Calculating the odds — 8 Comments

  1. “What are the odds on that?”

    Mat Briggs ( is your friend here, and would point out that probability does not “exist” of itself, it is dependent on prior assumptions or data (I think that’s right…) Anyway, interesting blog he has.

    So , given the prior that both the things that you relate happened, the probability (= odds) of each was exactly 100% 🙂

  2. In my experience, whenever a thing plays up, buying a spare makes the original behave itself.  The downside is that I have a shed full of 'spares' I hope I am unlikely to use (even if I could find them).  I hope penny is keeping well (as well as yourself and herself) in these trying times.  How is the coffee shop?


  3. Ah.  I know this one.  Anyone who's been in tech support does.  A fault shows up and disappears the moment you lay hands on it. I used to intone "Oh lord, heal this computer" and you know what – it was fixed.  Until the user got their hands on it again.

    • I read a story once, a computer user was complaining the machine would never have an issue while the technician was watching. So the tech taped his picture inside the cabinet. The issue never happened again.

      • There was a bloke in RTE who demanded that my desk be moved into his office.  He maintained the only time his PC worked properly was when I was there.

        • Well, I have taught computers for years. I have noticed that a bad attitude affects them! I used to teach the computer haters to think of the electrons rushing around inside as tiny "people" that needed tolerance and patience otherwise they would get really muddled by mad clicking, bad temper, and other abuse. A hate affair with computers is not a good thing. I do believe some people do have a beneficial effect on computers. In their inner core, they practice computer ahimsa!

          (Sorry for a repeat – I replied in the wrong place!)

  4. Dear Grandad

    Synchronicity is a wondrous thing; it works with the electric telephone too. When they were still quite a new fangled invention and a size and weight that you could kill a burglar with (late '50s, early '60s), the number of times that someone in our household would dial up a friend or relative only to find them engaged, to discover later that the other party had dialled us up and found us engaged, was a bit disturbing. Bear in mind that using the telephone was something one did maybe two or three times a week. Life was much slower then, I recall.

    Best evidence I have for cosmic resonance or whatever, was when I picked up the phone to call someone, only to discover him on the line. My phone hadn't rung; it was a work phone for which an outside line was obtained by dialling 9, and the other party had been connected via the receptionist. This was much later and the phone was a two tone green and brown affair which would probably only stun a burglar.


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