Quiet Chaos – Chapter 8, Act 2, Strip 22

In order not to feel left out (a problem he never used to have back when he still was a jock), Biff shows that he, too, is able to come up with a bad idea related to super speed. Yay for feeling part of a community!

Naturally, his massively widened horizons enable him to come up with a much more original and convoluted bad idea than he’d been capable of in the past. He strays into the weird and terrifying realm of…dun-dun-dun-dun!…chaos theory. O_O

And, yeah… injecting chaos theory into a movie script rarely works out. And injecting chaos theory into a B-movie script, specifically, has never, ever worked out – and likely never will. B-movie script writers just aren’t paid enough to be able to afford the investment of time that would be necessary to get even a basic idea of the principles involved, let alone think through all of the interdependent consequences in terms of the plot. The money barely covers the time required for the mere act of writing the script – adding any kind of thinking amounts to a luxury and thus needs to be constrained to the minimum.

Against this background, Biff’s rash action could have had a major impact that completely reshapes the plot – and reality itself – in unpredictable but drastic ways. Which would have required me to think through all of the interdependent consequences, and I don’t have that kind of time, either. I solved that issue in the most elegant way possible: nothing happens. After all, if the result can’t be predicted, you can’t say it couldn’t be that just nothing happens. It’s a valid outcome, and it also removes any need for Biff to explain what it actually was that he tried to achieve. Which would have been painful in several ways.

And Biff summarizes the typical treatment of chaos theory in popular fiction correctly. You get the premise and the outcome, but nothing is provided to connect them. Which is not totally unlike the real thing, but still somewhat of a simplification. XD

More on Thursday.

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