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## Why Improbable Things Really Aren't166

First time accepted submitter sixoh1 writes "Scientific American has an excellent summary of a new book 'The Improbabilty Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day' by David J. Hand. The summary offers a quick way to relate statistical math (something that's really hard to intuit) to our daily experiences with unlikely events. The simple equations here make it easier to understand that improbable things really are not so improbable, which Hand call the 'Improbability Principle:' 'How can a huge number of opportunities occur without people realizing they are there? The law of combinations, a related strand of the Improbability Principle, points the way. It says: the number of combinations of interacting elements increases exponentially with the number of elements. The 'birthday problem' is a well-known example. Now if only we could harness this to make an infinite improbability drive!"
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## Why Improbable Things Really Aren't

• #### Law of large numbers (Score:0, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @03:25AM (#46274063)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_large_numbers

This is old news mister Slashdot.

• #### Re:intuit (Score:2, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @04:14AM (#46274171)

Intuit has been in use as a verb for more than two hundred years. Your personal shortcomings do not and should not dictate what is acceptable in a Slashdot summary unless you happen to be the one writing said summary.

• #### Re:Law of large numbers (Score:4, Informative)

on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @05:27AM (#46274323) Homepage
Law of truly large numbers [wikipedia.org] is the applicable law here, but the mistake is understandable.

Dealing with the problem of pure staff accumulation, all our researches ... point to an average increase of 5.75% per year. -- C.N. Parkinson

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