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By RavenBlack, 1st Dune 2000.
Raven   Coincidence

A lady has a dream that her sister is going to be in an accident. The very next day, her sister falls down and breaks her elbow. "Gasp." says the lady, "It must have been some sort of psychic resonance."

"No." interjects the statistician, emerging from his hiding place behind her curtains. "It is simply coincidence."

"But..." says the lady, confused, "How can that be? My sister has only had three other accidents in her entire life! Why should I dream that she would have an accident the very night before?"

"Ah!" says the statistician, "But how many other times have you dreamt that she would have an accident?"

"Never." says the lady. "Well... Maybe once or twice."

"Ahaha!" says the psychologist, climbing out of the hollow in her collapsible sofa, "It is merely that you don't remember the dreams, when they don't correspond to reality."

"Even should that be so," says the lady, crossly, "I don't dream such things every night. The odds are still set against the event."

"True," says the statistician, "But how many people were injured today and _didn't_ have their sister dream they would be injured the night before? When considering the probability of a pair of events happening near simultaneously, you should also consider how many of each event happen over the time period."

"Hmm." says the lady, swayed by the statistician's hypnotic tones, "Perhaps you are right. There are no psychic powers. Tsk."

* * *


Statis-chon and Sikolo-jast, safely back in their spacecraft, hi-five each other. "That's this race held back from their psychic heritage for one more day." says Sikolo-jast.

A high probability of going back to the index

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