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mechanics of probability calculations

Chapter 2

To quote Pierre Laplace,

'The theory of probabilities is at bottom nothing but common sense reduced to calculation; it enables us to appreciate with exactness that which accurate minds feel with a sort of instinct for which ofttimes they are unable to account.'

In other words, probability reduces logic to calculation. This chapter explores the basic calculations used in probability theory, and their connection to elementary logic. You will learn how to combine probabilities from multiple events ("what's the probability of events A and B both occurring?", "what's the probability of event A or event B occurring"), as well as how to assign probability distributions to alternative outcomes for a single event. Along the way, you will explore several famous problems in probability, including the 'Monty Hall paradox', the 'Berkeley sex bias problem', and the 'optional stopping problem'.

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