Yesterday evening, the nation of India watched yet another display of Just In Time Harakiri™ from their cricket team. The fans’ anger, however, was partly directed at the game’s referees, whose actions a viewer mailed in and charitably described as mentally retarded. Indian authorities and fans have complained bitterly not only to the ICC, but also Human Rights Watch, SightSavers International, Help for the Deaf and Dumb, and about twenty-two million gods and goddesses. It’s quite clear that umpire Steve Bucknor is not winning the Bharat Ratna anytime soon.
Every cloud has a silver lining however, and today ought to find Steve Bucknor smiling from ear to ear. A team of scientists have nominated him for the most prestigious prize in mathematics, the FIELDS (Fatally Idiotic Exhibition of Lousy Decision Schema) Medal. Apparently Stevie compares favourably with comsic gamma rays in at least one respect – generating random numbers.
Picky Ronting (name changed to protect identity), who nominated Steve Bucknor and is clearly in awe of the guy, explained. “True random number generation is one of the hardest challenges in mathematics. The best hope we’ve had so far have been purely physical phenomena – the amplitude generation of cosmic rays, for example. But even they have problems – the folks over at the SETI project keep finding patterns even in these signals and tell us about alien communications. We took a string of decisions given by Steve Bucknor and had the SETI folks run it using their distributed computing network of 50,000 computers, and it turns out his decision-making ability is unique for its pure, unadulterated and utter randomness.”
In a world where reasonable accuracy is so easy, we must applaud Mr. Bucknor for risking his outstanding position for the sake of service to science. Let not a few raised eyebrows stop the randomly raised fingers.
The Fake But Possible News Network asserts that any remote similarity of the events reported to reality is purely coincidental.