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KJ6BWB821 karma


Committing to a partner is scary for all kinds of reasons. But one is that you never really know how the object of your current affections would compare to all the other people you might meet in the future. Settle down early, and you might forgo the chance of a more perfect match later on. Wait too long to commit, and all the good ones might be gone. You don’t want to marry the first person you meet, but you also don’t want to wait too long.

The math problem is known by a lot of names – “the secretary problem,” “the fussy suitor problem,” “the sultan’s dowry problem” and “the optimal stopping problem.” Its answer is attributed to a handful of mathematicians but was popularized in 1960, when math enthusiast Martin Gardner wrote about it in Scientific American.

The magic figure turns out to be 37 percent. To have the highest chance of picking the very best suitor, you should date and reject the first 37 percent of your total group of lifetime suitors. (If you're into math, it’s actually 1/e, which comes out to 0.368, or 36.8 percent.) Then you follow a simple rule: You pick the next person who is better than anyone you’ve ever dated before.

If your goal is to just get someone who is good, rather than the absolute best of the bunch, the strategy changes a little. In this case, you review and reject the square root of n suitors, where n is the total number of suitors, before you decide to accept anyone. As in the formula above, this is the exact point where your odds of passing over your ideal match start to eclipse your odds of stopping too soon. For our group of 11 suitors, you'd date and reject the first 30 percent, compared with 37 percent in the model above.

In 1984, a Japanese mathematician named Minoru Sakaguchi developed another version of the problem that independent men and women might find more appealing. In Sakaguchi's model, the person wants to find their best match, but they prefer remaining single to ending up with anyone else. In this case, you wouldn't start looking to settle down until reviewing about 60.7 percent of candidates. In this situation, you notice that, since you don't care too much if you end up alone, you're content to review far more candidates, gather more information, and have a greater chance of selecting the very best.

Lots more in the article but that's the gist.

KJ6BWB463 karma

In this comment he said:

Would love to see a Dr. Horrible sequel. That Joss Whedon doesn't really have much on his plate, lately. Can't imagine why that isn't being fast tracked...

KJ6BWB432 karma

Yes, you'll need to open the ceiling. Bite the bullet and do it sooner rather than later, because you're likely getting some crazy water damage up there. Rotting wood, growing mildew, the longer you put it off the worse is going to be. It might be that a simple small hole will suffice to fix the problem. But the longer you put it off, the worse it's going to be.

KJ6BWB143 karma

Usually 1 to 1 ratio, presuming you can find the right kind of market to convert them in. Your local supermarket generally isn't the right place. ;)

KJ6BWB140 karma

Because it wouldn't be fair for one company to get special treatment. So the only way for Disney to change that is to change the copyright on everything.