The Randomness of a Night Out
I don’t know why, and I didn’t know in what category to place this entry, but this story stood out in the news, this week:
Prosecutors said a Massachusetts man angry after an argument with another bar customer broke a mug that sent shards of glass into the neck of bystander, causing him to bleed to death.
It appears that the alleged perpetrator exchanged words with one of the victim’s friends after an inadvertent collision on the way to the bathroom. A flare of temper and an impulse for drama left a peripheral person dead, others injured, and another facing the life-altering consequences of a lack of self control.
It’s the sort of thing about which we tend to cite the randomness of fate, although it’s really not quite random, is it? Individuals made decisions within the context of a culture that imparts certain import to particular behaviors. Non-randomness doesn’t require that we come to specific conclusions about how to prevent these rare occurrences, but it is food for thought.