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Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Word to the Wise T.I. - Dastardly Double Digit Dilemma - Final Word

Dastardly Double Digit Dilemma (clocks) and then in Dastardly Double Digit Dilemma Redux (receipts). Now
When considering and analyzing actual or potential triggers such as doubled digits -- rather than training to ignoring them -- one must be very careful. Those situations occur by chance rather often.
Suppose that all digits are equally likely. Then in two-digit numbers (assuming they can start with a zero) a doubled digit will occur one out of every ten times.
If there are ten or more two-digit numbers there will probably be a doubled digit in there somewhere.
In three-digit numbers the chances increase. There are ten ways to choose the first digit. Assuming the second one matches, there are ten ways to fill the last digit. Otherwise, there are nine ways for the second number to not match the first and then there are two ways for the final number to match one of the first two. So there are 10*1*10 + 10*9*2 = 100+180 = 280 ways out of the 1000 possible three-digit numbers. That is over a quarter of the three-digit numbers.
In a list of three-digit numbers the chances increase. And so forth...
This is not to say that you have not been purposely conditioned to react to this pattern. That is possible, especially once the perps notice that you are noticing such things -- they'll feed it back at you even if they weren't doing it before.
But there is a natural background level that has to be taken into consideration. The pernicious thing about this type of trigger is that there are many coincidental occurrences which can set it off. The perps essentially get a free force-multiplier due to the natural occurrences -- as well as deniability.
Another thing to consider is that you may not be noticing all the times when you look at a number which does not have doubled digits. We see numbers all the time, and usually ignore them. Once one has been conditioned to react to doubled digits, however, those numbers become harder to ignore. That is, after conditioning one would tend to notice such numbers more than he or she would notice undoubled numbers. That can skew the equation as far as analyzing the situation correctly.
In any case, even if you must analyze the situation, try to keep training yourself to remain calm. You already know that the perps are messing with you.  At some point you will perhaps gather enough information and decide to ignore the doubling of digits, or at least not have to react to them in any significant way.