Welcome to my first blog post. I thought it auspicious to start on this date because it is 02–21–2021 — the same four numbers assembled in a different order.

Just kidding!

I started today just because I have been putting this off for almost two months now. I was supposed to start writing on the first of January as a New Year’s resolution, but those things rarely pan out.

That’s the thing though, isn’t it? We’re always looking for a sign or waiting for the best timing or trying to find meaning in our actions. There is a bigger plan for us all. Or… I am meant to play a specific role in this world. Or… This will all make sense in the end.

The truth is: We create meaning for our lives. We MANUFACTURE meaning. If I started this blog yesterday, I can probably rationalise it as 20 being a nice round number falling on a Saturday which is also the number that’s the first half of this century and the birthday of Kurt Cobain!

See what I mean? It’s easy to find connections where there’s none, especially with the Internet at hand.

Our actions can just be meaningless and random. And that’s totally fine. There doesn’t have to be an Easter Egg or a clever underlying motivation or a subconscious force behind what we do. Life is not a big game of Clue. And that’s okay.

A few days ago I was watching “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” on Netflix. The tragic case of Elisa Lam which captured the imagination of web sleuths everywhere finally provided closure for curious minds.

The assumptions these web sleuths dreamt up were the stuff of detective novels. From a clever tuberculosis outbreak conspiracy theory to a goth Mexican musician, the web-spinning tales took on a life of their own.

Spoiler alert: In the end, the tragic and untimely demise of Elisa Lam was attributed to under-medication which made her succumb to a psychotic break.

Occam’s razor: The simplest explanation is usually the right one. Sure, the producers of that mini-series also milked the story for all it was worth, but I suppose that’s the point.

There are too many variables and red herrings that can warp certain stories. Maybe we just wanted an interesting and mysterious case for Elisa Lam. We may be projecting our need for meaning in our own lives. Perhaps we just needed answers.

Closure.

We got that for the Elisa Lam story, at least. Although the answer may not be as interesting or the stuff of conspiracy theories, we now know more about the person behind the viral elevator video.

In research, instructors would always remind students that correlation does not equate to causation. There are intervening variables at play. It could just be a coincidence that you and your partner have the same birthday or that it rains when you’re wearing white shoes.

Don’t get me wrong, webs sleuths are not always wildly off-base (See: Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer). But if you ever find yourself neck-deep in conspiracy theories or creating narratives based on assumptions, perhaps it’s time for some introspection.

Disclaimer: I am not associated with Netflix in any way, nor is this a sponsored post. I’m just another random subscriber keeping boredom at bay one Netflix show at a time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s