Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rock, paper, or scissors - which one would YOU choose?

Big decisions can be nerve-wracking. You can consider the pros and cons of a decision all you want, but sometimes it seems like no one thing makes one choice better than another.

If your decision involves at least one other person, you could always rely on Rock Paper Scissors. "But," you say, "that's no way to make an important decision!" Oh really? Back in 2005, the president of an electronics company based outside of Nagoya, Japan allowed the results of a Rock Paper Scissors game to decide whether Christie's or Sotheby's should sell the company's art collection.

I'm not necessarily advocating that you use the game to help make major decisions (I'm not sure I could bring myself to do it), I'm just saying there's precedent. If you did decide to do it, though, you might, like Christie's, want to do a little research first. As it turns out, Rock Paper Scissors isn't really a game of chance (sorry Sotheby's!). For instance, Academic Search Complete provides access to a New Scientist article that lists a few Rock Paper Scissors strategies, as determined by the programmer who created RoShamBot, a Rock Paper Scissors playing computer program. Also, you can get The Official Rock Paper Scissors Strategy Guide by Douglas Walker and Graham Walker via interlibrary loan, or you can check out the World RPS Society's website (they even have trading cards!).

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