On the most fundamental level, we understand the universe to be a ceaselessly expanding realm of matter and energy. Quantum uncertainty adds a new layer of complexity to consider in this already seemingly abstract representation of how we perceive and reflect on reality.
It all began with following Prof. Thomas’s advice, opening the google map, and throwing a random pin. For a person considered by many to be a “happy-go-lucky” type of person, I rarely feel unease. However, immediately after the pin was dropped, I felt uneasiness and started to psych myself out, thinking all the what-if scenarios. This unrest went on for few days, almost resulting in me wanting to redo the “random” pin. It was then I started to think about social confidence and the potential scares of the pandemic.
I selected my point of reference using Google maps. Because of the lack of gas in my car, I limited the proximity around me to a 15 mile radius, and allowed a family member to choose with their eyes closed. I've always been an admirer of nature, but haven't been prioritizing that form of curiosity.
Today after work, I randomly pinned a location on Google maps. My pin took me to a beautiful neighborhood in Burbank. It is approximately 20 minutes away from my house and 15 minutes away from my job. Besides going out to eat and visiting the mall, Burbank is not a city where I am accustomed to visiting and much less knowing many people that live in that area. I got off my car, and immediately I noticed a difference between my own neighborhood and Burbank. I walked down the street to even sidewalks, flowers blossoming at every house, and bright blue skies.
For this week's assignment of visiting a location through serendipity, I decided to print out a small map of UCLA and toss a hairpin onto it. I was excited to find that my hairpin landed on the Fowler/Janss Steps (soon to be called Kuruvungna Steps) area, so I put on my mask, grabbed a notebook and pen, and made my way to campus. It was a beautiful weekend afternoon--sunny but still cool, and there were a plethora of small groups lounging around in the sun.
Since I live near UCLA right now, I decided to use this project as an opportunity to rediscover some of the beauty of our campus. UCLA is one of the most beautiful places I can think of, and yet I spend most of my time there staring at a computer screen or just getting from point A to point B thinking about my assignments rather than really seeing the nature around me.
So I pulled up a map of UCLA, closed my eyes, and put my finger on a random location. I ended up at the corner of the patio near Pauley Pavilion.
In order to find a location by chance I mapped out all the possible locations I had access to within the vicinity of my house, and then overlayed a numbered grid, using a random number generator to pick out a chunk of land for me to explore.
Single word: home
At first I could not seem to figure out how to drop a random pin from my phone. Then miraculously I accidentally dropped a pin that was a five minute walk from my current location so I decided to follow it.
Since traveling is not much of an option right now, I chose my location based on randomization of coordinates within my neighborhood. For privacy reasons, I won’t share the exact coordinates of my location, but I essentially just found the coordinates of the borders of my neighborhood on Google Maps and used my calculator to pick two random integers within the limits that I found. Based on those coordinates, I went as close as possible as I could without trespassing on private property. This picture was the result:
Choosing a random location in Soldotna, Alaska during the winter months may have proven to be a difficult task. My online ‘random location generator’ demonstrated that the algorithms which composed the online software are disconnected from reality. Random locations set in the middle of rivers, lakes, or closed national parks are impossible to venture out into due to the weather and their specific conditions.