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by adam mathes
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Augury

In yet another episode of “Statistics Just Sucks,” today (well, it’ll be yesterday when you read this, but it’s today for me, but the actual day is not important, really) as the few people who actually showed up for class were falling asleep at an example of uniform joint distributions, the professor once again decided to discuss the “dryness” of the material.

Back before the Enlightenment, he explained, chance and probability were tied to superstitious ideas, so when the ideas of chance and probability were formalized into a coherent calculable, dry body of knowledge, instead of say, cutting up animals and examining their entrails, this was a great achievement.

So this dryness and clear computability isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually a great achievement. The class laughed. Sort of.

I immediately thought that learning augury would be a lot more more interesting, and probably of about the same practical value to me.

I could be just like Patera Silk in Gene Wolfe’s Book of the Long Sun.

Then I realized that augur is probably Latin. A third declension neuter noun!

Then I fell asleep.

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