Think of the small group of people you have ended up running into and spending time with over the course of your life. Some may be friends, others not. A big part of Vonnegut's Karass concept revolves around coincidence evolving beyond apophenia, into the realm of the mystical.
The author suggests a divine plan behind the interactions of those within a karass, but adds it is unlikely that it's purpose will ever be revealed. I suspect it is, like the universe itself, recursive in function.
In summary, to begin to understand one's karass and those who are entwined within it, simply look for a common denominator between all those you have spent substantial time with, by choice or otherwise. The collective experiences garnered through these contacts both become and determine one's karass.
I have a friend who I went through 6 years of elementary school with and then Jr. High. We were friends, but from different neighborhoods so not especially close. I quit high school, and after we only maintained sporadic contact. Several years later we both ended up as belated Freshman at the same university in Florida.
Through mutual friends we kept in touch for 5 or so years after college, then were disconnected again when I moved to California. A few months ago we found each other once again in the metaverse, and I just sent him an email today explaining karass, and how I always saw us as part of one. Disappointed after looking into what was available via Google, I ended up here posting this definition. Karass?
1. Arpie is an initialization morphed into an acronym. (a retro or redux acronym?) Role Player=RP=arpie. Note the initialization is also contained within the homonym.
2. In complexity theory, RP ("randomized polynomial time") is the complexity class of problems for which a probabilistic Turing machine exists with these properties.
Arpie: Anonymous Role Player Inserting Epiphytics; or
algorithmic randomized polynomial interaction e (2.718282... in geek-speak)
Is that Arpie a Role Player or a Randomized Polynomial? (If the correct answer to the latter is YES, then it returns YES with probability at least ½ (otherwise, it returns NO)
A mnemonic based on every 5th item to be remembered, using one's fingers as a kind of abacus. You put up one finger for each one as you go along. When you reach the fifth finger, that becomes the first letter of the mnemonic. This device works well when the number of entities to be recalled is too large for conventional mnemonics to easily accommodate.
Example: Nlnci Sjgai is one possible pentamnemonic for all the countries with some coastline on the continent of Eurasia. If you start with the western-most point-Portugal-and go clockwise around the coast, your first 'bookmark country' is Netherlands, and you end with Italy. (Just add on Monaco, the 51st country) Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, NETHERLANDS: Germany, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, LITHUANIA. When your little finger gets extended, you must always arrive on a country that begins with one of the consecutive letters in Nlnci Sjgai, or you forgot a country.
A mnemonic system based on every 5th item to be recalled. It is quite useful for alert young minds, but can be misused by those in their dotage.
Surprised nobody caught this, but the example for pentamnemonic above explains my concern about seniors employing this technique. If your mouse requires a walker, you might make the same mistake and get it wrong.
I forgot Kaliningrad in the original example, which is a disconnected part of Russia, and inserted Estonia in it's place. Estonia is actually north of Latvia, which borders Lithuania. Its a small planet, and 70% is water. With only 193 countries there's no excuse for misplacing them. Sorry.
A proposed scientific hypothesis that is more in the realm of Harry Potter than actual science.
Many considered the conjecture that the apparent wind created by the motion of a treadmill was the same as natural wind created by pressure gradients to be just another Harrypothesis.
Futronym: a neologism that by common usage and functionality is clearly destined to be added to the lexicon at some future point. In part it will serve as an antonym to 'retronym.' See 'Antoneologym.'
Email and Eddress (email address) are both futronyms. The former will be elevated soon due to its common usage, while the latter shall come later owing to it's functionality. Both will soon be found in most dictionaries.
An argument unto itself that arose to refute the ontological 'proof' for the existence of a guiding intelligence that created the universe with a 'purpose' behind the many observable processes.
According to this theory, on-tology is invalid un-til a process is discovered that requires an omnipotent intelligence at the core of it's genesis. Until then, such conjectures will be categorized onto the class of unsubstantiated presuppostions.
It is possible that atheists will find themselves in an untological cul-de-sac if they continue to reject any form of purpose or objective in the process of evolution. It may not be sound science, but it would be pragmatic politically.