A Conversation for What do Probabilities Mean?
Marjin, After a long time of procrastination back lurking Posted Jun 12, 2001
I think this flat einstein would gasp indeed, as he has no idea HOW to flip a coin into the third dimension. All he knows are forces in his two dimensions, and this will allways result in a rotation or a translation within those two dimensions.
To compare it with our 3D world, you will have to rotate the coin around a SIDE instead of a line, using a force perpendicular to all three dimensions, with no components in the direction of any of those dimensions.
Some other point. There is also a difference between a mathematical chance of something happening (that may be exact .5) and the actual outcome hat wil be somewhere near the predicted value. You will then enter the realm of statistics.
Flip a coin a hundred times, and there will be an number of heads somewhere near 50. Try another 100, and you will probably get another number. Repeat those 100 flips many times, and you will see a distribution with an avarage close to 50.
Sometimes you have to use calculated precditions, as the real experiments will be very difficult. Our math professor used the example of determining the chance that someone would survive being kicked of a churchtower. He feared he would not get the opportunity for many experiments.
So in my view the probability is just a number between 0 and 1, with the expectation that the outcome of a number of experiments will be near this number. That should make me a formalist.
Martin Harper Posted Jun 12, 2001
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