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What are the odds?

rated 4.47 / 5 stars
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Dec 14, 2012 | 6:07 PM EST
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Author Comments

Update: I made this when I was fifteen. Settle down.

circa 2012:

BEFORE YOU LEAVE A REVIEW, take this with a grain of salt- many of the "facts" here are purely theoretical and unquantifiable, as is the exact odds of your existence. This animation was created to entertain, and lots of my research has been simplified to reach a greater audience (not to say it isn't accurate, however, it's all as accurate as I could ever get). So don't get all science-y on me, I'm not a professional science-y guy. I just googled some data and multiplied it all together for your amusement. ~Enjoy!

Originally created for NATA 2012, which I ended up winning. Rad!

So this one's actually been finished for a while now, but I didn't have the chance to upload it because of some video file conversion issues, which were resolved by my good pal Ricepirate (thanks!) It's way different than anything else I've ever done, but I think you'll enjoy it anyway :)

So a quick word on the tournament this was for-
I had 25 days to make this, so naturally I saved pretty much all of it for the last week or so. Then a series of increasingly misfortunate things happened, such as my graphics tablet breaking, not being able to find my files, and accidentally overwriting half of my movie seven hours before the deadline. Somehow I managed to pull all the pieces back together, and as luck would have it, I came in first place for the round. My direct opponent for that round, Slackman, came in a close second, which means if I had gotten any lower than first, I would have lost before the semi-finals.

What are the odds?



Rated 2 / 5 stars

This is really artfully, professionally put together nonsense. Aside from the fact that the numbers you use seem to bear no resemblance to reality, the video doesn't really seem to grasp exactly what probability is and what its used for.

To take it to its logical extreme, a bacteria in my stomach is one of uncountable in the world. For it to have existed, by your reasoning I would have had to existed (so we start with that ridiculously small probability from the end of your video), and then all the generations of bacteria that have existed in my stomach to produce it would have had to work out exactly the same way (an astoundingly unlikely event by the way you calculate things). So that individual bacteria both more unique and luckier than I am. But bacteria are not unique, special or lucky; they are commonplace and banal, and far more common than humans, with far less distinguishing marks. Tracing a specific chain of events to lead up to an individual bacteria gives undue importance to vagaries of chance, and conceals the fact that innumerably other paths would have led to very nearly the same situation: me and my bacteria-filled gullet.


Rated 2 / 5 stars

What are the odds for the author of this video to source from books other then religious ones? ;]
they are 1 times [all books avalialbe in the world in every language], therefore spaghetti monster exists.

Nice animation though.

Emrox responds:

I did read one super-preachy book that I had to draw a few facts from which you can find in the sources. The rest was gathered from a variety of websites.


Rated 2 / 5 stars

I do recall seeing this done as a flowchart some time long before this.


Rated 2 / 5 stars

I tend to be a pessimistic person, so these types of videos typically annoy me. The graphics are good, the animation is smooth, but I felt myself annoyed by the typography used and the voices which seemed unnaturally preened. Additionally, the music and visual interfaced seemed a little -too- simple for my liking. The animation seemed to have a very condescending tone to it. I'm sure this wasn't intentional, but that kind of oversimplification really creeps me out for some reason.

But most of all what annoyed me is the whole idea of 'luckiness'. I mean, the universe is 16 billion years old, and only in the most recent 2 billion years has this planet supported life. Sure, this planet is lucky to be in the position it's in, but it's taken 14 billion years of unsuccessful 'coin flips' before it finally arrived here in time.

Second, time itself is only a perception. So while it may have taken 14 billion years for life to form, during that time there was no conscious being capable of observing the lack of life in the majority of the planets. Our ability to observe these facts comes out of a highly improbable outcome that is only possible through a complex life cycle that must be sustainable long enough for a self-aware species to evolve. Basically what I'm saying is that if there's nobody around to observe the fact that they don't exist, is it really improbable for us to be alive?

Finally, if time is infinite, then it doesn't matter how improbable any given situation is. Perhaps the history of the universe only has one chance in a googolplex of ending up the way it is, but let's do some simple mathematics here... Even if the denominator (the chance of us existing) is extremely high, if time is infinite, than the numerator of this equation is infinity, meaning that every possible outcome of the universe will happen an infinite number of times. This is basically how Owlman from the Marvel universe explains Earth Prime, only Owlman suggests that alternate universes are parallel to one another while I am suggesting alternate realities are separated only by time.

Emrox responds:

Whoa, that's even deeper than I'm willing to get with this stuff. I'm not sure if I can debate any of that, so I'll just give you an A for the day.


Rated 2 / 5 stars

Your math is fairly flawed. Sorry. The odds of the viewer being there are 100% because anyone who watches the video exists. Sorry!

Emrox responds:

Apology accepted, friend!