Monday, May 19, 2014

THHGTTG and Stream of Consciousness

I was listening to a podcast, Science Talk (Scientific American) and there was an interview with author David J. Hand on his book The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles and Rare Events Happen Every Day  and he started off on probabilities of a coin flip.,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg

 It reminded me of math classes from high school where we had to calculate that exact thing.

Which is the most likely outcome of a coin flip 5 times in a row?

and on and on. The correct answer is all of them.

1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 *1/2 for each answer you will have a 1/32 chance of that result.

The outcomes made me think of the abbreviation to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: THHGTTG. So close! What are the chances of a coin flip landing in that order 8 times? The G's will represent the coin landing on its side.

According to Daniel B. Murray and Scott W. Teare of Harvard, the odds of that happening are 1 in 6000. Source


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