• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Yankee Swap Theory

    December 24th, 2014
    xmas  [html]
    In a Yankee swap, when should you take an open present and when should you open a new one? This depends on the rules, so here are the ones my extended family uses:

    Everyone brings a wrapped present and puts it under the tree. In random order, each person gets a turn, which means you get to select a present. You can select and unwrap a present from under the tree, or you can select a present that someone else has already taken. If someone takes your present, you now get to select a present. Presents can't change hands more than once a turn, and once a present passes to its third owner it stays there for the rest of the game.

    The end effect is that each person arrives with a present and leaves with a present, and there's a lot of excitement as presents bounce around between people.

    So when should you open a mystery present? You have some estimate for how good the typical present under the tree is, which will be partly from expectations and experience and partly from seeing what presents have already come out so far. You also can see the range of presents available. So if you'd like to select the best present you can you should pick a mystery present when none of the available ones are better than your estimate. [1] Generally, this means you should strongly prefer open presents.

    If you're risk averse, which you probably shouldn't be with a Christmas gift exchange, then you should prefer open presents to reduce your risk of getting something that you don't like and no one wants to take from you. Similarly, if you're loss averse you should try to get presents that you would be the third and final owner for, so no one can take them away from you.

    There may be more complicated logic to handle selecting gifts that you think other people will want to take from you so you can go again later when there will be more options, but this seems hard to evaluate.


    [1] This may seem like a trivial claim, but talking to several people it's not something that had occured to them.

    Comment via: google plus, facebook

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    Streaming the Biden Infrastructure Plan

    I streamed my thoughts about the Biden infrastructure plan, and unlike previous streams, I uploaded this to YouTube. I go into more details (and more tangents) on video, but, some key points: Out of the nearly $600 billion in the current proposal that is …

    via Pedestrian Observations April 11, 2021

    Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make it? Part IVb: Cloth Money

    This is the second half of the fourth part of our four part (I, II, III, IVa) look at the production of textiles, particularly wool and linen, in the pre-modern world. Last time, we looked at commercial textile workers and the finishing processes for text…

    via A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry April 9, 2021

    Notes from “Don’t Shoot the Dog”

    I just finished Karen Pryor’s “Don’t Shoot the Dog: the New Art of Teaching and Training.” Partly because a friend points out that it’s not on Audible and therefore she can’t possibly read it, here are the notes I took and some thoughts. It’s a quick, eas…

    via The whole sky April 2, 2021

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact