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Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 10:41 AM

…every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?

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#1

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 10:48 AM

1/2. (Minus a bit for those families who never have a boy.)

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#2
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 10:52 AM

You've just started your own window washing company. It's a breezy day in Seattle. There has been three car accidents at key points within the city and traffic is going at a snails pace. The sun is high and the temperature is above the average temperature for the time of year. You have been tasked with washing all the windows in the entire city. Assuming you are allotted as much time as needed to do so, how much do you charge per window?

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#6
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 11:21 AM

1,000,000,000 USD. Wash 1 window, then retire.

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#8
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 11:26 AM

"You have been tasked with washing all the windows in the entire city."

Well, that eliminates having a girl or a boy baby, doesn't it?

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#10
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 11:28 AM

It's called multi-tasking

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#12
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 11:47 AM

Ask around. No girls I know of would want a lover washing windows while... Well, you get the idea.

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#21
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 10:12 PM

I'll have to charge you for an estimate....

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#3
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 10:59 AM

That's correct, though I've seen some interesting answers in the past that have involved getting into genetics of which is more probable to have. It got pretty complex in the end.

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#23
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 10:32 PM

Did you mean to say a ratio of one-to-two, or did you mean to say one-half will be boys?

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#26
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 10:56 PM

I said that wrong; I meant 1:1 boys to girls, or 1/2 each girls and boys. The second clause was an afterthought, which I don't think actually applies. For simplicity, I I disregarded the slight excess of boy births above the "default" probablilty of 1/2.

Good catch!

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#67
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/01/2013 11:26 PM

'...I disregarded the slight excess of boy births above the "default" probablilty of 1/2....'

.

It isn't so important that the average sex ratio at birth is slightly above 1:1 (107 males births to 100 female births worldwide).

.

What IS important is that among individuals there is variability, in excess of chance, for the propensity to have either more male or more female children....AND that this trait is inheritable.

.

Suppose certain male genotypes (group Y) (encoded anywhere except the 'Y' chromosome) yield phenotypical production of more and/or faster swimming 'Y' sperm than 'X' sperm.

.

And also suppose certain other male genotypes (group X) (encoded anywhere except the 'Y' chromosome) yield phenotypical production of more and/or faster swimming 'X' sperm than 'Y' sperm.

.

Even if initially the sex ratio at birth were 1:1, implementation of the proposed system of every family having children until they have a boy; would steadily unbalance the system, even with small individual to individual variances in propensity of offspring of a particular sex.

.

Group X fathers and Group Y fathers have close to the same number of sons each...about 1 on average.

.

But Group X fathers would have more daughters than Group Y fathers. Group X fathers would have larger families than Group y fathers.

.

As a result there would be selective pressure that favors the expression of Group X males, and of course the females carrying the genes needed to produce Group X males.

.

Couples who produced many daughters before producing a male would become am increasingly large part of the population. Eventually there would be far more girls than boys.

.

Since women typically do not have more than 20 children, and almost never have more than 40 children (with one known exception who gave birth to 69....67 of which were not twins), the decrease in the ratio of boys to girls will not continue, but will eventually even out.....as it becomes significant that the number of Y group males begins to outnumber the group of X group males.

.

.

By the way, there is good evidence that this is the case. Typically a short time after the end of a major war (one with significant loss of young males), there is not just a baby boom, but more specifically a Male baby boom. It seems that since Group X males are less likely to have brothers (than Group Y) to pass down their traits, that a culling of the males is a readily observable genetic advantage for Group Y.

.

.

Anyway I just wanted to point out that it isn't all that critical that worldwide 107 boys are born for every 100 girls. What matters (and wasn't specified in the problem) is that there is strong evidence that significant variability among individuals exists in their propensity to produce either more or fewer males than females....and that this trait is probably inheritable.

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#4

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 11:12 AM

There are X wind turbines in the USA. Each wind turbine creates behind it a "wind shadow" in the downwind wake of the turbine.

What is the proportion of wind turbines not creating a "wind shadow" at any given moment?

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#5
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 11:20 AM

What is the color of the turbine blades, please?

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#15
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 12:12 PM

Off white during the day, black at night.

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#7
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 11:23 AM

Same as the proportion of turbines where no wind is blowing.

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#9
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 11:28 AM

Wrong.

I'll bet you got that "How do you put a giraffe in a refrigerator" puzzle wrong, too. :)

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#48
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 6:01 PM

I got that puzzle right...it was the key to getting out.

I was in a cage full of hungry angry gorillas and I was the only one holding a banana.

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#50
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 6:56 PM

:)

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#18
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 1:49 PM

Easy!!

The total number of turbines less the number that happen to have a politician standing behind them spouting off about the great..... (insert appropriate pork barrel comment) at that given moment.

Oh- actually, I think that might compensate for the wind shadow of the next turbine too. We'll have to introduce a 2x POOP factor.

That stands for POlitical OPportunist!!

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#31
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 12:30 AM

80%. For having no useable wind to produce a wake (or is it a vake?). I have read this in Old Franklin's Farmer's Almanack. Why didn't you ask it that way before?

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#11

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 11:39 AM

No answer possible, there is no limit to the number of girls born before a boy arrives.

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#13

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 11:49 AM

Ummm... just the opposite in my family. My folks had 5 boys before they got a girl. So they made one more girl after that to give the first one some sibling companionship.

If they'd stopped after the first boy, I wouldn't be here.

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#30
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 12:22 AM

Same in my family, 6 boys, and 1 girl. My mother was hellbent on election she wanted a daughter~~until she got to be in her teen years. Mom said the one girl gave her more problems than all six boys put together. I guess that might be the reason boys are the preferred sex in parenting????

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#73
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/03/2013 1:53 AM

'... My mother was hellbent on election she wanted a daughter~~until she got to be in her teen years.....'

.

JHC, man! How young did she start having children!

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#14

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 12:02 PM

What about families that can't have children, then?

What about "single parent families", then?

And what about those that adopt, including Civil Partnership families?

Eh? Eh? Eh? How realistic is the starting premise?

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#28
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 11:09 PM

Families that cannot have children will not affect the ratio of boys:girls.

Single/married or partner/no partner has nothing to do with M/F conception rates.

Likewise adoption occurs AFTER the child is born - no effect on ratio.

The starting premise is is valid.

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#36
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 8:39 AM

Dear CR4 Admin, please add and "Awesome Irrelevant Smack-down" option to the Rate Button.

-A-

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#37
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 8:55 AM

As the mother goes into the clinic to have an abortion,

the Doctor asks, "How far are you along in your pregnancy?"

Mother: "About 22 years"

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#82
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/06/2013 4:07 AM

"Families that cannot have children will not affect the ratio of boys:girls.

Single/married or partner/no partner has nothing to do with M/F conception rates.

Likewise adoption occurs AFTER the child is born - no effect on ratio.

The starting premise is is valid."

You forgot the part about there being no countries which prefer only boys.....

This puzzle is purely hypothetical. It could just as easily have been one about tossing coins and continuing to toss until a particular outcome was reached - heads or tails, pick one.

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#16

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 12:40 PM

I have a few friend with all girls......

one with twins

one with 3

one with 4

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#17

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 12:41 PM

I always thought the ideal was a boy and a girl, then quit. We have 3 children. But as you said, yes we quit after the boy. (I got cut and turned it into strictly a sport model).

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#19

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 6:31 PM

To answer the original question of how many boys and girls in the country.

US 2010 census.

Male 151,781,326

Female 143,368,343

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#66
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/01/2013 10:13 PM

It is worthwhile if population of each country and male/female percentage(%) is published here.

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#20

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 8:33 PM

1.2 boys to 1 girl....

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#22

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 10:30 PM

Ratio of boys to girls will be roughly one-to-one. Every birth has the same odds of boy or girl, no matter how many siblings are already in the mix.

There will be a slightly greater number of boys because the odds aren't quite 50-50; nature hands out more Y chromosomes than not.

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#24

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 10:38 PM

boys become more and more , and many of them can not find a gf when they become grown-ups.

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#25

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 10:49 PM

Assume a woman can have only 12 babies in her lifetime, population is large and assume both are equally likely, so-

0 boys = 12 children, prob (1/2)^12

Boy as the first child = 1 child, prob (1/2)

Boy as the second child = 2 children, prob (1/2)^2

...

Boy as the twelth child = 12 children, prob (1/2)^12

fiddle around with summing some geometric series and you get

SUM(Population * each prob of a boy)/SUM(family size for each prob) is close to .5

(not what I would have thought)

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#27

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/27/2013 10:58 PM

That depends on how often the individual couples have sex. If they have sex every day, there will be all girls and no boys. If they wait to have sex until the woman ovulates, then do it within 6 to 12 hours, there will be nearly 100% boys. The longer after ovulation they wait, the greater the chance of a girl is. If they don't pay attention to when the potential mom ovulates, then in a large enough population the ratio will approach 1:1. (The female sperm are more hardy, but slower. The male sperm are FAST, but do not survive as long.)

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#51
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 7:14 PM

"The female sperm are more hardy"

I suggest dating different women

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#83
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/06/2013 9:03 AM

'If they wait to have sex until the woman ovulates,...'

.

Have you ever heard the term 'hidden estrus'? The 'hidden part' doesn't just apply to men, it applies to women too.

.

This is the reason the 'rhythm method' doesn't really work.

.

Some believe that hidden estrus was an adaptation that essentially fooled women into having more than one child, being that the first was usually very traumatic. Many women who had already experienced giving birth once, might not have had sex during ovulation, if they knew when it was occurring.

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#84
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/06/2013 11:01 AM

They even fool themselves.

Why am I not surprised?

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#29

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 12:17 AM

It would be better to have 1:1

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#85
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/06/2013 11:22 AM

for whom?

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#32

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 12:32 AM

I have an assumption, which may or may not be valid. Some guys want a boy so bad, they try to hard and blow the plumbing off, resulting in a female baby.

If you have a friend that has all daughters, and you want to get under his skin, just tell him it takes a man to make a boy.

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#33

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 7:55 AM

Ratio Boys to Girls = 1:1

Summing up the series B=Σ(1/2K) and G=Σ(K-1)*(1/2K) yields B/G --> 1 as K gets large.

Does anyone know a simple obvious reason?

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#34
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 8:17 AM

Excellent math....

But.

Life does not follow math. Math - if you are lucky - describes some aspects of life.

Other than that....

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#56
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 9:01 PM

You are perfectly correct in saying it-math or arithmetic should not decide life. Good example is democracy failing in multi-racial/religious nations,creating war,destruction, birth of new nations etc. Counting heads is applicable to animals not for humans. Let UN,USA,UK understand it.

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#86
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/06/2013 1:28 PM

"Life does not follow math. Math - if you are lucky - describes some aspects of life."

True, true; like filling out your tax return - and then getting audited.

Is that what you mean by "lucky?"

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#35

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 8:24 AM

Where is Mizuti?

I repeat, the boy girl question is unanswerable. We have no indication of how many girls may be born in any family before a boy arrives.

If he had said they alternate, then there would be a boy in each family and a girl in half of the families. Twice as many boys as girls, BUT HE DIDN'T SAY THAT.

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#38

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 9:16 AM

It may depend on the timing of intercourse, diet and a few other things, but if each conception was done in a controlled environment, then yes 1/2.

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#39
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 10:38 AM

My girlfriends eldest daughter (who is a pharmacist) is expecting, she practical knew the day after conception,

It may depend on the timing of intercourse,

She said the same, earlier it would be a girl, and later it would be a boy...... so its interesting what how it would turn out.......

Now a little off topic, I love watching the history channel or any science channel for that matter, Now they say that an crocodile sex is determined by what the temperature the egg is kept at......?

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#40
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 10:49 AM

"It may depend on the timing of intercourse". You mean there's a bad time?

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#41
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 10:55 AM

Well~~~~ when the kids are home it might get a little tacky!!

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#44
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 12:26 PM

You let your kids sleep with you???

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#55
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 8:03 PM

No, bit I do remember walking in on my parents in the middle of a whoopee session in the middle of the afternoon. A moment of silent awkwardness for all parties!!!

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#42
In reply to #40

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 11:01 AM

maybe, its just that you don't realize it at the time....... see post #37

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#47
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 3:18 PM

My wife seems to think that trying to get me started about 3 - 5 minutes before I have to leave for work is a good time.

I really really hate that.

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#43

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 11:27 AM

As I understand it:

You have one boy, you stop having anymore, so that boy grows up an only child.

You have a girl, you keep having kids until you finally have a boy.

I'd say the end result population wise is 1 man to every 5 women.

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#45

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 12:43 PM

Interesting thought: Let's suppose the country wants to encourage having daughters. A couple who has a son is forbidden to have more children. A couple who has a daughter is allowed to have more children. Opposite motivation, same result!

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#46

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 3:06 PM

Have I found the goof off section I was looking for? If so, I am disappointed.

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#49

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 6:38 PM

The same as in a country where there was no preference either way.

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#53
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 7:26 PM

True, but a coincidence, methinks.

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#54
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 7:50 PM

This puzzle is just a cleverly-disguised coin toss. In other words: the ratio of boys to girls has nothing at all to do with the country's preferences either way.

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#57
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 9:16 PM

I think that might be the simple answer I was looking for. Stopping after the first boy just gives a random way to select samples of various lengths of a population that is 50-50 boys and girls. Nice!

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#58
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 10:00 PM

if proper sex education is given to prospective parents we can maintain a healthy boy to girl ratio.

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#59
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/01/2013 12:23 AM

Keep driving; don't park. Accidents cause people.

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#52

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

02/28/2013 7:15 PM

Boys should run like hell from a "Country in Which People Only Want Boys".

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#60

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/01/2013 12:58 PM

I am critical of the thinking of some who got a "good answer" to this post. There would certainly be more boys than girls. There is a 50/50 chance of having a boy the first time. For those who had a girl, they have another child, where there is also a 50/50 chance of having a boy again. Those who had a boy don't have another child (by the rules above). So, it would be close to 2/3 boys and 1/3 girls after some time. I challenge you to write a computer program to solve this. Start with a random number generator. An odd number means a boy was born; an even means a girl. For each even number do it again; for each odd number you stop there. After say 100 times, add up the odd and even numbers to see what the ratio is. The game is afoot!

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#61
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/01/2013 2:24 PM

Let's single-step through this 'program' manually.

We start out with, say, a thousand couples who have a thousand babies. Chances are half of these babies will be boys and half will be girls. The larger the population of couples, the closer we will come to an 50/50 split, but for the sake of argument let's assume this is the case here also without getting all pedantic about the sadistics.

1000 babies

500 girls

500 boys

Half of these couples had a boy baby, and so they won't be having any more babies. The other 500 try again. Half of these will be boys and half will be girls.

1000 + 500 babies, total

500 + 250 boys

500 + 250 girls

Half of these will try again.

1000 + 500 + 250 babies, total

500 + 250 + 125 boys

500 + 250 + 125 girls

Do you see where this is going?

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#62
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/01/2013 2:28 PM

"sadistics"! ha ha! Good slip!

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#63
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/01/2013 2:30 PM

It was quite delibdilburt, I assure you!

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#68
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/02/2013 11:43 AM

Waaaaa. Moma, europium's delidibertly being mean!

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#72
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/02/2013 11:30 PM

I was being mean? Where/when/who/what?

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#78
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/03/2013 12:04 PM

Using sound logic to refute his idea. Mean!

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#69
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/02/2013 12:12 PM

Yes, it means the boys will have their pick of women. Some will even start harems because there aren't enough men to go around. Since the men are in such demand, many of them will let it go to their head and treat their women poorly, as though they are all disposable. The women will get fed up with this and all just become lesbians, since they outnumber the men, will just herding up the men like cattle and just milk them using electrical pumps for their semen and artificially inseminate themselves.

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#64
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/01/2013 2:44 PM

Generally,

Let n = #couples

First Round:

Total: n

Boys: n/2

Girls: n/2

Second Round:

Total: n + n/2

Boys: n/2 + (n/2)/2

Girls: n/2 + (n/2)/2

Round 3:

Total: n + n/2 + (n/2)/2

Boys: n/2 + (n/2)/2 + ((n/2)/2)/2

Girls: n/2 + (n/2)/2 + ((n/2)/2)/2

...

Round log(n)/log(2):

Total: 2n

Boys: n

Girls: n

Boys/Girls: n/n = 1

Total Population (final): 2n + 2n = 4n

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#65
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/01/2013 3:21 PM

You nailed it.

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#70
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/02/2013 7:21 PM

... and pedantic too!

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#79
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/03/2013 2:29 PM

Without my getting all pedantic about it, not you. Sry for any misunderstanding.

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#71
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/02/2013 9:45 PM

If every family have 1 boy and 1 girl there won't be any problem. In China they adopted a 1 child policy to control population growth which ended in disaster and they are considering importing manpower because the population belonging to working age group(20 to 60yrs) has reduced but lot of elders need support from kids who are 50% of elders' population. Imagine 2 families(1man & 1 woman in each) each with 1 baby(1boy & 1girl). After 25yrs when they grow up & marry they will get 1 baby(boy or girl). The no of persons in working age group will be 2 while they have 4 elders & 1 baby to support, funny situation isn't it. Imagine what will happen to the population after another 25 years.

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#74

Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/03/2013 2:32 AM

I will offer my assistance in obfuscating this issue, by reminding everyone that in many systems the average is very rarely expressed in any individual.

.

Relying on averages could lead one to the conclusion an adult human has roughly 1 breast and 1 testicle.....

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#75
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/03/2013 4:12 AM

Doggone outliers skew everything.

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#76
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/03/2013 4:33 AM

Perhaps she misunderstood her parents, thinking they wanted her to:

.

'tri her very breast'.

.

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#80
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/03/2013 2:33 PM

If 'binary digits' are bits, then 'trinary digits' are ... ?? :)

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#81
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/04/2013 6:59 PM

"Nibbles".

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#77
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Re: Critical Thinking - In a Country in Which People Only Want Boys…

03/03/2013 7:26 AM

Unfortunately, this guy is already taken, but would have been a good match...

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