Be the Butterfly

  1. Purpose of this website
  2. How this site came to be
  3. How to use this site
  4. FAQ
  5. Other resources

Purpose of this website

You have probably heard of the "butterfly effect", wherein a butterfly flaps its wings and six months later there is a hurricane in the Caribbean as a consequence. That is what this website is all about. I have decided to be the butterfly. This is me flapping my wings for all I'm worth. The "effect" I am hoping for is that six months or six years down the road, a free place is created that persists and grows. By "free place" I mean a state or country that recognizes and respects individual rights; a place that generally abides by the non-aggression principle.

It might seem that establishing such a place is a massive undertaking. And that is true. But, no single person or organization has to do it all. That is what this website is for. Here we list the objectives, and then break each objective down to smaller strategy items, which in turn are broken down into tactics and actions. The goal is that eventually, with your help, each major objective will be decomposed into actions, each of which can be done by one person in one day. There are 7 billion people on the planet, and even if only a small percentage of them are activists for the cause of freedom, that still provides us with plenty of human resources to get the job done.

How this site came to be

How did I come to want to do this? In short, for decades I dedicated my life to political activism, but after all that effort the world was less free than when I started. This made me question whether it was all worth it, and whether my efforts were mis-directed. Then I took graduate courses in systems engineering. I learned about the interrelationships in complex systems. Most of the time the effects of small actions are damped out; but under the right circumstances small actions can be amplified. If the action is the right action, taken at the right time in the right place, it can have a ripple affect, or snowball, and have enormous consequences well out of proportion to the size of the action. Finally, I was influenced by the movie "Groundhog Day". What I took away from that movie is this: "Each day is a possible new beginning. If you know just where to go and what to do, by the end of the day you can be on top of the world."

There is reason for optimism. Even though evil currently has the upper hand, evil has a handicap. Evil must keep its intentions secret, and operate for the most part in the dark. This is because most people are mostly good, and certainly want to think of themselves as good. When they see evil, especially in their own government, they will denounce it and, presumably, vote against it. We, who have the moral high ground, can operate in the open.

How to use this site

Use the plus/minus signs to expand/collapse the tree. Select an action title to see the expanded description.

My hope is that the users of the site will be able to do two things. One, help me decompose these big projects into sets of small actions. And, two, use this site to locate actions that you would like to take, and then report on the results. The projects are sufficiently decomposed when they are broken down into actions that can be done by one person in one day, just like in Groundhog Day.

In addition, I plan to set up a private email list, where the inner circle of freedom-loving butterflies like myself can debate which actions are most likely to be damped out, and which select few have the possibility of eventually resulting in the establishment of a sustainable free place.

Frequently asked/answered questions

  1. What happened to my submission? This is a moderated website, which means that each submission is read by a human (at this point, me). Unless your submission seems to be spam, I will try to respond to you within a few days. I may accept your submission as is, reject it, or suggest it be moved to under a different parent.
  2. Is my contact information kept private? Yes. The email address you provide to "Be the Butterfly" will never be shared with any other individual or organization. Also, you will not be added to any email group without your specific permission. However, note that your name is listed publicly as an action suggester.
  3. Is this site still active? This site went live on November 4, 2018, and was last updated November 17, 2018.
  4. Why do you seem so focused on the United States, when you call on people from around the world to help? If a free place were to come into existence, I personally would vote with my feet and move there, regardless of where it was. However, I do focus on actions to promote freedom in the United States. There are two reasons for this. One reason is that I am most familiar with the situation in the U.S. But the second reason is that, at one point in time, the United States was considered a beacon of liberty, attracting immigrants from around the world. If freedom is absolutely lost in the U.S. the prospects for freedom in other places, or worldwide, are dismal.

Other resources