Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blue and Green Taxis

I was disappointed that nobody had a go at intuiting the taxi problem. I can only assume that all my readers are mathematicians who had worked it out long before me. Anyway, save embarrassment for those who didn't know the answer and didn't feel like showing themselves up in public, although the witness sounds reliable he will be right only 12 in 29 times and wrong 17 in 29 therefore his likeliness of being correct is about 41% and he should be chased out of the witness box.


Jonathan Potts said...

Would have replied - but am a bit too much of a mathematician. But it gives pause for thought if you're ever in a jury. Here's another:

It's about a one in a million chance that two randomly chosen people will have matching finger prints. Once, in a murder investigation, the local police in desperation insisted on getting the finger prints of the 200,000 people who lived in the locality that they knew the murderer was. One of the people had the same finger prints as found at the crime scene so was convicted of murder - it's a one in a million chance that he's innocent! No you fools, it's one in five!

Martin said...

When will the courts finally realise the unreliableness of fingerprint evidence. It is a bit worrying this. Still, fingerprints have their uses in the comercial sector, but if I told you any more I'd have to kill you ;-).