Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Study: 90% of people DON'T want to know what their future holds

Via Drudge:  Given the choice most people would not want to know their future, even if these events could make them happy, a new study has found.

Researchers say that people would rather avoid the suffering that knowing the future could cause.

Most people wish to avoid regretting their decision to know, and want to preserve the enjoyment of suspense in their lives, the research found.

The team also found that those who prefer not to know the future are more risk averse and are more likely to buy life and legal insurance than people who want to know the future.

They claim that those who choose to be ignorant anticipate regret and so are more pessimistic.

The length of time until an event would occur played a role in participants' responses.

Deliberate ignorance was more likely the nearer the event was.

Link to full article

26 comments:

edutcher said...

This is one of those "playing God" scenarios that shows just what idiots we mortals be.

Knowing would also mean the exact time of death and circumstances.

That, of course, would be subject to change if one took the proper precautions.

Amartel said...

It's more interesting if you don't know. Duh. Also, more opportunity to profit.

Methadras said...

This brings up an interesting philosophical question of randomness. Humans believe that there is a randomness to the universe and specifically their lives. That making daily decisions throughout their lives will lead them to some sort of goal; job, success, money, etc. In reality, what they don't realize is that these decisions aren't made in a bubble. These decisions suffer from near infinite permutations and what I call permutative breakdown. Meaning, the decisions they make are only two to maybe three orders removed from the original decision to go left vs. going right. Think through it logically. I want to get to a destination. I go left, but that decision now has reprecussions for everyone and everything within my immediate line of sight. Meaning, my influence on my randomness is limited to what is basically around me and what I can see. As I'm going left, i'm doing a whole host of things that influence not only me, but other things as well. The positions of matter are changes when they may not have been had I gone right. The influence I have on others positively or negatively due to that decision that I can or cannot be in control of and thinking ahead on that next point in the levels of influence. Then the cascade effect of simply moving through time and space and all of the other things that I influenced by simply making that decision, but not knowing about them because of the layers of removal I am utterly unaware of.

In that regard, am I really living in a random space or am I simply going through a program of possible permutations that every other thing is also being influenced by in practically an infinite way. The illusion of randomness or knowing the future is a very limited sphere. The universe will only allow so much knowledge of possible events or future events based on your ability to understand the levels of influence you have which in reality isn't very much. So in reality, if anyone offering you a glimpse of what the future holds would be a charlatan or a God. Because only God would know every instance of every point of every permutation of everything everywhere at the same time and where they will go and what they will do. That's why the future is dark and unknown because it doesn't exist until time drags you forward into it, but also while you are doing things while you are being dragged forward.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't know. If I were going to die in the near future, say 6 months or so....I would want to know so that I can make some arrangements. Get things in order. People tend to put off those types of actions and thoughts because we just don't want to think about it.

Contact my family and visit with them. Make visits with people I care about. Give away my possessions to those who may want some of the family heirlooms. Collectibles to people I know would appreciate. Sell, donate or transfer assets. Do some fun things I've been putting off. If there were time. Take that trip to ...wherever. Maybe even apologize to those who I think I may have wronged. Maybe :-) Make peace with my life.

If I were going to die tomorrow...I'd rather know. No time to do anything

Other than dying, I wouldn't want to know my fate because it is more comforting to think that we may have some control over our futures. The idea that it is predetermined and all our choices, all our wriggling and maneuvering are for nothing is just too depressing.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Re: dying tomorrow ...rather NOT know.

MamaM said...

That's why the future is dark and unknown because it doesn't exist until time drags you forward into it, but also while you are doing things while you are being dragged forward.

Gads, Methadras, I sort of want to know this and I don't. I also sort of get it and I don't, However, it's comments like this that make reading here a worthwhile if not puzzling experience.

AllenS said...

What if you opened your Chinese fortune cookie, and it said: YOU HAVE 3 HOURS TO LIVE? I'd think: "Damn, just about when I was getting hungry again, I'll be dead!"

ricpic said...

When I was very young I remember an uncle of mine saying on his 35th birthday, "Halfway there." At least he had a future.

edutcher said...

Methadras said...

This brings up an interesting philosophical question of randomness. Humans believe that there is a randomness to the universe and specifically their lives.

Well, some do.

Lem said...

AllenS.

ampersand said...

My Grandfather told my Grandmother that if she felt like death was coming on don't leave
anything to anyone. When she felt the end was near she took an ax and destroyed almost everything except one of each, One chair, one dish one glass,etc. She ended up living another 30 years.

rcommal said...

Well, that's horse already out of the corral. Thanks be to God, Jesus, my parents and my mom's siblings, my grandparents on both sides, & etc., and also all of my husband's grandparents (he had four sets; I myself had only two)and for all of that jazz+truth.

rcommal said...

... "a" horse ...

rcommal said...

I remember, back in the day, how much I admired Darcy, for example, for attending CPAC.

Just, what: too much of a 1/2 decade later? Now CPAC is for shit, too. Well.

rcommal said...

I mean: This is the way in which too many of you are trying to restart the clock, and by that I mean you are trying to revise [relatively] recent "history."

rcommal said...

TBC*: There's both straight-out admiration for Darcy, for just one of several examples, in those above-posts of mine, and also quite bit of cynical sarcasm directed elsewhere.

rcommal said...

*Hey, @DBQ + @AllenS:

Am I stating plain enough yet? I get that I am tedious. Still, perhaps you can help me correct that great failing of mine by answering the following question:

Am I stating plain enough?

rcommal said...

Also, oh by the way, and let me state this plain:

WTF? As if we didn't all see, and read, tremendous amounts of "not stating it plain yet trying to make shit clear" from the likes of, for example [and no less than], "Trooperyork" himself. Yeah, sure, also Althouse, but Trooper himself was way more vicious, from early times, way more enigmatic, way more in-group, way more "not-stating-it-plain," than ever I was. Troop's like Ann; Ann's like Troop: Too bad about all those "other" people.

rcommal said...

What breath-taking dishonesty, and I thank you all so very much for the enlightenment.

AllenS said...

What you be talking about rcommal?

rcommal said...

What you be not understanding, AllenS?

Steg said...

Some people who make web comics had a writing contest about this some years ago, and they sorted through all entries and published the best in a collection of short stories. I bought it when it came out, it is a fun book. Apparently there is a new volume out, too!

https://www.topatoco.com/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=TO&Product_Code=MOD-MACHINEOFDEATH&Category_Code=ALLBOOKS

"The machine had been invented a few years ago: a machine that could tell, from just a sample of your blood, how you were going to die. It didn’t give you the date and it didn’t give you specifics. It just spat out a sliver of paper upon which were printed, in careful block letters, the words DROWNED or CANCER or OLD AGE or CHOKED ON A HANDFUL OF POPCORN. It let people know how they were going to die.

The problem with the machine is that nobody really knew how it worked, which wouldn’t actually have been that much of a problem if the machine worked as well as we wished it would. But the machine was frustratingly vague in its predictions: dark, and seemingly delighting in the ambiguities of language. OLD AGE, it had already turned out, could mean either dying of natural causes, or shot by a bedridden man in a botched home invasion. The machine captured that old-world sense of irony in death — you can know how it’s going to happen, but you’ll still be surprised when it does."

Trooper York said...

Meataphors just don't work for vegans.

Trooper York said...

I am not worried about the future. I prefer the past.

It was a lot better.

MamaM said...

breath-taking dishonesty,

To my way of thinking, cliquishness, obsessions, resentments, ruminations and veiled outrage can be as as unsettling if not as breath-taking as dishonesty. And when coded language is applied on top of any of these, it creates the impression that some sort of game with unclear rules is being played which adds another layer of confusion.

Today's reading from "Fierce Conversations" by S. Scott brought this quote/vignette from another book, "The Fifth Disciple Fieldbook":

Among the tribes of northern Natal in South Africa, the most common greeting, equivalent to "hello" in English, is the expression: "sawa bona". It literally means, "I see you". If you are a member of the tribe, you might reply by saying "sikhona" or "I am here". The order of the exchange is important: until you see me, I do not exist. It's as if when you see me, you bring me into existence.

Which made me wonder if that form of exchange is also at the heart of blog commenting, in addition to affirming our overall humanity by providing opportunities to think and feel the same, more or differently and express those responses.

Here at Lem's Levity, where a variety of players bring what they have gathered from the past to to the table in a primarily present day setting, such a connection is appreciated, at least by me. The last paragraph of Steg's description, is just plain fun as the problem with the machine, that no one really knew how it worked, is the problem with life, which also wouldn't be so much of a problem if it worked as well as we wished it would.

rcommal said...

I am not worried about the future. I prefer the past.

It was a lot better.


Spoken as a man who does not have a 16-year-old son whom we are trying to raise as best as we can, given "current currents," among which noxious currents you are.