Danielsson on Likelihood
January 25, 2011 5:07 AM   Subscribe

A timeless monologue on the mechanics of likelihood. Tage Danielsson's talk about "sannolikhet", which he wrote in 1979 after the Three Mile Island accident remains a Swedish classic.

Here with very decent English subtitles; in spite of the (for him) serious topic, it's heavily tongue in cheek, which can be sensed in his intonation of voice, hesitations, etc.
(posted here because a recent unattended bathroom candle on the Green reminded me of this speech)
posted by Namlit (7 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Negligible: This means it doesn't exist, except for a little bit.

posted by DU at 5:52 AM on January 25, 2011

Great old school stand up.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:03 AM on January 25, 2011

A bit Mark Twain-ish.
posted by empath at 6:17 AM on January 25, 2011

That was masterful. Thanks. I kind of fell into viewing it as science fiction. I mean, imagine there was no such place as Harrisburg, and read this translation as a Ted Chiang story set in 2050. It kind of works, right?

Incidentally, that link offers some helpful context: "The main joke in the Swedish original actual plays on the words "sanning" (truth, fact) and "sannolikhet" (likelihood, probability) where the literal translation of likelihood is "like truth". Unfortunately this is not possible to translate into English, but I tried to make a funny monologue around the original idea."
posted by jhc at 6:34 AM on January 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

jhc- thanks for the context. Makes it funnier.
Having grown up outside of Harrisburg, it's weird to see/hear the name so often.
(Especially since I associate TMI with Middletown, not Harrisburg)

Also, in this context, you have to pronounce it Haarrrrrrr-iss-burrrrg
posted by MtDewd at 6:56 AM on January 25, 2011

Hilarious, thanks! I can offer testimony that it did not, in fact, happen, because I spent that evening in Harrisburg drinking scotch, and I do not glow in the dark, nor have I grown a second head. WAKE UP, SHEEPLE!
posted by languagehat at 8:05 AM on January 25, 2011

Tage Danielsson was brilliant, and quite anti-establishment when everyone was a social democrat. Man ran on clever puns and common sense. He's missed.

MtDewd, it's pronounced ja ja ja ja vill åka till Harrisburg. ;)
posted by dabitch at 8:16 AM on January 25, 2011

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