Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Interesting analysis of how people think about probability. Plotting labels (language) against quantitative measures you don't get a specific point but a distribution of "opinion" regarding what the label means. 

Probability is something many people have a great deal of difficulty understanding, when you ask most people the following question .. "if I flip a coin and it comes up heads 10 times in a row, is it more likely to come up tails on the 11th throw?" they'll say yes, when the true answer is that the odds haven't changed, i.e. it's still 50-50 that you'll throw a head. This is called the "Gamblers fallacy" and is littered throughout the culture. You see variations of it in many religious views, the classic one being that if we don't understand how the universe got started then "God did it", or since there are two views of why we exist, i.e. Evolution and "God did it" then they must both be 50% probable among many others. Of course the best (and most universally successful) approach is to apportion your beliefs to the available evidence, the more evidence there is for something then the more likely it is to be true, but beware, Human-beings are masters at fooling themselves and intuition is almost always wrong, probably.

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