God plays dice

Thomas Schelling, in his fascinating book Micromotives and Macrobehavior (pp. 64-65 of the 2006 Norton edition) writes:

Ask people whether they consider themselves above or below average as drivers. Most people rank themselves above. When you tell them that, most of them smile sheepishly.

There are three possibilities. The average they have in mind is an arithmetic mean and if a minority drive badly enough a big majority can be “above average”. Or everybody ranks himself high in qualities he values: careful drivers give weight to care, skillfyl drivers give weight to skill, and those who think that, whatever sle they are not, at least they are polite, give weight to courtest, and come out high on their own scale. (Thsi is the way that every child has the best dog on the block.) Or some of us are kidding ourselves.

I’d long heard something similar in that “75 percent…

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