Clairvoyance is but fatal

Category: , By AG
One of my friends asks in his blog:

"If you could foresee the next two minutes in your life, would you do things differently than what you otherwise do?"

Foreseeing something is, IMO, helpful iff the outcome is alterable. But is it even possible?

Saying "..foresee the next two minutes.." is ambiguous to say the least. It could mean 2 different things: 1) what I'm foreseeing is one possible outcome, OR, 2) it is _the_ outcome. In case of (2), unless you're in a gambling business or in a life-threatening situation, foreseeing is mostly useless (and even harmful!). We'II come back to this later.

As for the case (1), seeing a possible outcome assumes a sequence of, say 'n', events e_0(0), e_0(1), ..., e_0(n-1), within those 2 minutes, where e_i(x) is causally related to e_j(x-1); i < j <= x <= infinity, and 'n' belongs to [0, infinity]. e_0(n) happens after e_0(n-1) and is foreseen. Now this is just one possible sequence of events and there could be infinite sequences and for any value of 'n'. E.g., there could be another event sequence e_0(0), e_3(1), e_2(2), ..., e_999(n-1), e_7(n); in this case outcome is e_7(n). To simplify the calculations lets assume 'n' tends to infinity (in other words, substitute 'n' for infinity) and at most there could be 'n' events in any sequence. This also means that there are at most 'n' possible outcomes, e_j(n). Also this means that there are 'n!' events in all. All the possible outcomes are equally probable. Now the question is which outcome would you foresee? For the outcome you see depends on penultimate event and a series of events before that, which are causally related and directly related to the event that is going to happen next.

For example, consider a set of colored water guns. I'm to pick any one and shoot on a wall in front of me. The outcome is the color on the wall. If we apply the aforesaid theory to this, I can foresee a color on the wall. Now, in case (2), no matter what gun I pick, I'II end up spraying the color I forsaw. In case (1), chances are (since I did foresee) I choose the gun with the color that I forsaw. Now consider a case that the guns are correctly marked with the color they have. Now if I see a color, and I'm to change it, I'II cleverly pick the right gun and get the color I want on the wall. BUT, but the moot point is what I should've foresaw? The color that I cleverly didn't allow to appear on the wall, or the one that I did?

With this could we conclude that being able to change the future you saw kind of defeats the purpose of your clairvoyance?

Even if we assume we foresee an outcome that would happen if we don't try to alter it, our ability of altering the output greatly depends on the rate of change of events, time between e_i(x) and e_j(x+1); i < j <= x <= infinity. For example, such clairvoyance would help me if I'm a cricketer or a stock broker, but it'd hardly affect me if I'm a tea-leaf picker or a carpenter unless it is life-threatening. Same is true in case of (1), with an added danger that since we foresee an outcome, now no matter what we do, nothings going to change it. This has some obvious consequences, and more so if the clairvoyance vision is 2 years and not 2 minutes. We could think that all we can do is work towards the next outcome. But, wait..think. I'm a film maker and I foresee that my movie is going to be trashed, I can't completely stop working on this movie and take up next, it has to be done until trashed, but all I can do nothing! I wouldn't find time to work on my next film, for the time has to be spent on things I already foresaw sometime back! And the output is unalterable! Things have to be done; and by me!

And with this could we conclude that foreseeing an unalterable future is but useless and prenotion of disappointment could do more harm than cheer of an oncoming success?

1 comment so far.

  1. Chaitali 8:50 PM, September 17, 2008
    Excellent! Isaac Mendez, Sylar and Peter Petrelli ahould all read it :) (I just finished seasons 1 and 2 of Heroes so this :P )

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