And, in this case, science could learn an important lesson from the literati who love contingency for the same basic reason that scientists tend to regard the theme with suspicion. Because, in contingency lies the power of each person, to make a difference in an unconstrained world bristling with possibilities, and nudgeable by the smallest of unpredictable inputs into markedly different channels spelling either vast improvement or potential disaster.
“Is this the conduct of a ‘sly and unpredictable villain’?” “Decidedly so, if the villain, for the purposes of his joke, thinks to simulate the altruist.” “Then how will you know villain from altruist?” Cugel shrugged. “It is not an important distinction.”jack vance
I never aim to be unpredictable.
The person I enjoyed interviewing the most was Elmo from Sesame Street because he is so unpredictable and he is always eating my hair and my face.katie couric
The word "essay" means to try out, test, probe. In the essay style, successive clauses and sentences are not produced by an overarching logic, but by association; the impression that prose gives is that it can go anywhere in a manner wholly unpredictable.stanley fish
Of all the weapons in the Federal Reserve arsenal, words were the the most unpredictable in their consequences.john kenneth galbraith
I know what it is. I know why my other relationships didn't work out, 'cause I'm unpredictable. Why are you afraid of it?ruslana korshunova
I believe C++ instills fear in programmers, fear that the interaction of some details causes unpredictable results. Its unmanageable complexity has spawned more fear-preventing tools than any other language, but the solution should have been to create and use a language that does not overload the whole goddamn human brain with irrelevant details.erik naggum
The effects of technology are always unpredictable. But they are not always inevitable.neil postman
The social sciences are usually concerned with groups of persons rather than individual persons. The behavior of individuals, being free, is unpredictable.carroll quigley
As a philosophical problem, it comes down to a better way to engage with the passage of time; and I think we're getting close to one, because the imaginative loss of the future is becoming acute.The most effective political actors on the planet now are people who want to blow themselves up.These are people who really don't want to get out of the bed in the morning and face another unpredictable day.Bruce Sterling
Form is a theatrical event of a certain length, and the length itself may be unpredictable.christian wolff
If I commit suicide, it will not be to destroy myself but to put myself back together again. Suicide will be for me only one means of violently reconquering myself, of brutally invading my being, of anticipating the unpredictable approaches of God. By suicide, I reintroduce my design in nature, I shall for the first time give things the shape of my will.antonin artaud
At odd and unpredictable times, we cling in fright to the past .Isaac Asimov
It is, I claim, nonsense to say that it does not matter which individual man acted as the nucleus for the change. It is precisely this that makes history unpredictable into the future. The Marxian error is a simple blunder in logical typing, a confusion of individual with class.Gregory Bateson
Organisms [...] are directed and limited by their past. They must remain imperfect in their form and function, and to that extent unpredictable since they are not optimal machines. We cannot know their future with certainty, if only because a myriad of quirky functional shifts lie within the capacity of any feature, however well adapted to a present role.stephen jay gould
Evolving life must experience a vast range of possibilities, based on environmental histories so unpredictable that no realized route - the pathway to consciousness in the form of Homo sapiens or Little Green Men, for example - can be construed as a highway to heaven, but must be viewed as a tortuous track rutted with uncountable obstacles and festooned with innumerable alternative branches. Any reasonably precise repetition of our earthly route on another planet therefore becomes wildly improbable even in a trillion cases.stephen jay gould
In our struggle to understand the history of life, we must learn where to place the boundary between contingent and unpredictable events that occur but once and the more repeatable, lawlike phenomenon that may pervade life's history as generalities.stephen jay gould
Since the value of freedom rests on the opportunities it provides for unforeseen and unpredictable actions, we will rarely know what we lose through a particular restriction of freedom.friedrich hayek
"Both history and contemporary data show that countries prosper more when there are stable and dependable rules, under which people can make investments without having to fear unpredictable new government interventions before these investments can pay off."thomas sowell
We are glorious accidents of an unpredictable process with no drive to complexity, not the expected results of evolutionary principles that yearn to produce a creature capable of understanding the mode of its own necessary construction.
Enterprise Engineering is defined as that body of knowledge, principles, and practices having to do with the analysis, design, implementation and operation of an enterprise. In a continually changing and unpredictable competitive environment, the Enterprise Engineer addresses a fundamental question: “how to design and improve all elements associated with the total enterprise through the use of engineering and analysis methods and tools to more effectively achieve its goals and objectives”...
I believe C++ instills fear in programmers, fear that the interaction of some details causes unpredictable results. Its unmanageable complexity has spawned more fear-preventing tools than any other language, but the solution should have been to create and use a language that does not overload the whole goddamn human brain with irrelevant details.
Mathematicians believed that prediction was just a function of keeping track of things. If you knew enough, you could predict anything… Chaos theory throws it right out the window because in fact there are great categories of phenomena that are inherently unpredictable.
Captain, even if we survive, it is unpredictable when or where the ship will emerge on the other side.
"Form is a theatrical event of a certain length, and the length itself may be unpredictable."