Why I No Longer Make Predictions
I believed I could be protected from what lay ahead as long as I saw what was coming.
I think there’s about an 80 to 90 percent chance that I love you now.
’t complete until I’d done the final calculations to resolve any lingering questions.
I will still be friends with Lisa (i.e., still be on friendly terms with and see her at least twice a month) by the end of 2015: 35 percent.
I will sleep with John: 5 percent.
We will successfully diagnose the cause of Mom's memory loss: 20 percent.
This is not going to happen
Often I was correct in my guesses, but when I wasn’t, the poor performance bothered me little. It was the act of making predictions that I needed. Making a prediction focuses your attention; it says “look here and look out.” That spreadsheet served as road map for the future and a way to equip me for the emergencies ahead.
So, how does one create these emotional estimates?It's really kind of just bullshit,
Angela Chen is a science journalist at The Verge. Her reporting and essays have also been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Paris Review, Aeon Magazine, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian, Hazlitt, Electric Literature, and more. She is on Twitter: @chengela
More by this author
It can be easy to confuse real emotion with the shiny drama enfolding it. Sometimes grand gestures are signs of grand feeling—sometimes they’re not.
Remain forever hungry, or enjoy the tried-and-true? Sometimes, I learned, it’s okay to double down on the life you have.
More in this series
I wanted the most information possible and thought I had nothing to fear. Then my mother began to lose her memory.
It is the act of recording all this data that has helped me step away from identifying so strongly with it.