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Posts Tagged ‘determinism’

Dear Premonitions,

You know, we’ve known each other a long time. And you’re good at what you do, you really are. I can safely say you’ve even saved me a couple of times from rather bad situations. Man, there have been some close ones, haven’t there?

That foresight stuff is a great thing to have: I suppose I do want you to tone things down a bit, though. Of course, its real nice being able to see ’round corners and what not, But I really do enjoy the few surprises I get, and you are ruining them for me.

I mean, at first it was kind of cool. I remember that one time when you told me that one of my friends put mayonnaise in my shoe, and I thought you were lying and put my shoes on anyway; because you know, who does that? That was pretty funny, because the answer turned out to be my friends. Haha. And that one time you told me not to eat some of that restaurant food, and I didn’t, and everyone who did got food poisoning. Really, that was awesome stuff. But seriously now, sometimes these things get ridiculousness.

One day I woke up and my roommate  was gone, and you told me he went to the grocery store to get groceries. And that on the list of his groceries was parmesan cheese. Even though he hates the stuff, he was getting it for me- because I asked for it 5 months ago. I don’t care to know why he did it then, I just want to know why I had to know that 15 minutes before he got home. It could have waited, and I wouldn’t have to fake being surprised, and come off as an asshole. Now I have parmesan cheese, but my roommate thinks i’m an ungrateful dick.

Thanks to you I can tell when my cats gonna from out of no where and claw my leg (I don’t even fight that anymore, I have accepted that this is a mark of love). You can do all that, thats cool, but I draw the line when I’m stuck in an elevator, and I can tell when someones about to fart and  leave 3 floors before I have to get off. That upsets me. It really does. It’s bad enough that the fart is already kinda unnecessary, but it’s completely unnecessary for me to have to know about it beforehand. WTF is that about?

I wish you would of taken that incident and traded it for that one time I walked in on my step mom having sex with her boyfriend. Could of saved me a facial tick and an awkward conversation later on in time.

Although, I do appreciate it when you let me know when my friends or family are going to be mad or happy with me, weeks prior to any particular reason why. This helps me brace myself, in one way or another, for things to come. I do not appreciate it, however, when you don’t let me know it may involve a car wreck, or something else that I think is preventable. That is not nice. In fact it kind of hurts.

This message isn’t all about doom and gloom and dissatisfaction. I also need to thank you for some stuff. Thanks to you, I have learned firsthand that time is not linear. I also worry about dumb shit a lot less. On top of that, you also taught me that the universe is so dynamic it is able to maintain being deterministic and non-deterministic at the same time- and somewhere in there I can pull whatever I want out of thin air. I mean, I still don’t get it, but hey, I’m just a small termite floating in the cosmos, right? Maybe i’m not supposed to understand.

You also aided me in developing an advanced lay-understanding of physics, psychology, philosophy, religion, and gave me an unbreakable concern for all humanity, all by the time I was 14. I’m pretty grateful for that, because now that I got all that shit out of the way when I was younger, people think I’m cool and smart. Never thought that would ever happen.

I also came to enjoy being an empathic, hormonal teenager cluttered together with a bunch of other hormonal teenagers like myself in a public school. Sure it was torture at first, but perceiving everyone’s invisible joys and woes will change your perspective really fast- teaches you that you don’t have much to complain about. Also, that no one is normal in the least, so I guess I’m ok being a bit of a freak.

But have you ever tried focusing on your classwork, and the girl next to you is on her period, or instead you’re next to the emo kid who has six notebooks full of rearranged lyrics from that band Hawthorne Heights, and you can hear their thoughts? It’s hard, but it is possible- if you are in the lotus position. But that’s extremely difficult to maintain in a school desk. I did it once, but got sent to the office for breaking a rule in the student handbook. Why is the school anti-buddhist, you ask? Read the handbook, and it will tell you. Something about discouraging non-curricular ‘enlightenment’ prior to receiving your degree, or something like that. It was total bs; and it may of had to do with why I dropped out.

But I digress, I think its safe to say that I turned out relatively normal for all the things we’ve been through. I just wanted to say that its been nice having you around this long. I hope that in the future, we can get more stuff done. Thanks for everything. Really, I mean it. Lets just try to be more practical in the future, and no more extra-sensory-perception for grocery lists or other peoples flatulence. That shits weird.

Sincerely,
Bob

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One may ask of the man who believes in environmental determination, whether the assertion of such a belief is nothing but the spouting forth of words in patterns  to which he was conditioned by his environment.

-David Bohm

It is the opinion of many educated men that the universe, at its core, is a deterministic entity, with absolutely no wiggle room for chance, banana’s,  or freedom of thought. Everything, ever is the result of a tight knit chain of cause and effect events, and apparent chaos and unpredictability is just the result of ignorance.

There’s a reason people think like this.

People used to think this way because back in the day the kings wanted to rule over everything you did and twisted religious scriptures towards their favor.

“God sees everything” they would tell commoners, “and I speak for him, so if you do a bad thing, you will be PUNISHED!”

But rather than helping control people, the plan backfired, and a lot of people had a lot of sex, engaged in heavy acts of violence and made blasphemous pagan-christian christmas tree crossovers out of pure rebellion.

Amidst all the chaos and confusion, the easter bunny gave birth to the catholic church to help solve all the worlds problems

After which, the Easter bunny was nowhere to be found until the centuries later with the invention of the mall, where he magically reappeared for no reason at all.

But i digress: Skip over roughly a millennium and a holy war later, after most of that unhappy stuff happened: Many men with funny mustaches decided it was no longer healthy to follow the orders of your priest, your politician, or believe in any God. With no one around but the Monty Python sketch comedy group to argue against their points, the world fell into a godless decline were Elvis could shake his hips on television and South Park got away with saying the ‘S’ word over one hundred times over basic cable.

But alas, something was very, very wrong. Somewhere along that timeline, someone realized that with no church or diety, no one was around to hold power over their heads and tell them what to do or go to hell, and they missed that. They needed someone to tell them what to do.

Shortly after Elvis danced on television, a man named Pierre-Simon Laplace wrote a poem, and went like this:

if you knew the initial starting point of every particle in the entire universe, you could hypothetically calculate what was going to happen from then until the end of time- and because you could do that, its safe to assume that everything ever is determined (hypothetically).

How Romantic. And to believe that’s the same poem he used to snag his wife.

Point is, the universe tells you what to do. And even better than that God you had had, you didn’t even have to wait until the next life to have it happen, you were being told what to do right now.

Although to this day no one has scientifically replicated Laplace’s speculations. Ever. In fact, evidence has been shown the  contrary is true- but that hasn’t stopped people from taking their own leap of faith and accepting it as a scientific truth anyway.

But on the same level, most people who aren’t into Laplace find the idea that everything ever, from your neighbor picking his nose, you sneezing last week, and the Vietnam war, was all determined an untold number of years ago, at some “big bang”, is stupid- As they should, because it is.

Many people assume that, aside from determinate and indeterminate events, there is a third party, a quality unconditioned by either side that domesticated primates (humans) call intelligence. Intelligence gives them the ability to learn and perceive what is real from what is not real, and gives them the option to pick out what they want out of the infinite possibilities the world provides them. If we did live in a world were everything was determined, all observations of that fact would be ultimately meaningless. With no third party perspective, how would you even be able to tell whats what? Buddha only knows that the universe could be lying to you.


In a truly deterministic world, not only are all your emotions, biology and actions of every waking second determined- but argument, scientific experiments and logical thought are all results of that exact same process. Everything you ‘see’, ‘believe’, and ‘discover’ was all really pre-ordained 14 billion years ago.

Whether or not this is true is irrelevant. What matters is that you believe it- because you ‘have to’. The logic behind all of this is probably why determinists are so hard to convince otherwise; but at the same time why they are all completely wrong.

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