I’ve had a wicked busy week, but there are more than a few things to look forward to.
I’ve got something on the go that I’m not quiteÂ ready to talk about. Some of you know what I’m talking about, but keep it to yourself right now. The rest of you just get to sit back and wonder.
Suffice to say thatÂ if my dream becomes a reality, it’ll be pretty cool.
I’m going to an NBA game with my dad tomorrow. He’s been in Toronto this week on business, but I’m yet to see him.
I get my new car in about a week, though this also means that I have to give up the Protege5 in about a week. Equal parts happy and sad, I guess.
I’m probably going to take golf lessons this April, which should be fun.
Of course, there’s always Battle of the Bards to look forward to (the next one’s on April 21st).
And a quick glance at the weather forecast suggests that maybe…just maybe, spring is gonna stick around at this point. Though it’s better if I keep doubting spring, in which case Mother Nature will prove me wrong. Not that Mother Nature has anything against me; I’m just usually wrong when it comes to predicting the weather.
Isn’t that special? I’m taking one for the team. Rather than trying to predict the weather accurately, I’m using my powers to wrongly predict it so that you an all enjoy the warm weather.
And to be clear, I’m not just saying all of this–I really AM sceptical about the weather. If I weren’t and I were just saying this, then Mother Nature would see through me and we’d all be screwed. And that’d be my fault.
So here you go: I predict another cold spell in April, and even after that I’ll be sceptical until we’ve have three solid weeks of warm weather, with maybe a bit of rain here or there.
Although now I’m running the risk that by being so overtly confident that I’m wrong that Mother Nature will prove me right.
Damn, I just confused myself. Confident…wrong…right.
So either I’m wrong and the weather will remain nice, or I’m wrong about being wrong and the weather will go…umm…wrong. I mean, bad. The weather willÂ go bad.
ConsiderÂ the butterfly effect, wherein a butterfly flapping its wings in North America is considered the catalyst for a major weather shift or natural disaster halfway around the world. The point simply being that this is an integrated system, and even the breath I just took could have a severe impact on the temperature in Japan, causing a driver to turn on his heated leather seats, which short-circuits his car and kills the power-steering, leading the vehicle to careen out of control.
Careen. Nice. I don’t think I’ve ever used ‘careen’ before.
Anyway, recognizing that the weather is an integrated system that spans the world, Mother Nature would have to take into account all of the people who have a belief about their individual ability to predict the weather. Whereas I claim to be bad at it, someone in Africa might be good at predicting the weather. Meanwhile, someone in the Antarctic might predict that it’ll be cold and snowy…every day of the year.
We’ll ignore that person’s opinion…they’re choosing to live in Antarctica.
Sidebar: I have a friend who has a friend who is/was a firefighter in Antarctica. It sounds silly, but it makes sense. If the buildings burn down, where are you gonna go?
Anyway,Â what I’m getting at is thatÂ Mother Nature likely has to calculate the sum total of people’s expectations throughout the world: whatÂ they predict,Â whether they think they’re normally right or wrong, and whether they areÂ normally right or wrong.
Stay with me here.
The third bit sounds like it would be entirely based on Mother Nature’s opinion of the individual: “I, Mother Nature, do not like Russ Wong and, as such, he will always be wrong about my weather.”
What I’m about to prove is that this is not the case. For two reasons.
1. If Mother Nature were to single out specific people to punish, such as myself, she would inadvertently punish people she likes in the process of punishing me.
2. Mother Nature is a concept, not an actual spiritual being with control over our weather patterns. Duh.
So basically, we can toss out the third variable. It’s not a cause, but an effect. So what, we now ask, is the cause?
The cause is the first two variables. Us. What we predict and whether we think we’re normally right or wrong.
We are Mother Nature. We are the weather patterns. Our thoughts are integral to them.
Take my office as an example (thus enabling me to justify this surprisingly-long Scatterthought that has now extended past the end of my lunch break). Individually, my coworkers and I have our own opinions on the weather and whether we’re normally right or wrong in predicting it. As a group, we have a collective opinion on both variables. So, if 70% of the 50 people in my office think that the weather will stay good, and 63% think that they’re normally right about the weather, then we’ll have good weather. If 63% think they’re wrong, then we’ll have bad weather.
This, of course, isn’t quite enough. It doesn’t mean that we’ll have good or bad weather immediately surrounding our office (as amusing as that would be). BUTÂ weather patterns can be charted, and similarly,Â you could probably chart the various people as they move throughout the world. From people travellingÂ on vacation to people moving to new locales to people staying in the same place for years and years.
But how, you ask, can our thoughts influence the weather? After all, thoughts have no substance.
Not quite. Thoughts have substance in two important ways. On one level, every thought is an electrical impulse in your brain. On another level, thoughts influence our actions and the actions of those around us.Â Every movement I make–the butterfly effect–is part of the earth’s weather system and, more interestingly, a direct communication between my brain/soul/consciousness and the natural world. My body is, quite simply, a medium. And as Marschall McLuhan so aptly stated, “the medium is the message”.
To stealÂ another line, this timeÂ from The Police, “every breath we take, every move we make…”
But Mother Nature isn’t watching us. Mother Nature is us.
This is absolutely fascinating to me in an absolutely meaningless way. And I think I can sum it up in one quick joke.
Question: What do you get when you mix an English degree, a tendency to ramble, a background in cognitive science,Â a lot of trivial knowledge, and an overactive imagination?
Answer: A big waste of time.