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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I don't understand game theory. One of its application is in studying people in lines. I enjoy observing that.

Today I washed my car.

On Tuesdays at the Shell station here in Henderson, you get half off at the automatic car wash with a fill-up. After filling up, you enter that you want a car wash, it is added to the bill and you get a 5 digit code to enter at the car wash.

That code is good for two weeks so you don't have to get your car washed on that Tuesday, but about two weeks ago I didn't have time to get my car washed immediately and then I lost the ticket.

So today I was going to be sure to get it washed immediately.

A lot of people get their cars washed on Tuesday so there is sometimes a line. After I got my gas, I pulled over into the line. Four cars were ahead of me. I decided that was too many so I went on and visited Mother.

When I got back, the line was three cars. I pulled into the line.

I noticed that people would pull over close, see the line, and leave. One woman briefly got into the fifth place but thought better and left.

No one got into fifth place and stayed.

After the line moved up, people would join it. When I left the line was four cars long.

I concluded that people were willing to wait for three cars but not for four.

We are lemmings; we all do the same thing.

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