Your verification ID is: guDlT7MCuIOFFHSbB3jPFN5QLaQ Big Computing: What to do when another Blogger writes about a topic better than you

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What to do when another Blogger writes about a topic better than you

The answer is to re-post. I follow the Falkenblog because he is a fun read, and he has an interesting history. He did a post about about the percentage of male children question I posted earlier. The comments he got were great. In the post he also includes a link to Steve Landsburg's Blog  where he gives his approach to a solution and the approaches and solutions of some other people. I first heard this problem in college from Joe Mitchell when I was at Cornell. Joe is at SUNY Stony Brook now. That was the same class where I first heard of the Monty Hall problem, Simpson's Paradox and the Inspection Paradox. I will always fondly remember the only class I actually attended.

It was funny to me that these conversations always go abstract math with such ease and speed. Post after post about what happens as the number of children born to a family approaches infinity, but there was no discussion that there is no way for a family to have an infinite number of kids and the process should be truncated with a certain probability that the family just stops after each child. Our models will only be as good as the rules we create to accurately reflect the reality we are trying to model.