Get used to it.
The world is consistently and inherently that ridiculous. This doesn’t mean that everything is okay, but it means that you probably shouldn’t be so surprised. The sheer quantity of things that are happening right now dictate that the ridiculous must occur. Add a little bit of human overthought, self interest and stupidity, and nothing should be surprising ever.
But it is. That’s perhaps another thing that humans seem to have inherent. We make the world surprising, by expecting to see plain patterns.
I was just about to start rambling on about the law of averages, when I decided that I should probably double check what it meant. It’s quite a disparaging definition, saying that it’s basically the friendly term for the gambler’s fallacy, while I was actually citing something resembling the law of large numbers.
Anyway, the point is, I was looking to the random and ascribing patterns. Somehow I’m shocked when the numbers are shown to roll the other way. I am a fallacious gambler, even as I attempt to discredit similar notions.
The knowable world, is an immense, elaborate, and iterative process involving billions upon billions of moving parts. We can’t quite tell if the system itself is determinative, random, or imbued with free will at various or all stages. It appears to work with the characteristics of all three understandings. The physics of a situation, can often be predictable, but down in the minutiae, the detail seems to blur into the world of probability. All the while, we’re looking at this stuff, and feeling like we’re in control, whilst knowing we are made up of the same stuff as everything else.
And we feel it because it does feel like it. We have a mind that appears to control the actions of the body it is held in. It’s hard to explain our self any other way.
All those weird elements, at such a huge scale, constantly interacting. The human level is complex enough, but add in the tumult of air currents, the roiling oceans, the slow churn of tectonics, the thriving biomass, and you’ve got an immensely complex world, constantly stirring itself up into new shapes and interactions.
Tiny changes yield huge effects, and the world is billions of tiny changes. We seek patterns, so we can find them, and the world does follow some basic rules. But the interacting elements are multifarious enough that nothing is fully predictable beyond a short scope of time.
A hundred years ago, the modern world would look like madness. Even a few decades ago a lot of what we’ve got would’ve been wild fiction. Progress leaps and weirds. That’s just the way of it. We’re wandering blindly at an explosive rate. We can’t comprehend the majority of what is going on, simply because it is so big.
Stare out to the horizon, and look to the future, because its where you’ll live, but it’ll still sneak up on you.
Scary-wonderful, isn’t it?
Illustration by Jaime