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Subject: Re: The Computer-Chess Player And The Mathematician (was: Waltzing Matil

Author: fca

Date: 10:58:37 08/18/98

Go up one level in this thread

On August 18, 1998 at 12:09:39, Dan Homan wrote:

>On August 18, 1998 at 10:49:09, fca wrote:

Thanks for accepting that the overlapping trials was a chess-relevant point...
more on it at the bottom.

>>>Dan, not Don - You have repeated this mistype intermittently in this
>>>thread and it seems deliberate - I find it rather rude.

>>Sorry, Dan.  I cannot see any rudeness, though, and certainly none was intended.
>>Dann is also part of this thread.  Possibly contributing to my mistake.  The CCC
>>format does not permit me to back up and then down a different subthread (which
>>was necessary here, and still is, where one is quoting from someone in a
>>non-preceding post) while preserving a partly written answer. Hence I was
>>working from memory...

>I think I had too little sleep last night.

Ditto. Too much work at present.

> I was getting paranoid.
>The overall tone of your remarks (corrective, mysterious, aloof,
>yet parentally supportive)

Perhaps giving a clue as to one or more of my past / present occupations? ;-)

> I found to be an odd mix and coupled with the
>multiple, but intermittent mis-spellings of my name, to be rather
>patronizing.  Clearly I have overjudged here, I apologize.

Accepted 100%. No problemos!

>>(0) Nothing patronising intended.  The point is "Stats are hard".  To me too.
>>(1) I have not made any comment or criticism re Dann's answers.
>>(2) I found one mathematical error in your answer (^10 instead of ^20).  Perhaps
>>you feel I should not have corrected it.  Sorry anyway.  btw I made a not
>>dissimilar mistake too, which I also corrected.

>I think that the correction of errors, whether mathematical or
>typographical (it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference) is always
>in order.

Agreed.  The context showed you clearly were applying the right principle, so I
assumed it was a typo. It was interesting I made almost the same one too
elsewhere but in different context - writing 2^10 instead of 2^20...

>>(3) Your reply to Q(4) was in the *hundreds of thousands*.  Bruce's reply was
>>*1*.  Is it surprising I should explore the reason why?  The reason being that
>>Bruce actually IMO answered the exact question asked (which was IMO partly a bad
>>question). You (Dan) perhaps answered what *should* have been asked.  Exactly
>>illustrating the statistical tightrope that has already been highlighted by
>>others, and which is (as Bruce pointed out) chess relevant.
>>(4) All the answers Bruce gave were correct IMO (given the ambiguity in
>>questions). He did not reply to the definitely *bad* Q(3), and I believe you
>>(Dan) also (rightly IMO) chose to reply to another (unasked) question rather
>>than Q3.  Which is not to say that Q(3) does not have an answer, but that I
>>question what possible use the answer could be.  (like with the 1/3 BG answer).
>>As you related two mathematician/physicist jokes/anecdotes in your last post,
>>and had made humorous references to there being a catch and rising to the bait,
>>I am perhaps to be forgiven for assuming I was not about to be flamed!
>Sorry, again.

Accepted 100%. No problemos!

>I get a bit defensive when I feel someone is trying to
>yank my chain :)

Understandable, but I wasn't, and now you see it, so:

No problemos!

>  I know now that this is simply the way you communicate

All of us do not communicate via English with the same facility, so please make
allowances for me.

>and no harm was intended.

The key point.  Thanks. :-)

>I hope you will accept my apology.

Accepted 100%. No problemos!

>we are dying to know what *your* answers are to the questions
>you posed.

Please do not be dying!

Note I have already stated that *with the assumptions bruce implicitly made
(i.e. trials consecutive non-overlapping, "in a row" meant "heads in a row"),
all 3 of his answers were correct.  And with the assumptions Dan made (i.e.
trials consecutive non-overlapping), Dan's first two were correct, his third
(wisely IMO) refused to answer a bad question (Dan and I have 'spoken' on this
off-CCC, and he accepts my "bad question" theory now I understand) instead
giving a useful probability, and his fourth correctly answered a "better"
question than the one I asked.

So it is only a matter of filling a few holes... (c) is ok, with the right

Elsewhere, BIG problemos  ;-)

Now I *could* say that if I knew how to solve them I would not have asked the

I shall not say that, though.  ;-)

What I will say is that the overlapping trials could be a right pig to solve...
But I'll look at it.  Maybe Dann will post complete solutions on return from
holiday so it would be inhospitable for me to be premature... ;-)

I will pursue Bruce's posts on the
idea first, though... much to explore there.  Maybe later since I just saw
Ferret being checkmated by a player graded c400 lower, and imagine this is a bad
time....  ;-))

btw, I promise that I enjoy mistakes in my own logic being pointed out just as
much as I enjoy pointing out mistakes in the logic used by anyone else.  I do my
*very best* to minimise the cause of the first type of enjoyment, though, and
may not be doing the same for minimising the cause of the second... ;-)

Kind regards


PS: I apologise if my writing style seems at all patronising. It is not intended
to be so: I am just interested in what is correct, and how problems are solved.

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