Surviving The Deadliest Game

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Shared December 17, 2019

Watch my newest video, "Pick a Number and I'll Guess It": https://youtu.be/j94VUp6NZEg

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There’s no more dangerous game than Russian Roulette. One wrong move and the consequences are fatal… and Balloon Kevin knows it.

The real difficulty is that in the sort of game you see played in a movie, there’s no skill involved when a player makes that move. It’s right or it’s wrong, and it’s a combination of the highest possible stakes with the lowest possible element of human control.

According to Nick Berry of DataGenetics, a common job interview question tests the mathematical reasoning and probability skills of interviewees by asking them to consider an alternative, slightly more complex arrangement: with *two* potentially fatal chambers loaded, and after having successfully survived the first round of a game, does the player request to spin the cylinder, or do they just let it go? Does it even matter?

The answer is surprising, and the exercise is a lesson in how gaining a small edge -- or not losing one -- can make a tremendous difference. If you were faced with consequences this dire, wouldn’t you want every percentage point of survivability your math mind could muster?

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Hosted and Produced by Kevin Lieber
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Research And Writing by Matthew Tabor
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Huge Thanks To Balloon Kevin Creator Paula Lieber
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Special Thanks Dave Keine
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