by Alex Tabarrok
on August 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm
in Current Affairs, Music, Web/Tech |
1. Jazz is (was?) the best word to play in Hangman.
2. 3-D print your own designs.
3. Cool incentives.
4. Steve Eisman, who called the subprime debacle, on the (nominally) private-education scam (pdf, another link here). (Of course, some public education isn't much better it's just harder to short.)
5. Jackson C. Frank, Blues Run the Game.
I believe you mean Jazz was the best word to play in Hangman.
Blues Run the Game is amazing.
The new best word is ‘jizz’
“Persons born on Serranilla Bank ….”: well, best not to elect a President from there then.
If you play Hangman as the guesser, will your opponent give you a word with common letters, e.g., STALE? I doubt it. Therefore, the entire strategy propounded in the article is nullified by the predictable behavior of your adversary.
Start with the vowels, but in reverse order of commonality:
Y … U … I … O … A … E
As soon as you find a vowel, switch to the uncommon consonants.
Getting to “jazz” with naive strategies 13 moves is difficult. If you’ve established that a word is of the form “- a – -” there are almost 1000 words (using this list) that are possible. Choosing the most common letters, I went through N R L E S T K Y E P B I D and then I run out of moves with 30 words still left in my list. This is a fun problem, though.
Yes, get the schools out of the assessment business. People should want an education, not a diploma. As a society we probably still need third-party assessment, but let other firms enter that.
To be specific, starting with the 825 four-letter words matching “[^a]a[^a][^a]” in my /usr/share/dict/words, the best strategy seems to be to knock out the most common letters each time, leaving me with these 8 “words” after 13 tries:
My total dictionary size is 235,000 words long, compared to the article’s 80,000, so could I get down to zero being that much smaller?
If my start list is a random 400 words from that list, then I still end up with 5 words, including “jazz”. Just 1 more guess (“B”) would get me down to “faff” and “jazz”. If I hit “B” as the first guess, and then follow the normal strategy, I end up with 3 words at the end.
This is a lot harder than binary search. With 25! guessing orders possible, it’s not possible to search all of them, but a limited min-max strategy could have merit.
I live in the building referenced in the article linked from “Cool.”
What the article doesn’t tell you is we are charged a monthly fee that is itemized as an “air conditioning” fee. The fee works out to over $600 a year.
So I often feel that I’ve already paid for AC and so I’m going to use it.
I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.
Article is very nicely written.
I can’t believe how much of this I just wasn’t aware of. Thank you for bringing more information to this topic for me. I’m truly grateful and really impressed.
Comments on this entry are closed.
Previous post: Robert Sloss predicted the iPhone in 1910
Next post: Assorted links
Email Tyler Cowen
Follow Tyler on Twitter
Email Alex Tabarrok
Follow Alex on Twitter
Subscribe in a reader
Follow Us on Twitter
Marginal Revolution on Twitter Counter.com
Get smart with the Thesis WordPress Theme from DIYthemes.