Friday, June 24, 2022




Rudyard Kipling - 1865-1936

If you can keep your head when all about you
   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
   But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
   Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
   And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
   If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
   And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
   Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
   And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
   And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
   And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
   To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
   Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
   Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
   If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—
   Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Friday, June 10, 2022

Pascal's Wager and Mine

From online material from the Encyclopedia Britannica:

"Pascal's wager, practical argument for belief in God formulated by French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal. In his Pensées (1657-58), Pascal applied elements of game theory to show that belief in the Christian religion is rational. He argued that people can choose to believe in God or can choose to not believe in God, and that God either exists or he does not."  

Pascal goes on to argue that the benefits of the belief outweigh the disadvantages, whether or not God exists, so one should believe.

My wager is similar:

If there is a Heaven, then my precious Tina will be there, and perhaps I will be able to join her. That's Possibility One.

Perhaps there is no Heaven, or even if there is, I may be rejected. Either way, I will not be reunited with her. That's Possibility Two.

Each has some probability of being true, though we don't know what it is. 

The probabilities times the rewards are the expected values.

I don't choose to believe because that is the only way I might be saved, however, I simply choose to believe that there are these two possibilities, and I hope the good one will occur.

This resembles quantum mechanics, where only the act of doing (e.g., measuring) brings the hidden state into being.

I'll know. Someday.