[NAFEX] Three strikes and you are out
kathrynwrites at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 1 23:57:53 EST 2003
I figure if I try something once and it doesn't work,
I want to know why--to do it differently and better
the next time. When do I give up? Not easily. The
point isn't harvesting fruit, it's learning how to
grow fruit. That philosophy sustained me for three
years of no fruit while I researched and experimented
with organic control for the plum circulio. I did
figure something out, and I do get fruit--without
pesticides. I don't give up easily.
Kathrynwrites at yahoo.com
--- Joe Hecksel <jhecksel at voyager.net> wrote:
> Three strikes and you are out
> A statistical justification for a common
> One of the activities that we teach our children is
> to build
> campfires. Building campfires are lessons in
> craftsmenship, materials,
> luck, statistics, safety, patience and persistance.
> One of the
> beautiful things about a campfire is that it
> provides unfiltered
> feedback to the lighter. It either lit or it
> Sometimes patience is learned by the parent. My boy
> was reaching for
> his 18th match when I felt a need to comment. "You
> know, chances are
> that the 18th match will not work if the first 17
> did not. A lot of
> people would have made some changes to the set-up
> after the third try."
> My son, who tends to be legalistic asked, "Why
> Indeed, why three?
> Imagine you want to grow ABC berries, a new kind of
> fruit. You have
> been successful with many other kinds of fruit
> although you never tried
> ABC berries. You assume that you have a 50% or
> better chance of
> success based on your other ventures.
> For the purposes of this essay 50% chance of success
> means that if you
> were able to plant 1,000,000 plantings over 100
> years time, randomly
> sprinkled over your site, that half of them would
> live long enough to
> produce fruit.
> This is called the hypothesis. The null hypothesis
> is that less than
> half of them will succeed.
> So you make your first planting. They die. Hey,
> based on your
> hypothesis it was a flip of the coin whether they
> would survive or
> not. No big deal.
> Then you make your second planting. They die.
> Given your hypothesis,
> the chances of that happening are 0.5 X 0.5 or 25%.
> Then you make your third planting. They die.
> Chances of that
> happening are 12.5% given your hypothesis. Playing
> fast and loose with
> statistical terminology, you now have enough
> information to say that
> you are about 90% certain that you do not have a
> reasonable (+50%)
> chance of successfully growing ABC berries.
> So you stop wasting money on blueberry plants.
> Ooops, ABC berries.
> -I still plant M&M and Skittle seeds because the
> cost is so low and the
> potential payoff is so high. Sometimes it makes
> economic sense to
> exceed three strikes. Matches are cheap if you have
> a box of
> them.....so maybe three is not written in stone for
> lighting a fire.
> -Random rewards train people to be more persistant.
> Suppose you have a
> site with a great deal of variation in soil and
> exposure. You may have
> had many experiences where you were not successful
> until the second or
> third (or 4th or 5th) attempt. You *know* you can
> be successful if you
> try enough spots.
> -Extreme uniformity trains people to be less
> persistant. Suppose you
> have a site that is extremely uniform. What
> advantage is there to
> trying out 2 other locations on the site?
> Joe Hecksel
> Personal Webpage http://my.voyager.net/~jhecksel
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