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December 31, 2008

Comments

A. S. Haley

D.C., you will want to change this paragraph:

"Suppose that, on average, the cubes are able to 'give birth' to a few more of their own kind per day than are the balls. Other things being equal, the barrel will contain increasingly-more balls than it does cubes as time goes on, because of this difference in 'birth rates.'"

It should say that "the balls are able to 'give birth' to a few more of their own kind per day than are the cubes."

Otherwise, not a bad analogy. To cover the case of how the larger cubes die, instead of having the holes all the same size, and then getting hit by lightning, they could be within a large range, so that some are big enough to cause two or three of the same kind---or even mixed kinds---to fall through at once. Or the barrel could wobble, and spill some of the larger cubes or balls (which being larger, would roll easier toward the opening) out of its opening at the top (or bottom, as the case may be).

D. C. Toedt

Thanks for catching that.

Your different-sized-holes point is a helpful addition to the explanation.

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