Letters + Opinion » Mailbox

That's No Paradox



Since I don't want to see a second week of no letters to the Journal, I'll put in my two cents worth about Barry Evans' "The Two-Envelope Paradox" column from Dec. 23.

I don't see how it's a paradox — it's more like a personality test.

The only people who will end up going back and forth between envelope A and envelope B are the same people who also can't make a decision about which entree to order, or which flight to book. A compulsive gambler will always take the chance on the envelope that he can't see, and a true conservative won't take that gamble.

Personally, if I open a $10 envelope, I can easily afford to lose $9, so I will take the chance that the other envelope will yield $100. I could also lose $90 without too many tears, so I would take that same chance if I opened a $100 envelope. But If the envelope I opened contained $1000, I'm pretty sure I would stop there, rather than risk losing $900 in one fell swoop (whatever a "fell swoop" is).

I'm a chronically naive person, so maybe I'm missing something here — but I just don't see the problem or the paradox. A person will respond to the two envelopes according to their view of life, or to the funds in their bank account.

That said, I always look forward to Barry Evans' column.

Alan Sanborn, Arcata

Add a comment