27 August 2005

Once every 15 billion years


It must have occurred to others too that any particular configuration of clouds that one notices in the sky has never existed before and that the configuration will quickly change, especially on a windy day, and will never exist again1.

So what profound philosophical implications might this revelation have? I haven't the slightest idea.


1. The total number of possible distinct configurations of clouds there can be would be an enormous number if it could be meaningfully calculated. Consequently, assuming that cloud patterns develop more or less randomly, the probability of any one of them forming twice during the lifespan of our universe must be nil for all practical purposes.

1 comment:

deniz bevan said...

I'm not sure what implications there are for me, but I'm reminded of a Charlie Brown strip where Lucy, Linus and Charlie Brown are lying in the grass looking at clouds. Linus says one formation reminds him of Steven being stoned in the Bible, another reminds him of British Honduras, and another reminds him of the sculptor Thomas Ekins. Then Lucy asks Charlie Brown what he sees, and he says, "I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind."