Random(n) Musings

March 15th, 2015, 7pm

This morning I’ve meditated on randomness. Not about random things, but the act of randomness itself.

It’s a topic worth meditating and dwelling about just as much as kindness and compassion are. Not long ago, I was thinking about the possibility of moving to a new city, and it took me a long while to realise that the most essential criteria, above everything else, more than looks, hype or bang for buck that would be possible in any given place, — the absolutely essential factor was to be somewhere capable of generating genuine, raw and unbiased randomness.

You know, the kind of randomness that takes you from bending down to tie your shoe in Berlin and before you know it, you’re helping out a local farm raise mushrooms in an Iranian village.

But this is a problem! In science, the Hidden Variables Interpretation tells us the universe is non-random, but the underlying variables that control it can’t be seen, traced or measured. I’ve always wondered about the line between odds and chance in life and how these events relate to each other; after all, randomness is not the same as unpredictability.

How do we generate randomness on purpose? Even more complicated, how do we make sure we generate it with a purpose?

Here’s what I really like about randomness: to achieve it, you have to simply… accept. Who you are, where you are, and most importantly where you could be at any given moment of time. It takes an acute sense of self-awareness to notice it and to accept that it might bring something good to the table. To look around and play with the little strings that might be hiding those unexpected doors just waiting for someone to walk through them.

To achieve randomness, we have to look and listen, and do so genuinely. To know when to stop and when to move, and when to pull those strings of unpredictability. And if this sounds like a lot of pressure on your average Thursday, don’t worry, it’s really not: we can start by saying hello.

Next up, we’ll be dancing silent tunes with strangers in the subway.

Tanja, Gonçalo, Shu, Porter and 1 more said thanks.

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Ricardo Magalhães

Doing whatever possible to soak up what the world has to offer. I try to give something back. Currently working as a web developer in London, but it's the walking, the getting lost, the words and the photography that keep me best company.

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