Ow, I Stabbed Myself in the $^%*ing Hand! And Other News.
As you may have heard, I stabbed myself in the hand recently. Imagine me, in the kitchen, hacking at a cheap plastic container of frozen butter with a pairing knife. My hand hurts just thinking of this… Now, imagine said flimsy plastic container being suspended in the air by none other than my left hand (or right hand, if you’re left-handed, no discrimination here).
A few violent stabbings later, the butter split, and the knife exploded out of the cheapest to-go container known to man, and inserted itself deep into the muscular padding below my left (or right) thumb. The integrity of my muscle had, for the first time, been considerably compromised. The bleeding didn’t last long, a couple minutes, but the pain was as confusing as it was intense. It shot up my thumb and radiated from the back of my hand. My fingers hurt when I moved them. I started to freak out about nerve damage, but I got distracted with thoughts of how gross the concept of split flesh was and how my potential career as a hand model was over before it had ever started. Watch companies don’t hire hands that look like the slowest manatees in the Everglades!
I guess the moral of the story is that these things happen. If you cook all the time, it might be inevitable. Maybe it’s a rite of passage. My hand hurts.
AND OTHER NEWS:
I have been going through a lot of philosophical growing pains, especially as I arrive at the stage where I take a long hard look at the universe and life and realize that there is no point, no purpose, no meaning to any of this. I think that there must be something beyond the Dawkinsian view of the universe, but if there is, it won’t be reached in a day.
On a lighter note, the idea of true randomness* is a pretty good mind f#ck.
*as in the possibility of multiple outcomes when everything is controlled for, including time.
A Story About Randomness
Your wife calls and tells you to pick something up for dinner.
“Anything,” she says.
You don’t believe her, but here you are, standing in the frozen food section, the fluorescents lightly flickering and buzzing above you. You’re in a hurry, but you’re stalled by what’s gonna make everyone happy… (And by everyone, you mean your wife.) Organic Hippy Pizza or Sustainable Lasagna? It’s close. Damn close.
You grab the Sustainable Lasagna and head to the checkout with high hopes that there will be no yelling or passive aggressive insults when you get home.
Now, rewind. If we go back in time to the moment you made your decision, would it be the same?
The conditions are exactly the same physically, temporally, mentally. Sure, it was close, but if everything were exactly the same, we can assume you’d make the same decision.
Now, what if we did it a hundred times? A thousand? A million? Would you make that same close decision EVERY SINGLE TIME?
If you believe that you would EVER make a different decision given the EXACT SAME circumstances, then you believe** that true randomness is possible.
If you believe that the same close decision would be made ad infinitum, then you believe** that the universe is deterministic. Everything is comprehensible and able to be determined, if you have enough information about the situation in question. Everything happens for a concrete reason (not to be confused with purpose, or divine reason).
**At least, I believe you believe that.
LAST HYPOTHETICAL FOR RANDOM & NON-RANDOMERS
If you could get a glimpse of future, decade-from-now YOU and see how THEY were living – good, bad, doesn’t matter – do you think you could change that future? What if I told you that future YOU saw the same future you saw? THEY were privy to the exact same information, because, hey, THEY’RE you. THEY made decisions informed by what they saw, and THEY ended up exactly where the future glimpse foretold.
Now, could you change your destiny?*
*to the contrary Mary(s) thinking you could just kill yourself, I hope the vision of your future self wasn’t just some crazy dream.