Tuesday, April 14, 2009


It all began with a casual after-dinner philosophical chat. Ben and I chewed the fat about culture and art and shit like that. The hours wore on and the debate turned inevitably toward Ben's and my favorite topic: the nature of morality.

After a long and deep exchange, we retired to a dénouementic ease of conversation on various miscellaneous matters. Enter stage left the 20-sided die.

The theory goes as follows: at any given time, there are a number of things we want to do and an associated likelihood that we should do any of those things. For example, at 3am in the morning, 8 hours before my job interview, Ben and I might:

  1. Go to sleep
  2. Watch part 2 of the Battlestar Galactica miniseries
  3. Smoke weed and read/write poetry
  4. Go out to a bar and talk with a stranger
These choices represent a spread of probability. There is a 60% chance of doing option 1, a 20% chance of doing option 2, a 10% chance of doing option 3, and a 5% chance of doing option 4 (the remaining 5% is left for "re-roll").

If we randomly selected our course of action, we would make the "responsible" choice most of the time, the "irresponsible" choice some of the time, and the "interesting" choice every now and again.

But left to our own devices, we will not choose randomly. We will never actually elect the most interesting option. We will select from the 80th percentile 100% of the time. This means that we will never experience the "long tail" of life: the unlikely but very interesting choices.

Cue 20-die.
  • 1 = Re-roll
  • 2-13 = Go to bed
  • 14-17 = BSG
  • 18-19 = Weed & poetry
  • 20 = Bar
The poem we wrote together is entitled 18:

My, oh my. Maybe it’s just telling you something that it’s not telling me?! Like a secret??! >:0




these are the bytes that [man, the 20-sided die was so right. Don’t cha think > ] , are [[beep]] being scanned,

[[beep]] being shot out.

[[beep]] being scanned,

[[beep]] being shot out.

and for a moment I believed that you actually said something that you didn’t say.

a spot um it’s really intence to explain the experience of looking at a hand. Bam – fist. It’s really intence.

put some vomit noises into the poem.