Re: Shooting room paradox (addendum)

Kennita Watson (
Thu, 5 Dec 1996 22:12:11 -0800

Hal says:
>I think you are saying here that you agree that in the shooting room
>experiment as I described it, the observers would be justified in expecting
>to see the double sixes with 90% probability. But if did another kind
>of experiment where we just put some people in a room and rolled some
>dice, in that case we'd be back to 1/36.
>It still seems strange to me to imagine being one of the people in
>the shooting room. I am about to watch someone roll a perfectly fair
>pair of dice, yet I expect this totally unlikely outcome to occur with
>90% probability! It seems almost magical, as though an unseen hand is
>reaching out to manipulate the rolling dice and bring them up double
No you don't. What you expect is a 1/36 chance of being in a 90% majority
(out of a group of size X) that sees the dice come up sixes, and a 35/36
chance of being in a 10% minority (out of a group of _at least_ size 10X)
that never sees sixes. The numbers are approximate, but I hope they get
the idea across.


Kennita Watson | The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,| but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do
| members of the same family grow up under the same roof.
| -- Richard Bach, _Illusions_