Do You Agree or Disagree – Finite Number?

What is shaking everybody? This isn’t so much a theory on Lost but it can be applied. Plus I don’t belong to any other forums where ideas and concepts are discussed like here. And you guys are good people. Good people.

Anyways, I watched Fringe this morning when I got home from work. If you aren’t up to speed – a couple episodes ago Peter got his hands on some technology from The Observers. A little device that burrowed into your brain, implanted itself, and as we found out, modified your cerebral cortex. It basically gave them and now him, the ability for more logical thought and calculations.

It gave Peter the ability to “run futures” as one Observer said. Then later Olivia even said the future was all about math, The Observers are just better at math than us.

Which got me thinking. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement or idea? Not the logistics of it which would be mindboggling, but the actual facts or statistics behind it.

It is this: that there actually is a finite number of possible futures?

Like let’s say we did have this machine or our brains that had the capacity to run all possible futures. From every single decision people make and potential outcomes and ripples from them? Like instead of turning left to get to work one day I make a right. And then by me making a right, I cause someone to jam on their brakes which spills their coffee, shorting out their laptop.

So if there was a computer that could run all of those scenarios, and determine probabilities, isn’t there deep down, at the bottom of it all, a finite number of possible outcomes? To everything?

And then let’s say the the world population dwindled down, those possible futures would also decrease making it even easier to narrow them down.

Seems crazy but I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

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Written by

The Apostle

Originally from a town near Seattle, WA, now living in Memphis, TN. Yikes. Late bloomer when it comes to Lost, started watching based on the recommendation of a friend near the middle of the third season. I think. I then raced through the episodes online and have since gone through the seasons 3X. Not sane. I work as an engineer and grappling is a huge passion of mine. I am both excited, to see how it all gets explained, and sorry, I don't want the show to end, to have this be the final season.

8 thoughts on “Do You Agree or Disagree – Finite Number?

  1. There are an infinite number of universes. This is the many world theories.I;m not sure who came up with it and i don’t have time to look it up because im supposed to be working but in lay mans terms it goes something like this. (Please remember this is just of the top of my head.)Not only are there an infinite number of possible futures, each choice you make creates another universe where that action was taken or not taken. Then on the next possibility, which causes two more universes. The one in which you made one choice over the other and the one where you made did not.

  2. I think there are two possibilities; there is one possible future (which is obviously a finite number) or I’m with daddyx.

    Of course there may also be zero futures but that may lead to lengthy and crazed ponderings.

    Good food for thought though The Apostle.

    On another note I will have more to say on daddyx’s thread but none of it is meant to be taken, to any extent, seriously.

  3. Just so everyone is clear. The many worlds theory is not something I came up with. It is a very respected theory, and a quantum theoriest(I think) came up with the idea. Every time you make a choice you create a new universe that exists parallel to the alternate choice you could have made. Ad infinitum.

  4. daddyx – I for one, understand/understood. By no means would I assume otherwise, from your passage.

    However, my zero futures theory; i’m not sure where that came from, if not from the cobwebs of time of a distant memory of a reading or other medium.
    Or maybe I just saw it on the WEB somewhere 🙂

  5. I submit The Apostle’s supposition of finite futures carries the weight and takes the cake. Hey that rhymes!

    My Zero Futures theory (zero is a finite number is it not?) would support this claim. If zero is not finite stop reading here… YEAH RIGHT!
    Otherwise let’s explore the idea. Glad you are still with us?

    As i write this comment there exists a past and a fleeting moment in time we call the present but the future is something we can only imagine and perceive of. Never will it be a concrete item we are able to hold and examine until it becomes the past. By then it certainly is not the future anymore. The tomorrow never comes concept taken a step further. We can only say the future will exist because the chance a Zombie Apocalypse will occur in the next moment is almost infinitely remote. Therefore the future must, by auto eliminating next to zero chances of such events occurring (as the zombie end), exist. So the question becomes, is the use of such a method good enough to state there exists at least one future when no one really can say with absolute full confidence that there is? Of course you would tend to say YES because its ridiculous to say otherwise because of the probabilities but on the other hand can you really? After this the argument gets circular I think but before this happens we find ourselves stuck in this limbo of not knowing which is the same as saying there is no future here and now.

    Moving on and to reiterate, now the I have finished this comment, I can safely say the future did exist as the article is almost complete but will never be able to safely say the future will and wont say, again..really, really.

    I hope this small proof has illustrated the Zero Future model adequately. If not call 1-800-777-WHAT after 4:31 PM PDT if indeed we can get there.

    Don’t get too upset though, it is, after all, just a crazy little theory wolfx would like to think he made up.

  6. Nice reply wolfx. I had to read it 2-3 times to make sense of it all but I agree. I think. Kind of.

    I kind of think you captured better what I was trying to get across.

    I think the only portion of my opening post that closely resembles what you wrote was the part where I wrote about the actual number of possible futures being mind boggling but there is an ultimate number somewhere up there, people only have the ability to make a certain amount of decisions throughout their days and lives.

    Where it becomes mind boggling is when we intersect all of those choices and decisions with others, and all of their possible choices and actions, that’s when the number of possible futures explodes.

    Kind of like Kevin Bacon and the 6 degrees of separation, when you start intertwining timelines with people 6 degrees away, that is when the idea behind a finite number of futures becomes overwhelming.

    Back to my left turn example, if I made a right, causing someone to hit their brakes and short out their laptop, and then be unable to give their work presentation, and then someone who attended that meeting missed out on important info and didn’t invest, it gets crazy.

  7. The Apostle – indeed. I don’t buy the infinite futures either. But one would have to admit the number of futures, although finite, would be seemingly infinite. And if there is no end to time then the number approaches infinity I believe.

    But with the Zero Futures Theory you don’t have to worry about any of that. The beauty of simplicity 🙂
    no nevermind; wolfx has to learn to behave. NOT.

    Keep those mind benders coming The Apostle.

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