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The Flaw of Averages: Why We Underestimate Risk in the Face of Uncertainty by Sam L. Savage

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CHAPTER 42
Interactive Simulation: A New Lightbulb
I hope the last chapter got your eyes engaged. But you will still end up as blind as the suspended kitten if you can’t interact with your visual environment. In the mid-1990s I began to experiment with what I call interactive simulation, in which, from the perspective of the user, thousands of Monte Carlo trials occur instantaneously when some input to the model is changed.
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I coined the term “blitzogram” to refer to an interactive histogram. This is described with animations and downloadable Excel models in an online article at the Informs Transactions on Education.1 You may link to it at FlawOfAverages.com.
 
 
Today, the continued improvement in computers and recent software developments have brought interactive simulation tools to the marketplace. Tied to computer graphics, these applications are providing Mindles that would have tickled Tukey.

The Return of a Pioneer

In the winter of 2005, in a picturesque mountain village on the shore of a serene lake, a world-class entrepreneur and software engineer tirelessly leads his small team of mathematicians and programmers toward achieving a daunting goal. The village is Incline, the lake is Tahoe, the entrepreneur is Dan Fylstra. The team is international, including Americans, Dutch, and Bulgarians, and the goal is to do for probability distributions what the spreadsheet did for ...

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