An Essay In Favour of Implausible Events

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Ever felt that there should be a greater embrace of the absurd in life? Ever found yourself thinking this was a decent plan, only to be repelled by the fact that the actual absurdist movements of the last 100 years (notably Surrealism, Dadaism, and even (to some extent) Absurdism itself are enrobed in political clothing?

These things normally start with a Manifesto. But if one is attempting to disavow political trappings, a manifesto is a bad place to start. Also, it does not suit the aesthetic of Wired Cola. Therefore, this thing will start with a Mission Statement:

We Enjoy Implausible Events, and Strive to Create Them

By an "Implausible Event," we mean the unexpected, for whatever reason. It may be a physically unlikely event (miracles, coincidences, low-statistical-probability occurrences in well-modeled systems). Or a socially unlikely event (a flaming phone book as an entree, a carousel horse race, or a racing series for $500 junk cars). Or an unlikely event of a type I cannot easily imagine (Unknown unknowns, if you will).

We "Enjoy" them in the sense that we wish they happened more often. Rather than give a narrow, inevitably dogmatic explanation of why we enjoy them, we invite those attracted to our Mission Statement to either admit no explanation, or to any number of a multitude of explanations, as is simplest for them.

Existentialists may embrace the idea that they must create their own meaning, and implausible events represent an expansion of available distractions or purposes (whatever).

Christians may embrace implausible events as representative of the fullness of God's creation, and so the rejection of sinless but implausible events amounts to a turning away from the fullness of the joy and love available in His creation.

Buddhists may, well...I guess it's all in Nirvana in the end, right?

Marxists may observe that implausible events represent a structural failure of market capitalism which will inevitably lead to the downfall of the hegemony as it is replaced by the glorious socialist future. That's ok too! But no immanentizing the eschaton, okay?

And you may insert your own theologically credible explanation that favors the implausible here. This sample list is neither exhaustive nor representative, and no rational explanation is considered necessary.

We "Strive to Create" implausible events because by the nature of natural events, implausible natural events are not normal. And by the nature of social structures, implausible social events are those which happen rarely, and since we favor them, we would wish they happened more often. It is poor project management to leave the creation of implausible events to those who do not favour them; We will do it ourselves. Distributed striving for implausibility also offers better chances that more of the unknown unknowns will be imagined and created and known.

This mission statement should not be considered either complete or incomplete. If there must be a closing epigram for you to feel better, then you may have this, which I have come to think of as the axiom against apophenia: "try not to learn too much from this."


"We should be careful to get

"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit on a hot stove lid again and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore."

(generally attributed to Mark Twain)

Excellent. I am sure I have

Excellent. I am sure I have read that quote before, but did not remember it. I sometimes do tell my work colleagues "try not to learn anything from this," when we're facing an anomalous problem.

What's the latest update on

What's the latest update on this? Been a while since this was posted, wondered if there were any new developments.


As people, we are programmed

As people, we are programmed to not only be spontaneous at times, but even better, we are driven to create, to progress and to spread our knowledge to others. It's the reason why you wrote this blog and why I'm running a business that teaches CPR training to any interested individual.