# You are predictable

November 15, 2012 | By Abraham | 30 Comments

Take this simple test if you don’t believe it…

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1. Patrick says:

Not sure you did it right then…. it’s not really about being predictable, its all about math. Every step the squares you could be at access. After the first step its all about even or odd numbers. After you move seven times [odd] you will be on either 1,5,7, 9 (if you number them like a phone keypad). After moving 3 [odd] times from one of those spaces, you will be on either 2,6, or 8. After another 7[odd] times, you’ll be on either 5, 7 or 9.

The reason even/odd matters is this. There are really only two sets of spaces, the ones at 1 3 5 7 9 and 2 4 6 8, although he removes 3 at the beginning, so you’re left with 1 5 7 9 and 2 4 6 8. When you start the game, you’re at either 2 or 4. Moving an even number of times from one of these sets keeps you in the same set. Try it, move two times from space number 2, and you’ll be either on 2 4 or 6. If you move an odd number of times you end up in the opposite set.

So, when you start in the odd set, move an odd number of times, you end up in the even set, (so he can safely remove an odd number). Then you move an odd number of times end up in the odd set and he removes and even numbered space.

Basically he keeps taking a number out of the opposite set until you’re left with only one choice.

[1 5 7 9] [2 4 6 8]
[1 5 7 9] [2 6 8]
[ 5 7 9] [2 6 8]
[ 5 7 9] [ 6 8]
[ 5 9] [ 6 8]
[ 5 9] [ 8]
[ 9] [ 8]
[ 9] [ ]

And at the end, you have to be on space 9

1. Ann says:

I knew there’d be a mathematical explanation for it, I just would never have worked it out! Thanks for ‘splainin’!

1. kim says:

that’s what i did, actually. he said you had to move. he didn’t say you couldn’t move back to where you had been once you moved forward.

1. Josh S says:

I kept trying to get to the ones I knew he’d say I wouldn’t choose (and I was right about each one) but I couldn’t get there. Leaving me to realize — hey, this is a math game and I can’t win! ;)

2. slayerwulfe says:

each time he said I predict you didn’t choose? that was my choice except for one. it’s not math it’s manipulation how many of you would simply go back and forth on connecting squares? predictability counts on the fact that the majority of you would not do it.

1. Andy says:

It’s math. You did it wrong. See above explanation.

I just went back and forth on connecting squares and he was still correct in his predictions. Which means that both of us are predictable and neither of us is special. Get over it.

1. kim says:

well, i’ve always sucked at math … but i did follow his instructions to the letter. he told me to move one space with each number he called out, and i did. he didn’t say i couldn’t go backwards as well as forward, so i did. not just back and forth on the same two squares, but … back and forth, here and there, along with just … forth, and, sometimes, just back. and i was on the arrows when he said i wasn’t. so how did i screw up, again?

1. Tim Allen says:

If you’re getting it wrong, what you may be doing is moving across an empty space. You’re only allowed to move to the next square. For example, when he has taken away the house you can’t move from the V to the arrows.

3. Marci says:

Anyone that says they’re not predictable just don’t know how to follow instructions. Be proud of yourselves…

4. Coolchick207 says:

I ended up on 4 different squares that he said “won’t be”. I checked and I obeyed the rules…. odd.

5. turtlegirl784 says:

Bah. He’s not predicting anything. He only removes squares that are impossible for people to have “chosen”, until there’s only one square left. If this was actually based on research into how people react to different symbols, THEN I would be impressed.

6. Roger Walker says:

I predict that I can not follow directions. So far as I know I didn’t go in a diagonal, but the hen game was nothing like his prediction.

7. ik says:

The instructions say you can move back and forth between the same square as long as you do not move diagonally. I did it twice, the first time he was “wrong” three times, the second four times. What are we doing “wrong” to make us end on the square he predicts we will not ?

8. Jesse G says:

it’s amazing how many people on here are proud that they must be “unpredictable.” The choices he took away are all mathematically impossible choices, so you either missed a count, moved twice on a count, or moved diagonally. You can’t call yourself unpredictable for being unable to follow simple directions.. the whole thing is just a simple math trick.