“You May Ask Yourself, Well, How Did I Get Here?” – Talking Heads
Wikipedia serves up a fascinating perspective on hindsight:
“Hindsight bias is the inclination to see events that have occurred as being more predictable than they were before they took place.”
It’s natural to want to explain why events occurred the way that they have; and it’s understandable that, if one believes hindsight is 20-20, that one would have a bias for believing in a high degree of predictability. What hindsight bias suggests is that some humans believe in a world that is almost mechanical in its “cause and effect” nature.
Yet, events are most often more complex than simple, “If A, then B. If B, then C, etc. In the words of the Talking Heads:
“And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself-Well…How did I get here?”
So, this weekend, ask yourself: “How did I get here” and see whether or not your answers are satisfactory. Examine the ways that you analyze the ability of the past, after it’s already happened, to predict a certain future.