August 24, 2000

I admit it.....I watched the last hour of Survivor. I didn't see ANY of the episodes before this one, and I did only watch the last hour. I tuned in because I had heard there would be some fighting in the final comments and I wanted to watch the catfight. In that, I was only mildly dissapointed. It didn't turn into some Springer-esque brawl, but that one girl had plenty to say. I was dissapointed that the final guy to cast his vote not only broke a tie, but his only final comments were to ask each of them to pick a number between one and ten. I couldn't help but think that it's kind of difficult to put $900,000 on a stupid bet like that. I would have liked him to give his reason for who he was going to vote for, and then vote. But they didn't show any comments from him at the end...and it really cheapened it for me.
Stupid numerical analysis follows here
I was also surprised that Rich didn't pick 5 or 6. He got first pick of the number set and cornered himself into the high end from the get-go by picking 7. And then Kelly didn't pick 6 to counter him! She picked three!, evening the odds on Rich by giving him the number 6 and tie-ing on 5. I'll bet she'll feel stupid about that if she thinks about it. With a pick of 6, she gets 60% of the range. With her pick, she gets 1-2-3-4 and half of 5, giving Rich 55% of the number set. You know, after 39 days maybe your brain just isn't as sharp, but this is a gimme problem from grade school. Given the chance to pick first, you should pick 5 or 6 when two people are picking. Picking 5 gives you 1-5, and 6 gives you 6-10. If the other player wants a piece of the lower number set after you pick 5, it costs him 10% of the range to pick 4. Otherwise he should be happy with the high range at 6. If (s)he doesn't understand the odds, you get free numbers when (s)he picks something besides 6.
end of numerical analysis
Of course, that just looks at the numerics. Jim (a friend) just told me that 7 is the most picked number by people when asked. Perhaps that factored into Rich's decision. Perhaps he was just 'going with his gut'. We'd have to ask him to know for sure.
Then there's the question of what rules he was imposing in his own mind, whether the loser became the contest winner, etc..the psychological analysis can get pretty deep.
Well, enough ranting about that for now...more interesting stuff later on.

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