TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

There are no facts in the future

Fact-oriented behavior is considered rational and methodical by many, especially technocrats. But facts exist entirely in the past. The human future is composed of what we intend to do, what is likely or probable, what we assume and what we believe. The human future is completely devoid of facts. When this simple fact is ignored, it has a huge effect on how people (even technocrats) launch initiatives. People often fail to distinguish between "that's how things are" and "that's how they have been in the past". Shaping the future requires abandoning fact oriented thinking EXCEPT to the extent that facts from the past can shape our assumptions and beliefs. We can look at Oklahoma tornadoes from last week (i.e., a fact) and create an assumption "I should build a better basement shelter" or "I should leave Oklahoma". Neither of these has any facts but the divergent assumptions have a huge impact on the person's future. The tornado doesn't know the difference and doesn't care.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jun 7 2013: Ashwath,
    there is but one fact in the future, that no one can deny: and that is death.
    • thumb
      Jun 7 2013: Not sure that's a fact but definitely inevitable and thats only where you start counting technically your body dies every 5-7 years. But hey who's counting? I am pretty sure the only true absolute fact is the same that every religion or belief system including science has as the answer. It has never changed. The we need to talk about what is it that we are actually seeing and looking at? Have you ever seen a tree? Or just its reflection? Have you ever really seen anything? Or is it just light? Thats all our eyes can see is light. Our eyes can't really see a tree just its light wave length. Can light die? http://www.fi.edu/color/
    • Jun 8 2013: I'd say death is highly probable. I'm reluctant to call it a fact yet, but that distinction is not very interesting. Much more interesting is "if I am likely to die in about 20 years and have had a good life, what intentions does that create for me?" Play golf, or try to save the rainforest? Same facts from the past, completely divergent futures.
      • Jun 8 2013: Ashwath,
        I'm curious, how you can say 'death is probable'. In my opinion, it's the most probable thing in this universe...biologically, I mean. Unless you are suggesting immortality?
        • Jun 9 2013: I would have to say immortality invention is possible in the future. But that speculation is not very interesting to me. Like I said, more interesting is what are people's intentions based on what they already know? The divergence of intentions creates a hugely different outcome with the same facts from the past.
        • thumb
          Jun 10 2013: Sadly and gratefully we already are immortal, it just depends on where you start counting. And are you talking body because biologically that dies your body, which you have never touch and is 99.99999% not there, dies every 5-7 years. But you if you could perceive planck time you would realise that infinity or eternity exist between any 2 numbers(which are only real on paper the material world does not contain 2 of anything or have zero/nothing/no thing.)
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/13925/is_our_math_wrong_is_it_our_a.html

          Ultimately resulting in one being the only "real number" for everything is an individual representation of what that thing is. And then when you bring infinity or eternity back into the picture you realize that within infinity everything is arbitrary. And one could literally be anything.

          What is the smallest unit of time you can conceive? A second? A millisecond? Hard to say seeing as how time is relative. Under the right circumstances, hours can fly by and seconds can feel like a lifetime. But unfortunately for physicists, time is not something that can be delt with so philosophically. And since they deal with cosmological forces both infinitesimally large and small, they need units that can objectively measure them. When it comes to dealing with the small, Planck Time is the measurement of choice. Named after German physicist Max Planck, the founder of quantum theory, a unit of Planck time is the time it takes for light to travel, in a vacuum, a single unit of Planck length. Taken together, they part of the larger system of natural units known as Planck units.

          http://www.universetoday.com/79418/planck-time/

          More: http://cosmologistic.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-is-planck-time.html

          Its truth that people are afraid of

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.