posted on May, 10 2014 @ 11:43 PM
So I am going to start this thread by allowing you to know something personal about me.
MODS: I don't know if this belongs in Science or Philosophy
I am not a smart person....there I said it. I do not have a high IQ and I am in fact rather average. I say this because as I sit here sipping wine and
reading a book that I don't even understand, I have come to a moment of severe and sharp realization. In the practice of psychology, I can diagnose
and treat pretty darn well. Beyond that, I don't know a damn thing about science or philosophy. It is literally to the point that when I read books
on quantum physics, cosmology, philosophy or theory, I have to reread sentences several times and even then I STILL don't always get what I just
So why do I say this and what does is have to do with the movie Groundhog Day and Chaos? Because the intro is what sets the foundation. In order for
me to understand a theory or concept I often need a relatable, relevant and simple explanation to really grasp the topic at hand. I had that moment
about 5 minutes ago. So strong that I got out of bed, turned on my computer and decided to discuss it
I promise that no response (unless trolling or name-calling) will be unappreciated in this thread. I love to find out I am wrong
So let's get to it by starting with a statement
"Groundhog Day is a genius-level movie that explains the less-understood implications of chaos and predictability"
Time for quick explanations
Groundhog Day, for the uninitiated, is a movie revolving around the life of Phil Connors and his love interest, Rita Hanson. Rita knows Phil as a
cocky, arrogant and mean man. Phil does nothing to change this idea in her mind until quite suddenly, Phil finds himself in a seemingly endless loop
of repeating the same day in what appears to be thousands of times. Phil initially uses his repeated days to learn skills such as piano and
card-throwing but the ultimate result is that Phil finds ways daily (repeated days) to bring Rita closer to loving him.
((SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER))
In the end, Phil finds the magic and unselfishness needed in his repeated days to bring Rita to loving him and then the endless loop stops and we see
Phil and Rita "live happily ever after"
The quotes will be explained shortly.
Chaos tells us that the future is effectively impossible to control or predict. I pass over the main concepts of chaos to discuss my favorite part of
it: that chaos can lead us from a bland structureless environment to complexity and order. I had the hardest stinking time figuring out how to explain
this to myself and then out of nowhere my mind (probably due to mild inebriation) thought about Groundhog Day
So here we go to the meat of this discussion
Chaos tells us we can indeed go from a lack of structure to complexity and order. So what does this have to do with Groundhog Day and the idea of
control? Consider the ramifications of Phil's actions. We see that the ultimate goal is to get Rita to love him but the problem is that the initial
environment includes Phil being known as cocky and arrogant. So he has a full 24 hours per day to show Rita that he has a softer and more lovable
side. So each day (which is an endless loop until the goal is achieved) he starts with his initial environment, which is known, as has to bring
himself through trial to the ultimate goal: Rita loving Phil. So we see examples. One day he meets Rita at the bar and orders Scotch while Rita orders
her Sweet Vermouth. The next day, Phil knows more about the initial condition. So Phil now knows that....
1. Phil is perceived as arrogant
2. Rita prefers Vermouth
Day two...Phil now takes his new knowledge and this time starts with the known, Arrogant and Vermouth and alters his action. This time he orders
Vermouth before Rita orders hers and he comes a step closer to the ultimate goal. So Rita relates that Vermouth is her favorite drink and finds a
surprising and lovable moment between them; hence, closer to the goal. Rita asks, "What should we drink to?" Phil replies "To the groundhog!" and
Rita, with some disgust, says "I always drink to world peace."
Day 3...Phil now has new knowledge and a new initial environment
1. Phil is perceived as arrogant
2. Rita prefers Vermouth
3. Rita prefers to drink to world peace
You get the idea....each day he has a new initial condition with new knowledge and eventually they fall in love
We won't talk about the after effect just yet
It's time to relate this to chaos
We are told that chaos can help us begin with an unstructured and bland system and lead to complexity and order. Here is where Groundhog Day is a
sleeper of a movie that if analyzed is probably made for you genius types.
Imagine for a moment that each action of Phil is an atom and each reaction of Rita is an atom. So each time Phil repeats the simulation, with new
knowledge, Phil brings his environment closer to the ultimate goal; order and complexity. So although the system becomes more complex because Phil
constantly alters it through repetition, Phil ultimately closes in on and achieves order; Rita loving him. Or in the case of atoms, the controller
(Phil) alters the environment through new and added knowledge of the initial condition (Rita's perception and preferences) to order (Rita loving
This thread may mean nothing to anyone else but it cemented knowledge to me and I love it...I will cherish this for a long time
But now there is a problem...We've all watched movies (Rom Coms or Romance) and seen the protagonists fall in love and we are led to believe that
happily ever after exists...hence my quotes earlier
Here is the problem from a chaotic view
Phil wins the heart of Rita and they ride off into the sunset, hand in hand and we all cheer.
What about February 3rd? Phil no longer knows as much about the initial condition of February 3rd as he did about February 2nd. So Phil now (according
to what I propose here) has an equal chance of screwing up his new relationship just as the controller of the atoms in our universe (if such a
controller existed) has an equal chance of not being able to predict the future state of atoms because the knowledge of the initial conditions are not
sensitive and sufficient enough.
Ultimately this is our problem. Chaos came from Edward Lorenz when he tried to predict weather. His initial conditions were never accurate or
sensitive enough to predict the weather patterns and through the butterfly effect, we found that his repeated simulations were wildly inaccurate
So I am just sitting in awe right now. I don't know if I need comments (I certainly am not trolling for them) or not. I guess I am just peaceful and
happy to actually understand something
but who knows..maybe I am wrong
So the question is, could we ever be precise enough to know our initial condition to be able to predict final states? And the problem then arises, if
we can, are we deterministic? Because then we'd have the power and infrastructure to be knowledgeable of all the firings in our brain's
I don't know
I hope this was enjoyable...maybe I am 100% wrong