Also in this episode, we see that Special Agent Wedeck is buddies with the President of the United States. Apparently, most of the world's leaders decided not to reveal what occurred in their flash forward, though the show gives us a glimpse into what happened w/ the President's FF. He's lying in bed and is awoken by a Secret Service agent who tells him that "something's happened." The President states that there's too much to do in the present to worry about the future, but with all of the world's leaders staying silent about their FFs, I'm beginning to think that their silence plants the seed for a thousand conspiracy theories within the reality of the show.
- Why the silence?
- What could it possibly give away?
- What do the leaders know that's so vital?Also, if this unknown event that is looming in the President's future has already occurred before he was woken up, how come the Mosaic or Benford's group hasn't picked up on it from everyone else's stories or another source?
We're also given glimpses into Wedeck's background as he returns to Washington D.C. to testify at the Senate's finance committee. There's a reference to something shady or damaging in his past that involves the senator who's in charge of the committee that would provide funds for his Mosaic task force. What do you think this damaging past could be? But, the President offers Wedeck the important Cabinet post, Director of Homeland Security.
Olivia overhears Benford and his sponsor, Aaron, discussing Benford going to an AA meeting since he's in a stressful situation. She discusses the possibility of Mark drinking again, and Aaron reminds her that alcoholics "never need a reason to drink."
During this episode, the President mentions that "the Chinese see opportunity in chaos." Is this an allusion to chaos theory? The theory could mean trying to find order in random or chaotic systems (1), or in mathematical circles in which a system is highly sensitive to minute changes like the weather (2). Where some people see insanity and mayhem, others see order. In fact, chaos theorists show what might have been a tiny error at the beginning of a chain of events could lead to a much bigger error later on. In other words, things may appear to be random at first, but in fact, they are determined by that tiny error or fluctuation that occurred in the beginning.
You may have heard of something very similar called the butterfly effect:
"The flapping of a single butterfly's wing today produces a tiny change in
the state of the atmosphere. Over a period of time, what the atmosphere actually
does diverges from what it would have done. So, in a month's time, a tornado
that would have devastated the Indonesian coast doesn't happen. Or maybe one
that wasn't going to happen, does."
(Ian Stewart, Does God Play Dice? The Mathematics of Chaos, pg. 141) 1
Add the newest revelation that Olivia's future lover, Lloyd Simcoe, might be involved with the blackout (given the call at the end of this episode), it makes me wonder what went wrong and how he's involved.
With this in mind, there's a couple things to think about (pick two to answer):
1. Do you think that such a thing as the butterfly effect is plausible? Why or why not?
2. Speculate on how Lloyd Simcoe is involved in the blackout and how his relationship w/ Olivia might begin;
3. What would drive Mark Benford to start drinking again? Olivia said it occurred last when he was away from home and testifying in a committee hearing.
4. Why do you think world leaders have chosen not to reveal their FFs?
Due next Friday, November 6 at 11:59 p.m.
To dig deeper into chaos theory, follow these:
3. http://www.mountainman.com.au/chaos_03.htm - an excerpt from a book on chaos by James Gleick;
4. http://hypertextbook.com/chaos/ The Chaos Hyper Text book which includes an intro and chaos's application.
5. http://www.societyforchaostheory.org/ - The Society for Chaos Theory in psychology and life sciences.
Choas is defined in the following quotes:
"The complicated, aperiodic, attracting orbits of certain (usually low-dimensional) dynamical systems." Philip Holmes - mathematician
"A rapidly expanding field of research to which mathematicians, physicists, hydrodynamicists, ecologists and many others have all made important contributions. And: A newly recognized and ubiquitous class of natural phenomena." Hao Bai-Lin, physicist
"Apparently random recurrent behaviour in a simple deterministic (clockwork-like) system." H. Bruce Stewart, applied mathematician
"The irregular, unpredictable behaviour of deterministic, nonlinear dynamical systems." Roderick V. Jensen, theoretical physicist
"Dynamics with positive, but finite, metric entropy. The translation from mathese is: behaviour that produces informatin (amplifies small uncertainties), but is not utterly unpredictable." James Crutchfield, Santa Cruz collective
"Dynamics freed at last fromt he shackles of order and predictability ... Systems liberated to randomly explore their every dynamical possibility ... Exciting variety, richness of choice, a cornucopia of opportunity." Joseph Ford (3).