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The Game You Win By Losing (Parrondo's Paradox)

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Channel: Vsauce2
Categories: Brain Teasers   |   Statistics & Probability   |   Math  
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While working on the interplay between thermodynamics and information theory, physicist Juan Parrondo realized that a system of losing games could actually produce a winning result. And it isnt just by playing them in a highly-strategic way; its even possible for two guaranteed losers to generate a winner when played randomly.

At the heart of that counterintuitive conclusion is a test of our understanding of probability and relationships between events. From the simplest money-based games and coin flip scenarios to theoretical perpetual motion machines like the Brownian ratchet and flashing Brownian ratchet, Parrondos Paradox explores elements of game theory that are inspiring research in fields like biogenetics, finance, and evolutionary biology.

*** SOURCES ***

Finite Math -- Markov Chains

Derek Abbot, Peter Taylor, and Juan Parrando, Parrondo's Paradoxical Games and the Discrete Brownian Ratchet

Stan Wagons Parrondo Paradox Demonstration

Abhijit Kar Gupta and Sourabh Banerjee, Parrondos Paradox: New Results and New Ideas

New York Times, Paradox In Game Theory: Losing Strategy That Wins

S. N. Ethier and Jiyeon Lee, The flashing Brownian ratchet and Parrondos paradox

Andrew Gelman and Deborah Nolan, You can load a die but you cant bias a coin

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