Monday, October 02, 2006

Improbable impossibility

An extract from the Report of the Re-opened Formal Investigation into the loss of the FV Gaul:

"21.1 What was or were the probable cause or causes of the loss of the GAUL?
A sudden and rapid accumulation of water on the factory deck, (...)
21.2 What possible causes can be eliminated by the evidence which is now available?
All other causes including, seizure, scuttling, fire, collision, explosion, missile attack, torpedo attack, striking a mine, icing, cargo shift,structural failure, grounding, snagging a seabed cable or a submarine.
21.3 What other possible causes remain open?
None."

By definition, probable is something likely to happen but not certain. What is not absolutely certain leaves room for other possibilities. Therefore other possibilities (i.e."all other causes") cannot be eliminated.
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"There is no use in trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things.""I dare say you haven't much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." (Excerpt from "Alice in Wonderland")
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5 comments:

Harrygaud said...

Why didn't you come up with all this during the investigation? or did you?

gadfly said...

oh yes, this evidence was provided at the time of the investigation.

Anonymous said...

Again it has happened. Someone stiring it up by firing bullets and sitting back to see how much hurt this can cause.

Robert A. said...

I submitted some views to the original enquiry regarding some defects in the design of the Gaul which could have been relevant at the time. The submission was rejected by the department concerned saying the document was currupted with a virus (although checks proved that my computer was clear of any viruses). I am prepared to reatate these views with anyone.

gadfly said...

Robert A.,

We would be interested to hear what those views were. Could you tell us on this site?

Best regards,

Gadfly