03 November 2005

"Odds Are One" 2ndAmericano Style

As I've suggested in the past, I know that Paul's not just talking about statistics, or math, or programming when he's talking about...well, statistics or math or programming. After some political theory reading this morning, I'm better able to specify that intuition. Here's what I read:
‘in our personal lives [as in human history] our worst fears and best hopes will never adequately prepare us for what actually happens—because the moment even a foreseen event takes place, everything changes, and we can never be prepared for the inexhaustible literalness of this "everything"’ (Arendt 1994). Her point is that when an event passes from possibility to actuality—regardless of how probable or improbable we may have taken it to be while it was still only a possibility—something changes in a different register; namely, the register in which happenings are not only caused states of affairs but also meaningful events, features of a world, and, in particular, occasions for response.

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