Connotation behind “forking possibilites”

"Every time you make a choice, a decision, the reality forks off into a new possibility. " - The OA

What would you imagine under those words?

Does "forking" connote rather

1. with the process of [a path] splitting into two (a world in which a new reality arises whenever you make a decision)?

1. with the state of a path having a junction (a world in which the universe just leads you from a decision to a decision)?

• I don't see a whole lot of difference between Options 1 & 2. Sure, Option 1 is a bit more artistic, but Option 2 looks like an upside-down subset of Option 1. – J.R. Jan 24 '18 at 21:54
• @J.R. The difference is that in the first one, forking means we're talking magical paths that separate as you walk on them. The second one means it's about already given paths, from which we can only choose our favorite one. – Probably Jan 25 '18 at 7:57
• The thing is, when you make a decision, you don't get the full tree. You do not take both forks, only one of them. So neither representation is accurate. Maybe if it said "When you're confronted with a choice." instead of make a choice. What you need is a decision-tine :) Only lightning takes both forks. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 25 '18 at 10:32
• @Probably bifurcation? – Michael Rybkin Jan 28 '18 at 19:58
• @CookieMonster yes! – Probably Jan 28 '18 at 22:08

2 Answers

I would think of A.

A teeny tiny correction:

Every time you make a choice, a decision, reality forks off into a new possibility.

It's about opening up possibilities, rather than choosing a specific path out of pre-determined options. I don't know the series the quote comes from (but I 'know of it' and it's on my list of things to watch...) but from the context given, it means that you were on a "straight line" path (in a limited sense of what you are looking at) but then make a choice and it "branches out" from that path. Like when a new branch forms on a tree from the trunk you had already.

Out of your 2 options it is (A) but with the sense that all those "branches" of the tree don't exist already. They only come to exist when you explore a path by making a choice.

EDIT: I didn't get involved in the philosophical debates about this (in the comments) but do understand them -- but from the specific wording "Forks off into a new possibility" I would take it from context that a 'new' situation is being generated, that is "shooting off" (outwards) from the old one.