# [ExI] today's news

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 1 19:32:43 UTC 2021

```On Nov 1, 2021, at 11:22 AM, William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:﻿
> If I may stop and pick a nit:  such a feat is more possible for most people   adrian
> Now is 'possible' the same as 'probable'?  I think of possible as being of two sorts:  possible and impossible and nothing in between, so you can't get more or less possible the way you can get probable and improbable - a dichotomy versus a continuous variable, that is.   bill w

I’m with you on this, though many people use possible as a shorthand for ‘merely possible’ or ‘unlikely but not impossible.’ There’s usually little harm done as long as they don’t generalize that, especially when it comes to things like formal modal logic. (I bring that up because I got into just such a discussion where someone didn’t understand that the usual interpretation of modal possibility doesn’t specify any probability.)

I have a bit to pick too: probabilities can be either continuous or discrete. So it’s not a binary vs continuous variable, but a binary versus a range (a greater then binary one, which can be but need not be continuous). Think of it this way: with two ‘normal’ dice under ‘normal’ conditions, it’s impossible to roll anything outside the range of 2 to 12 (in whole numbers). But the odds of each combination in that range are not continuous. They’re discrete, such as the odds of rolling a 2 Is 1 in 36, the chances of rolling a 3 is 2 in 36, but there’s nothing in between these two probabilities. They’re all discrete jumps of a whole number in 36 chance.

Regards,

Dan
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