interactive help on the base object

rusi rustompmody at
Tue Dec 10 05:32:06 CET 2013

On Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:49:46 AM UTC+5:30, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> On Mon, 09 Dec 2013 05:59:29 -0500, Ned Batchelder wrote:

> [...]
> > And the cycle continues:
> [...]

> > Maybe we could just not?

Thanks Ned for your attempts at bringing some order and sense in these parts
of the universe

> A reasonable request, but just because it's reasonable doesn't mean it is 
> a no-brainer that we shouldn't engage with Mark.

Some basic statistics

Suppose a random variable X takes 2 values x and y with probabilities
p and q=1-p. Then expected value of X

E[X] = px + qy

p = probability of some good result from an interaction
q = 1-p = No good
x = benefit value
y = harm value

> Even if Mark is a crank and beyond the reach of logic, reason or facts, 
> and I'm 90% convinced his is, consider that he's not the only one reading 
> this thread. 

So you are pegging 'no-good-probability' at 90% and so p at 10%. Ok
lets accept these.

And in the benefit value you include the possible benefit to Mark, to
whoever engages with him and the random [no relation of random
variable X] lurking reader. So far so good

And in the harm-value y, are you including the harm done to the random reader 
from a disorderly, abusive, fruitless and almost completely OT  

> If just one person learns something useful or new from a 
> reply to Mark, I believe that it is worthwhile.

And if 3 people drop out because the levels of bullshit have crossed their 

[BTW: My statistics was never very strong and is now quite rusty.
Whos that guy who recently added a stats module to python??
Cant remember his name... Maybe I should take some tuitions from him...]

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