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The Statistics of Blink-Free Group Photos (and the Beauty of Statistics)

This is the best thing to come out of Australia, ever. This physicist and his statistician buddy figured out how many shots you need to take of a group of people before you can be 99% certain that no one is blinking.

Read about it here.

It's stuff like this that shows exactly why I like statistics. There are answers to the big questions in life, and they don't come from a book of nomadic fairy tales; they come from probability, and most of the answers are "there's almost no chance of you getting what you want; give up."

That's the kind of honesty I look for in wisdom to live by. It's freeing. And it makes you so much more appreciative of everything good you get out of life.

Every nice thing in your life is a statistical anomaly to be cherished. The vast majority of things are so-so or worse. But if something really nice comes your way, know that it is in the second standard deviation or more above the mean. It is a special little gift from Probability, given to you for no more reason than the fact that you are alive. You don't deserve it; it's just yours.

Who needs religion with that kind of benevolence driving the universe for free?

Comments

Who'd have thunk it would be so impossible to photograph 50 people? I guess it's time to break out Photoshop, eh?