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Wed 7 Feb, 2018 03:12 am

A person on suicide watch in a prison cell finds a novel way to hang himself. This event is caught on camera, and an application is made for the information to be made public. The prison must weigh whether or not it is likely that a person who views the footage will end up in the same cells that have the hanging point as are depicted in the video before it can release the information.

The factors to consider are:

There are 10 cells similar to the one depicted in the video.

7,580,000,000 people in the world.

A projected 2000 people per year are likely to watch the video.

23,868,800 people in the country where the event took place.

7,790,000 people in the state where the event took place.

1,300 people in the prison system in that state.

I'm not sure how to proceed with this. Should I just take the number of cells (10) and divide it by total population (7,580,000,000) then multiply the quotient by the number of views per year (2000) to arrive at the number of people who might view the footage in a year and end up in those cells?

Or do I need to compound all the rest, like dividing the country stats by the world population and then multiplying that by the state stats divided by the country stats? Or something else entirely?

I'm really lost on this one. Any help would be hugely appreciated.

@drawkcab,

Nah...your figures are wrong! Every second 3 people are born and 2 die.

@drawkcab,

Quote:Should I just take the number of cells (10) and divide it by total population (7,580,000,000) then multiply the quotient by the number of views per year (2000) to arrive at the number of people who might view the footage in a year and end up in those cells?

I don't think that method will be meaningful.

I'm not a statistician, as will probably be obvious from my response, but the the decision is being made by the prison and I think they can screen out a lot of the choices right away as the probabilities are too low to be meaningful. The world population is irrelevant; you really only need to look at the country where the prison is as those are the people subject to being imprisoned. Of the projected 2000 people per year, how many are projected to be in this one country? How many are likely to be in this one jurisdiction? How many of the people in this one jurisdiction are likely to have seen the video and how likely are any of those people to be imprisoned?

@hightor,

Don't tell me you think this is a serious question !

@fresco,

Don't tell me you think I submitted a serious answer!