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Games, cards and resumes June 30, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in blogging, economics, ideas, videos, weird.
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Meanwhile in India. ( Extremely graphic, click at your own risk ).

I know this is all restricted to rather remote few parts of India and is not representative of life in India. But think of the parents, its quite obvious that the mere basic quality of being human should enable adults/parents avoid such situations. So one cannot argue about literacy and the like. Its gotta be faith and the million interpretations of faith.

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The Top 30 cities in terms of blog posts. Guess which Indian city ( there is only one ) entered the list. Are you surprised that your guess was probably wrong ? Mine was.

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The game ( about the beads ) that this paragraph mentions is interesting. Try it at some office party and if you have means to log the guesses people make, note each and every guess.

His main theme is that people under-estimate uncertainty. If someone says, “the chance of X falling between A and B is 90 percent,” the true probability is likely to be 30 percent. He likes to do experiments where he puts a large number of beads in a jar and asks people to guess the number of beads. One point he makes is that the “wisdom of crowds” result (that the average estimate tends to be pretty good) often depends on keeping outlier estimates in the sample. It is the extreme contrarianism of one person in the crowd that keeps the crowd’s estimate from going off track. I wonder if anyone has compared median estimates with mean estimates in “wisdom of crowd” studies.

The median idea is interesting too since medians are not affected by extremes the way averages are.

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Another game, this time from a game theorist.

There is an old Princeton tradition that Dixit uses to bring to life what can sometimes be an esoteric and math-heavy subject. Students at that university thank a teacher with a polite and brief round of applause when he finishes a course with them. From that comes the “applause auction”, which is now part of the folklore of economics. Dixit pays anything between $20 and $50 to the student who claps last. So there is an incentive to keep the applause going. Most students drop out of the game after 15-20 minutes, says Dixit. The record is four and a half hours. Often, there is more than one student in the running for the prize, sometimes as many as five or six.

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Dubner has a question on video resumes. The comments section in the post pretty much provides all the answers.

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Some scary credit card numbers. Stay away from debt ! Use credit cards as you would a debit card, unless there is an extremely compelling reason to make the departure.

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