Joe was grading statistics homework and quizzes last night. He's teaching a 10 day winter session course. These are usually students who excel mightily and just squeeze this in at the community college before heading back to their four-year colleges and universities, or ... people who just found out over Christmas that they failed stats in the fall and have to complete the course before spring semester begins.

The following story seems to be about one of the latter students.

Joe started ranting out of the blue. "150%? Seriously? Can she seriously mean 150%?" He faded off into a disgruntled mutter.

"150% of what?" I ventured.

"This student is saying there's a 150% chance of something happening! Seriously? I mean, even if you don't get the math, apply some logic!" he ranted on.

I tried to appeal to his imagination. "Well, maybe she's a sci-fi fan."


"Yeah, maybe this thing has such a huge percent chance of happening, that it's absolutely guaranteed to happen in our reality and it carries over to have a 50% chance of also happening in an alternate reality." I giggled.

He rapidly got on board, "Yeah, like I have a 100% chance of doing something and it's such a strong likelihood that it forces someone else to also have a 50% chance of being forced to do it to."

This went back and forth for an embarrassingly long time.

Never debate actual statistical realities with sci-fi fans.


1 comment:

Chris said...

This is a wonderful result of the multiverse solution for the Theory of Everything. Of course, if you take that to its logical conclusion than there is always a 100% chance of everything occurring somewhere.

It boggles the foot.