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"It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important" (Sherlock Holmes)

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Just a note

This simple statistical fact led to tragic consequences quite recently when a paediatrician applied the same reasoning to calculating the likelihood of 'cot deaths' in a court of law. After several years wrongful imprisonment, the mother was released on appeal, after it had been shown that infant deaths were unusually common among her immediate relatives - and there was therefore a genetic, rather than criminal explanation for her third such bereavement.

This most elementary error is the converse of the an equally common assumption that independent events are connected, and that ''by the law of averages'' gambler X is therefore ''due for a run of good luck''. Unfortunately for gambler X, no such ''law'' exists.