FIRST CLASS MEMBER
Which of these statements is true?
The chances are you’ll read the rest of this page …
You’ll probably read the rest of this page or …
You’ll possibly read the rest of this page …
Which of them is right? What do they mean anyway?
When we say … the chances are that I’ll play cards at the weekend, it means that it’s more likely that I will play than I won’t play. If I say the chances are that I won’t play cards at the weekend means that it’s more than likely that I won’t.
But whatever I say no-one would be surprised if I did or didn’t, because I only said that the chances are … and by that I invoke a whole set of social rules that allows anyone to put their own interpretation on whether I will turn up or not.
But neither of these outcomes is certain, and if the same behaviour happened over 150 years it is never a certainty, but it’s getting more likely. What is a certainty is that I will or I won’t turn up? But that’s a belief, not a statistical fact.
Whether you bet on the outcome is a different matter and how the odds are calculated are more to do with the bookmaker not wanting to lose money … he doesn’t care what odds he gives, or what I do, as long as he makes money.
So the probability is the likelihood of something happening based on previous evidence.
Possibility is a very different matter because almost anything is possible because there’s insufficient evidence one way or the other. It’s possible that the world could end tomorrow. Whatever you can think of can be a possibility; it’s possible that I wake up bald tomorrow. The problem for fearful flyers is not about waking up bald but …something bad happening on their flight. But just thinking about it, or even denying it won’t change anything. There are no such things as special ‘signs’ either. Because if you think signs and rituals work, would you want to know that the plot relies upon them too! However hard it seems I cannot recommend that you rely on such things. IF you feel better wearing green socks or sitting on the left of the plane or making odd noises, that’s fine by me I’m not here to tell you how to live BUT I am telling you it makes no difference to your comfort or safety.
Let’s say I offer you a full pack of cards excluding the jokers and with the cards face down ask you to select the card which you think could be the two of hearts. Before I ask you, I say that if you select the two of hearts card, you win everything I own, car, house, PC, the lot! How would you feel about playing the game if I said that if you select the two of hearts that you LOSE everything YOU own?
They feel different because of the consequences of the outcome. Although the chances are the same, we can’t really work out the probability until we’ve played the game a lot of times.
What fearful flyers do is to always pick the ‘losing card’ because they think of the bad consequences WHICH they recall from previous experiences, newspapers or well-wishing friends telling them horror stories about flying! What are your chances of overcoming your fear of flying? Or should I ask – what is the probability of overcoming your fear of flying?
What is the probability of your joining the Premium Level Membership? Or should that be? What is the possibility of your joining subscribing to Premium Membership?
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