From: Roger Turk <73527.1356(--nospam--at)compuserve.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 09:14:03 -0400
Ralph Hueston Kratz wrote:
. > I'm no statistician, but I doubt that the probability of this happening
. > is "none."
. > About 30 years ago a floating bridge in the Seattle area was sunk by a
. > combination of wind speed, wind direction (straight down the very long
. > and narrow Hood Canal), state of the tide, etc. If any of these factors
. > had not occurred in the manner they did the bridge would not have been
. > flooded and sunk. The probability of their combination in the required
. > manner is "probably" very small, but it happened.
. > I'd be wary of considering unlikely events impossible.
. > Remember that kid who threw the basketball the length of the court and
. > won $1 million? What were the chances of that?
Probability is for gamblers (including insurance companies) and abstract
mathematicians, not for engineers.
Statistics always represents what happened in the past, not what will happen
in the future.
A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
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