# STREAM OF CONSCIOUS SATURDAY: Even Odds (plus Snowmageddon update) (#JusJoJan)

First, an update on the weather here: Yes, we got snow.

The mayor of Atlanta was on TV this morning complaining that they had to get all the snow removal equipment out and pay all the overtime for what turned out to be a dusting of snow. I think it’s better that we prepared for a blizzard and ended up with a dusting than the other way around. Don’t want a repeat of two years ago. The one problem for me is that the snow stuck to the front stairs, making it dangerous for me to walk down them (and that’s really the only way I have to get out to the car), and it could be a couple of days before they’re passable, because even though it’s sunny and starting to warm up, the stairs are in the shadows. But it should clear out pretty well by Tuesday at the latest. Monday’s high is forecast at 60° (that’s 16° for you centigrade fans). Life in the South…

I found a game while perusing Wikipedia called odds and evens. It’s a simple game where one person calls “odds” and the other calls “evens,” then on the count of three both people thrust a fist with one or two fingers extended into the space between them. If the total number is two (both show one finger) or four (both show two fingers), “evens” wins; if one shows one finger and the other shows two, the total is three and “odds” wins.

A more complicated version is rock-paper-scissors, where on a three count each player shows either a fist (rock), a flat hand (paper), or a fist with two extended fingers in a V (scissors). If both players show the same sign, the game’s a draw; otherwise, “rock breaks scissors, scissors cut paper, paper wraps rock.”

Winner Loser
Rock Scissors
Scissors Paper
Paper Rock

It gets a little more complicated when you have several people, but it can be done. Of course, when two people know each other well, or there are several people who are playing, a better choice might be rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock, as Sheldon Cooper (played by Jim Parsons) explained on The Big Bang Theory.

Silly? Yes, on the face of it. But there’s a whole branch of mathematics called game theory that relies on silly games like this to come up with theories in economics, political science, business administration, computer science, other branches of mathematics (i.e. statistics), psychology, and other sciences, both physical and social. I learned a little about it in college — sorry, university — and who knows, maybe I’ll learn more about it in the near future.

Or maybe chaos theory… nah, my life is chaotic enough…

## 15 thoughts on “STREAM OF CONSCIOUS SATURDAY: Even Odds (plus Snowmageddon update) (#JusJoJan)”

1. Interesting about games inspiring more serious theories. Best of luck with the weather down there!

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1. The weather’s improving, and it actually looks like February is going to start warm. It’s sunny today and above freezing, not that it’ll help the front stairs (which are shadowed from the sun) but it’ll do a number on the rest of the snow.

Game theory is fascinating, isn’t it? I got a little of it when I took statistics, and it’s something I might want to look at again.

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1. It is fascinating!
You need to put salt or even kitty litter down on your steps…

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1. It’s starting to melt and should be gone by tomorrow, thank heaven. Mary found a recipe (for lack of a better word) that involves mixing rubbing alcohol with water and maybe vinegar that’s supposed to do a good job of melting the ice and snow. I think salt might need sunlight to be effective, and the front stairs don’t get any this time of year. But calcium chloride, “the thirsty chemical,” would work. They put it in dessicators to draw the water out of biological samples. I think they sell it at Home Depot. I should remember that for next year…

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1. Salt will melt it at least enough to make it rough, even in the shade as long as it’s not too cold. I think.
Then again, thinking like a scientist is never a bad thing. π π

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2. Our schools even cancelled in Indiana/Kentucky.
It is hard to imagine that our current mathematical foundation comes from games like rock paper scissors. Yet -some times simplicity creates genius -or, are we truly better off.
Congratulations on you and your wife being married 38 years. Quite an accomplishment.
http://www.fiddledeedeebooks.wordpress.com

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1. It’s surprising the number of simple things like coin tosses, rolls of the dice, or how two players think during a game of rock-paper-scissors model real-world events, and how often randomness and probability are used to test different theories. It’s been years since I’ve looked at it; I think I’ll get back into it, purely for entertainment purposes π

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3. Remembering all those low tech games we used to play that didn’t depend on electricity or batteries. Those were the days. But there was no blogging.

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1. Sure… board games like Monopoly or Clue, card games like gin rummy, crossword puzzles… they’re all still around and still fun to play. No blogging, maybe, but you could always write articles and letters to the editor, either for yourself or for publication. I regret I didn’t spend enough time doing that when I was younger…

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4. Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock…yikes. And trying to remember all the rules. Of course Spock is the boss of them all. π

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1. An interesting programming exercise is to write a program that plays rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock with you. In case you were looking for something to do… XD

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1. Ha, ha. I think I probably spend too much time spinning my wheels already. π

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