Reblog: Parrondo’s Paradox

Ad Nihil here presents an interesting-looking game demonstrating something I hadn’t heard of before, Parrondo’s Paradox, which apparently is a phenomenon in which a combination of losing strategies becomes a winning strategy. I do want to think about this more, so I offer the link to that blog’s report so that I hopefully will go back and consider it more when I’m able.

ad nihil

My inspiration with my daughter’s 8th grade probability problems continues. In a previous post I worked on a hypothetical story of monitoring all communications for security with a Bayesian analysis approach. This time when I saw the spinning wheel problems in her text book, I was yet again inspired to create a game system to demonstrate Parrondo’s Paradox.

“Parrondo’s paradox, a paradox in game theory, has been described as: A combination of losing strategies becomes a winning strategy. It is named after its creator, Juan Parrondo, who discovered the paradox in 1996.” –

Simply put, with certain (not all) combinations, you may create an overall winning strategy by playing different losing scenarios alternatively in the long run. Here’s the game system I came up with this (simpler than the original I believe):

Let’s imagine a spinning wheel like below, divided into eight equal parts with 6 parts red…

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