Fang Talks

Not finishing projects since 1994.
18 04 12

Probability

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.
~ Fang

Comments

  • 20/04/2012 (8:50 PM)

    Nice..

    Mainstream scientists often tend to rely on probabilities as proof.
    Though, in my opinion, probability doesn’t really tell anything, since it has no relation to time. If something were truly random, then in the range of -infinity .. +infinity, it would have all sorts of repetitive patterns of probability anyway. Now who knows, which values we happen to observe from the infinite range .. we could have someone walking through a wall several times over, even though the probability would be something like 10E-10000000000. Perhaps it would all balance out anyway so that there’s no-one to walk through that wall for the next billion years, for example.

    Still find it difficult to explain.. =S

  • 20/04/2012 (11:23 AM)

    I have been getting thoughts about similar things. What is reality? Can we influence it? How could I use it in my own life… Interesting.
    I will try this experiment. I have this feeling that reality might not be what it appears to be.

  • 19/04/2012 (1:14 PM)

    This reminds me too much of high school maths.

  • 19/04/2012 (6:09 AM)

    thank you for sharing

  • 19/04/2012 (3:39 AM)

    That’s kind of cool.

  • Jay
    19/04/2012 (1:25 AM)

    sorcery!!! burn him!!!

  • 18/04/2012 (11:41 PM)

    How come you reply to them but not to me? D: I’m going to tell myself you WILL reply to this, thus increasing the chances of it happening. But you’ll then not answer to prove a point/be a douche. Well while the chance of something happening are real, they can be easily overcome by force of will and other such things. There is no such thing as a coincidence. I’ve always believed this to be the case. Another example that’s probably quicker to do is flipping a coin. Most people would judge what the outcome will be based on the previous coin flip. IE “There’s no way heads is going to come up so many times in a row, it has to be tails!” but rather than the odds of a certain side coming up a certain amount, there is only the probability of it coming up once. You can flip a coin 10 times, or roll a die 100, and you only have the probability of each individual roll/flip producing a certain result. I don’t know if that made any sense at all. Or if you’re even reading this.

    I win the longest comment award. Go me.

    • 19/04/2012 (7:02 AM)

      I was going to reply to you anyway. Your will got enforced retroactively. ;D

      Your example with how people think “heads has come up five times, the next time MUST be tails” is just an example of people sucking at basic maths. The coin flips are all independent, having a 50/50 chance each and every time (unless the coin is weighted or something).
      The outcome of any previous flip/roll does not affect the outcome of any current or future flip/roll. That’s pretty basic.

      But in the end it doesn’t even matter, seeing as how we can just INFLUENCE THE CHANCE OF IT HAPPENING. God do I love pseudoscience, bordering in what stupid people would call “paranormal”.

  • 18/04/2012 (10:11 PM)

    It’s The Field. I told ya dog. x’D. Actually no, Rianne did. Kay.

    • 18/04/2012 (10:21 PM)

      Nah, The Field is tad amateuristic I think, even though there’s plenty of scientists working with that theory. There’s way better ones out there. Amongst which a few non-scientific ones.

  • 18/04/2012 (10:10 PM)

    You’re really a bit of a pseudoscientist, aren’t you? :D

    Once a friend and I tried to test our psychic abilities by guessing if a playing card was black or red. I got 17 out of 20 once. That’s not probable.

    • 18/04/2012 (10:20 PM)

      Yes, yes I am.

      Chance of ~0.1%. Cool ESP you got going there. Or luck. But I just proved that doesn’t exist either.
      Welp, everyone’s a psychic. Most of the people just don’t know it yet.

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