Author Topic: What's the strategy?  (Read 588 times)

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Offline Jim Nunziato

What's the strategy?
« on: March 29, 2016, 11:16:35 PM »

The warden welcomed the 23 new prisoners.  They were all in for life without parole. After orientation, he proposed a challenge to them.

He said: "There is one room in the prison, called, "the switch-room," that has nothing in it but two light switches, labeled "A" and "B". They are not connected to anything, and none of you know what position each switch is now in. At various times, whenever I please, I will randomly take one of you to the room, at which time you must change the position of one (and only one) switch. You may move either switch, but you must move one of the two switches to its opposite position. Then I will escort you back to your cell. I may take the same one of you to the room two or three times in a row, or spread it around, however I see fit. At some point, every one of you will have been taken to the room an equal number of times to change the position of one of the two switches."

Here's the challenge- "Whenever any one of you thinks he knows for sure when everyone has been to the switch-room at least once, he will let me know. If he is correct, you will all be set free. But if he is wrong, you will all be fed to the alligators." 

Now, here's the deal- "For today only, I will allow you all one hour together as a group to develop a strategy. After that, you will all be confined to your cells with no further contact with each other. You must decide how you will determine when every one of you has been to the room at least once."

What strategy did they develop?
"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."  Thomas Jefferson

If Hillary was the answer, then it must have been a really stupid question!