We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I've discussed the Gambler's Fallacy in the past (eg if you flip nine heads in a row, what are the odds the next toss will be a tail?). The inverse is another matter. Wiki gives this example:
Suppose a man walked into a room and saw someone rolling a pair of dice. Furthermore, imagine that the result of this dice roll is a double-six. The man entering the room would commit the Inverse Gambler's Fallacy if he said, "You've probably been rolling the dice for quite a while, since it's unlikely you would get a double-six on your first attempt."
Yes, and baseball superstitions. Players whose hitting stats are stable over a period of 4 years will nonetheless become convinced that their good week was a result of wearing lucky socks.
I recommend the opening scenes of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" for anyone amused by the Gambler's Fallacy. Stoppard actually has fair bit of decent math in his plays. I think he's unique in that.
I liked the treatment given by Taleb...you have to be careful with the assumptions. Let's say you have a coin and flip it 100 times and it comes out heads 80 times and tails 20 times. A statistically educated person would say it is an outlier. Someone street smart ("Fat Tony" in Taleb's book) would say the coin is rigged. Which is right depends on whether you check your premises with respect to the coin and whether it is or is not fairly weighted. But most people never check the coin.
I could argue that huge amounts of our national economic distress is a function of people playing economic and investing games that are played with loaded dice, but only one side knows it is loaded. The fed with money printing while the BLS hides the inflation, Mortgage securitization, HFT trading equities, basically all of wall street, state and local gov't pensions and basically all gov't economics.
At this point, the fed itself. The US dollar was mostly stable for over a century, the fed was formed to 'stabilize the value of the dollar' and it subsequently lost 97% of its purchasing power.
George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson would have all been able to recognize pricing in each others time. Some things might have seemed a little high or low, but recognizable. Nothing like thinking back on 8 cent gallons of gas, penny candy or the five and dime store.
Heck the silver in a 1965 dime is worth $2.20. And that is less than half the time the fed has been going to work on 'stabilizing' the value of the dollar.