"That's crazy," younger Anne muttered, still working her way through the explanation, "I mean, this Butterfly Effect Genie can't be right..."
"Oh it definitely is," older Anne replied, expertly frying strips of chicken at the stove for her own lunch, "Crazy, and right. I used it to stop you after you went crazy. Was the only way it would avoid a nuclear war. Or at least so we think. "
"And that included singing the French national anthem at a Russian military base you just blew up?"
Older Anne nodded.
"But it lets you solve things you don't even know how to solve! And that you don't even know if whatever you're doing even helps!"
Older Anne nodded again.
Younger Anne sighed and bit into the chicken sandwich on her plate. It was still a bit too much for her to take in.
Hmm, but the genie would work on nearly anything. Didn't Kaho supposedly wish for a personal issue? Older Anne had refused to explain, saying that it was private.
"Won't it be able to do almost anything? You could solve... everything. World hunger, stop wars! Make people accept those with superpowers! Immortality!" Anne got more excited as the ideas began to pour in. It really could do anything!
Older Anne turned off the stove and sat down across the table, "there's a little story told in the future, about someone who misused the Butterfly Effect Genie. "
Younger Anne raised an eyebrow, "What did he use it for?"
She was expecting something like 'becoming dictator of the world' or some other suitably horrible thing, which was why when older Anne sighed and said, "he wished for friends," younger Anne could only stare at her.
"But... but, what..." she paused to get her thoughts in order. She eventually said, "that doesn't seem so bad. "
"Really?" Older Anne replied, laughter in her eyes, "It certainly was alot worse than anyone expected, and as far as I could tell, the story was perfectly plausible. "
"Tell me, what satisfies the condition for consistency when using the Butterfly Effect Genie?" Older Anne asked.
"You get your wish?"
"No, more fundamental than that. "
"You send back the instructions," Anne finally said.
"Yes, as long as you send back the instructions, that's all that's needed. The genie doesn't care if your wish was granted, it only ensures you send back the instructions. So, what does that tell you about the genie?"
Anne thought for a long while, "It can fool you into sending the instructions back. "
"And how do you stop it from doing that?" Older Anne grinned at her younger self, it was an excellent lesson in thinking causally.
"You have to know how you know that your wish is granted. You have to know what exactly is it that you want, with a time limit and with ways to be sure that you have achieved it," Anne said slowly as she worked it out in her head.
"Exactly, so can you now tell me why wishing for friends was a bad thing?"
"He didn't have a time limit," Anne picked up her pace, it was easy to see where all the failure points were, "it's impossible to know if people are really your friends. And lastly, he probably doesn't even know what he meant when he wished for friends. "
Older Anne nodded, "He also chain-wished. After he sent back the first set of instructions, he wished again for the same thing. To keep his 'friends'. "
Anne asked, morbidly curious, "So what exactly happened to him anyway?"
"That's a story for another time. I'll get you the book later. "
There was a pause, "It was just a story right?"
Older Anne smiled, "Yes. As far as I know anyway. "