Thursday, May 04, 2006
The Humor, Wit, and Wisdom of Terry Pratchett
Some excerpts from Interesting Times:
"According to the philosopher Ly Tin Wheedle, chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized."
"This is the butterfly of the storms.
See the wings, slightly more ragged than those of the common fritillary. In reality, thanks to the fractal nature of the universe, this means that those ragged edges are infinite -- in the same way that the edge of any rugged coastline, when measured to the ultimate microsocopic level, is infinitely long -- or, if not infinite, then at least so close to it that infinity can be seen on a clear day."
"The Quantum Weather Butterfly (Papilio tempestae) is an undistinguished yellow color, although the Mandelbrot patterns on the wings are of considerable interest. It's outstanding feature is its ability to create weather.
This presumably began as a survival trait, since even an extremely hungry bird would find itself inconvenienced by a nasty localized tornado. From there it possibly became a secondary sexual characteristic, like the plumage of birds or the throat sacs of certain frogs. Look at me, the male says, flapping his wings lazily in the canopy of the rain forest. I may be an undistinguished yellow color but in a fortnight's time a thousand miles away, Freak Gales Cause Road Chaos."
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