Venomous Bite

My primary blog

2013-03-03

Dream Equation - Classic Post from The Plainclothes Clown

The following comes from November 9, 2004.

I had a weird dream this morning. I dreamed I was writing an algebraic expression on a blackboard.

This is the expression:

((x * dumb) + smart)
--------------------
        dumb


where x represents the probability of a desired effect occurring through blind luck alone, without human intervention, smart represents the influence on the final probability of human intelligence, and dumb representing the influence of human stupidity on the desired outcome.

This can be simplified to:

(x * dumb)   smart
---------- + -----
   dumb      dumb


In the first part, the dumb above and below the line cancel each other out, leaving just x behind, thus:

    smart
x + -----
    dumb


Now, in an equation, where y represents the final (and greatly desired) outcome, the expression looks like:

        smart
y = x + -----
        dumb


Suddenly, I realised what this equation means. As dumb tends towards infinity, the smart / dumb part of that equation tends towards zero.

What this means is that, no matter how smart you are, against the entire weight of human stupidity none of your smarts are going to make a blind bit of difference.

All you can hope for is that events happen the way you want through sheer blind luck, is all.

QED

I'm calling this Alexander's Theorem.

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"And if we have unearned luck, now to scape the serpent's tongue, we will make amends ere long. Else the Puck a liar call ..."

So speak.