the year you die

Okay: question two. If you have the opportunity to know what year you are going to die; would you take it?

Now, this time I’m not as concerned with the question itself. I would choose to know when I die. I’m more concerned with how you would react after you learn what year you will die. I would say you can break this up into a completely new question within itself: would you accept death, or would you try and change it? Here are the options:

  1. Accept the date. Go on living your normal life, and when the year comes, just keep living. Don’t change anything. By “don’t change anything” I don’t necessarily mean keep working your job or keep living in your regular town. You can quit your job and travel the world or do whatever you want, I more-so mean accepting the year and accepting that you’re going to die; you can change your lifestyle, but you aren’t specifically trying to prevent death.
  2. Try and change it. Try and prevent the death. Try and alter the future.

I am going to focus mainly on option (2.). Do you remember the show That’s So Raven? Here’s the premise: the main character, Raven, can see the future. She sees something bad happening, and does whatever she can to try and prevent it from happening. But, in turn, doing exactly that results in the “bad thing” happening. In conclusion, if she would have done nothing and didn’t try and change it, that “bad thing” wouldn’t have even happened. My fear with trying to change fate is the That’s So Raven Effect. For example, let’s say I find out I am going to die this year (2021). I currently attend college and spend most of my days inside my apartment studying. So, let’s say I want to try and prevent my death1 . I hop on a plane to get as far as I can away from my apartment, but then I die in a car crash on the way to the airport. That’s So Raven Effect. If I would have just stayed at my apartment, I wouldn’t have died. Almost like the universe knew that I was going to try and run, and that’s the whole reason I died.

So, you’d think naturally I’d pick option (1.). Don’t try and change it, in order to prevent the That’s So Raven Effect from happening 2 . Do the opposite of that, don’t run from it on purpose. But what if that’s why I die? In an effort to avoid the TSR (That’s So Raven) effect, I stay home. Then someone breaks into my apartment one night and kills me. I should have just trusted my gut! I should have jumped on that plane and left3 . But I was trying to change my fate. I was trying to outsmart my future self, and that’s what killed me.

But here’s the thing: I know that if this were real, this is exactly what I would think. I’d take the latter. Over analyze every decision and think what my future self would have done. Try and crack the code: try and figure out what I did, and then do the opposite. Try and outsmart myself. The answer seems simple: If I was to be given this opportunity, at first thought, would choose to stay home (in order to prevent TSR effect). So if I’m trying to outsmart my future self and prevent the death, I should leave. I should try and do the opposite of what I think. But, there’s even more to the latter.

Because I know that I love the latter. I wouldn’t just make the decision without over thinking every aspect of the decision. My future self would have already thought to outsmart my current self. My future self would have already realized the TSR effect, and my future self would have already thought to stay home to try and beat the TSR effect. So do I need to go one step further4 ? Something like this:

(1.) I’d want to leave → (2.) stay because of TSR effect → (3.) leave to try & outsmart → (4.) stay to outsmart even further

note: if this seems confusing, it’s even worse if you understand

But did my future self stop there? How far did I analyze the date? Did I already think of step (4.)? I mean obviously I did, I’m thinking about it right now. But if I really had to think about it, would that have effected my decision? Is there even more to overthink? It’s one giant circle. Thinking about it has made my decision worse.

Here’s the truth: I’m using the TSR effect as a way to validate choosing (1.); doing nothing. But I’m not doing nothing. Staying home to try and outsmart myself is not just staying home. I’m never really picking option (1.). Some people would really do nothing. Just not worry about it, and just die with no regrets. That is not what I am trying to do. I’m always trying to outsmart myself, even when I’m choosing not to outsmart myself! I just can’t help it, I can’t help but think about what I was thinking. And when I realize what I was thinking, then I know what I was doing. And if I know what I did, why wouldn’t I try and change it? Try and do the opposite? That’s the problem with wanting to know, I’ll never know how long the latter is. If you watch Rick and Morty, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’m just fighting my brain.

If I were to be given this opportunity to know when I would die, I would stay home. So, future self, (if one day we are offered this opportunity) I would stay home.

Future self, you should leave.

Unless the TSR effect is real, then it doesn’t matter anyways. Go to Italy.

more from me: question one: (a.) or (b.) is below

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