Dice Road

In the games that they play, and even without formal knowledge of probability, most people have some notion and expectation of reasonable likelihood. That expectation can be infuriatingly violated by dice. If they recover from their anger and are curious, people can begin to pay attention to how dice behave. The first step is to study dice probability. The next step is to consider Dice Road.

Extending along the timeline of your life into both past and future is an infinite sequence of dice rolls. Within that infinite sequence, whenever you give attention to two rolling dice you become aware of the single roll that is closest to you in time. Of all the dice rolls ever occurring anywhere and for any reason, only one roll enters your own personal Now. The outcome of that roll becomes a signpost on your personal Dice Road. The dice may have been rolled by yourself, or your opponent, or a stranger, or a machine. The dice may be physical or electronic. None of these factors matter. Only the outcome matters. It need not have meaning, or it could have various meanings depending upon the game in which at that moment you happen be involved.

Dice Road is highly personal. Each person builds his own. There are no locations and no dice that are better than others, but you are certainly free to make changes in an attempt to influence the appearance of your own road.

At the material level, each roll of the dice is affected by neither past nor future rolls. The dice themselves have no memory and they do not communicate. By attempting to control the dice roll, some people allegedly can select particular outcomes and shift the probability distribution. More power to them, but their abilities do not alter this discussion. Aside from dice control or irregular dice, all that anyone can rationally know about particular future outcomes emerges from mathematical probability.

If you were to record and analyze a sufficiently large segment of your Dice Road, you would discover that the relative frequencies of your actual outcomes closely match the probabilities of those outcomes. The larger the segment, the closer the match. This is the Law of Large Numbers upon which casinos and insurance companies rely. But rather than many millions of outcomes, only a few thousand outcomes are actually relevant to your personal experience. Within such a small sample, wild divergence from the probability distribution becomes very possible. Within a tiny sample of a few dozen outcomes, complete insanity may reign.

The familiar and rational tools for increasing your awareness of past outcomes along your Dice Road include your memory and material recording techniques. The familiar and rational tool for increasing your awareness of future outcomes is mathematical probability. But you are more than merely rational. You are multifaceted awareness including but also extending beyond your personal here and now. The extent of your awareness in space and time may be unbounded. There are tools that are neither familiar nor rational, and they are useful for extending your awareness in both directions. Your expertise with such tools can be very useful.


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