Sunday, September 24, 2006

Probability Magic

I was at the Montreal Casino yesterday with two friends with $60 in my pocket to play with. I played some blackjack and slots and walked away with a $0.50 profit ($60.50). The best part of going to the Casino is the people watching around the blackjack tables.

As we walked by the slot machines, I commented to my friend that I had another friend who could sense which machine was about to go off (using a skill he called kenning). She rolled her eyes and replied that the machines had no memory (like the old expression "dice have no memory"). "How could you possibly be "reading" it? There's nothing to read in it!"

It was a proper statment and a good question. It's amazing what you can come up with when someone puts a question directly to you, which is why this friend is my girlfriend and why I like volunteering at the MPRC.

"He's not reading the "mind" of the machine," I replied. "He's reading the probability of the machine hitting the jackpot. He's trying to sense which one is likely go to off by sensing which reality is about to fall into place."

It got me thinking about magic and what we're tapping into when we do spells and such (or however you want to call it). If I do a spell asking for a nice weekend for my camping trip (which is next weekend), I don't think that I'm actually controlling the awesome power of the global weather. I'm thinking that I'm trying to influence the natural probability of getting a sunny and warm weekend.

Magic tends to try to find the simplest, most natural path to bring about change, so the results tend to seem more like coincidence rather than miracle. Miracles, by their very nature, tend to go against the natural order of life and the realities of this plane of existence.

** Will complete this train of thought later **


Whaledancer said...

Interesting theory but riddle me this... If you influence the weather here doesn't it therefore have a ripple effect, since we are all part of the Web? A pebble tossed in a lake has far reaching ripples does it not?
Just curious.

T. Scarlet said...

Yes... which is why we recommend that student do not play with the weather. We don't need to cause droughts or tsunamis here or anywhere else.