Re: JQ Test 1.0

From: Mike Dougherty (
Date: Fri Jan 27 2006 - 20:49:54 MST

define: "fair coin" =?= implying that it does not have a "heads" printed on
on both sides

explain the mechanics of the flipping machine: If a perfectly weighted coin
is exactly positioned on a perfectly accurate flipping mechanism, a sequence
of exactly the same landing should be indefinitely reproducible. Of course
this does not account for deformations of the coin (or the landing area) due
to damages caused by repeated use, effects of air currents or other ambient
environmental factors, the actual existence of psi/telekinesis, or direct
manipulation of the probability wave governing the eigenstates of future
flip results.

The odds of the next flip being heads is mathematically 50/50, the odds of
the next N flips being all exactly heads (or any specific sequence) is a
homework assignment for Probability 101.

The interesting thing (to me) in this case is that we (collectively)
continue to find puzzles like these amusing. There is a promise of
appearing clever by correctly solving the proposition, but (usually) the
only cleverness required is to ignore the extraneous information presented
to misdirect understanding away from the "answer." A magician's tricks only
work because they exploit a weakness of our focus/attention to process the
feat for performance value while simultaneously gathering sufficient clues
to understand how the trick is accomplished.

These math/logic-oriented puzzles would likely be solved instantly by AI,
and the results possibly delivered with a request for more information about
how they apply to any existing situation or context. At the same time,
ironic situations that make humans instantly chuckle may be an equally
puzzling koan for non-human reasoning. (or not)

>Given that a fair coin is flipped 50 times and comes up
> > >what would you guess as your odds of getting tails next round?
> >
> >

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