…but god now plays poker with marked deck :))

A long time ago (I don’t remember exactly when), I have a little discussion with Yudi. I also don’t remember exactly what we are discussing, but the conclusion is: god no longer play dice now, but play poker. You might remember Einstein‘s famous comment about Quantum Physics:

“Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the Old One. I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice.” -Letter to Max Born, 1926

Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr in Leiden, December 1925 (Photo taken by Paul Ehrenfest)
To which Niels Bohr, the proponent of Quantum Physics, replies:

“Stop telling God what He must do!”

But then, in the discussion that I even forget what the arguments are, we conclude that god is now playing poker.

Two weeks ago, after several amazing coincidences that baffled me, I conclude that god is now playing poker with marked deck. That’s why god can know what our cards and cheat us rightaway. That’s why god always win, even with satan.

What are the coincidences? One saturday morning, after I finished my code the day before and went partying, I woke up with an annoying hangover, and a text from Abi: “Hey Tri, let’s go to another city,” to which I reply, “Okay, how about going to Rotterdam? I’ll meet you at Centraal Station in half hour.” I then go back to sleep πŸ˜€ and half an hour later go to the bathroom and finally meet Abi 1 hour after the time that I should come (sorry about that, mate! :p). In the station we apparently haven’t decide where do we want to go. Abi want to go to Amsterdam and he said that Rotterdam is not an interesting city (despite what Reiner said about a good photography shop there, which is interesting enough for me) because everything is so modern and boring. I’m still considering the alternatives like Den Haag or Delft, but I then agree to go to Amsterdam rather than following a pointless debate about where do we want to go. In Amsterdam, we take the wrong tram but inside we met: Radja and two of his friends from France (I’m not really sure whether Radja’s french friends also bring french fries, hehehehe…garing banget gw yak). Okay, at this point, you might recall Humphrey Bogart‘s Rick Blaine saying:

“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she had to walk into mine.” –Casablanca, 1942

Ingrid Bergman‘s Ilsa Lund can enter any bars in any town in the whole planet, but she had to walk inside Rick’s otherwise we aren’t going to have a story, right? Me and Abi then decides to go with Radja, Kassia, and Pierre to the Rijksmuseum (we set aside our debate about going to Rotterdam, Den Haag, or Arcam for all we care), we stayed there until the museum is closed and we went to a very nice retro bar, and invite Pauline (which is another of Radja’s friend) to come over. Afterwards more people is joining our group: Pauline has a friend, a Palestinian activist who happened to be having a friend, an Israeli filmmaker. She also has a brother who happened to be stopping in Amsterdam on his to way to Sweden because he got a job there to cut christmas trees. Pauline’s brother is traveling by car with his friend. So all of us, the ten of us, then went into a nice Surinam Bar and do a lot fun things: Me, Abi, Pierre and Kassia are discussing lots of things: Richard Dawkin‘s memetics and its implication to self, Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper‘s view about progress in science, Ludwig WittgensteinLudwig Wittgenstein‘s (strange) conclusion about the limitation of language, and lots of other things. I also went dancing, discussing about the state of astronomy in Israel, the prospect of a career in astronomy which is surprisingly quite similar with a career in filmmaking. In short, I have a hell of a good time there: discussions, drinks, and dancing is always a good mix.

So what’s the point? If I haven’t come late to Centraal Station to meet Abi, we would not have met Radja. If I haven’t agree to go to Amsterdam and insist to go somewhere else, we would not have met Radja. If we’re not stepping into the wrong tram we would not have met Radja (and his two friends). We would not have the best times in Amsterdam.

I don’t like to mistify things, I could come up with several hundreds explanations about chance, probability, and perception, to explain this amazing coincidence, but if I would incorporate god in my explanations, I would agree Einstein but I would disagree with Bohr. I would say, “god plays poker with marked decks. god is a cheater, that’s why god always win!” :))

P.S. The world is full of baffling coincidences. It just happens. Here’s another coincidences:
Adolf Hitler is Ludwig Wittgenstein's schoolmate!

Written by Tri L. Astraatmadja

After living for 10 years in Europe as a Master's student, PhD researcher, and a postdoc, in 2016 Tri L. Astraatmadja moved on to the United States for a second postdoctoral appointment at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington DC. He is now in his third postdoc at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD.

10 comments

  1. Wuiiihhh….tuhan main hakim sendiri! πŸ˜•
    (Tapi paling enggak gw dianggap temen, hehehehe) πŸ˜€

    hmmm…tuhan egaliter yang main hakim sendiri? πŸ˜• apa nih implikasi teologisnya? Hehehehehe…

  2. Yudi is right. God and Devil is the same ‘guy’. I mean, if God or Devil should exist.

    I agree and don’t agree with Max Born. I agree that all of us, not only Einstein, should stop telling what God must do. I do not agree that God is a “He.”

    God, if s/he exists, must be very busy, my question then, what make you think that you are important enough to be one of God’s card in his marked deck. I believe God has something more important to do.

    Historian, mostly discussed what has happened, and then learned about it. While, speculator, try to understand the answer to the big question “what if.” What if you didn’t come late to Centraal Station, this is what I think will happen.

    You will go anywhere but Amsterdam. You will meet George Lucas or whoever you admire. He somehow needs your help in making his new film, then you’ll be contracted as an astronomy-consultant, to help him eliminate physical-astronomical-bloopers in his outerspace themed movie. You’ll get paid much. With your money you will make your own movie, your movie will be titled “Star What” and it will be a great success. You will be very rich and famous, and soon peoples all over the world will forget who George Lucas is, or was.

    The moral of this future history speculation is: never try to justify your habit of being late.

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