Thursday, June 26, 2008

Future Shock - I

In my last post, I discussed how looking at history as an input to a system can help predict stuff. This new series (Future Shock) expands on the idea. For the sake of continuity, skim through the post below first - "The macro on decision logic".

There's a school of thought, called determinism, that disregards the notion of randomness in any event. Every event that happens is the result of some causal factors or forces that went before it. Effectively, there's no coincidences anymore. Determinism says that if you've won the lottery on your birthday, there's a reason for it.

One way to rationalize this is by looking at the usual keystones of probability, rolling dice and flipping coins. Your rolling a six is usually considered to have the odds of 1 in 6. Obvious, right? But consider that the outcome (i.e. the 6 that you've rolled) was influenced by a bunch of different factors - the weights of the different faces of the dice, the force with which the dice was thrown, angle of impact, elasticity of the dice and contact surface, etc.

Hypothetically, if these factors had been been measured beforehand, then just understanding the interaction between these factors would mean that the rolled six could've been predicted.

No comments: