Jeff's Zipper

Does free will exist? Is everything determined? Do I have choices? The current models don't satisfy me.

There are a lot of debates and a lot of theories on this. But, we need a framework that we can use for life.

We are obviously limited, highly limited. We can't do anything we want at any time. We have reflexes, and we don't even have to think about our heart beating. Many things are not within any field that could be considered free will.

But, we do make choices. There are alternatives that we have. I could write or not write, publish or not publish. I could read a book or watch tv. Eat beef tartare or drink raw colostrum.

The further into the future that I think the bigger my choices become. Today I can write or not write an article. This year I can write or not write a book. Today I can work on a pricing strategy for a new business venture. This week I can build a website. This month I can launch the business. The further out in time the more impact my choices can have.

This works the other way as well. As this future open with possibilities collapses into the present moment my options of choice shrink until I have none. Once the time is down to just seconds in the future then the processes to do that action are already underway in my body. Once the time is less than a second then I don't think I can do anything at all to stop it. And once things are in the past then they are forever. Our memories of the past may change, but the past happened the way that it happened. It is locked in the immortal grasp of eternity. What once was, is forever.

Notice that this idea of a future open with possibility that collapses into a tighter and more limited present, which then passes into a past that is locked into place, perfectly aligns with how a zipper works. As I'm pulling the zipper on my coat up it follows this same process: an open future that collapses into the present moment where things are locked in to place and held there.

This framework of time and choice allows me to think about the good and bad values that I've locked into my past, the good and bad values that are being locked into place now, and the good and bad values that I can lock into place or avoid in the future.

Jeff's Zipper is a more useable and better framework for thinking about our choices as we move through time. The possibility of the future collapses into the present and is preserved in the past.


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