patterns. it always comes back to patterns. looking at patterns behind you, and assuming they will lead to points in the future.
there is no interdisciplinary "theory of complexity". there is nothing that suggests that emergent patterns in lower level closed systems are in any way mirrored as the complexity of the dynamics of the system increases. going macro to micro though, it certainly seems that when you go from cellular>atomic>subatomic this holds true. the observations of subatomic wave characteristics are where things get interesting. are we part of a rigid hierarchy of emergent laws and behavior, or are we at the bendy part where there is a law governing probability but not absolute accuracy?
time passes. we pass through it. things that happened before continue to happen again, until we cannot observe them any longer to verify the veracity of assumptions that the past will repeat in the future. the kicker is, what little history we have to work with? certainly seems that even if the laws of our environment are not emergent, our reactions to those laws as a species are.
when people get into free will vs. determinism, it is always about an individual lifestream. nobody seems to look at the bigger picture in the logical arguments for or against. what if free will is the wave theory of determinism? what if all of our ability to make good and bad decisions is what keeps all the mechanics above us churning away the way they are supposed to?
i guess, the scarier question is, what if it doesn't? i'm far more comfortable with a anomaly-driven path to a future point that is part of a bigger system than i am with a total soup. i think it comes from embracing to far and too often the absurdist look at chaos, and how, really, anything is possible. if anything is possible, there really doesn't have to be "a point". if there is "a point" then there is always a chance, no matter how slip, that "the point" has an opposite sibling just on the other side of a thick curtain of improbability.
when are we going to learn to embrace the long view? probably not until there aren't enough of us left for it to make a difference.