If You Build It, They Will Come.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Chaos Retroactive.

So I had a moment of reflective thought a few days ago, and am now deciding to write about it. It's basically about Chaos Theory and how it affects our everyday lives. For those of you who don't know, Chaos Theory is summed up very well in the movie "Jurassic Park" as being the predicability of unpredicability. But it's not simply that you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow, it's that you don't know how the minor and insignificant decisions you make today can shape tomorrow. The most famous example of this is the Butterfly scenario, where a butterfly flaps its wings in the plains of Africa, causing a small cloud of dust and pollen to float off of the flower it was perched on. The dust flies into the face of a nearby leopard that is hiding in the brush, stalking a herd of antelope grazing a hundred feet away. The pollen causes the leopard to sneeze, alerting the antelope to it's prescence, and they all charge off in a panicked stampede. The stampede across the dry land raises tons of dust which floats into the air. The dust collides with a developing weather system that is quickly crossing the atlantic, and pushes the system over the edge into a winter storm which drops freezing rain all over New York. (btw, this is usually where the scenario stops, but I'll go a little further) The roads frozen, Conan O'Brein cannot get to work and they are forced to show a repeat episode of Late Night. I, sitting in my basement, am feeling antsy when I notice it's 12:30am. I decide to stay in to catch Conan, and when I notice it's one that I've already seen, I decide to go out. So I head to the bar and accidentally knock over some guys beer. His date, who is not having a good time tries to stop him from beating me up, but she can't. He pounds me down, and she ditches him, and to be really nice, she drives me to the hospital for stitches. While there we get to talking, and decide to go out to lunch the next afternoon. We hit it off really well and fall in love, and get married and have a son and live happily ever after. The point is, our son now owes his whole life to a butterfly that no one ever noticed, flapping its wings in Africa years before he was ever born.

Makes you wonder what little thing has gotten you where you are.

And thinking back, there was one insignificant moment in my life that hypothetically could've completely changed the last ten years of my life. Just about everything in my life as I know it since I was 12 can be traced back to a girl named Kristine.

That's not to say she personally has impacted my life everyday for the last ten years. But she is the butterfly that started it all. Had I never met her, my life would be nothing like it is now. That's not to say my life is bad. I like my life. See, I know Kristine reads this site now, so I'm trying to make it clear that I'm not saying anything is her fault or anything... perhaps I should just explain.

I met Krissy in 7th grade, I had a crush on her almost instantly. When I moved to Ohio in 9th grade, I tried to keep in contact with her, and convinced myself that I loved her. But we were too far apart. So when I got to the beginning of my senior year I decided to go to Western Michigan University, mainly because I would get to be closer to her again. It wasn't the only reason I came here, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't the deciding factor. At any rate, by the endof my senior year, I figured out it wouldn't really matter anyway, but I was going to Kalamazoo anyway. And being a CompSci major at WMU, I met Jon Kameya, who by a giant coincedence, had every class that I did. Jon introduced me to just about everyone I know in Kalamazoo, including Laura Barb. Laura and I dated for a little over a year, and that relationship has significantly changed my life. Jon also introduced my to Robby, my roommates Jes and Marcy, and really introduced me to Kevin Smith. Before meeting Jon I had only barely seen Mallrats. Along with Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi, Kevin Smith has become my biggest role model to write, act, and work in film. And if I ever make something of myself in this business, I can trace it all back to meeting a girl in a 7th grade english class. Had I not met her, I may not have moved back to West Michigan, and who the hell knows where I'd be now. I wouldn't have met any of my friends here, I wouldn't have met Laura. I may have never been inspired to write, and could be anywhere doing anything. And at the time, meeting her seemed like just meeting another person.

Now the real philosophical question behind it all. Is Chaos Theory really just Chaos? Is it really just a series of instances that lead to other instances? Is it like that Plinko game on the Price is Right? The little puck drops, bounces off all the pegs, and can take any path to get to the bottom, and just keeps moving. It doesn't matter what path it takes, it's just taking a path. Or is there something more? Do all of those little things happen for a reason? Is it fate? Karma? Was I supposed to meet Krissy so that I would eventually end up here? Was Marcy supposed to stay online an extra five minutes so that she could "randomly" meet Ian, who is now her fiancee?

Who is right? Momma, or Lieutenant Dan? Or was Forrest right? Is it maybe both?

Leave a shout out, let me know what you think.


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