Friday, October 30, 2009

Probability and Me

2011 Full-time MBA candidate Rahul Goyal carved out a few minutes before Halloween to present an interesting take on playing the odds in life and academics at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business.
What's the probability that even after studying hard for an exam, I'll score an A? Hmm. Almost .0001%.
What's the probability that I would remember what I studied last night in exam?
Thinking 0.00001%.
My Experiences with Doors
What is the probability that I would be able to open the door with the first key randomly selected from a set of six keys? 0.0000001%. From the second one - 0.00001%, From the third key - 0.0001%, Fourth key - 0.001%, fifth 0.01% and the last key - 10%. Wondering where's the rest? Depends on the kind of the door.
And When it Rains…
The probability that I'd forget my umbrella when it's pouring outside? Definitely 75%. And the probability that I'd get drenched even after carrying an umbrella? 80%. (Why? At times, umbrellas just get jammed up on me … and don’t forget the issue with finding the right key on the first try.)
Ok Ok! I’m not writing anymore about the probability of my failure in so many trivial activities. I've even stopped wondering, “why me?” because it has become natural to me. Now, while opening doors, I wait until the the last key comes in my hand. While writing exams, I give myself a scope of error from "forgetting concept" and expect no more than a B+.
Why am I documenting the trivial and stupid things? Believe it or not these things have started affecting me and my surroundings enough that I've found same folks saying "Pass on the keys, let me open the door." Consistently these people unlock the doors in seconds. Unlike me, who may first struggle with the keys for a good 10 minutes and then look helplessly at people who offer a helping (key) hand. Sometimes in spite of the probability, happenstance prevails!

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