there are no coincidences in toilets

15 09 2012

“The concept of randomness and coincidence will be obsolete when people can finally define a formulation of patterned interaction between all things within the universe.” 

Toba Beta, Betelgeuse Incident

actually coincidences happen all the time.  technically, mathematically, in an open system of overwhelming variables for which it’s impractical to quantify all those variables, coincidences are normal.  we refer to it as randomness, and humans are notoriously bad a misattributing meaning or cause to them.  whilst we can think we’re smart by saying things like Toba did quoted above, that one day we will be able to ‘know everything’, that day isn’t today.

but there’s a multitude of pockets of knowableness (i just invented that word) in the world, relatively closed systems whose variables are knowable and whose behaviour can be predicted to high accuracy.  it’s been a driving force in human evolution to create them everywhere we go and in everything we do.

like plumbing.

when our toilet started gurgling with air bubbles coming out the other night, clearly something was wrong.  one of the first thoughts to cross my mind was “I wonder if the neighbour’s bathroom renovations have anything to do with this?” (we share a common wall & set of plumbing).

the problem got worse, the plumber attended, and after cutting out a foot of 6″ black water plumbing somewhere downstream from our toilets to clear the blockage, he informed me that it was a piece of tile – presumably fallen into the system from the neighbour’s renovations.

there’s are no coincidences, just lots of situations where we don’t have enough information.  and now a bathroom & laundry floor to clean.