I’ve spent my share of time considering what goes into being “successful” – however that term may wish to be interpreted (career success, success in relationships, success in sports, etc.). Most of us can admit that success is the result of some parts skill and some parts luck. But at what proportion do luck and […]

Borrowing a well-known problem from Leonard Mlodinow’s The Drunkard’s Walk: Suppose a mother is carrying fraternal twins and wants to know the odds of having two girls, a boy and a girl, and so on. […]  What are the chances she will have at least one girl? Given the odds of having a boy are equal […]

Apologies for the Upworthy-like title, but it’s true. Thanks to Justin Wolfers for this one.

Courtesy of Cyanide and Happiness:

This past week, the University of Puget Sound became the first University to accept an alumnus gift via Bitcoin, according to the Seattle Times. Here’s a primer on Bitcoin from Puget Sound senior Emily Neville. Despite this growing prevalence of Bitcoin, some alternative currencies out there may have the ability to supplant Bitcoin. HT to […]

One for my Intro students today, as a follow up to recent class discussions on world poverty. Miles Kimball shares one of his students’ posts on the optimistic side of addressing world poverty – that in context, we’ve actually made quite a bit of progress: Here’s Jessica’s money quote: […] [P]eople tend to focus on […]

How does language influence logic? In Gilboa’s canonical Theory of Decision Under Uncertainty, he describes the challenges to the theory of induction, which is a cornerstone of the “frequentist” approach to handling probabilities. The concept of induction is this: Suppose you want to determine the chance of an event occurring (say, the chance of a coin […]