The swerve was supposed to reintroduce free (contra-causal) will in the universe. Chaotic behavior, which isn’t random at all, it’s deterministic, does nothing of the sort.
I’m very familiar with Gould and Kaufman’s work. They are talking about epistemic predictability, not ontology.
Causation is exactly the same as determinism, regardless of causal loops. Unless one thinks that something can happen without causes.
Your example of the pencil confuses epistemic and ontological issues. The world can be completely deterministic and yet, because of chaos, not predictable.
Therefore, the metaphysics of the Epicureans was wrong. The Stoics were right in their fatalism because the world is deterministic. (And no, quantum mechanics isn’t going to help here either.)