### percentages... are you comfortable with????

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I posted this on another thread, and then thought is would be a good topic...

To prove your chances... take a single die and roll it. There is a 16.67% chance it will roll the number you want. Now... take the die and roll again, hoping the "6" doesn't come up. You may be able to roll the die three times, four times, maybe ten times and the "6" will not come up. OR, you roll the die and the "6" comes up EVERY time, four times in a row. This is called chance, or luck of the roll. So, what is the roll going to be on 010100?? What percentages are you comfortable with? What percentages are being reported in your neck of the woods??? 75%???? 50%??? 83%??? At what percentage are you willing to bet your life, and your family's life?

Hedge your bets... If the government rolls a "6", will you be affected? What about power? Will you be affected if power rolls "snake eyes"???

That's what I hate about percentages and SPIN. I am not comfortable if they say there is a .01% chance of failure. Is the data they are taking this information from accurate?

What were the percentages that an F5 tornado would have formed over Oklahoma? Or a hurricane like Mitch FORMING in the Gulf of Mexico.

I HATE percentages...

Got preps???????????

waterin' the bushes,

The Dog

-- Dog (cmpennell@juno.com), June 07, 1999

Percentages............

"Look friend, now that you've looked into this Y2K thing a bit, what would you guess the chances of serious problems are? 50%? 30%? 5%? How about just 1%?"

"Well..... maybe 1% chance of a depression or worse."

"Ok friend, lets put that 1% in perspective. How many flights by major airlines are there daily in the US? Lets just pull out a low ball number and say 1000. If only 1% had catastrophic problems we would be seeing TEN MAJOR AIRLINE CRASHES A DAY!!. Now just think of that! 10 major crashes a DAY. The airline industry would just shut down. Nobody would fly. The industry would be devastated. All of a sudden 1% seems like pretty lousy odds when we talk about something important, huh?"

"Ya, I guess it makes sense, but I never fly anyway. I just go to work and stay at home.... "

"Lets get back to that 1% and bring it home for you. You work five days a week so you make a trip to work and back every day. Figure weekends and vacations, whatever, you are still making over 400 car trips a year just driving to work and back. If 1% of those times you had a major accident that means you would have FOUR MAJOR ACCIDENTS a YEAR!! One every three months on average. You see, when the stakes are high enough even 1% odds are really really bad. It's the same with Y2K. Very conservative people place the odds of major problems higher than 0. With the kind of problems we are talking about, anything higher than a statistical 0 are just too high."

"I guess you are right. Maybe I should take a few precautions."

"RIIiight, there ya go!"

-- Art Welling (artw@lancnews.infi.net), June 07, 1999.

That's a pretty dodgy argument Art.

-- humpty (Iam_not_a_number@hotmail.com), June 07, 1999.

Hi, Art!

Good start, but I don't think we're looking at a case of 1% serious accident and 99% nothing at all. More like taking a long trip in a rusted out jalopy with bald tires. The chances of completing the trip without anything going wrong are slim. Probably several things will go wrong, but you don't know what. Chances of a fatal error aren't much higher than normal (depending on what fails when, of course).

Yes, you can take along extra oil, and some spare tires, and some tools and parts. Mechanic skills will be real useful, and so will the repair manual. Depending on what fails, you may be able to handle it. You may not, even if the breakdown doesn't physically injure you. You might not even have any problems. But I hope you don't have a deadline.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), June 07, 1999.

Flint- That is probaby one of the best Y2K analogies that I have ever read. The only point to perhaps be added is that EVERYBODY ELSE is also on the road in their beat-up jalopys, many with 1/10th of a tank of gas, many who are aiming to "liberate" your vechicle if they see that it has more to offer. And calling road service may not be an option.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.com), June 07, 1999.

At least in the jalopy, if (when ?) it fails, it just coasts to a stop. You can then open the door (jump out the window if the door jams shut!) and get out. Once you are "out" you can walk - assuming the neighbors are friendly.

Now, imagine you're in a old biplane - whose wings are shakin' and rattlin', the engine is sputtering, the compass is spinnin', and the sky is getting darker - do you dare try to fly overnight and land in the fog, or you try to land now while there's light below and an airfield is in site.

Landing now might slow you down, might cost soem money to get the engine checked, but at least you can climb out. It beats trying to climb out in the dark after the engine quits, and when the ground is a long way down......

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), June 07, 1999.

People don't necessarily respect the odds/probabilities in their preparations. Or we would have more people preparing for a major earthquake in California (2-5% chance annually in So. California or Bay Area of San Andreas Fault Quake, 7.0 or better..).

Y2K is a one-time event. It is correspondingly harder to predict the probable outcomes. Therefore, what WE can do is to try to make best estimate and worst case predictions. Prepare for the likely worst case, and make sure that you aren't shooting yourself in the foot in a most probable event.