The Butterfly Effect

Sadly, MIT professor Edward Lorenz, father of the chaos theory also known as the 'butterfly effect', died this week at 90. You may wonder why that matters to a high school civics teacher running for Congress.

Professor Lorenz's theory is why I believe we all have to step up and do our part to change the world. You may have seen that he was honored on one of the very first pages created on my Congressional campaign website in 2005, and to this day there is a butterfly on my website.

He was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he came up with the scientific concept that small effects lead to big changes, something that was explained in a simple example known as the "butterfly effect." He explained how something as minuscule as a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil changes the constantly moving atmosphere in ways that could later trigger tornadoes in Texas.

Cross posted from BlueNC!

I would not have even bothered to run against a multi-millionaire, five-term incumbent as mired in special interest money as my opponent, Republican Robin Hayes, if not for my belief in that one person can change the world. What I had no way of knowing then is that thousands of butterfly wings among the Netroots, as well as my District, were determined on change and would join me in large numbers.

We all know the system is stacked against challengers. It feels like a miracle that we ran the closest race in the nation last cycle, missing the mark by just 330 votes.  

As Professor Lorenz found that small differences in a dynamic system, like the weather, "could trigger vast and often unsuspected results," I'm counting on you again to be those small differences in a dynamic system stacked against us.

My opponent Robin Hayes has as much as $132 million in personal assests, with as much as a quarter of it invested in defense contractors profiting off the Iraq War. Robin Hayes must be retired for the good of America.

I know times are tough, but just by contributing one ten millionth of Hayes' personal fortune to Kissell for Congress you can defeat a multi-millionaire. It doesn't seem possible, but with a tiny flap of your wings we can change the world. Invest one ten millionth of Hayes' personal fortune in ending the Iraq War, instead of allowing Robin Hayes to profit from it any longer at America's expense.

Remember, Professor Lorenz believed you could make a difference and so do I.

Tags: Hayes, Iraq, Kissell, NC-08 (all tags)



Re: The Butterfly Effect

Go, dude, we're pulling for ya. NC-08? Kannapolis? Heck, I got friends there. I'll let 'em know to spread the good word!

by ragekage 2008-04-18 06:35AM | 0 recs
Thank You!

Recommends for cross post appreciated as always.

by Larry Kissell 2008-04-18 07:05AM | 0 recs
Chaos Theory

As I posted over on Great Orange Satan just now, just a couple days ago I was using Lorenz's concept of sensitivity to initial conditions to explain why Barack Obama had trouble bowling, or, at least, why bowling is more difficult than it might normally appear to someone who doesn't do a lot of it.

I also would like to recommend Southern Philospher's comment over there pointing out that chaos theory helps explain why it is important to give money early in election cycles to folks like Larry Kissel, something with which I suspect you agree. :-)

by Ray Radlein 2008-04-18 07:56AM | 0 recs
I have contributed before

and I will again, Larry.  

You are right indeed - times are tough but I believe in your candidacy.  

question though:  are you getting any monies from the Dem Party at all? Has there been anyone in NC politics who has supported you?  Here in Illinois, I have given money to John Laesch (actually not in my district) - he has received no help at all from the Dem powers, including both senators when Hastert was in charge.  Nor did either senator answer my questions about this thru emails and phone calls.  and  he came close as well this time.  


by Xanthe 2008-04-19 05:15AM | 0 recs
Re: The Butterfly Effect

"Every District..Every State"  ..Howard Dean

by nogo war 2008-04-19 05:30AM | 0 recs


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