Fang Talks

You just lost it

Now with a decent blog post!

In Monday’s post, I said “chance”. The word I was looking for was “probability”. Thanks for helping me out there, and sorry for the possible confusion…
In this post, I do mean to say chance, though, as an overlapping term for luck, probability, randomness and the likes.

So… Chance doesn’t exist. Why? There’s several theories. One of them being that measuring something influences the outcome. Another being that we can influence something by expecting it to happen. That’s what I’ll have you work with today.

Nope, sorry, I’m not going in-depth into those, or other, theories. I am, however, giving you a little experiment.
I was planning on giving you an exercise in which you have to roll a dice one hundred times, but it’s tedious, and I have a more fun one in mind.

I’d like to apologize in advance if this all seems a tad bit fluffy and weird. I just want you to sit down and do it, not think too much about how odd it may seem at first. Go with the flow, and actually do it. I don’t want to see comments saying “I’ll try this out sometime”. No, I want comments containing results. It definetly doesn’t take too much time. If you have the time to read through all my jabbering, you have the time to do the exercise, no complaining.

What you need? Not much. Just a deck of 52 cards, or more, if you want. Oh and don’t forget to bring your brain.
Now, sit down, and pick a target card. Make sure it isn’t an odd one out, like having the top-left corner torn off, or being bend. Just a nice card, with a nice number and figure on it that suits you. Just, pick one, it doesn’t really matter. We’ll call it your target card from here on. The goal is to remove all the cards from the deck, except for, you guessed it, your target card.
Now, this is where the “tricky” part starts. Shuffle your deck, with the card’s backs facing you. Let’s say you chose the ace of hearts (in the spirit of upcoming Valentine’s Day) as your target card. Whilst shuffling, expect your target card not to be anywhere near the top. No lousy thinking, just expect it, go with the flow.
Stop. Stop shuffling. Pull out the top six cards or so. There’s no way your card is going to be with those six cards, right? It’s either in a group of 46 or in a group of six. Which one is more likely?
Now, check the top six cards. Your target not there? Good, throw those six cards away on a different pile. You have no need for them anymore. Now, continue narrowing down your pack of cards like you just did. As you have less and less cards left, pick less at a time, if you want to.

You took your target card out on your first try? That’s a good sign. This means your subconcious was all like “meh, this exercise isn’t going to work anyway”, making the opposite happen of what you were trying to do in the exercise.

Now, just for those who want something that’s a bit easier to understand at first sight, I’ll give you the dice exercise, too. Get yourself a dice, some paper and a pen. Make a table with six collumns. You’re going to note down how many times you roll a specific number of eyes in this table. First, roll a hundred times (yes, a hundred. Why? It’s a convenient number. You can use 70 or something too, if you insist) with the dice to see if it’s unevenly balanced or anything. If it’s perfectly balances, every number should be rolled about 16 times.
Now, pick a target number, preferably one that was rolled about 16 times (don’t pick a number that showed up a lot more or less, if your dice is uneven). Do a second group of hundred rolls, and record them. I want you to expect it to roll the target number you picked. Just roll the dice, over and over, and want it, expect it, to roll your target number.
When done, look at your rolling record. Your target number showed up a lot less than the other? You were subconciously thinking “this shit ain’t gonna work” and this forced it to not show up.

I currently don’t have any theory on why and how this works. It just, works.
Remember, sit down and actually do it! Don’t be like “I’ll do it later”. Just do it already! Post results, please.

Sorry for not elaborating too much, but I really have to go now. Still got a lot of school work waiting for me.

See ya folks!
~ Fang


  • 11/02/2011 (1:55 AM)

    Tried the card experiment twice. I used a smaller deck of 32 cards and was flipping sets of 4 at the time. When I was expecting it not to be there I flipped the target card in the 5th hand. When I was expecting it to be there I had it in the 4th hand.

    Does it go according to your theory? yes
    Does it prove your theory? no
    If I took my entire day off I should, according to the theory of big numbers, have linear distribution of hands in which I found the card.

    This is quite an interesting topic and I might dedicate one of my blog post to illustrate my point of view.

  • 10/02/2011 (9:29 PM)

    I don’t know so much if this precludes the idea of chance, as it highlights the power of our subconcious minds.

    Unless you want to start discussing the theory of determination (everything that has been determines everything that will be, we are nothing more than complicated machines, and a powerful enough computer could predict the future exactly if it had all the variables), then I like the idea of chance.


  • 10/02/2011 (6:29 PM)

    Wow, this is a fantasitc analysis of the concept of chance. While I don’t know if I’m entirely convinced, it’s certainly an excellent read! I wouldn’t expect anything less from you.

  • 10/02/2011 (5:23 PM)

    Okay bro. I’ll definitely try this later. Sounds extremely interesting.

    Now where to find a dice…


    Oh and I’ll be sure to post the results.

  • Rob
    10/02/2011 (8:39 AM)

    I do the card thing when I’m bored sometimes.

  • 10/02/2011 (4:16 AM)

    Although technically chance doesn’t exist, it’s just the word we use to describe any possibility of a number of outcomes that are unpredictable. Like flipping a coin.
    If you do something to be able to predict the outcome (double sided coin, looking.feeling the coin before the side is called, etc.) you eliminate chance.

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