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In season 4 episode 4 Rick finds an ultimate cube, sees that it's purple like his is, and concludes that they're all purple. Since there is an infinite number of ultimate cubes, why did he assume they're all purple after just seeing two? I'd need to see at least five to conclude they're all purple, and if they're fairly easy to get I'd look for even more. You wouldn't conclude all doors are made of wood after only seeing two doors.

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    Itsa good question, but needs more detail and references to what you are reffering to.
    – TheAsh
    Dec 17, 2023 at 3:26
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    Perhaps because he has observed a lot of things that are neither purple nor ultimate cubes.
    – Adamant
    Dec 17, 2023 at 9:35
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    The joke here is that ChiChi died for basically no good reason, underscoring the futility of Rick's mission. He lied to Morty about the 'fate of millions' when all he wanted to do was look at another ultimate box to see if it was a different colour from his current one.
    – Valorum
    Dec 17, 2023 at 9:52
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    The answer to most R&M "why..?" questions is: because it's a joke, either the punchline or the setup.
    – Andres F.
    Dec 17, 2023 at 15:03
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    With a sample size of two out of infinite - if there are any similarities whatsoever then you can start drawing some extremely large and all-encompassing suppositions, specifically, and ironically, with a likely high degree of accuracy, because the sample size is so small. - Infinitely numbered of colored socks in the drawer. How many until you get a match? Two? Then this is all bs.
    – Mazura
    Dec 28, 2023 at 0:19

2 Answers 2

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If there are an infinite number of cubes, potentially with an infinite number of colours, what are the odds you would run into two cubes of the same colour consecutively? If you did, it would statistically indicate that, at the very least, there was a very large bias towards purple cubes.

I am not sure if the show meant to make a reference of sorts, but there is there is a real world algorithm called Hyper Log Log. It is uses probablistic counting to estimate the number of colours present in an image since it would be too computationally intensive to count all the numbers present, comparing the current colour to all previous colours already encountered to see whether it is new or not.

It goes through the pixels in the image, keeping track of only the longest "continuous run", instead of remembering each colour encountered. This conserves memory and processing time to compare against all previous colours encountered. A longer run is unlikely, so the maximum longest run encountered statistically represents how many colours you encountered along the way. I won't try to explain what a "run" really is because I only sort of understand. Watch the video...it's a bit obtuse what a run is. It's almost an inversion of what is in the show in that a longer run indicates more colours being present, while in the show a longer run (two specifically) indicates fewer colours being present.

Explained here:

Channel: Breaking Taps

Video: A problem so hard even Google relies on Random Chance

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If I tell you there are 10 billion numbered balls with numbers between 1 and 10 million in a bag and the first two you pull out are both 7 you can conclude that there are a lot of 7s and, most likely, they’re all 7. If the numbers were in any way uniformly distributed, your chance of drawing a second 7 is 1 in 10 billion; it’s far more likely that there is a heavy bias towards 7, probably that all of them are 7. Now let’s increase the number of balls in the bag, as n approaches infinity, the chance that there is anything other the bias towards 7 approaches 1.

Now, 10 million is roughly the amount of color shades the human visual system can distinguish. Replace ”7” with “the exact shade of purple I previously saw” and the problem is the same.

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