Tear in fabric of reality? Try new Iron-On Patches!!

The other day a teenager whom I’m teaching a bit of piano by ear made an observation about probability that I have not been able to shake.

I know that all my old math teachers, my dad, Professor Angus, Professor Erna, Professor Richmond, and all of ’em are sittin’ up there in Heaven shaking their heads at me. But this makes perfect sense and I can’t find anything wrong with it.

We were discussing middle school math (which I have also tutored him in–he’s a neighbor’s kid) and he said, “All this probability stuff is a crock.”

Now, I’ve often suspected the same. I never have fully followed the logic of the “proofs” as to why conditional probability is correct and all that stuff. I did accept that a roll of the six-sided dice is a one-in-six chance, but further than that they went into la-la land with the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

But . . . this makes sense right here:

“I reject all those calculations. Everything’s binary. It either happens, or it doesn’t.” He threw the chord chart to the carpet. “It either landed face up, or it didn’t. Fifty-fifty.”

I blinked.

“You either win the lottery, or you don’t. You either live through the battle, or you don’t. The die rolls a six, or it doesn’t.”

My brain cranked.

“See? I either learn this piece flawlessly, or I don’t. I either eat the cheese, or I don’t. You like me, or you don’t. It’s all just Do It or Don’t. Do, or not do.”

Try as I might, I couldn’t come up with a coherent reply that actually refuted this.

Either you liked my book, or you didn’t. Either we went out on a date, or we didn’t. Either your number came up, or it didn’t.

And on that note, we leave you to your regularly scheduled Saturday night computer gaming.


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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