The Open Future

Abstract
Consider also what I shall call the asymmetry of openness: the obscure contrast we draw between the ‘open future’ and the ‘fixed past.’ We tend to regard the future as a multitude of alternative possibilities, a ‘garden of forking paths’ in Borges’ phrase, whereas we regard the past as a unique, settled, immutable actuality. These descriptions scarcely wear their meaning on their sleeves, yet do seem to capture some genuine and important difference between past and future. What can it be?
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