Re: Puzzling Theoretical Problem

Will Dwinnell (76743.1740@compuserve.com)
Wed, 3 Mar 1999 00:54:05 +0100 (MET)

Chase > wrote:
"A sailor has two ships, which are nearly identical except for
their location. He exchanges the masts of the ships, then the
capstans, then the navigation wheel. Eventually, he exchanges
each pair of corresponding parts on the two ships.

At what point did the two ships change identities?"

T. C. Mits responded:
"When he exchanged the names of the ships! : - )"

Although your answer is funny (as it was intended to be), I think
this really gets to the heart of the whole fuzzy vs. probability
issue. In probability, the event is well-defined- ever notice
how wagers always include some sort of specification? We can't
just bet on whether Jim will be late for work "alot"- we must
agree upon a definition of "alot". After some deliberation, we
might agree that "being late for work alot" means actually
sitting down at his desk at 9:30am or later at least 10 times
over the next calendar month. The uncertainty is whether this
well-defined event will ocurr or not. With fuzzy, it is the
definition of the event, not its likelihood, which is uncertain.

-- 
Will Dwinnell

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