Saturday, August 21, 2010

Your very own universe

I started to write a blog about cow-tipping, but I'm off my routine today, and the blog was sort of all-over-the-pace.

In my August 16 post, Why we don't let pigeons gamble, I discussed the idea of luck.  There were some things I wanted to include in that post, but when it was over, they were still absent.

The main problem I have with a luck is that those who believe in it (or even half believe in it, which I think would be a large percent of humanity) don't have an explanation for how it should work.  There are plenty of things in science that I don't understand, but there is at least an established framework that leads to it.  There are experts that do understand, and we can read what they have to say.  When it comes to luck, it seems to be a roof without a house.

I think, though, that we can look at beliefs about luck, and try to put together a system that could result in it.

To start with, luck is clearly a substance.  It's something we can gain or lose.  Some items and areas give off luck.  Lucky socks, for instance, or a lucky parking spot.  Others, like the underside of a ladder, or mirror shards, can suck up your luck, and shrink your reserves.

But of what practical use is luck?  How can it help us meet with favorable events?  Perhaps it has the power to influence our decisions, and help us make the right ones.  Choose the right lottery numbers, or send the manuscript to the right literary agent.  It would do this by suggesting decisions to us, at a subconscious level.

But how does luck know what decision to make in the first place?  Is it intelligent?  Is luck a being?  We still don't know what causes some things to give off luck, or how it interacts with our physical brain.

The only point I'm trying to make is that we need to look at our beliefs more closely.  It can't be enough that something is so, there has to be a reason why it is so.  Every occurrence in the universe has a cause.  We can't have a roof without a house, and we can't have a baseball hit a window unless it has traveled there from somewhere else.

If your belief can't exist as a result of the current laws of physics, then you're going to need new physical laws, that not only fit with your beliefs, but also fit with all of the existing physical laws, and daily experience.  That's a big responsibility.

Because, after all, you don't get your own universe.

2 comments:

  1. Your last statement makes a lot of sense to me. My personal belief lines up with this statement: "Luck is probability taken personally." The idea of luck is very appealing, but my brain will not accept it as true.

    There are many people who seem to be lucky and some not so much. But it you really look at things, it all comes down to cause and effect. A friend of mine got 2 speeding tickets in the last couple months and had a major blow-out on a bridge that damaged his car pretty bad. Some may say he is unlucky, but really he was just speeding when he got the tickets and the tires were in poor condition.

    (P.S. I'm not saying I'm right, just giving my perspective.)

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  2. Yes. And a person's more positive/negative outlook also colors which instances they remember as happening more, and which instances they give more weight to.

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