2.26.2007

Statistical Analysis

Blogarita posted a great new recipe on her cookin' site... This, in itself, is not unusual.

However, the fact that she included information about the state from which her recipe originates, which happens to be New Mexico, on the same day that I happen to post about the state of New Mexico is a bit odd.

She pointed it out, I analyzed it.

At first, this seems like not much of a coincidence. But, when you figure that neither Blogarita nor I live in New Mexico, it becomes a bit more interesting. I mean, it is like a 1 in 50 shot that we would both choose the same state to include in our blog entries....

When I thought that to myself, something didn't seem right. So, I thought about it a bit more. There is a 1 in 50 chance that if I were blogging about a state that any other person also blogging about a state would choose the same one. However, for Blogarita and I to both choose the same state randomly, you have to use find the permutations of a factorial... Meaning you have to multiply the the number of possibilities by the number of possibilities.

(I.E. If you have five different types of liquor and you want to figure out how many different ways you can mix them, you would have a factorial of 5, written as "5!," which mathematically equals 5x4x3x2. That's 120 different drink combos, for those that want to know.)

50 states for me to blog about x 50 choices for Blogarita = 2500 total combinations.

The chances of Blogarita and I both choosing to blog about New Mexico is 1/2500.

But, think about this: How often do either Blogarita or I post about states in the first place? After looking at the most current 100 posts of my own, I posted only once about a state and it was my home state. Do you see what an amazing statistical coincidence this is? What does this all mean in the grand scheme of the universe?

Okay, I realize that it really means nothing. I apologize for wasting your time with this post. But, yes, I really am that much of a dork that I think about stuff like this... and, actually, find it the tiniest bit interesting.

Pardon me, I need to go adjust my pocket protector.

10 comments:

Dave Morris said...

Mmmmm, it turns me right on when you talk statistics.

You're right about it being a far-flung chance, but it reminds me of that statistic that states that when you have 20 people in the room, two of them will have the same birthday.

Jen, Fred, Jennifer or Mom said...

Personally Emily, I jsut think you have entirely tooo much free time. :)~

rosemary said...

My brain is whirling...I can barely balance my check book...do you think anyone blogs about Idaho at the same time? Nah...most people think it is either Iowa or Ohio.

Fantastagirl said...

You either have way to much free time OR something...I have a headache just from reading this post!

;)

Blogarita said...

Yes, there are 120 permutations of the five different liquors, but to figure out how many unique combinations (aka, subsets) there are, including the combination of no liquor at all and the combination of all five liquors, then the formula is 2 to the nth power, where n=5 (or however many different types of liquor there are in question).

Now, what are the chances of both of us being complete dorks who are interested in this stuff???

Weary Hag said...

Between you and blogarita (above), my head hurts so much now that I feel like I need a drink but I will NOT do that. After all, what would be the chances of someone else coming into your comment arena and rushing off to have the same drink I would have? Oh Cripes. Nope. No way. I'm not falling prey to such mathematical conspiracies.

Cute post!

Mister Underhill said...

Well, if there are a million things with a one in a million chance to happen one is bound to happen.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Is that a fact(orial)?

Ari said...

I love that kind of stuff too. It seems like that kind of thing comes in waves, though, like maybe there's some kind of unseen tide that moves through humanity.

Damn, that sounded hippified. But watch and you'll see it.

carolinebender said...

Violet! You're mathy! That's hot. See, when stats are about interesting things, I get very excited. But when I think I could be mathy, the class is never about anything meaningful, like cocktails, or blog-odds, or Netflix queues. maybe there is hope for me.