
One stanza in the poetry of mathematics
Speaks of butterflies and building clouds,
Of reasoning toward a chasm, of quantifying chaos:
For, as a system becomes increasingly complex,
Small variations in data inputs over time will yield
Huge fluctuations in results, so that ultimately
A butterfly beats its wings in China and
Causes a storm to arise in the Atlantic
(Of which the butterfly is blissfully unaware) .
The poetry of mathematics does not speak
Of butterfly conscience, sympathy, or dread;
It does not deal with the romance of clouds.
But if our thoughts have wings what winds have they stirred?
What storms have our uttered words precipitated?
Comments about this poem (Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions by Gary Witt )
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