A Chance of Rain is Still a Chance
1% or 99% is still a chance. All you need is 1.
I bet even weather professionals don’t ever say that there is 0% chance of rain tomorrow–nor do they say there’s 100% chance. Isn’t that nature of chance? You just don’t know. That’s a good thing.
Is there always a chance? Let’s see, there’s not a chance I’ll live to 412 years old. There’s not a chance my dog will jump over a mountain tomorrow. There’s not a chance tomorrow is the same as today.
Yeah, but that was just one person.
This is becoming my mantra, “Yeah, but that was just one person.” Someone was saying about how slim the chances were, how the statistics just weren’t there for this to work, how they basically weren’t very hopeful. Maybe I’m just an optimist. But more deeply, I’m a realist, I’m a mathematician: all I need is 1 person, all I need is 1 chance, all I need is the knowledge that it’s possible. Hell, I have an entire website called “Repossible,” of course I think anything is possible. But why not?
Sure, hey, go with the flow. 20% chance of rain tomorrow means it probably won’t rain. But it might. You can’t tell me, you can’t prove to me, you can’t even convince me that it won’t. So why believe it? Sure, plan for it–but plan for it to rain, too. Because it might. Why don’t we stop guessing what will happen and just see what happens. If you have some influence on what might happen, do it. Odds aren’t fixed in stone, they can change based on the variables involved. Change the variables and change the odds.
The Statistics of Roulette
My dad and I joke about the people around the roulette table who see what’s been hitting, what the patterns are, what the chances are of their number coming up next. If the table isn’t rigged, I’ll tell you what the chances are of lucky number 7 coming up next time: they’re exactly the same as they were the last round and they’re the same as they’ll be for the next one. In case you’re wondering, it’s 37 to 1 every single time (36 numbers plus the 0 and 00). It’s not more likely that the 7 will drop next time or last time, it’s always the same. In other words, there’s always a chance. Here you can’t influence the odds, but at least you have as much of a chance as the next guy. Remember, all you need is one.
0% chance is only around because it hasn’t happened yet. It will bump up to something above 0% after the first time it happens. “That’s never happened before!” “That is the first time in history!” Before it was a 0% chance, but after the first time, it’s no longer zero, it’s something greater than zero and, back to basic math, anything above zero is a chance and all we need is a chance. Who’s to say that you won’t be the first? “It’s never happened … until now.”
What Do You Know?
There’s a chance we’ll be on time tomorrow for school. That chance isn’t terribly high, I’m sorry to say, but there’s still a chance. I’ll work on influencing the variables as best I can so the chances are even greater, but I know there’s a chance we’ll be on time tomorrow.
I don’t know we’ll be on time, but I know there’s a chance we’ll be on time. A chance is all I need.