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Posted on Sep 19, 2006 in Writing | 1 comment

Way Back When

Way Back When


Back in the early/mid nineties I first hit on the somewhat entertaining notion that I should write a book. I honestly can’t say what first gave me this notion, but whatever is what was, I still have it now.
My one blog reader will now that that first attempt at a novel was called “Orion’s Belt”. A simple tale of love and death (although I never made it as far as the death part). I only made it about 25000 words in before I gave up, I think I lost where the plot was going or lost belief in the story. Could also be because I was trying to combine the comic sensibilities of Douglas Adams with a Zola-esque darkness in plot. Never going to work. (Although I tried to do exactly the same thing in the book I actually finished!) Funny thing is, reading it back now, there are parts of it that still stand up pretty well (to my biased an untrained eye at least).
In the spirit of the intent to blog stuff that wouldn’t otherwise see the light of day, here is the beginning of Chapter 6 (in which the central character encounters the girl he loves from afar when the hubcap of her car flies off and hits him). Probably not all that original, but I like still it. So there.

( and to continue and previous theme, read Gleicks book on Chaos too )

Many things in life are unpredictable in some way or other. The only thing that I have found that can’t be predicted with any degree of accuracy is the noise you make after you sneeze. And it’s not just me, I’ve seen it happen to other people too. A quite harmless sneeze suddenly turns into an outburst close to a new form of expletive.

It is difficult to find many examples of true randomness. Even with something as sophisticated as a computer randomness can only be achieved by taking a snapshot of a known state. There appear to be reasons for most things and that is why I always look for a reason for everything. The safe waters of unpredictability like weather and heart attacks have recently been muddied by the introduction of the aptly named Chaos theory. I’m sure that scientists would argue that, despite most of the physical world being deterministic in some sense, at a quantum level nothing can ever be predicted. Until the day he died Einstein never believed this and neither do I. Not because I understand it but simply because I believe in order, I believe in reason, I don’t believe in coincidence and above all I don’t believe in God.

Coincidence I’m sure can be proved. There is a well documented theory that states that given the number of people in the world there is statistically a very good chance that somewhere in the world at a given time something quite unbelievably coincidental is happening to someone. A man is walking up to a complete stranger in the street and guessing his phone number. It’s no fluke, it’s just probability. That doesn’t mean that it’s not totally freaky when it happens to you.

1 Comment

  1. Ah, the hubcap incident (ormore properly the wheel-trim incident).

    Justifiably famous…

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