Friday, July 28, 2006

The 50/50 Misconception

We've all heard it. The 50/50. It's a chance. But not just any chance. It's every chance. And that's where the 50/50 is confused with any other chance. The 50/50 is the simplest chance that anybody can take. You always have a 50/50.

The thing that amazes me about the 50/50 is when people use it in the dumbest ways. Like boxing matches. All boxing matches have commentary before any big game. One commentator says to another, "Who do you think is going to win?" and the other says, "Well boxer A has 3 inches on Boxer B and a longer arm reach but boxer B is quicker with a meaner jab. I'll give Boxer B a 50/50 chance." That's a no brainer. Of coarse Boxer B has a 50/50 chance. He's either going to win or he's going to lose. Simple. Both boxers have a 50/50 chance. It's so simple yet people use it like they're so dumb. Common sense people. Let's put it to work.

Here's where it gets confusing to some people. Let's say that your at work. Your boss just posted a position that you really want so you apply for it...And so do 19 other people. What are your chances of getting it? Most people without even thinking would say 5%. Why? Because there are 20 people. Your one person so therefore you only have a 5% chance of getting it. However, that answer is wrong. Some people will tell you in that situation that the chances are against them and that chances are that someone else would get that position in that situation. Yet, the truth is that everybody in that situation has a 50/50 chance of getting it. If your one person going up against 19 others it doesn't mean that you have a 5% chance of getting that job. It doesn't mean that chances are that someone else will get that job. That's where the misconception comes into play. You and the 19 people you are going up against all have the same chance of getting that position, therefore you all have a 50/50 chance of getting that job.

If you think about it the 50/50 is used in every part of life. You always have a 50/50 chance. You have a 50/50 chance of going to work today. Either you will or you won't. You may take a shower today, or you may not. It's a 50/50 chance. The 50/50 is used everywhere. Just think about it. So no matter what, you always have a 50/50 chance. Always.

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