# Thread: Simple puzzles to stump people

1. Originally Posted by Jennifer
Um... What???

It DOES change the likelihood.

If you do the test in real life (not theory, REAL life), the answer is 2/3. What on earth are you talking about?
But that answer was still calculated by math, and I don't totally agree with math. I think we only come up with that answer because of a flaw in how math was formulated. Just because the probability of a coin toss is 50/50 doesn't mean that if you throw it 20 times, 10 of them will be heads. Reality only tends toward probability, it doesn't fall into it precisely.

Well theoretically, there's no reason to believe that the door I didn't choose is more likely than the chosen door, because it's still equally likely that that I chose the correct door in the first place than that I didn't.

I don't understand why you would use that basis to make your choice anyway.

2. Originally Posted by athenian200
Well theoretically, there's no reason to believe that the door I didn't choose is more likely than the alternate door, because it's still equally likely that that I chose the correct door in the first place than that I didn't.
If you can choose 1 out of 3 with a 50/50 chance of winning, you need to get your butt to Vegas, my friend. You have a fine and liesurely career ahead of you.

3. Originally Posted by Jennifer
Yay! Yay! My first answer was uniquely wrong! Even in my wrongness, I am unique!

Originally Posted by athenian200
But that answer was still calculated by math, and I don't totally agree with math. I think we only come up with that answer because of a flaw in how math was formulated. Just because the probability of a coin toss is 50/50 doesn't mean that if you throw it 20 times, 10 of them will be heads. Reality only tends toward probability, it doesn't fall into it precisely.
Ahem, athenian200, regarding the question of whether empirics hold up to theory, I strongly suggest reading the responses to Marilyn vos Savant's column (linked to previously):

We've received thousands of letters, and of the people who performed the experiment by hand as described, the results are close to unanimous: you win twice as often when you change doors. Nearly 100&#37; of those readers now believe it pays to switch. (One is an eighth-grade math teacher who, despite data clearly supporting the position, simply refuses to believe it!)

4. Originally Posted by athenian200
But that answer was still calculated by math, and I don't totally agree with math. I think we only come up with that answer because of a flaw in how math was formulated. Just because the probability of a coin toss is 50/50 doesn't mean that if you throw it 20 times, 10 of them will be heads. Reality only tends toward probability, it doesn't fall into it precisely...

So.... math and real-life experience is wrong.

We sent people to the moon using basic math. I think that's precise enough for you to calibrate your life by.

...I don't understand why you would use that basis to make your choice anyway.
Ummm.... Reality?

Okay, okay... you are just very much catching me off-guard. No biggie, in the large scheme of things. (Unless you're on a game show next week.)

5. Originally Posted by Economica
All right, FINE -- the answer is 153&#37;!!!

There! My third answer is utterly and uniquely (even if predictably) WRONG, and thus that combination makes me a wonderfully uniquely wrong person! Yay!

(And if you say that is the third most common wrong answer, I shall have to resort to "Fish" as my fourth answer. Don't push me! )

6. Originally Posted by Jennifer
All right, FINE -- the answer is 153%!!!

There! My third answer is utterly and uniquely (even if predictably) WRONG, and thus that combination makes me a wonderfully uniquely wrong person! Yay!

(And if you say that is the third most common wrong answer, I shall have to resort to "Fish" as my fourth answer. Don't push me! )
Yeah, yeah, you're unique, just like everybody else. [rolls eyes]

7. Originally Posted by Jennifer

So.... math and real-life experience is wrong.
Well, the math wasn't wrong, but I don't the way the probability was determined was correct for that situation. I think everyone is applying it based on rules, and those rules don't apply to this situation. I think the perception of the situation is being distorted by rules and numbers. I don't know how to explain it, but I'll find a way eventually.

8. Originally Posted by Jennifer
All right, FINE
O-kay, I'm retreating back to non-posting mode now.

I hope to be alert again tomorrow.

9. Originally Posted by Economica
O-kay, I'm retreating back to non-posting mode now.
Why? I was joking. *confused*

Originally Posted by oberon67
Yeah, yeah, you're unique, just like everybody else. [rolls eyes]
You can be a snowflake too, if you'd like. (So we all can be unique together!)

10. Originally Posted by athenian200
Well, the math wasn't wrong, but I don't the way the probability was determined was correct for that situation. I think everyone is applying it based on rules, and those rules don't apply to this situation. I think the perception of the situation is being distorted by rules and numbers. I don't know how to explain it, but I'll find a way eventually.
That's why you're confusing me.

This is not math. This is what actually happens if you do the experiment in real life. If you switch your choice each time, you *will* win a number of times that approaches 2/3 if you simply do the experiment enough times.

So I'm not sure how you can sit here and say that someone is fudging with the rules of math. It has nothing to do with rules. Real life trumps theory and math and speculative thinking. In fact, honest math is derived from real life, not something that is imposed on it.

It simply sounds like you're denying what's in front of you because you don't want to accept it.

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