Friday, November 07, 2014

Rule of Life #16

Rule #16: Freedom is a paradox.

The assumption of freedom is that a person has at least two substantive[1] options from which they can choose.

The thing is that even if you have ten options, you still choose only one. Even if you can synthesize a “both or more” option, priorities have to be set and you can't ever choose all options.

The paths not taken expose the oppresive paradox of linear time; yes, freedom and choice, but only one. Even the wisest of us can't know the eventual consequences of our every choice. I've had too many chance encounters to believe otherwise.

So obsessed are we that our fiction has desperately spawned the idea of multiple universes, which allow us to justify or bemoan our exercise of feedom up to this point. Fighting with our alternate selves tends to justify our decisions, because in the end there's nothing else we can do but accept them. Also, Home Universe Bias should totally be a thing.

Anyway, I'm just bitching because the broad vistas of all our futures have to be fed through the eye of the present's needle and I'm the sort of guy who always wants more.

[1] "Substantive" because being beaten with black versus white billy clubs doesn't ring as "freedom," really.