« Freakonomics Radio

247. How to Win Games and Beat People

2016-05-12 | 🔗
Games are as old as civilization itself, and some people think they have huge social value regardless of whether you win or lose. Tom Whipple is not one of those people. That's why he consulted an army of preposterously overqualified experts to find the secret to winning any game.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This podcast dynamically inserts audio advertisements of varying lengths for each download. As a result, the transcription time indexes may be inaccurate.
If you'd like to listen to free economic radio without ads the place to do that, is sticker premium five dollars a month and you can get a free month trial by going to stick your premium dot com and use a promo code freak. You also get access to all our bonus. Episodes and you'll be supporting our show to that sticker premium, dot, com, promo code, freak thanks! are you someone for whom the we'll never stops turning you're, always looking for some way to go a bit better next time around people say
it's a taking part counts in two years of battle, cry to lose your comparing yourself to a different standard than other people might be. Comparing sells a very high standard, that's probably in part why you do finnish things. We learn this emotional pleasure that comes from taking control its an activity that seems to be a tunnel in universal. We do know that or games are just about as old as civilization itself and even being it's an activity that is inherently communal. They're here, four nights weak playing this card game, that's better round, since I was kept and its
activity in which the mere participation brings joy, regardless about come right, loses look for joy. I look for victory victory. Well, if that's how you feel- and this is the episode from you- how to win- games and beat people, because winning feels like that yeah, from w, and why see studios? This is freakin comics, radio, the podcast that explores the hidden side of everything. Here's your house, Stephen Governor.
I love to play games there. I said it for a long time. I was afraid to admit how much I like playing games because it seems a bit childish and as adults we are encouraged to do away with others things, but you know what I've changed my mind, because playing games means at your taking part in the glorious progression and civilization. My favorite game, for instance, is back in so back em and is a great example of a game that has a jet routes. In this case Greek. and that is very polite and the author of the monopolist's, a book about the secret history of the board game monopoly belong, knows the history of other games as well. So Senate goes back to Egypt to Egypt around three five hundred beast.
Go and you about showers. My games also go back to the earliest known civilization that goes back Mesopotamia. She's, goes back to India, ICE Mesopotamian, backgammon, Byzantine, Greece, checkers ancient Egypt and then, of course, monopoly night tuna for a whole bunch of other stuff? In between game playing boom did America much of the boom emanated from Massachusetts, which is home to both the Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley companies. Boston have a lot to do with it as a major port was a major shipping hub. So a lot of these games I had ancient roots, were coming through the.
the sailors and folks on ships. In the U S, ancient games were modernized, new ones were invented and history itself conspired to create demand. So, first of all, you have electric lighting. Now you can play games at night. Also, child labor was going on a fashion. We start seeing laws that allow for children to go to school. Just across the board. You have a rise in leisure time. Word, games, come part of a lifestyle that previous generations wouldn't even conceived of fast forward. Now, a few more generations, your games, allow or is more creativity. There's more strategy like the classic gains, are fun. like monopoly or but you two matters of engineers Rohingya dies. Something happens in that's it. It's Martin Walker! Walker is grad student in Knoxville. Tennessee today is visiting New York and he's at a boardgame cafe. Greenwich village called the uncommon with his wife Jimmy Chin.
friend. They are playing a game called talking talking. It is a map building, bamboo growing and eating boardgame. I started. This gave out that was a wooden foreign competition It's not really a group work thing we're just regional to grow a farm, but we are also taking advantage of what they built and taking it from them somewhere settlers. you're building the same map, but you have your own agenda Greg may is the founder of the uncommon. I've always loved ball. It was felt like there needed to be a place, a sort of home for Games in York City. So that's what he started with a collection. Of nearly one thousand boardgame Camelot to abyss? Never a bit to fight
DR classics, like operation and mouse track Euros of Normandy or merchants. Venus was the dozen different versions of dominion. Star wars, Lord of the rain, walking that we have deems for filters like quilts show trivia games, like Whitson Wager seems like pandemic. There's been this explosion in growth in games that weren't around when I was a kid I ve I find that medicine, which is a party game where the players are all pharmaceutical companies making horrible drugs. That's your hoover, he's a board game designer and publisher who lives in Jersey City. I usually drop. I hear to see how things are going, what people are playing? What selling. That sort of thing I have a game coming out later this year, called the networks, were the players are all running television network, starting with three horrible public access rose and slowly improving their network over five seasons. The business has been incredible,
almost sold out a bad medicine at this point out of my entire print run, and I raised over a hundred thousand dollars on Kickstarter for the networks. That is the true facts in over is not the only game. Designer crowd funding is work. Kickstarter has an entire division, dedicated games according to loot cream, runs that division lead dear nearly a million backers pledged more than a hunter in forty million dollars to games. A lot of these, however, are video games, not old fashioned, bore games and before you get too excited about some boardgame renaissance, considered the sales numbers on board games, verses, video games, board, game and puzzle sales in United States bring it about one point: six billion dollars a year, videogame sales in the: U S, total more than twenty three and a half billion dollars a year. So for every dollar we spend on board games and puzzles. We spend nearly fifteen dollars on video games, whatever the case the instinct, to play some kind of game. Some kind of
is extraordinarily common and long lived just about every civilization, with dates that go way way way way way back they're playing games, Mary Pollen again, some of them were race game. So that's kind of what you think of a path with little markers that you'd move. You know trying to get it an opponent, some of the more more strategy based some mimic. The world that was around them have warfare is a theme or religion is a huge recurring theme in early games and often games were used. by religious leaders as a way of fortune telling, but also win. Of games. Often had kind of spiritual are about them because they were able to win something that combined luck and skill. Pilon herself is a gamer, so my family has taken to playing settlers catana at all as an extremely popular game. It came out of Germany like a lot of really fantastic games. Do there's many things
love about by turns us into animals. It brings out the best and worst of us, including particularly the adults at least One thanksgiving there had to be a handwritten apology, know their accusations of theft. It really gets extreme. by its a great way for everybody to get together Some people might have heard some families they together at family gatherings and they think This'Ll be pleasant- will play a few aims and we'll have a lovely evening, and I find it extraordinary Now, I'd like you to meet Tom Whipple, we'll get to see shortly memory from when I was nine or ten we were gathered with the extended family and we thank you I can't even remember the game, but what I do remembers that my uncle Terry, when he beat me
This nine year old, who had seen grow, often play for his kids. He stood up. He jumped on the sofa- and he pointed at me and will each point and each balance at him on the sofa he says I when you lose, I wouldn't you lose a lot of thought that told me that you know dispose morality of game playing that I've taken with me? It's about, I wouldn't you lose. So I suppose this book was an attempt to to find out in such a way that I can eventually beat Terry Whipple is written a book titled how to win, games and beat people. In his day job. He is the science editor for the Times and London editors are very grandiose. dollar. Two of us, you cover science for the times and we try to read journals nature cell science and see what the interesting and important sign stories of the day are, and then we try to make them accessible in six hundred or few words for them.
the public and are you or have you ever been a scientist yourself. I a mathematician by training, I've studied from ass degree, and then I left possibly because I discovered I was couldn't calculus is. I was writing about things, but I try not to let scientists know the time a mathematician, because then they don't talk to me like I'm an idiot and you want them. tough, you! I won't. You taught me like an idiot, tricky, vomit son or some other. As we mentioned, the title of Whistles book is how to win games and beat people, nothing particularly blood, thirsty about that, but the subtitle defeat and demolish your friends and family.
I was hoping you gonna sound terrible. I gather if you still want to beat her that he's alive. I was hoping he met a grisly death after doing that to you, Terry is alive, and he is aware that I'm on my way to take the advice of this book and try to get my number it's been a long time coming? If you ve been keeping up with economics radio, you know this is self improvement month we ve been trying to help. You become more productive to master a skill to increase your grit today how to win any game, if not with grace necessarily with Tom Whipple, as our guide in his book as our Bible, really that the premise for it thus rosy elevate pitch was its preposterously over cooler.
people advising on game, so either special forces soldier on pillow, fighting and divert structural engineer on gender and games. There is all over the place, but let me ask you, I guess, and obviously paradoxical question about your mission here. That's I'm the only one who reads the book and I learned how to win every game. Then I plainly have an advantage, but then, if you read because well than you have it, I had that same vantage, then the game theory puzzle becomes a very, very different. One does not amend its yes, you used to types of a metal game. Theory problem it slowly, game theory about book about game theory, how many people read my book before it's a failure on Algeria, like I'd. No, nothing might both my agent and publish it would agree with this, I'm very happy to take a risk if enough people are prepared, by my book. I consider this. I've won a completely different game, which is the games getting
How soon Kensington, let's take gender first of all, describe why you went to a structural engineer to figure out the best way to when it became a sponge structural engineer, who spent a lot of time talking about how he likes to be architects at Geneva, cause is fundamental hypothesis was they can do. I fancied roarings, but he can play agenda, but I should the most interesting, as was a woman who invented it. I spoke to and she said that one when she plays Geneva with people she's often accused of cheating cause. She likes to put her elbow against the tower when she's pulling out the blocks to stabilize people say you can't do this and say she's as well. Look I defended the game, there's only three rules, you coneys one hand. You can only take out one at the time, and that block touches the floor than is over and her other, ass. It was our interview. Pledge was doing people who are trying to get this as high as possible. Instead of taking one from the outside the ones- and I decided
take one from the middle, which means that you that rose and useless she can't move any more. What's she doing, the ones on the outside one on the left, one right and move them together, so she can then too. One of them out and get another piece of value out that and again she says you know people's I'm for the beloved sport of stone skipping also known as stone. Skimming whipple spoke with a guy called Kurtz Dinah, who had a relatively simple goal in life. He said to his wife: I want to quit my job to become the world's stones give up on for five years. He train the interesting thing about this was does a lot of theory on this. It's a standard, undergraduate physics. and I was gonna go to one of these- is it professes to find out from them what the optimal way of threat? estonia- and they all agree on the angles and the velocities and spins and all of this, and they get their own budgets to work it out of the programme,
as I know well, having studied mass- is this thereof? philosophies and spends all based upon a perfectly spherical stone. Frictionless environment, the devil these things and actually what cuts Dinah discovered was that none of it was true, and it's one of these, wonderful things why you think science is advance that normal people can't do about it, but he's definitively proved all the signs wrong because he got eighty eight stone scheme. and does that make him something like a world champion. I think, It exceeded the previous one by more than twenty a minute. Essentially, he stopped counting. The Youtube clicked is up, in other words, everyone to google it because this is his Sistine chapel lemon he's, given this gift to the world, the stone, just it just folks, longer like its absolute, the extraordinary, the and he did it was he aims rather than the physics which says you throw it
It's an angle. It comes out of that angle. He throws it about she degrees at first, so fast, thirty Marie's down or thirty degrees angle to horizontal. What would look like into the water, be pretty close to straight, but he friends it so fast. He doesn't. He moved his entire body, so he swivel shoulda and he's got colleagues and oppression who sporting injuries as a consequence of doing stones, skipping resource, This whole shoulder back and brings his arm, and it's always, a and then The movement goes into the very Tipp of his arm and our goes a stone as fast and which has not been as possum and yeah goes almost. It looks like he's going almost directly down into the water set by the time it hits water, it's not Andrew down and then comes asked about five degrees. Ok, so here's the thing most p listening to this probably are not going to take up stone skipping only because it requires a lot of things. You know the water
The stones, an arm fair bit of Missy and so on, but many many many people who listen to this do routinely play games with their friends, family people, love people might not love so much, and I would like to propose that you and I right now on the radio play a few of these games against each other. and see how it works out. Are you up for that time? I'm absolutely that I asked you to prepare a little bit by bringing into the studio a couple of the games that I've brought into the studio and I do want to make an admission to you, which is the professional. I have not acted professionally here in that typically, I would read the book, or at least most of the book the person I'm interviewing, and in this case I purposely did not read it because I did not want to know you see
Yet so let me apologise for not having read your book, yet that's firemen than this it fills me with dread, thinks it makes it all the more embarrassing when I lose. What that was kind of my idea is, I think, a maid. If I could maybe beat you so I thought we'd play for games. I thought, if I could reach you at one, where you have the optimal strategy for all four: that one in three record might make me look a little bit like a hero s, game tourists call it. I think that we are now. She could because like if I can only lose on one I will be very happy as well so we're. How would you feel about one victory in one draw for me with that push us over into the hero category for me or not playing well. If we forget to games like pigs, hisses then is an element of chance like an always blame
who says as own again be sixty percent in my favor already blaming with the chance yeah yeah yeah, I've gotta get the excuses in earlier coming up on preconditions. Radio! I quickly accomplished my first goal: getting in Tom Whistles, you ve got nothing to lose it. This is mayors, reputation by publishing future, but soon he recapture the cycle. Logical, high ground, see you began by saying, because I'm your friend surfing you just trying to gain my trust so that you can lie and have to work out some ground rules for Iraq. Paper scissors. This the buildings do the bottoms. Doesn't it
Tom Whipple, the author of how to win, games and beat people has agreed to play for games with me. I have prepared by not reading his book. What you're about to here is substantially ended. Version of our because it took more than two hours to play, not think even the most voted for economic radio, listeners, interested, listened to grown men play ball games for two hours, Whipple Then a radio studio in London, I was in a studio in New York. I thought that we could begin with connect for that work with yeah yeah now. I should also say that, in anticipation of this game fast, we ve brought a couple,
serpents into the studio here. To act as well might be referees because we want to make sure that no offense to you, but I cheat- at everything so that the point of his game is. I think we should all this book is we shouldn't really trust each other more or less wines- and I understand well said yeah? Ok, so I've got here the executive producer of economics, radio or of a danger, but can you do sailor, hello, Anna Irma? Is there anything you? say in a sense or to the term you did you want to take a pledge of honesty, is moderator referee. I will take that pledge. I asked brought with me my Iphone, so I can run for anything if we for the record- and I also a very official referees was so here with Europe. I just have to say time: I do know about the camera, so my strategy needs to change very rapidly Nokia and too You have somebody there with you in London the molecules I molly so Tom.
You apparently know how to win at this Ray time presuming you go first, I understand correct, well, yeah, it's! It is possible to win every time Jimmy their first has been, my computer and I know, a very good strategy for ensuring that so, as no one makes any stupid mistakes along the way you always win. If you go first and probably second depends upon my ability. Your ability not makes you ve mistakes on the way. So I guess I shall let you first, then I can help you, you go first and then, of course, only multiply. Ok, play, yellow red, I'll play, Yellow Whipple and I each had a board in the studio with us, but because we can see each other's board, we agreed to label the board, so we could replicate each other's move so We label the x axis with the numbers one through seven from left to right and the why access with the letters a through F from bottom to top
I'm going to take. What I think is the obvious right, move and drop it in the centre, which is column for which goes always RO. I will go directly on top of you with my yeah, so have only two options. I think sensible options, but maybe you ve got me over thinking my connect forest strategy, I think you may be over think you can very please like face your out already, but you ve totally sake me out you're in my head. I will drop. What I think is an obvious one column. Three. following the bomb to row at all. Mine down in Cullum five. Well, then, I would be an idiot. I think you'll tell me not to go for a two, but considering be three if our playing with a child definite go for a two, a three cuz three looks good didn't. I know your block, I know gonna go for these three
Oh no! I just don't think we're there yet orbit is the ice, I love the panic just already he just so. You know that was not fake panic, those real bad. It's you you ve got nothing to lose at. This is mayors. Golly entire reputation by publishing future turn still you with more fair. That's our great Molly come on what I found many interesting with it. This is a tactic used by beyond, say on you asked for- and I I mean we're on this- to be on, say, Arizona, I'm con. You then we add, I think you're gonna come years who, once while the answer did she go? First thing you ve heard of the officious bosky chess, much This was the equivalent in connect, for was at least according to show, is pressing and if you can't believe, showed this press and where our way in the world can yea West
Jay Z and Beyonce save backstage in two thousand and nine, and what are the three yes named and well music do with a backstage what they had now to connect for two months, and can you West who describes himself in music? Is God's vessel lost ate one to be Oh that's an argument for eight years right there. She isn't It's my inspiration for the sum for this guy so you're not channeling mathematician your channeling beyond, say, which is a much more formidable for exactly you. Don't you don't even talk you appealed signals are connect for he went on and on the next twenty minutes, I'm gonna go. Four c, I M going to go to block off your potential. Three around the bottom. In I'll, be honest with you. If I look at this as an for which I am looks to me: reds. Winning about through narrow worries me quite a lot question. Has
publish already written you than the check has come and gone and being spent, so we're all right, we're all right though we were down to an inevitable finish. All the slots have been felt, except for column too, is now whistles turn and he will be forced to play to be students. least you're losing with humor? Am I really only have one move and it happens to be a winning under you. Gonna go five in the morning before the road diagonally that gives I am going to claim, connect nine game, Gardner There is no good for blighted play. We eyes stumbled in a lucky progression. There happen to be. You will ask for a very sweet feats. humble, but what I will say in my defence in some senses, but what we just had is the classic connect. Games sometimes you'll lose because someone little spot a cunning little fork or you won't spot someone. three neuro, but
from you end up filling it up, and then you, forced in the last call him to make a point. You know, is going to be Your opponent victories agenda, Zog swine. If you come across this, he hasn't. I like it the germs of a word for an of everything it is not surprising, maybe the failure of central european politics. They had this word because it's worth means being forced to do something that will guarantee your enemy victory. How I do Sir Isaac swing every day? I have to say I'm glad and others who word for illegal is less than six like we mentioned the epic struggle between candy West and build, say knolls. What was also important at the time was the reason she one was because she had read the masters thesis of a guy called Victor Alice. Nowhere, is there I could have in future. Can you west from my book I could eventually?
he also knows, but wine, for you are you of them. When I can go to dutch computer scientists call victualage, designed a program that always played the optimal move in connect for in its new, it's been proven. Mathematics each be perfect. The foreign trillion different combinations incorrect for what he said to me ass. He was a relatively keen player and he says I bet you os games of correct for where you feel that was just bad luck, and I spoke before spoken to my could have put what happened to us down. Bad luck, as opposed to actually about play, my part, and he says it's not bad luck. It is not bad luck when you put that when you are forced into six Wang because actually, If you go first, you will be the situation where you will find final foreign, the road you ve got these three dangling waiting to be filled and you'll find I know for sure it will be completed on an old row.
If you go second, it will be completed on an even row and that's exactly what we found avoided a freer row ready for completion of uneven road by that game I would have won. But you had one on wear number three and you want and that that's why I now, let's I'm sure we discourage checkers it's always been to me, the most one party, I'm gonna, thou, I'm really sorry. I've got to go. It's ok, Molly with our full, very laying lanky, really lovely. It is really get fat. Good luck with the next. Thank you very much need it so We lost our London observer, but having one. victory in hand? I wasn't too worried. Next game was hangman. We would play to round one with Whipple guessing my word one with me guessing his the guesser could
ten wrong letters before being hung representing the head, torso, two arms, two legs, the rope and three lines for the gallows themselves: so all on each knows how many letters, ok and I'll, you. Therefore, letters now tell me immediately with it. Is that a good thing to go shorter? Bad! Oh, yes, very disintegration. Therefore, so that is a mess nine guesses remain is amiss I'm gonna go down the valves on this, but you don't always That is a mess. Eight guesses remain Oh you have done something with a y. All something haven't you or have I expect Clayton. I won't. I can do nothing but stick to my strategy, so That is a you got an oh and the second spot for it.
there is a second letter is an out, ok and so now I'm going to shift. That was my attack moistened of basic attack strategies and for tee beautiful gas. That is a mess. Much is I've been guesses, remained seven guesses. We don't even at the gallows built soon we get dear body, I'm going to go for an S negative, that man, the gallows, our complete the galleries of complete uncles, yoyo. Marching me towards my. Do I am going to go for ah another mess. Five guesses remain. If I wanted to march toward you do my discharge. each another game of connect for no offense J, and at this point I'm going to have to think of I've got to take clear this strategy. The EU being tricky and give you ve come for something like a J. The first letter is a J C. You have a Jay The second matter is an oh and two blanks. Five guesses left Tom, well
I am going to go for it. I should say now and yet what words actually work. I can't imagine there that many for letter word, starting with JO will this is this? Is this is completely Joe that's came by Tom Windfall you'll. Just over crazy off connects cool just saw stuff, I'm not I'm real, I'm I'm really impressed jail. I thought it was a good word. Job is a really good. Well, you emerged with everything, but your head intact, which, as you know, something so that was really well done. It's a! U just prove that from the guessers perspective, you had a strategy that happened to work beautifully there. Could I learn that strategy is well pretty quickly. Quite boring me there's a table in my book which, which got the first letter on the board the strategy for this I should say I spoke to Nick, bury whose a data scientists at Facebook who looks into these things
their time and what he said to me was Tom. I bet you think you're good at hang, man you're, not any support. I think that you know the grandmother the more. I wonder what they guessed first is the bowels, which is indeed I used to do so at the lowest level of sophistication on his strategy. And then he said, if you get a bit more sophisticated, you learn about some letter frequency analysis. This is It actually started in Baghdad. In the ninth century there was a guy who wins: through the Koran and wrote down. Every guy could I'll candy erode down we can see that every single, let it pops up- and you didn't just do this for fun. He did it because cryptography at the time that was almost always based on letter substitution. So, for instance, you change word cats to Europe. At one time sets you change the cat to db. You
and then you send your letter and he realized if he knew that a particular letter popped up more Anita, big enough corpus of dated decode, he could be didn't work at which letters will which say be blue part, cryptography by this. So from that, we have the basic letter, frequency earnings language- and he said well, if anything MRS makes his fists cages and then it not because we think about it in hangman what you ve got is a lot of words. You'd, never use a lot of those common because you never use would a in hand. Man he never use, would and of all the envy of. If you ve been buying my with some new puts down the worthy than that really is the time to reconsider your friendships, and so then, He produced a different letter frequency of the words in excluding those. Previously it was eighty a oh I and and get rid of those those words you left with E S,
I a so that's the optimal kind of first guessing streak. Yes, no cause any said, You ve forgotten about the amount of information you ve been given. I've just been told is a fool at word with them. frequency lesson for us was completely different. Think about a thing wholly endings, the UK Have you can't have the iron g ending? You can't have the tea. I owe an ending it be mad if the letter frequency in full, at the words the same as the less frequent feelings, language so actually This common letter in full at work is a but the most a letter in five words is s its a six letter. Words Ah in thirteen. Let's words once you land the first letter than you reassess the kind of work you're thinking out or no we're just says. His old principle on this, which I certainly subscribe to, is the really key things get first letter. if you ve, let's say as
This is a fool that word and I ve guessed aid, because that's the most common lettering, foliage words Well, it doesn't come up you ve, just such spoke again, the frequency of letters in full at the words that don't include the letter a is completed. that's yours, tat, frankly forgetting the first and then obviously Extend this if you have a lot of time in their hands, but then I just went back to the less frequent endings language. Then I went to let frequency Silly biogas and justice how'd it go J C, has been of peace. There are met with them very stressful, though it was fun replay. Another switching yeah circle, I'm gonna free as one of our Maya, anything very somebody user charge, because that's what it's for- and I see that if I the three letter word the optimal calling
is a key. Oh I! U why each b c k so I'd be a fool: to ignore your advice, except for the fact that you wrote the advice. Well exactly so I have to think that you would have thinking will of course, he's going to call a because it says a right there and therefore, what you put an I, especially when I try. I was gonna use your advice and then I think well. Is he the kind of person who would go to the second most frequent or maybe the third or maybe even the sixth or Just some cat cuz just told you to think this way. Once again, your deep inside my head, I I would like to call why. Why is not Why is a mess? Nine guesses remain. Oh is not in its governor. Has eight guesses left a Is the second letter
So you and easy on me either that or you thought your poem, the double switch aroun, because a is the first letter in the optimal calling us regarding how many switch rules were now. I think it. For some psychoanalysis. So whichever breakfasted item I had toast and fails, was there jam on your toast? couldn't imagine where you go. Yes, it was lashings of GMO. My taste not familiar. The word lashings button focusing on the jam do pets at home. I have had tortoises, but no feline, type, pets. You about feline type, pets on was for a long time at that's the first one t
I think that will be the one I was going for. I think it travels which on telling you it was cat, would the minute you said you weren't biblical cause. Can I tell you why nobody's ambivalent about cats either love cats or yea cats, right she's got my tells he's got my tell so. Hangman ended in a draw he won his round. I one mine which meant at already achieved. My goal of one victory and one draw in for games against the game expert, meaning I could afford to lose the last two games, which was fortunate because here we go. How about we play battleship? Let's do battleship. Is there a large event going first, I don't think anyone's particular on the mass summit, but I think it's huge right Tom. You can go first, then I'm gonna, stick it right in the Middle EAST five, and that is a hex congratulations.
Thank you very much, so I know that you like to go in the middle as an aggressor, but are we So you know that has an aggressor, it's a good idea to go in the middle, so maybe wouldn't put a ship there On the other hand, you know that I did not know the e five damn you gave me, can four hang man so I'll, say: ie. Six, ok be six, is happily miss! So now I'm on my hunting strategy- and I just know that by the side of this. So I M going to go for e four before, sadly, is amiss each to eighty two is amiss: can what round defy the five would be a mistake to me? I will next choose I ten. I turn is also aim is now you did lay ships down on the board correct her all those
a photograph to prove it, you six that would be a hit. Someone has two heads: Debonnair has none of those necessary lowered myself esteem here, be one b one is I miss now? The question is whether we ve seven, I will some cool battleship hit the biggest three heads no ship sank. Eight eight is I'm service, not that sorry, I'm not a sort of self delighted. Ok, he ate his answer. So here's how I feel you ve had six gases and you ve already sunk, my battleship and I had five guesses and I had. I don't have a single hip, but I'm gonna tell you. I don't feel that badly yet because the big ships is easier than vine. The small ships, I'm gonna, take some solace in that yeah. That false sense of silence, I don't know, I think it's completely fair enough. The fields bore you know
It feels like a great victory when you think that aircraft carrier burdens well as in almost every way. This is not in the holocaust. Naval chose this to hunger is not really not a single way in which this relates to real battleships. J three J three is AMOS H, seven pitch seven would be amiss Tom, close your ears for a minute. They closed dear listener. His h, seven was disastrously close to ships. Thank God. see ten again Amiss H. Five interesting choice It is, however, also a Miss her tongue plus years for thirty five, answers are thirty five seconds I guess off dear listener. That was unbelievably close again, thank God it on yeah. So I'm still seeking my first hit him.
doing very, not well, and I feel like. I have a strategy that is either not working or just not yet Then a stick with it for a little longer and I'll, say: f one if one is AMOS F, is a J, seven J, seven isn't so I've got. I wonder now. I've really scattered the board one. Two, three, four: five: six, seven, eight, nine, ten scattered guesses. a single hit and I can't remember ever playing ten single first guesses and not a single hit. I do think that may be right then scattering you're may be clustering and there is a quadrant that I just haven't wandered into well find the mother lode. Would the quadrant include H ate it would not again you did put ships on the board. Yes
through serve their photographs, to prove it than just using the british pluck to evade you're tendering, F, eight hidden, Sonny, suck my three whole ship now sunk. four and three. So I can tell you because you're my friend, because I think you're gonna beat me anyway. I'm worried about my how did you know you understand why I'm worried besides the fact that I am behind it, you ve been putting ships next to each other. Yes thinking that I would confound me with it and found you, but if indeed it I've done that consistently than the confounding will will come to crashing policy. You began by saying, because I'm your friend citing you just trying to gain my trust so that you can lie I appreciate your thinking of me as strategically as that and as nastily is that, clearly
My strategy was a hard failure and embarrassment. I did finally A few hits, including ripples, destroyer and that's the ship with just two holes the hardest one defined see you you ve got rid of my most valuable shit. I got something so people play this complaint Thirdly, richer for publishing the few we're not generally put many ships only outside of the board. I was ass. Well, because, if you think about the hunt strategies, so what will once you once you ve targeted it once you ve hit someone ship, you then have to look the four square on the side of that hit too which way the ship's going to save it? uptown lefrank? If you ve got on the edge of the board. You ve immediately put its institution. Exactly the same reason Ideally you wouldn't put ships next to each other, because
then a chance in hitting one that, just in you search, trusty, you're gonna get a hit home to now because that's a strategy of easy then have to mitigating is why put one of mine on the edge of the board, because You know people know that is part of Malaysia, the boar than its. Sometimes you what's the matter, some alleged the board, so it sounds as though you're saying that the year plantings Managing you're setting up ship strategy is to place them. What seems to be right, yeah while avoiding the edges semi randomly avoiding edges, avoiding putting together protocols putting together a mortgage is that on Sunday, ludicrous yeah, I make sense it's a kind of em right and an eighty and kind of rule. Ok,
I'm gonna take upon some you having some months I this alarmed and go for. I nine that was a very good, had very good whipple excellent well! Well you one No, I can't math man. I want your. We try to. Please find your your battleship, because that is the name of the game. though I will call it Gee nine, GINO in his eyes. we get. What is an honourable again pyrrhic victories are victories in some fashion, Yo Yo fleets equipped itself, while day nine hit and sunk to the winner Tom Whistle regulations. you too, So she
fully iris by my horrible play here, but hopefully it can help Another player win guys demonstration point you're a cautionary battleship. It was time for a final game of the day. Rock paper scissors we agreed to play best of nine throws. We used to say rock paper. Scissors says shoe, that's our rhythm, but tell me what you do, I know you do one two three and then present you don't say shoot, though very pacifist version of rock papers is one to three percent benefits, for that is actually what barbarians did was the bottoms. so you're running the show here so we'll say one two three presented what we're going to say, I M will say at the same time: are you ready to play them a guy who stood? Ok, so let me just say something:
for we go on the first row. I'm throwing rock ok ready again stood one two three presented and paper rock a wind for time. When for time- and I told the truth, I think one one two three presides paper scissors scissors cuts paper. That is, I went for Stephen one, two, three resend rock scissors rock crushes scissors, and that is a win for Tom sites to wine town. One one, two three four paper scissors scissors cats paper that is a wind for governor sets too often rule one one. Three present rock scissors rock crushes scissors. That is, I take away for whip. While that is three to whip up. You may have noticed by now that I've employed forces consecutively. I have I have,
I think you flagging up- means that I'm definitely going to Iraq next time. It's what I call the super seamstress seamstress. I understand it the three scissors than robot the super seamstress. I think I may have invented the supersedes. You're, not sure I think those accepted instead of competition play is there I know there are many names for these patterns. Yet so, let's see what we ve got ready long one two three presented rock scissors rock crusher scissors: that is a whimper whipple. It is now or to one to three percent paper. Rock paper covers rock. That is a whimper. Weapon is five to Whipple one one. Two three presented scissors rock raw Prussia scissors: that is a wind for governor. It is five three whistled one long to three resent paper paper to draw extra one one
three president paper paper to draw why one two three preside paper rock well done, and that was a thousand beautiful and I was ready to answer which is good for the game. Very well done very well, then said now that we ve heard me get crushed by you. The master give us your masterful advice on rapid procedures so that something will the fasting said. Our taxes. Is this the shouldn't be a strategy? that the optimal strategies everyone plays randomly and your equally likely to win or equally likely to lose, which makes it a fantastic psychology problem because humans are incapable of being random. The recently I know what to do as the was bunch of chinese researches who decided that they were going to fund cells of phenomenally indulgent, grant warning body. They were gonna, get the three hundred students to play three hundred sixty games of rock purposes.
and then they were going to look for strategies or look for takes the the non randomness that could be exploited and the ones they found. Is that of almost embarrassingly is as an insight into how the human brain works. So if you lose if say my rock beat you're scissors, then you'll think right, honey to make these his is more powerful. London, a more powerful things. I'm gonna go to rock. So if, if you lose, then I think next time, if you ll some scissors, we're gonna play rocks. I need to shift up to paper if you win, then you think well having I'll stick with it. and so, if you want on rock than you would be likely to stay on rock answer, I should go on paper. It
giving you a German. I don't think it. So you know those there's a huge element, a chance. I can't say it would have actually made the difference in our game as opposed to being chance, but it gives you just that's for wage and again this meant to be a purely random game of chance. So I assume that, according to you, master strategy that my subversion strategy of throwing that's a five scissors in a row to create the appearance of basically lunacy is a bad strategy I wasn't even I was just a sticking with up to construct. Use I wasn't taking. Those are. The only thing I would say is when we drew. I went with a different strategy, which is I went paper because scissors, contrary to what you were doing, are actually the that the least you used statistically of all of them. Scissors are the least. I assume that rock is the most yeah that uses I've done to pay for Iraq. A pretty cool, but scissors are twenty. Nine point six.
The time when I realized so Tom, you have rushed me repaper scissors. You beat me soundly at battleship. We hung each other once in hang, man and I got lucky on connect for so here is my question for you having become master, or at least surrogate master, for the proper masters of all these games and having written this book add a win games and beat people is any element of joy? That's deluded when you win by knowing the optimal way. It's not cheating, but it's kind of a different version of gaining an advantage over some one else. I always, I think joy is wrong. Paradoxes. Joy is a sort of thing that people say. Oh, it's a taking part. How to use the battle cry. The loser loses look for joy. I look for victory and that's what I've gotten and I'll go
my cold shallow life, but I'll have one and You know who's real loser coming up next week on Freakonomics, radio or month of self improvement concludes with a person whose entire life is dedicated softened. My name is TIM Ferris. I am a human guinea, pig and professional dilettante TIM Ferris charlatan for wizard. The man behind the for our work week. Another for our books does everything he knows about self improvement. good way to trap your monkey mind on paper, so it doesn't distract you and sabotage you for the rest of the day and his obsessions. It's one of these fixation. not been able to get rid of your we're dude, it's next time and for economics, radio, free
radio is produced by W and my c studios end W productions. This episode is produced by urban ganja. Our staff also includes Jake how it merit Jacob Christopher Worth: Gregg resolve Ski Kashmir, high the bitch Allison Hockenberry and care, An english thanks also to Molly Flemming for being our London based referee. You can subscribe to this pod cast on Itunes or wherever you get their pockets and please come visit for economics, dot com. We confine our entire podcast archive, as well as a complete transcript of every episode, along with music credits in lots of extras, thanks for listening, Is that a surrender? This is not a surrender. Britannia
Also the wise hither, Stephen dubbing again, one more thing. If you liked the episode you just heard, we think you like something else in the freak anomalous radio network. Look for this interview on the new pod cast people. I mostly admire with host Steve, live it up my guest today sobered she collects championships she's for W Nba championships, five euro, the best while championships to end she ate.
Egypt for International Basketball, federation, world cups and for limping gold medal. I would think that, in order to be the player you are, you would have to be a person who acted gets better under pressure rather than worth. Well. Obviously, there are people who are known for heading big. Shots are known for playing while in big gains that exists for sure, but I think we kind of frame it the wrong way. It's not that you're gonna make nine at it. It's that you might make three at a ten but somebody else's making zero it's on whose most successful! It's like who's. The most successful The least successful that is, people mostly admire? You can find it on your favorite podcast app subscribe now, so that you don't miss single episode.
Hey there, Stephen dubbing again, one more thing. If you like for economics, radio, I think you'll. Also like the latest episode of people, I mostly admire the podcast hosted by my free economic, spreading co, author, Steve Levin. Here's what it sounds like a guest today, Sue bird. She collects championships she's for W Nba championships, five euro, the best, while championships too, and see a championships for International Basketball Federation, world cups, and four limpid gold medals. I'd love to talk about the economics of professional basketball, so the average player in the NBA made eight point three million dollars into that nineteen and in the W Nba the average with eighty thousand is frustrating just now. I think. Actually, if you look at
twenty twenty. Our minimum is now higher, but we all put in the same amount of work. So is it hard to swallow, knowing that somebody else's work is being rewarded at times by I live in reality. I understand business and economics. Some people look at us as like charity. They go will will help them out like an it in a terrible. What sense? Not unlike this business, vestment way and we think do look at us as an investment immediately. Its talked about how we don't make money- and it's like fifty years ago in the nba- did either, but people are willing to make that investment get behind it and growing people. I mostly admire you can find on your favorite podcast app.
Transcript generated on 2021-01-25.