Critical thinking skills and conspiracies (Part 2)

See Part One

The most common example used to demonstrate the principles of critical analysis of evidence is the coin toss. It is easy to follow. Statistics is a branch of mathematics, and deals with probability. Nothing is impossible in statistical analyses, and probability only measures likelihood that some event will or will not happen.

A single coin toss yields the following possibilities: Heads (50%), tails (50%). That never changes. However, it is a little more complicated when we measure the probability of more than one coin toss. What are the chances that if we flip a coin twice, that it will come up heads BOTH times?

The answer is 25%, or one chance in four. We get this answer by multiplying the chance of heads (50%) for each coin toss. 50% X 50% = 25%. The odds of three heads in a row? 50% x 50% x 50% = 12.5%, or one chance in eight.

When phenomena are RELATED, we can MULTIPLY probabilities of their occurrence together. Two coin tosses are RELATED phenomena.

So, what are the odds of tossing a coin and getting heads ten times in a row? The answer is 50% raised to the tenth power, or 50% x 50% … ten times, or the decimal .0009765625. That works out to one chance in 1,024. It is not impossible. It is merely highly unlikely.

So what if you have already rolled heads ten times in a row? What are the odds of rolling heads an eleventh time? (50%. Any single coin toss is always a 50-50 chance.)

We are often told that conspiracy theorists discount the possibility of coincidence. We do not. We are simply critical thinkers with a grasp of statistical probability. The odds, for instance, of one hijacking being pulled off by a small group of men armed only with box cutters is slim, say one in 25. So many things could have gone wrong. The odds of that happening four times in one day is one in 25 to the fourth power, 1/390,625. Of course, 25 is just a number I grabbed, but the point is that the chances of success were not 100%, and the chances of four successes that day were simply astronomical.

Couple that unlikelihood with other events of the day, such as the complete failure of the United States air defense system, and you might begin to understand why high skepticism about the official story is in order.

End, part 2
See part 3
_________________
PS: Suppose that the probability of success of an airline hijacking using only box cutters was higher – suppose that each of the four supposed hijackings on 9/11/2001 had a 50% chance of success. Even then, the chances of four successes would be only one in sixteen (50% raised to the fourth power).

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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7 Responses to Critical thinking skills and conspiracies (Part 2)

  1. steve kelly says:

    But can we at this point live without being told “The Big Lie” over and over again? It seems part of our conditioning, to accept the daily dose of whatever. It’s a fake, if course. Man-made environments have been fully accepted as reality by most. Reality is a museum-piece, a relic marking the end of something we may never understand before we wipe it from the face of the earth in the name of convenience and progress. Happy St. Pat’s Day.

    Like

    • On the encouraging side the reason for the stepped-up repression we are seeing is the increased awareness caused by the Internet. The downside there, of course, is that the internet will come under control and be blanded down so as to be as useful as NPR.

      For the time being, the blend of thought control using the “conspiracy theory” meme to get people to avoid evidence coupled with censorship of mainstream media still yields a pretty well dumbed-down population.

      Like

  2. steve kelly says:

    “Returning to America, the supposed Olympus of Cool, trudging through trash-strewn sidewalks of Queens, tramping along the endless alleys of Brooklyn, stepping into a dimly lit Manhattan office elevator and there encountering yet another Victoria Nuland lookalike, I began to understand. The year 2014 was the fatal year when it was suddenly revealed who is who and what is what, like a sharp knife slashing through an old, moldy, dusty curtain. Think not of conspiracies and dark, complex, sinister geopolitical plots. These went with a different generation, when people might have been greedy and cruel, but they also had the ability to distinguish reality from fiction. That was the era of western imperialism, which is long dead. Churchill and Roosevelt and Nixon are all dead; Kissinger is a nonagenarian. Their replacements do not think in terms of Realpolitik; they think in terms of optics, and dwell in a mirrored hall devised to generate an optical illusion of their hallucinated greatness.”
    http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-rage-of-cultural-elites.html#more

    Nice!

    Like

  3. Big Swede says:

    Here’s some critical thinking.

    Duck and cover under your desk.

    Like

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