Monday, August 04, 2008


I’m a dummy. I’m an ignoramus. I’m a dummy. Sunday at the humanist meeting, I was approached and castigated by an intense fellow humanist for my ignorance. My natural mind, it seems, is incapable of understanding statistical truths. I’m barely able to talk about it, I know so little about it.

How many times have I now disparaged the Monty Hall paradox? Several times now, I’ve claimed that it is not true that if you switch doors after Monty hypothetically opens one of the goat doors behind which two goats and one Rolls Royce wait, your chances of winning the Rolls will increase to two thirds as opposed to one-third if you stick with your first choice. I’m wrong. It’s beyond me. I know… I can barely make a straight statement about the situation. You must read it for yourselves. I’m linking you to a representation of the game show that demonstrated to me how wrong I am.

But let me be the first to state how wrong I am. Once I start to think about it, I do sort of understand the situation, but the mathematics of it does escape me. But I had to stop and think about the fact that Monty never shows me the door I have chosen first. He puts that aside and shows me whats behind another door, and in that failure to let me see my first choice all hell breaks loose in my blinkered intuitional brain. Perhaps I'm meant to be a believer.

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