WWW Makes the Improbable Normal

Cops, emergency room doctors, and insurance actuarists all know it. They realize how many crazy impossible things happen all the time. 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. 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.


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. The internet is like a lens which focuses the extraordinary into a beam, and that beam has become our illumination. It compresses the unlikely into a small viewable band of everyday-ness. 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.


YouTube and other videos capture the many unusual occurrences happening all over the world out of sheer statistical probability, making them seem average.

Folksonomies: new media normality

/society/work/unemployment (0.577316)
/science/physics/optics (0.575650)
/technology and computing/hardware/computer (0.565632)

Improbable Normal YouTube (0.901223 (negative:-0.683240)), sheer statistical probability (0.787217 (negative:-0.683240)), crazy impossible things (0.758878 (negative:-0.680790)), emergency room doctors (0.733351 (negative:-0.358684)), new impossible thing (0.694553 (positive:0.754617)), huge man-size shark (0.679963 (neutral:0.000000)), small viewable band (0.638015 (negative:-0.361980)), unusual occurrences (0.484173 (negative:-0.683240)), improbable event (0.477902 (positive:0.754617)), unlikely events (0.468747 (negative:-0.309546)), insurance actuarists (0.443556 (neutral:0.000000)), backyard dock (0.432954 (neutral:0.000000)), extraordinary events (0.430907 (positive:0.754617)), wild antelope (0.429231 (positive:0.287211)), truck driver (0.416617 (negative:-0.510666)), friend (0.219069 (neutral:0.000000)), beam (0.217653 (positive:0.671167))

YouTube:Company (0.870394 (negative:-0.683240))

Internet (0.915632): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
2005 albums (0.799753): dbpedia
World Wide Web (0.709997): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Truck (0.674379): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Probability theory (0.656740): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
The Extraordinary (0.644805): dbpedia | freebase
Thing (0.640885): dbpedia
Emergency department (0.626554): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago

 The Improbable is the New Normal
Electronic/World Wide Web>Blog:  Kelly, Kevin (7 January 2013 ), The Improbable is the New Normal, Retrieved on 2013-06-11
  • Source Material [www.kk.org]
  • Folksonomies: new media


    01 JAN 2010

     Future Shock: Truths About the Future

    A schema for keeping track of future trends: Free is the new model for media, artists must adapt to survive tidal wave of freely produced amateur works. American Minorities will soon be the majorities, but they are still underprivileged. This is bad for the future of this country. Student Loan debt is the next economic bubble. It will reduce the market value of education. Global Warming is getting worse, but it is unstoppable through legislation. Only catastrophe will stop it. Things posted ...