Plenty of people have heard me say it before, and I’ll just keep saying it: probability doesn’t real. Seriously.
To prove my point I decided to put a little bit more effort in than usual. I rolled a single die a hundred times. Twice. A neutral set of rolls, and one during which I expected the outcome to be a certain number. For a hundred normal rolls, you’d expect every number to show up about 16-17 times. Let’s see what happens.
Neutral set of a hundred rolls:
1 : 15 times •••••••••••••••
2 : 17 times •••••••••••••••••
3 : 19 times •••••••••••••••••••
4 : 14 times ••••••••••••••
5 : 18 times ••••••••••••••••••
6 : 17 times •••••••••••••••••
Pretty fair die rolls there. All the numbers there are at or around the expectation value, so it’s a balanced die that hasn’t been tinkered with. We can all agree on that, right? Sure, four wasn’t rolled extremely often, but it’s still within mathematically “very well possible” boundaries.
Now here I am playing this rolling game, and I set my mind to rolling a lot of sixes. Just expecting it to happen, visualising it in my mind before I even throw the die. Basically all I’m rolling is sixes, it can’t be any other way. (And then repeat a hundred damned times.) My oh my, let’s have a look at the results.
Focus-on-six set of a hundred rolls:
1 : 17 times •••••••••••••••••
2 : 14 times ••••••••••••••
3 : 16 times ••••••••••••••••
4 : 15 times •••••••••••••••
5 : 14 times ••••••••••••••
6 : 24 times ••••••••••••••••••••••••
Will you look at that! There’s a huge peak in the amount of times a six was rolled!
Before we move on, let me tell you that according to my calculations, the chance of rolling 24 sixes in a set of a hundred dice rolls is approximately 1.6%. That’s a fairly small chance, right? I’d almost say abnormally small, since it deviates a solid 7 times from the expectation value!
Sure, the chance being small doesn’t exclude the possibility of this being a coincidence, but it sure as hell doesn’t prove it!
So, what’s the point I’m making here, you may be wondering? Probability doesn’t really exist. or it does, but it’s just really easy to influence it. An explanation as to how and why would get into deep quantum mechanics, which is probably going to be my Q post.
I strongly recommend you try this out for yourself. Get a die and take the time to roll a hundred times. Then roll another hundred times and try to force a specific number.
Chances are you’ll end up with getting very little rolls for that number, but that’s a good thing. You were subconsciously expecting it not to work, hence rolling very little of the number you were focussing on!
If you won’t be trying it out, at least give me your thoughts (in more than one sentence). Quite a bit of time was put into this post, so some thoughts from my readers would be cool.
Personal thoughts: Probability doesn’t exist, thus causing coincidences to be nonexistent too. You’re influencing (your) (perception of) reality as you go. Try to shape it the way you want it. You can change the outcome of a die-roll, why not try your hand at something bigger?
This is also why I hate the type of maths I’m getting taught and taking exams in this year. It’s all about probability and statistics.
Skeptics gonna skeptic.