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Jun. 23rd, 2004

Fist off, go make some Indian grooves - thanks to ttam for linkage.

After that, ponder something with me.

Assuming, momentarily, that quantum physic's many views of reality could be condensed into a naked singularity (what we will call "the real world" for the purposes of this discussion), how much of a role do you think chaos has on your existence within that singularity? I define chaos as an event or series of events (conceptual or physical) which lead to an action or reaction made without premeditation on your personal part. That, in turn, can be the start, middle or endpoint of an interwoven, or even a new chain of events.

An absurdest example to get you thinking about my question: Someone who prepares their entire life for an ELE. They stock up on water purifiers, parmalat, dig a steel/lead cement bunker, stock it with all the goodies needed to repopulate civilization. Now, one might argue that when that comet hits, he will be all set - his reaction to the chaos will have been nicely premeditated, and all he needs to do is go downstairs and engage the airlock.

However, what if the meteor is not an ELE level event, but, like in The Discovery of Heaven life comes down to a chance "jump or don't jump" before you get hit by a flaming golf ball doing 3000/mph. Even with all the planning, chaos still rules his existence (in my view) unless you believe in some form of preordained order - he was destined to get hit by, or just missed by a golf ball sized meteor.

From my reading on the philosophical constructs of predestination (or "fate" as most people like to call it), I have found it fairly unlikely that everything happens according to a plan. If you were to subscribe to this view (and many do), it is common to attribute an author to the plan. This often takes the form of a divine being. Consider this in your contemplation of chaos - does your god, who has a plan for everything, allow for luck, or randomness? If so, how? If everything is according to plan, then luck usually is just an illusion of a nifty wrinkle in the seeming path the plan is taking you down.

Regardless of religion, in defending fate, one might argue that the patterns which emerge when running chaos models could be construed as the echoes of the framework static plan all around us, which we simply cannot see from our vantage point in life. I find this the strongest support for the possibility of a preplanned reality, but it quickly loses credibility beyond the thin paper boundaries i have framed this particular question within.

Some people buy into a mixed model - wherein there are static cubes of predestination within which mousetraps and pingpong balls of chaos can determine which paths you take to get from one end of the box to the others. I tend to call this the "Epoch View" - in between preordained start and finish points, there is no controls - chaos rules as it would in an orderless system - the only garuntee are the start and end points.

How much does chaos run your ship then?


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2004 08:41 am (UTC)
Chaos and predestination are both part of the world. On a quantum level, what appears to be predestined (like the billiard balls about to make contact) can be completely hypothetical. On a highly theoretical level, all the possible hypotheses about the known universe have already taken place. The point is that there is a context for everything, and we can't make judgments about the entire universe as such, since we cannot get outside it.

That indian music widget rocks! Thanks a lot for the link.
Jun. 23rd, 2004 08:47 am (UTC)
glad you liked the music thing
that was why i created the sandbox example - assume the "dumb mode" world...

i completely agree that you can't remove oneself from the universe in order to make judgements on it - what i was trying to get at was what people's underlying beliefs on how people see chaos as an influence in thier lives, and why they think it.

people's perception of what is, and what actually is are always different.
Jun. 23rd, 2004 04:10 pm (UTC)
Alright, here goes nothing.
1) The Indian Groove thing would have been a lot better of more of the components rhythmically synched with each other. It was difficult to find a pait of 'buttons' that worked well together; most that I got was chaotic noise.

2) And, now that i'm talking about chaos, I'll address the bulk of your post. :D

Chaos is the lack of order. Many agree that 'chaos' is the natural state of things, and this can be proven by any household demonstration; if things were placed helter-skelter about one's apartment instead of in predeterined spaces, eventually all of one's belongings would be scattered about one's place in what could only be identifiable as a mess.

The universe works much in the same way, except with energy and matter instead of papers, receipts, socks and underwear you haven't seen in an age. The question then becomes, did the order that we do see in the universe simply happen by mere chance of chaos, like some theories suggest, or was there some sort of will working behind the scenes to coax some of the chaos into a comprehesible, workable order?

I'll let you figure that one out for yourself. Here's what I think of your idea of fate/destiny vs. random chance and such.

For all the crap that The Matrix trilogy was for filmmaking, it was one hell of a story with one fairly deep concept behind it; predetermined creation vs. creation with chaotic allowances and installed countermeasures for the nearly eventual (some might say inevitable) upsurgance of chaos over order. According to that story, the machines created THE PERFECT environments to sustain the humans, yet the humans did not cooperate, and would not until choice was allowed to exist within the environment. In otherworse, until a little bit of chaos was allowed to exist within the order.
The result of this was the eventual destruction of the order, which lead to a forced rebuilding. The machines figured this was best way, and built into this system a countermeasure for the event when chaos would reign over order, and let the scenario play itself over and over and over again until a different order was put forth, until a different series of choices created a different eventuality.

This gels remarkably with how I think our 'order' was created; everything set in motion along lines of progammed logic, save for us humans who have the freedom of choice (and, as part of a different debate, is what really separates man from animal, and nothing else), a freedom that by its nature might interfere with the designed perameters we're living in, enough to conceivably break the environment. That's part one, let me get to part 2 below.
Jun. 23rd, 2004 04:56 pm (UTC)
pt 2
Most people's idea of fate/destiny, as you describe, is rather linear; its an unbreaking, unbending path with finite beginnings, endings, and oftimes points inbetween. 'Luke, you were BORN to do this', and shit like that. I think that works well for fiction, but I don't think its very practicle when laid down within a realm where everyone else's ability to choice can create random circumstances by which your path migth be FUCKED, like, say, Vader had decided a half second later that his son was worth saving. OOPS! Not only did you allow the emperor to chicken-fry your kid, but now he's pissed off at YOU for interfering. Sorry Luke, no destiny for you. Blame dad.


Everyone, everyone, has free will, can pretty much be who and what we are and do whatever we want. We check our selves, or get checked by the system in which we live when we push to hard against it. But, even within those perameters, we have a huge, HUGE number of options available to us for anything we can do at any given moment.

Given that, how the hell do you create a predetermined path for someone amongst all of that potential chaos?

Simply: you analyze the person's tendencies, likes, dislikes, and come up with a way to predict, with as much surity as you can possibly get under the circumstances, for how a person might react to given situations. That's step one.
Step two is to then manipulate the system that you've put in place (i.e. the environment) to create a series of seemingly chaotic events that will force target person to react and make a decision of some sort. The better you know the person, the more likely they will jump in the direction you want them to. Lay down contingency plans for each event, just in case you're wrong, and work towards restoring the person toward your intended goal for them.

That's overly simplistic, but in a nutshell, that's my idea of 'fate/destiny'. It still allows for you to CHOOSE what you want to do, the only rub is it's estimating three and four steps ahead of your choice.

I used to think that we can't control who we fall in love with, but I realized that even THAT is a choice, although much more subconscious than concious, for some people. I believe some people are destined to meet, but how they interact depends entirely on those two people, and not much else, although I guess one could work 'random happenstance' to facilitate certain feelings and reactions, positive or negative.

I believe there is a higher being, and that there is a plan in play, but the plan is non-linear, and thus hugely incomprehensible and inconceivable by us 'mere mortals'. But, I believe the base concepts behind the structuring of the plan are fathomable, or at least SOME of them are.

The funny thing is, I hit upon this while figuring out how to make myself a better GameMaster. :D

Jun. 24th, 2004 05:59 am (UTC)
I think it is funny that all this contemplation c ame out of gammastering. What you desribe in your reality being "three or four steps ahead" of the decisions was pretty much how I always ran my games.

In your case, becuase you believe in a higher being, your model is totally sound. One would assume a higher being with the capacity for planning and execution of all creation is capable of keeping a few steps ahead of the ants. My question to you, given your perspective on chaos and fate, and your divine source, is _why_?

Is it like The Matrix? We are just part of an iterative loop with an end goal in mind? Is this reality TV on an epic scale? I can defintiely see you saying the plan is incomprehensible, but what about the motives behind it?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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