Column Chronicles
The think tank correlation, part one
Frank Cotolo
June 22, 2017
Recently, in a think tank with five minus one mathematicians, the topic was posed: Is it better to know a lot about a little or a little about a lot? The quartet, which is three plus one, discussed the options, alternatives and variables.
REGINALD STOW (RS): The opposite nature of this topic may balance the entire thesis of the problem expressed.
DENNIS WALL (DW): Did you say we are having espresso?
ROBERT WILLOUGHBY (RW): He said expressed, not espresso.
CHING LI (CI): To know much about more things would be the answer.
RS: That is not the topic. It is either or and not what else?
CI: Why can't we add another element to answer if that were a better element than the two proposed?
DW: I could go for a good, strong cup of coffee right now, which is why I thought Reggie said espresso.
RW: No one calls him Reggie except you. Isn't that right, Reginald?
RS: Actually, I had a friend at M I T who called me Reggie.
CI: Mathematically, it is not odd that of all the people you have ever met only two have called you Reggie.
RW: Correct. But how many people did Reginald meet in total up until now? That number would indicate if or if not the number two was a lot or a little.
DW: You know what is a little? The coffee we get at this think tank. Here, even one equals zero because we do not have any coffee.
RS: Should one equal zero, then one person in this room out of four would be a quarter of the people, twenty-five percent, which is a significant figure, that call me Reggie.
CI: But even if we found the exact number of people you ever knew up until now that called you Reggie we would not be able to predict how that number would change.
RW: We could project a number that would represent a possible number of people Reginald would meet between now and his death and estimate how many more would call him Reggie and find a comfortable prediction.
DW: I'm getting a pounding headache. I think I am having caffeine withdrawal.
Frank Cotolo can be found hosting the talk and interview programme Cotolo Chronicles. You can send him an e-mail at this address:
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