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Thread: Probabilities for getting unchanging vs. changing hexagrams

  1. #1
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    Default Probabilities for getting unchanging vs. changing hexagrams

    I've read in a few places the probabilities of getting different lines using different methods: yarrow stalk (or 16 objects), or three coins. For example, that the probability of getting an 8 is three out of sixteen, or of getting a 9 is 2 out of sixteen ....

    But what about for the hexagrams themselves? Does anyone know the probability of getting an unchanging hexagram versus a changing one? One third of the time? Three out of sixteen? One in twenty? .....

    Best, D.

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    Probability is a very messy thing as depending where you view it from it will bring different results.
    The good old story of the person that was asked "what is the chance if you get out of your home you will see a dinosaur walking around"(or something similar), and they answered 50%.

    The idea was either they will see or won't(so 50/50). Very accurate by itself, yet most people would give it much lower probability based on where they want to look at it from(history/previous experience etc).

    So if we take the end result and say that its as likely to get moving line as it is to get not moving line then it would be around 3%. That isn't the case, though but its nice first step.

    50% chance to get not moving line(4 possible states, 2 of them not moving) once.

    So getting 2 not moving lines would be 0.5 * 0.5 =0.25
    And that would be 25%.
    Next step 0.25 * 0.5 = 0.125
    And that would be 12.5%
    And with each line it goes lower by half and at the 6th will arrive at around 3%.
    Its very different for the stalks, but people rarely use that.

    That seems to low and if we look at the actual process that makes sense to be low, as in practice its not as likely to get 3 coins on the same side as it is to get 2 /1.

    So getting 3 coins on the same side would be around 12%(0.5*0.5*0.5).
    So if we take 12% for one side, 12% for the other we have something like
    76% chance to be 2/1.

    Using that we get to around 14% chance to get hexagram with not moving lines.


    While that seems to make sense, at the end of the day I really like this point of view:

    "Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten." ― Terry Pratchett, Mort

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    Thanks Gmulii, you said
    Using that we get to around 14% chance to get hexagram with no moving lines.
    So, about an eight of the time, or a 2:16 probability of no moving lines.

    I am not looking for any exactitude, and I understand 'probable.' It was just a point I was curious about based on something someone had said. It's 'close enough for government work' as they say.

    Best, d.

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    For oneself is it perhaps something you can work out in the Resonance Journal. There's facilities to find the number of unchanging answers as compared to all line 1s I imagine. I don't know how but if anyone knows how to do that it's probably @Liselle

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    In advanced search, down in the "Changing Lines" section, there's a box to check off to search for only unchanging readings. But as far as I know, Resonance Journal doesn't provide counts of anything at the moment.

    It'd probably be easiest to export your journal to Excel*, and sort and count using Excel features. Lots of interesting things could be done in Excel, I'm sure, not that I've done any of them yet. But I can vouch that the R.J. export feature works well, even for large-ish journals (mine's about 11,000 entries/rows). For instance I worried whether it would crash my laptop, and it didn't, and the resulting spreadsheet takes about 160 MB of memory, which also is fine. (This is by far the largest spreadsheet I've ever tried to work with, hence my trepidation, but it's perfectly fine.)

    In R.J. itself, you could get a rough estimate by counting how many entries are a "screen-ful" in lists, and then scroll through one page at a time, counting pages (click in an empty part of the scroll bar, near the bottom but above the arrow), and then multiply. But Excel would be better, imo.





    * when I say "Excel" - that's what it's called in R.J. in the Entries menu, but of course it works perfectly fine in any other spreadsheet program that can read .xls files. Personally I use LibreOffice Calc.
    Last edited by Liselle; July 12th, 2019 at 06:18 PM.

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    I have to give you two different answers:

    1- If making the error of assuming it is random,
    it would be a 1.56% chance to get an unchanging hexagram. (4096 possible readings, 64 unchanging hexagrams)

    2-100% chance to get the reading that you received. And this is the only important thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moss Elk View Post
    I have to give you two different answers:
    Answer 2, most definately.

    For answer 1, I'm thinking it's somewhere between 4.68% and 12.5%, but who's counting?

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