Critical Section


cowboy's dilemma: the answer

Wednesday,  01/09/08  08:45 PM

shoot the sky!Are you ready for the answer to the cowboy's dilemma?

You're a cowboy, and get involved in a three way pistol duel with two other cowboys.  You are a poor shot, with an accuracy of only 33%.  The other two cowboys shoot with accuracies of 50% and 100%, respectively.  The rules of the duel are one shot per cowboy per round.  The shooting order is from worst shooter to best shooter, so you get to shoot first, the 50% guy goes second, and the 100% guy goes third, then repeat.  If a cowboy is shot he's out for good, and his turn is skipped.  Where or who should you shoot first?

Reach for the sky!  Actually, shoot the sky.  Your best chance is not to shoot at either cowboy.  Really really.

There are actually three possibilities:

  1. Shoot the 100% cowboy.
  2. Shoot the 50% cowboy.
  3. Shoot anywhere else.

Your chances of surviving the duel are best with door #3.  I'll give a detailed analysis later...

Update: here's a detailed analysis.

Home
Archive
flight
About Me
W=UH
Email
RSS   OPML

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Lying
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
Confidence
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
entertainment
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
resolved
to space
notebooks
where are the desktop apps?