December 29th, 2009

Explaining "pick a number"

A while ago, I asked people to pick a number with a promise to explain later. It goes like this.

I was trying to pick one of four books to take with me to the doctor's office, and asked one of my coworkers to pick a number 1-4. He chose three, and I told him that was the most likely answer for him to give. He asked why, and I explained that people tended to pick numbers centered around 3/4 of the range, with a secondary cluster around 1/4 of the range.

So I posted a poll to "prove" it. Even knowing that my friends were more likely than average to be aware of this, and/or to randomize, I predicted that both the mean and the median would be above 5.5.

The mean was 5.97, and the median was 7. Y'all are surprisingly typical, I think.

No silver for meeeeee

This is what I looked like on December 28, 1984. That was 25 years ago today. (OK, technically yesterday since it's after midnight, but all you pedants can just shush up.) If we'd stayed married, today would be our silver anniversary.

Holy fuck, that makes me feel old.

At this point, I've been divorced for like twice as long as I was married. Still, eight years is a pretty good run for people who were way too young to be getting married. In thinking about this, the thing that seems weird to me is how little of it I remember. I can find flashes of memory, but for the most part I can't really remember what it felt like to be married to him. Isn't that weird?

My life now is way different than it was back then, and way different than it would be if we'd stayed married. It's a million times better than the former, and almost certainly than the latter. I've done so many amazingly cool things that just wouldn't have happened if I'd stayed married to Jeff. I don't regret marrying him, but parting ways was one of the best things I've ever done.