When scientists started working with really small things, like atoms, they came across Quantum Mechanics which is basically Non-Newtonian physics.
It meant that at a certain threshold, things didn’t behave quite like they should according to the rules we set to account for our observations of the world. For example, at the small scale, rather than saying where something like an electron “is” we can only say that is likely to be “somewhere” and in fact is “everywhere” all that the same time. The statistics or probability starts to dominate over the actual. Until we actually look at the electron and then it appears because we force the statistics to make a choice (that’s a bit of an over-simplification, but go with it)
I have decided that I think the same is going to happen at the really big scale. And this will be revealed to us the more we get embroiled into BIG DATA.
BIG DATA (in capitals because it is so BIG) is information in collections which are so large that it challenges the usual processing techniques. It is information from so many (and sometimes unrelated sources) that can be used to detect trends and other emergent qualities which are used to make statistical predictions for the future.
But, I think that is all it can do: predict probable in a dataset.
It might be able to tell Amazon how best to distribute its stock based on past orders and consumer habits. But it is never going to be able to tell Amazon the exact name and address of the next buyer.
The analysis of BIG DATA can (or will) at best tell us that something is statistically likely, but it wont be able to tell us where such a thing is going to happen on any individual level.
This is exactly the same problem faced in Quantum Mechanics, only in reverse (or at least at the other end of the scale).
I will call it Massive Mechanics.
With this in mind, we can only say that something will “probably” happen based on BIG DATA until someone somewhere sitting in their house makes a choice and collapses the probability (in this universe) that it will. There will probably be 6 heart attacks in Brisbane in October. But I can never predict exactly who will be the unlucky subjects – too many variables.
With this in mind, I wonder how much free choice we really have. We are basically governed by maths. That is to say that if there are 100 of us standing in a room, and the stats say that one of us will (statistically speaking) be wearing a white t-shirt, did the person who chose to wear that bright-white this morning really have a choice or was he guided by the maths as the others each made their selections somewhere out in the universe without him.
I think as in relation to such things as whether a child will be born, or whether I am destined to meet the love of my life on a balcony at a party become the ponder, the same rules apply. I have free choice and these things play out randomly, but they are also built into the fabric of the greater whole. Statistically speaking these things will happen and so maybe I am the play out of that math.
I am destined to be an individual part of a more complex probability function.
I have choices and at the same time I have no choices.
There is destiny to explain this. Destiny is the gentle guiding of the individuals into the probability functions. The power of math over our feeble actions.
I just used maths to explain destiny.