Maximum Randomness Meets Its Match
Years ago when Ernő Rubik's Cube was a hot gift idea, the brother-in-law introduced me to the mathematical concept of maximum randomness. Apparently there is a position of the colored pieces of Rubik's Cube from which ANY move takes you closer, not farther away from, the solution: the maximum order of a single color on each face of the cube.
Maximum chaos, or maximum randomness.
Like the sign in the hands of the panhandler says: "Anything would help."
An interesting math concept. When brother-in-law handed me his mixed-up Rubik's Cube and announced that, for once, anything I did would help, I of course had to take it on faith. He's a bright guy and takes his mathematics quite seriously, after all.
"Maximum chaos" has bounced around in my mind [I know: "Is he talking about the concept or the usual background noise in his brain now?" And how could I tell?] since the early 1980s. But I'm not sure I ever really believed in the idea until last week.
I have met maximum randomness in the real world! It's not pretty.
Opening a new box of blue nitrile gloves from my usual supplier, I beheld not 100 blue nitrile powdered gloves, size medium, lying flat and docile in a stack like Kleenex; I beheld a box packed with the shriveled carcasses of withered blue cocoons, a mass grave of blue nitrile prunes preserved clutching each other in their final agony, an expended and dessicated worm-orgy of rubber gloves packed, pressed, sealed at the factory in Thailand so I could save my delicate digits from the ravages of the industrial workplace.
The picture is a handful of gloves. Six? Eight? Hard to tell.
How do you even put these on your hand? There's no opening.
Somebody once said, "You must find the way." Maybe it was Lao Tzu. Maybe it was somebody who merely looked like Lao Tzu (which come to think of it is probably most of everybody, ever, on on the planet).
At this point maximum randomness is your friend. Reach out and pinch a little piece of blue glove anywhere. It doesn't matter where. with your other hand pull the wad of wrinkly glove away from the pinch. There. You have introduced ORDER to the system. You will now be able to see the glove shape, to find the opening, and to introduce your hand to the inner sanctum of industrial safety.
Why did I write this? I figured, "Anything would help!"