Friday, September 23, 2016

The Enormity of the Possible

via Expo Chicago

But this is the whole enchilada, isn't it?  "The Possible" is too big.  "The Possible" is also The Unknowable, or The Unforseeable, or The Uncertain.  It's got to be easier to distill life, via some alchemical process or whatnot, to what can be predicted so there are no surprises.  Good luck with that, but.

You figure with just enough data, not too much or too little, but just enough, there will be a formula whereby you wake up and nothing catches you off guard.  There will be a rule and a rhyme and a reason for everything under the sun and everything will have a proper name and a complete definition and a menu of possible behaviors and life will be a neat fucking package and you can look around at everyone all smug like you've got them all sussed and that means you're the one in control and if they can't surprise you or shock you or get inside some chink in your armor you're some kind of superior and that means power and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

Fuck it.

Be afraid.

That's not how shit works.

It can be good or bad, really but here's an example of the bad side of The Enormity of the Possible.  The Third Reich got over on the idea of "the lie so big that everyone believes it."  I'm sure nobody really wanted to believe it, but things had already gotten so weird that another big conspiracy didn't seem so outlandish. That's playing out in contemporary politics in The United States.  That's kind of deductive though.  Things seem really bad so it's not unreasonable to deduce that anything at all is possible.

There is the reductive too, by which things become invisible.  White people don't really really want to believe that we live in a country where black people are being randomly brutalized by state-sanctioned thugs.  It doesn't fit in.  We can't explain it.  We can't define it.  We don't want to be tied to it in any manner.  Yet all the evidence is right there under our noses.  If we acknowledge culpability also, it means stepping out of the comfort zone (however you want to define that) and taking action.

But I digress... bring the above up into one's personal life and the role that uncertainty plays in day to day actions.

Anyhoo.

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