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Thread: When low-probability incidents happen in your life.

  1. #1
    Member Adze's Avatar
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    When low-probability incidents happen in your life.

    When a very unlikely thing happens in your life, particularly something significant or damaging, do you get stuck on analysing it? trying to explain why it happened?
    Or can you accept that sometimes things just happen by chance and there was no way to be in control of it.

    I've found a few unfortunate things occur in my life recently, and I suspect I've been reading into it far too much, when it is probably more down to simply a low-probability incident (or number of incidents) occuring, without there having to be an actual reason, also meaning there is not much I can do to control some things in life.
    (one of the incidents was a car accident where I was rear-ended)

    Part of me is wondering if there is some carry-over thought process going on in my mind from being raised as a Catholic all those years ago but nothing specific to do with 'Catholic' but one of those things where people say "some things happen for a reason" as though they believe a higher power had something to do with it.

    Logically I think its more rational to just think low-probability incidents do occur from time to time, and there is always going to be some risk, however, sometimes I can't help thinking the other way eg, "why did this happen?" "is there a pattern here" "does this mean something" "do I deserve it, have I done something wrong" "what are the chances of another accident occurring even if I'm completely alert %100 of the time"

    So, any similar experiences with unlikely and unfortunate or fortunate events occuring and your reactions to them?
    Comments welcome.
    Ti, Ne, Si, Fe .... Te, Ni, Se, Fi

  2. #2
    Your Huckleberry lethe's Avatar
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    I think a big part of the motivation to analyze these incidents is to regain a sense of control.

    When something unexpected or unpredictable happens it can make you feel powerless or at the whim of the world/fate/chance.

    Finding a cause, even if it means blaming yourself, allows you to regain a sense of order and mastery. Because if there is something you can do to prevent it, or predict it, it is no longer a threat out of your control.
    Don't remember changing this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lethe View Post
    I think a big part of the motivation to analyze these incidents is to regain a sense of control.
    Yep. And also that religious angle. The illusion of control + immortality are two of the primary reasons that pretty much every human culture invents a religion.

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    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lethe View Post
    I think a big part of the motivation to analyze these incidents is to regain a sense of control.
    I view this sense of control as making the right assumptions about the external world. These assumptions are mostly subconscious. For example, when learning to drive you might worry that people behind you won't stop and will slam into you. After a few hundred stops where this doesn't happen you begin to assume it won't happen and quit thinking about it. When someone comes along and rear ends you, you must again consciously re-examine that assumption until you can make some adjustment and then quit thinking about it again.

    I believe these assumptions are essential for solving life from moment to moment. If what to do next can be represented by solving N simultaneous equations, and our subconscious can only handle M, where M << N, then some independent variables must be assumed to a given value for us to function - at all.

    Unexpected life events are unexpected because we assume they won't happen, not necessarily because they are low probability events.

    EDIT: And if you take this line of reasoning a bit further, it shows you one use of conscious thought - slow consideration of things which you then reprogram yourself.

  5. #5
    BeyondUrLatestAdCampaigns ciphersort's Avatar
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    I think it's best to analyze things quickly and if you determine no deliberate or deliberately negligent behavior was the cause - move along as soon as possible.

    shit happens

  6. #6
    Two things:
    -the horrible things that happen are almost never the horrible things we fear or expect
    -low-probability horrible things happen to people all the time; the only thing that I've seen correlate with horrible tragedy is niceness (so be an asshole--less bad shit will happen to you)

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    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    I used to tell people: "If you want to be prepared for anything, remember to prepare for nothing. Anything may happen; usually nothing does."
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

  8. #8
    Member Nekyia's Avatar
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    aaand another answer is yes, there is a pattern, and no - according to the second law one can not behold it. Principle

    Edit: intuition...fuzzy - from a navigational perspective
    Fuck Magic

  9. #9
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    we certainly want there to be a pattern...

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    I didn't really get stuck on thinking, "Why did this happen to meeee?" It happened to me because it happens to some people and we live in a society that is largely decomposed. I tried going on with every single thing I was already doing. I got sick (according to doctors, I had made myself sick because I wasn't getting psychoanalyzed or something), that was the way it expressed itself. Since then, I guess I now have more fears than I did before, and sometimes I'm not sure why they are there or when I'm going to get them, but I doubt they'd be gone if I had approached this any other way. There isn't a way to fix certain things, only manage them. I guess you need to figure out whether the way you're managing them is allowing you to function on an acceptable level, regardless of what other people prescribe.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

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