Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Monty Hall Dilemma

Cool article in the Financial Times discussing whether High IQ is a burden. The article traces the lives of some really interesting, high IQ folks. My opinion on IQ is mixed. I think it's great if you have one, but really, we should all be measured by what we actually achieve - whether it's career success, love of one's family or whatever else (or any combo) that truly makes you happy. It's cheesy but that's how I feel.

My real reason for posting this article is the brain twister they embed at the end. It's called the Monty Hall Dilemma and traces back to the old Let's Make a Deal game show. There is a good explanation below of the dilemma and I won't paste in the answer so you can give it some thought. The Walm and I debated this endlessly for a couple of days. It was a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy it.

Monty Hall Dilemma
Marilyn vos Savant’s column gained national notoriety in the early 1990s, thanks to her response to the “Monty Hall dilemma”: the make-or-break decision facing contestants on the game show Let’s Make a Deal that was then hosted by Hall. The question was posed by Craig Whitaker, of Columbia, Marinaland, on September 9 1990. “Dear Marilyn,” wrote Whitaker. “Suppose you’re on a game show, and you’re given the choice of three doors. Behind one door is a car, behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say #1, and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door, say #3, which has a goat. He says to you: ‘Do you want to pick door #2?’ Is it to your advantage to switch your choice of doors?”