Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sexy Alien Ryan Gosling (Me, Annotated)

A little under a year ago -- last July -- Daniella Robin did a post about...

well, about something but I can't remember what it was about, as this link no longer leads to that post, so if you were thinking somehow things on the Internet were forever, well, they're not, except for that one photo of you at the afterparty.  That will NEVER go away.

Anyway, I have gathered that the post maybe had something to do with her writing a story, maybe, as judging from the comment I left there, which was this:


I heard this podcast thing where a scientist misunderstood the nature of infinity and said that in an infinite universe it becomes finitely likely that every single combination of atoms that CAN occur, HAS occurred, which means that in our own universe -- not even an alternate reality! -- there is (supposedly) a version of you that has already written that story, and in fact there is a version of you that wrote that story, got it published, had it optioned by George Clooney's production company, got it made into a movie, it won an Oscar, redefining along the way the very act of writing/moviemaking/Oscar winning, then STARTED A CIVIL WAR AMONG PEOPLE WHO LIKED/DIDN'T LIKE THE MOVIE, with that civil war being fought by four-armed men wielding lasers while riding dragons, and all the four-armed men looked like Ryan Gosling while all the women were bustier versions of Xena, and ultimately the civil war was won by the people who liked your story, resulting in you winning the First Inaugural Decimation Of Civilization Award For Writers, which is quite an honor.

In short: take the day off.

Also: I think that aptly demonstrates how "random" doesn't equal "probable" or even "possible." But scientists are prone to being dumb, because science is HARD.


The real point of that comment was that obviously, at the time, I was (and still am now, re-reading it) that a scientist confused possible with probable or likely or actually, and the absurdity of that scientist's position (infinite possibilities means infinite things-that-have-already-happened) is demonstrated by the example given.

If there's one thing that ticks me off, it's people misunderstanding stuff like that.  And people making a left turn in front of me.  But mostly misunderstanding (and then misstating for the general public) things like the way infinite possibility actually plays out in a universe with, you know, laws of physics and stuff like that.

4 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

Well, you know, when you see how Val Kilmer turned out, you can have hope in that Gosling thing.

The real problem is that the average scientist is of average intelligence. We tend to want to think of scientists as smarter than everyone else, but that's not really true. Just like with doctors. There's no bar of intelligence those people have to meet to get to be those things. Though maybe there should be?

Robin said...

Once again, I am going to post a comment that doesn't really have anything to do with what you posted... except that it made me think of THIS.

Have you ever read the book ONE by Richard Bach? It was a long time ago that I read it, but I am fairly certain that it was that book (as opposed to another one of his books) that explored the idea multiple realities all exist at the same time. And that in another time stream, thread, parallel universe (whatever you want to call it), you did take the other option. Many alternate versions of you are out there and they chose differently than you did when they hit those big forks in the road. And how interesting/cool is that?

As for the actual post... I hate when anyone turns in front of me and doesn't use a turn signal. Especially on SUPER BUSY roads. I tend to not use my own turn signal riding around my subdivision. Come to think of it... almost never turning into my driveway. Of course, there usually isn't anyone in front of or behind me. Well, once there was a few weeks ago. And that guy honked his horn at me. I guess he isn't a fan of turning either.

Liz A. said...

Ah, Robin, don't get me started on the alternative universe thing. Not that I don't think it's possible. I do. It's just that if there's a universe where I made that other decision, it kind of negates the power of the decision I made here. And that bugs me for some undefinable reason.

Right, so I was going to say something, but now I've forgotten what it was...

Joy Pagel said...

Andrew:

That's what I always have to remind myself about doctors.

Robin, Liz: First off, I have an ongoing debate with Sweetie about when a blinker is necessary; I say "only when there's some question about what you might do," and so i don't use it if I'm in the left turn lane.

Secondly, blinker or not, I get mad when people turn in front of me. I like to think that's part of my charm.

Third: the alternate universe: Liz, it wouldn't negate your choice because Alternate-Liz isn't you, anymore than if you had an identical twin that made many (but not all) of the same choices you did growing up.

Finally, I did read "One" but it was more than 20 years ago and I barely remember it.