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a small twist on the loaded revolver problem


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#1 BMAD

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 03:19 AM

Henry has been caught stealing cattle, and is brought into town for justice. The judge is his ex-wife Gretchen, who wants to show him some sympathy, but the law clearly calls for two shots to be taken at Henry from close range. To make things a little better for Henry, Gretchen tells him she will place two bullets into a six-chambered revolver but not in successive order. She will spin the chamber, close it, and take one shot. If Henry is still alive, she will then either take another shot, or spin the chamber again before shooting.

Henry is a bit incredulous that his own ex-wife would carry out the punishment, and a bit sad that she was always such a rule follower. He steels himself as Gretchen loads the chambers, spins the revolver, and pulls the trigger. Whew! It was blank. Then Gretchen asks, 'Do you want me to pull the trigger again, or should I spin the chamber a second time before pulling the trigger?'

What should Henry choose?


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#2 hhh3

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:43 AM

Spoiler for very confused


Edited by rookie1ja, 05 March 2013 - 01:46 PM.

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alWaYs gaMe!!!

#3 tammie

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:37 PM

he should have her spin the chamber 1 in 3 chance of death vs. 1 in 2 chance if he doesn't. 

the odds in favour of spinning the chamber again; 2 bullets to 6 chambers a 1 in 3 chance of death . knowing where the one blank chamber is only leaves 5 possibilities for the next chamber. so the odds of there being a bullet in the next chamber is now 2 bullets to 5 chambers. 2 to 6 is better than 2 to 5. or so it would appear. because there are only 6 possible configurations that the bullets can be alligned in once you know where that one blank chamber is( because no 2 bullets are in consecutive chambers); 3 with a bullet in the next chamber and 3 with it being blank he actually has a 50/50 chance if he has her shoot without spinning the chamber again.


Edited by tammie, 05 March 2013 - 02:40 PM.

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#4 nakulendu

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 03:48 PM

Spoiler for reading the mind of the ex

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#5 bonanova

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:37 AM

Spoiler for seems like

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The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
- Bertrand Russell




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