0628: "Psychic"

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Zenexer
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0628: "Psychic"

Postby Zenexer » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:01 am UTC

Image

Title text: You can do a lot better than 1% if you start keeping track of the patterns in what numbers people pick.
Link: http://xkcd.com/628

Comment:

Hey, if I date 100 girls, at least I'll get one of them. :P
Last edited by Zenexer on Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:02 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

noname
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Psychic

Postby noname » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:01 am UTC

Totally worth it :)
Last edited by Felstaff on Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:56 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Merg'd, edited

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rubber314chicken
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby rubber314chicken » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:02 am UTC

I wish John Nash had dedicated his life to this.
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Omegaton
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Omegaton » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:04 am UTC

I was confused about where the joke was until I saw the text under it. Usually I get my punchline by the last frame, not as text under it, haha.

I can see this working REALLY well on a drunk person. Especially if you can persuade them that they had picked the number you said all along.

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Andioje
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Andioje » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:04 am UTC

I fully plan to start doing this from now on..We should make a tally of which numbers are used most commonly so that we can increase our chances of guessing correctly.
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glasnt
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby glasnt » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:04 am UTC

"You can do a lot better than 1% if you start keeping track of the patterns in what numbers people pick."

You can do a lot worse as well, if you count in the probability of guessing their wanting to see a movie, and the actual movie incorrectly as well, let alone the 1:100 chance of getting the guessed number correct.

Given a 1:2 change of wanting to see a movie (yes, no) (odds may increase over holiday periods (new movies) and when the Serenity 2 is released, or if you are hot) , and a 1:25 chance of guessing the correct movie at the cinema (see above note over increased odds if Mr Whedon is screening), then the chances can vary between 1:100 and 1:5000.


.. just saying.

Shale
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Shale » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:06 am UTC

They're already going to the movie. He was making small talk on the way.

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Re: Psychic

Postby Duban » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:08 am UTC

You're late, delete

merg'd.

Also, OP cannot delete a thread if you reply to it.
Last edited by Felstaff on Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:57 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Merg'd, edited
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Plasmapus » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:08 am UTC

I had to create an account to reply to this. I was almost first too! I've been doing these kinds of tricks since middle school. They're hard, and most of them take a lot of observation and luck, but it's so cool when people actually fall for it! It also impresses chicks.

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glasnt
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby glasnt » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:09 am UTC

Shale wrote:They're already going to the movie. He was making small talk on the way.

From her response it looks to be that she is unsure and then approving on this activity, and that it wasn't already planned. Hence, he is displaying his mind-tricks again.

Then again, my theory would be better backed up with 'Let's go to the movie' instead of 'Let's get to the movie', as in they were already on their way.

:oops:

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Aurini
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Re: Psychic

Postby Aurini » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:10 am UTC

Supposedly if you ask somebody to pick a number between one and ten they almost always pick '7.'

Also, there's an old joke where you ask someone a number of questions, and then ask them to name a vegetable. They almost invariably say 'carrot.'

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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Storm » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:11 am UTC

Sorry I was thinking of 42... no particular reason :). Though anyone who knows me would have guessed that first regardless.
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.cheeseofdoom.
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby .cheeseofdoom. » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:13 am UTC

One problem, I know a lot of people with favorite numbers that aren't whole. My girlfriend's favorite number is 1000006.4.

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joee
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby joee » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:14 am UTC

hahaha, so trying this.

sounds like something that was mentioned in The Game

p.s. glasnt doesn't love me anymore </3
Hi glasnt.

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muteKi
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby muteKi » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:15 am UTC

I used to do a variant on this in high school. Trick? I never completely closed my eyes, just enough that nobody else could tell.

Worked quite well, actually.


For what it's worth, if you make it between 1 and 20, always say 17. Just do it.
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akrolsmir
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby akrolsmir » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:15 am UTC

Storm wrote:Sorry I was thinking of 42... no particular reason :). Though anyone who knows me would have guessed that first regardless.


When I saw 43, I immediately thought "That's one more than 42".
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:16 am UTC

I don't go to enough movies for this to be of use :P

Yeah, I thought of 'one more than 42' also.
Also, hi glasnt! and joee!
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Kalathalan
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Kalathalan » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:19 am UTC

---
Last edited by Kalathalan on Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:07 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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aeris92
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby aeris92 » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:25 am UTC

HOLD ON JUST A MINUTE! is this... is this really how you get girls? please someone, let me know if randall speaks the truth.

only a couple weeks till school starts - finally a senior... can not wait

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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby alitheiapsis » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:33 am UTC

aeris92 wrote:HOLD ON JUST A MINUTE! is this... is this really how you get girls? please someone, let me know if randall speaks the truth.

only a couple weeks till school starts - finally a senior... can not wait



If you came up to me and told me you were psychic I would call you a douchebag and walk off. It's funny in a comic, but in real life, it's manipulative and dishonest.

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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby mrbaggins » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:39 am UTC

Try this one (works about 40-50% of the time). Say it out loud to friends. No idea if it will work in text form.

Think of a random two digit number... so, anything between 10 and 99.
Now, that's a lot of numbers, so let's narrow it down a little...
Make both digits odd. So like, 1, 3, 5 etc...
And because double digits are silly, make them both different.

So you've got a number now? Two digits, both odd, both different?

Spoiler:
37


Or another one:
Ask someone these calcs (or similar) really quick. No time to think, just answer.
5+1?
half of 12?
3+3?
3x2?
9-3?
Now, think, don't say, a tool in a workshop.
Now, think, don't say, a colour.
Now think, don't say, a vegetable.

Hrm....

Spoiler:
Why are you smashing carrots with red hammers?

If you get 2 or 3 out of 3, bet you can do it again :P
Spoiler:
This time you're sawing blue potatoes.

Works best on children under 13 or so
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hackthat
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby hackthat » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:51 am UTC

I'm sure people have done studies of which numbers are most likely picked in 1 out of 10 and 1 out of 100. Does anyone know of one?
I heard that people like to pick prime numbers more often than random.

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glasnt
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby glasnt » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:52 am UTC

joee wrote:hahaha, so trying this.

sounds like something that was mentioned in The Game

p.s. glasnt doesn't love me anymore </3

Hi joee!

hey joee... I'm psychic you know. Okay, think of a number from 1 to 100... ;)

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Omegaton
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Omegaton » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:57 am UTC

Kalathalan wrote:
akrolsmir wrote:
Storm wrote:Sorry I was thinking of 42... no particular reason :). Though anyone who knows me would have guessed that first regardless.


When I saw 43, I immediately thought "That's one more than 42".


That's exactly what I thought! At that point I thought that that fact would play a role for the rest of the comic.

Haha, it's as if Randall was intentionally trying to throw us all off.

Alsn
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Alsn » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:01 am UTC

mrbaggins wrote:Try this one (works about 40-50% of the time). Say it out loud to friends. No idea if it will work in text form.

Think of a random two digit number... so, anything between 10 and 99.
Now, that's a lot of numbers, so let's narrow it down a little...
Make both digits odd. So like, 1, 3, 5 etc...
And because double digits are silly, make them both different.

So you've got a number now? Two digits, both odd, both different?

Spoiler:
37


Or another one:
Ask someone these calcs (or similar) really quick. No time to think, just answer.
5+1?
half of 12?
3+3?
3x2?
9-3?
Now, think, don't say, a tool in a workshop.
Now, think, don't say, a colour.
Now think, don't say, a vegetable.

Hrm....

Spoiler:
Why are you smashing carrots with red hammers?

If you get 2 or 3 out of 3, bet you can do it again :P
Spoiler:
This time you're sawing blue potatoes.

Works best on children under 13 or so


I picked 19 and wrench + green cucumber, maybe it doesn't work well if English isn't your first language? :/

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Kimmeh
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Kimmeh » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:02 am UTC

mrbaggins wrote:Try this one (works about 40-50% of the time). Say it out loud to friends. No idea if it will work in text form.

Think of a random two digit number... so, anything between 10 and 99.
Now, that's a lot of numbers, so let's narrow it down a little...
Make both digits odd. So like, 1, 3, 5 etc...
And because double digits are silly, make them both different.

So you've got a number now? Two digits, both odd, both different?

Spoiler:
37


Or another one:
Ask someone these calcs (or similar) really quick. No time to think, just answer.
5+1?
half of 12?
3+3?
3x2?
9-3?
Now, think, don't say, a tool in a workshop.
Now, think, don't say, a colour.
Now think, don't say, a vegetable.

Hrm....

Spoiler:
Why are you smashing carrots with red hammers?

If you get 2 or 3 out of 3, bet you can do it again :P
Spoiler:
This time you're sawing blue potatoes.

Works best on children under 13 or so


Actually, I'm screwing blue tomatoes. :shock:

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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby themuffinking » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:04 am UTC

mrbaggins wrote:Now, think, don't say, a tool in a workshop.
Now, think, don't say, a colour.
Now think, don't say, a vegetable.


I remember very clearly, the first time I ever did that trick I got leafblower, puce, giraffe. I couldn't even think of any vegetables for like 30 seconds afterward, it was weird.

Alsn
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Alsn » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:11 am UTC

Kimmeh wrote:
mrbaggins wrote:Actually, I'm screwing blue tomatoes. :shock:
That's some fetish...

SirJefferE
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby SirJefferE » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:15 am UTC

I do this trick all the time, but with a deck of cards.

Give the deck to someone, get them to shuffle it up good, take it back, start pulling back the cards randomly and tell them to pick one, as soon as they pick a card, say "Ace of Spades" and pull it out.

It almost always fails, of course. And I say, "Yeah, but one in fifty two people I show that to think I'm amazing."

I've actually done it properly once or twice too, the usual response is, "Woah, nice. Do it again." Which, well, isn't recommended.

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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Editer » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:16 am UTC

What's really weird is, I almost always pick 43; it was my number on the junior high basketball team.

Randall! Get out of my head!!
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Editer » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:21 am UTC

SirJefferE wrote:I do this trick all the time, but with a deck of cards.

Give the deck to someone, get them to shuffle it up good, take it back, start pulling back the cards randomly and tell them to pick one, as soon as they pick a card, say "Ace of Spades" and pull it out.

It almost always fails, of course. And I say, "Yeah, but one in fifty two people I show that to think I'm amazing."

I've actually done it properly once or twice too, the usual response is, "Woah, nice. Do it again." Which, well, isn't recommended.


I used to do a mind-reading-type card trick (too involved to describe here). It was pretty simple to execute, and if you saw me do it a second time you'd probably figure out how it was done. But I had a roommate who insisted I do it for him over and over again, and he *never* worked it out. I swear his head was this far from exploding after about the fifth run-through.
These days, if you don't have ADD, you not paying close enough attention. -- J.P. Barlow

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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Stucky101 » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:25 am UTC

Title text: You can do a lot better than 1% if you start keeping track of the patterns in what numbers people pick.

Assuming the human brain is a pseudo random number generator. :lol:
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violaxcore
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby violaxcore » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:28 am UTC

hackthat wrote:I'm sure people have done studies of which numbers are most likely picked in 1 out of 10 and 1 out of 100. Does anyone know of one?
I heard that people like to pick prime numbers more often than random.

Check wiki. It's one of those weird things that betrays statistics and the law of averages.

Someone before mentioned 17, but that works better if you limit it between 1 and 20. 37 Works better for larger ranges. When you get beyond 100, you're probably getting to too many numbers for an average person to think about.

But yeah, generally speaking, you're good if you pick a number ending in 7.

Also, given this weird human phenomena in survey research and the fact that you now have this knowledge, the chances of you guessing the correct number is greater than 1% if you guess on of those "most random numbers"

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PM 2Ring
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby PM 2Ring » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:31 am UTC

Here's a 3 month old thread from the Mathematics forum on this topic: Human random numbers

johnmarkos
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby johnmarkos » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:36 am UTC

Me: "I'm psychic, you know."
My wife: "Really?"
Me: "Yeah. Pick a number between 1 and 100."
My wife: "Um, seventy-two."

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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby ouin » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:48 am UTC

Wait!
What if the trick is actually done by the girl?
She's evill and try to make this the guy that he really is a psychic!

(and actually I'm screwing blue salads..)
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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Tass » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:50 am UTC

I do a bit of magic and mentalism. You can certainly get better than 1% odds on the miracle, but it is also a good thing to to have have a regular trick as back up. Or rather, when I want to do a trick, I often give it the chance of being a miracle first.

For example: pick out the ace of spades from a deck of cards and lay it face down on the table. Ask somebody to name a card. If they happen to say ace of spades ask them to turn the card over. There, free miracle. If they say something else, do the regular sleight of hand routine to make them think that the card on the table was actually the one they picked.

I usually use ace of spades because many people choose it, giving significantly better than 1:52 odds.

The good thing about the regular back up is that they will never know what you tried to pull, and therefor you can get another chance on the next trick.

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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Ghona » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:55 am UTC

Did this with a d20 recently. Got it on my first attempt. What are the odd- oh, right, one in twenty.

"Hey, I'm going to roll a twenty".
If you're taking me too seriously, you probably are making a mistake.

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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby howlingfrog » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:58 am UTC

glasnt wrote:Given ... a 1:25 chance of guessing the correct movie at the cinema


It's a lot easier than that to guess what movie people want to see, even complete strangers. I'm a projectionist, so I can tell you how it works.

First, 25 is a lot of different movies for a theater to be showing, unless you're at one of the world's biggest megaplexes (the largest in the chain I work for are 30 screens, I don't know of any larger operated by different companies). The number of screens is a very rough estimate of the number of movies showing. There will be multiple prints of some movies, and sometimes two movies will share a screen, each playing half the day. Under 12 screens, the latter overbalances the former, and above 16 screens, the former overbalances the latter. At my 24-screen theater, we usually have about 20 different movies, standard deviation of 2. In the 3.5 years I've worked there, 13 is the fewest and 29 is the most we've had.

Second, the odds for each individual movie are different. Movies are highly marketed toward specific demographics (whether or not the filmmakers themselves were thinking about that), and that demographic is who shows up for it. Also, big-budget movies do, on average, 40% of their total lifetime attendance in the opening weekend--almost as many people see them in the first three days as in the next fifty. So if you know what demographic someone is in, and what the most recently released film for that demographic is, you have a very very good chance of guessing what they want to see.

The people who work in the box office get very, very good at that. The four factors to consider, in decreasing order of importance, are age, gender, clothing style, and race. Based on that, the person selling you your ticket has a 60% chance of guessing the right film, a 30% chance of not being certain right away, but correctly narrowing it down to two or three possibilities, and a 10% chance of simply being wrong. It's reasonable to assume that in the narrowed-down case, the person you're guessing about is actually open to all three possibilities, so it's really about an 80 or 90% chance of getting a "wow, you must be psychic!" reaction.

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Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby hthall » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:01 am UTC

I'm always doing this--enough that sometimes it works.

her: "Oh yeah? When is my birthday?"

me: [looking startled as though I hadn't really expected to suddenly know] "August?"

her: "Wait! How did you know that? You are freaking me out!"

(Of course I went on to guess the day wrong--should have quit while I was ahead, but she was still appropriately spooked.)

This takes advantage of the same quirks of psychology that line the pockets of the gambling industry (and state lotteries). Most of the time it's just me being random again, and people laugh and forget about it--but on the rare occasions when I guess right, they notice and remember.

It helps the odds when you have some secret basis for an educated guess--if you have a hunch, follow it.
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