User increase mather - MathOverflow most recent 30 from http://mathoverflow.net 2013-05-25T03:42:40Z http://mathoverflow.net/feeds/user/12050 http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/rdf http://mathoverflow.net/questions/17960/google-question-in-a-country-in-which-people-only-want-boys/51276#51276 Answer by Increase Mather for Google question: In a country in which people only want boys Increase Mather 2011-01-06T04:06:33Z 2011-01-06T04:06:33Z <p>Caveat: This is not an entirely serious answer.</p> <p>There has been some (heated?) discussion as to the sensitivity of the various answer to the particular model. I thought, for my own amusement, that I would do some Monte-Carlo experiments with a "plausible" model involving Pilgrims traveling to the New World. However, in thinking about possible models, I came up with the following issue. Suppose we assume that:</p> <ol> <li>Once Pilgrims marry, they stay married, and do not re-marry if their spouse dies.</li> <li>No living Pilgrim has a direct living ancestor older than their grandparents.</li> </ol> <p>Under these assumptions, it follows that if there were N male Pilgrims in the first settlement, then, at any given time, there are at most 3N male Pilgrims. Moreover, the probability of the settlement dying out over several generations (because all the children are girls) is non-zero. By Kolmogorov's zero-one law (overkill), it follows that almost surely the Settlement will die out, and not become the kick-ass country it may well have been. </p>