Stochastic Thoughts

[Originally posted on my previous website, michael dot sirois dot com]

When plotting and planning my writing, I am often given to stochastic thoughts and inconsequential ramblings which will, hopefully (someday) further develop into something concrete, so I thought we ought to take a look at the word stochastic.

Etymology of stochastic

From Ancient Greek stokhastikos, from stokhazomai, (aim at a target, guess), from stokhos, (an aim, a guess).


  1. Random, randomly determined, relating to stochastics.


1970, J. G. Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition: “In the evening, while she bathed, waiting for him to enter the bathroom as she powdered her body, he crouched over the blueprints spread between the sofas in the lounge, calculating a stochastic analysis of the Pentagon car park.”

 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 854: “Self-slaughter, as Hamlet always says, was certainly in the cards, unless one had been out here long enough to have contemplated the will of God, observed the stochastic whimsy of the day, learned when and when not to whisper “Insh’allah,” and understood how, as one perhaps might never have in England, to await, to depend upon, the ineluctable departure of what was most dear.”

In other words, there’s no set pattern to much of what I write in this blog, it’s often just random chance as to what thoughts bubble to the surface and get an airing here. At any rate, I hope you find them interesting.

Have you found that random musings have led you to further develop some thought into a complete work? I would be curious to hear how that happened for you. Let me know below.


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