Prester John may have been a myth, but the belief in him is said to have sparked the Age of Exploration and the Renaissance.
June 06, 2012
The Saints are a 3-point favorite. It’s a 23% chance it will rain tomorrow. The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.
And the probability that you're being watched is directly proportionate to the stupidity of your actions.
Furthermore, it’s a 37% chance you’re reading this and saying, stop joking around and get to the point, Peterman.
You just had to ask: the origin of the law came about in 1856 when Blaise Pascal, Pierre de Fermat and Antoine Gombaud asked a simple question, “Which is more likely, rolling a “6” on 4 throws of a dice, or rolling a “double 6” on 24 throws with two dice?
It is quite probable they didn’t know, at that time, they were on the verge of one of our more essential human laws—which has a bearing on every decision we make. Like whether to take an umbrella in the morning, or deciding which life partner is less likely to be an idiot.
Speaking of playing the lottery, is it better to play 1-2-3-4-5-6 or just a set of 6 randomly selected numbers?
While all combinations are equally likely to win, you would be advised to not pick 1-2-3-4-5-6 or any other simple combination. If it does win you will have to share the jackpot with the multitude of other people who didn't read this post.
The proverbial monkey on a typewriter? It is estimated, that one monkey hitting the keys once a second, will have typed, “To be or not to be” in about 20,000 years.
Thought you'd want to know that.
Governments typically monkey around with probabilistic methods where it is given the distinguished name of "pathway analysis." A fancy label that analyses the probability of raising taxes 30%, and not having a full-fledged riot. Or taking into consideration the perceived probability of any widespread Middle East conflict and using it as a shameless excuse to raise gas prices.
To help you become a better decision maker, here's a fascinating example of the law of probability that ran in a 1990 issue of Parade magazine.
"Suppose you're on a game show, and you're given the choice of three doors. Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what's behind the other doors, ignores you and opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, "Do you want to pick door No. 2?"
Is it to your advantage to switch?
When the problem and the solution appeared, about 10,000 readers, including nearly 1,000 with PhD's, wrote to the magazine claiming the published solution was wrong.
(Remember. All those PhD’s didn't look up the answer on the Internet.)
So it may help if you’re not a PhD.
Our probability specialists have figured about 16% of you might have the correct answer attached to the correct explanation and the probability is 83% I still won't understand it.