# Category Archives: Probability

## Cars kill more people than guns

Claudia Dreifus, a writer for the NY Times, recently interviewed Edward Humes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. The subject of the interview is Humes’s latest book (pictured below) on the deadly dangers of automobiles. The book is titled “Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious … Continue reading

## Simple Explanation of the Monty Hall Problem

This is the simplest and fastest explanation of the Monty Hall Problem we have ever seen.

## Lon Fuller’s Speluncean Explorers

In our previous post, we mentioned Peter Suber’s beautiful book on Lon Fuller’s fictional “Case of the Speluncean Explorers.” By way of background, this hypothetical case occurs in the year 4300 A.D. in the Commonwealth of Newgarth. The relevant facts … Continue reading

## “Choking and Excelling at the Free Throw Line”

That is the title of this excellent empirical study by Darrell Worthy, Arthur Markman, and Todd Maddox. In case you’re wondering, their data set was comprehensive: it consisted of all free throws attempted during the last minute of all regular-season … Continue reading

## Contagion theory of violence

Check out this provocative open-access paper titled Contagion in Mass Killings and School Shootings (Towers, et al., 2015). Here is an extended excerpt (footnotes omitted): “We fit a mathematical contagion model to the data sets, with model terms that take … Continue reading

## 2016 presidential election forecast

Happy Canada Day! Check out this election forecast from our friends at FiveThirtyEight. Is Nate Silver underestimating Trump’s chances again? Or does Clinton really have this locked up?

## Price effects, virtue effects, and the law

Richard Craswell, a law professor at Stanford, once posed the following question in his paper titled “Promises and Prices”: why do economists and philosophers who study law differ so greatly in the relevance they assign to price effects. Here is … Continue reading

## Brexit odds

As a public service, let’s translate these betting odds into plain English. If a bettor wagers £10 that a majority of voters in Britain will vote to leave the European Union (“leave”), odds of 6/1 implies that the bettor stands to make … Continue reading