Saturday, August 14, 2010

Banana Hunt!

My 12-year-old Niece introduced me to this game a little over a year ago...

"Drag the monkey to the location of the bananas and press 'Search'.

If you're in the right location you will find 10 bananas.

1 degree of error - 8 bananas
2 degrees of error - 6 bananas
3 degrees of error - 4 bananas
4 degrees of error - 2 bananas
5 degrees of error - 1 banana

How many bananas can you find in 10 searches?"

Seems easy enough. Random guessing won't do because, even if you're content to find just one banana, you only have a 3.06% (0.0305555) chance of doing so [(5+5+1)/360].

But we have tools that create an edge over random!

Avoiding the obvious protractor route, we have the knowledge that north=90, east=180, south=270 and west=360/0 (those numbers never appear...)we can use these landmarks to get us in the vicinity of the location we're looking for. While it's impossible to guarantee finding 10 bananas, or even ensuring that we find ANY bananas on any given search, we DO significantly increase our odds of leaving with some bananas in hand.

Settling on one method for finding the bananas will make it easier to have an idea as to the amount you may find in any 10-search-session. Maybe you prefer to visualize 45% as 1.5x 30% away from "west", instead of half way between "west" and "north". The important thing is to stick to your method through thick and thin.

Throw in a couple of targets that involve "winning" and "losing" (any arbitrary target that challenges you) and the game takes on a whole new meaning.

After a poor start to a search session, you may find yourself trying to improve/optimize your method for finding the bananas in the midst of the search. This always results in finding less bananas as you're not proficient in that approach. Conversely, you may take your foot off the accelerator when things are going well and quickly ruin any advantage you previously had. Sound familiar?? :)

I suppose we can draw many parallels between various games and trading. This one is personally helping me with the notion that we must act consistently in the face of uncertainty, remaining actively neutral from an emotional standpoint.

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