Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WIP Wednesday: It's not cheating, it's strategy

Yesterday I heard on NPR about a controversy brewing on Jeopardy that did not involve host Alex Trebek's facial hair.  There was a contestant, Arthur Chu, who had been using game theory to play the game.  Some viewers didn't like it; they weren't happy with the effect that those strategies had on their experience of the game show and perhaps found them a little 'villainous'.

For example, he was searching for the Daily Doubles on the board by going across the rows, starting closer to the bottom to maximize his chances of catching those clues that allow you to double your money.  It's harder to follow along when you are crossing categories like this and enter into various subjects at the more advanced, 'expensive' level of questions.  He would also race as quickly as possible through the board to try and catch as many clues as possible to rack up his total before the round ended.  Here's the story I heard (fingers crossed that the embed code works!):

Personally, I feel like whatever you can do within the rules to maximize your potential to bring home the bucks, go for it.  Contestants are not required to play a certain way, and certainly not just to satisfy the way I find it easier to watch.  They only have one chance to win this money, they should get all that they can.  And after all, the best strategy can only do so much to improve your performance.  In the end, you have to be able to answer the questions in order to control the board at all.

Using whatever strategy you can to get things done is not something we should feel guilty about.  To that end, I'm not going to stress over having my mom sew in the first sleeve of my cardigan for me, or for having her help me pick up the stitches for my ruffles.  I have sewn along the straight edges, but setting in the sleeves would probably have taken me three times as long, and I'm sure there would have been some tears of frustration involved.  Similarly, I know I can pick up stitches, but I haven't done it enough to know that I would be picking them up uniformly, and I might have come out with a slightly disfigured ruffle to start.

What's important to me is that for the most part, I am the one making this cardigan.  If I had to, I could do it all by myself.  But I'm not all by myself, and at this point I would rather try and get this done than be able to claim every last stitch as my own.  You have to take advantage of what you have, knowing that it's ultimately your own achievement.

And with that, here's my cardigan so far:

The other sleeve is also done, just not sewn in yet.  I'm nearly done with the right front band, and after that, I'll sew those to the edge and then do the neckband, plus some beading.  Then I'll have my first cardigan!

Because of the Olympics starting on Friday, I'm not sure how much time I'll be able to divert from my socks for the cardigan, but I'm hoping that perhaps I can knit those and still have time to finish this in time for my trip to Phoenix.

For more WIP Wednesday posts, go to Tami's Amis.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting concept. Having studied a bit of game theory for my degree, I think the idea is brilliant. But it's interesting to see the public reaction. Your cardigan is looking good!