Please More and More "More Entropy, Please"!

I wrote an article More Entropy, Please in June. Based on the article, we demonstrated a game in Debconf15 to promote randomness.

It's based on Monty Hall problem [1], and now we have three versions of the MEP game. I describe these three versions here in my own words and add an explanation why it is effective to explain randomness and cryptography.

Lastly, I conclude that it's more than my capability, and I ask you to propagate this game and idea behind that.


Cast of the MEP Game

We have five persons in the game.

  • Host

    Host runs this game

  • Persons to represent Three Doors (a door with CAR and 2 doors with GOATs)

    1. Lady
    2. Boy
    3. Girl
  • Player

    Player's purpose is to get a CAR

The Process of the MEP Game

  1. Host puts a CAR behind one of doors.
  2. Host asks Player the initial choice.
  3. Player answers the initial choice.
  4. Host opens another door with a GOAT (which must not be Player's choice).
  5. Host asks Player the final choice: Stick or Switch?
  6. Player answers the final choice.
  7. Host opens a door of the final choice.
  8. If it's a CAR, Player wins.

Let's Play!

Children Version

When Player wins, he gets a candy from the Host family.

On Sunday, it was presented in Heidelberg, Germany at Debconf15. Here is the copy of slides: More Entropy, Please! in Debconf15

Adult Version

Next day after our presentation at Debconf15, I got another version, that is for adults.

Here is the rule of adult version.

  • Player pays 7 UNIT to join a game.
  • When Player wins, he gets 10 UNIT.

Would you like to play this game?

According to probability theory, Host has a small advantage (given the condition a player knows Marilyn's strategy).

If Player can access some information somehow, there will be a possibility Player can earn money.

On Monday, I talked to Adrian and asked if he would like to play. His reply was: It's ILLEGAL in Germany. Umm... it is very unfortunate.

NOTE: It is illegal to play this game in some or most countries.

Business Version

Then, I considered more and came up another version.

That is my (free and open) proposal to Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This proposal is free (to copy, modify, run, etc.). It's up to organization if they will run or not.

  • The MEP game option will be added to 'new application to be an associate member' process.
  • When a person would like to apply the membership, there will be an option for donation. Donation would be USD25 * N.
  • The person who adds N donation can play the MEP game as many as N times.
  • Suppose that the person will win M times (for N times tries). Then, the person will get M of NeuG USB Devices.
  • Currently, NeuG USB Devices is available by 50USD for non-member and 40USD for member. The expectation of this option is USD37.5, thus, it is worth for a person to apply this program who wants to be a member and who wants the device.

Would you like to run this game?

On Tuesday, I talked John about this proposal. He was right to answer me that such an option when raising donation would be prohibited or regulated, and we should be careful enough to check. Umm... I was expected it's directly implementable as soon, but it was not the case. Unfortunate.

Conclusion on Wednesday

I realized that my versions are immature. But I believe that there are many possible improvements.

So, I got an idea to change the title to: Please More and More "More Entropy, Please"!

That is, I ask you, my friends, to improve this game to create your own version and play that among your friends.

I don't claim any copyright on this article. Or it is licensed by CC-BY-SA 4.0 International.

The offer gift would be best if it's NeuG USB Device (as in the third version). Because it's functionality is to generate randomness, it could be a symbol against surveillance.

Well, you know, then, I could sell more NeuG USB Device to the world. :-)

An Explanation

When you play this game, you should consider:

  • As Host

    You are like system admin or who implement the system or encryption software.

    The behavior should be random and computation time should be constant-time, or else you will give some information to Player to guess.

    I recommend a person who runs this game as Host to use good random generator always, to avoid a possible cheating attacks by Player.

  • As Doors

    You should be careful enough about your secret or privacy. Please protect your secret as possible, to inhibit guess by Player. The best strategy would be you don't know if it's CAR or GOAT either in fact but behave as if you know everything (including other Doors and Host).

  • As Player

    If you are like some governments or big companies, it is highly likely that you would like to take a strategy of "massive surveillance". Please don't do that. That is my sincere wish.

Post Script

My first UNIX experience was with 4.2BSD. When I login to the system, it asked me: "Would you like to play a game?"

I now realized that it was a risky game in my life.

In the end, the game of UNIX itself invited me here. Yes, the name of UNIX variant is: GNU's Not Unix!