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We Beg To Differ – Sunburn, Petty Theft, and Things

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In this episode, Jess talks about how unfortunate it is that she is both a ginger and enjoys the sunlight, Michael talks about a couple of assholes, and they both reflect on the state of racism in the US.

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Influence and Sort of Free Will…

This is a rant. Just a brain that is bored. A boring brain being bored and boring.

I am not one to believe in hype or superstition. I don’t subscribe to the notion that the universe acts in accordance with your wishes or has the ability to even reflect on them. The idea that such catastrophes such as Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret and anything by Deepak Chopra has managed to wind their way into the stream of public consciousness is disturbing, to say the least. I would like however, to reflect on the realm of influence – better known as “cause and effect” and why it is completely incompatible with the reality that we have come to love so much.

We like to believe that every single decision we make is somehow magnified in the latter part of our lives; that every single thing that has ever happened must have happened exactly as  it did in order for the world to look the way it does. I propose, as many before me, that this is a mere construct of our mind’s willingness to make sense of the world around it. There is perfectly good reason – evolutionary speaking – to believe that everything we do has a direct effect on everything that happens (or most things that happen, anyway). It serves us to believe that killing that animal gave us food and making that shelter kept us warm or even, hurting that person stopped that person from hurting me. The problem with this view, aside from the fact that there are a multitude of things outside of our direct influence, is that the things that have happened in the past that supposedly influence the things that are happening in the present already happened and therefore, no longer exist.

I do realize that it is undeniable, based on the reality that we have come to accept, that if I throw a ball and it breaks a window that broken window was directly caused by me throwing the ball, but it makes absolutely no logical sense why the world actually functions that way. Between throwing the ball and it breaking the window time had passed making my initial decision to throw the ball nonexistent. So, how did the window break? Who or what broke the window? There is an issue with consistency here that I just cannot pretend to know the answers to.

There is also the issue of free will and making the decision in the first place. If every decision that is made depends on those decisions and actions made prior, every decision made by everyone at anytime would be predictable. If decisions that people make are predictable then, they do not really have a choice. Everyone already knows the decisions that they are already going to make and those decisions will have a direct effect on the decisions of others. Free will is incompatible with cause and effect. So, if we are just a massive Rube Goldberg machine with no real choice on the matter, why does it feel like we have choices to make and a will to protect?

It is amazing really, how we have come to understand life and the reality that we are a part of. We seem to be under such delusion that we cannot even conceive of a world without either one of these influences even if they are both completely incompatible. It is truly a triumph of the human mind…or a reflection of our stupidity. Either way it’s interesting.