Monday, April 24, 2017

Alternative Fractals

It's not really a surprise when things turn out the way you might expect them to happen. That's the kind of thing we call "obvious." Still, there is a whole line of thought that is dedicated to expecting the unexpected: Chaos Theory. This may go a long way toward explaining such anomalies as The Mystery Spot, where gravity is all askew. And then there's the Butterfly Effect, in which a butterfly can flap its wings in San Juan, Puerto Rico and a polar bear at the Arctic Circle looks up and says, "Did somebody just open the door?"
Or something like that. 
These days, if you're looking for Chaos, search no further than Berkeley, California. Gravity tends to work pretty much the way you might expect it, but there are plenty of other phenomena that periodically defy explanation. Like why did the University of California invited conservative fussbudget Milo Yiannopoulous to speak on campus last January. As one of the vortex points of left wing thought, and fiercely proud of it, it makes no real sense. Unless the predicted outcome of a night of burning dumpsters and broken windows was the wish of organizers in anticipation of the event. What would happen if we put the porcupine in charge of the balloon factory? It could be that the whole process was set up as an experiment to see if suddenly up was down and left was right and everything we know is wrong. That would go a long way toward proving Chaos Theory. 
Which may explain why Trump supporters scheduled a rally last week in downtown Berkeley. Not for the first time. The natural consequence being, of course, that the balloons didn't last very long. Over the past few months, disorder has become a regular state of being there. "What would happen if" seems to be the way things get planned. What would happen if we dropped conservative meanie Ann Coulter into this fray? We can probably guess by now, but maybe we won't need it to be experimentally proved. The city and university have agreed that this might not be the right time for such a test of the emergency response teams. 
But did that stop the chaos wheel from turning in its barely predictable manner? Nope. Ms. Coulter has told the Campus Republicans to expect her on Thursday as planned. "I feel like the Constitution is important, and that taxpayer-supported universities should not be using public funds to violate American citizens’ constitutional rights." It's a free speech thing, don'tcha know. She told her hosts "to  spare no expense in renting my speaking venue - part of my legal damages." Who knows what will happen on Thursday? Perhaps voices from both sides will be heard and respected. Perhaps there will be a peaceful gathering with an exchange of ideas that will lead to more understanding and an eventual common ground that can be established. 
Or perhaps there will just be civil unrest of some sort. You never know. 
Or do we?

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