Monday, March 12, 2007

Why blog when you can comment? Math and Avril edition!

Over at this post on Andrew Coyne's blog, I blather about the Monty Hall problem and how it doesn't apply to Deal or No Deal:
Just a note for those who might try to apply this logic to Deal or No Deal: don't. I had a long argument with a drunk statistician (full disclosure: I was also drunk) about whether you should switch briefcases at the end of Deal or No Deal, ie. when there is only the briefcase you chose at the beginning of the game and one other left. The Monty Hall problem logic does not apply because Howie Mandel does not open the briefcases and does not know where the $1 million is.
The statistician said I was wrong, but a) she was drunk and b) I had this confirmed by probability dude Jeffrey Rosenthal at U of T when I interviewed him about Deal or No Deal last spring. Also, she was just wrong. Alas, there was a group of people around and all sided with the statistician, because a) I was drunk and b) she's a statistician. It was a very frustrating evening because, though the statistician was very attractive, I would not let it drop. It was almost as bad as the time I was nearly arrested after a quiz night where I got a question "wrong" by answering that Canada was a non-European monarchy. Arrested because... well, let's not get into it.
I am not drunk at this particular moment, just FYI.
Meanwhile, over at this post on Zoilus, I defend Avril Lavigne's new video for Girlfriend:
See, I didn't see it as nerdy vs. cool, but conservative vs. rebellious. But it can be read either way. that's the problem, teen styles that seem obviously conformist to adults often seems "alternative" to teens - and vice versa. Nerd can be cool or outcast depending on perception, likewise black-haired rocker chick. Is it even possible to identify outcasts anymore? Isn't teen culture as fragmented as the rest of the culture ?

Back to the video, what's interesting to me in the double-casting (triple-casting, if you consider the omnipotent narrating blonde Avril) is that now the song is about Avril's inner battle to be "your girlfriend," which apparently means dying your hair black and behaving like a hoodlum. She wants to get you in the portapotty for a quickie, but her prissy/nerdy self is unable to, so she has to fight that restrained part of herself off. It's a coming of age story, in a way.


andrew said...

that guardian job keeping you busy I see.

Anonymous said...

That post was quite entertaining. I think Howie would approve!

J. Kelly said...

Andrew: It's more like the penicillin I've been taking for my strep throat has been keeping me in at nights. If you can't drink in this city, your social life suffers.

andrew said...

You sure it's strep throat and not just the usual black hacking cough everyone gets after a couple of weeks in London Town?

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