Survivorship Bias Chapter 3
I pre-judged your pre-judgement of me.
No one wanted to die for nothing.
An Wujiu’s purpose at this moment was the same as everyone present, to become a survivor in the game. In this warm-up game, he needed to do two things.
- Must not win
- Quietly prompt Yang Ming to victory.
Losing was very simple. The choice of 1 or 100 would definitely result in a loss, but it was too obvious. At first glance, it meant giving up. In this game, the challenge was to make it seem like An Wujiu wasn’t trying to lose and convince Yang Ming and the others to believe he wasn’t as “strong” as claimed. By doing so, he can alleviate other people’s fear and guard of him.
The thin rain fell on the round table, enveloped in the scent of soil and raw materials, which was terrifyingly realistic.
Time was running out.
The original purpose of playing this game with forward-thinking was to predict the results of others through analysis so that the number chosen was closer to the mean of the numbers selected by everyone.
What about the opposite?
If he wanted Yang Ming to be the person closest to half the mean, he needed to predict the numbers of other people and the number Yang Ming may choose before finally deciding which number he wanted to write.
To achieve the desired result, An Wujiu needed to guess the range of numbers for each candidate as accurately as possible.
The options are between 1 and 100. Assuming that the game has enough rational participants, where people’s preferences can be ignored, then the numbers will be evenly distributed between 1 to 100, and the average will be around 50. After taking half, the selectable numbers are further reduced, from [1 and 100] to [1 and 50], and it was impossible to choose a number over 50 to become half of the mean. By probability or median, it was common to guess that the number in question is half the mean of 50, or 25.
Pick numbers above 25, and there will be a much lower chance of winning.
Choosing a number that is too large will cause a psychological burden and fear of losing the average. Under this psychology, selecting a smaller number is a safe card.
But this was only the first level of logic.
If everyone realizes this and follows this logic, the selected number will typically fall below 25, so the final half of the mean will shift down again, becoming around 12.5. By analogy, the next level will be 6.25…
Players in the first level will guess what half of the mean is in their minds.
Players on the second level will guess what they think is half the mean in the minds of others.
Even half of what they think other people think others think…
As the player’s level of logic deepens, the final guess becomes smaller and smaller until the number 1 because no player will think that others will choose a smaller number than themselves. This state of equilibrium was the Nash equilibrium.
So the most challenging thing in this game was not to guess the mean but to guess which floor of thinking the eight contestants are presently on.
Therefore, after learning the game rules, An Wujiu spent all his energy on observation, which was the only way he could get information about strangers within a short period. Nurture largely shapes their thinking pattern, depending on personal experiences and education. Moreover, their thinking will affect how they dress and their behavior.
Having never attended school or received a basic education, Liu Chengwei probably didn’t know anything about game theory.
An Wujiu glanced at Liu Chengwei and found that he did not decisively write an answer but scratched his head and thought hard for a while.
However, when facing such a question, it was common to think of a number near the middle. For Liu Chengwei’s level, the probability of the mean value being 50 was the greatest.
When looking at the others, An Wujiu suddenly realized that he woke up with the fifth round on his screen. He didn’t know if it was the same with the other players, but at least one thing was definite––no one was a novice. Nobody was overly panicked, unfamiliar with the rules, or broke down when they saw the violator shot.
These people have experienced previous rounds and survived. It was not a round for rookies. Based on the difficulty of this warm-up game, similar events may have occurred in the past.
None of the survivors who were alive now were fools.
Wu You, the youngest… An Wujiu found it peculiar that such a young child could enter this game of life or death. From the look of his clothes, he didn’t seem like someone who could afford the cost of education. But when it came to the decorative pattern on An Wujiu’s neck, Wu You first mentioned the type of flower, which at least showed that his family was not ordinary.
He must have expected the mean to be 25, but if he had chosen 25, he would have worried that someone would pick a smaller number and push the average down.
His answer was probably closer to 12.5.
Ueno and Old Yu seemed to belong to the same kind of people. They were cautious, afraid of violating the rules, and thoughtful. Ueno wore glasses and had thin calluses on his fingertips from typing on the keyboard. It was likely a trace of long-term use of the keyboard, so he should have received education, possibly even higher education. They should stand at a higher level of logic than Liu Chengwei and Wu You, so about 6.25, and they could only choose natural numbers, which was 6.
An Wujiu fell into deep thought. It was not easy to consider six or so. It was risky continuing to go down because everyone’s depth of thinking was different. Even if someone could think of more profound logic, they worry others won’t, so they forgo smaller numbers.
What about Zhong Yirou?
She was intelligent. That was An Wujiu’s impression of her. In terms of interpersonal relationships and observation, she was highly skilled. Before others understood the key to the game, she had already guessed Yang Ming’s career. This kind of intelligence-gathering ability was definitely not ordinary.
Additionally, she didn’t have the same distribution of finger calluses as someone using a computer, and with the small scars, it was more like she used a fine blade.
An Wujiu looked at the tool bag on her, the artificial skin of her calf, and the modified palm.
It should be related to prosthetic modification or precision machinery.
But precisely because she is smart enough, her analysis of the previous people should be the same as his. For her, she needed to be on guard against Yang Ming and himself.
According to Yang Ming’s information on An Wujiu, he was deceitful in many ways, both sinister and cunning. Such an image would lead Zhong Yirou to believe that [An Wujiu would make an unexpected decision, such as selecting a very low number.]
Her ultimate score may be in the vicinity of 6. If someone chooses a smaller number, it may balance with Liu Chengwei and others earlier and reach her position.
At present, he could only speculate what everyone’s thoughts were. An Wujiu knew he was guessing, and the outcome may be neither.
Nevertheless, there were easy guesses and difficult guesses. The most difficult one was Shen Ti.
This man was the only person on the field with no flaws.
Wearing a mask on his face, An Wujiu couldn’t see his appearance. His clothes weren’t unique, and he had not made a single comment. An Wujiu couldn’t resist raising his head while musing and looking in the opposite direction, only to find that the other party was staring at him.
The two men looked at each other again, and An Wujiu narrowed his eyes.
The other person was also watching him.
For everyone on the field, An Wujiu, dubbed a lunatic, was undoubtedly a dangerous time bomb, and it seemed Shen Ti was also very curious.
In both person’s eyes, they were each other’s most uncertain factor and the opposite side’s fault tolerance. Only one had no flaws, and one person had been completely exposed.
Wrong. An Wujiu looked down at the table.
Having no flaw was the biggest flaw.
Shen Ti chose to expose nothing, indicating that he understood the fundamentals of the game. Then he could also predict the choices of the past few people. There were at least two people who’d choose a number higher than 6, so if Shen Ti wanted to win, he would not choose a number that was too low.
However, the specific number between 6 and 12.5, An Wujiu could only bet.
Currently, there may be one number appearing around 25, one number appearing around 12, and three numbers appearing around 6. Not counting Shen Ti, Yang Ming, and himself, the mean value was about 11, so half of the mean will appear on either 5 or 6.
It stands to reason that if the remaining three were people good at deep thinking, the number they would choose should be low, even to the third level. But it was because of this that they understood the rules of how this game works, and what they’d do was not go deeper and guess but get closer to other people’s answers.
The fully equipped Shen Ti gave An Wujiu a feeling, and his intuition made him think that the other party would choose a lower number.
Since he could feel it, Yang Ming must also be able to.
The final number will not exceed 6.
What would Yang Ming choose?
No, how would Yang Ming guess An Wujiu?
An Wujiu looked at Yang Ming. The other party stared at the display screen and did not raise his head. Frowning, he seemed lost in thought.
“Time to calculate. The results of ‘The Golden Mean’ will now be announced.”
The screens in front of each of them cast a new projection with a hand-written font.
“Wu You: 13, Yu Guang: 6, Zhong Yirou: 6, Ueno Taisei: 7, Liu Chengwei: 25.
Yang Ming: 5, Shen Ti: 6, An Wujiu: 8.”
“Half of the final mean is 4.75, and Yang Ming’s result is the closest. Yang Ming wins.”
Seeing the expected complacency and rare relaxation on Yang Ming’s face, An Wujiu’s heart calmed down.
His prediction was correct.
Yang Ming was at the same level as he imagined. Yang Ming could make an educated guess about the range of the mean, but his estimation was meaningless because there was a person he feared.
After the previous conversation, he already knew how dangerous he was in Yang Ming’s heart. An Wujiu was very cunning and good at disguises. He didn’t play cards according to common sense and disdained everyone.
Therefore, playing slow and steady was not in line with his expectations.
The character of ‘angelic face with a fiendish heart’ was given to him by Yang Ming. An Wujiu had no choice but to use it.
He calculated Yang Ming’s calculation of him and finally wrote a result on the paper that should meet the other party’s expectations. 8, a number that, at first glance, underestimates the others’ abilities.
Although this might hardly be considered an upright tactic, An Wujiu had no other choice. He just wanted to protect himself.
The final result was not too bad as imagined, but he was a little surprised that Shen Ti just happened to choose a 6. Shen Ti could not have guessed that the results would not be evenly distributed.
It was likely intentional.
“As expected of Yang-ge.” Zhong Yirou changed her words, brushed the hair hanging from her shoulders, and smiled sweetly. “Truly amazing.”
“Luck, luck.” Yang Ming couldn’t conceal his smile. Self-confidence was usually easy to build. All it took was a powerful opponent, who he once avoided, to lose to him in the eyes of the public.
“Tch, I thought some people were so outstanding.” Liu Chengwei sneered, “They’re no different from people like us. In the end, they lost the warm-up game.”
That was what An Wujiu expected. Having achieved his goal, he felt a sense of relief when Liu Chengwei spoke out.
Dramatically, Yang Ming, who regarded An Wujiu as a thorn in his side, was the one who defended him.
“It’s just an occasional misstep.” He raised an eyebrow. “I didn’t work for nothing all those years.”
Sitting quietly, An Wujiu stared at his slightly trembling fingers.
As a result of winning, a gift box popped up in front of Yang Ming and landed on his hand with a blue glow.
“Congratulations. Initializing the game for everyone before announcing the advantage you have for this round.”
As soon as the voice fell, the people on the round table floated up. With dizziness, like an illusion caused by taking excessive hallucinogens, the world, shrouded in light pollution and atmospheric dust, began to spin and collapse. Eventually, it became a dot, a white particle.
Like an explosion, the particle expanded into an entirely new world.
The divine voice began introducing the world outlook of the new game round. “This game is called the Killing of Red and Black. Terrorists launched a gas attack on Miami, Florida. The density of this poison gas was lower than air, and the casualties above the surface were heavy. At the moment of life and death, you eight accidentally arrived at a safe bunker under the office building through the civil air-defense passage.”
“Here is a mini nuclear bunker secretly excavated and developed by the founder of Camiki Corporation. The bunker is 18 meters deep underground. It is safe but sealed. The exit is damaged and can only be detonated from the outside. Survival resources here are limited, just enough to support you eight for five days and four nights.”
Dust-like particles gradually gathered into fragments, which converged and spliced together.
“In the bunker, each of you will display a yellow energy bar above your head. Initially full, but with starvation, thirst, and other problems due to shortage of supplies, the energy bar will decrease. When it reaches zero, you are considered dead.”
“The current system time is 9:00 am, and on the fifth day at 9:00 am, a rescue team will arrive to rescue everyone. Of course, everyone who is alive.”
As long as it reached 9 o’clock, it meant success in survival.
“Will the rescue team take five days to dig with just a few people?” It was Zhong Yirou’s voice. “Is it saving people or archaeology?”
The sight in front of him was too dazzling. An Wujiu’s damaged vision made it difficult for him to adapt, and it took nearly ten seconds for his vision to clear.
He heard Ueno’s voice.
“Coming to our rescue on the fifth day, aren’t the supplies enough…”
After a while, the modeled world finally appeared before their eyes.
An Wujiu stared at the closed door in front of him, the Passion of Jesus ① painted on it.
It couldn’t be that simple.
The author has something to say:
① A painting of Raphael’s, depicting the scene of Jesus crucified on the cross1
May have forgotten Lao Yu wasn’t his actual name and the Lao could mean old… will be quickly editing that (；・∀・)