Archive for the ‘Base Rates’ Category

American Pharoah: Odds-on favorite, but scientific long-shot …

June 5, 2015

In prior posts we reported how history is against American Pharoah  — How often do Derby & Preakness winners nail the Triple Crown? — and how bettors like long-shots — Biases: The favorite-long shot bias … ».

Today we’ll wrap up Triple Crown Week, excerpting an interesting piece in Wired titled “Science says that American Pharoah won’t win the triple crown”



Here’s the essence of the scientific argument …


Is 150 a big number or a little number?

September 12, 2014

In his speech this week, President Obama said:

Last month, I ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL to stop its advances. Since then, we have conducted more than 150 successful airstrikes in Iraq.

He made it sound like a big deal … and built on the point, saying that the air strikes would continue across a wider target area.  Possibly extending into Syria.

Picture from NATO web site

Of course, the comment got me thinking … are 150 airstrikes a lot or a little?

Works out to about 5 missions per day … which doesn’t strike me as up there with shock & awe.

But, I wanted to put 5-a-day in context and got some counsel  from a friend…