Sunday, April 09, 2006

Markov Chain


My mother’s number in the little green window of my mobile. Marty ejects a bitter laugh at my back, lost in his own thoughts. I flip the phone open and raise it to my ear, narrowly missing the out splayed leg of a woman in the next booth.
“Mum?”
Nothing.
“Mum”
I look at the screen: little read handset icon tells me the call has ended, prompts me to return call? I thumb the button, pause, blocking my left ear with a noisy finger…
‘You have reached the voicemail service for Oh… Seven…’
Shit, technofucked, I try again.
‘You have reach…’
One of the filler subjects that I took at university was Statistics – a subject of mind-numbingly boring proportions, and achingly difficult to find relevant for a mind rather more creative bent. One thing stuck however; theory developed by this Russian mathematician called Andrei Markov. As I understand it; any future prediction is only determined by the present variable and is independent of the way in which the present state arose from its predecessors. I never fully understood the mathematical implications of Markov Chains, but on a philosophical level I took it to read that any future we foresee for ourselves depends entirely on the present as we understand it. I didn’t do too well at Statistics.
I order two beers at the bar, still too early to be too busy, and dial the home number, no reply, feeling myself getting more and more pissed off with it all. More and more concerned.
The North West portion of the nearside of the moon is named after Markov – go figure.
“What’s up?” asks Marty when I return to the table with two beers and the phone clenched in the crook of my shoulder, “You look like a boy who’s lost his Mummy in the supermarket.”

Excerpt from 'Markov Chain'

3 comments:

elasticwaistbandlady said...

When I click on your blog I automatically understand the breakdown. 20% of the time I learn something new. 88.8% I disagree with you. 95% of the time I'm impressed with your artistry and prose. 100% of the time I struggle for something clever or at least comprehensive to add in the comments box.

There that wasn't so difficult after all, statistically speaking of course.

Pisces Iscariot said...

Considering the fact that 99.9% of the time you are the only person who feels the urge to comment on the crap that I post here, we can assume that there is hope for the world - something I was beginning to doubt. Thank You.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

Thanks for the thanks but actually I feel compelled to post a comment because I can't keep my opinions to myself. Ahhh, the death of altruism lies within me.