I wonder if I have this perceptual shift relative to the larger population.
I was looking at this flash game review: http://playthisthing.com/boomshine
The reviewer himself states that the game just gives the illusion of agency – the illusion you have some control.
In the comments I note that he has no evidence that can prove or disprove that. He just made that up that ‘fact’. Indeed my own hypothesis is that the game demonstrates that when overloaded with information, when given a choice between remaining in A: an uncertain state and B: making up a fact then treating it as true, people will by and large choose B.
While I choose A. Though I have to be careful in the above to say it’s a hypothesis – I have no evidence to prove or disprove it. But let me tell you, it’s hard to make a point about uncertainty whilst remaining uncertain 🙂
I do make hypothesis in the game – like that in corners your more often to get clusters of balls because of the diagonal paths they typically take, or that for large combo’s you can’t use corners, it has to be the middle in order so as to ripple both left and right.
The thing is, these plans accept I’m working the odds – I don’t have direct control, but I can make plans which overlap the odds in a way that favours me more than raw randomness then test those plans by implementing them (over and over, typically).
It’s about then that I realised it was actually possible that other people think agency/the ability to effect things, is binary. As in, you either have it or you don’t.
Further, it occured to me that people might be thinking that they know how much agency they have. Like they actually know it, as if they have a mental ruler they measured it by.
For myself, I know my personal agency is dictated by circumstance – and I really have no true knowledge of circumstance*.
The curiously dangerous thing is, other peoples beliefs beget actions, and their actions are part of my circumstances. When they think they know whether they have agency, while I know circumstance dictates my agency, well…I dunno.
I suppose what happens is that to maintain human equality, you end up talking to them with a respect to their belief that their actions are with full agency, while speaking for yourself from a circumstances dictate agency. Curiously this is a spiral – emboldened by your respect, they will beget more actions which affect your circumstances and your agency, usually reducing it. That, or you give up on maintaining human equality.
Thinking on my own behaviour over time and how it’s changed, I think I’ve given up to a certain extent. Too many people have taken my respect for their belief as the very proof that their belief is real. Here, watch as I take that respect away to show there is no proof – oh, I’m being rude now, and can be dismissed?
I think there needs to be a change, to inform them that I don’t think they know how much agency they have, that circumstances decide their agency. Bit hard to say it in a casual conversation way though.
* note: I have considered how I can’t really prove I don’t know my circumstances. My hypothesis is that by and large you don’t, but there may be what one might call ‘destiny nodes’ where one is wrong about not knowing circumstances and one does actually know circumstances perfectly. However, such moments do not come to fruition if one chooses to believe one doesn’t know the moment – one can disbelieve destiny. One can also believe there is a moment of destiny where there is none. Most people talk and talk and talk about what they think is the way it is, then think that proves something enough to base some further action on that. As I understand it, the only way to know if you are destined at a particular point, is to tread the path.