Megan had asked about this, so I’m posting it for general consumption:
I *really* like the outlook this has about how our choices take us closer to our goals, but direct causation never happens. There’s something that feels very right about it. As time goes on, I become more and more sold on the idea that the Newtonian model of causation, while useful for analyzing simple mechanical systems, causes us to grossly oversimplify reality in an effort claim understanding. It’s a complaint I often have about Western science and medicine — it’s too “looking-for-the-single-cause” instead of trying to address how to re-balance a complex system. The bottom line is that too many important things in life are too complex to analyze using a direct-causation model. It’s simply not the right tool, but so many people are so heavily invested it in as, not simply one of many tools, but as the One True Tool for All Situations that they don’t realize how closely their behavior tracks the religious faithful they so often criticize. There’s nothing about the reliability, repeatability, or direct-tracking of real phenomenon about science that will ever make it an adequate single lens for viewing reality. A huge portion of what’s truly important to the human experience will remain permanently outside its ken.