With a declining tendency towards religious faith and
a depleting trust and sense of individual significance
and systems of community, meaning,
社区 文化 价值 经济
culture, economy and state
facilitated in large part
by the increasing proximity to vast amount of information,
many of us see ourselves as inconsequential specks,
destined to pass from dusts to ashes
with nothing to show for it.
In some sense, this may be true.
However, there is one unique source
of profound, scientific, basic significance that we all possess,
深刻的 科学的 基础的意义
no matter who we are and what we do.
Without the requirement of any grand delusions or achievement or faith in anything beyond, or faith in anything beyond,
Everyone, you, I, everyone we know
每一个人 你 我 我们身边的每个人
and everyone everyone knows, is born with this,
woven into the very fabric of our relationship with reality.
We wear it in any moment, and it cannot be taken off.
Not even by ourselves.
It is the fact that each of us
will change the course of everything forever.
Let’s consider for a moment that time travel were possible,
and you went back in time, some significant number of years.
If, while you were there,
you affected something, changed something,
influenced something to go differently,
stopped or started something that would have otherwise
happened or not, and so on.
Even with just seemingly tiny insignificant alterations,
it would be highly likely that you would dramatically
change the course of events throughout history thereafter.
The proceeding future would become potentially, a completely different one,
or at the very least, a notably different one.
Most of us accept and understand this.
It is the concern, fear or premise of
a vast majority of films, books, shows and so on,
that include time travel as a plot device.
We recognize that affecting a small thing in the past,
can dramatically change the present,
but yet we rarely think about how affecting a small thing in the present
can dramatically change the future.
Right now, without time travel as an option,
reality still works the same way.
In every present moment, your actions,
stopping and starting of things and so on,
in some likely sense, change the course of the future.
Not every little thing we do
always has a major impact on the course of events.
But many likely do,
and we do many things, both big and small, all the time.
而且我们一直以来 或大或小 总是在做点什么的
This process of how seemingly tiny, insignificant changes
can lead to huge consequences
is explained by what is known as the butterly effect,
part of the branch of science and mathematics
known as chaos theory.
Chaos theory deals with systems known as chaotic systems
that react with high sensitivity to tiny changes in initial conditions
and through chaos, compound
and lead to the generation of completely different, unpredictable outcomes
and later states of the systems.
Chaos is sort of a misleading term
because this process is not truly chaotic in a random sense.
Chaotic systems function according to the laws of motion, physics
But because of their immeasurably complex factors
and high sensibility to minute variability in the initial conditions,
they are just nearly impossible to predict and appear chaotic.
Examples of chaotic systems include
the weather, aspects of the brain, population dynamics, ocean turbulence,
天气 大脑的各个方面 种群动态 海洋湍流
traffic flow, aspects of the economy and so on.
And of course, reality as a whole is a chaotic system.
It is the total sum chaos of all the chaotic systems combined,
the most chaotic system a system can be.
And of course, we are in this,
part and parcel of it.
As a simplified example, consider a scenario in which
a person is living with a roomate.
At around noon, this person becomes hungry and decides to have a meal.
中午 这个人饿了 想要吃饭
From the options available at their apartment,
this person decides to make a tomato salad
and they use the last communal tomatoes in their apartment.
Later that night, their roommate plans to
have someone whom they are dating over for dinner
and intends to make a pasta dish with homemade tomato sauce.
Before their date arrives, they realize they are now out of tomatoes,
and go to the grocery store to get more.
When going to check out by mere seconds,
they get in line in front of another person.
While checking out, the cashier mistakingly puts in the wrong code for the tomatoes
and must clear out and reinput the code,
the transaction totaling about three minutes.
While on the drive home,
the person who was behind them in line
now delayed by three minutes,
just barely happens by a car accident that had occurred only a short moment earlier.
This person who was in line
happens to be an off-duty EMT,
and after noticing one of the car accident victims on the ground unconscious,
they pull over, get out, and provide the victims CPR,
他靠边停车 下车 为受害者进行心肺复苏术
ultimately saving their life.
This now rescued car accident victim just recently having gotten married
goes on to live a normal life and have two children with their wife.
Eventually, one of the two children goes on to
become highly successful in the medical field
and creates the formulation for a life-saving medication
As a result, thousands if not millions of lives are saved by this medication
allowing more lives and families to continue and be born.
Further advance was then continue on to and through
these new indivisuals affecting more advance
and leading to more people and things, building and compounding over time,
interacting with other chains of cause and effect along the way,
all still interlinked with that original tomato salad.
Of course, all of the events
even just the initial delay of the EMT
required many many other places
where slight changes occurred according to other causes.
But ultimately, based on the butterfly effect,
the effects of that one roomate deciding to eat a tomato salad
would at least in some varying degree of causality
continue on until the end of humanity, perhaps the world,
and perhaps beyond.
It is not uncommon to hear that one wants to change the world.
It is the tagline to so many people’s dreams and aspirations.
It’s a noble and virtuous enough ambition.
Arguably, we should want to focus our efforts
on intentionally doing as much good in the world as we can,
trying to change it for the better.
Because perhaps the more people who try,
the odds increase that it might.
But ultimately if one small action,
like eating the last tomatoes can potentially change
the entire course of events in the future,
what makes us think we could ever truly
know the impact of our other actions.
On the time scale of history,
good, bad, and neutral events
好的 坏的 中立的事件
can never be fully known or identified.
But what we can know is that our exisitence
although a seemingly insignificant fluke in a blip of time
through the butterfly effect,
will flap out and leave its trailing legacy
with potentially increasing dramatic effect
for possibly the rest of history and perhaps beyond.
Chaos theory takes away the long-term predictability of our actions,
but gives us back a perpetual road
and the reality’s operation.
Your legacy, albeit indirect and anonymous will continue.
It is a flame whose fuse is anything in existence.
This contemplation isn’t a resolution
or a placement to having a tangible, direct sense of purpose
through the day-to-day responsibilities of a job,
工作 事业 激情 家庭 友谊等日常责任获得的
a career, a passion, a family, a friendship and so on.
But it is to potentially serve as a supplement
for when in those moments when some of the weight
seems to suddenly drop out of these things
and they feel illusory, futile or temporary
当我们感到虚幻 徒劳 短暂
and we question if anything we do ultimately matters beyond us
if we mean anything to anything else.
In these moments, we can remember,
that at least in some sense,
we do so much more than we would probably even like.
In the final analysis, either no one matters at all,
or everyone matters completely.
There is really no in between.
No matter who you are, because of you,
the course of reality’s future
will play out in a unique way.
We are not only each the agents of our own story,
but we are also the agents of the story of humanity,
this earth, and perhaps beyond,
collaborating on the unique expression of art
that is the future.
This video is sponsored by Curiosity Stream.
For those who appreciate thought-provoking educational content
but still want to experience the same entertainment and engagement
as watching their favorite shows or movies,
Curiosity Stream is this streaming platform for you,
providing thousands of documentaries and non-fiction titles
from some of the world’s best film makers,
and subjects like science, technology, nature, history, and much more.
以及诸如科学 技术 自然 历史等内容的话题
Curiosity Stream is this subscription streaming service
dedicated to the intersection of our desire to learn
and our desire to forget that we are learning while we are.
With enriching, beautifully produced pieces,
like digits featuring Veritasium Derek Muller,
比如 真理元素的Derek Muller带来的“数位”
David Attenborough’s Light on Earth
and Transhumanism by Jason Silva
Curiosity Stream offers titles featuring some of the most notable,
and familiar faces, voices, and minds in the field.
Curiosity Stream is available worldwide on many if not most platforms
and is extremely affordable.
If you are interested, you can go to curiositystream.com/pow
and use promo code POW
and save an additional 25% off the already low subscription price
bringing the total down to just $14.99 a year
or $1.25 per month
an unbelievable price for the value.
again, please visit the link in the description
and use code POW to sign up today.
and of course, thank you so much for watching in general
and see you next video.
With a declining tendency towards religious faith and