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Keyword: probability

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  • So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent

    04/02/2014 9:55:23 PM PDT · by Theoria · 58 replies
    NPR ^ | 02 April 2014 | Alix Spiegel
    The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the kitchen table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria.It wasn't the only question she was considering; there were others:Will North Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014?Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich's answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn't feel much pressure because this wasn't her full-time gig."I'm just a pharmacist," she said. "Nobody cares about me, nobody knows my name, I don't have a...
  • Are Elections Decided by Chance?

    08/13/2013 11:40:33 AM PDT · by neverdem · 21 replies
    Real Clear Politics ^ | August 13, 2013 | Sean Trende
    Over the past nine months, the Republican Party has been consumed by a debate over how it should respond to Mitt Romney's loss in 2012. Should it reach out to Hispanics? Should it move to the center? Should it try to differentiate itself from the Democratic Party by moving more to the right? Or perhaps it should attempt to redefine what "left" and “right” mean, possibly by embracing a more populist approach? Let me step a bit outside of the proverbial box here, and ask a more foundational question: What if the GOP doesn’t need to change all that much?...
  • The Signal and the Silence: When is prediction useful—and when is it dangerous?

    04/16/2013 11:01:46 PM PDT · by neverdem · 14 replies
    City Journal ^ | Spring 2013 | ADAM WHITE
    Ever since leading the Boston Red Sox to victory in the 2007 World Series, Josh Beckett had been a mainstay of the teamÂ’s pitching rotation. But when he hobbled off the mound with an ankle injury on September 5, 2011, the Red Sox faithful took the news in stride. After all, their team was the hottest in baseball. The previous winter, the Sox had acquired two of the sportÂ’s most sought-after players, outfielder Carl Crawford and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The acquisitions led the Boston Herald to declare the team the TOP SOX SQUAD OF ALL TIME before it had...
  • Bayes' Theorem and Mr. Obama's Literary Agency

    05/21/2012 11:06:43 PM PDT · by neverdem · 31 replies
    American Thinker ^ | May 21, 2012 | Jason Kissner
    A mathematical tool is offered to evaluate the likelihood, in light of the Breitbart disclosure, that Mr. Obama was born in the United States. How ought one evaluate the evidentiary significance of the 1991 literary agency promotional booklet claiming that their client Barack Obama was born in Kenya? The "birther" issue is clearly one that is very charged. This contribution is directed toward those persons who are willing to reason carefully about it no matter what conclusion they may have reached so far. It should be acknowledged at the outset that no conclusive answers are offered herein. In fact, the...
  • Newcomb’s Paradox And Probability

    08/16/2010 3:25:18 AM PDT · by mattstat · 1 replies
    When he was at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory—a place that used to do nukes, but has now decided that orthodox global warming pays better—William Newcomb devised the following puzzle, which some say is a paradox. You will play a game against an evil entity that can perfectly predict your future actions. Just for the sake of giving the evil one a name, let’s call him “Bill”. Bill is evil because he likes to taunt you with the possibility of making money, only to jerk that chance away from you at the last moment. Here’s what Bill does, as traditionally described....
  • The Two-Envelope Problem Solution: Part I

    07/19/2010 6:11:38 AM PDT · by mattstat · 28 replies
    Another probability “paradox”, the two-envelope problem1, goes like this: Before you are two envelopes, A and B. One of them contains $X and the other $2X (which is equivalent to $Y/2 and $Y). You pick one envelope and are (1) asked if you would like to keep it or switch, or (2) open it, view its contents, and then asked if you would like to keep it or switch. Which strategy, keeping or switching, is likeliest to win you the big bucks? No peeking solution The traditional paradoxical solution to (1) is to argue this. Suppose you pick A, which...
  • St Petersburg Paradox; Games and Statistical Decisions;

    07/17/2010 6:55:34 AM PDT · by mattstat · 1 replies
    The estimable Daniel Bernoulli gave us this problem, one of the first creations of decision theory. You have to pay a certain amount of money to play the following game: A pot starts out with one dollar. A coin is then tossed. If a head shows, then the amount in the pot is doubled. If a tail shows, the game is over and you win the pot, else the coin is re-flipped repeatedly until a tail appears. How much should you pay to play? Suppose you pay ten bucks and the coin shows a tail the very first throw. You...
  • Tricky Probability Problem: Chance of Two Sons, One Born on Tuesday?

    06/29/2010 4:35:59 AM PDT · by mattstat · 75 replies · 2+ views
    I have two children, one of whom is a son born on a Tuesday. What is the probability that I have two boys? The probability is not 1/2!
  • Probability and Global Warming ( What are the odds really?)

    08/28/2009 8:30:24 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 7 replies · 874+ views
    American Thinker ^ | 8/27/2009 | Larrey Anderson
    Imagine we have gone to a movie made by a former politician (who is not a scientist). In the movie we are informed (1) the earth is warming exponentially. (2) Human beings have been and will continue to cause this warming because we release a natural gas (CO2) into the atmosphere. (3) There will be catastrophic consequences from the exponential warming that will occur as a result of this release of CO2. (According to the movie the planet's icecaps will melt, polar bears will die, and cities will disappear under water.) (4) To prevent these disasters radical changes are required...
  • FORTY WAYS McCain Can Become the 44th President of the United States Tomorrow (Nov. 4, 2008)

    11/03/2008 8:47:21 PM PST · by BIOCHEMKY · 27 replies · 1,359+ views
    Nov. 3, 2008 | Biochemky
    The statement below about McCain’s chances of winning is taken from the article cited below that is on Drudge: “Election Guide: Keep early eye on Ga., Va., Ind.” Statement “McCain's strategy has no room for error; he must win nearly all the states that went to Bush in 2004, and possibly even one or two that voted for Democrat John Kerry that year.” The statement above is FALSE: McCain has FORTY ways to win the White House 11/4. Truth: McCain can lose ANY Bush 2004 red state other than Ohio or Florida, or any combination of Bush 2004 red...
  • The Sean Bell shooting and probability

    05/08/2008 4:54:56 AM PDT · by mattstat · 3 replies · 123+ views
    * Home * Resume * Lectures * Services The Sean Bell shooting and probability Yesterday, there were several protests in New York City. The participants were “outraged” over the recent acquittal of two black cops and one Lebanese cop who shot and killed Sean Bell, who was black. Much was made over the fact that the three cops shot at Bell’s car 50 times. This number was touted repeatedly by some as evidence that the cops had used excessive force. Let’s look at this from the probabilistic viewpoint. It turns out that when a cop fires his weapon at a...
  • Shattering the Bell Curve; The power law rules. (Review of <i>The Black Swan</i>- not IQ related

    04/24/2007 6:04:47 PM PDT · by Excellence · 21 replies · 927+ views
    Opinion Journal ^ | April 24, 2007 | DAVID A. SHAYWITZ Author of review
    < snip >In "The Black Swan"--a kind of cri de coeur--Mr. Taleb struggles to free us from our misguided allegiance to the bell-curve mindset and awaken us to the dominance of the power law. The attractiveness of the bell curve resides in its democratic distribution and its mathematical accessibility. Collect enough data and the pattern reveals itself, allowing both robust predictions of future data points (such as the height of the next five people to enter the room) and accurate estimations of the size and frequency of extreme values (anticipating the occasional giant or dwarf. The power-law distribution, by contrast,...
  • Jesus story 'gets it 97% right' (According to Oxford Professor)

    07/19/2005 3:58:31 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 12 replies · 889+ views
    The Age ^ | July 19, 2005 | Barney Zwartz
    It is 97 per cent certain that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead - based on sheer logic and mathematics, not faith - according to Oxford professor Richard Swinburne. "New Testament scholars say the only evidence is witnesses in the four gospels. That's only 5 per cent of the evidence," Professor Swinburne, one of the world's leading philosophers of religion, said last night. "We can't judge the question of the resurrection unless we ask first whether there's reason to suppose there is a God, second if we have reason to suppose he would become incarnate and third, if he...
  • Studies Rebut Earlier Report on Pledges of Virginity

    06/16/2005 12:15:08 AM PDT · by neverdem · 13 replies · 836+ views
    NY Times ^ | LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN M.D. | June 15, 2005
    Challenging earlier findings, two studies from the Heritage Foundation reported yesterday that young people who took virginity pledges had lower rates of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases and engaged in fewer risky sexual behaviors. The new findings were based on the same national survey used by earlier studies and conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services. But the authors of the new study used different methods of statistical analysis from those in an earlier one that was widely publicized, making direct comparisons difficult. Independent experts called the new findings provocative, but criticized the Heritage team's analysis as flawed and...
  • Magnitude 6.7 (ELEVEN YEARS AGO TODAY) Northridge, CA 1994 Jan 17 12:30:55 UTC local time 4:30AM

    01/17/2005 3:45:05 AM PST · by bd476 · 79 replies · 2,350+ views
    USGS Earthquake Hazards ^ | 17 January 1994
    Earthquake Hazards Program: Northridge, California 1994 01 17 "The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program provides earthquake information for current and past earthquakes, hazards and preparedness information, and education resources for teachers and students." Latest Quakes   EQ Facts & Lists   Hazards & Preparedness   For Kids Only   Regional Websites   Science & Technology    HOME | ABOUT US | EQ GLOSSARY | FOR TEACHERS | PRODUCTS & SERVICES | DID YOU FEEL IT? | FAQ | SEARCH    EQ Facts & Lists Large Earthquakes in the United States Northridge, California 1994 01 17 12:30:55 UTC (local time: 4:30 a.m.)...
  • Election Simulation

    08/31/2004 7:08:53 AM PDT · by Darth Reagan · 6 replies · 602+ views
    Federal Review ^ | August 31, 2004 | Federal Review
    ELECTION SIMULATION UPDATEDLast simulation with pre-RNC data. Kerry win probability is 63.7%, average electoral votes, 279-259. These numbers are slightly closer than the Composite Analysis of 281-257, indicating that more electoral votes in Kerry's column are toss-ups than in Bush's column (see, e.g. Florida). Federal Review Election Simulation 20,000 trials August 31, 2004 Probable Election Winner: John F. Kerry John F. Kerry George W. Bush Bush Kerry Tie Probability of Winning 35.0% 63.7% 1.3% Average Electoral Votes 259 279 95% Confidence Lo Hi Maximum Electoral Votes 358 373 Kerry Range 227 330 Minimum Electoral Votes 165 180 Bush Range 208...
  • I need MATH help! (Probability and Statistics) for AIDS discussion

    10/15/2003 4:32:42 AM PDT · by walden · 135 replies · 1,684+ views
    none | 10/15/03 | self
    I'm having a debate on another board regarding AIDS and the reasons for high infection rates. This was my post: Simple case, 2 coin tosses, heads=win: What are the odds of winning both times? Odds of winning first time is .5, odds of winning second time is .5, odds of winning both times is .5 x .5 = .5 to the 2nd power = .25, which is 25%. More complex, add 1 more coin toss for 3 total, heads=win: Odds of winning third time is still .5, odds of winning all 3 times is .25 x .5 = .5 to...
  • Baby Beagles

    02/15/2003 10:33:37 AM PST · by lockeliberty · 23 replies · 100+ views
    A shopkeeper says she has two new baby beagles to show you, but she doesn't know whether they're male, female, or a pair. You tell her that you want only a male, and she telephones the fellow who's giving them a bath. "Is at least one a male?" she asks him. Yes! she informs you with a smile. What is the probability that the other one is a male?
  • So God's really in the details?

    06/29/2002 7:42:38 PM PDT · by Illbay · 7 replies · 59+ views
    New York Times via The Houston Chronicle ^ | June 29, 2002 | Emily Eakin
    So God's really in the details?By EMILY EAKINNew York Times Economists use probability theory to make forecasts about consumer spending. Actuaries use it to calculate insurance premiums. Recently, Richard Swinburne, a professor of philosophy at Oxford University, put it to work toward less mundane ends: He invoked it to defend the belief that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. "For someone dead for 36 hours to come to life again is, according to the laws of nature, extremely improbable," Swinburne told an audience of more than 100 philosophers who had convened at Yale University for a conference on ethics and...