Peer to Peer Magazine

June 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Imagine that with just the power of your mind you could travel back in time and change any details of your work life (not to mention your home life). Let's say you made a different hiring choice; accepted or did not accept a job relocation; selected a different vendor or software package; or copied (or didn't copy) an associate on an email message. How would those changed decisions affect today's present? Would even a single change, seemingly an insignificant one, make it better or worse? That's the premise of BUTTERFLY EFFECT — changing the present by changing the past. THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT (and please don't bother seeing the two silly sequels) stars Ashton Kutcher. It focuses on the repeated efforts of a young man to change the present by changing the past. Evan Treborn (Kutcher), an outgoing college senior despite his dysfunctional and trauma-filled childhood, becomes determined to free himself from recurring disturbing memories. As a child, he had suffered periodic, stress-induced blackouts and, following a doctor's suggestion, began keeping a journal. Now as a young adult, Evan begins studying the journal entries to figure out the truth about himself and his troubled friends Kayleigh (his girlfriend), Tommy (Kayleigh's brother) and Lenny. When he discovers that he can mentally rewrite journal pages and travel back in time, he sets about changing events of the past to save his beloved pals. However, he quickly discovers that relatively minor changes can create major problems for the future. Each attempt results in a timeline that is worse than the last. He ultimately realizes his attempts to make the present better only achieve the opposite and harm those he cares about, including his mother — and that he is the main cause of everyone's suffering in every version of the timeline. This leads to several very different movie endings that are viewable only on DVD. As to how The Butterfly Effect, both the theory and movie, theme, consider this: Chaos theory relates to ILTA's Law2020® states that in any dynamic system, small initial differences may, over time, lead to large unforeseen consequences. Using your mental time machine, revisit the work you were doing and the decisions you were making for your organization in 2010. Did you consider how that work and those decisions — and technology in general — would play out in 2012? Whether the answer is yes or no, consider how what you're doing today will affect the future — and it surely will affect the future. After all, 2020 will be here almost as fast as a butterfly's wings flutter. • All of the prison scenes were filmed in a real prison (Washington State) with real prisoners. • The movie's title screen is a scan of the brain (as shown from the front). The left and right lateral ventricles of the corpus callosum (the middle of the brain) in this picture are displaced. Such is the case with many schizophrenic patients. The displaced ventricles in the middle of the brain are sometimes referred to as looking like a butterfly. THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT TRIVIA (Courtesy of IMDb) • Evan's journal books have the same cover layout as those of John Doe in SE7EN, also released by New Line Cinema. They are standard composition notebooks commonly used by school children. • This was one of the most widely read unproduced scripts in the movie industry. It wasn't until Ashton Kutcher stepped up to executive produce that the movie was greenlit. • In early versions of the script, Evan was originally named Chris Treborn. When the "T" is moved over, it becomes "Christ Reborn". This was changed to Evan Treborn, which is a play on "Event Reborn". • To prepare for his role, Ashton Kutcher did extensive research on psychology, mental disorders and chaos theory. • The picture over Evan's bed in his dorm room is "Sleep" by Salvador Dalí. Andy Spiegel is a creative director for a business software company based in Austin, Texas, and he's a freelance writer. An ardent movie watcher, he maintains a blog called "Austinlad's Private Screening Room," which spotlights movie reviews of films from the '30s to today. He can be reached at Peer to Peer 95

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