Waste less time on Facebook — follow Brilliant.

Real life questions where knowing only math will fail you

Lets say you are supposed to give answer to following question:

"There are 252,200 words in Oxford English dictionary. What is the probability that for any randomly selected word a .com domain is still available for purchase"

Of course in real life the answer is close to Zero. There are many other places where I can tell you this will apply.

Another more relevant discussion is over here http://aioreference.com/denmark-kangaroo-orange-trick-mathematical-vs-real-life-probability/

Can you tell few of them?

Note by Vikram Pandya
3 years, 8 months ago

No vote yet
1 vote


Sort by:

Top Newest

Vikram, I think there is a misconception in your post Denmark Kangaroo Orange Trick & Mathematical vs Real Life Probability. The probability of selecting Denmark is equal to \(\frac{1}{4}\) if we assume the distribution of selecting those 4 countries is uniform but in fact, the tendency for selecting Denmark is higher than the other 3 countries. So, we cannot treat the distribution of selecting those countries is uniform. Its distribution is more likely a Poisson distribution. Similarly with kangaroo and orange, we cannot assume the distribution of selecting them is also uniform. If we assume those three selections as uniform distributions, then the selection process should be as following:

  • Put 4 cards in the box where each card is written with Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, or Dominican Republic.
  • After that, pick a card with closed eyes or we can pick the card in the dark room so we cannot see what is written in each card.

Then it is obvious the probability of selecting each 'country' is equal to \(\frac{1}{4}\). Similar process can be done in selecting kangaroo and orange.

Tunk-Fey Ariawan - 3 years, 7 months ago

Log in to reply

But can't the probability be 1, since on every word in the dictionary, a .com domain may exist, or can be created!

Sahil Arora - 3 years, 8 months ago

Log in to reply

By available I meant "still" available for buying Anyways thanks for pointing out ambiguity now it is fixed. :)

Vikram Pandya - 3 years, 8 months ago

Log in to reply

then, the answer mathematically must be zero, but to get an exact answer, we have to search through google and crosscheck every domain with the dictionary! Haha! Is there any other solution to this? Or am I right!

Sahil Arora - 3 years, 8 months ago

Log in to reply


Problem Loading...

Note Loading...

Set Loading...