I had a data nerd moment while reading a novel the other day. I got in an argument with the book. But I think the book started it. It's a frivolous discussion, probably, but sometimes those are the most fun.
What happened? Late in the book, the ghosts invite Patri to their New Year’s eve party. She has to think about it.
Invitations to a magic party with ghosts were obviously going to be very rare. There might be another chance, but for Patri that was beside the point. She was wondering how many such invitations there could be in eternity. That was a different question. Repetition in eternity was not a matter of probabilities, no matter how large the numbers. In eternity, as distinct from “in life” or “outside life,” this party was an absolutely unique occasion.
No, no, NO! I wanted to shout at the book (I was in a restaurant, so I didn’t). In all eternity, this invitation is bound to happen again.
Big data. infinite time -- rare events do happen.
You can read the rest of the post here. Enjoy.