Get off my Territory Boys – The Girls are mine

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I’ve been on holiday as previously posted, in Paris, but just prior to going there, I had the fantastic opportunity to visit South Africa.  People say to me, so what happened, did you go on Safari.  Well as a matter of fact, I did do what is commonly called a game drive.  Game Drive’s are fairly structured experiences, where you go lodge at a game park, IMPODIMO was the one I stayed at with a group of associates as a kind of wind down from a pretty hectic promotional event at Sun City earlier in the week.

The Game Drive takes place either early morning or early evening, and in this particular case, we set out after a late lunch and decided to go looking for lions.  Our party was not there to shoot anything but photographs, and I have to admit my professional photographic equipment consisted of a flip camcorder and a black and white film camera.  I think I filled up the roll of 24 black and whites the day before on my olympus mu 35mm snap camera and so was down to using a hand held flip HD camera to record the experience.

We really had a fantastic guide and tracker on our truck.  The truck was a landrover and purpose built for the kind of bush bashing they do out on the game parks in South Africa…. but on with the story.

In our case we were looking for lions.  We really hadn’t seen any so far.  I had seen a bunch of jackals trying to climb a tree to get an eagle, which to my mind was the picture of futile endeavour.  Perhaps the jackals had a bet with each other, it was like that… but back to the story…

Yes lions were the go, our driver guide and tracker were pretty sure they knew roughly where the lions were… on the far side of the park.  To get there we had to drive for an hour i guess to the North East edge.  Our normally sedate type of driving was interrupted by a big bull elephant, who seemed intent on:-

a. Not letting us get to see his herd of 50 or so female elephants

b. Frustrated with not being able to get with any of them himself

c. Other elephant things I could not figure out

So after a game of cat and mouse with the elephant, it decided to chase us off the road and into the bush, where our intrepid driver and tracker carefully outsmarted said large black bull elephant by playing a decoy-waiting game.

So this is about how close the elephant got to the truck before we high tailed it out to the bush on the other side of the road, still in full sight of the elephant.

I could write more on this post about the strategy by which we were able to outsmart it, and the fact that eventually we did get to drive through or past the herd of 50 female elephants, but that is another story…

I could write about how we caught up with the lions and how we took sundown photos of them, and how just when we were all settled down, same said male elephant came trundling through the darkness and scared off all the lions at a frightening pace, as well as our mates in trucks..but that is another story..

Innovation 23 – Fire Rubber Cup Scissors Water

It’s Sydney summer, and a beautiful day, the day after new year.  When people catch a train, or go to the beach or otherwise take some time out from work and social gatherings.  For myself, I had been wondering for some time about an advanced game of Rock Paper Scissors, based on the same choice principle, but extending that choice to more than the usual, I should say tradtional three articles.  i.e  [Rock or Paper or Scissors].

To do this I had to go back to game theory and look at the possibility of increasing the number of possible choices, and still make it an apparently evenly matched game, regardless of the choice, in the face of probability.

The beauty of rock paper scissors is that you only have to remember what beats what, and each choice only has to beat one other choice.  So that makes it easy to remember.  Only 3 things to remember, you can play a fast game.

The trouble with extending this is that you have to remember that each choice has to beat only 2 things, and therefore must be beaten by only 2 other things.  This means that the set of things has to be 5.  It cannot be 4.  It took me quite some time to get over the fact that it could not be 4 and therefore had to be 5 things to pick from.

So just for fun, this morning after lines on a page and some trial and error, I came up with 5 things that could form the basis of an extended rock paper scissors choice game.

My first 5 top of the head things are:-

  1. Fire – which can burn Cup, and melt Scissors
  2. Rubber – which can smother Fire, and Hold Water
  3. Cup – which can contain Rubber and hold Water
  4. Scissors – which can cut the Cup and Rubber
  5. Water – which can corrode Scissors and extinguish Fire

As you can see each choice can be beaten by only two other choices and can beat the remaining two choices.

This gives two players an even chance at winning, but also makes it might be a better game for three players.

For instance if there are 2 players.

  • Each player has a 40% [2/5] chance to beat the other player.
  • Each player has a 20% chance that the other player will make the same choice.

For example if there are 3 players.

  • Each player has a 16% [4/25] chance to beat both other players.
  • Each player has a 48% [12/25] chance to beat only one player.
  • Each player has a 4% chance that the other players will make the same choice.

I am sure this game could be a lot tougher to play, and score, and there would be much more debate about cheating and who jumped in first and other possibilities.  Which is why it probably won’t evolve and further than this simple blog post.  But if you get bored for example, on the New Year Holidays…

This is #23 in the Innovation Series.

If you would like to comment on this, try it out, or suggest improvements to the choice items, feel free to do so.. Comments are moderated, but if what you say helps extend the concept, lets see !..