0628: "Psychic"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

Kaijyuu
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:58 am UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Kaijyuu » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:21 am UTC

I remember watching some TV show where a magician shared all his secrets. He had a couple number games he played on people, one of which was the one in the comic.

According to him, the most common number was 36, and he was right a little over a third of the time (which is really good odds considering).
The cake is a lie, but truth is in Pi.

Faranya
Posts: 259
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:10 am UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Faranya » Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:17 am UTC

Kaijyuu wrote:I remember watching some TV show where a magician shared all his secrets. He had a couple number games he played on people, one of which was the one in the comic.

According to him, the most common number was 36, and he was right a little over a third of the time (which is really good odds considering).


Or so he told you.
Image

The Mighty Thesaurus
In your library, eating your students
Posts: 4399
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:47 am UTC
Location: The Daily Bugle

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:33 pm UTC

I do this with darts and pool. I walk up to the pool table/ dart board, take a single shot, and then walk away. Every so often, the ladies find themselves wetter than a moose in a pie eating contest, and it's all thanks to my apparent skill at whichever activity I'm currently describing.
LE4dGOLEM wrote:your ability to tell things from things remains one of your skills.
Weeks wrote:Not only can you tell things from things, you can recognize when a thing is a thing

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam

User avatar
Eternal Density
Posts: 5574
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:37 am UTC
Contact:

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:03 am UTC

BrianXVX wrote:
Spoiler:
"There are no Grey Elephants in Denmark"
I got a yellow echidna in Denmark.
frog42 wrote:Being psychic is largely advanced pattern recognition. When your pattern recognition abilities significantly surpass that of others, congratulations, you're psychic. You won't be able to explain why you know certain things in advance, but you will know. It's no different than knowing that a red light turns green eventually instead of purple.
I quite commonly get an unexplained feeling that something is likely going to happen, and it's often right. Pattern recognition seems like a decent explanation for it :D

@The Mighty Thesaurus:
A moose in a pie eating contest? Wha????
Play the game of Time! castle.chirpingmustard.com Hotdog Vending Supplier But what is this?
In the Marvel vs. DC film-making war, we're all winners.

frog42
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:35 am UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby frog42 » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:46 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:I quite commonly get an unexplained feeling that something is likely going to happen, and it's often right. Pattern recognition seems like a decent explanation for it :D


Exactly. But to me, there's no way to draw a line between pattern recognition and psychic premonition.

User avatar
Monika
Welcoming Aarvark
Posts: 3671
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:03 am UTC
Location: Germany, near Heidelberg
Contact:

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Monika » Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:07 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:I quite commonly get an unexplained feeling that something is likely going to happen, and it's often right. Pattern recognition seems like a decent explanation for it :D

There is an even simpler explanation: biased memory.
You think someone might ring the bell real soon and shortly after it happens -> You think: "Oh wow!" This will stick out, you will remember that.
You think someone might ring the bell, but nothing happens. -> A few minutes later you will have forgotten that you thought this. You just go on with whatever you were doing.
You don't think about someone ringing the bell or not, someone rings the bell. -> Nothing to remember there, eh? Or did you ever remember: "Oh wow, that one time I was totally not thinking someone might ring the bell, and then the postman came!"
You do not think about someone ringing the bell and nobody does. -> Also nothing to remember.
Last edited by Monika on Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:53 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
#xkcd-q on irc.foonetic.net - the LGBTIQQA support channel
Please donate to help these people

Faranya
Posts: 259
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:10 am UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Faranya » Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:22 pm UTC

Eternal Density wrote:I quite commonly get an unexplained feeling that something is likely going to happen, and it's often right. Pattern recognition seems like a decent explanation for it :D


I suppose...but if that is true I have unconsciously mapped out the pattern for reruns of the Simpsons appearing on television.

At least once a week I will arbitrarily think of a specific episode and will see that it was one later that same day (and no, they don't advertise specific Simpsons reruns)
Image

User avatar
mmmcannibalism
Posts: 2150
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:25 am UTC

I tried this once and guessed 43...it worked lol.
Izawwlgood wrote:I for one would happily live on an island as a fuzzy seal-human.

Oregonaut wrote:Damn fetuses and their terroist plots.

User avatar
Felstaff
Occam's Taser
Posts: 5175
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:10 pm UTC
Location: ¢ ₪ ¿ ¶ § ∴ ® © ™ ؟ ¡ ‽ æ Þ ° ₰ ₤ ಡಢ

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Felstaff » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:50 pm UTC

Everyone knows that 7 is the most random number in the world. Followed closely by 3. So either 37 or 73 should be the exact number they are thinking of. There's a fifty-fifty chance of it working; and only a 10% chance of that.
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

frog42
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:35 am UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby frog42 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:36 am UTC

I've convinced the kids at my school I'm psychic by walking out of the room while they (and their native Japanese teacher) choose a number from 1 through 4 that I've written on the board. They can choose whatever they want because the teacher lets me know the number by how she's standing.

At the end of class today, a kid dragged his short friend up to me and said "How tall is he?" It's a Japanese middle school, so I say "One hundred........ forty........ two". I really don't know centimeters that well, but apparently I was dead on. Blew their minds.

Fat Tony
Posts: 1501
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:12 pm UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Fat Tony » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:05 am UTC

I do this quite often as a card trick. I perform these elaborate bogus maneuvers before I just throw the cards around the table and grab one completely randomly. It works once every 52 times (it really is quite impressive when it does, though; it worked the first time I tried it and my friend was amazed) =D
Wanna hear the truth? Life is downright ok.

User avatar
Eternal Density
Posts: 5574
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:37 am UTC
Contact:

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:32 am UTC

The number of times I've correctly guessed which track my CD player will randomly pick on a CD is a bit scary. I don't know how it happens. Maybe my subconscious is in tune with the pseudorandom number generator.
Play the game of Time! castle.chirpingmustard.com Hotdog Vending Supplier But what is this?
In the Marvel vs. DC film-making war, we're all winners.

User avatar
Monika
Welcoming Aarvark
Posts: 3671
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:03 am UTC
Location: Germany, near Heidelberg
Contact:

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Monika » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:19 pm UTC

Or maybe it's still just your biased memory :wink:
#xkcd-q on irc.foonetic.net - the LGBTIQQA support channel
Please donate to help these people

moimoimoi
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:06 am UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby moimoimoi » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:22 am UTC

A similar trick can be used with gullible investors. I don't remember what it's called, but it goes like this.
Gather a large group of investors together for some stock tips. Tell half of them that XYZ is going up, and tell the other half that XYZ is going down. Tell half of the winners that ABC is going up, and tell the rest it is going down. Gather the small group of your latest winners and tell them about stock DEF. Now you have many pissed off investors, but a few die-hard fans. Let your fans in on your hottest tip yet, for a fee: stock GHI is going up.

frog42
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:35 am UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby frog42 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:51 am UTC

moimoimoi wrote:A similar trick can be used with gullible investors. I don't remember what it's called, but it goes like this.
Gather a large group of investors together for some stock tips. Tell half of them that XYZ is going up, and tell the other half that XYZ is going down. Tell half of the winners that ABC is going up, and tell the rest it is going down. Gather the small group of your latest winners and tell them about stock DEF. Now you have many pissed off investors, but a few die-hard fans. Let your fans in on your hottest tip yet, for a fee: stock GHI is going up.


Also works at the track. Say you have an inside line on a horse. Do this for every horse in a race to a bunch of people. Say you've got an inside line on one more horse and would be willing to share if they'd buy you a $20 ticket in addition to their own. Use a different horse for each of your new fan club. Enjoy the race.

Sp3ctre18
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Location: Deroan, Cahper, Union of Caprady
Contact:

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Sp3ctre18 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:06 pm UTC

BrianXVX wrote:
Spoiler:
"There are no Grey Elephants in Denmark"


I got a red Salmon in Estonia.

:|

I think you all realized where I failed there.... :|

MarioY
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:09 pm UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby MarioY » Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:20 pm UTC

It shouldn't be 1% it should be 0.01% because there is a 1:100 chance of that person picking a number and a 1:100 chance of you picking that same number so instead of 1/100 it should be 1/100 X 1/100 because you are working out the chances of two events.

Lewton
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:15 am UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Lewton » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:23 pm UTC

MarioY wrote:It shouldn't be 1% it should be 0.01% because there is a 1:100 chance of that person picking a number and a 1:100 chance of you picking that same number so instead of 1/100 it should be 1/100 X 1/100 because you are working out the chances of two events.


You signed up. Just to bump this (moderately) old thread, and you didn't even bother to read any of it?

Your (false) observation has been posted several times in this thread.
And an explanation on why you're wrong have been posted even more times

Tyr_oathkeeper
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:03 am UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Tyr_oathkeeper » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:43 pm 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




I was thinking of 73.
You can usually pull it of even if the digits are in the wrong order. Just blame it on interference or something.

Peristarkawan
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:48 am UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Peristarkawan » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:47 am UTC

hthall wrote:I remember an anecdote about a university class in which students tried to simulate a random series of coin flips, while a computer program used basic data compression techniques to try to predict their next keystroke. No matter what the students tried, or how much they practiced, in the long run the computer could always predict well over 50% of the "random" keystrokes of any student--with one exception. There was one student who appeared to be generating truly random data. How? He said he was just using his free will.


Or possibly he was just reciting the binary representation of pi, represented as heads and tails instead of 1s and 0s. I imagine that would be sufficiently random that a simple compression algorithm would be unable to keep up with it.

User avatar
Sprocket
Seymour
Posts: 5951
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:04 pm UTC
Location: impaled on Beck's boney hips.
Contact:

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Sprocket » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:37 pm UTC

lentamentalisk wrote:There is only one major hole in the theory of the comic, and it is something you guys missed entirely. I mean, you guys were not even remotely close...
If the person has seen Brothers Bloom, this trick will not work at all (read: this is straight out of the movie, only with numbers rather than cards.)
Skippy was doing this trick for like 6 months after he saw the movie. Sigh.
"She’s a free spirit, a wind-rider, she’s at one with nature, and walks with the kodama eidolons”
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Zohar wrote: Down with the hipster binary! It's a SPECTRUM!

User avatar
BlazeOrangeDeer
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:44 am UTC

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby BlazeOrangeDeer » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:45 am UTC

The binary digits of pi are pretty cool, the first few look sort of pattern-ish and make a cool rhythm when you play it as notes
11.0010010000111111011010101000100010000101101000110000100011010001100010011

Mavrisa
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:49 pm UTC
Location: Ontario

Re: "Psychic" Discussion

Postby Mavrisa » Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:07 pm UTC

http://www.arandomnumber.com/
I'd really like to see the results of this...
"I think nature's imagination is so much greater than man's, she's never gonna let us relax."

Shift
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:14 pm UTC

Re: 0628: "Psychic"

Postby Shift » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:20 pm UTC

Wouldn't it be a smaller probability? Because the chance of you choosing the same number as them is 1/100 from you times 1/100 for them, so the actual chance of you both choosing the same number would be somewhere around .01%.

User avatar
phlip
Restorer of Worlds
Posts: 7569
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:56 am UTC
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: 0628: "Psychic"

Postby phlip » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:30 pm UTC

Shift wrote:Wouldn't it be a smaller probability? Because the chance of you choosing the same number as them is 1/100 from you times 1/100 for them, so the actual chance of you both choosing the same number would be somewhere around .01%.

That would make the chance of both you and the other person picking, say, 43, as 0.01% (assuming both people choose uniformly randomly). But the chance of you both picking 37 is also 0.01%. And the chance of you both picking 94 is also 0.01%. Add up all the possibilities, and you get that the chance of you picking the same number, regardless of what that number is, is 1%.

Alternatively: say they pick their number first. Any number they pick is OK, it's still possible for you to guess it. So there's a 100% chance they'll pick an acceptable number. And now you pick second, and regardless of what they chose there's a 1% chance of you matching it... in all cases, you have a 1% chance of picking an acceptable number. So the final chance is 100% * 1% = 1%.

Code: Select all

enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
[he/him/his]

Nichlemn
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:38 am UTC

Re: 0628: "Psychic"

Postby Nichlemn » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:58 am UTC

Why settle for one guess? You should be able to turn some of the "misses" into pseudo-"hits". For instance, if you get no response after you say "37", without missing a beat you should add another step, for instance: "Add one to each of the digits". Keep adding steps until you get it right or she gets tired of it.

Or alternatively, if you get close, that alone might be good enough ("Oh me yarm, you guessed 37, it was 36!"), but otherwise you'll probably see a (subtle) reaction of some kind. If you do, try adding or subtracting one from the number, or maybe switching the digits.

MrRubix
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 2:59 pm UTC

Re: 0628: "Psychic"

Postby MrRubix » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:49 pm UTC

I just tried this on my girlfriend over GChat:

Me: Hey
GF: hey
what's up
Me: just curious
think of a random number from 1-100
GF: ok
Me: got it?
GF: ya
Me: is it 37?
GF: yes
haha
wtf
Me: trololololo
GF: I don't understand
how did you know?
haha


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 55 guests