```Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 18:08:26 -0700 Reply-To: "William W. Viergever" Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" From: "William W. Viergever" Subject: Re: In Celebration of a milestone!!! Comments: To: Ian Whitlock In-Reply-To: <08B08C9FA5EBD311A2CC009027D5BF818B5969@remailnt2-re01.west at.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" At 04:00 PM 09/29/2000, Ian Whitlock wrote: >William, > >More interesting would be the St. Petersburg paradox. We play a game. >I flip a coin. If it comes up heads you get a dollar and the game ends, >otherwise I flip again. Heads and you get two dollars and the game ends, >otherwise I flip again. Heads and you get 4 dollars and the game ends. > >So if it takes n flips to get a head you get 2**n dollars. > >So you get everything. Now the question is, how much are you willing to >pay me to play the game. The paradox? The expected payoff is infinite. > >Will a mathematician pay more than a lottery player to play this game? Damn - I have *got* to look out for you Ian . This sounds like one those "trickster" queries similar to the one you posed to me and Sashole in Indy after we had finished our great dinner at the rotating top of the Hyatt: "How many times did we go around?" you asked as we were regaining our centrifigally-challenged balance . IIRC, Paul was calculating (hashing) radians, I was counting how many bottles of wine we had drunk, and Doris was chuckling uncontrollably as the pseudo-savants floundered (*both* of us were way off!!!!). So, not knowing how *fast* you might flip the coins, I'll give ya just a buck! Now where was Sig when we needed him? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- William W. Viergever Voice : (916) 483-8398 Viergever & Associates Fax : (916) 486-1488 A SAS Institute Quality Partner (USA) E-mail : wwvierg@ibm.net Sacramento, CA 95825 "Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it don't matter." - Satchel Paige - "Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese." - Billie Burke, Glinda the Good Witch ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ```

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