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Prophecies vs Fatalism

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Old 07-27-2017, 05:31 PM
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Default Prophecies vs Fatalism


There is a poster, a real one, who recently joined Writersbeat and is having trouble formulating a prophecy, check it out in the Fiction section if you have any ideas.

I was going to lend the person a hand but than realised I was too sidetracked and distracted by the idea of prophecies that I started on a rant on fatalism, and subsequently deleted as it could not be used by the author to improve their prophecy, nor did it relate in any way with their story or issue.

But I have seen cases of "fatalism", for example, in kids who were so pissed with their parents that they wanted to be nothing like them, yet all the choices they made with their lives made them more and more like their parents, even to the case where their own kids hated them just as much.

I do not have any specific q's on this topic or a particular reading list, just write down anything that comes to mind. I can also go upstairs to the echelons of the writing forum to notify the poster that there will be a large, probably 3-4 post philosophical discussion on prophecies and fatalism in the dark, spider-infested basement of The 'Beat. Have at it!

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Old 07-27-2017, 10:58 PM
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There's a prophecy in The Omen which is particularly effective because it's a genuine quote from Revelations and the facts have been crafted to fit very neatly. The danger with just making something up is getting it to sound authentic, especially when you're not au fait with archaic language. It could be a lazy device to introduce tension where there is none.

The great thing about Nostradamus was his vagueness. It's made him a bestseller.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by flyingtart View Post
There's a prophecy in The Omen which is particularly effective because it's a genuine quote from Revelations and the facts have been crafted to fit very neatly. The danger with just making something up is getting it to sound authentic, especially when you're not au fair with archaic language. It could be a lazy device to introduce tension where there is none.

The great thing about Nostradamus was his vagueness. It's made him a bestseller.
That's a good point that vagueness increases the probability that the event will occur.

I thought on this topic more today and was wondering about self-reinforcement, I become more like myself against any wishes to change because my behaviours make me who I am. Like the guy who believes they can stop smoking at any time. See, apparently, nicotine is addictive because it is self-reinforcing, just like MSG, which is chemically similar to a neurotransmitter. Now if we scale this up somewhat and we constantly get a replay of people throughout humanity, the same story retold billions of times.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:17 PM
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It's like that thing that happens in every single fucking movie (or at least the ones that I see), where right before the end, there has to be some tragedy to have people believe the movie is going to have a sad ending, only for everything to turn out alright. Every movie is just the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:27 PM
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Here's another way to look at it; data science.

Yep, all data is fed into a machine that then makes predictions on the pre-existing data of what should happen in the immediate future. Business invests in the results and therefore makes a future of pre-existing data.
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:49 AM
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I have a friend who consults with a psychic for predictions. She's done this for years.

I have told her gently that the predictions aren't really accurate - she allows them to influence her decisions so she directs herself towards their fulfilment.

I drop a newspaper and milk in to an elderly neighbour in the morning - and sometimes stay for a quick cuppa. She snorts and chuckles over her horoscope - a prediction of "a good night for romance" doesn't mean much when you're 85 years old.

I have recollections of my mother having solemn reverence for 'Old Moore's Almanack' years ago. Is it still in existence?

Not really the sort of prophecy you were after Pickle - but I think it's all phooey.

If you have a sound understanding of human nature you can make pretty educated guesses about what the heck happens next.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:48 AM
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There was a guy here on WB for a while who claimed he was like a modern-day Nostradamus, only he didn't just predict the future, he said he was actually a time traveler and he could go into the future and see things.

There was a little stuff out there on the internet about him -- he called himself Zogar or something...
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
I have a friend who consults with a psychic for predictions. She's done this for years.

I have told her gently that the predictions aren't really accurate - she allows them to influence her decisions so she directs herself towards their fulfilment.

I drop a newspaper and milk in to an elderly neighbour in the morning - and sometimes stay for a quick cuppa. She snorts and chuckles over her horoscope - a prediction of "a good night for romance" doesn't mean much when you're 85 years old.

I have recollections of my mother having solemn reverence for 'Old Moore's Almanack' years ago. Is it still in existence?

Not really the sort of prophecy you were after Pickle - but I think it's all phooey.

If you have a sound understanding of human nature you can make pretty educated guesses about what the heck happens next.
Yeah I think when we are discussing the prophecies of yore based on aligning crystals and sacrificing goats, then yeah it's pretty weird. But when when get into the mystic realms of acturial studies, risk and big data - at a population level as per your last sentence
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
There was a guy here on WB for a while who claimed he was like a modern-day Nostradamus, only he didn't just predict the future, he said he was actually a time traveler and he could go into the future and see things.

There was a little stuff out there on the internet about him -- he called himself Zogar or something...
Awesome, would I be still able to check out their posts?
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by PickleBottom View Post
Awesome, would I be still able to check out their posts?


Googled Zohar and got this:



Don't think that's him.
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:45 PM
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Zogar, not Zohar
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:59 PM
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Heh. I was way off -- it's Sollog.

His user name was Adoni.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
Googled Zohar and got this:



Don't think that's him.


I so want it to be him.
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:23 PM
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I've never met a time traveller before, at least in the sense it is usually conveyed.

Time travelling is an interesting topic though, a person could state that time is related to entropy, that is, the increase of entropy is time, and therefore on a small time and space scale in statistical mechanics entropy can decrease and therefore the reversal of time is probable. But this knowledge does not help us much.
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
I so want it to be him.
Him? Surely that's Tina Turner?
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by flyingtart View Post
Him? Surely that's Tina Turner?
You're so right.

Should have known the minute I saw those legs...
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:58 AM
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hi picklebottom. i think prophecy and fatalism are similar in that once the initial conditions have been set the rest unfolds according to what's been prophecised or decided. whatever you do, you end up fulfilling the prophecy. you end up meeting your fate.


ps. big fan of yours by the way.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by chippedmonk View Post
hi picklebottom. i think prophecy and fatalism are similar in that once the initial conditions have been set the rest unfolds according to what's been prophecised or decided. whatever you do, you end up fulfilling the prophecy. you end up meeting your fate.


ps. big fan of yours by the way.
Thanks, I've never had a fan before!

Yes, and even though I now have a fat head, I agree with you, self-fulfilling prophecies, and determinism is interesting. The common one is a child who ends up exactly how their parents turned out, after swearing they will never turn out like them.

Even in light of quantum theory and chaos theory we are still operating at a somewhat Newtonian physics level (which makes sense due to our scale and time frames, and similarly Newtonian inventions based on Newtonian physics have not broken down), and this may be the reason why most of our daily lives are somewhat predictable and deterministic.
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:58 PM
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hi picklebottom.

it IS interesting. i used to draw a distinction between determinism and fatalism. in the former, your actions have consequences, in the latter, regardless of your actions, you end up in a particular situation, because it was so fated. but maybe determinism is the means through which fatalism works.
i think i agree with you on newtonian physics, it seems a reliable enough tool for certain kinds of stuff.

but i'm not sure if our daily lives are predictable in that sense. what i mean to say is that we may not respond the same way to the same stimuli. also, as thinking creatures, we react to our thoughts, and our thoughts seem to come from 'nowhere'. what i mean is, i think there's a kind of randomness to it. but i also think it may not be random, just chaotic. what do you think?
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by chippedmonk View Post
hi picklebottom.

it IS interesting. i used to draw a distinction between determinism and fatalism. in the former, your actions have consequences, in the latter, regardless of your actions, you end up in a particular situation, because it was so fated. but maybe determinism is the means through which fatalism works.
i think i agree with you on newtonian physics, it seems a reliable enough tool for certain kinds of stuff.

but i'm not sure if our daily lives are predictable in that sense. what i mean to say is that we may not respond the same way to the same stimuli. also, as thinking creatures, we react to our thoughts, and our thoughts seem to come from 'nowhere'. what i mean is, i think there's a kind of randomness to it. but i also think it may not be random, just chaotic. what do you think?
Yep, and that's where the "somewhat" comes into play, chaos is Gaussian, quantum can realised through a probability distribution, thus the "somewhat" gives everyone a normal distribution. I'm presuming your past day and the day prior etc was not too random, like with people running around with their underpants on their head.

Incidentally don't overly concern yourself with my thoughts, I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter.
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:40 AM
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hi picklebottom,

you're right, i should've read more carefully. and no, my days haven't been too bizarre although i've had some strange dreams the past couple of nights. things are mostly normal, however.

i know very little about physics, just stuff i've picked up from documentaries and my science-y friends.

i apologise but i'm curious to know where you stand on the matter of human agency?

sorry if i seem a bit servile.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by chippedmonk View Post
hi picklebottom,

you're right, i should've read more carefully. and no, my days haven't been too bizarre although i've had some strange dreams the past couple of nights. things are mostly normal, however.

i know very little about physics, just stuff i've picked up from documentaries and my science-y friends.

i apologise but i'm curious to know where you stand on the matter of human agency?

sorry if i seem a bit servile.
All the world's a stage. And the men and women merely players.

I was in a play once, a musical back in my school days, and there was this priest who was also a musician, but still a priest, or an authority at the school. Because he was a musician he wanted more emphasis on the music, massive crashes of symbols, and horns trumpeted, just like in the book of revelations. As a result no one in the audience could follow what was happening on the stage it was drowned out by the music. The actors could not play their parts, their "agency" was limited. They didn't have a voice.

People should have agency, it will be constrained, but it should not be constrained through others, like slavery and greed, and it should be enhanced through living, ergo the expansion of knowledge and experience.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:34 PM
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:16 AM
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ah, picklebottom. i cannot agree more, our agency shouldn't be constrained by others.
although i sometimes think we're nothing more than leaves trapped in the current of history or some other all-consuming force. not that i'm a marxist or anything.
the world's a stage and we're actors. the question is, are we improvising or do we have a script?
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by chippedmonk View Post
ah, picklebottom. i cannot agree more, our agency shouldn't be constrained by others.
although i sometimes think we're nothing more than leaves trapped in the current of history or some other all-consuming force. not that i'm a marxist or anything.
the world's a stage and we're actors. the question is, are we improvising or do we have a script?
Well definitely read Siddhartha by Hesse or With the Flow by Huysmans if you have not already. The all-consuming force is the God that created the world in which we live, the greedy and corrupt God, who only thinks of "me me me munny munny munny". The rest of us are trying to eke out some kind of meaning from whatever scraps we are allowed in His masturbatory fantasy.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:48 AM
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I have a very fatalistic outlook on life, due in part to my religious upbringing, but I guess it's ended up being a matter of personal temperament more than anything else. Gives me an excuse for being lazy lol.

But seriously, it does affect me too much, I know it does.
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