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The terrific genius of Groundhog Day and Chaos

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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 read

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.


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 him)


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 circuitry...Free will?

I don't know

I hope this was enjoyable...maybe I am 100% wrong

posted on May, 11 2014 @ 12:49 AM

Phil as Maxwell's Demon.

In the philosophy of thermal and statistical physics, Maxwell's demon is a thought experiment created by the physicist James Clerk Maxwell to "show that the Second Law of Thermodynamics has only a statistical certainty".[1] It demonstrates Maxwell's point by hypothetically describing how to violate the Second Law: a container of gas molecules at equilibrium is divided into two parts by an insulated wall, with a door that can be opened and closed by what came to be called "Maxwell's demon". The demon opens the door to allow only the faster than average molecules to flow through to a favored side of the chamber, and only the slower than average molecules to the other side, causing the favored side to gradually heat up while the other side cools down, thus decreasing entropy.

wikipedia / Maxwell's Demon

Phil only lets positive emotions in, and blocks, intercepts, or reflects negative emotions. Until he realizes that he is totally blocked off, and is not letting _any_ emotions in. Even those that may be positive. He beings to selectively open and close the door. Eventually he creates an entirely charged room.

In my opinion anything that has not been determined cannot be deterministic. After a systematic review and objective analysis, something may be determined. But to be deterministic it would have had to have been determined before it was conceived. When Phil determined to conceive a new concept of himself, he began to enter a deterministic campaign. Phil, in possession of himself as the concept of Phil.

The Greek stories mostly ended in tragedy. One is winning until one loses. Phil exists in comedy; one is loosing until one wins. Chaos is nothing more than that which neither contemplates us, nor has awareness of itself. And Americans lack self awareness in the same way that Phil did. We only see our selves in the ways the Video gives us permission too. How many acts of violence to we passively endure. Per hour. By the age of sixteen?

Video games, on the other hand, are not passive and we can _push back_ instead of just watching as the Slasher takes another victim. The television generation will be the last one that grows up seeing all their favorite cloths and ideas be destroyed symbolically until only a bitter sarcastic husk remains.

In my opinion any American, by the age of 16, is due about $500,000 dollars worth of psycho therapy just for growing up as an American. But with first person shooters many people are starting to heal themselves. Joining teams, and communicating as a group. New traditions for deferring to leadership, detecting higher skill, and maturing the young are just a few of the things I have seen.

I have been a fan of every Bill Murray movie, since forever, cause he frequently tries to heal these wounds in the Tribe.

Mike Grouchy

posted on May, 11 2014 @ 12:57 AM
a reply to: KyoZero

Well you accomplished at least part of your goal; you made a fun and interesting read. I have always loved pondering that film because it seems like a plot that countless ancient philosophers have probably spent more than a few sleepless nights entertaining in their minds.

Here's a thought for you: What if everybody in the film were all stricken with the same condition that Phil had? With nobody else repeating what they did each day, they wouldn't even know. They would just think that the Earth stopped revolving around the sun.

posted on May, 11 2014 @ 01:26 AM
February 2nd is the Pagan Holiday of Imbolc &
i liked Caddyshack a lot more.


posted on May, 11 2014 @ 02:17 AM
a reply to: KyoZero

What a fun read, I like that a lot. The real question to ponder is about the next day though, like you say: WILL he screw it up, or do the lessons learned have a broad enough applicability to carry him through? The next day isn't necessarily doomed, I think that's a revealing lesson too. Once a solution is found to a special case, it just may apply to many, many more cases. That's how knowledge advances in general.

BTW, if not understanding quantum mechanics makes you not smart, I can pretty much promise that we're all not smart here...

posted on May, 11 2014 @ 05:55 AM
All hail Discordia!

posted on May, 11 2014 @ 12:50 PM
The show is a symbol for real life and how many times we do it till we get it right, reincarnation and all. You have to become the hero of your life and make those around you happy, or overcome your lower mind tendencies and do what you can healing rifts in spirit if long distance, to reach the next levels. Note higher ones aren't dualities.

posted on May, 11 2014 @ 02:28 PM
Thank you all so much for your responses!

I have read about the Demon and yes I find a great correlation there

So yeah I guess as I pondered (and you guys have too) is what of February 3rd? He knows so little about his initial condition and won't be repeating the simulation

thanks all!

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