Probability

We do not know how to predict what would happen in a given circumstance, and we believe now that it is impossible, that the only thing that can be predicted is the probability of different events.

— RICHARD FEYNMAN, 1963

People don’t realize that we cannot forecast the future. What we can do is have probabilities of what causes what, but that’s as far as we go. And I’ve had a very successful career as a forecaster, starting in 1948 forward. The number of mistakes I have made are just awesome. There is no number large enough to account for that.

—  ALAN GREENSPAN

In A Nutshell: Given the uncertainty inherent in things, we cannot predict precisely what would happen in any circumstance. Everything is a matter of probability.

The Science

Probability in quantum mechanics – Straightforward video explaining the science.

Quantum Wave Functions: What’s Actually Waving? – An entertaining approach discussing Quantum Mechanics and probability.

Richard Feynman – The Character of Physical Law – Probability and Uncertainty – A great (56 minute) video of a lecture by brilliant and entertaining Richard Feynman.

How It Can Apply In Our World

10 Examples of Using Probability in Real Life – Shows how using probability is common in everyday life.

Develop a “Probabilistic” Approach to Managing Uncertainty – Harvard Business Review article on how some companies are dealing with uncertainty.

Risk Analysis – Every organization or project has to deal with the known and unknown risks that might prevent accomplishing its goals. This is an example of a program to deal with those risks. As they note, “Risk analysis is all about probability, not certainty.”

COVID-19 Brings Calculus, Stats, Probability Theory into Our Daily Lives – A May, 2020 article about how Ohio was dealing with the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Event Risk Tool – This is a cool tool provided by Georgia Tech that helps you determine the Covid risk level associated with different events you might be planning or attending.

 

Quantum Sense – My writings on the subject.

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