Lesson 4: Friday 13th September

In today’s lesson we focused on the Monty Hall Problem.

Well here is a simple image that will help you understand what the Monty Hall Problem is:

Monty Hall 600b

To summarize this image:

It is saying that the probability of you getting a car (which is something your desire) instead of a goat (which is something you don’t desire) is higher when you switch your chosen door after the first door is opened/revealed.

The door that will always be opened at first will be of one of the goat doors, therefore some people may believe that the probability of getting a car after the door is opened will be a 50% chance because only two doors are remaining and the car can only be in one and therefore switching your choice will not make a difference (because its a 50% chance). However, during the lesson we’ve come to learn that this is wrong.

Well, why is this wrong? Because, as shown on the image^ it isn’t a 50% chance, but instead it is a 2/3rds of a chance of getting a car.

This is because, the first goat door will always be shown, therefore instantly this eliminates a 1/3 (3/3 – 1/3 = 2/3), leaving you with a 2/3 chance of getting a car.

Well then how does switching your chosen door help you increase chances of getting a car?

Switching doors is bad only if you initially chose the car, which happens only 1/3rd of the time. Switching doors is good if you initially chose a goat, which happens 2/3rds of the time. Thus, the probability of winning by switching is 2/3rds, or double the odds of not switching.

“Switching turns a loss into a win and a win into a loss,” says Jason Rosenhouse (mathematics professor at the James Madison University), “and since my first choice is wrong 2/3rds of the time, I will win that often by switching.”

How did this affect me, what i learnt from this experiment? and what impact does this have on my opinions on ToK ???

^^ work on this + also try this experiment on mum and review

Useful links: Scientific American – Monty Hall Problem


Lesson 3: 6th September 2013

Today’s lesson was solely based on the topic of price gouging.

Definition of price gouging: “pricing about the market price when no alternative retailer is available” from freedictionary.com

However there are other definitions of price gouging out there in the world depending on how you look at it. Most definitions are in relation to natural disasters. I think its fair to say that there is a range of definitions to this term, and there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer. Several states in the USA have put their own definitions into law, ranging from the vague to the specific. For example, Florida defines it as “unconscionable prices for goods and services following a declared state of emergency”, including their own graphic image –>price-gouging-law-300x100

We had to read an article of price gouging called… -talk about article-

Afterwards, we discussed in groups of 4 to 5 people of the different arguments for and against price gouging and how it impacts the economy, the customer/consumers and the world in general.

Here are some of the arguments we raised for price gouging:

  1. Helps the economy to keep running (GDP) – more tax on shops
  2. Shopkeepers want to make more profit
  3. Some argue to say that price gouging is actually beneficial for victims of natural disasters as increased prices prevents victims from buying large quantities of these necessities, therefore these necessities are more likely to be distributed to other people equally

Here are some of the arguments we raised against price gouging:

  1. Ethically and morally unjust
  2. It is taking advantage of the people who are suffering and unable to pay their bills (Exploiting people!)
  3. The businesses are already making profit anyways therefore they don’t necessarily need to overcharge. I believe this is the business just being greedy with money. (And if they weren’t making profit, it is their problem and they shouldn’t charge the customers with extra cash just to fix their own problem. Instead they should think of a better marketing strategy or think of methods to improve their products etc)
  4. Lack of responding to customer/consumer concerns
  5. Necessities will no longer be necessities, as customers/consumers may no longer be willing to pay for these price-increased products/services and may try to find alternatives as a replacement.
  6. However, people will find it difficult to live without them therefore people will have a much lower standard of living.
  7. In the article, it mentioned that people filed complaints and shops were fined