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We’ll also assume that you have a clear-cut way of rating people, for example on a scale from 1 to 10.That in itself is a tricky task, but perhaps you can come up with some system, or just use your gut feeling.This comes out of the underlying mathematics, which you can see in the article just mentioned.Thus, using the 37% strategy your chance of ending up with X is just over a third. Carbon dating has given archeologists a more accurate method by which they can determine the age of ancient artifacts. Libby invented carbon dating for which he received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1960.The overall probability is therefore made up of several terms: Let’s work out the terms one by one.
Therefore, If X is the person, you’ll pick them to settle down with as long as the person didn’t have a higher rating than all the previous people. In other words, you pick X if the highest-ranked among the first people turned up within the first people. You will pick X as long as the , , etc, and people all didn’t have a higher rating than the ones you saw before them. Therefore, This means you should discard the first person and then go for the next one that tops the previous ones.There's actually a more rigorous way of estimating the proportion, rather than just drawing a picture, but it involves calculus.If you follow that argument, you will see that the "about 37%" really mean a proportion of where is the base of the natural logarithm: so .Out of all the people you could possibly date, see about the first 37%, and then settle for the first person after that who's better than the ones you saw before (or wait for the very last one if such a person doesn't turn up). You don't want to go for the very first person who comes along, even if they are great, because someone better might turn up later. Either way, we assume there’s a pool of people out there from which you are choosing.On the other hand, you don't want to be too choosy: once you have rejected someone, you most likely won't get them back. And since the order in which you date people might depend on a whole range of complicated factors we can’t possibly figure out, we might as well assume that it’s random.
Before we start, here’s a picture of the end result.