I failed. My goal was to have all of my credit card debt paid off by this time and I haven’t. I still have about $16,000 left to pay. Bummer. The problem is that I am not a Laplace Demon. You see a Laplace Demon can predict the future by understanding all the movements of things using Newtonian physics. If I was to know all of the positions and velocities of the Universe……. I could have predicted that one of the HVAC systems on one of my properties was going to go bad and need replacing, setting me back about $6000. We also took a trip to Los Angeles which set us back another $4000-$6000. Ok, I admit, that one I did see coming, in fact, I planned the trip. Total setback was about $12,000. Since I kinda predicted one out of the two wouldn’t that make me a half-Laplace Demon? Wait a minute…if I could predict the future then that means I really have no free will and my trip to LA, just like the HVAC going out, was destined to happen whether I liked it or not.
Do I even have free will? I hope so because I need to scratch my butt right now. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. Newtonian physics is not as fundamental anymore anyways, quantum mechanics has taken over. And quantum mechanics says that all atoms are just probabilities of positions and velocities. Which means that even if I had all the information of our Universe as a Laplace Demon I would still be guessing due to the atom’s probable nature. Which means I couldn’t have predicted the HVAC going out at all. And even the trip to Los Angeles was not 100% certain because any number of things could have happened to prevent the trip. There could have been a medical emergency at home, the USA could have gone into Martial Law, my body could have been transported to the otherside of the Universe via a wormhole. Unlikely. Yes. Possible. Also yes.
Uncertainty and chance play a big part in any game. We are currently in the capitalistic game withing American culture. Is the game biased? Well again due to the quantum probabilistic nature of the Universe the game is biased and nothing is certain. Anything amassed playing the capitalistic game does not mean it will be there tomorrow. Any number of unforeseen events can happen. And guess what? There is no control over a hurricane flooding the city, going super insane then making exremelly risky investments and lose it all, become addicted to gambling and placing it all on four at the roulette wheel in Vegas. And I am lucky that none of the above events have happened in my game. In my case, luck has been good to me. It doesn’t necessarily have to be good and it doesn’t necessarily have to be extremelly bad. Sometimes its just an expensive HVAC system that needs to be purchased.
Survival bias is the chance or probability present in a system or game where it affects survival. A Laplace Demon would even say that chance doesn’t even exist at all. But the demon is wrong and the physicist is right. There are an infinite amount of probabilities that had to manifest for somebody simply to be alive, let alone doing something great enough to be in the history books. For you to be you, that one sperm had to hit that certain one egg (if either was different you wouldn’t be you–just think about how different siblings look), the earth needed to be the right distance from the sun, an asteroid had to kill the dinosaurs, I could go on forever with an infinite amount of events that needed to happen just for you or I to be alive. All those things that were in place for our births to happen was by chance alone. Those probable events contributed to your birth. If you are not dead now then the bias is in your favor. Just remember that it is not necessary because the favor could change. In other words just be happy that you are alive because my HVAC is dead.
Chance does play a role but only up to a point because you also have the player in the game. Being a Laplace Demon denies my right to choose, but we are quantum now, where things are probablistic, and that allows the future to be tougher to predict, thus allowing me and you to have free will. The player in the game makes decisions willfully. If you win the lottery. Attribute it to chance not that your somebody special. But congratulate yourself that you willfully bought the ticket. If you trained willfully for a race for your entire life and get first place, you earned it and you should feel proud for your efforts but also be grateful for anything negative not happening that would have impeded you from your training and winning the race. We have to go out there in the game knowing that things could go bad but willfully try to make it as good we can.
There is a chance I could get diabetes, but I could willfully eat healthy to decrease my chances of getting it. I could get into a fatal car accident tomorrow, but I could also check my tires often, have the car in good working order, and driving super aware to decrease the chances. On the positive, there is a chance that I could reach a net worth of 10 million within 10 years, if I plan it correctly, allocate money in certain investments, to increase my chances of it happening. Just remembered I failed to meet my goal of paying my credit cards by this month, what will I do if I don’t reach my goal of 10 million. I know….maybe just write another weird blog post to distract from the failure.
Now back to my point. Because just as you can decrease negative things from happening, you can also increase positive things to happen, by willfully taking action. There is probability out there but you have to cut through chaos with willful action. Forrest Gump was right “its a little of both.”