Winning the War on Terror is possible and it’s happening. Winning the war on drugs is possible too but not right now.

There are rules that govern the possibility of impossible things happening. Miracles happen, so it’s thought by many people. The Pope just awarded Sainthood to two men who did many good things including, so it is believed, some miracles.

Miracles are impossible. But the laws of probability it seems often include the probability of miracles happening.

Probability Theory is rather simple. Mathematically the probability of something happening is assigned the value of 1. The probability of something being impossible is zero. Statistics deals with everything between zero possibility and 100%.

In between Zero and One is “the Bell Curve” It’s not always like a bell though. Sometimes it’s flattened, compressed or stretched out. Sometimes, more often than not, it’s skewed. Nature doesn’t always work the way some people want it to. Nature just is. It’s neither fair nor just.  

The “Impossibility Principle”, a book by David J. Hand offers lots of statistical insights into the world of probability. Hand provides five “Laws” or theorems that apply to certain events.

Not all events involve statistics but for those that do Hand identifies:

  1. the Law Of Inevitability,

  2. the Law of Truly Large Numbers,

  3. the Law of Selection,

  4. the Law of the Probability Lever and

  5. the Law of Near Enough.

The book is a fascinating read.

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