In Defense of the Butterfly Effect: Either or

Once upon a time, there was a man named Zhuangzi who lived and wrote in China in approximately the third century B.C. According to legend, one night the great Daoist thinker fell asleep and began to dream vividly. In the dream, he was a butterfly, a joyful creature who moved from here to there, flying […]

In Defense of the Butterfly Effect: Vast, but not irreconcilable

Monarch butterflies have completed their journey south, and now rest among themselves in the warmth of south-central Mexico, reminding us of the amazing transformation migration brings. Remarkably, one can flip effortlessly between news articles detailing the journey of the butterflies and those showing the human migration movements happening presently. Obviously, most human migration has not been captured by recorded […]

In defense of the butterfly effect: The basics of solidarity

A butterfly flutters alongside the road and a watchful eye catches it swirling in the air. Daylight savings throws everybody’s clocks off kilter. Friends’ calls go ignored, you have looked at your phone too many times, get back to the paper. Stress blows eyelids open and legs fold up in uncomfortable poses. Yoga classes are […]

In Defense of the Butterfly Effect: Daily fallout

The other day, a friend of mine read some poetry out loud that he was learning for an Italian class. One didn’t have to know what the words meant in order to appreciate the expressions and experience how beautiful they sounded together, the blended “r” and emphatic “l” of the language dancing around each other […]

In defense of the butterfly effect: Not the last resort

Though perhaps counterintuitive given the university setting, it is true — student contact with professors, advisors or anyone in the administration can be as infrequent as one prefers. The scale of interaction changes depending on the individual student, but obligation remains low. Many aspects of university life are optional, and a lot of it seems superfluous (at […]

In Defense of the Butterfly Effect: The best way out

“Did you remember to bring your winter things?” My grandfather misses me, expresses his care over the phone. I laugh and glance down at my short sleeves: we are not in for a cold winter. Weather projections I’ve read online predict warmth ahead, and, plus, the leaves have only just begun to fall. I describe […]

In defense of the butterfly effect: Old world, new eyes

It’s amazing to think of the information that is available to us at a moment’s notice. This sentence is uttered often, usually calling forth some proof resting on the rapid pace of technological expansion during our lives. The new human magic trick of rapid data is fascinating; we can play games with it all across […]

In defense of the butterfly effect: Warm fall, slow change

To state the unmistakeable, the seasons are changing. The sun starts to fade more quickly each day, but the sky retains its stark Massachusetts blue. It’s good to let the breeze in; you open the window before you leave. Later you come back and the room is fresh and slightly chilly, the scent of wet […]

In Defense of the Butterfly Effect: Coming to

Hall, Rosbash and Young. This is a time where media flashes, urgent and aggressive, on your screen, in your pocket, while you eat, while you’re trying to study. Names claim your attention and seem to disappear in a moment, replaced by the next ones in the boom and bust of what feels like increasingly urgent […]

In defense of the butterfly effect: Resurfacing

So many important things happened this week. Sometimes my mind feels like a swimming pool, with its shallow end for handstands, its deep end a spooky blue; the place is entertaining and full of the good stuff but mostly just a space for floating. It’s rare for me to have clarity of place and purpose, […]