Sunday, September 06, 2009

Are Coin Flips Fair?

Interesting discussion here (via Thom).

Personally I'm inclined to think this isn't much of a problem, at least provided that parties don't have/try to use this knowledge. The fairness of a coin flip rests on epistemic randomness - because it may be the case that I have flipped the coin already, so the answer is determined but unknown to you when you call (since the coin is covered by my hand).

People with the knowledge here may be able to eke out a slight advantage, but then the knowledge can also be used to counteract such gamesmanship (e.g. by 'randomizing' whether you flip the coin in your hand after catching it). A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, at least if it's the preserve of the few, but if all have it the problems can be overcome.

1 comment:

  1. This might interest you.