18 September 2008

You would think they would know better at the Wall Street Journal

I took statistics in college. I had to. I hated it. One aspect of statistics is probability. What little I remember of probability would not fill a thimble. But I do remember this much: this article is wrong.
New Orleans is still far from being able to withstand a 100-year storm -- in other words, a storm that has a 1% chance of happening next year, a 10% chance in any given decade, and a 30% chance during the duration of a standard mortgage.
Consider this logic: if you role a standard six sided die, there is a one in six (16 2/3 %) chance of rolling a six. If you roll the die twice, you have one chance of rolling a six each time. Taking the logic of the Wall Street Journal in the above quote, if you roll the die twice you have a 33% chance of rolling a six. If this sounds right to you, then remember that rolling the die six times guarantees, 100%, that you will roll a six once. Just ain't so.

You would think they would know better.

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