Time Branching

What if every decision you ever made wasn’t a decision at all.

The literal Latin word origin of “decide” is “to cut off.” This appeals to me because when I make a decision, I get the sense that I’m cutting off an alternate future. This gives me a feeling of regret. Some of it is just the settling of opportunity cost into my mental model of the decision, but there seems to be some deeper emotion about deciding that is a challenge for me.

Space just sort of sits there. You can navigate around in it. Time moves through us, or so we think. Imagine if time really works more like space. When you choose the road less traveled in a literal sense, the more traveled road doesn’t just go away. It’s still there. I like to think of time in the same way. Each decision is just a branching of my experience. One version of me went to this college; the other went to that college.

What’s the point, you might ask? There’s just something sad about having to live with just one experience, each choice you make whittling you down to a tiny future point when nothing is left. If you can imagine that other versions of you were able to experience all you had to forego, it lessens the sting of buyer’s remorse that comes with each decision.

It also makes the world seem more interesting and at peace to me.

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