-Rev Melissa Fain-
I'm about to drop some statistics for the sake of a point. I'll keep it simple, and promise not to blow your mind with big words or ideas.
Back in the 70's there used to be a game show called "Let's Make A Deal." The host was Monty Hall. There's a version of it today hosted by Wayne Brady. Everything I'm about to say might be completely true of the reboot as well, but I've never seen it. I used to watch the 70's show in reruns all the time. So, just know I'm talking from my known experience watching an old game show, not whatever they are doing with the show now.
In the show, Monty Hall would pick a guest from the audience. In this case, the more outlandish the outfit the better the chance of being picked.
In one of the most classic of games, Monty would show the guest three doors. Behind one door would be a decent prize: $5,000 or a car. Something like that. (Remember, this was 70's money, so $5k was worth more back then.) Behind the other two doors would be trash. (Back then, one of them would be a goat. I doubt they'd do that today, because many young adults would love their own goat.) The point is, you would only win if you pick the correct door.
Monty tells the contestant to pick a door. They do. Instead of showing what's behind the door they picked, Monty shows what's behind one of the remaining two doors. The contestant sees a goat.
Monty then gives the contestant an option. Stick with her door, or pick the remaining third door. Is it helpful to switch at that point?
You might be thinking the answer is no, that the chances would remain the same. You'd actually be wrong. When the contestant first picked a door they had a 1 in 3 chance of winning the big prize. However, when Monty eliminated one of the non-choices, the odds of their door remained the same, while the odds of the non-picked door went up to a 2 in 3 chance of winning.
By eliminating one of the two remaining options, it gave value to the unpicked doors. It would be like Monty telling the contestant, "You picked your door, but would you rather give up your door, and get to open both of the other doors?"
In that perspective, of course opening two doors has a greater chance of getting the prize than opening one door. That's why switching doors is statistically better.
The Great Covid Game
Most of us are jokingly playing 2020 like a daytime game. We're using the Cabin in the Woods meme to make light of how crazy and dark this year has become.
Who had hurricane at the end of October?
It's insane. It's partly insane because we're looking for insanity at this point. We cannot wrap our heads around how quickly and completely the world has totally changed. We simply thought 2019 was bad when it was just the rain forest being purposefully destroyed, and Australia being on fire. We're in a whole new level of insane for 2020.
We are all living with door number one, willing to jump through whatever other option is set before us, because at least we won't be stuck with a whammy. (Wrong game.) Only this isn't a game, and one of the doors isn't going to give us a cash prize. We are left with our door, and picking a new door isn't going to undo the door that has already been picked.
We are attempting to believe all this is a Monty Hall problem. We think the argument is whether picking another option is not as bad as staying with your initial choices.
Who has civil unrest at the beginning of November?
Like I said, this isn't a game. This is real life, and we can't magically change our mind once choices have already been made.
I'm going to tell you something that is going to blow your mind: You don't have to play their game. Life isn't a game, so when someone tells you to play their game, "No" is a valid choice.
Here's where I stand:
I'm being told to choose a side so everyone knows whether to hate or support me. I don't have to choose a side at all. I don't agree with any of these strawmen right now, so I'm not going pick one. I choose "No."
I'm being told to save what we have or burn it to the ground. I'm sorry? I love the people who want to save what we had, and I'm aware enough to know we've opened too many doors to save it. "No."
While the world is trying to justify 2/3 chance over 1/3 chance of something good behind the doors, I'm done with the doors! I chose years ago that it is better to die free in the wilderness than starving in Babylon. "No."
Who has something different for the future? You can keep your odds. I'll be outside the building.