Ever since we started this site, I’ve held the firm belief that provoking fights with commenters is a bad thing. If people tell me I’m a terrible writer, that my taste in everything sucks and I should just go kill myself, what’s the point of me even responding to that? If you don’t like my writing, that’s fine, enough other people seem to, and by the way, some people happen to LIKE The Fast and the Furious.
But recently I’ve been involved in another debate that I’d like to share with you all. All you math and philosophy people should tune into this one as it’s about probability and moral choices. Yes, it’s about Deal or No Deal.
A while back I wrote a post called “Eight of the Dumbest Game Show Losers Ever” where I showcased people who have thoroughly embarrassed themselves on national television. I chose this contestant from Deal or No Deal:
And my commentary was:”Look, if I said to you, I will either give you $600,000 right now, or you could get a million dollars if this coin lands on heads, or zero if it’s tails, what would you do? This guy fails at not only probability, but life.”But someone (and I have my suspicions who), took offense to this, and decided to engage me in an all-out logic war. After exhausting myself in the comments, I wanted to turn to the rest of you to weight in on this issue. Here we go:
Andrew B: Want to call the Deal guy dumb? Then stop being dumb yourself, and research your information on Google when it’s obvious the montage was cropped.All you had to do was find this: http://www.gameshownewsnet.com/prime/dond4/102208.html. But you’re just too lazy to do that. You’re the one who fails at life.
Me: I read that entire thing and it comes down the fact that he had the chance to walk away with $400 grand and he bet it all on a coin flip. The article calls it “brave but foolish” but it’s just greedy.
Andrew B: It also happens that that article is also slightly inaccurate; the entire family except the mother was calling for No Deal. But there’s no better full account of it.It does prove that a $10,001 ceiling is plenty for many people. (Ed. note, I believe he means a “floor,” not a ceiling, where the guy got $10,000 earlier for doing a”Banker’s Challenge”)
Me: It’s you isn’t it? You’re the guy in the video.
Andrew B: Unless you can show me the piece of text where I said my name…and it is NOT the name I’ve posted….then no. How biased against this guy are you that you arrived at this conclusion without a single shred of evidence?
Me: Because no one else in the WORLD would care this much.
Andrew B: Um, how about a person who has kept a record of every contestant, and found this gross distortion of the truth online…?Even if I was this person, that does not excuse your use of this video, when you know the real thing…why don’t you tape this show when it airs again on GSN, and then show us the real thing?….or, replace your clip with this tool:
That’s the biggest bonehead move ever, and if you disagree, I want a defense.
Me: GAH. I want to leave this alone but your idiotic logic is frustrating me to no end.
In this new clip you posted, the girl has the exact same scenario the other guy (clearly you) had. Her last two cases are $25 and $1M. The banker offers her $340K.If someone offers you either $340K in cash right now, or they say you can bet it all or nothing to win a million dollars on a coinflip, the smart, not greedy thing to do is take the cash that’s offered.She made the right decision, but you’re saying she’s a “bonehead” because her case actually did have the million.
That’s like saying if I stay when I have 18 on a million dollar hand of blackjack, then I was an idiot to do so when the next card turns out to have been a 3. No, I still made the right decision, it’s just that I would have been extremely lucky (not smart) if I had hit.So these two people who had the exact same decision, the first guy (clearly you) made a stupid, greedy decision, and lost because of it. The girl in the second video made the right decision, and potentially lost $700K, but still won $340K as a reward for being smart and not greedy.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW THIS WORKS NOW?
Andrew B: “That’s like saying if I stay when I have 18 on a million dollar hand of blackjack, then I was an idiot to do so when the next card turns out to have been a 3. No, I still made the right decision, it’s just that I would have been extremely lucky (not smart) if I had hit.”
No, the difference is that this person, in your hypothetical situation, said “I KNOW THE NEXT CARD IS A 3″, with FULL AWARENESS of the consequences of hitting, before she stood on 18. That’s the key difference, Paul!
According to her logic, there was no risk at all in going on, because a “possible loss” of -340,975, times 0.00, equals 0. Name one reason why she should choose to stop.
Oh, because she DIDN’T know? Well, then, you are still calling her an idiot.
Or, perhaps you didn’t read the comments thorougly enough, and I’d point out that despite her after-game claim that there was not one second during the entire game that she doubted the $1,000,000 was standing next to her, a brief clip…say about 6 minutes and 54 seconds in the video…contradicts that.
So she has absolutely no defense for her stupidity. “As a reward for being smart?” Get real, Paul. This sort of lack of foresight is why I came over here in the first place.
Me: I can’t even decipher what it is you’re trying to argue any more. The moral of the story for you is…what, trust your gut? Play to the end because you started with nothing anyways? None of that has any basis in logical probability. Explain how my coinflip analogy doesn’t make sense.So what did you spend your $10,001 dollars on?Also, congratulations, you annoying me about this has inspired an entire post for tomorrow, I want to hear what other people think about this.
Andrew B: The moral is…if it’s $1,000,000 or $341,000, please, please choose the $1,000,000 or you’re a moron. (Ed. note: What?) The “coinflip analogy” doesn’t make sense because, apparently, there is no coinflip according to what she’s said. /end debate
So how about it people? I think I’m in the right here, but I’m not really even clear what Andrew B is trying to say at this point, so maybe I’m arguing against something he doesn’t even mean. But what does he mean? Can you decipher it? The fundamental issue for me is I can’t get past the scenario of someone walking up to me in the street and asking me if I’d like $400K right now, or if I’d like to bet it all on a coinflip, where if I lose I get nothing and if I win I get a million dollars. Sure, I started with nothing, so I’m technically not losing anything, but it’s the logically wrong decision to not take the money, yes?
Andrew B, I’ll give you space below if you want to chime in to give a coherent pitch for your side of the story if it differs from what I’ve already posted. Everyone else start firing away.