Where’s All This Headed?

In Blog by Erik0 Comments

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re standing in front of Donnie Darko’s giant bunny named Frank being told the world is going to end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds? Perhaps you’re Neo staring at Morpheus’ palm wondering if the red pill is the escape to reality you so sorely desire. Then again, you could be one of the lucky types who floats freely through life like a leaf caught in the wind (I envy you) letting it blow you in whichever direction it should so choose (yes, I’m aware that wind is the movement of gases or charged particles on a large scale – take that Star Trek lovers: just kidding, live long and prosper Lambda Lambda Lambda members). I ask you, despite best laid plans, does it feel like things continue to conspire against your chosen path and the ever wise and all powerful universal supercomputer has pre-planned it all?

Let me digress for a moment. I’m not sure what’s going on as one of my Fantasy NBA teams is named the Donnie Darkos in respect to the great Darko Milicic being signed (and released by my favourite NBA team; a collection of descended angels from whatever “God” you pray to THE Boston Celtics). It appears that I’m stuck in some Donnie Darko time loop. Donnie Darko, Darko Donnie, Donnie Donnie Donnie oi oi oi. 

In his 1785 poem To A Mouse Robert Burns, the renowned Scottish Poet and pony rider (yes, he rode a pony to Edinburgh) wrote:

But little Mouse, you are not alone, 

In proving foresight may be vain: 
The best laid schemes of mice and men 
Go often awry, 
And leave us nothing but grief and pain, 
For promised joy! 

Truthfully, I probably wouldn’t have been aware of Robert Burns works if it were not for a high school English class where John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men was the topic of a literature review. Steinbeck took the title of the book from Burns’ poem. To you Mr. Searle, I owe a debt of gratitude. You were one of the finest teachers I have come across and although unlikely, I hope one day that comment finds you. Back to the point. Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the French writer said “a goal without a plan is a wish“. I would have been interested in de Saint-Exupery’s response to the questions “what’s a goal with a crap plan called?” or “what’s an unrealistic goal with a great plan called?” It’s interesting when you start applying context. Whichever way it’s spun, I wanted to include a poem in my latest blog because it makes me look interesting, intelligent and widely read. Yeah… good on me (pats self on back – goes and grabs a cider, sculls cider, returns to looking at NFL Fantasy information). Operation PublicSmartErik complete. 

It’s probably at this point that you’re asking yourself, what the hell is Erik on about? Why am I spending my time reading this when I could be looking at pictures or watching videos of Tom Brady, Kate Beckinsale or Aston Martin DB9’s? Here’s the point. At some stage in our life, everyone will ask themselves or ponder what appears to be a universal constant: what is the meaning of life? Interestingly, I’m not going to address that question (truthfully it’s a discussion best left to a few beers or wines over a good meal with appropriate company) but would prefer to discuss our grasp on reality and the Butterfly Effect. 

For the uninitiated, the Butterfly Effect is a concept that draws heavily from the Chaos Theory. Chaos Theory is a field in mathematics that draws heavily from several disciplines and primarily concerns itself with dynamical systems that are affected by initial conditions. For lack of better terminology, the affects on dynamical systems by initial conditions is what popular culture refers to as the Butterfly Effect. One of the interesting points that first attracted me to Chaos Theory was the notion that events are not random. That is, future events are determined by their initial conditions (I guess that’s why I was drawn to the 90’s Sci Fi TV Series Sliders [Kari Wuhrer you were a fox] and try to get my hands on most science/universe documentaries out there). You’re probably asking yourself, what the hell is this career sportsman, all round jock and general sarcastic pain in my butt talking about? You got me. I must confess, I’m a bit of a geek in my off time; sue me. Back to Chaos Theory. 

If you’re a believer in parallel universes and all that jazz, the Butterfly Effect makes for interesting application. This is what interests me about String Theory; its recognition that a multiverse could exist as the M-theory. I’ll leave it to you to explore that in your free time. Naturally, there is opposition to this sort of thinking similar to that of proving faith. Personally, I don’t care as I like to make up my own mind. I find it an interesting notion that there could be another Erik (I’m not sure I’d say me as I’m not sure it would be) in a parallel universe living under very different conditions experiencing very different things. That begs the question, are our lives influenced and set by initial universal conditions or are our lives fluid and adaptable where our destiny is in our own hands?

In the year of the Y2K bug I had a plan. Go to university, graduate university, become a professional sportsperson, conquer the world. Those best laid plans went awry. Retrospectively you continue to ask yourself the what if questions. All I can say with certainty is that you hope make the best decisions with the information at hand at that point in time. What interests me is had I chosen to make different decisions at those points in time, would things have worked out differently or was my path already set? Do I have any control over the future choices I am going to make or have they already been made? It really is interesting when someone or something presents itself at a particular point in your life and you ask yourself “why now or why not sooner?” As I have come to realise, sometimes you just aren’t ready or equipped and the lessons you needed to learn are still being taught. Sometimes it does feel like everything is pre-planned and at other times it feels organic. Really, it’s insane.

So here we are, at the end of a blog that serves my need to punch away at my Mac and share my musings with the world. There’s only one question you need to ask yourself – how can I make things better? Put that goal down on a piece of paper and work backwards. The answer is going to be organic and it’s going to be pre-planned, but really who cares? Whichever you are; the leaf blowing in the wind or the master of your own destiny, enjoy it and remember, you’re not alone little mouse.

Life is one long insane trip.” – Donnie Darko.


In loving memory of John Fiamengo. Rest in peace my eternal friend.

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