Monday, April 03, 2006

Week 4 - Beginning

It was another quiet weekend. We listened to General Conferences (as much as we could with kids running around the house!) I didn't do any homework this weekend. I think I opened my Thinking Strategically book once and it was very brief.

Game Theory

Class, of course, is tonight. I really love this class. Two of my study group members from PTAP have this class too and they love it.

Since I haven't read chapter 7 yet, I've been reading it a little during lunch. It's about unpredictability. When you are in a sum zero game, you have to use a mixed strategy and randomize your moves ... much like paper, rock, scissors. If you think too much about it, your strategy becomes one big circle (as does your foe's strategy). So the strategy becomes this: understand the odds and then know your mix ratio and then randomly apply your mix ratio. It also helps to know your foe's ratio so that you know when to change your strategy. I'm sure the lecture will be good tonight. Tonight, I think he's going to show that clip from The Princess Bride where Vizzini tries to outsmart the Man in Black,

Man in Black: All right. Where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right... and who is dead.
Vizzini: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You've made your decision then?
Vizzini: Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.
Man in Black: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
Vizzini: Wait til I get going! Now, where was I?
Man in Black: Australia.
Vizzini: Yes, Australia. And you must have suspected I would have known the powder's origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You're just stalling now.
Vizzini: You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? You've beaten my giant, which means you're exceptionally strong, so you could've put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you've also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't work.
Man in Black: Then make your choice.
Vizzini: I will, and I choose - What in the world can that be? Vizzini: [Vizzini gestures up and away from the table. Roberts looks. Vizzini swaps the goblets]
Man in Black: What? Where? I don't see anything.
Vizzini: Well, I- I could have sworn I saw something. No matter.First, let's drink. Me from my glass, and you from yours.
Man in Black, Vizzini: [they drink ]
Man in Black: You guessed wrong.
Vizzini: You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha - Vizzini: [Vizzini stops suddenly, and falls dead to the right]
Buttercup: And to think, all that time it was your cup that was poisoned.
Man in Black: They were both poisoned. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.


Besides trying to finish reading my chapter, I have to put a few numbers in a table for our project. It shouldn't take too long to do that. I'll take care of it tonight before class.

Quixote Update
Chapter 25

As I was saying before, there is a lot of dialogue between Quixote and Sancho. The gist of it is that Quixote decides to punish himself ... so he strips naked and beats himself against the rocks. He sends Sancho to go talk to his Lady Dulcinea (I don't remember why). I'm curious to see what happens next. Quixote tells Sancho to watch him strip naked and beat himself so that Sancho can relay this information to the Lady. But Sancho protests and says he doesn't want to vomit again! That part was pretty funny!

Chess Update

I didn't play chess at all this weekend, so on with today's puzzle.

The 04/01/06 puzzle is 34. ...? And it is simple. Qxa2. The white queen must capture the black queen, but then black's pawn goes on to become a queen ... uncontested and fully defended.

The answer is the same.

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