Bae’s Theorem

Ijeweme Odiawa Written by Ijeweme Odiawa · 2 min read >

What is the Probability that I will actually understand probabilities?

I stared listlessly in class for 45minutes. What are these people talking about? As I observed notations on the white electronic board, my frustrations increased. Union, conditional probabilities, joint probabilities, yada yada yada. Now, if everybody was silent as the facilitator taught the class, my frustration may have lessened. At least I would’ve been sure that I was not the only one lost the class. But no… They all seemed to be chorusing right along with him, even telling him what to write and doing the calculations on their own!

I’m screwed!

Edosa’s Dilemma

I went back to study the materials. Went on E-learn, class slides, even online until I got to a concept called Baye’s theory. It’s a complex mathematical formula forged from the pits of arithmetic hell to torment students across time. Only a few other formulae (like the ‘almighty formula’) can give me palpitations the way this has.

I thus decided in my wisdom, to leave it until later. I said to myself, “Let me eat, have a bath, sleep, and then wake up fresh and alert to conquer this monster.”

Then his call came.

“Baba how far now”?

“Ehhhh, my leader! What’s the level?” I replied.

“Omo, Sophie say she no de do again oo!”

Sigh. Sophie had been Edosa’s long-time girlfriend and as undergraduates, they had been widely known as an item. I had seen this coming though. Edosa couldn’t get enough of the ladies, and the ladies, despite knowing Edosa was dating someone, couldn’t seem to get enough of Edosa. Now the chicken had come home to roost.

“So, wetin we wan do so”? I asked. “You don try beg am?”

“Baba she say make I get out, say I no get self-control”. “I don’t think she is coming back and I am tired of begging her”.

Doing the numbers

Basically Edosa had 2 options. Keep begging her in the hopes that her heart will soften eventually, or leave Sophie in peace and live single again until he meets someone else. But what is the probability that Sophie will forgive him?

At the thought of the word ‘probability’, my interest was piqued. Maybe this is a chance to put my newly found probability knowledge to the test!

We can assume that every time Edosa commits this offence, she is less likely to forgive him again. From historical data, she has forgiven him once before, thus I gave Edosa a 0.2 probability of getting Sophie back. P(S) = 0.2. which means he has a 0.8 probability of losing Sophie.

But Edosa had an ace up his sleeve. Sophie’s mother likes him, and Sophie respects and listens to her mother.

If Edosa appeals to Sophie’s mum to speak on his behalf (which she will certainly do), his likelyhood of getting her back goes up at least 2 points. The probability is now revised, and becomes conditional. It is expressed as P(S|M), where M is mum.

I finally, adviced Edosa to go through mama Efe (Sophie’s mum). However, I dont exactly know if this scheme will work. This lack of certainty reminds me of a fundamental truth in probabilities. That unless the probability of anything is 0 or 1, nothing is truly certain. Even if we had a 0.99% chance of success, that 0.01% chance of failure still exists and may not be easily swept away.
Anyway, having advised my friend on his next course of action, all thoughts of rest and food receeded. I returned to Data Analytics and Baye’s theorem. Who knows what wonderful things I will discover next.

Written by Ijeweme Odiawa
I am Ijay Odiawa. The Last Afang Bender. Profile


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