A bunch of cunts, mostly in the Australian sense. Except that one guy.

Ever feel like a number?

I was doing some more math in my head. There are some 6 Billion people on this planet. We were taught that all of us were different. But, are we really that different?

Let us go over the numbers:

6 Billion people
Only 2 Genders
Only 6 continents

There are some 300 million people in the United States
There are only 50 states.
There are only 10 cities in the US with a population of over a million people.

Here is where I am going with this. Do you ever feel that there is a person, for example in the US that is basically living your life. Your same ambitions, similar thoughts, similar career paths, similar likes, dislikes, this parallel you may even look like you. Visits the same websites, goes to the bathroom the same number of times as you do at the sames times. This person has the same exact car, the same exact color.

But, beyond just these things. What about similarities in thought. Are there people that are thinking the same(or very similar things) at the exact some moment in time as your thinking them.

Take this JoS forum, for example; somehow out some 8 billion webpages. A couple of people out of that 6 Billion people ended up on this site at the exact point in time and responded with similar comments.

We are kind of living in our own parallel universe. Somewhere; there is a person that is living your life and you are living their life. Walk outside of your home. How many of the houses look exactly alike. You have houses for people with the same income, same jobs, same cars, same clothes, same Dell computer, came cable modem internet connection.

My question, how would you go about setting yourself apart from your parallel person? Sometimes, I think in order for me to break the pattern of living some cookie-cutter lifestyle, I would just....stop. Just stop being me, go to different stores, suddenly quit my job, stop eating the same food. But, then even those thoughts are the thoughts of my parallel person. "I think about changing my lifestyle, but I really don't change and then in a year I go through the same cycle again".

Ponder on that.
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 20th, 2006
Have you ever tried to figure out how many possible combinations of DNA there are?
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 20th, 2006
I picked up a DVD just now. I wonder if there is a person that bought the same DVD in the same store, browsed the same DVDs that I browsed and purchased the DVD for the same reasons that I bought my movie. This person may even share the same job, gone to the same school that I went to, but is living on the other side of the United States.
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 20th, 2006
"Have you ever tried to figure out how many possible combinations of DNA there are?"

Yea, do mammals of the same species share similar traits?
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 20th, 2006
Google could tell you.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 20th, 2006
"My question, how would you go about setting yourself apart from your parallel person? "

Heh. Me: Gay(ish), black, female, computer geek, tall, mixed race.

_If_ there is someone like me (I'm pretty damn unique), I would want to meet her and put my arms around her and tell her its going to be okay, and I'd like her to do the same for me.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 21st, 2006
Ever look through DVD's or CD's and find one blatantly out of place? When I was a teen, we used to do that so it'd still be there when we had enough money to buy it a few days later.

When I find one blatantly misplaced (almost always a top ten album or movie), I do think about the person who put it there, and how excited they must be to get it.

And no, I don't buy it or move it. I put it back like the buried treasure it is.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
"Gay(ish), black, female, computer geek, tall, mixed race"

I am sure there is. I bet they are on this forum right now, but they were a little afraid to enter a post.

Don't feel so special:

There are some 39 million african americans in the United States.

Some cenus survey says that 54 million households have computers.

I am sure on your height, you are somewhere between 5'9 to 6'1. Not much variation there in height for tall women. So there are probably other women the exact same height as yourself.
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 21st, 2006
But, I bet you can't find somebody whose first-name is Berlin.
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 21st, 2006
"So there are probably other women the exact same height as yourself."

Not many. Anyone got a percentile chart for height in the US? I'd guess over 5'9" is below 5%ile for women.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
There was a period of time where Amazon kept recommending movies about lesbians and Melissa Ethridge albums to me.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 21st, 2006
"Anyone got a percentile chart for height in the US? I'd guess over 5'9" is below 5%ile for women"


Assuming we use the numbers above (still a high error factor) and women represent 50% of the population:

300,0000,000 * 0.05

That is still:
150,000,000 women that are tall.

And I think your number of 5% is a little high.
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 21st, 2006
MarkTAW:
"...lesbians and Melissa Ethridge albums"

That is what you get for constantly searching for the Golden Girls and the Murphy Brown DVD release dates.
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 21st, 2006
Now add in mixed race, computer literate, and gay.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
Lesbians watch the Golden Girls?
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 21st, 2006
mixed race = This one is easy, there are still a lot of people of mixed race; especially in New York, S.F. Sharkfish , you from Chicago? I don't know about there.

Computer Literate = Easy, there are still probably a lot of female developers out

Gay = Lesbians, you probably reduce your pool of potential Sharkfish clones here, but I am sure Sharkfish you aren't the only one. What did Dr. Alfred Kinsey put everybody on a 7-point continuum
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 21st, 2006
"mixed race = This one is easy, there are still a lot of people of mixed race; especially in New York, S.F. Sharkfish , you from Chicago? I don't know about there."

You used the population of the earth to get 150,000,000 women over 5'9. May I suggest that the pool of mixed-race gay female geeks is a wee bit smaller than six billion? ;)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
It is more than 5 or 6.
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 21st, 2006
Out of the past three job interviews (I've only been on 4, so yes, very limited sample), each and every one was all gushing about my femaleness.

At least they made me feel unique, anyway.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 21st, 2006
Philo:

Try this.

Mixed-race:
Imagine there is no real concept of mixed-race because we are conceptually all from the same race.

gay:
Assume that we are all potentially gay, using Kinsey, Freud style logic.

Female:
This narrows us down to one out of two genders.

...see, when you consider all of that, not that different if you stretch your imagination.
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 21st, 2006
We're *all* sharkfish?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
I'm sure there is at least one person similar to me in the world.

In the US - I dunno.

If I EVER see one of me running around loose, I will grab her and make her mine. I like me. Someone like me must be pretty neat. Heh. How's that for narcissism?
Permalink sharkfish 
January 21st, 2006
"We're *all* sharkfish?"

Philo

To some degree....yea.
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 21st, 2006
You guys are freaking me out.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 21st, 2006
We're freaking you out, but this is okay?

"If I EVER see one of me running around loose, I will grab her and make her mine."

Gonna keep her in a jar in your basement? [g,d,r]

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
"You guys are freaking me out"

Made on you (Sharkfish) and Philo are potential soulmates, so similar in design that it is scary. I know circumstances didn't turn out that way, but by chance, this forum was created. Maybe you can use it as a way to faciliate your forbidden love for each other.
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 21st, 2006
isn't it true following this that everyone is a potential soul mate (gender specific requests notwithstanding) and now were down to situational chance or circumstance.
Permalink PNII 
January 21st, 2006
Imagine that you are at the top of the pyramid; so, the whole _you_, including all your characteristics, is pretty unique up there. As you decrease the number of your unique characteristics, you start to find more people like you, and you can visualize it in the pyramid. You can go all the way to the bottom of the pyramid, where Freud can explain anything, BTW. :-)

The funny thing is how we can be psychologically so close, and yet physically we can be so different. We can find the sweetest persons everywhere, just like we can find the most ambitious and lunatic specimens everywhere.

The link between us is too strong and dates from millions of years of evolution. The problem about that is that we can't hope for some country to save the world, because people are all alike and don't care about grandiosity beyond where their eyes can reach.

/me sings: "I see trees of green, red roses too, I see them bloom, for me and you, and I think to myself, what a wonderful world..."
Permalink Lost in the jungle 
January 21st, 2006
I also feel pretty unique, and it always peeves me when someone says they know someone "just like you" because of their life circumstance or whatever. I guess they're just trying to make some sort of connection or think that I need to feel more normal or something, but it's just damn annoying because it has the opposite result - reminds me of why I'm different from other people.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 21st, 2006
Yeah, I've got a friend who feels exactly the same way.
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
"Yeah, I've got a friend who feels exactly the same way."

Yeah, that sharkfish is such a bitch.

;-)
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 21st, 2006
It's all about how you view yourself. When I see myself as a red-headed Jew from Iowa... well, I know at least one more of those. When I think of myself as a programmer and Rush fan... well, I know some of those too. But when I put all the different attributes of my personality together, I feel pretty damn unique.
Permalink Ryan 
January 21st, 2006
The trick is to have a sense of proportion and always use the window.
Permalink KayJay 
January 21st, 2006
I used to think this way -- that surely, there was one or two people out there just like me. That I was not THAT unique.

Then I had a conversation with this guy. He pointed out that there's a LOT of space and time before we came into existence. There's going to be a LOT of space and time once we're gone.

Nobody else in space and time has my parents (except my siblings) and even my siblings have a dramatically different experience of our family from mine (I'm in THEIR experience, but THEY are in MY experience).

In all the 'trappings' of my family history, my genetic makeup, my strengths, my weaknesses, my education, my sucesses, my failures -- no one else has the particular combination that is my life.

Similar, sure. Lots of people went to the same schools I went to -- but each brought themselves to the experience, which made each experience slightly different. Even the way I do my work, I do it in 'my' way, which is slightly different than the way anybody else would do it.

So you can rest assured, you are unique. Now, since you are the only person who is you, what choices would you like to make?
Permalink AllanL5 
January 21st, 2006
I guess, you are right. At a high-level we are very similar, but when you get into the details of a person..it starts to factor off exponentially.

Take the "btk killer" for example. This guy was as normal as they come on the outside. But when you got into his life, was a pretty strange person.

Take Bill Gates, he has exponentially more money than most which will gurantee a different set of experiences.  At a high-level this college dropout isnt that much different than a homeless person...But, add in his experiences and his Bill's uniqueness and you have a super Billionaire.
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 21st, 2006
Hi Berlin,

I don't feel like a number at all, but I have met my doppleganger a couple times. Different ones too.

Anyone following my posts knows that I am a bit strange, but I have briefly met with others who are my twin. So yes, it does happen. But it's pretty freaky.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 21st, 2006
"I bet you can't find somebody whose first-name is Berlin."

I know two women whose first names are Berlin. They are both a bit older, in their 70s.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 21st, 2006
I am not a number, I am a free man!
Permalink 6 
January 21st, 2006
Thank you, number 6.
Permalink The new number 2 
January 21st, 2006
>> But, add in his experiences and his Bill's uniqueness and you have a super Billionaire. <<

Does he wear tights, and have a sidekick?
Permalink example 
January 21st, 2006
How many highschool teenager half Jewish half Japanese from Hawaii are reading Joel on Software? I bet there is only one.
Permalink IMesh 
January 21st, 2006
What I find amazing is that Not Berlin thinks this worth commenting, on and even more so that he wants to distinguish himself from his "double".

Can't imagine that happening in Japan, somehow!
Permalink Stephen Jones 
January 21st, 2006
Who is number 1?
Permalink 6 
January 21st, 2006
There are two other people in Britain with the same first and last names as me. However I only share half my genes with them and there is a slight variation in middle names;-)
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 21st, 2006
one thing that is worse than feeling like a number is realizing that there are comic strip characters that come pretty damn close to matching your own unique blend of personality and attitude. i've found an almost creepy similarity between my self and the character "roast beef" from achewood. his girlfriend even has the same name as my girlfriend.
Permalink socks 
January 21st, 2006
In your face number 6!
Permalink 5 
January 22nd, 2006
Im number one bitches! I got to tell you guys though, it's not that intresting being number 1. Your not all powerful and you don't get all the ladies (Girls don't like my pick up line such as, "Babe, I am number one and I want to be the one inside you" or "So your a virgin eh? So if I get you into bed I will be the first one to be inside of you?"). But at least you can tell people you are number one and it will be true...
Permalink 1 
January 22nd, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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