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Rock, Paper, Scissors
April 28, 2005 8:41 PM   Subscribe

Rock, Paper, Scissors: 11 year-old twins close 12 million dollar deal.
posted by alms (25 comments total)

 
Apologies for the TimesFilter, but this was too good to pass up.
posted by alms at 8:42 PM on April 28, 2005


Yes it was. Thanks, alms!
posted by Asparagirl at 8:50 PM on April 28, 2005


Rock, Paper, Scissors.
posted by ericb at 8:51 PM on April 28, 2005


Nice story, thanks.
posted by dhruva at 9:01 PM on April 28, 2005


"Since they were beginners, scissors was definitely the safest," she said, adding that if the other side were also to choose scissors and another round was required, the correct play would be to stick to scissors - because, as Alice explained, "Everybody expects you to choose rock."

That is so awesome.
posted by bcwinters at 9:06 PM on April 28, 2005


Christie's: Poor, gullible Sotheby's, always chooses paper.

Sotheby's: Goold old paper, nothing beats that!

Sotheby's: D'oh!
posted by krunk at 9:21 PM on April 28, 2005


Not a 12 million dollar deal. One of the paintings was valued at 12 million, total sale estimated over 20 million.
posted by w0mbat at 9:33 PM on April 28, 2005


On second read: I sure hope those two girls get some nice Christmas presents.
posted by alms at 9:56 PM on April 28, 2005


Takashi has *got* to be laughing his ass off right now.

If he isn't, then I'd advise that rather than using the internal clock as an encryption source, we should tap Takashi for the role.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 9:57 PM on April 28, 2005


This may be the best thing I have ever read in the NYT.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 10:05 PM on April 28, 2005


Best story I've read all week.

You shouldn't have ruined the conclusion in the post though. Newspaper articles are usually constructed to have all the relevant information in the first few paragraphs. This one clearly didn't want to name the winners until the thrilling climax.
posted by painquale at 10:08 PM on April 28, 2005


all the relevant information in the first few paragraphs

The inverted pyramid of journalism 101: start with the foundation and trickle off from there.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:30 PM on April 28, 2005


Apparently, according to my girlfriend, this is a relatively common Japanese business practice, at some levels. When buyers at the Tsukiji fish market tie at auction, for instance, they do a round of RPS right there to settle it.

Still, though, roshambo-ing for $20 million is just absurd. This makes me wish badly that Dave Barry were still active.
posted by Occultatio at 10:58 PM on April 28, 2005


Mebbe this quality of decision-making required the Japanese Co to start liquidating its assets in the first place.

trivia: rsp is called 'jan-ken' in Japan, short for jan-ken-pon!
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:33 PM on April 28, 2005


roshambo-ing for $20 million is just absurd

I'm going to be the guy who says it's not $20 million, but rather the 12% take of $20 million total sale price that the auction house gets to keep. The auction house only gets a couple million out of this, the seller gets the rest.

So, they roshambo-ed for a $2 million deal. Still just as weird, but more technically correct.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 11:36 PM on April 28, 2005


So, they roshambo-ed for a $2 million deal. Still just as weird, but more technically correct.

I'm surprised an insider from one auction house wasnt tempted to smuggle information to the other side for, say, oh a cool $200,000
posted by vacapinta at 11:40 PM on April 28, 2005


obviously, the japanese are learning decision making tactics from our president
posted by pyramid termite at 1:02 AM on April 29, 2005


Hee. I deal with first and second graders in a library on a regular basis. I use rock-paper-scissors quite often to settle disagreements over who gets which book this week. (100+ kids all discovered Magic Tree House books the same week, and the library only has 25.) The kids like it because it's hard to cheat; and I like it because the one who loses doesn't get mad at me for making the choice.
posted by jlkr at 3:40 AM on April 29, 2005


yeah, it must be nice to be that rich and get the two largest auction houses to bend completely to your will...
posted by gren at 3:45 AM on April 29, 2005


this reinstalls my respect for high art as a rational investment.
posted by Busithoth at 5:35 AM on April 29, 2005


The reasoning behind the making the decision behind the game is actually rather sound...if you understand Japanese business culture, and more subtly Japanese (and actually most Asian) culture(s). One of the fundimentals of most asian cultures is saving face, or saving and having honour. Given such a large business prospect is very honorable, and so anybody that is given the job gains a lot of prestige. And as the article stated, the client thought that both firms were very good and therefore could not make a decision between them. If he had decided to split it 50-50 both companies would be disgraced for not being good enough to get the whole contract, and just deciding one or another would show that one was better. Therefore the only way to show that both were equally qualified is to put it through something where both sides have an equal opportunity, and so the decision is no longer the client's, but instead a decision made by chance and how the opposing parties react. That way neither company would loose face for not getting the contract, and both would have the honour of being given the chance.

All in all, a very odd way to deal with large business decisions, but goodness does it make for good stories.
Satyagraha
posted by thebestsophist at 1:44 PM on April 29, 2005


I'm surprised an insider from one auction house wasnt tempted to smuggle information to the other side for, say, oh a cool $200,000

Who's to say it didn't. It's not exactly something that would have made the article.
posted by gummo at 1:45 PM on April 29, 2005


ps. being a fan of "Friends", I always pick like Joey. Fire. Fire beats everything.
posted by gummo at 1:45 PM on April 29, 2005


Yeah, I don't see what's irrational about this. I sometimes flip a coin when I really can't make a choice. The thing is, sometimes there really is not a better option. If both options are really equivalently deserving, then chance is the fairest way to move ahead. Accepting that not everything has a "right" answer is a good thing, I think. It's made decision-making easier for me to realize that sometimes it just doesn't matter.

If a friend & I are standing on a corner stuck with the "do you want to go here or there" thing, if both parties truly don't care, then flipping a coin makes sense. If the idea of flipping a coin doesn't seem sensible, then that reveals to you that you actually do have a preference, just one you were for some reason not acknowledging.
posted by mdn at 1:53 PM on April 29, 2005


ps. being a fan of "Friends", I always pick like Joey. Fire. Fire beats everything.

::Pshhhhh::

Water balloon beats fire.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 1:39 PM on April 30, 2005


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