Posts Tagged ‘Logic’

Did the world’s smartest woman make a mistake?

March 22, 2015

Marilyn vos Savant, who was briefly listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the highest I.Q. on record, has a column in Parade magazine in which she answers readers’ questions.

ask.marilyn_In September 1990, Marilyn vos Savant devoted one of her columns to a reader’s question, which presented a variation of the Monty Hall Problem:

“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. You pick a door, say #1, and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door, say #3, which has a goat. He says to you, “Do you want to pick door #2?” Is it to your advantage to switch your choice of doors?”

“Yes; you should switch,” she replied. “The first door has a 1/3 chance of winning, but the second door has a 2/3 chance.”

via pricenomics.

She received thousands of answers, almost all much like this one.



The pitfall of relying on intelligence and logic

July 10, 2014

Last week a blogger called Avery Penarrun wrote:

Smart people have a problem, especially although not only when you put them in large groups.   That problem is an ability to convincingly rationalize nearly anything.  [snip]

If you know all the constraints and weights – with perfect precision – then you can use logic to find the perfect answer.  But when you don’t, which is always, there’s a pretty good chance your logic will lead you very, very far astray.

Most people find this out pretty early on in life, because their logic is imperfect and fails them often.  But really, really smart computer geek types may not ever find it out.

Click on The Curse of Smart People for his complete post.   It is, of course, not an argument for replacing reason with gut feeling, but against over-confidence and in favor of frequent reality checks.