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OT: Universe, was Re: VMs: Folio and Quire numbers

--- Bruce Grant <bgrant@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> In a sense, the problem of the VM is like the
> problem of the universe - 
> given only one example, it's difficult to say
> whether it is typical or atypical of its species.

My pet peeve with the equation that estimates
the number of planets with intelligent life in
the universe (the Drake equation). 
It is trying to do exactly that.
What is the probability that life will come in 
existence on a planet with the suitable conditions?

Or: someone has been playing around with an
N-faced die (not necessarily 6). After a while
he shows you that he has thrown a 1. What can
you deduce about the probability of throwing a 1?

Cheers, Rene 

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