Defeating Derren Brown

In one Derren Brown show, “Inside Your Mind“, he plays his “favorite game” with 3 Psychology students. He puts money in 1 of 2 envelopes, and the 3 Psychology students have to guess which envelope contains the money. If they guess right, they get to keep the money.

2 envelopes

Derren first plays with 5 pounds and shuffles while the 3 Psychology students face the other way. When they look back, he says some things and makes certain gestures in an attempt to influence their choice of envelope. They pick and, of course, lose.

The second round is for 10 pounds, and Derren shuffles under the table. He again says some things and makes certain gestures in an attempt to influence their choice of envelope. Again, they pick and, of course, lose.

The third round is for 20 pounds, and Derren shuffles under the table. When he puts them on the table, he pushes one envelope towards them. He again says some things and makes certain gestures in an attempt to influence their choice of envelope. Again, they pick and, of course, lose.

The fourth round is for 50 pounds. This time the Psychology students hide the 50 pounds in 1 of 3 envelopes, and Derren has to guess which envelope contains the money. They, of course, lose.

The reason why they lost every time is because their strategy is to pick whatever they feel like picking, which is wrong since what they feel like picking is influenced by a mentalist.

Their strategy has an expected value of  \Sigma _{-\infty}^{\infty} xp(x) = (5)(\frac{0}{2}) + (10)(\frac{0}{2}) + (20)(\frac{0}{2}) + (50)(\frac{0}{3}) = 0.

Here is an alternative strategy based on the first arc of the second series of Yu-Gi-Oh!:

In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the main characters, Yugi and Atem, share a body and play a children’s card game hoping to save Yugi’s grandfather from the arc villain Maximillion Pegasus, who has the ability to read minds. In the first part of the game, Atem plays. Pegasus, being a mind reader, obviously counters all of Atem’s strategies. Eventually, they come up with the idea of Yugi playing instead of Atem and then switch to Atem whenever Pegasus tries to read their mind. Thus, they are able to successfully hide their ace card, Dark Magician, in Magical Hats and defeat Pegasus’ Toon Monsters.

The application: Get Derren to be unable to read your mind/influence by choosing an envelope randomly.

This new strategy has an expected value of \Sigma _{-\infty}^{\infty} yp(y) = (5)(\frac{1}{2}) + (10)(\frac{1}{2}) + (20)(\frac{1}{2}) + (50)(\frac{2}{3}) > 0 .

Re: Lelouch

It seems my comment on thedailyopium has not gotten a response, and comments are closed….



Interesting. A few questions on the proofs though:

1 How exactly does

“The Black Knights benefited greatly because of the abilities of Lelouch. He was a good tactician and strategist, could predict the future moves of his opponents, and could foresee the probable outcomes of his decisions. Lastly, the mystical powers of Geass played a vital role in his quest.”

prove that Lelouch followed the principle

“A wise prince must provide in such a way that, in whatever circumstances, the citizens will always be in need of him and his government.”


The former talks about benefits while the latter talks about need…? (I think a better example would be the last two episodes of R1…?)

2 What exactly do the three basic propositions (or assumptions maybe?) have to do with the rest of the article? Take the second, for instance, Lelouch actually seems to violate the second (unproved) proposition based on what he did at the end of R2…?

Wait just 2? I swear I had more…oh well.

Why I Didn’t Go To The Blue Roast

The ff is taken from my Facebook timeline. The guy who commented is a former President of Wikimedia Philippines. I ran into him at the library later that day, a few hours after the exit interview. Apparently, he couldn’t go because he had Theo orals, iirc.


Niccolo Waitforit Bentulan shared a link.

March 20

Though I’m not going to the Blue Roast, I still am going to school.#960

Exit interview – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An exit interview is a survey conducted with an individual who is separating from an organization or relationship. Most commonly, this occurs between an employee and an organization, a student and an educational institution, or a member and an association. An exit interview is the most accurate inst…

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Josh Lim Why not? (Though I’m also thinking of not going to Blue Roast tomorrow, I’m just curious. :P)
March 20 at 12:26am · Like

Niccolo Waitforit Bentulan Josh, please ignore my “Nice comment :))” message. I thought you deleted it after you commented. I guess I just didn’t refresh or whatever, hahaha (I swear, when I opened the notification, your comment wasn’t there).

Anyway, in descending order are my reasons of not going (that is, the main reason is #1; feel free to skip the rest):

1.) I find it to be a waste of money (no offense to anyone).

2.) I find it to be a plot/ploy/whatever for the school to exploit the “it’s the penultimate event of my undergrad life. Why not?” mentality and other similar mentalities (no offense to anyone).

3.) a.) I find it to be a plot/ploy/whatever for the school to exploit people (no offense to anyone) who have a crush. I recall the Filipino teacher at the SOSE/SOSS Pabaon saying (in English, as I recall), “Don’t miss out this chance to give your blue rose” or something to that effect.

b.) I find the whole blue rose thing to support the mentality, “I won’t confess now. I’ll just confess during the Blue Roast” (no offense to anyone). [I find it analogous to the New Year’s Resolutions “Oh screw it. I’ll change my life starting January 1” mentality and other similar mentalities (no offense to anyone). I guess though that it’s another story when January comes around then you think of what resolutions to make, but then again, that might lead to the previous mentality or other similar ones.]

“We shouldn’t show our feelings only when it probably is too late and it’s time to say goodbye lest we be left wondering about all the “what ifs” and “what-could-have-beens” in life.” (from here:

Of course, not everyone is going for said reasons, and if they are, then it’s their choice. To each his/her own.

Anyway, I take it you haven’t bought a ticket?

It’s been a year since my batch’s blue roast – the event highlighted by the giving of a single blue rose to your college crush, to your one true love, to your dream girl/boy, secret crush, fantasy,…


After some friends invited me that morning, I ended up hanging with them around Bellarmine field/Gesu, meeting new people, getting a blue rose and playing Quake, I think, and Path of Exile until like 4 am at Mineski despite me rarely playing computer games (aside, of course, from 960).

Mineski btw is miles from My Place Residence Hall. 🙂


How’d you know?

Just something I came across in Matteo Study Hall awhile back.

Hello, again. So how have you been lately? I heard that you are now a part of the Philippine All-Star dance troupe. Congratulations! Anyway, pleasantries aside, I wanted to talk to you about the past.
We were together for 2 and a half years and I can say that that made a significant change in my life. I am not here to complain or make a fuss about you leaving me but I am actually here to thank you for finally letting me go and giving me the chance to experience the world.
Even though it’s almost a year since we were apart, I can’t say that I am over you because there is this part in me that still wishes for you, wishing that you didn’t leave me for somebody else. Don’t get me wrong though, I am not complaining about these. I was actually the fool who wanted to stay with you even though you didn’t want me anymore. I was blinded by love.
Our relationship failed not only because of you, I had my fair share of wrongs too. The only reason you had to leave me is because I didn’t do my part as the lover well. I was devastated then but now I am a lot better emotionally. I had a lot to go through just to be able to be happy again. The months and months of the pursuit for happiness benefitted me greatly physically, emotionally, spirituality and of course, mentally.
From falling, I got back up and even improved on who I was. I managed to put my body physique to a whole new level. I can think clearer and in a more logical way because I greatly value the mind over matter principle. I have a ton of new friends, and I finally started to believe in God. Thank you.

Hello! How’d you know? But yes, I am a part of the Philippine All-Star dance troupe! I was REALLY lucky to get in. Practice is every day from 9pm until 12am. I’m very excited to perform in foreign countries and two weeks ago we performed in The Ateneo! Did you watch the performance? Mind blowing right?! Haha!
First of all, I’m very glad that you found your way back to a better life.
I hope you wouldn’t wish for me anymore because I think we would never be together as lovers but just good friends. I’m sorry if I seem pretty harsh but I’m actually not over the guilt that I am feeling towards you, thinking that I ruined your life. Hearing from everyone how sad you are, how you tell everyone that I am the faulty side of the relationship made me guiltier that ever.