The Statistician’s Lament

by abclarke

To a reasonable degree of uncertainty, I am the pinnacle of perfection.

From an evolutionary perspective, from the bacteria to the trees to the fishes to the dinosaurs to the monkeys, when sampled from the whole universe and history of potential candidates, I am (within acceptable error bars) probabilistically the ultimate specimen of life . When viewed over the billions (or is it quadrillions (or is it quadrateintillions?)?) of cell-divisions, I am the best life can offer. Darwin’s champion.

And when I run the odds, amongst the possible matches in the world today, I know the chances that you are the most perfect for me asymptotically approaches zero. The mathematics show me that any person picked at random from any place in the world has a statistically similar or better prospect of being right for me.

All of this I know to be true – the numbers do not lie.

Yet, as I watch you walk away, the pain the perfect-me feels at the loss of the imperfect-you … it does not compute.