Wednesday, August 29, 2012

XKCD Solves Your "Forever Alone" Woes With Math!

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 2:30 PM

If you dig science, you're likely already familiar with XKCD, the witty, physics-and-language filled webcomic. Now the comic's creator, Randall Munroe, has taken to answering hypothetical questions with physics and philosophy once a week, with topics ranging so far from "What if a glass of water was, all of a sudden, literally half-empty?" to "How much Force power can Yoda generate?"

This week's question: "What if everyone actually had only one soul mate, a random person somewhere in the world?"

A sample of the response:

"We’ll assume your soul mate is set at birth. You know nothing about who or where they are, but—as in the romantic cliché—you’ll recognize each other the moment your eyes meet.

The odds of running into your soul mate are incredibly small. The number of strangers we make eye contact with each day is hard to estimate. It can vary from almost none (shut-ins or people in small towns) to many thousands (a police officer in Times Square). Let’s suppose you lock eyes with an average of a few dozen new strangers each day. (I’m pretty introverted, so for me that’s definitely a generous estimate.) If 10 percent of them are close to your age, that’s around 50,000 people in a lifetime. Given that you have 500,000,000 potential soul mates, it means you’ll only find true love in one lifetime out of ten thousand."

From there it goes into a number of ways that society could potentially solve the issue of love-at-first-sight soul mates, proposing a ChatRoulette type solution, while hypothesizing that high-eye-traffic jobs such as a cashier would take greater prominence within society.

It's fascinating — give it a read, if only for the tie-in to the great Tim Minchin song "If I Didn't Have You" seen above.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Burlesque Fitness

Burlesque Fitness @ Floor Polish

Mondays, Wednesdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Sonoran Spring Gala

Let the Tohono Chul gardens charm you with fantastic fare by the Garden Bistro, refreshing libations, live… More

@ Tohono Chul Park Sun., March 26, 4-7 p.m. 7366 N. Paseo del Norte.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. "Martha McSally Is Not Answering" (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. In the Flesh: The Blind Suns, The Mission Creeps and Louise Le Hir at Sky Bar. (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Does This Mean We Can Call It McSallyCare Now? (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Cannabis Bowl 2017: Get Your Vote On, MMJ Folks (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. No Healthcare Vote Today After All (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation