FFT: Fate/Destiny
Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do you believe in fate?
I don't.

At least not in the traditional sense. The meaning of fate and destiny has changed along the years, so I asked Google to define them for me.

From what I understand, Fate is something determined by a higher power, like a God or any other supernatural being. Destiny on the other hand, is simply the inevitable.

For eg. It's this apple's destiny to be eaten by me.
For eg. I determined this apple's fate by eating it.

Apply this to humans, I would like to think of fate as a power you cannot oppose. Just like how an apple cannot stop me from eating it.

Let me just put this out there first. I absolutely do not believe in a higher power. (in the sense of a god that dictates the future of humans). I am an Atheist after all. Therefore, I don't believe in fate. Knowing that whatever you do, is already determined by someone else, is a fucking boring way to live your life. In other words, it makes life not worth living.

What I believe in, is physics, and the math of probability. A topic I touched on a little on my rant on gambling. Thanks to J who gave me a few examples of fate, I shall break it down using probability.

If you meet the same person on a bus every single weekday, what are the chances of it?

We shall assume very conservatively.
Let's say you only leave house within a plus-minus 20 minutes range.
You live in a neighbourhood with a population of 7140 residents. 15blocks, 17 stories, 8apartment/storey, 3.5residents/apartment.
Bus comes every 3minutes. (peak hour)
Only 3 buses goes to the same destination. (I have 5 in my situation)

40 minutes of total time. Average of 1bus/min since 1 bus/3mins and 3 buses goes to the same destination. So there are 40 possible buses. The calculation goes like this.
1/7140(residents) times 1/40(buses) = 1/285,600
The chance of you meeting a person on a bus is 1 in 285 thousand.

If you meet the same person every weekday, that's 5 days in a row.
(1/285,600)5 = 5.26 x 10-28
That's 28 zeroes in front of 5.26. In comparison, the chances of striking TOTO* is 1.23 x 10-7
(using system 6, $0.50)

Putting it in English, the chance of you striking TOTO is higher than you meeting the same guy on the bus by more than 20 million trillion. Putting it in a bell-curve, here's what it looks like.

It's on the far end of the spectrum

Now, if this isn't fate, I don't know what is. But of course, my version of Fate is very different from my love sick counterparts. My idea of fate is an event that happens despite of it's infinitesimal probability. Much like how you would think of luck.

Probability is interesting because it is true if you look at it on an infinite scale. For example, rolling a six-sided dice. The chance of you getting a 4 is 1/6. If you roll it 12 times, you might get a 4; ten times out of twelve. Does that mean probability is false? Nope. It just means that if you roll it a thousand times, a million times, a billion times; the graph will flatten out and the chances of you getting a 4, is 1 in 6.

Now, the argument supporting fate scientifically is using Quantum Mechanics and the theory of Multiverse. (multiple universe) In which case,

Everything that can happen, will happen and has already happened.

So technically, it doesn't matter what you do, it has already been done. In a way, you can think of your actions as inevitable. This might be hard to imagine, until you start to visualize time as another dimension, rather than a straight line. Hence, it doesn't matter what you do, you're destined to do that, because you have already done that.

Therefore, I cannot definitively conclude fate/destiny's existence. It's more of how you would like to define it.

For me,
Fate is the things that happens despite the probability of it not happening. 
In which case, it's probably fate that had you reading my blog (:

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