Sunday, July 6, 2008
Things I Learned Today at 37,000 Feet
1) Suppose you're on a game show and you're given the choice of three doors. Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. The car and the goats were placed randomly behind the doors before the show. The rules of the game show are as follows: After you have chosen a door, the door remains closed for the time being. The game show host, Monty Hall, who knows what is behind the doors, now has to open one of the two remaining doors, and the door he opens must have a goat behind it. If both remaining doors have goats behind them, he chooses one randomly. After Monty Hall opens a door with a goat, he will ask you to decide whether you want to stay with your first choice or to switch to the last remaining door. Imagine that you chose Door 1 and the host opens Door 3, which has a goat. He then asks you "Do you want to switch to Door Number 2?" Is it to your advantage to change your choice? (Source: Krauss and Wang 2003:10)
2) Only one crime is defined in the U.S. Constitution. What is it?
1) Yes. Your odds of winning improve from 1 in 3 to 2 in 3 if you switch doors. But most people don't make the switch because they are under the false assumption that the chances of winning don't improve.
2) Treason (Congrats to J.G. for correctly answering this one)