I sat down for a couple minutes the other day and went over the numbers from last week's JM at the UU Fellowship.

The average of all the guesses (Z) was 385. N was X+25, and Z-13. So the Jellybean Mystery was confirmed, the average was closer than the best individual guess. Now, when I did this rite last September, I only had 5 people, so it didn't seem useful to do any more analysis. But with K at 18, I decided to play around with the numbers a bit.

So I did a little 'what if', and recalculated Z without B or W, first individually and then together. I also checked what Z would be with K=14, dropping the two most extreme guesses at either end.

Without W, Z was 350, still better than X. But without B, it came out 405. That's outside the margin, 7 further away from N than X. Viewed simplistically, that underscores the conundrum of the Jellybean Mystery. If whoever guessed the somewhat outrageously low number of 76 hadn't been in the group, the average wouldn't have beaten the best guess. Unless someone had guessed differently. And that's the reality of the Jellybean Mystery; I don't really know if it will work every time. But, yes, I honestly think that, without any mystical or quantum connection between these individually reasoning brains, if whoever it was that guessed 76 had stayed home that day, at least one other person in that crowd would have, without any causaul intent, guessed differently enough to ensure that the average would have beaten the best single answer. Or not.

The more I think about it, the more thrilled I am that it is such a perfectly explicit illustration of the peculiar relatìonship between consciousness and causaulity. Like CJ said, I think I might finally be starting to begin to understand what I've been talking about this whole time.

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