Gary Witt

Sensitive Dependence On Initial Conditions - Poem by Gary Witt

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 Sensitive Dependence On Initial Conditions by Gary Witt

  • (6/20/2009 5:40:00 PM)

    Well done, Gary. Causality is an interesting thing, isn't it, though a bit deceptive on second glance. Existence rolling forward like a wave, transitional states flowing outward from 'initial conditions', each moment a whole new universe of relational geography. Enjoyed this one a lot. (Report) Reply

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  • (8/24/2008 1:30:00 AM)

    Love it Gary. I was thinking about phantom traffic jams, caused by one person hitting the brakes too hard, and they all come to a standstill 50 miles back, so I won't think about it for too long.
    Danny ; ¬)
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Poem Submitted: Sunday, August 24, 2008

Poem Edited: Friday, May 6, 2011

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