Friday, August 21, 2009

Nothing more than a Coincidence

Coincidences happen all of the time to every person in their lifetime. It is not uncommon to experience such an event because it normally occurs in the context of an individual's life. In other words, a coincidence to one person is not relevant to the life of another person. It is relevant only to the person who experiences the coincidence. However, many people mistake a coincidence for an event that they claim can only have occurred to them supernaturally or by a higher power and not by simple chance.

Let's look at the facts. It is already well known in the fields of physics and math that there are probabilities for a given event. For instance, it is more probable for marathon runner A to win a race compared to marathon runner B based on a number of things. Runner A practices 3 hours longer than runner B every day. Runner A has also won 5 marathon races in the last 3 years than runner B who has won 2. Runner A has not incurred any injuries in her career as a marathon runner while runner B has incurred one knee injury in her career. These differences effect the probability of who will win the race. It's that simple.

Now let's use this example to discuss the concept of probability of coincidences. A person who has entered a contest to win a prize has a certain probability of winning based on the number contestants. Their probability increases or decreases if they must compete to win the prize by using their skills. If the contest is based on who can produce the most creative drawing then those contestants who are skilled at artistry and creativity have an increased probability of winning. There may be 10 contestants in a group of 100 that are very close in skill level for this competition and, in this case, those 10 contestants have a reduced probability of winning among them. Further, 2 of those 10 contestants may have entered a similar contest and have won which would increase their chance of winning among the top 10. There could be many other factors that I could discuss but you get my point.

There are many factors that could effect the probability or chance of experiencing a coincidence in our lives but that is all there is. We are not more special than anyone else. It is our skills and our drive that can make something happen. We can't simply ask for something that we desire to just happen for us. Life does not work that way. Our every day decisions and actions are governed by probability. From a mathematical point of view there is little significance in the occurrence of a particular event that may seem less probable from the point of view of the perceiver.

What we must learn is the ability to properly estimate the probability of a given event occurring in our own lives. The basis should not be on how hard we wished or prayed for it to happen. This has no effect on the occurrence of any event. All of our personal experiences have a reason for occurring whether it be taking action to make something happen or involving ourselves in something relevant to our desired outcome. The experience is a completely realistic one, although many people would say that it could not have happened without some kind of supernatural force. That is nonsense.

Every human being is deserving of a life that is free and no one person is more special than another. Obviously merit and wealth can help a person to reach their desires more swiftly and be more successful but we all experience coincidences no matter who we are. Some people may say that they did nothing to experience such a positive event but perhaps in these cases they were in the right place at the right time. Timing is but one factor in the realm of probability. We put ourselves in a position to experience a coincidence and this is the only way.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Doctored Shock: A Reality

I'm not one to firmly believe in conspiracy theories in society but things do happen behind closed doors time and time again that simply cannot be ignored. And I'm not just talking about things like isolated crimes, natural disasters, drug trafficking, labor strikes, endangered species, or anthropogenic environmental damage. I'm talking about global economics, inflation rates, elections, coups, war, import/export, rich vs. poor, genocide, global alliances, etc.

I feel that the latter ideas were never that appealing to learn about because they were barely a subject of discussion in school. Had I known a little about the woes of global economics and government alliances I would have chosen to more critically learn about these ideas in my later academic years. The reason for this is that when I don't know about something that is truly important to know in my life I don't feel safe. I don't really know what impact these things have in the society that I live so I remain ignorant to it. That must be what a government wants of its people-- to remain ignorant of important facts about the world-- considering that it is the government that educates us at the start of our lives.

Forget theories, the type of strategies that are wielded by governments like the US government in order to control other countries is horrifically scary and completely factual. The economic philosophy of disaster or shock fundamentalist capitalism has been breed right out of the US, particularly at the Chicago School of Economics for the last century or so (for all I know). It is the result of much of the 'organized' terror around the world from past and present. Many South American countries like Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia have had their governments overthrown and people unemployed, displaced, and murdered because of the US right-wing economic philosophy of global free-market capitalism.

The idea that this philosophy is a means of spreading democracy is simply a myth and completely the opposite of the true goal of these so-called economists: the goal being to allow corporations to do as they please in a global free-market at low inflation rates in order to profit. Their driving force is greed and a complete lack of respect for other people. It is a type of reality that society has tried to overcome but instead this philosophy is planted deep within and has done nothing but impede societal progression.

Richard Dawkins has said, "we wish to live in a much more advanced society, a society that is far more advanced then a Darwinian society or a George Bush society" and it is very true. In the George Bush society, lead by right-wing economists influenced by the 'Chicago Boys', war, terror, and torture are the norm. The worst part of it is that in order to change global economies to fit their rules they must first wait for a disaster such as a labor strike or financial instability (i.e. high debt, hyperinflation) or manufacture their own disaster (doctored shock) in any given country that they would like to control for their own interests. These economists focussed on South American countries like Brazil and Chile by organizing a coup in order eliminate the pro-poor, nationalist governments and instead implement a new government, trained by the Chicago Boys, that would favor foreign investment. Unfortunately for these countries thousands of people were brutally tortured and murdered in order for the economic plan to operate effectively. There was a similar case in Indonesia. The worst part of it all is that many global corporate powers were also involved in the economic plan such as Ford Motors, GM, Citibank, IMF, World Bank, etc.

This type of economic shock was later seen in other countries like Poland and most recently in Iraq. The mastermind behind the birth of this philosophy was Milton Friedman, an American economist and a leader of the Chicago School of Economics at the University of Chicago. He argued that government could not manage economies and that people could too easily oppose government policies which would cause high inflation and low growth. He favoured mass privatization and deregulation for the benefit of foreign investment and globalization. But his imposed ideals were nothing more than a nightmare for all the people who were effected.

It is astonishing to me that altough many of these events occurred during my lifetime, I had no understanding of the severity of this economic strategy that now spans across many countries around the world. To me the meaning of democracy has changed. The US right-wing view of democracy is so far-off the mark that I am surprised that such a view has been maintained and advanced in society. It is a means to take advantage of people and have total disregard for human beings.

This is truly still a Darwinian society where we live as animals and only the fittest survive while the others are left out in the fields to die. We all need to be involved in the betterment of society if it is to progress forward not backward. The most important thing today is to be well-informed and mould our opinions based on the facts. I'm not one to firmly believe in conspiracy theories but this comes very close to the mark. The only difference is that it is not just a theory, it is a reality.