Hugh Pickens writes writes: "A burglar gets stuck in a chimney, a truck driver in a head on collision is thrown out the front window and lands on his feet, walks away; a wild antelope knocks a man off his bike; a candle at a wedding sets the bride's hair on fire; someone fishing off a backyard dock catches a huge man-size shark. Now Kevin Kelly writes that in former times these unlikely events would be private, known only as rumors, stories a friend of a friend told, easily doubted and not really believed but today they are on YouTube, seen by millions. "Every minute a new impossible thing is uploaded to the internet and that improbable event becomes just one of hundreds of extraordinary events that we'll see or hear about today," writes Kelly. "As long as we are online — which is almost all day many days — we are illuminated by this compressed extraordinariness. It is the new normal." But when the improbable dominates the archive to the point that it seems as if the library contains only the impossible, then the "black swans" don't feel as improbable. "To the uninformed, the increased prevalence of improbable events will make it easier to believe in impossible things," concludes Kelly. "A steady diet of coincidences makes it easy to believe they are more than just coincidences.""
Attend or create a Slashdot 20th anniversary party! DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test. ×