The Odds

When I was young, I wondered if there was anything for it, if things could turn out alright for people and for the world. It seemed a coin toss, lacking any real information regarding the matter; in youth it was a fifty-fifty propositions, even money. Looking into some things as I grew and aged, our ideas about human origins, about psychology, about evolution and biology, I saw my expectations managed downwards from that even money scenario pretty steadily towards a zero.

On my way to zero, I had an idea. I pursued it in various forms and increasing depth, and now I have something I think I can believe about what the trouble is and what the solution would be, and I must say, there is a sense of achievement – but someone else’s zero is happier than one’s own one in a million. A guess of “no chance” is still a guess, and as such is still a coin toss, somehow, enough for denial if you need it to be.

A large fortress of thought built to withstand all arguments that says realistically practically no chance, now why the Hell did I build that again? Will it hold a rope and something short of two hundred pounds? Truth at all costs, I said.

Consequences, schmonsequences, I said!

The first four focus groups just laughed and the fifth one I barely escaped with my life, ending the testing program, you’re just going to have to take my word for it. It’s possible to turn this thing around, but I have been unable to convince anyone about it, so the odds at present are none in what, three hundred followers? If I get one, we’ll have a “one in” number in a very shady study indeed.

The jury is still out regarding the value of truth, philosophy finds it unattainable and biology in particular seems to discount it to nothing, that the only truth is what keeps you alive and any truth not in our interest, we allow ourselves to ignore. I do not understand this, I thought math and physics proved the matter, that the universe makes some kind of sense beyond the human being. Someone like to spell that one out for stupid little me, how the biology department doesn’t know we went to the moon?

So, that was my experience, is there a chance started at fifty-fifty and moved down towards nothing, but I think I saw something and it stopped at one in a million – that is a negative experience, at first glance, certainly one in a million is a great downgrade from even money – but it stopped. I stopped it before zero.

This is a great example of life history and experience being the opposite of reality when a person starts with a bad idea – and fifty-fifty was a bad idea – ninety-nine versus a hundred, that’s not a big difference, a perfect, literal single percentage point, but the difference between one and zero is everything, a perfect infinite percent.

If a reader is perhaps young, perhaps simply not cynical, perhaps not a professional in one of the human nature related fields, maybe they’re still at the even money assessment, and if I offer a one in a million explanation, it must surely feel like a dark lecture, probably feels like Hitler screaming at you or something – that’s how I hear the zero chance voice of EP, honestly. But if a reader is a pro, if you, dear reader have had your expectations reduced to zero somehow, I hope I offer you everything.

And you’re also probably an educator or something and in some position where that matters even more than it does for most of us.

Jeff

Sept. 7th., 2020

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