Mark Reads ‘The Science of Discworld’: Chapters 33 – 34

In the thirty-third and thirty-fourth chapters of The Science of Discworld, I learn about sample space and selective reporting. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld. 

I don’t think I have any real personal stories to attach to this review because this Roundworld chapter was probably the coolest thing I’ve learned while reading this book. BECAUSE SERIOUSLY, THIS WAS SO COOL. I don’t think I had ever heard of sample space, but the way these lovely writers conveyed the idea helped me understand why coincidences are often not nearly as miraculous as they are presented. And I feel like I learned enough about how people selectively report that I could TRULY EXPLAIN THIS TO ANOTHER PERSON. The bit about shuffling and how it could skew results was such a good demonstrationI LEARNED SOMETHING, EVERYONE.

There is something in this I sort of recognized, and because I’m not sure how else to respond to this text, this is how I’m forcing it into this review. Maybe coincidences are largely the result of a selective sort of observation. I don’t think I’d dispute that. But my friends have this theory that certain people just “attract” coincidences and weird shit, and they say this because they have all witnessed the wildest shit ever happen to me. Like, I’m sure it could be explained away by social psychology. Maybe people find me approachable. Or intimidating. Or just one of those people who they can just talk to about anything or do weird shit to. BECAUSE LET ME TELL YOU: the universe loves throwing me curveballs. Lots of them! I can’t believe how much weird shit happens to me on a regular basis!

I mean, I do gravitate toward large metropolitan areas. So, that would increase my chances of interactions with strange people and situations. Right? And I love taking public transportation, and that exposes me to constant new people, right? I’d like to think that I’m a pretty observant, too, so maybe it’s that I just NOTICE these odd things where other people might not.

Or maybe I need to propose some sort of like… Mark Weirdness Theory. IT’S REAL, definitely science, 100% tested and approved.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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