In praise of the unpredictable | Profile

If the world were governed solely and exclusively by physical causality and its blind determinism, by the mere facticity of everything, it would be the scene of already foreseen certainties and not also of surprises and miracles. However, and fortunately, the world and the Lives that inhabit it are rather governed by various enchantments that make them almost always unpredictable, the first of which is freedom, not so much an enchantment in itself, but rather the art that inspires them all.

Thus, and in many ways, not being able to predict everything, being almost completely devoid of the possibility of fabricating certainties where doing so would be as insurmountable as it is anguishing monotony, is more a source of happiness than misfortune, since a good part of our joys come from those unpredictable gifts that life hides and lavishes on more occasions than we are capable of appreciating, but not on as many as we deserve.

Not knowing is not a misfortune, just as it is joyful and humble to know that one does not know, which promotes that virtue that is not contrary to despair –hope–, but antagonistic to control, which is the mark and sign of science and technique, which situate themselves more as the cause of the world than as the source of its possible explanation. Thus, in effect, control is rather associated with the rational, with that “cunning of reason” that Hegel proudly spoke of, a reason that aspires to make everything predictable, while the brilliant unpredictability of the world is linked above all else. all with the “cunning of hope” of Ernst Bloch.

At the opposite end of that enchanted and humble look that awaits everything, and in the form of a guarantee of meaning towards the future, science and technology today constituting a planetary empire with a voice and all the votes, but without a face and gaze. and, therefore, despotic like any empire, as prevailing as imperatives, as sure of themselves as insecure of their presumed beneficiaries, who consequently have nothing left but to dominate even the smallest of their existential details.

In this way, science and technology, which should continue to be localized as the world’s hardware, have become its software until they colonize it completely and exhaustively. Now, and happily, life always develops an ethic of resistance in this regard, including the procrastination of what must be procrastinated, ways of existing that flow where one aspires to put dams and not floodgates, swamps and not bridges, fences and wire fences and not fields and open seas.

Life invents creative and innovative subterfuges to emphasize itself against all attempts to pigeonhole, against all confinement, because life is not a border, but destiny, and although none of this redeems it from its fragile and fleeting nature, it does not leave it devoid of of the best that it has and can give of itself, the intense and fruitful, never subject to calculation and forecast, closer to poetry than to the algorithm.

Wanting to predict everything, more than scientific and technical, is a megalomaniac superstition that, after all, ends up throwing us into the horoscope as a reactive form of knowledge, sooner or later, and however paradoxical it may be, and it’s not that planets and stars do not influence our lives in any way –the sunset invites us to sleep–, what is relevant is that science and technology exorcise the miracle to leave us only astronomy where before there was ecstasy.

As Chesterton wisely stated, “the problem is not that men have stopped believing in God, the problem is that they now believe in everything else”, and in science and technology in the first and almost only place.

Children’s laughter is unpredictable; the tides are, but not the sailing trips and the adventures that go with them; We may be able to predict exactly how long a plane ride will take, but only if we’re not in them can we see them fly, and the starlight may be just as predictable, but not how it illuminates the face we love and the faces of those who love us. : none of this is predictable but, in truth, it is the only thing that moves the world and makes it wonderful.

*Professor of Communication Ethics. Graduate School of Communication Universidad Austral.

You may also like