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Dec
25
awarded  Promoter
Dec
25
comment 2 slightly different situations in which 2 coins are tossed. Does the knowledge of an observer effect the probabilities of the outcomes?
@Rahul: In A the observer only knows about the one coin he looks at. He tells me that at least one of the coins is heads, which in A must mean that the coin he looked at is heads. IOW "At least one of the coins is heads" DOES imply "The first coin is heads". No?
Dec
24
comment In a family with two children, what are the chances, if one of the children is a girl, that both children are girls?
@Jonas I don't agree that I left any ambiguity between "one particular child", "at least one child", and "exactly one child". Look at the context: "I had heard that he had 2 kids and one was a girl. I was going to visit him soon and was wondering about the other child. Girl? or boy?" Clearly this implies that I believed he had at least one girl, and had no knowledge about the other child.
Dec
24
comment 2 slightly different situations in which 2 coins are tossed. Does the knowledge of an observer effect the probabilities of the outcomes?
@Rahul Thank you for not giving up on me. I thought I'd written the question (before the edits) to indicate that in A and B the coins had already been tossed, with at least one heads in both cases, as reported by the observer. In A, the situation is such that the one coin the observer looks at IS heads; in B at least one of the 2 coins he looks at IS heads. Those are givens. Their probabilities are irrelevant, IMO. Therefore my claim that I receive exactly the same information from the observer in both cases.
Dec
24
revised 2 slightly different situations in which 2 coins are tossed. Does the knowledge of an observer effect the probabilities of the outcomes?
added 331 characters in body; added 5 characters in body
Dec
24
comment 2 slightly different situations in which 2 coins are tossed. Does the knowledge of an observer effect the probabilities of the outcomes?
@TonyK So what are the probabilities for A and B as of my first edit? I'll now edit again and have the observer look at both coins in B and pick one, about which he will tell me, if it's heads, "There is at least one heads", or if tails, "There is at least one tails". What is the probability of the other outcome being heads or tails, respectively?
Dec
24
comment In a family with two children, what are the chances, if one of the children is a girl, that both children are girls?
@Jonas "How did you hear that one child is a girl?" I wrote "I had heard that he had 2 kids and one was a girl." I think that implies that someone told me that (or possibly wrote that to me in a letter or email), and that's all I know about my nephew's children. Isn't that the standard interpretation?
Dec
24
comment 2 slightly different situations in which 2 coins are tossed. Does the knowledge of an observer effect the probabilities of the outcomes?
With my edit I believe I've removed any possible analogy with the Monty Hall problem. How about it?
Dec
24
awarded  Editor
Dec
24
revised 2 slightly different situations in which 2 coins are tossed. Does the knowledge of an observer effect the probabilities of the outcomes?
added 602 characters in body; added 5 characters in body
Dec
24
comment 2 slightly different situations in which 2 coins are tossed. Does the knowledge of an observer effect the probabilities of the outcomes?
@Willie It seems absurd to me that the probabilities could be different due to the different knowledge the observer has of the outcomes: knowing about only one of the coins versus knowing about both the coins. What he tells me is identical (and truthful) in both situations: "At least one of the coins is a head".
Dec
24
accepted Is Knopp's “Theory and Application of Infinite Series” out of date?
Dec
24
accepted Amicable pairs: any use for them yet?
Dec
24
accepted What is limit of $\sum \limits_{n=0}^{\infty}\frac{1}{(2n)!} $?
Dec
24
asked 2 slightly different situations in which 2 coins are tossed. Does the knowledge of an observer effect the probabilities of the outcomes?
Dec
23
comment In a family with two children, what are the chances, if one of the children is a girl, that both children are girls?
I believe that last word should be "girls"?
Dec
21
awarded  Nice Question
Dec
21
comment In a family with two children, what are the chances, if one of the children is a girl, that both children are girls?
@Hendrik Well, I thank you for trying. It seems to me that a test could be run that would show who's right. Say 1000 guesses having knowledge A and 1000 guesses having knowledge B.
Dec
21
comment In a family with two children, what are the chances, if one of the children is a girl, that both children are girls?
@Hendrik Yes, I look an only one of the coins, but I don't know which one is the one showing Heads. The knowledge I have is exactly the same as the knowledge gained from someone who has looked at both coins but told me only that one is showing Heads.
Dec
21
comment In a family with two children, what are the chances, if one of the children is a girl, that both children are girls?
@Hendrik But if the coins were identical except for the year they were minted (say 1991 and 1995), I wouldn't be able to tell which one was the one I could see from say, 6 feet away. The only thing I could know is that there is at least one Heads. Rather than a different experiment, it seems the same to me as the one you formulated.