What are the odds?

Earlier today I put up a short post about firing Al Trautwig. At the same time, wholly unbeknown to me, Don (my roommate) was creating a Facebook group called Fans Against Al Trautwig. The odds of this are incredible. Let me do the math for you:

  • It is estimated that 106,456,367,669 people have existed on this planet.
  • The odds of picking two of these people at random and having those 2 be Don and me are ~ 1/106,456,367,669 * 1/106,456,367,669
  • Assume we both think of a human (any human) at a given point in time.
  • I estimate the odds of both of us thinking about the same human to be 1/1000*1/1000 (1000 being the intersection of people we both know)
  • The universe is about 13.7 billion years old = 1.20091635 × 1014 hours
  • The odds of me having a cogent thought in the timespan of an hour are estimated to be 1/500.
  • Assume Don thinks (yes, I know this is the weak point in my argument).

The odds of picking 2 people, having those 2 people be Don and I, having us think about Al Trautwig in the same hour, having that hour be this morning, having us exist at this point in time, and choosing this situation to occur within the known age of the universe is then (plus or minus 40 orders of magnitude):
1/106,456,367,669 * 1/106,456,367,669 * 1/1000 * 1/1000 * 1/500* 1/1.20091635 × 1014 = 1.46 × 10-45

= 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000146


~ by wcuk on July 11, 2007.

4 Responses to “What are the odds?”

  1. The fact that you and Don thought of something at the same time has nothing to do with the total number of people in the world. It is merely and intersection of the thoughts of two people. Also, it’s TdF season, so more of your thoughts are devoted to cycling/TV coverage. Also, the age of the universe doesn’t come into play (you’d have a better arguement in showing the time that both you and Don have been alive.

  2. nonsense, poopypants. You force me to nerd out on my own blog:

    I gave the a priori probability, the probability that, at the beginning of time, you asked the odds that Don and I existed and thought about that topic at that point in time.

    Plus, I am not using the total # of people in the world, but the total number of people who have ever existed. This does matter (consider the limiting case where people do not exist, the probability I give must then be 0, so the probability must be a function of the total number of people)

    Plus, it is incorrect to multiply probabilities like I did, since the events are not independent.

    Plus, I did not normalize properly.

    Plus, it is a joke.

  3. Plus your face!

  4. You suck!

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