Chapter 12

Examples

12.1 Introduction

My purpose of writing this book is to introduce you to modern methods of handling uncertainty, so that you can live comfortably with the concept and perhaps treat simpler cases using the basic rules of probability, rather than resort to spurious claims of certainty or inappropriate, illogical procedures. The aim is not to turn you into a probabilist; for that would need mathematical skills that go beyond the view of mathematics as a language used in this book. It would also require extensive practice in handling probability, practice that is ordinarily provided in text books by the inclusion of exercises. Nevertheless, it does help appreciate the power of probability to see it being exercised, to see problems being solved using the ideas that have been developed here. So a few uncertain situations are now examined with the tools we already have. When I told a colleague what I proposed to do, she expressed disquiet remarking that the examples I was using gave surprising results that left the recipient with the feeling that probability was too subtle for them; people having a fondness for common sense and an understandable distaste for conclusions that disagree with it. My colleague's view is sound, so if you feel you can dispense with the illustrations, feel free to do so, because none are used in the remaining material. But if you like puzzles, or feel you would like more experience in using probability, then read on for here are some that ...

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