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Small Eternities

Author
Nikita Alterana
Phoenix Naval Operations
Phoenix Naval Systems
#1 - 2012-08-21 13:46:00 UTC
You are a go-ahead young marketing executive. A bachelor living it up in Villore. It is Saturday morning, and you are off to do your week’s shopping. About to get into your hovercar, you decide to go back and check that you locked the door. By going back, you leave a minute later and miss the parking slot you would have found at the CBD and are forced to park in a nearby street instead. There are parking meters in this street, but drivers are only allowed to leave their vehicles here for thirty minutes at a time. While you are feeding the meter, someone calls your name. It is a friend you haven’t seen for a while. The friend introduces you to a neighbor of his, who he has given a lift into town. Call the neighbor Helen. You and Helen are mutually attracted, but as she’s married, you part company. Or you don’t. Two possible scenarios present themselves.

Scenario 1. Having left the friend and Helen you go to the CBD, fill your cart, and join a queue at the checkout, a longer queue than the one you would’ve joined if you’d parked in the lot instead of the street. By the time you get back to the hovercar, you find a sixty-two-year-old recovering alcoholic (a traffic warden) writing a ticket. You have a go at him, ruining his day. When he gets home after work the traffic warden takes it out on his wife. His wife has been feeling very put-upon of late, and her husband’s cruel words are the final straw. She packs a bag and goes to stay with her sister two hundred miles away. In the weeks that follow, the lonely traffic warden started drinking again. He takes booze to work and loses his job. One night at home, very drunk, he decides to make himself dinner. The frying pan catches fire, the fire spreads, the house is gutted. So is the ex-traffic warden. His widow collects on the insurance and passes the rest of her life in comfort, praising his memory.

All because you went to check the door.

Scenario 2. Instead of saying good-bye to Helen in the street where you park your hovercar, you go and have coffee with her. You still get a parking ticket, but you don’t mind because you really got it on with her.Over the next few weeks you and Helen meet regularly. You start an affair. Helen’s husband finds out and comes after you. He attacks you. Defending yourself, you lash out. He falls and cracks his head open. You are arrested, tried, and sentenced to four years in prison. By the time you get out, you’ve lost all confidence and ambition and have no job. You very nearly fall apart, but instead go to the backwater system of Lour in Solitude, where you spend every day walking the beaches of Lour II, looking for coins dropped by tourists. One day you meet an attractive student on vacation. She thinks you have a cute accent and runs her fingers through your nice thick beard and offers to share her sleeping bag with you. It’s not until she returns to Hulm that she realizes she’s pregnant. She writes to inform you of this but by the time the letter arrives you’ve moved to another world, so you never learn of the pregnancy. In due course, she gives birth to a boy and doesn’t name him after you. Time passes. The boy becomes a man. He meets a girl. They choose not to marry, but they bring three children into the world, the eldest of whom becomes an accountant, the second a roofing contractor, and the third a comedian. The youngest is also a serial killer who over a two-year period butchers twelve teenage girls who, between them, in time, would have given birth to twenty-nine children, who between them, would have coparented sixty-eight children, who wouldve brought one hundred and seventy-six children into the cluster. This one hundred and seventy-six would’ve mother or fathered four hundred and forty-two children altogether, two of whom (female twins) would have been the first living beings to cyno into sleeper space, opening to the door to human settlement in other parts of the galaxy.

And all because you went back to check the door.
Verone
Veto Corp
#2 - 2012-08-21 13:49:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Verone
What kind of idiot has to check they locked their door? Moreover, what kind of idiot has to manually lock their door these days, anyway?

How ridiculously primitive.

Verone CEO & Executor Veto Corp WWW.VETO-CORP.COM

Azdan Amith
Doomheim
#3 - 2012-08-21 13:55:05 UTC
Nikita Alterana wrote:
All because you went to check the door.


...and made a significant number of other choices.

While it is possible these scenarios could play out if the actors participate according to their designated lines and parts, the fact is that there are countless paths attached to every choice and countless choices in every day, each woven intricately together to create the fabric of the cluster in which we live.

~Archon Azdan Amith,  Order of Light's Retribution

Nikita Alterana
Phoenix Naval Operations
Phoenix Naval Systems
#4 - 2012-08-21 14:00:01 UTC
Azdan Amith wrote:
Nikita Alterana wrote:
All because you went to check the door.


...and made a significant number of other choices.

While it is possible these scenarios could play out if the actors participate according to their designated lines and parts, the fact is that there are countless paths attached to every choice and countless choices in every day, each woven intricately together to create the fabric of the cluster in which we live.



Thats just it isn't it though? The situation is infinitely complex, constantly unfolding. We as mere morals cannot possibly hope to understand the chaotic ripples our actions will cause. Our best models are nothing more then childish guesses at the end of the day. The human mind simply cannot deal with the complexity inherent to the system of the universe. We require something greater. And it is something greater that we must become.
Halete
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#5 - 2012-08-21 14:00:08 UTC
Just think about all the billions of senseless deaths that could have been averted in years to come, all because you decided to share this.

"To know the true path, but yet, to never follow it. That is possibly the gravest sin" - The Scriptures, Book of Missions 13:21

Brother Ludwigus
#6 - 2012-08-21 14:13:00 UTC
If only Helen married the traffic warden.

Soli Deo gloria.

Tiberious Thessalonia
True Slave Foundations
Monyusaiya Industry Trade Group
#7 - 2012-08-21 14:14:51 UTC
Nikita Alterana wrote:

Thats just it isn't it though? The situation is infinitely complex, constantly unfolding. We as mere morals cannot possibly hope to understand the chaotic ripples our actions will cause. Our best models are nothing more then childish guesses at the end of the day. The human mind simply cannot deal with the complexity inherent to the system of the universe. We require something greater. And it is something greater that we must become.


Whilst in part in agreement, there is a fallacy here.

One of the great things about humanity is our capacity for self improvement, and if not self improvement then the ability to build a tool to allow us to know something that we did not know before. The microscope showed us that the world was much smaller than our experience allowed; the telescope showed us that the world was much larger.

These models which you call childish guesses are the first step towards a greater understanding, a grasp of statistical behaviors which is constantly improving. Behavior can actually be predicted to a very high degree, given enough data. Things are not nearly so complex as you say.
Tamiroth
Societas Imperialis Sceptri Coronaeque
Khimi Harar
#8 - 2012-08-21 14:22:55 UTC
This post is exactly what I needed this evening, thank you.
Jev North
Doomheim
#9 - 2012-08-21 14:23:08 UTC
If you really believe that, it's probably best you sit still in a small, well-insulated room for the rest of your life.

Welcome back, by the way!

Even though our love is cruel; even though our stars are crossed.

Nikita Alterana
Phoenix Naval Operations
Phoenix Naval Systems
#10 - 2012-08-21 14:28:21 UTC
Tiberious Thessalonia wrote:
Nikita Alterana wrote:

Thats just it isn't it though? The situation is infinitely complex, constantly unfolding. We as mere morals cannot possibly hope to understand the chaotic ripples our actions will cause. Our best models are nothing more then childish guesses at the end of the day. The human mind simply cannot deal with the complexity inherent to the system of the universe. We require something greater. And it is something greater that we must become.


Whilst in part in agreement, there is a fallacy here.

One of the great things about humanity is our capacity for self improvement, and if not self improvement then the ability to build a tool to allow us to know something that we did not know before. The microscope showed us that the world was much smaller than our experience allowed; the telescope showed us that the world was much larger.

These models which you call childish guesses are the first step towards a greater understanding, a grasp of statistical behaviors which is constantly improving. Behavior can actually be predicted to a very high degree, given enough data. Things are not nearly so complex as you say.



They are complex enough to be out of reach for the average human. But since humanity is composed of nothing but average humans are interacting without that level of knowledge, a lot of poor choices. From a utilitarian standpoint, humanity presently does a great deal of harm to itself. I understand that this knowledge and processing ability is out of my reach, so it makes sense to cede control to someone or something capable of understanding the true complexity of a situation.
Shiroh Yatamii
Alexylva Paradox
#11 - 2012-08-21 14:29:20 UTC
Halete wrote:
Just think about all the billions of senseless deaths that could have been averted in years to come, all because you decided to share this.


Yes, as we're all aware IGS posting is rather deadly. With carefully-tuned logic and fundamental understanding of causality such as your own, Pilot Halete, we have hope yet!

Also, welcome to the family Nikita Alterana.
Tiberious Thessalonia
True Slave Foundations
Monyusaiya Industry Trade Group
#12 - 2012-08-21 14:44:14 UTC
Nikita Alterana wrote:


They are complex enough to be out of reach for the average human. But since humanity is composed of nothing but average humans are interacting without that level of knowledge, a lot of poor choices. From a utilitarian standpoint, humanity presently does a great deal of harm to itself. I understand that this knowledge and processing ability is out of my reach, so it makes sense to cede control to someone or something capable of understanding the true complexity of a situation.


On this we agree, for once, though personally I prefer to be a part of something capable of understanding the true complexity of a situation. In this, I have a lot of brothers and sisters who can all devote their understanding and perspective.

Weren't you dead or something, by the way? I thought you were dead.
Nikita Alterana
Phoenix Naval Operations
Phoenix Naval Systems
#13 - 2012-08-21 14:46:32 UTC
Well of course Tiberius, everyone really should be part of it.

And no, I wasn't dead, just wasting away drinking in the shattered ruin of my estates. But I'm much better now.
Istvaan Shogaatsu
Guiding Hand Social Club
#14 - 2012-08-21 17:26:14 UTC
An unsettling question for you all:

While a human mind certainly cannot pick apart the strands of fate with the finesse of a tapestry-weaver... what if there were minds who could? What if there were minds out there, that could identify the one insignificant but utterly key moment that decides whether a person becomes a nobody, or a revolutionary...
Makkal Hanaya
Revenent Defence Corperation
#15 - 2012-08-21 17:32:48 UTC  |  Edited by: Makkal Hanaya
I'm not sure how that thought is unsettling. Most religions provide for just such beings.

While I'm at it, how is it that Republic and Federation citizens tell stories where women accidentally get pregnant and then pop out a kid from some random man they never see again? I can understand that in the more impoverished parts of Minmatar space, there are women without access to basic birth control, but was under the impression that was an exception.

I spent four years at Hedion University and two at the Royal Amarr Institute. Women were not having children. You go in for an annual exam, you get a shot, and it lasts for a year. Even the pearl polishers managed this.

Even if there was an 'accident,' you had that dealt with. Don't foist the product of your blithe stupidity on the cluster. If you want a kid, wait until after you graduate.

Render unto Khanid the things which are Khanid's; and unto God the things that are God's.

Anslo
Scope Works
#16 - 2012-08-21 17:42:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Anslo
Gotta love infinite universe theory?...

[center]-_For the Proveldtariat_/-[/center]

Infomorph Nikilaiki Ruutarhara
Doomheim
#17 - 2012-08-21 17:49:19 UTC
Istvaan Shogaatsu wrote:
An unsettling question for you all:

While a human mind certainly cannot pick apart the strands of fate with the finesse of a tapestry-weaver... what if there were minds who could? What if there were minds out there, that could identify the one insignificant but utterly key moment that decides whether a person becomes a nobody, or a revolutionary...

A single human mind, perhaps not. But multiple minds working towards a common goal? Of course. The Gallente call them politicians. Anything else is just madness. Of course, understanding that an individual is destined for greatness, and choosing to deny that individual said greatness... why, one would be akin to a God, non? I don't see anything unnecessarily unsettling about that.

Ever looked at someone and thought, "if only they had the power to do what they say..."? Ever thought what exactly might be required to break such an individual? Looked at their psyche and found the one hole--that one temptation that they can never resist--and decided to see what would happen?

A Deceiver's Voice, a subtle lie, an obvious untruth... or even giving the truth freely to the right person.

On second thought, it's entirely possible for a single individual to understand that tapestry, if they only had the proper perspective. Don't you agree, Istvaan?
Anslo
Scope Works
#18 - 2012-08-21 18:07:28 UTC
Infomorph Nikilaiki Ruutarhara wrote:

A single human mind, perhaps not. But multiple minds working towards a common goal? Of course. The Gallente call them politicians. Anything else is just madness. Of course, understanding that an individual is destined for greatness, and choosing to deny that individual said greatness... why, one would be akin to a God, non? I don't see anything unnecessarily unsettling about that.

Ever looked at someone and thought, "if only they had the power to do what they say..."? Ever thought what exactly might be required to break such an individual? Looked at their psyche and found the one hole--that one temptation that they can never resist--and decided to see what would happen?

A Deceiver's Voice, a subtle lie, an obvious untruth... or even giving the truth freely to the right person.

On second thought, it's entirely possible for a single individual to understand that tapestry, if they only had the proper perspective. Don't you agree, Istvaan?


So....people need perspective modification implants?..

[center]-_For the Proveldtariat_/-[/center]

Istvaan Shogaatsu
Guiding Hand Social Club
#19 - 2012-08-21 18:22:33 UTC
Infomorph Nikilaiki Ruutarhara wrote:
On second thought, it's entirely possible for a single individual to understand that tapestry, if they only had the proper perspective. Don't you agree, Istvaan?


Wholeheartedly.
Infomorph Nikilaiki Ruutarhara
Doomheim
#20 - 2012-08-21 18:30:17 UTC
Anslo wrote:
So....people need perspective modification implants?..

No implants required. I'd say it's more a "situation awareness" thing.
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