The theory of improbability – Arthur Machen

machenl“Do you know, Phillips,” said Dyson, as he strolled at ease up and down the room. “I will tell you how I work. I go upon the theory of improbability. The theory is unknown to you? I will explain. Suppose I stand on the steps of St. Paul’s and look out for a blind man lame of the left leg to pass me, it is evidently highly improbable that I shall see such a person by waiting for an hour. If I wait two hours the improbability is diminished, but is still enormous, and a watch of a whole day would give little expectation of success. But suppose I take up the same position day after day, and week after week, don’t you perceive that the improbability is lessening constantly – growing smaller day after day. Don’t you see that two lines which are not parallel are gradually approaching one another, drawing nearer and nearer to a point of meeting, till at least they do meet, and improbability has vanished altogether. That is how I found the black tablet: I acted on the theory of improbability. It is the only scientific principle I know of which can enable one to pick out an unknown man from amongst five million.”

From “The Red Hand” – Arthur Machen

Buy it on Amazon: The Red Hand and the White People

(Visited 358 times, 2 visits today)
More from Emanuela Mae Agrini

Irish Soda Bread, the original recipe by Granny Geraldine

When someone asks me about the typical food in Ireland, one of...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.