zalman meets zelda

haim shapira is one of the best public speakers in Israel.

really TED quality

he is talented in many areas and his books are highly recommended.

in one of his talks in introduction to game theory, he discusses selection of a partner under the following scenario:

a group of men has to choose a partner from a group of women. the number of man and women is the same. so no worries, everyone will find a partner.

in each turn, every men sends a note to a single women.

if a women gets one note, they are a couple. both go upstairs (there is a party one the roof).

if a women gets more then one note, she gets to choose a man from those that sent her the note. the men that do not get chosen by the women stay on for the next round.

now, who would you send a note to?

let’s say the men and women are sitting in alphabetical order.

the first women is A

more specifically, Anglina Jolie.

would you send her a note?

well, yes! how often would you get a chance to party with Angelina as you partner?

but wait. this is where game theory starts. game theory is actually interactive decision making. it really depends what other men are going to do. you do not want to be one of several who have sent angelina a note, not chosen by her, and lose a chance on another, perhaps less attractive women – yet attractive, who will be taken by another note (man).

what you definitely do not want happening, is to get the least attractive mate. Zelda.

so now you strategy depends on:

– do you hope for the best, Angelina,


– avoiding the worst, Zelda.

this will really effect your decision making, as well as the strategies other players have chosen.

interestingly, depending on who the men you are playing with, there is a greater than zero chance that Angelina will not get a single note and remain un-partnered for the next round. what a waste!

so much for the paradigm in game theory.

many of us are willing to let go of Angelina, but do not want to end up with Zelda.

just the two of us, Zalman and Zelda, waiting till the final round while everyone is having a party upstairs.

plus the uncomfortable realization that we are the least desired and last option.

have you ever gotten that feeling?  it may be a last minute deal on a vacation package?  a great deal on a used car?

now, some of us do not like spending time with that uncomfortable feeling, called cognitive dissonance.

for others, life is a maze-way of cognitive dissonance

us humans have an internal mechanism, a powerful one, that will take us away from that uneasy cognitive dissonance.  denial! it is a feature, not a bug.

to make a short story longer, i am doing a deal – making an investment. after looking for a potential partner for a long time, and getting many ‘No’s, i finally have a partner and a deal in the works

feels like zalman meets zelda

now i need to figure out which one is me, zalman or zelda.

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One Response to “zalman meets zelda”

  1. David Pundak Says:


    You are Adi in this game and Zalman is only a mask you would like to wear from time to time.


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