Puzzle at Nine


Two players play the following game with a fair coin. Player 1 chooses (and announces) a triplet (HHH, HHT, HTH, HTT, THH, THT, TTH, or TTT) that might result from three successive tosses of the coin. Player 2 then chooses a different triplet. The players toss the coin until one of the two named triplets appears. The triplets may appear in any three consecutive tosses: (1st, 2nd, 3rd), (2nd, 3rd, 4th), and so on. The winner is the player whose triplet appears first.

1. What is the optimal strategy for each player? With best play, who is most likely to win?
2. Suppose the triplets were chosen in secret? What then would be the optimal strategy?
3. What would be the optimal strategy against a randomly selected triplet?

Apart from the table above, here some more hints:
The only way for HHH to appear before THH is if the first three tosses come up heads. Any other result will allow THH to block HHH. Therefore, the probability that HHH appears before THH is 1/8.

HTH: HHT wins with probability 2/3

Answer when anyone gets close and wants it.

Late evening listening – fragmented music

sherds-752522How narrow are our musical tastes and they may be getting even narrower.  Even when two people agree, for example, Dearieme and myself on jazz, he likes certain instruments and angles and I like others – differences in emphasis but nevertheless differences.

I blogged on it once before but in Russia, one of my many mistakes was to have both my mate and my girlfriend in the one room for a dinner I’d made.  The dinner didn’t poison anyone but the music choice did.

For a start, I don’t like background music, do like the window open and like a port afterwards.  She wanted to be dancing or doing something else like going out.  He wanted to talk and was happy enough for there to be music.

Well, that’s where it started.  She wanted anything womanly, from Sting to Enigma, he wanted Paul McCartney or Zeppelin.  I don’t mind those but would have chosen something like twenty4seven or Neil Diamond or whatever.  I put on a Doors track.  Well, they both hated it.  She put on some modern howler doubling as a crooner and we both hated it.  He wanted Paul McCartney and neither of us were putting up with that.

All three, after a polite time after the dinner went our separate ways and I’m sure were listening to our own music at our own place.  I’ll never forget that look we gave one another when it was clear we could have NO music that evening, as we simply could not agree – three strong-minded people.

Below is a selection which illustrates what I mean about it being a highly personalized matter.  All are my favourites but it would be interesting to see how many you also like.

You might not like Hawkwind so turn it down but still look at the fabulous phot/vid collage of the space/Vietnam era.

Didn’t have space to fit in jazz, The Doors, Vivaldi or Bob Marley. By the way, if you want an insight into my true character [and let’s face it, who would?] then the Hawkwind from around 3.05 to 4.30 is what I’m like and the film clip from 4.38 to 4.46 is so James Higham in every way.

Speak tlhIngan Hol – your passport to promotion


Speak Klingon – the most popular non-national language after Latin.  Or teach your baby son to speak it.  Learn at the Institute.

You might like to read up on it:

A description of the actual Klingon language can be found in Okrand’s book The Klingon Dictionary (Published by Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster, 1985, second edition with new addendum 1992, ISBN 0-671-74559-X). In May 2009, Simon & Schuster in collaboration with Ultralingua Inc., a developer of electronic dictionary applications, announced the release of a suite of electronic Klingon language software for most computer platforms and handhelds including a dictionary, a phrasebook and an audio learning tool. Other notable works include The Klingon Way (with Klingon sayings and proverbs), Klingon for the Galactic Traveler and the two audio productions Conversational Klingon and Power Klingon.

Sovereignty and rule by vote-meter


A man I’d like to describe as a friend of mine and certainly someone I admire and respect, sent me an email:

Odd – you think you’re a Tory but your approach to politics is more like that of a  Whig radical – perhaps your conservatism is about conserving the democratic progress of the last 200 years?

The answer to that is that we’re all complex creatures and if you find a man so dedicated to one goal, to the point of blind obsession, then you would probably start worrying about that person.

This is why political parties are a ridiculous concept because they imply a homogeneity of opinion which clearly doesn’t exist.  Far better is an assembly of men and women of diverse opinion, an assembly officially recognizing no one group but with certain assembly members gravitating naturally in certain directions and for those who feel more comfortable with blind loyalty, they could call themselves a party.

With such a setup, there might be less likelihood of terminally falling out and splits because we’d fall out over certain issues but come together on others.

Such an assembly, in Dan Hannan’s terms, would be small and would take care of essential business.  The overall approach would be Lord T‘s Libertarian Lite, which is basically classic liberalism, yet recognizing its place in the traditional society which need not necessarily exclude G-d, Queen and Country, those entities being part of our heritage.

The sticking point here is the middle one – the monarch.  Britain has for so long felt comfortable with a constitutional monarch as a sort of Chief Executive Officer of some pomp and circumstance, some gravitas.

I’ve never opposed the essential non-equality of people, as long as opportunity exists to rise, by dint of pure hard work and judicious association.  I’m quite opposed to State imposed equality which must always lead to tears before bedtime.

Thus I’m a Tory, being comfortable with G-d, Queen and Country and leaning more strongly towards the former and the latter.

In matters of the much reduced assembly and bureaucracy, in a sovereign nation which trades bilaterally and sometimes multilaterally, which welcomes guests from abroad as guests but rewards guests who make the transition to an assimilation as citizens, business in such an assembly would largely be bureaucratic, our traditions and heritage providing the foundations on which to make decisions.

There would be provided, if people could be bothered, the technology to have a say on matters of state.  So, local electoral officers would sell [not freely provide] as a percentage of income received, a vote-meter which could sit by the phone and share the socket or else could be meshed into the internet function and this would allow feedback on any matter you felt to be of importance.

EU membership would never arise because it does not gel with the tradition and heritage and wouldn’t come up for discussion.  If it did though, classic liberal tradition would demand that it be allowed to be put as a proposal and people would have the right to vote on it, via their vote-meters.


One would need to pass a test on history and politics, set at about Year 9 level and taken at the local electoral office, to qualify to have one of the vote-meters.  Ignorant thickos would not have the vote until they knuckled down and studied for it.  The test would change every six months, with a rotating series of questions.

Police would be local and the commissioner subject to a monthly meeting with local cits.  Policy though would have come down from the Assembly, such policy itself deriving from the vote-meters and ensuring continuity across country and borough lines.

I can’t give you a policy on defence and social services because of course this would depend on the votes of the people.  Now, if the people are voting, then who is legislating?

Assembly members, of course.  That’s why the local area would vote in, on a per capita basis, members for the Assembly.  Given an overall of 640 members, say, then larger constituencies would return more members, by definition.

So, the Queen is the constitutional monarch, the assembly members who gained enough votes within the assembly would be the committee which produced new legislation but anything produced would always be subject to the vote-meters.  If one member was heading towards dominance, that might or might not be a good thing, according to vote-meter owners and the thing would self-actualize.

What this kills off is imperialism.  Such a thing would be difficult under this system and so the frontier would be the white cliffs of Dover and trade would be the determiner of relations with other nations.  Naturally, tradition is tradition and if, say, these islands were threatened by a European nation which were not democratic in this sense, then natural allies such as the United States would be invited in to assist, again subject to the votemeters.

How to deal with the communists, socialists and other malcontents

They can get knotted.  There is a tradition of these malcontents in these islands also but this is not necessarily a perfect political system we now have in place – it is just fairer than some and excludes upsetting the applecart.  Alien systems do not get a look in and are just shouldered out.

Getting to this position

This could only come through a banding together of the centre of politics, the loyalists to this country, people who believe that an Englishman’s home is his castle, that the family is the basic unit of society, along with the individual, etc. etc.

It would take another generation to fully implement this and in the meantime, it would take a fixed term committee to get it in operation.  The vote-meters could be in place within two years and the best time for the change would be during the mayhem of 2010-12.  That’s where we recapture our country from the global socialists, right at the death knell, at the eleventh hour.

A stirring tale and a ripping yarn for our young to tell their eventual grandchildren.

Is Dan Hannan with us or agin us?

Here he is on September 29th, 2008:

Replacing EU membership with a Swiss-style bilateral free trade accord …

Here he is on November 29th, 2009:

I’d abolish the Common Agricultural Policy, thereby giving a greater boost to Europe’s economies than any number of bail-outs and stimulus packages.  Scrap the directives that tell us what hours we can work, what vitamins we can buy …

The European Commission could then be reduced to a small secretariat, answering to national ministers. The European Court of Justice could be replaced by a tribunal that would arbitrate trade disputes. The European Parliament could be scrapped altogether.

You will, of course, have spotted the flaw in my plan.

Yes, we have spotted it and it doesn’t look good at first sight.

Now Dan, you more than anyone have seen what happened at the protest in the parliament, the way you were stood over and vilified, the way they handle their politics, the underhanded and secretive manner, the draconian laws at the ready, the regions in England ready to become operational.

And yet you suggest remaining inside and trying to change the very people we’re up against – changing their minds?  Since when has the EU ever relinquished a power it had subsumed?  Since when did it ever say to a British politician: “You’re right and we’ll restructure and reform within three years, just because you asked us to?

I’m at a loss how to react to this seeming naivety.  It smacks of toeing the Cameron line, truth be told.  Since when was it a wise policy, as mice, to remain within the cat’s reach and to plead with it not to eat us?

We need out of the EU because it is a ravening monster.  We want a referendum on in or out.  David Cameron has said we’re not going to get either and you, Dan, have said very little about which way you’re newly committed.

Would you please clarify where you stand on both the referendum and withdrawal from the EU?

The real state of the recovery

keen 1keen 2keen 3Money injection doubled in four months [govt base money]:keen 4Broad money supply collapsed though [banks hanging on to it and not lending]:keen 5

The money multiplier theory does not hold water this time around.

So, to expect history to repeat itself, meaning post-war period is being delusional.  The history is going to repeat itself then it’s the … history from the 1930s, when deleveraging ruled the roost..  [Steve Keen, 30:01]


How has it ever been resolved?  Major external crisis or war.  Watch 2012.