... blog post:


In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the phenomenon whereby a minute localised change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

In the 1970s it was first described in relation to meteorology, from the notion that a butterfly fluttering its wings in Rio de Janeiro could change the weather in Chicago and has been popularised in many ways in books and films ever since.


Now I am not about to waffle on about so called "butterfly lighting" used in portrait photography copying the style of Rembrandt's paintings. Rather I am considering disrupter tech where the invention of one thing for one purpose had unforeseen wider social consequences from which there was no going back. 


Like the invention of roll film in 1899 by George Eastman of Kodak fame that put photography into the hands of the masses and released it from the hands of the then dilettante rich few, that lead ultimately to the revolution in pictorial mass communication. These were exemplified by the likes of The Picture Post, Life, Look and other such photo journalist magazines and fashion icons like Vogue, Elle and their contemporaries.


Then again Steve Jobs' original Apple iPhone released in 2007 that began the whole smart phone camera revolution that has killed off the 'stand alone device' consumer digital camera market and driven the whole social media frenzy in image downloads and then video and now short clips, all from your phone.

On a slightly different but ultimately related topic, a thing that bugs me is the myth started by some Frenchman in the 1930's who stated that, "A bee's flight should be impossible, because of the haphazard way their wings flap around". This was later further reenforced in some daft Bee Movie where it was stated that, "According to the laws of aerodynamics bees should not be able to fly".


The latter applied the laws of aerodynamics for fixed wing aircraft to bees and guess what? Yep, bees don't resemble aeroplanes in anyway whatsoever nor do they fly like them so it was a stupid analogy. As we can all testify they can and do fly. Apparently they generate mini-hurricanes with their wings to generate lift - who knew?


This led me to a thought. As the bees obviously fly, do they too trigger the phenomenon whereby a minute localised change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere? If a butterfly simply fluttering its wings in Rio de Janeiro can change the weather in Chicago then what can a bee do that is generating mini-hurricanes with its wings?


So maybe it should be called The Bee Effect? Amazing creatures bees!