Comments on: We're all out of straw
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw/
Comments on Ask MetaFilter post We're all out of strawWed, 19 Oct 2011 09:37:59 -0800Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:40:48 -0800en-ushttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss60Question: We're all out of straw
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw
How do you (mostly) randomly choose one person out of four (or more?) with no props? <br /><br /> For two people, there's rock-paper-scissors, and for three people, there's odd man out. But the only way I've ever seen people do more than that is the drawing of straws. Is there some way to choose from four people so that they basically have an even chance of winning?<br>
<br>
For 2^n people you could obviously do RPS tournaments, but what about 5? And I was thinking of only one-round things. Is this even possible?post:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:37:59 -0800thewumpusisdeadrockpaperscissorsresolvedBy: Proginoskes
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862249
Persons A and B do Rock Paper Scissors. Persons C and D do Rock Paper Scissors. The winners do Rock Paper Scissors against each other. Each has an equal chance of coming out as the winner.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862249Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:40:48 -0800ProginoskesBy: Proginoskes
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862251
Nevermind. I didn't see the one-round only restriction.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862251Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:41:38 -0800ProginoskesBy: brainmouse
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862253
mod(n) odds & evens. Do you know the game odds & evens? For two people, one person chooses odd and the other person chooses even, then each person puts up one or two fingers -- if the sum is odd the odd person wins, if the sum is even then the even person wins. You can increase this for groups of 3 or more people by dividing and using the remainder -- so for 3 people, one person gets 0, one person gets 1, one person gets 2. Each person puts out 1-3 fingers, and the sum is then divided by 3 and the remainder is determined, and the person who had that number wins (so, say, if 2 people put out 2 fingers and one person puts out 3, the sum is 7, so the remainder after dividing by 3 is 1, so the person who had 1 wins). For e.g. 6 people, each person gets a remainder from 0-5, each person puts out between 1 and 6 fingers, and the person who has the right remainder wins. Works easily up to 10, then you have to start writing things down.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862253Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:42:14 -0800brainmouseBy: griphus
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862254
Every person picks a number. Everyone who picked an odd (or even) number is disqualified. Repeat as many times as necessary.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862254Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:42:48 -0800griphusBy: yodangson
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862255
If the people are from a similar population (i.e. all males), you can do the shortest/tallest person. It's like the human version of drawing straws.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862255Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:42:56 -0800yodangsonBy: griphus
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862256
Wiat, do you mean "one round" as in it filters down to a single person from X people in one round?comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862256Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:43:28 -0800griphusBy: Cool Papa Bell
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862257
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4-sided_die">Four-sided die roll.</a><br>
<br>
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagonal_trapezohedron">For five people, a 10-sided die roll.</a>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862257Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:44:00 -0800Cool Papa BellBy: John Cohen
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862259
Even rock-paper-scissors for 2 people (let alone 4) isn't just 1 round, since there can be ties, requiring another round to break the tie. Same with choosing a number.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862259Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:44:09 -0800John CohenBy: Cool Papa Bell
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862260
Oh, sorry, you said no props. Apologies.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862260Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:44:16 -0800Cool Papa BellBy: auto-correct
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862263
You play <b>fingers</b>.<br>
<br>
Everyone stands in a circle. You go "one, two, three, go!" just like RPS. But instead of rock paper scissors, each person puts in 0, 1 or 2 fingers. Add up the total number of fingers thrown, and starting from the person running the game count around the circle up to that number. The person you land on is the winner. Done.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862263Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:45:40 -0800auto-correctBy: Jehan
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862266
Ip-dip-dog-shit.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862266Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:46:39 -0800JehanBy: griphus
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862282
Okay, everyone is assigned a number 1-X where X is the number of people. Then they pick a number 1-X. <br>
<br>
So let's say you've got five people and they pick five numbers. <br>
<br>
Easy case: they pick a set of numbers where the digits eventually add up to less than or equal to X. So with five people picking 1, 5, 5, 6 and 2 you get a sum of 19. Add the digits and you get 10. Add those digits and you get 1. Person 1 is your choice.<br>
<br>
Harder case: they pick a set where it adds up to greater than X. For instance: 5, 5, 5, 1, 1. That adds up to 17, the digits of which add up to 8. In that case just subtract X from the number. With five people you subtract 5 from 8 and get 3. Person 2 is your choice.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862282Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:53:39 -0800griphusBy: griphus
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862285
...person 3 is your choice, rather.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862285Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:54:29 -0800griphusBy: AzraelBrown
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862295
A similar method to Griphus is to just figure mod{number of people} from the sum of random numbers given by the people to be chosen from. In other words, everybody picks a number, you add them up, divide by the number of people, and the remainder+1 is which person is picked. Let's say, people pick 4, 7, 2, and 2. That's 15, divided by 4, has a remainder of 3 -- add 1, and person #4 is picked. if it was 4,7,2, and 3, that's 16, or remainder 0 -- plus one, person #1 gets picked.<br>
<br>
As a silly option, you know that way in baseball of chosing who goes first, by going hand over hand up the length of a baseball bat until somebody is on top? Do that with your arm or leg. The person whose hand is at the end gets chosen.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862295Wed, 19 Oct 2011 10:01:40 -0800AzraelBrownBy: Kwine
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862304
With auto-correct's fingers method, the result of the count will tend towards the total number of people in the group (and therefore towards the person running the game being chosen), assuming that each of {0, 1, 2} each have an equal chance of being chosen, which is a reasonable assumption. That probably isn't random enough for your purposes.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862304Wed, 19 Oct 2011 10:06:40 -0800KwineBy: vasi
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862310
The 'fingers' concept isn't terribly random. The average number of fingers-per-person will probably be about 1, so you'll usually count through the group about once, picking either the person at the beginning or the end. The ones in the middle will be picked less often.<br>
<br>
With few people it's not such a big deal, but in a group of eight, the ones in the very middle are only half as likely to be chosen as the people at the ends. (Yes, I ran a quick simulation.)<br>
<br>
I much prefer the modular-arithmetic methods.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862310Wed, 19 Oct 2011 10:09:47 -0800vasiBy: stupidsexyFlanders
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862328
Write down a random date. The person whose birthday is closest to that date wins. <br>
<br>
You could also use last two digits of SSN, or the number of first letter of their mom's maiden name (1=A, 26-Z)comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862328Wed, 19 Oct 2011 10:21:41 -0800stupidsexyFlandersBy: katemonster
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862336
Is there a reason Eenie Meenie Miney Moe wouldn't work? Obviously for the one-round restriction you'd use the "and you are it" version, rather than the "you are not it" method.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862336Wed, 19 Oct 2011 10:26:38 -0800katemonsterBy: bilabial
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862349
Guyyyyyys, this is exactly what <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eeny,_meeny,_miny,_moe"> Eeny, meeny, miny, moe</a> is <i>forrrrrrrrrrrrr.</i><br>
<br>
End Childish huffing, sighing, and whining.<br>
<br>
Commence <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhlDLHBinXg">cute kid video</a><br>
posted by bilabial at 1:27 PM on October 19 [+] [!] <br>
<small><br>
Except, I put this comment accidentally in the how do you <a href="http://ask.metafilter.com/198849/How-do-you-pick-a-dog-who-is-good-with-kids-and-likes-the-right-amount-of-activity-for-your-family#2862338">choose a dog</a> thread. not so funny there, is it? So I asked the mods to delete it there.</small>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862349Wed, 19 Oct 2011 10:31:20 -0800bilabialBy: thewumpusisdead
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862463
These are some good ones! I like the mod(n) ones and since it's mostly programmers I don't think it's a big deal to geek out over something like this.<br>
Eeny-meeny is definitely not random enough for my incredibly sophisticated purposes (picking the person who gets to choose where to go to lunch). And I guess fingers isn't quite good enough either.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862463Wed, 19 Oct 2011 11:15:59 -0800thewumpusisdeadBy: maurreen
http://ask.metafilter.com/198859/Were-all-out-of-straw#2862711
The winner could be the person with the birth date closest to the current date, counting the year or not.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2011:site.198859-2862711Wed, 19 Oct 2011 14:11:37 -0800maurreen