Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I really liked this one (the followup)

I recently wrote about an interesting question (not Oracle related!).  I found the question interesting because it reminds me of so many questions I actually receive about Oracle.  They are vague, incomplete, ambiguous, confusing at times.

The question I referred you to fell squarely in that category.  It was:
If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the chance you will be correct?
a) 25%
b) 50%
c) 60%
d) 25%

They are missing the correct answer in the list!  And adding the correct answer would change the answer - so that it might be incorrect as well.  Meaning - there is more missing here than supplied.  You don't stand a chance of answering the question at all.

I put forth that the answer is "e) none of the above" - making the right answer "20%".

Looking at the problem, if you assume the right answer is 25% - because you have a 1 in 4 chance of selecting any one of the items - the probability you will get the right answer randomly is 50%.  So, it cannot be 25% - if it were - it would be 50% (confusing, yes).

Moreover, if you assume 50% is correct, then the right answer is 25% - because the chance of picking 50% is 1 in 4.

If you assume 60% is correct - well, I don't know what to say.

The question itself seems to somehow affect the answer - the act of answering the question changes the answer.  Sort of like when you run a program in the debugger and it works perfectly - but when you run it standalone it crashes (that has never happened to me, nope, not a chance...).

So, my answer is "e) none of the above"

Monday, November 07, 2011

A unique opportunity redux...

Method-R will be hosting Chris Date for a series seminars during the last week of January, 2012.  The last time he did this was three years ago - so the occurrences of these seminars is few and far between.

If you have the time to go - and are curious about doing SQL "right" - I'd highly recommend it.  It is not often you have the opportunity to sit in a class like this...

Isn't it the truth...

Every now and then an XKDC comic strip comes along that is just so 'real world' that it makes you stop and laugh out loud.

Like this one did for me.

How many times have I seen a complex, convoluted, hardly (or not at all) working bit of software - software that does just one, maybe two things - but is capable of being the OS, the database, and every program ever written if necessary.  Just in case.

I guess that is why I'm still a Unix fan after all of these years.  A big collection of very very specific tools that can be used together to do pretty much anything.

Although - there are two sides to every coin I guess...  Sometimes (not often) - simple can be wrong too.  It depends.