On the Free Will Improbability Factor

As a human I’m qualified to point out something ridiculous we do: get terribly worked up waiting for something to happen. Sure, using tools was a great achievement, and mourning the dead was another big day, but at some point we went straight off the rails and let ourselves invent fantasies about what might, what is, and what has happened. I just don’t see a cheetah pacing around muttering about how that stupid wildebeest must have gotten lost and probably isn’t even fat enough to eat anyways.

As a real estate agent, I’m on the receiving end of a thousand conspiracy theories. It’s a fascinating insight into a client’s mind. And the theories—creative as they are—are always always always wrong.


Always wrong.

I’ve been told by buyers that the seller is getting divorced (they aren’t). I’ve been told by sellers that the buyers lost their jobs (they haven’t). I’ve been told by buyers and sellers that the other side is going bankrupt (they’re not). I’ve been told by buyers that sellers have rigged a dishwasher to appear to work until five minutes after we close (just…no). These are total strangers working up complex scenarios with personality and plot and I’ll be darned if I haven’t just about had my fill of fiction.

We have this ridiculous thing called free will. Free will. We choose to live our lives the way we do and other people choose to live theirs and our paradigms are as unique and specific as a gd snowflake. Except snowflakes are usually a little more, well, balanced. Oh I know, we watch Sherlock Holmes and think we can anticipate fifteen steps ahead of our adversary but our adversaries completely imaginary. I promise, that obnoxious checkout clerk who always smashes your eggs? They have no idea what you look like and just smash everybody’s eggs.

Our lives are just not that interesting. And neither are the lives of anybody else we’re interacting with. So let it go. The other side of any situation will do or say whatever they please, guided only by their own life experience and hopefully a shred of moral fiber. And they’re going to do all that whether we figure it out ahead of time or not. And considering the infinite and chaotic number of possibilities, you’re astoundingly lucky to dream up a theory in the same time zone as the actual situation, much less the same ballpark.

So let it go. Seriously.

Think of all the free time you’ll have now that you’re not imagining scenarios! You could knit sweaters for every nephew, dog, and penguin in the US. You could brew a thousand batches of beer then drink it all and brew a thousand more. You could map out the universe or walk every square mile of your hemisphere.

Or better yet, use that imagination and write the Great American Novel. I can’t wait to read it.

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