What is and what isn’t a failure | 797
Weird vs. normal

On worrying about the future

[ 4 min read ]

Future scenarios (visions of a dreadful or superb future) are the basis for our distress or excitement.

There is a problem though — they aren’t real. We create them in our heads. They’re fiction — some of what we come up with might happen, but it’s never that all of it will, which means that alternative things will.

And we always fail to factor in myriad events and changes that will happen which will alter the scenario (disrupt our vision of the future).

We spotted some trend and we fear that the world will collapse. And we write “wise” articles and books about it and warn people and think we’re so damn smart — we know what will happen. And unless we do x, we will be doomed, we conclude.

The fear occurs in us because the trend poses a threat to the status quo. Something which is so real and true to us. We know how things work today, and we know that should this one thing change things will not work the way they do. And we lament that we’re not born for this or that (as if we were born for what is today and nothing else — ha, ha, ha, this makes me laugh), that we will cease to be human beings, etc.

It’s plain bullshit. No matter what will happen to us, no matter what we as species will come up with as next (because that’s what we do — we never stand in one place, sooner or later we destroy all status quos), we will never cease to be who we are — ever evolving thing, organism. Any attempt at stopping the evolution must (will) fail. In a duel with evolution we stand no chance. Nothing does.

We’ve been doing it since time immemorial. This spreading of fear and worrying how the heck the world will function properly if this or that happens. And the world? Calm as ever. It just doesn’t give a damn. It doesn’t care if our status quo will or will not be disrupted. It just is.

And in spite of all this fear and worrying (with us since time immemorial) the world didn’t collapse. And it never will. Its collapse is impossible. It just is. And it evolves. There is nothing it should or shouldn’t be. There is no place it should or shouldn’t move towards. No right or wrong. A world without planet earth? Why not? Who, besides us will be upset and cry? Nobody. That’s the game which is being played.

Why the world (our world — the part we care about the most) didn’t collapse? Because it evolves and because everything in it evolves. Either we and other species adapted (and we thought we / they wouldn’t — some died out though, but that happens all the time for no species are entitled to make it through everything), or other things changed too (and we thought that they wouldn’t). It’s the same (or very similar) mistake to that which we make when we regret that we did A when we should have done B. We overlook myriad alternative events, because A/ we are wishful thinkers (that’s true when we have regrets — we think that if only we had picked B instead of A everything would be perfect) or B/ we never know it all (our knowledge of the future is laughably small).

Yesterday I spent 45 minutes a traffic jam and my car and I moved 1 km (0,62 mi.) in that time. There was an alternative route but I wasn’t sure if it would lead me to my destination (I feared it would result in some crazy detour) and also thought the traffic jam couldn’t be that bad — the distance to cover was, after all, only 1 km. And I got stuck there for 45 minutes. Then I cursed and blamed (or rather wanted to curse and blame) myself for picking the left instead of the right lane at the fork but knew it was absurd and futile to do such thing (curse and blame myself). I don’t really know what would have happened had I picked the right lane instead of the left one. Sure, one possibility was that I would have avoided being stuck in that horrible traffic jam and I would have laughed at all those suckers who were stuck in it. But what about other possibilities (alternative, possibly unfavorable scenarios)? Why assume that alternative shit wouldn’t have happened? Maybe if I had picked the right lane instead of the left one I would have sped (laughing at those suckers stuck on the left lane), or somebody else would, and I would have ended up having some horrible car accident? Or some car in front of me would have ended up having an accident and this would have resulted in a traffic jam? Why not? Why the heck do we always assume that only the perfect alternative scenario would have happened? It’s ludicrous.