De Econometrist neemt een statistische kijk op de wereld.
This story begins on the island Bastøy, about 100 kilometres south of Oslo. With men and women happily swimming, barbecuing and sunbathing together, this place may at first glance look like a holiday destination. However, the contrary is true. 115 of the heaviest criminals are here to undergo the last years of their prison punishment. They don’t have too much to complain here, as they can visit the cinema, record songs at their own music studio or even go ski jumping. All of this is guided by unarmed guards who aren’t wearing uniforms. Some of […]
It is the spring of 2021. A vaccine for Covid-19 has been distributed and life is getting back to normal. The weather is improving and it is the so-called first ‘Rokjesdag’. The perfect day to hit the terrace with your friends. You are enjoying a drink with your friends, while reminiscing all the good times you had together before the pandemic. You mention that it is quite remarkable that even though you could not really spend time together, you still kept in contact with each other. One of your friends responds that it is only […]
Each year new computer systems are put into the market, featuring increased memory capacity, better screens but perhaps most importantly, stronger processors. More processing power results in handling more tasks per second or, in other words, less time per task. A modern computer can carry out most operations in a fraction of a second, even though it took the most powerful computers minutes or even hours, 30 years ago. As computers get stronger, however, the tasks we ask them to perform get more complicated too. Whereas they once had to solve simple mathematical operations, they […]
‘Nothing is impossible’ is one of the most used phrases to convince people that they can accomplish anything, no matter how hard you have to work for it. But to what extent is this phrase actually true? The word impossible is something that a lot of people already have big trouble with getting their head around. If you would ask me for an example of ‘what is impossible?’, the first thing that comes to my mind is teleportation. But the second after thinking that, a new thought comes up: ‘is it really impossible though?’. Ofcourse, […]
Is multiculturalism bad for women? That is the title of liberal philosopher and feminist Suzan Moller Okin’s plea about the incompatibility of feminism and multiculturalism. Over the past few decades multiculturalism has always sparked a lot of debates and unleashed a lot of passions in society. And during the past years, feminists have also taken their stand in the discussion. But just like in any other debate, their opinions are very divided. The central question posed by Okin is what should be done when the norms and customs of minority cultures or religions clash with […]
We all suffer from it from time to time. You have just had a quite big meal with your friends and the last thing you would like to do is wash the dishes. To decide who will do the terrible job, you play a game of ‘Rock, paper, scissors’. However, how great would it be to never lose the game again? That every time you are at the point of deciding who will do the dirty job, you can have the winning strategy. The rules of the game are very simple. Scissors cut paper. Paper […]
A lot of different opinions circulate through society about the ongoing corona crisis. One thinks that the government imposed ridiculous measures, another believes that the government is being far too lenient and maybe you feel that it is fine this way. Even among researchers, there is still a lot of dissension. Where does this radical difference of opinions come from if everyone has the same data? Motivated reasoning Obviously, fighting the coronavirus is a complex problem and therefore, there is not one simple solution. However, this polarity among experts in the field can partially be […]
Mr. Pity was a very, very unlucky man. As a kid he had once accidentally stepped on a butterfly in the forest. But this was no ordinary butterfly! It was the most beautiful butterfly Nature had ever produced. Out of revenge, Nature cursed young Mr. Pity: “Whatever you do, I’ll try to make your life as miserable as possible!” Now, Nature’s curse became evident every time Mr. Pity faces a decision in which uncertainty is involved. For Nature is the one that pulls the strings in all probabilistic situations. Thankfully, however, the Creator had been […]
Due to fast spread of COVID-19 the whole world has turned upside down in an instant. The corona virus already had many consequences. Many countries have been in complete lockdown, schools were closed down and leaving the house was only allowed to get necessary supplies like groceries and medicine. Since the schools and universities have been closed for the last few months, a quick transition to an online environment had to be made. Meaning al lectures would have to be in an online format. In addition, exams have to be taken through online means as […]
Many card tricks in this world involve some fancy hand movements. However, there are also many tricks that involve some mathematics. During these very busy times with exams, I present some card tricks to get your mind off studying and challenge your brain in a whole different way. 52 factorial The first mind-boggling property of a regular 52 card deck, is the number of different ways we can arrange such a deck. The top card can be any of the 52 cards, the next card can be any of the 51 other cards and […]
Nederland is aan het vergrijzen. De babyboomgeneratie is momenteel rond de zeventig jaar oud, een leeftijd waarop veel ouderen meer zorg nodig hebben. Daarnaast is in tien jaar de levensverwachting met bijna twee jaar toegenomen. Een gevolg van deze ontwikkelingen is dat de uitgaven aan gezondheidszorg en welzijn toenemen. Voor 2006 was er een betaalbare zorgverzekering voor burgers met een laag of modaal inkomen geregeld door een ziekenfonds. Burgers met een hoger inkomen dan €33.000 per jaar kwamen hier voor in niet aanmerking en konden zich aansluiten bij een particuliere zorgverzekeraar. Mensen, die wel in […]
The shuffle function on Spotify is an easy way to listen to music without having to pick some numbers. However, once in a while we all seem to recognize patterns in the numbers that we listen to. The shuffle function does not seem to be so random at all, so are these numbers truly randomly picked? This recognition of a sequence is partially caused by the functioning of our brain. It is very easy for the brain to distinguish patterns in seemingly random things like shuffled music or dice roles. Especially when these “processes” are […]
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