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Stranger Things Have Happened

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Feb. 21st, 2005 | 07:42 pm
mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
music: Title: I Have Dreamed * Artist: Nancy Lamott

It was bound to happen one of these days.

I got the IM equivalent of a wrong number today. I was instant messaged this afternoon by a person named Dave who thought my name was attached to a person who was certainly someone other than me. I shouldn't be surprised by this, in the days where IM is as valid a form of communication as email, telephones or cell phones, perhaps even moreso. How easy would it be, then to mistype someone's name in your buddy list by a single letter and send an IM to a completely foreign person, instead of its intended recipient?

Of course, I would find it rather unlikely, particularly given the particular IM name to which this errant message was sent. It was sent to a screenname that would not be among the easiest in the world to come up with as it is something on the order of a linear combination of latin words. Though I suppose that is easier than the variety of alphanumeric codes people use to describe themselves on IM generally. But, that is neither here nor there. What suprised me most about the whole exchange, actually was not that I received an IM from an unknown person (it is easy enough for complete strangers to find at least some of my screennames and therefore IM me, an occurrence which, though rare is certainly something that has happened in the past), but that this person IM'd me fully expecting me to be someone else and to recognize him. Which means that somewhere, someone came up with precisely the same combination of words as I did at some point years ago, and connected them in exactly the same way. The probability of that has to be very very small.

Maybe an infinite number of monkeys typing for an infinite amount of time really could produce the complete works of Shakespeare.

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