Tuesday, April 05, 2011

probabilities and surprise

Watch out, Mum - you want to stand back - there's a 50/50 chance that I'm going to throw up.
Uh, oh - it just got worse. 45% that I won't throw up.

[meanwhile, in another room]

Oh, wow! look at that!

Yep, says the parent. That's one purple knuckle you've got there. 

Kid, enraptured, oh - and I don't want to straighten it! See? (rotates hand back and forth, eyes wide with fascination) and it doesn't bend, either. It's - it's - the Eldest, struck by a new thought, looks up, it hurts!

Tonight's score on the kid-o-meter: 50% chance of child self-awareness before incident. .0007% chance, going forwards. Degrees of accuracy? assuming a confidence interval of oh, not so very much, and correcting for variability in the data, um, it depends.

1 comment:

joy said...

Mathily related, today's xkcd nearly made me cry.
So. Haunting. So. Beautiful.
For posterity: http://xkcd.com/881/