[EM] Approval Strategy for the Average Citizen

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Tue Jul 16 16:44:15 PDT 2002

Pretend for a moment that you are an ordinary citizen with very little
knowledge of probability theory, and you are supposed to vote an approval

There will be at least two candidates (favorite and worst) that you know
precisely how to categorize (approved and not approved, respectively).

After consulting friends and listening to experts (such as your favorite
candidate) whose political and/or mathematical judgment you trust, you
will have a good idea about how to categorize most of the rest of the

Any remaining decisions can be decided with the flip of a coin.

In any case where you feel the coin gives you the wrong choice, just
ignore the coin and go with your gut feeling;  you are not honor bound to
abide by the decision of the coin :-)

This coin tossing strategy for making difficult yes/no decisions has been
around for a long time.  It is simply a device for accessing the wisdom of
your subconscious mind. Not that the coin magically gives you the right
answer, rather when it gives you the wrong answer, your subconscious
awareness is triggered and amplified by a sense of alarm that the wrong
decision is about to be implemented.



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