# Culture Idea: Chance Based Currency (Part 2)

The next part of my explanation of the Chance Based Currency idea!

(See part 1 here: http://evansforever.com/culture-idea-chance-based-currency-part-1/)

The first problem I’d like to address is that it would be very hard to deal with large sums of money.

• Using high felix dice, like a 100 felix die, would make the seller risk gaining only 1 F in exchange for an item. On the other hand, the purchaser is also risking paying 100 F for the item. On average, the seller would make about 50 F per sell, but that’d only be after a while.
• As said in the first post, all the seller can do to decrease the risk of having a low F roll is to refuse to accept high felix dice. However, if the government is like ours (the US), then it’d be against the law to not accept currency the government has decided has value.
• In the US, if someone tries to pay you with legitimate US currency (and you’re in the US), unless you accept the currency the buyer has the right to take whatever it was that he was purchasing without paying you. The dice government might have similar laws, or they might only have laws for specific dice types, or maybe none at all
• Another problem would be having to make a 100 sided die. Perhaps the government would make dice that go up in intervals greater than 1. If so, then a 100 felix die could be ten sided, going up by ten, or 20 sided going up by five, or maybe even 5 sided, going up by 20. This would clearly affect the formula to calculate average F, which would become as follows: Divide the max felix of the die by two, then add (the lowest value it can roll*1/2).
• This would put the 10 sided 100 felix die’s average F at 55, the 20 sided 100 felix die’s average F at 52.5, and the 5 sided 100 felix die’s value at 60! Wow, and I thought this system was interesting already, but with accounting for minimum values as  well  as  maximum values makes this all the more fascinating
• And what if the die didn’t go up by the same interval each time? What if you had a 100 felix die, but it had only 6 sides, which were 1,2,3,4,5, and 100? It’s still 100 felix, because felix is the potential roll, but it would have nowhere near the purchasing power as the other examples given.
• If this were the case, the way you’d calculate the average F is by adding together all the sides and dividing that number by the number of sides on the dice. For example, 1+2+3+4+5+100 =115, 115/6=19.1666667, which is the average F of that die.
• This method could work with other dice, for example 1+2+3+4+5=15, 15/5=3, which we already know is the average F for a 5 sided 5 felix die (man, now I have to say how many sides it has also…), but it’s harder and more time-consuming than the normal calculation.
• Another thing I thought of about this idea is that it’d provide another way to gamble without any felix loss; roll an “x” sided die which has all of its faces equal to zero but one, which would be some high number. Perhaps the government would earn extra money by selling dice such as these to gambling houses.

That’s all for now

~ George

# Culture Idea: Chance Based Currency (Part 1)

What if there was an economy which had legal tinder that was made of dice? I’m going to call the currency Felix (“lucky” in Latin). For example, a two felix “bill” would be a two-sided coin, a six felix “bill” would be a normal 6-sided dice, and I don’t know how they would work with hundred felix “bill”‘s. When you pay for something, you pull out your dice and roll them. Whatever value they land on is how much they are worth for that transaction; you could have a 100 sided die, but if it lands on 1 then it’s only worth one dollar. Perhaps when paying something, you have to bring out enough dice to have the price be halfway between the minimum you could roll and the maximum you could roll (I’ll explain that more later), and after the cashier checks to make sure that everything adds up properly you roll the dice. You pay whatever value that comes up is, whether cheaper than or more expensive than the original price.

This could lead to an interesting treatment of the value of money. Here’s some math to explain: You’re buying a new hammer that is worth 5 F [F is absolute money (after the die has been rolled), and felix is potential money (pre-roll), e.g. a 10 felix die rolls 5 F]. If you have a 5 felix die, you still probably wouldn’t be able to afford it. This is because, on average, the die wouldn’t roll a five, and thus, on average, the seller would lose money. The seller doesn’t want to lose money, so he wouldn’t sell the hammer for a 5 felix die.

The way you’d calculate the average value of a die is to divide the top value it could roll in half and add 0.5. The additional 0.5 is because the die can’t ever roll zero, so it’s not the halfway point between the top value and zero that you’re looking for, it’s the halfway point between the top value and one. This would place the average value of the 5 felix die at 3 F. To get you’re hammer you need an average of 2 more F, so if subtract 0.5 from 2 and double the outcome you see that you’d need a 3 felix die to complete the transaction (I assume that a culture based on this currency would figure out how to make a three-sided die).

So now you have two dice which have an average F of 5, enough to satisfy the shopkeeper. You roll your dice. The 3 felix die lands on one, good for you, but the 5 felix die lands on 5, for a total of 6 F. Your heart sinks. The shopkeeper happily pockets the dice, having earned an extra F, and gives you the hammer.

Later, your friend sees the nice quality of your hammer and gives you a 9 felix die to buy him one. The interesting thing about this situation is that a 9 felix die also has an average value of 5 F, even though a 5 felix die + a 3 felix die = 8 felix. The difference is that every die has a minimum roll of 1, so the minimum F for two dice is 2, meanwhile the minimum F for one die is 1. The added price of 1 felix accounts for the added risk to the shopkeeper of 1 felix.

You visit the shopkeeper again, and he seems a bit worried about your 9 felix die, but doesn’t stop you from using it to pay. You roll, and his fears are confirmed. The die landed on 2, giving it a value of 2 F, 3 F less than the asking price! You can see that the shopkeeper is upset at being shortchanged as he pockets the die, but you’re elated. You can’t wait to get the hammer to your friend so that you can tell him what a steal you got it for.

In this system, most sellers would always want to be paid in the highest number of the lowest denomination dice they could get, at least for the more important deals,  so that they are guaranteed at least a certain amount of F, even though the fewer dice that are used the higher the felix value is. Some shopkeepers wouldn’t allow dice with too high of a felix value to be used to purchase items, meanwhile others might make a sale by requiring the average F to be less than halfway between the top value and one. Gambling would be easy in this culture; simply have both players roll a 100 sided die (or whatever they use instead) and switch dice. One might roll 50, and the other might roll 20, who gets 30 F while maintaining the same amount of felix.

After all that though, the only more flawed currency system that I’ve seen anywhere (not that I’ve looked for any) was this one:

I can’t decide which flaws I should go over first, but this post is too long already, so I’m going to split it into a number of smaller parts focusing on specific problems with this system and addressing them. These I will write and publish those parts until I’ve gone over this idea thoroughly, or I’m tired of it.

~ George

# How To Randomly Choose A Winner Using Only A Watch

Do you ever need an easy, random way to choose who among you and your friend(s) can go first? Just look at your watch.

##### How To Replicate A Coin Flip With A Watch

My friend and I often have trouble deciding who goes first. We usually end up doing some sort of coin toss, but (over) half the time we don’t have coins. This is my solution: I’ve only tried this with a digital watch, but I’m sure it could be applied to analog watches too in some way (I’ll update this if I can think of how). Have the other person choose Even or Odd. Then look at your watch’s seconds (or minutes, if necessary). If the number is even then whoever chose even wins, and if the number is odd then whoever chose odd wins. Simple as that.

##### How To Choose A Winner From A Small Group of People Without Checking Your Watch More Than Twice

The basis of the randomization process is the seconds on your digital watch (or the seconds hand on your analog watch). Give everyone a number, starting with one and working your way up from there. Then check your watch and see how many seconds have passed since the last minute.

• If there are…
• 2 people and number of seconds that have passed is below 30, then person #1 wins. Otherwise he loses
• 3 people and number of seconds that have passed is below 20 then person #1 wins, if the number is equal to or above 40 then person #3 wins, and otherwise person #2 wins
• 4 people, do the same thing as with three people, only the seconds are split into four areas, 0-14, 15-29, 30-44, and 45-59
• 5 people, analog watches would have a harder time, but digital watches’ would have the five areas be 0-11, 12-23, 24-35, 36-47, and 48-60
• 6 people, it should be obvious if you’ve read this far, just divide 60 by 6
• 7 people, I don’t know yet
• 8 people, then split the group into two groups of four and check your watch, selecting one person from both groups at once. Then check your watch again to see who of the two of them wins
• 9 people, split the group into three groups of three and check your watch. Pick the winner from each group and check your watch again using the method for three people
• 10 or 12 people , instead of giving each person 6 seconds give them each five, that way it would work for an analog watch
• For greater numbers, try dividing 60 by the number, breaking them into groups, or using my next suggestion which I came up with while writing this one
##### How To Choose A Winner From A Large Group Using A Watch (Or A Coin)

Have everybody pick 1 or 2 (this would also work with heads or tails). Decide if 1 equals odd or even, and decide that 2 is the other. Check your watch, and say which group stays based on which number they picked. Keep doing this until there is only one person left, and if everybody goes out in one round then have a do-over. If everybody keeps picking the same thing, try having them pick between other numbers, letters, or even colors, and keep switching up what they have to choose from.

~ George