Saturday, May 15, 2004

intergenerational jeremys

A friend and I are talking about one of her co-workers, who is also named Jeremy:

"Why do you think he does that?"
"Well, you know, he's older."
"No, I didn't know he was older. I thought he was our age."
"No, he's like the same age as my parents."
"Really? And he's named Jeremy?"
"No way! Nobody that old is named Jeremy. Unless they're British."
"Well, he's British."
"He's British? No way!"
"Why do you sound so surprised?"
"Well, what are the chances that he's going to be British? Probably one-quarter of one percent of Madison is British."
"Yeah, but you just said that the only people his age who are named Jeremy are British, so doesn't that make the chances 100%."
"But when I make sweeping generalizations like that, they hardly ever have much predictive value, much less such striking predictive validation!"
"Does that really count as predictive? He's been British this whole time."
"But I didn't know he was British! I was surprised that he was so old and named Jeremy because I presumed he wasn't British!"
"I think I probably told you he was British at some point, and you made subconscious use of that information even if you don't remember me telling you."
"Don't even try to take my predictive victory from me!"

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