Blind Chance

It is quite possible that a majority of that which we attribute to intelligence, planning and insight is in fact the retrospective projection of an intelligible, patterned order upon what amounts to random walks in a possibility space. Good fortune or success may be more often a matter of statistical probability than of human intention or intervention.

This is not to say that one should not attempt to “make their own luck”. Risks, costs and benefits both can and should be rationally assessed but the essence of narrative experience, psychology and communication lies in the many ways we seek in hindsight to attribute certainties to what are really only weighted probabilities.

In this way we might aspire to persuade ourselves (or others) of the intrinsic significance or self-evidence of an interpretation, explanatory framework or ideological stance concerning a specific configuration of entities in the world when the actual cause for a particular constellation of historical facts is almost always entirely due to blind chance. We may interrogate the past by speculative palpation of the facts via the data with which we find ourselves presented but, beyond the most general or lucky (!) aspirations to psychological control and self-enlightened advantage-seeking, there is in fact far less certainty concerning our ability to positively influence the future than we generally attribute.

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