Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Definition of Insanity

For whatever reason, the following phrase popped into my mind the other day: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Next time someone says that to you, you can tell them that that is not true. The true dictionary definitions of insanity are as follow:
1. the condition of being insane; a derangement of the mind.
2. Law. such unsoundness of mind as affects legal responsibility or capacity.
3. Psychiatry. (formerly) psychosis.
4. extreme folly; senselessness; foolhardiness.

I looked up the phrase in question, and apparently it is a quotation of Albert Einstein. Fitting, because Einstein was never too comfortable with the idea of an inherently probabilistic (i.e. inherently random) quantum interactions.

Actually, if you think about it, there are some things where you can do the same thing over and over again and expect to get different results. Flipping coins and rolling dice come to mind.

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