18:59 February 2, 2011

A ping math lesson

I got to see ping's counter turn over:

64 bytes from icmp_req=65534 ttl=55 time=33.7 ms
64 bytes from icmp_req=65535 ttl=55 time=18.4 ms
64 bytes from icmp_req=0 ttl=55 time=17.3 ms
64 bytes from icmp_req=1 ttl=55 time=15.4 ms

What are the odds? No, seriously, what are the odds?

So you have a 25 line terminal over, lets say 65000. So 1/2600 (where the magazine gets its name! Not really). But, lets say at most I'm looking at that particular terminal on that particular screen one percent of the time. So 1/260,000 ! I mean, its not lottery good, but its good!

However, its a complete piece of steaming bullshit.....*like* the lottery! This is the chance that I happen to look over this particular time and see the counter reset. To really see if its abnormal, you have to integrate over all time. I don't know what that number is, but its not insignificant. Comparable to 260,000 in my life? Quite possibly.

Math teaches us a lot of things. One of the things that it teaches us is how easy it is to interpret facts however you want, but that this has very little to do with truth