1. Honestly, if the doctor performed 20 successful surgeries then the most likely scenario is that the doctor is exceptionally skilled at the procedure and while your odds with a random doctor might be 50%, your odds with this particular doctor are probably significantly better than 50%.

  2. Also, even if 20 times the surgeon had success, at the 50% quota, doesn‘t mean that it becomes more likely he will fail this time. Same with success.

  3. Like most doctors will tell you is that statistics don’t matter to the individual. My mother had a 0,2% she would get acute leukemia from the chemo treatment she got for her breast cancer. She got it anyway. Then her doctor told her she had a 35% chance of survival but she is thankfully still with us

  4. Yeah infact it should be the opposite. Normal people might fall for that fallacy and think there is no way he can get it right 21 times in a row, while a mathematician will be aware of gambler's fallacy and think that the chance is 50% regardless. Heck, a statistician might even say it's good sign that the surgeon has got 20 successful surgeries, as being successful with a surgery with 50% success rate 20 times in a row (odds of 1/2²⁰, literally one in a million chance) suggests actual skill in part of the doctor instead of pure luck.

  5. How tf does this has 5k upvotes do people really think if you flip a coin 20 times and it lands on head the next time has higher likelyhood to be tails?

  6. That's the joke... Normal people feel at ease because the surgeon has had a streak of 20 successes, so they think the next surgery will have a higher chance to be a success. The mathematician is scared because they know the success of the surgery is still 50%.

  7. A mathematician would know that the dice has no memory. So the former results do in no way influence the current outcome.

  8. Honestly spent way too long thinking about it and what obscure mathematical joke I was missing, until I realized that this is just a very dumb shitpost.

  9. If you toss a fair coin 20 times and get heads in all of those 20 attempts, the probability of getting a heads in 21st attempt will still be 50%

  10. Reading the 10 or so top comments... Sorry to say this, but you're on the left normal people column, except you THINK you're on the right. You SHOULD be reassured.

  11. They're independent from each other so it'd still be 50%, just like if you have 3 children as all boys that doesn't suddenly increase your chances of having a girl.

  12. Exactly what I was thinking. His last twenty survived, but the twenty before that didn't. Which would give him his 50% chance of survival rate odds.

  13. I'd wager if the first 20 died then the next 20 survived, the surgeon got better at the surgery and/or some new surgery techniques have been implemented.

  14. Ok... what about it lol, just means that he's a good doctor/his patients are lucky, why is a mathematician making Dat face.

  15. The odds of 20 people in a row getting the same outcome on a 50% likelihood procedure is so low that the only reasonable outcome here is that the doctor is lying about the 50% survival rate. At least for this doctor, their survival rate is much higher

  16. Well a self respecting basic math enjoyer would ask themselves if the surgery has a 50% success rate or if the doctor himself/herself has a 50% success rate

  17. The number we need is how many times this doctor has performed the surgery. Could be that just two people do it and the other guy just really sucks.

  18. Yea... not how it works, thats a gamblers fallacy, the odds would still be 50%. But, thats not even really the case either because the most likely reason that a doctor is beating the odds is he is more skilled than average since this isn't based solely on luck.

  19. I think it's the opposite, mathematicians would be happier since every single one of them know that past results don't affect future outcomes, and if they do, it's repeating the same result. For example, if you flip 20 coins and you get 20 heads, on your next flip you can have 50% of getting heads OR more than 50% because seeing the results, maybe the coin is rigged, but never the opposite.

  20. Honestly it's the opposite. While normal people tend to think that after so many times flipping a coin on heads a tail is "due" they're wrong, and mathematicians know very well the odds are still 50/50.

  21. i think i heard a math youtuber talk about this and how it only applies to the next 20 and not the next 1 surgery like this surgery still has a 50% chance to be a success and it only applies if youre gonna have 20 surgeries

  22. Perhaps the surgery does have a 50% survival rate. Although the doctor said that his last 20 patients all survived somewhere gives birth to the possibility that the 20 patients are dead whom he undertook for surgery before the successful 20

  23. This only indicates something has changed has greatly increased the odds of the surgery being successful, such as the skill of the surgeon or the process for the procedure itself has likely changed.

  24. If he got 20 people in a row right with a standard calculated chance of 50% he should be happy. It’s still 50% every attempt and he likely got a great doctor

  25. I think the joke is supposed to be if he calculated it to be a 50% survival rate, then the first 20 patients died, before the second 20 survived? I think? This is too vague to be that funny imo.

  26. You're going to try and bamboozle people with math on REDDIT? These kids might have the social skills of a rabid Chihuahua but a lot of them are straight fucking nerds.

  27. Just to clarify google “do probabilities compound” and it will confirm that separate events even about the same topic can compound (to clarify two coin tosses are considered separate events although the shared topic) now lets assume Success Represents heads and vice versa, two events do not affect the chance of one another landing heads or tails but when considering the math behind 20 coin flips in a row you can find the chance of it with 50%20 or 1/220 the exponent representing N number of events so in the situation of the meme its a 1 in 1 million chance for that lucky 20th patient and 1 in 2 million for the next one up. (Rounding was required to simplify the answers i suggest doing the math yourself its quite fun) and as a result the chance of landing tails or getting a failure goes up the more successes there are despite it being a 50/50 chance (one last example you go to a Casino and there is a game of coin toss, assuming it is not rigged and you get 4 heads in a row what do you think is more likely to happen afterwards, a heads or tails) Note: i did this because its clear either statistics were not taught or not taught properly and has caused people to not understand that two coin tosses do not affect one another’s probability but when it comes to calculating said probability for something like Law then two separate events (which coin tosses are) compound creating an exponent 1/2n n being number of heads or tails in a row in the case of a coinflip

  28. Gamblers fallacy. Something happening more often in past doesn't mean it has higher chance of changing in the future

  29. Anyone who has taken basic probability knows the survival rate will always be 50% no matter if the last one million survived surgery

  30. I guess it annoys me because each new action has no relevance to previous actions, so even though the last 20 survived, it’s still a 50-50

  31. Not how odds work. Now if you were to say what are the odds of his next 20 patients surviving with a 50% survival rate that's a different question.

  32. I think the joke is not about the next operation but about the fact that to get this statistic there had to be 40 operations performed hence the 50% success rate.

  33. This means that If you shoot 10 people who survive the surgery your odds to survive increase.

  34. i would scream if i heared that let an airline say that once and no one will ever fly with them again

  35. A real mathematician would know that the past results don’t influence the current odds. Roll them dice!!

  36. A mathematician would probably argue that the doctor should abstain from mathematical equations if he said that. If 20 in a row went well, then the previous 20 would have had to have failed - and if that is the case the doc should be overlooked for strange shit happening during surgery.

  37. It should be the other way around. 50% is still going to be 50% no matter how many successful surgeries were performed before theirs.

  38. there's a difference between performing 21 successful surgeries in a row and performing one after 20 successful surgeries in a row. the latter has still a 50% chance while the former is 0.521

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