Monday, May 06, 2013

Let's Hope His Lack Of Understanding Of Probability Doesn't Come Back To Bite Him

Here are the comments from a Florida teen who was bitten by a shark:
Adler says he is eager to surf again, despite the attack.

"Now I know I'm not gonna get bit again so I'm not scared," he told WSVN. "I mean, how many people get bitten by a shark, twice?"
Reminds me of the old (pre-9/11) joke about the guy who always carried a bomb on the plane with him to protect himself from other bombers--after all, what's the probability that there are two bombs on the plane?

For both situations I have two words:  conditional probability.

The kid's only 15, though, so it's possible he hasn't studied probability yet.

1 comment:

maxutils said...

He actually phrased it properly ... I suspect that the number of people who get bitten twice is probably at least an order of magnitude less than the number who get bit once ... On the other hand, the odds that he gets bitten are still the same. So had he said, since it's already happened once, it won't happen again ... that would be wrong.