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 Improbability in everyday life
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Cousjava
 Tuesday, April 27 2010 @ 07:29 PM UTC (Read 1586 times)  
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Here are some occurences, which some people are suprised by if when they happen, but shoudn't be.

1) Two or more people in a room sharing the same birthday. If there are 23 people in the room there is a 50% chance of this being true. If there are 40 people in the room, there is a 90% chance of this being true. Just 56 people is needed for this to be true 99% of the time.

2)One-in-a million occurences.
Working using convential mathematics, if an event has a 1-in-a-million chance of happening on any paticular day, and if there are 25 people in the room, then one of them will have had a 1-in-a-million chance happen to them in the last year.

Of course, using Pratchett mathmatics, if anything has a 1-in-a-million chance of happening, if definatly will happen.

3)If you take a group of 10 people, ask them to write down a random number between 1 and 100, there is a chance of more than 1 in 3 that two pick the same number. Of course, that's assuming they pick numbers randomly. Most of the time we don't so the odds are more like 50/50.

4)Horoscopes.
Read the horoscope below. It is your horoscope for today. Do you agree with it.?

At times you are extroverted. affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, calm and reserved.. You have found it unwise on being too frank in revealing yourself to others. You pride yourself on being an independant thinker, and do not accept others' opinions without satisfactory proof. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety, and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself.


A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a trombone; what else does a man need to be happy?
 
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Hairy Mary
 Tuesday, April 27 2010 @ 07:46 PM UTC  
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Nope, that's not today's horoscope at all. That's thursday's. On tuesdays, I accept everything I'm told uncritically. On wednesdays I love restrictions, on fridays I believe in the wisdom of telling everybody everything about me that they could possibly want to know and then some. On sundays I use every last drop of my capacity. Completely wrong I'm afraid.

Hang on, surely that bit about 1 in a million chances depends on how many things there are with a one in a million chance.

I just picked up a pack of cards and shuffled it. The chances of the pack ending up in precisely that combination was a lot less than one in a million. Then I shuffled them again. So that's two highly unlikely things that have happened to me in the last few minutes. Hmm, maybe Improbability is leaking off of the Island and starting to infect my daily life...

Edit: Ahh. Just reread what you wrote. You're talking about any one specific one in a million. Yes that makes more sense.


 
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Count Sessine
 Tuesday, April 27 2010 @ 08:49 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Hairy+Mary

I just picked up a pack of cards and shuffled it.

Ahm... d'you mean like this?


 
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Hairy Mary
 Tuesday, April 27 2010 @ 11:23 PM UTC  
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Er, not quite like that... Sadly my manual dexterity isn't quite as good as his.


 
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Cousjava
 Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 08:11 PM UTC  
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I was going to say that you thought that the horoscope is true, you've fallen for the Barum effect. Sorry.

Bascially, I'm saying that things we think are improbable are actually not so really.


Looking at the probabilty of life itself, estimates vary wildly form 1 in 1,000,000 to 1 in 10^3,600,000. However, all of these are still improbable. I think if life can evolve, then how can something like the improbability drive not exist, at some point? It does nothing more than make strange things happen faster.

Basically, what I'm saying is: Improbable Island isn't very improbable. Possibly les improbable than life itself. Though that wouldn't make for a good game. (I mean Probable Island...come on. Not very intresting is it?)


A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a trombone; what else does a man need to be happy?
 
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Hairy Mary
 Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 10:26 PM UTC  
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Sorry, I was taking the Mick at little there, although having said that, coming where it did was a bit of a clue. Also, it was hardly today's horoscope, more a general description of personality.


 
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Kash
 Friday, April 30 2010 @ 07:11 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Cousjava

Looking at the probabilty of life itself, estimates vary wildly form 1 in 1,000,000 to 1 in 10^3,600,000. However, all of these are still improbable. I think if life can evolve, then how can something like the improbability drive not exist, at some point? It does nothing more than make strange things happen faster.



That's assuming a universe of infinite age, of which we do not have the mathematical luxury. An infinitely-old universe distills everything into two categories, Possible and Impossible; there is no "probable" or any variant of such a thing. But since we live in a finite universe, some things that are possible (indeed, almost all things that are possible, if you account for only a single universe) will never happen despite the fact that they could.

Also, hasn't spontaneous generation been kind of, I don't know... disproven? Why do people still believe in it?


 
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Reverb
 Friday, April 30 2010 @ 01:13 PM UTC  
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-Island goes POOF after studing its own probability.

-Lots of people float aimlessly around in sea untill picked up by the now purposeless Failboat and a rather annoyrelieved Watcher.

-Life goes on.


Great. You just killed our game, smart-ass.. *skulks off to a parallel universe where nothing of the sort ever happened, and goes back to hitting midgets over the head with used robot limbs.*


"Censure acquits the Raven, but pursues the Dove." "So, that means i'm -always- innocent, right?"
 
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Cousjava
 Friday, April 30 2010 @ 07:13 PM UTC  
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Chance of portal to parrellel universe appearing: 1

Chance of parrellel universe containing the improbability drive: 1 in 2

Chance of portal to parrellel universe appearing right next to where I am typing this: 1 in 1,234,567

*Inputs probability into generator*
*portal appears*
*I go thorugh*
*Celebrates by killling Midgets getting killed and sent to the Failboat.


A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a trombone; what else does a man need to be happy?
 
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Hairy Mary
 Friday, April 30 2010 @ 11:00 PM UTC  
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Actually there's a good point here. The Island isn't anymore improbable than real life, it's just different. There's next to nothing that we know about RL because we've rationally worked it out. We only know stuff because we've seen it happen many many times, and we know that's how it happens. Nothing logical (or illogical) about it. It just is. Nothing logical (or illogical) about II, it just is. It's just different, that's all.

That's why I'm personally not a big fan of the mathematician encounter where he grumbles on about 'it doesn't make sense'. It makes just as much sense as anything else. But that's just me. Confused


 
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