# Probability

• ### Meditation on Statistical Method

by J.V. Cunningham (1911 - 1985)

Plato, despair!
We prove by norms
How numbers bear
Empiric forms,

How random wrong
Will average right
If time be long
And errors slight;

But in our hearts
Hyperbole
Curves and departs
To infinity.

Error is boundless.
Nor hope nor doubt,
Though both be groundless,
Will average out.

• ### The Probability of a Kiss

Students estimate the probability that a Hershey's KissTM will land on its flat base when spilled from a cup.  Almond and plain Kisses are compared.

• ### Worry Lines

by Lawrence Mark Lesser

At our next infant wellness visit,
the pediatrician plots
our only child’s weight on
paper ruled
by increasing bands
with concavity ill-suited
for extrapolation.

Kilograms or pounds,
it’s 40th percentile, down
from the 60th percentile.
Having delivered well
into “advanced maternal age,” my wife
frowns (“we aren’t feeding him enough!”).
I say it just fell

half a sigma and
we’re still well
within the fat
part of the bell curve –
it’s normal –
this won’t be one
of our worries.

• ### Stochastic Terrorism

by Lawrence Mark Lesser

Some maintain hate
Speech doesn’t cause
Violence, that
Casualties aren’t

Causal-ties
‘Cause we can’t
Predict the
People:

Yet another othering
When words trigger
Someone past the post hoc

This “random” violence isn’t:
Did the shooter flick
A spinner to choose
His aim?