Is gambler’s fallacy really a fallacy?

The probability subject is a very difficult subject to me. This is because it involves estimation of all the possible events. Therefore, it involves the combination and permutation. And there is no exact formula for different situations. It also involves statistics.

Gambler’s fallacy, is a very good notion. To simplify it, gambler’s fallacy is a belief that the next outcome will be different if the observed outcome is repeated consecutively, where these events are actually independent. The best example is tossing the coin, which has the probability of 0.5 for head and 0.5 for tail. Because tossing the coin first time will not affect the second time, the probability to get the head or tail is always same.

For example, first tossing the coin to get the head is 0.5, then 2nd for head is 0.5*0.5 = 0.25, then 3rd for head is 0.125. As for the gambler’s fallacy, the person will think that the probability to get another head is 0.0625, which the chance is very small. Thus, the person will assume that the next one is tail. However, in the actual sense, because of the events are independent, thus, to get the 4th time as tail, it is also 0.25 * 0.5 = 0.0625. That means, whenever we toss the coin, the probability to get head or tail is always 0.5.

However, recently I think about the probability again in the empirical way. Firstly, we need to know, the probability 0.5 means that, if we toss the coin 1000 times, the result of head is approximately 500 times. The greater the number of tossing, the results will be more close to 0.5. However, if the total number of tossing decreases, the deviation of the empirical result becomes higher. For example, if we toss the coins only 2 times, we might get 2 tails for both tossing, where the empirical result of head is 0.

So, that is why gambler’s false assumption happened. If a person is going to toss the coin 500 times, and this results 250 tails successively, that means the next 250 toss must be heads, so that the empirical result will be 0.5. This is interesting part. This kind of belief normally connected to the fate or luck. That is why some people believe that if we are too lucky successively, we might finish using our good luck for our whole life, then we will left only bad luck until the end of the day.

As a conclusion, the gambler’s fallacy is true (refers to 2nd and 3rd paragraphs). But sometimes we cannot accept it, for example tossing the coins and get the head 10 times successively, then the next 10 toss are probably tails, so that the probability will equal to 0.5, this is what we normally believe. Therefore, if asking me to guess the next outcome after 10 successive heads, I will also guess tail, even I know that gambler’s fallacy is true.


Bookmarks, like (including +1 and favourite), and Zotero

Long time ago, I used to use a text file to collect all my favourite websites. This is because I was using Internet Explorer, and Firefox was not yet introduced. I totally disliked the “favourite” files in IE. Besides that, I cannot bring my favourite websites to any other computers.

Then, after using Firefox, I started building up my bookmarks. This is really great because the bookmarks can be easily exported and imported with a single file.

Then the social bookmarking sites is gradually prevailing, such as Digg and Delicious.  Then we can share our bookmarks with our friends.

Next, social networking sites such as StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ become popular. These sites provide the button such as Like, +1, or Favorite. However, feature such as Like or +1 from Facebook and Google+ does not add the posts or links as a bookmark. It provides some statistics for the user who posts, but not as a collection for the readers who like. However, the Favorite and Like in both Twitter and StumbleUpon will store as a collection for the users. Thus, they serve more like bookmarking.

Recently, I try to utilise Zotero more. Bookmark is useful to bookmark the page I like. However, sometimes the articles or some phrases are impressive to me. After I bookmarked, I cannot search them from the bookmark, because I only remember a fragment of the articles. Thus, Zotero is very useful in the way as note taking to record the phrases I like. Zotero is perfectly worked with Firefox.

The bookmarking and Zotero note taking is able to synchronise on internet. Utilise these features and increase your bank of knowledge.

Reasons to install and not to install Arch Linux


I am Arch Linux fan. Recently, I discovered a distro, Fuduntu, which stated that it is optimised for laptop and netbook use. This increases my interest due to battery draining problem for my old netbook. Though my old netbook was installed with Arch Linux using LXDE, the battery can only last for only 1 hour. That is why, I think I am going to switch to Fuduntu. However, after installation of Fuduntu, then I found some problems like missing the packages FreeFileSync and VisualBoyAdvance, and also failed to install Wine because of dependencies error. This made me regret to uninstall Arch Linux from my netbook, because installing Arch Linux is really exhaustive.

When I wanted to re-install Arch Linux to my netbook, to made it easy, I tried to install ArchBang. However, at the unsquashfs stage, there was something like kernel panic. Finally, I give up ArchBang and install in the proper way with Arch Linux.

I found that Fuduntu contains a package Jupiter Applet. So, I tried to install it in my netbook hopefully make the battery last longer.

I always think which distro is better. Now, I have some conclusions why I am Arch Linux supporter. The following are the reasons to install and not to install Arch Linux.

Reasons not to install Arch Linux

  • Your computer does not work.
  • You don’t like command-line, or you don’t have good typing skill, or you hate typing.
  • You have the problem with network connection. You don’t have wired network connection, and the wireless device is incompatible to the Arch Linux installation LiveCD, make you impossible to install Arch Linux.
  • You don’t know any or only know little about commands such as: cd, mount, pwd, ls, less, cat, nano, vi, …
  • You don’t want to spend any time to customize your OS.
  • You don’t want to waste your time to install.
  • You don’t want to waste your time learn to install.
  • You only want GUI installation.
  • You want something pleasant to see after installation, such as beautiful wallpaper, cute icons, awesome cursors, interesting boot splash, user friendly themes, attractive animation effects, etc.

Reasons to install Arch Linux

  • You don’t have any problems with the reasons above.
  • You want to use the latest packages as soon as they are released.
  • You want to try out a lot of packages, such as Ubuntu One, FreeFileSync, XnViewMP, …
  • You want to try out different DE (desktop environment) or WM (windows manager) with only one OS: Xfce4, GNOME3, KDE, LXDE, OpenBox, and may be other experimental DEs.
  • *You want to create your own packages easily from any source.
  • You want your computer OS has a lot of possibilities to do anything.
  • You want to learn more about Linux or computer.

Yes, create own packages (refers to *). I tried to create debian packages before. Comparing to makepkg and PKGBUILD, it is too troublesome. The beauty of Arch Linux is simplifying a lot of works. Not in the way that simplifies the works for the end users by complicating the works of the developers. It makes the developers’ work much more easy, to deploy the packages, no need spending too much time on the GUI, because most of the things are bash scripts. For the end users, what they need is to read the documents and follow some commands. Yet the commands are also simplified just like installing the packages with makepkg, installing the OS with pacstrap.