12 Jul 2012

Outside the Box

Talking about thinking outside the box, I like this story from Fooled by Randomness.

“If you flip an unbiased coin 99 times and you get 99 heads, what is the chance that the next toll is a head again?” the author asked.

“The chance remains the same at 50 percent,” a PhD in statistics answered.

“Nah,” an investor disagreed, “I bet everything that this coin was biased. This next toll will still be head.”

Yes, the question was based on the assumption that the coin was unbiased. But why can’t assumptions be challenged? If our thinking is confined by dogma, how can we hope to make any progress?

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