The source, origin of, or circumstances which the chain of events will lead to if followed in reverse. It often helps to analyze this in order to truely understand how the outcome was arrived at, how each minor thing affected and impacted the whole. People trying to fix social problems tend to have a habit of only looking at the end result and doing patchwork, thinking short term, they ought to try fixing things at the start, the root of the cause.

"Every effect has a cause." The old maxim rings true as ever in my head, most notably when I'm (irritatedly) explaining my pessimism to the many neurotypicals unable to understand it. But I'm led to wonder nevertheless if this creates an infinite chain of tracing back causes and effects and causes and effects with no end in sight.

Let me lay it out more lucidly in an example. Two people are discussing, say, a certain song. (For the sake of making me look cool, and because I can't stand explaining things generically, it shall be the demo version of Demilich's "The Echo (Replacement)".) One of them poses the question:
"Why do you like this song?"
To which the response is: "The fuzzy guitar reminds me of, of all things, mould being shaved off a piece of rotten beef with an electric razor." (It really does.)

Now, here's where it gets interesting and the chain begins. If the asker poses a question based on the previous answer (in part or entirely), and the answerer replies with another logical response, they could, theoretically, carry on forever.
"Why is the guitar so fuzzy?"
"Because the production makes it so."
"Why does the production make the guitar fuzzy?"

Even with uninformative responses like,
"Oh, hell if I know why the damn guitar's fuzzy",
or forked responses like,
"It could be because the equipment was low-budget, or because the amp was damaged, or because it was intended by the band" (in which case the asker may pick any of the items and carry on)
or even completely asinine post hoc responses like,
"Because my parents are buying me a pony for my birthday",
the chain can continue, just so long as the asker continues to ask questions based on the answers, regardless of what the latter are like.

But surely the chain has to end somewhere, no? Even barring all human factors -- hunger, thirst, anything else on Maslow's hierarchy -- there must be an end, the cause of all causes. Unfortunately, there seems to be no other way to find out other than to simulate an entire chain.

But hell if I'm going to carry that torch. If I had that much time on my hands, it'd be clear to me that I've entered an alternate dimension where time proceeds at quarter the actual rate.

Although I do smell an idea for a Web project, or something of the sort....

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