Creating your own future – is it possible?
More than 2 years ago, I saw a bag with strange text. It was difficult to understand; even more difficult to take a picture of it whilst it was attached to the shoulder of a girl who might not want a random time travel enthusiast snapping pictures in her personal environ.
A similar thing happened a few months ago, but with a different bag carried by a different girl.
This picture, cunningly posed as a selfie so the background is actually my intended foreground, is unfortunately nothing much more than a reminder. Perhaps it doesn’t remind me of the text on the bag as much as the note I made of it:
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
I realise this is one of those motivational texts that is meant to get us off our butts and go and actually do something. But it got me thinking about what “creating a future” actually means.
At its simplest, I guess it’s not much more than defining where the direction our line of life points. Does it go to university, for example, or to a job? Buying a house in the country, or renting a flat in the city?
It’s not really creation. Conceded. But we do create the possibility of something happening instead of sitting around trying to figure out or predict what’s best.
Charting your course between the time lines
“You can’t steer a still ship.” ~ T. Woznek
(i.e. Make a decision and do something!)
So much for the time line, but allow me to play with the metaphor of us sailing on the sea of time. If we’re the ship (that moves) then contrary to popular belief, time does stand still. And if there’s no objective flow of time, then we’re onto eternalism (perhaps fitting, given the last link! 😉 ) which is where all instants of time equally co-exist.
But if I understand this right (and please correct me if I’m wrong…) the multiverses ‘available’ in the multi-time line theory are already all present. So following one outcome in one time line is effectively a choice.
So we don’t create a future, we choose one from many that pre-exist – and pre-existence implies a level of pre-determination.
But if we have free-choice (and I hope we do!) then maybe it’s not so pre-determined. For example, a magician might know you’re going to pick one of these 52 cards, but he doesn’t know exactly which one.
So when he says “Pick a card, any card” we’re faced with a limited choice, even in the apparent randomness of it. We try to outwit him; we go for a card at the side, or one that’s partially hidden by another to decrease his chances of guessing it correctly later. But he’s been busy creating his own chances…
He leads us along specific lines of thought with misdirection. Teasing our psychology plays with the probability of desired outcomes so we’re likely to fail at guessing under which cup a ball is hidden, for example, even though our eyes have been glued to it. The magician doesn’t predict (as we’re encouraged to do) – he knows! He’s created chances to increase the likelihood of one direction over another.
Prediction. When will we want it?
Is there value in predicting the future? We’re impressed when we find out the magician knew our card before we chose it. And it’s a cliché line to desire the ability to predict the winning lottery numbers. For the smaller things though, I can’t help thinking life wouldn’t be much fun if we always knew what was going to happen.
Would it be better to just “suck it and see”? Or maybe we just need some guidance with our decisions. So maybe the bag text is right after all; creating a future by doing instead of wondering opens up the possibility of all those timelines out there! We won’t know unless we try!
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