Friday, June 6, 2014

The Law of Averages

It doesn't work well in real life, primarily because there's no such law.

Were it not for smart people in my life, I'd not have known that you have to have a very large sample set before it begins to get close to helpful.  In the real world, stuff happens.

Playing roulette, for example; I tried it as a young sailor overseas. Bet this and that color, here and there, double if, etc. It perhaps would have almost worked if there had been enough samples. Bad math cost me two weeks pay.  A valuable lesson.

Everything can get skewed.  An extra day of spring rain, an unexpected crowd at the market, traffic on the beltway; we adapt.

This year's maize crop; a small hand-managed
field in coastal Kenya.
It's harder for some than for others, sometimes. Like in Kenya where our friends live in the coastal region. This year's rainy season has been good so far, so the corn is growing nicely.  They hope for a much better harvest than in previous years. They've endured about ten consecutive years of drought.  As with many challenges in life, averages don't help when the rain doesn't fall.  They and we also are thankful for the year's rain.