Everything That Happens Is Both Impossible… And Inevitable

Mathematics, fate, and the mysterious logic of life

Marc Farre
ILLUMINATION

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My future wife, Viviane, in her New York apartment, shortly after we met. Photo © Mark Babushkin

There are more than 50 billion web pages online now. What are the odds of your finding these words and reading them… today? One in 50 billion. Statistically, that’s basically zero.

Maybe you once had a car accident. What were the odds of that unfortunate event’s happening to you, in the specific way and on the specific day that it did? Beyond infinitesimal.

What are the odds of your meeting a certain person — maybe your future life partner — on a certain day in a certain place? Definitely, zero.

And yet… you are reading this essay… you did have that accident… you did meet your partner. We may come to see certain events that have changed the course of our lives as having been inevitable, fated.

Statistically, they were all random events. In retrospect, they now seem strangely logical — like an intense dream.

Do things happen to us, or do we happen to things?

Outside of the things we plan for, and schedule, our days are made up of dozens of mundane events — chance encounters with strangers, virtually all of which are, mathematically speaking, impossible.

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Marc Farre
ILLUMINATION

Writer, recording artist, traveler, faux-polymath. Nothing human is foreign to me. marcfarre.com