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Sunday, May 10, 2009

5(C) J(S)5(S)5(D)5(H)

I have now realized one of my few explicit life goals. It is: getting a 28 hand in cribbage. According to this page, there are 12 million 944 thousand 8 hundred possible cribbage hands, 7ty six of which can combine to make 28 points. So, depending on how you write it, the odds of getting such a hand are either 0.0006 or one in 15,028 or

6.65424541 × 10-5!

Have you ever done anything so improbable? (Existing doens't count because of the good old anthropic principle)


BadgerBear said...


The anthropic principle, as I understand it, could be roughly paraphrased as follows:

Given that we exist, we must live in the sort of universe that supports life like ours (that is, a universe with the appropriate physical and chemical laws).

Couldn't we come up with an equally justifiable "Mike-cribbage-ic principle"? It would read:

Given that Mike got a 28-point hand, he must have been dealt one of the 76 hands that can yield 28 points.

In both cases, all that these principles tell us is that GIVEN certain observations, the probability of a particular phenomena is one. Neither principle tells us anything about the PRIOR probabilities of these observations. Since these two cases seem analogous, I think that (perhaps) my existence is at least as improbable as your cribbage hand, anthropic principle be damned.

(Looking forward to seeing you.)


Jamal said...

(In a game of Botticelli)
Sara: Okay I got one. It starts with "L".
Me: Are you a member of a 60s rock band?
Sara: (pause)...I give up.
Me: John Lennon.
Sara: Dangit. I hate you.

brah said...

(in a game of Pictionary)

My friend, Erica, begins to draw a line with her pencil.

Jeff: "Holland."

Erica: "What the hell?? Yes."

Mike said...

Justin, when I started reading your post my first thoughts were:

"Oh no. Some dweeb who takes the anthropic principle seriously did a random Google search, found my blog, and, unaware of my sarcasm, is now going to give me a lesson about it."

Like when I complained about Bangkok people tricksing me, and then some sympathizer commented on my blog that Thai people were not to be trusted, which was apparently a serious statement based on what I had said in jest.

I still not comfortable saying the cases are completely analagous. I think the feeling has its roots in a desire not to be upstaged, but I will try to substantiate it by saying that the anthropic principle may be necessary in the fight against ID, whereas the Mike-cribbage-ic principle is clearly an ad-hominem attack.