about rock, paper, and scissor



Just want to comment about rock,paper, and scissor hand game. Cecil said that in Indonesia, the games consists of variations of an elephant, a man, and an ant. While the meaning of what is true,he seems doesn’t know what symbol of hands that is supposed to be used. It’s very simple.

for elephant, to ‘summon’ it, just put your thumb when playing. For a man, just throw your pointy finger, and for ants, throw your pingky finger, thats it.

BTW, it is called ‘suit’ or ‘suitan’ or ‘suwitan’ and its an old common hand games in Indonesia.

I don’t know if other culture uses it, but i think its from a javanese culture.

Just to be clear, democlesv10, that was a Staff Report, written by Veg, a member of the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board… not written by Cecil Himself.

There are a number of topics that Cecil doesn’t want to do a column on, sometimes for reasons of space (the columns have limited space), sometimes because the information is readily available, sometimes just because. So, the SDSAB provide additional “Straight Dope” in the form of Staff Reports.

In any case, welcome to the Straight Dope Message Boards, we’re glad to have you with us.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Spock, Lizard is an extension that has been discussed before

And there was I thinking that Veg wrote some of Cecil’s columns, a distinction shared with other advisors.

No one but Cecil writes his columns. Occasionally Staff members provide information, anecdotes, quotes, or self-sacrifice (allowing ourselves to be bit by mosquitos to see if we can make them explode) or loss of dignity (running through the halls with a duck to make it quack.) And, of course, Ed Zotti does lots of fact-checking and editing. But Cecil is the sole author of every column.

I was flipping through the channels the other day, and I came across the Rock Paper Scissors International World Championships on Fox Sports. I was surprised that 1) there is such a thing as a world champsionship in RPS, and 2) someone would televise it. The gold medalist is Lee Rammage of Burlington, Canada.

Mr. S and I came across the RPS championship on Fox Sports on New Year’s Eve. We just about pissed our pants laughing. That has got to be the world’s biggest put-on. (The [Whatever] defense: “losing the first throw intentionally”? Give me a small break.)

That’s an interesting variant… I’ve thought about coming up with a complicated ‘five-star’ schema like that, but it seemed like too much work, both to originate and remember during play.

One nice schema I have come up with, though I can never seem to settle on really intuitive hand-shapes for it, is more like ‘RPS within RPS’. To wit:

The model is generally countries trying to outdo or compete with each other. Five strategies:


War beats politics (because if someone’s trying to send in a diplomatic delegation and you’re invading them, they’re going to get invaded.) But Trade beats war (because the people selling the weapons make out like bandits,) and Politics beats trade (Tariffs and regulations.) These three strategies are collectively known as ‘the mortal pursuits.’

Sorcery beats all of the mortal pursuits. But religion beats sorcery (because you can appeal to god if your enemies are using black magic against you,) and all the mortal pursuits beat religion. Thus, it’s a cycle within a cycle.

Really think this would be an interesting variant to play competitively. A simple game theory analysis indicates that a balanced randomization play will call for sorcery 1/3 of the time, religion 1/3 of the time, and each of the mortal pursuits 1/9 of the time.

(rant mode off)

:confused: sorry to go off topic, but why? People tend to not read them after they go past a word count?

The Straight Dope is a newspaper column with a website attached, not the other way around. The newspaper column is supposed to run a certain number of column inches.

The other stuff, not by Cecil, is free to be as long as it wants.

Veritably, Dexter. Only the discredited likes of those who claim that Moses did not write Exodus - no Leon Uris gags, please - would cast aspersions on Cecil’s column.

ah, thank you for pointing that out, J.W.K.. I should’ve thought of that, I’ve seen the column in print before.

Rock, Paper, Saddam!

Although SDSTAFF Veg seems amused by the World RPS Society website in general, s/he makes no specific comment on the reference to “the Portuguese armada of 350 AD”. I would have thought that anyone with a modicum of book learnin’ - like me - would naturally splutter at the concept. In fact, the only google result which returns that phrase is…http://www.google.co.uk/search?lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=Portuguese%20armada%20of%20350%20ADThe Straight Dope

I think p’raps this one doesn’t pass the smell test - that site MUST be a hoax!

Funny. Joan of Arcadia’s latest episode featured a spirited competition of Rock Paper Scissors.

It was most exciting. :smiley:

Received the following in an email yesterday:

I understand that scissors can beat paper, and I get how rock can beat scissors, but there’s no f -ing way paper can beat rock. Paper is supposed to magically “wrap around” rock, rendering it immobile? Why the hell can’t paper do this to scissors? Screw scissors, why can’t paper do this to people? Why aren’t sheets of notebook paper constantly suffocating students as they attempt to take notes in class? I’ll tell you why - BECAUSE PAPER CAN’T BEAT ANYBODY! A rock would tear that sht up in 2 seconds. When I play rock/paper/scissors, I always choose rock.
Then when somebody claims to have beaten me with their paper, I punch them in the face with my already clenched fist and say, "Oh sh
t, I’m sorry. I thought paper would protect you"


He tried that, but before he could hit me, I stabbed him with scissors. That guy ain’t hitting anybody. I ran, but they put my face on wanted sheets all over town, and the newspaper had it page one. I was caught, fingerprinted, and booked. All they gave me was a disposable orange jumpsuit, and TP.