Re: [GTh] The Literary Unity of Thomas
- To Tim, Ian, et al:
I've been mulling over (some would say obsessing about) this
probability thing for five days now, since Ian first posted. Every
time I write in, I believe I've finally got it right, but then thinking
about it afterward, I realize that I've bungled somewhere along
the line. In the present instance, the statements in my last note
about the import of '*2' in Ian's formula aren't right. Let me try again.
I start with the clear idea that the number of possible positions
for two sayings within a collection of 114 sayings is 113*114.
This includes positional reversals, i.e., both "n,m" and "m,n"
for any two different numbers in the range 1-114. In particular,
it includes '8,107' and '107,8'. It follows that the probability of
L8 and L107 occurring randomly exactly where they are is
1 in 113*114. If, however, we are interested in the probability
of their occuring 8th from the top and bottom, regardless of
order, then the probability is _2_ in 113*114, because not
only might they occur exactly where they do, but also L107
might have occurred in position 8 and L8 in position 107.
So Ian's formula is correct for that particular probability.
Mt. Clemens, MI
(Where the first snow of the season is upon us!)