Rock, Paper, Scissors
Posted by Justin
We should all know that child’s game we play to settle minor disputes. Rock smashes Scissors. Paper covers Rock. Scissors cut Paper. Those are the rules that the decisions in the game are based on. Maybe a little conversation like this “I want to sit in the front seat”, “no, I do”, “I’ll Rock, Paper, Scissors you for it”, can familiarize those who may not know of it or need their mind refreshed. But it’s not a game of chance the way we’re lead to believe. Its “winnable” by recognizing
and exploiting non-random behavior in opponents.
What if in the adult world, this game takes on new relevance when we figuratively expand on the qualities of each. Rock could represent the seen but mostly unseen forces of Nature. Paper could represent the written word collected over the centuries by men of learning and historians. Scissors could represent Force as used in weaponry and warfare by men who assert their will on others.
Paper covers Rock. The more knowledge we have the less mysterious our affairs are and the forces of Nature are easier to manipulate through invention. Scissors cut Paper. Among the first thing conquerors would do to the conquered would be to destroy all their literature to provide security from insurrection and make assimilation easier. Rock crushes Scissors. Nature has a way of neutralizing wills of force whether it’s a tyranny meeting it’s match with an intelligent, steadfast minority. Almost like the, I’ll say, “miracle victories” scattered throughout history. It might be unforeseen dangers or negligence thwarting a culture plundering natural resources.
The choice of which method to employ to get the desired results will vary with the environs and opponent, but when a “win-stay, lose-shift” pattern is displayed, there may be a clear advantage to offer victory, or a recipe for disaster to the player.