Lockdown Day 69 – 3 June 2020 – Randomness

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What random thought gave rise to thoughts about randomness on a random Tuesday in June 2020?

I am random – like a thunderbolt not hitting the same place twice in a row. Now read the definition of randomness, compliments of Google. Especially #2 – you may say: “I always knew!”

the quality or state of lacking a pattern or principle of organization; unpredictability.
“we accept randomness in our own lives, but we crave logic in art”
oddness or eccentricity.
“we tease her for her complete randomness”

Leonard Cohen – Anthem 

Some quotes about randomness:

“Life cannot be calculated. That’s the big mistake our civilization made. We never accepted that randomness is not a mistake in the equation — it is part of the equation.”
– Jeanette Winterson

“Expose yourself to as much randomness as possible.”
 – Ben Casnocha

“Everything we care about lies somewhere in the middle, where pattern and randomness interlace.”
  – James Gleick

“This is the central illusion in life: that randomness is a risk, that it is a bad thing.”
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“For what are myths if not the imposing of order on phenomena that do not possess order in themselves? And all myths, however they differ from philosophical systems and scientific theories, share this with them, that they negate the principle of randomness in the world.”– Stanislaw Lem


How about a few synonyms for randomness?


Randomness Synonyms, Randomness Antonyms | Thesaurus …www.thesaurus.com › browse › randomness

We Crave Certainty

As humans, we want certainty. I want to know the sun sets tonight in the West and will rise again tomorrow, in the East. I want to look at my watch and if it is low tide between 10h00 and 11h00 (in South Africa) I know it is about Spring tide. Important knowledge for me who love the outdoors.

We need certainty to live. We need certainty to feel secure. Change in most systems are slow enough that we are unaware of the changes. A good example is children growing up. It happens before our eyes. Until one day we realise that they have grown up.

We prefer change to be evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. Sometimes change must be revolutionary. I have a favourite saying: “Nobody does a dog a favour by cutting its tail 1 cm at a time.” Better to get the bad medicine all in one big spoon than two or three or four teaspoons.

In business one of the new terms is “disruptive.” Disruptive companies, when they get it right, has a distinct advantage over competitors. There are several disruptive companies that changed the landscape of their industry and other companies had to follow – quickly.

Learning Organisations

Peter Senge, I wrote about him on day 58 about systems, says that companies who adapt are learning organisations. They are aware of what is going on, they adapt to trends and circumstance.

That is true for humans, too. In the previous century I looked at a few elderly people I knew. Born round 1900. In their lifetime the experienced transition from donkey cars to Fords and Chev’s and jet planes. From smoke messages to radio transmission, to colour TV. From Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone to cellular phones. They had to learn, and I raise my hat to many elderly people who adopted all the changes so easily. I think that is what kept many of them young.

Covid-19 was a huge disruptor. The extent of the disruption we will have to wait to see. There were disruptions before. It is the learning organisations that get out stronger.


The nice thing about change is, that there seems to be an underlying pattern. The topic of Chaos Theory. If we filter out the noise, the most beautiful patterns are distilled. I will not bore you with Chaos Theory. Google it. You, too, may be intrigued.

Then there was Benoit Mandelbrot, mathematician who taught us about fractals. With the right formula we can find the patterns in the chaos. Such as in leaves, trees, mountains and the clouds in the banner photo. That is where my own randomness is leading. Fractals displays the beauty in the chaos.

I will stop my oddness and randomness now. Just remember, in the chaos is the most beautiful patterns, which we do not always see. Shakespeare was right, there is method in the madness. Underlying the chaos and change, there is a pattern – we do not always see it, unless in hindsight.

Google fractals in nature to get an idea of the beauty. Look at the picture below for an idea of the beauty that can come from randomness once we expose the patterns.


Beautiful Picture of Fractal – https://www.pxfuel.com/en/free-photo-jrsqd


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