Discover ‘The power of numbers’ in the # 0 documentary

We are immersed in the data age. Big Data is our daily companion, although sometimes we are not aware of it. The # 0 documentary ‘The power of numbers’ poses and attempts to explain how to understand the predictions made by probability and statistics.

In the 17th century, thanks to an exchange of letters between the French mathematicians Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat, the modern theory of probability was born. With it, it was discovered that the future was not a blank sheet, since it could be predicted. Between the two, they found a way to know the approximate outcome of an unresolved outcome. Taken to the present, all brands that sell on the Internet and try to know what we need are based on this theory.

From that discovery, it was understood that thanks to the probability it was possible to “travel to the future”. Numbers do matter, it all comes down to mathematics, from weather forecasts to shipwrecks, through spatial findings. Statistics goes further, the scientist and professor at Gallaudet University Regina Nuzzo says: “Statistics is not an empirical science, nor is it pure mathematics and is not philosophy either. It is a frame. It is the language and norms that govern science. ”

A century before Pascal and Fermat’s epistolary relationship, Italian mathematician Gerolamo Cardano found something that would be crucial: “The more games that are celebrated in a game of chance the better the mathematical probability predicts the outcome.” This is known as the Law of Large Numbers. It was then that numbers began to be used to know the results of gambling. The law argues that a small sample can be misleading, while a larger sample is much more accurate.

Chance can be mastered through mathematical probability

In the documentary The power of numbers refers to a concept that has been surprising experts and society itself for years: the wisdom of the crowd or collective intelligence. It is a mathematical system developed by the British scientist Francis Galton in 1906. He carried it out while visiting a cattle fair. He was a skeptical man of universal suffrage, because he believed that the judgment of the masses was always wrong. Thus, he launched a contest that consisted of participants getting the weight of an ox. When he collected the samples and calculated the average, he was speechless: the average of the collective estimates was a perfect estimate of the real weight, with a minimum deviation of 1%. In other words, the collective average is more accurate than individual approaches. Although it is true that this group can be altered by external things, which alter the solution, as sometimes happens in politics.

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