Friday, October 5, 2007

Uniformly different

Uniformity is antithetical to American culture. But uniforms, whose purpose is to minimize individual differences to maximize cohesion of a group, are ubiquitous.

Tom Cruise puts on a Nazi uniform for a new movie. President Musharraf will take his off only after his election. And fans pay hundreds of dollars to wear the uniforms of their favorite teams and sports stars.

The military seems to likes uniforms - and uniformity. But until the House of Representatives bill is signed into law, Blackwater will not be subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice or US law.

In probability theory, a uniform distribution describes a set where all values are equally probable. For example, tossing a coin has two equi-probable events, a die six.

Up to now Blackwater has been able to operate outside the law of Iraq and the US, but the chances are pretty good it won’t be able to evade the laws of probability.

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