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Posted by Bill McCuistion ( on October 01, 1999 at 01:35:34:

In Reply to: A butterfly farts in Peru posted by Jack Boyd on September 30, 1999 at 17:26:31:

I'm glad you found the cause of your pain. However, I don't see what the news broadcast had to do with it. What did it change?

The odds of that one farting butterfly causing your headache are about the same as you getting one in the first place. Coindidence?

Now that I have a fish on the line, I want to change my bait. You seem like a smart cookie. Start from the frying pan and work back to the primordial pool. How many steps would that be? OK, that's too many to start with. So, let's assume that it is only as complex as, say, an atomic explosion. OK? I have a friend who works at this government facility in the desert where they "used to" build and test atomic bombs. The secret is that they still build and test them. Only they use these really elaborate computer simulations. They model the whole explosion so that they can build better bombs. (Maybe its so that they can build better models, but what the hell, the Reds are doing it too, so go along with me on this.) All of this is to say that modeling a forest fire, just a small portion of the whole atomic explosion model, can't be any more problematic than modeling your farting butterfly example. Computing time is cheap these days. It's the good problems that are hard to find. This is a good problem and needs to be solved.

I'm not suggesting that one would actually start with the butterfly, but I am suggesting that the butterfly might, just might, at the end of the day, be the solution that fits. Besides, these things go on for so long anyway, what else do you have to do? My guess is, the way things are going, I'd have another 8-20 year sentence to serve. This is one jail I'd like to break out of.

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