butterfly_effect_1_by_borisdelac-d5nl1vdArticle Summary:

One premise of IMT is that there is no randomness, that there are “natural laws and initial conditions [that] define all events, and all event outcomes are predictable with all information” (28). The assumption that there exists no randomness is subject to closer examination. There exists a theory called Chaos Theory, also known as the butterfly effect. An article by Margaret Rouse discusses the implications of this theory, which looks to research by Edward Lorenz. Lorenz found that if you set up the exact same initial conditions to predict weather conditions, the outcomes are drastically different and unpredictable. The article states, “the slightest difference in initial conditions-beyond human ability to measure-made prediction of past or future outcomes impossible, an idea that violated the basic conventions of physics” (Rouse, 2008). This article provides an example of the unpredictability of a final outcome based on a set of initial conditions—which refutes a major component of IMT theory.


Does this article support or contradict IMT concepts? Because of our human limitations can we ever know 100% information? Given this information how should we treat complex systems?

 

Article Reference: Chaos Theory – What is .com -March 2009 – http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/chaos-theory

 

Additional References:

Kashiwagi, D. (2013). 2013 Information Measurement Theory.

Comments (5)

  1. Teja Reddy

    Reply

    Weather conditions are complex to understand by man, therefore anything related to weather becomes chaotic, because of poor knowledge of mans initial conditions about weather and its chaotic characteristics it it tough for one to predict future outcomes, if these becomes easy then man can predict all natural calamities which is not possible. There is even improvements being done on theories set by scientists in physics, it is difficult for man to know or gain 100% information.

  2. Saransh Noel Prasad

    Reply

    From my understanding of the basic concepts of IMT and as already been stated in the comments I find it hard to digest that while modeling the weather conditions they have accounted for all the initial conditions. Just because the experts are unable to model it right is no reason to call the system chaotic or complex. Also with physics changes with size of the particles and there could be phenomenon that we do not know about yet and thus we can also not call it the human inability to know 100% information, but rather we just dont know it yet. Thus i think this only supports the IMT concepts and not refute it.

  3. Joe Zurek

    Reply

    I belive that this article, while attempting I disprove a concept of IMT, actually lends credibility to another IMT concept. When the article states “the slightest difference in initial conditions-beyond HUMAN ABILITY to measure-made prediction of past or future outcomes impossible, an idea that violated the basic conventions of physics,” it shows yet again that things we can’t yet fully explain happen, regardless the level of understanding we have for them. All we can do as a race is to continue to work towards gathering as much information as we can.

  4. Isaac Martinez

    Reply

    I would have to agree with Eric, just as long as we have all the variables in order to solve a dilemma; the outcome should be easily predicted. As long as the initial conditions are measurable, we does not have to guess what the outcome will be. I did find it perplexing (for lack of a better adjective) when the article points out that if you set up the exact same initial conditions to predict weather conditions, the outcomes are drastically different and unpredictable”. Could someone please explain to me how one creates the exact same initial conditions in order to predict weather patterns? The information is quite evident, we just need to remove our blindfolds to see the light.

  5. Eric Bryan

    Reply

    Although this article states that there is a chance for different outcomes to result using the same initial conditions, I still feel that the article supports IMT theory. The main reason for my opinion stems from the portion concerning our inability to calculate “the slightest difference in initial conditions-beyond human ability to measure”. Personally, i believe this still follows IMT theory, but it just says that sometimes it is impossible for us to obtain or perceive all of the information because we are limited either technologically or simply as humans. If we were able to overcome this barrier to obtain all information related to initial conditions, predicting the final conditions would still be entirely possible.

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