Cellular phenotypes can critically rely on mono-allelic gene expression. Recent studies suggest that in mammalian cells inter-chromosomal DNA interactions may mediate the decision which allele to activate and which to silence. Here, these findings are discussed in the context of knowledge on gene competition, chromatin dynamics, and nuclear organization. We argue that data obtained by 4C technology strongly support the idea that chromatin folds according to self-organizing principles. In this concept, the nuclear positioning of a given locus is probabilistic as it also depends on the properties of neighbouring DNA segments and, by extrapolation, the whole chromosome. The linear distribution of repetitive DNA sequences and of active and inactive DNA regions is important for the folding and relative positioning of chromosomes. This stochastic concept of nuclear organization predicts that tissue-specific interactions between two selected loci present on different chromosomes will be rare.