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Ch. 4 - Why Strange Coincidences Are Normal 
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Post Ch. 4 - Why Strange Coincidences Are Normal
Ch. 4 - Why Strange Coincidences Are Normal, and Why the Critical Thinker is Wary of Secondhand Sources



Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:54 pm
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This chapter highlights one of the most irritating types of claims from other people. Something coincidental will happen and with absolute conviction they'll say 'see, God does exist!". Even if they're not theistic, they'll spout out some nonsense about Karma. If friends and family aren't interested in reading this whole book, then at least this chapter should be read.



Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:03 pm
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No doubt. I hate hearing this one. Coincidences happen and it is chance, not magic that makes them happen.



Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:29 pm
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If you flip a coin and get heads five times in a row, is there a greater chance of the next throw being tails? Some people would think, yes. But of course, the coin doesn't know that you just flipped heads five times in a row and, statistically, there's a 50-50 chance of it being heads or tails. This is probably counter-intuitive for many people (me included). And slot machines being "due" for a win? Doesn't happen.


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Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:10 pm
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Post coincedence
Every night there is a percentage of people who will dream about a natural disaster, or a plane crash. If tonight, I dream about a horrible earthquake and I wake up in the morning to find an earthquake has actually happened, it's not a preminition, it's a statistic.



Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:50 pm
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Probability statistics and game theory are fascinating. The "Monty Hall problem" is a great example because anybody over 40 has seen the game show. The solution to the problem surprises almost everybody and they find it hard to believe even after you've proven it mathematically.

Technically this is called a veridical paradox as it produces a result that appears absurd but is demonstrated to be true nevertheless.

http://montyhallproblem.com/



Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:55 pm
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CWT36 wrote:
Probability statistics and game theory are fascinating. The "Monty Hall problem" is a great example because anybody over 40 has seen the game show. The solution to the problem surprises almost everybody and they find it hard to believe even after you've proven it mathematically.

Technically this is called a veridical paradox as it produces a result that appears absurd but is demonstrated to be true nevertheless.

http://montyhallproblem.com/


Hey CWT. Thanks for posting this. I came across the Monty Hall problem a couple years back. There was an article in the NYTimes. it still blows my mind.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/08/science/08monty.html


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Anyone been guilty of basing an 'informed' opinion on secondhand reports? I know I do this, and the main reasons are laziness and lack of time to perform due diligence, as Riniolo calls it. The alternative to voicing opinions that really aren't worth much seems to be to say "I don't know" a lot more often. But there still will be times when, because we can't become experts on everything, we'll let a proxy to the work and trust that he's done an honest and thorough job. This I believe is what many of us do with the climate change issue. We cite a 'consensus' of expert findings that CC is really happening.


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Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:28 pm
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