Monday, November 19, 2007

The Greatest Idea You Will Read Today

If you've visited Japan, you know that any and all debates are settled by "Jan Ken Po," or as we round-eyes call it "rock, scissors, paper." The battles here are the fiercest I've seen outside of a stoned group of Ultimate Frisbee players. Some people start to employ some strategy. For instance, one theory is that paper is subconsciously considered to be weaker than rock or scissors, even though they are equally weighted in the game. Thus, it's less common for your opponent to throw it in his first attack.

Or this strategy: tell your opponent what you're going to throw, and then throw it. They usually think you're lying, and you end up victorious. This is great for people you're playing for the first time.

The dangerous thing is when people have played you long enough to know that you usually throw rock the first time out, or that you favor a particular attack. This is where my glorious idea comes in:

A keychain randomizer to tell you what to throw. That's it. You can never be out-foxed or out-guessed by your friends. Finally, a level playing field in the never-ending battle to figure out who gets shotgun on the way back from sushi.

Japanese people already hang so much crap from their cell phones that they'd certainly find room for this useful product. Farm it out some Chinese gulag, sell at the 100 yen shops, and you'll find yourself a rich man.

5 comments:

d said...

Hmmm... spend money on a device that merely ensures a 1/3 chance of winning?

As an aside, have you ever read "The Traveler" by John Twelve Hawks? In it, the Harlequins keep the Vast Machine of the Tabula off balance by regularly consulting a random number generator they carry with them in order to make decisions. I think that would be more useful that a device that only does modulo-3 stuff for roshambo.

Back to the subject: if you want to win at roshambo, look here:

http://ofb.net/~egnor/iocaine.html

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should pick up the 2007 edition of the Official Rock Scissors Paper Strategy Guide. I believe you can find a copy on the World RPS Society website.

Nate said...

What would that do to our economy if people started using a random number generator to make purchasing decisions? It would eradicate the "rational consumer" idea that propels economic decisions. Would it matter?

David said...

a linear-feedback shift register plus three leds and you've got yourself a product.

Nate said...

and it can come in three collectible shapes! can you guess what they are?