Monday, March 2, 2009

Piling Up

Everything in life just seems to pile up. Like the stuff on my desk at work. Or the things I keep adding in Greg's old room. At least today I finished my rewiring job on the audio and video equipment so everything is neatly in place. For now.

One thing I was thinking about that really keeps piling up are paid bills (which I guess is better than having unpaid bills pile up). After paying all the monthly bills (mortgage, electricity, phone, credit cards, what have you), they go into the filing cabinet. And even though paper is pretty thin, it adds up and the cabinet gets more and more packed. I was wondering, is there really a point to saving all of this stuff? When is the last time I ever had to go back and actually look at an old bill?

I can't even remember.

My boss told me he never saves any of his bills. As soon as they are paid, he throws them away. That policy hasn't caused him any problems yet.

I was thinking that I ought to save the phone bills, though. What happens if a record of the phone call is crucial to proving my innocence - like on those television crime shows? Haha.. what are the odds?

Speaking of odds - I've been reading an interesting book entitled, The Drunkard's Walk - How Randomness Rules Our Lives, authored by Leonard Mlodinow. He argues that much of what we attribute to cause and effect is really no more than a result of random action. He also says that we are often way off the mark when our minds calculate probability pertaining to a problem or issue we are facing. The book is a lot more interesting than my lame description, let me tell you.

Here's my paraphrase of a probability question from the book:

Two students ask their college professor if they can take a remake test because when they were riding together to class, the car got a flat tire. The professor agrees. The students take the remake exam in separate rooms. There are two questions on the test. One, a technical question, is worth 5% and the other question is worth 95%. The 95% question is: Which tire was it?

What are the odds of them getting it right?

I'll give you the answer in the next post to this blog, as well as post a real doozy of a question from that same book.

Meanwhile, happy Monday to you all (whoever you may be)!


kmiyake said...

HAHA thats a clever test

Rickie Miyake said...

So then what's the answer? You're not attending USC so you should be able to answer it.