Cancer, probability, normality and theodicy – part 2

In Part One of this series, I suggested that you imagine what happens when a wonky die is rolled over and over again. Cancer probabilities are kind of wonky this way, with a low probability of happening, followed by an unpredictable course when it kicks in, possibly including death. The mathematical principle illustrated here is called the Central Limit Theorem…. Read more »

Remembering Lenore and George Romney

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With Mitt Romney possibly returning to politics to run for U.S. Senator from Utah, and with his niece, Ronna Romney McDaniel as current Chair of the Republican National Committee (although she has now dropped the “Romney” at the President’s behest), I decided to engage in a little remembrance as a demonstration on how political positions can change 180 degrees, and… Read more »

Diversions: Kansas City to Iceland non-stop

IcelandAir just announced the addition of three-times weekly in-season non-stop flights from Kansas City to Reykjavik, and from there you can connect to several primary and secondary cities in Europe. We have flown this route twice in recent years out of Minneapolis, and since I had already written up some tips for friends in the past, I thought I would… Read more »

Cancer, probability, normality and theodicy – part 1

I have posted recently about the lotteries that you will likely lose and the lotteries you have already won. In this post I want to talk about the math of a lottery you might win, but really do not want to. And understanding the math here is to get to a closer understanding of probability and fate in nature. Every… Read more »

Income inequality and the Rule of 72 – part 3

“If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality.” Entrepreneur and investor Nick Hanauer. [1] Part One of this series looked at how some basic compounded income growth projections with fairly-low rate differentials could alone result in fast-widening income inequality, and then Part… Read more »

Worth a listen: A Swedish singer-songwriter with my name

I was in Malmö, Sweden (which is just across the strait from Copenhagen, Denmark), a few years ago when I came across a concert notice for a local Swedish singer-songwriter who coincidentally shares my name, Richard Lindgren. We had to leave Malmö, his hometown, the next day and missed seeing him perform, but I have been buying his music ever since…. Read more »

Income inequality and the Rule of 72 – part 2

The first part of this series of posts showed how small differences in average pay increases over time can explain much, if not most, most of the wide spread of income growth cited as evidence of income inequality. The question addressed in this part is whether the historical record supports this assertion. Part Three, in the queue, will look at… Read more »

Why there is always a winner, but it’s probably not you

I’d like to move away from the topic of lotteries, but not yet, because this is the window through which most people normally experience a very counter-intuitive mathematical law concerning probability and randomness. Indeed, the worldwide lottery business is primarily based on the assumption that the operators know this law and you don’t. Setting up a truly-random and fair lottery… Read more »