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Can You Solve These Puzzles?

Can You Solve These Puzzles?I’m reading a book about being a better thinker and making better decisions, called Mindware by Richard E. Nisbett. So far, it has been chockfull of interesting information. I haven’t delved very far (been too busy) so I haven’t reached the section that will tell me how to think better.

But so far, the book has told me about how subtle outside influences and our subconscious are. We make decisions based upon these subtle influences and the decisions are often wrong. We also often make decisions based upon heuristics. He offered some puzzles to show us how our heuristics can lead us astray.

Puzzle 1

“Which two rows of numbers are randomly generated and which two are created by the author?”


Puzzle 1I won’t give  you the answer because it is found in the book, page 28. I was able to do this puzzle but was only because I have been working with random numbers for a while now (or maybe I was just lucky).

Puzzle 2, also page 28 in the book:

“A certain town is served by 2 hospitals. In the larger hospital about 45 babies are born each day, and in the smaller hospital about 15 are born each day. As you know, about 50% of all babies are boys. The exact percentage of the baby boys, however, varies from day-to-day. Sometimes it may be higher than 50%, sometimes lower.

For a period of one year, each hospital recorded the days on which more than 60% of the babies born were boys.Which hospital do you think recorded more such days?”


For those of you who do any forecasting, you should be able to figure this one out.
Have fun!


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