Odd book

Chris Zach cz at alembic.crystel.com
Fri May 8 15:23:26 CDT 2020

Remember, back in the 60's people really didn't take game theory very 
seriously. That's why that Merlin game's tic tac toe was so popular.

Nowadays we have u tube to show us how to win at TTT. Back then not so much.


On 5/8/2020 3:29 PM, Fred Cisin via cctalk wrote:
>> > > However, according to the New Yorker article the Manrobot beat the 
>> > > human player five times in a row....
>>> Consider the possibility that the writer took "did not lose 5 times in
>>> a
>>> row", and wrote that as "WON 5 times in a row".
>> Not following Fred. The writer wrote: "We got trimmed in five straight
>> games, and the vice-president in charge of marketing seemed very much
>> pleased." The slang is a bit before my time but I read this as the human
>> player lost five times in a row to the computer. Am I reading it wrong 
>> or am
>> I missing something?
> One of the problems with the use of street slang is that it changes, 
> sometimes rapidly.  a 1920s meaning is not necessarily the same as the 
> meaning half a century or more later.
> "We got trimmed" is not the same as "it beat the human player".
> Beating the human player is possible only if the human player does not 
> play well.  A competent human player (no misteaks) would be able to 
> force a draw.  As games go, it's not a great one, because once both 
> players learn it, then winning isn't going to happen.  To make it into a 
> practical game, one could add a level of chance or skill to be able to 
> make a move, rather then simple CHOICE (as was done by some TV game shows)
> Otherwise, first player takes center;
> other player takes a corner;
> first player takes opposite corner, . . .
> IFF the writer knew what had happened, it would be reasonable to claim, 
> "the computer DID NOT LOSE five times in a row."
> Is THAT what the writer meant by "trimmed"?
> OR, did the writer simply not understand the POSSIBLE outcomes of the 
> competition?

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