Topics: Stanford prison experiment, 2004 singles, Test method Pages: 1 (353 words) Published: December 11, 2012
When my telephone rings, I do the experiment of answering it: sometimes its a hot girl; sometimes it is a telemarketer. Even if we know which is more likely, we never know for sure. I called a girl last night and she immediately exclaimed "we were just talking about you!"; we are quite surprised when the measurement of picking up the phone has even the slightest predictability, such as being the person about whom we were just speaking. Picking up the phone is quite an interesting experiment to do.

On the other hand, there are also much less interesting experiments: we basically know how they are going to turn out. When I turn the key in my car, it starts. I have a well-maintained car and a great mechanic so it doesn't surprise me when my car starts. It isn't interesting enough to even enter into a discussion with another person when making plans with them: I don't say "I'll be there at 8pm, as long as my car starts"; I take it completely for granted. Starting my car is not a very interesting thing to do.

Further we rely on our ability to predict the difference between interesting and un-interesting experiments. In particular, we rely on most of our day consisting of rather un-interesting experiments, such a taking a step, consulting our pay-stub, or greeting a friend. If all of these events were suddenly to be come interesting, we would be in trouble. What if it was a coin-flip whether my car starts, the floor is there, my paycheck comes, or my old friend recognizes me? Life would be unlivable. We are careful to know when an interesting experiment is coming: we put our attention on it, we plan for the various eventualities, it punctuates the otherwise more predictable parts of our life.

While we may consider some things in life to be predictable or known and others random, there is in fact no fundamental separation. Each moment is an experiment. Is there a way to measure which experiments are more interesting and which are less?
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