Assignment: Are people’s lives determined by change events or do individuals control their own destinies?
In the novel Gravity’s Rainbow, author Thomas Pynchon once wrote that, “This world is no a schedule so what’s the point of walking in a straight line, eh?” In a rather nonchalant tone, Pynchon is essentially describing how human beings are doomed to coincidences, no matter how careful they live their lives. Even in our most simplistic plans and undertakings, we are ultimately subject to unexpected, chance events that can alter the course of our judgment and destiny. These aspects of fate can be traced throughout 20th century history into fields of science, history, as well as the arts.
One illustration of this notion can be seen in the strange 1995 David Hahn incident, in which Hahn, a 17-year-old adolescent, attempted to construct a nuclear reactor in his parent’s potting shed. Comprising wide knowledge of his subject as well as an idealistic perspective, Hahn set out on his work