Bad news for my plan to sell the simulator as a magic mirror. The marketing department tells me that I’m missing my key use case. It seems that the market for magic mirrors is composed almost entirely of insecure, vain old tyrants like the Evil Queen, who are not really looking for objective information about who’s the fairest, but for flattery. Apparently Donald Trump is willing to spend up to $5 Billion of our money, but only for a bracket that will always declare that he’s the fairest.
So, let’s go back to the Evil Queen use case. She wants the mirror to tell her that she’s the fairest, but the annoying mirror says that Snow White is more fair. Maybe I can fill a market niche by using the simulator to find a bracket that will make second-seeded Evil Queen win over a first-seeded Snow White. But the fairest of them all bracket we built is won by the Evil Queen only 22% of the time, and chooses Snow White in 56% of trials. Evil Queen is not going to pay the big bucks for that result. I’ll probably be thrown in the dungeon, or at least ridiculed for “fake tourneygeekery” in her tweets. My computer will be seized and disabled, giving new meaning to poisoned apple.
We need a new bracket, and, while we’re at it, a new marketing campaign.
For a clue as to how to build the new bracket, we turn back to our effort to use the ugly bottom effect. There, the idea was to banish the second seed to the remote outskirts of the bracket so that it wouldn’t so often steal points from the number one seed. In a seeded tourney, we can do that more precisely than we did there. We’ll use the same cascade bracket we used for the FOTA, but we’ll start with Snow White playing the three seed in round A, and make her fight her way through the 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 seeds in the B, C, D, E, and F rounds before she gets a possible match against Evil Queen in the final.
It kind of works. Evil Queen wins 55% of the time, and Snow White only 32%. Snow manages to run the gauntlet and make the final 44% of the time, where she wins more than three quarters – she’d that much better than Evil Queen. Fairness (C) is only 80.63%, but we obviously weren’t worried too much about fairness.
OK, now we have our product again. What shall we do about a celebrity endorsement? Donald Trump won’t return my calls, and any way I’m not sure we want him. His business ventures have a way of ending up in bankruptcy, and recently a lot of his close associates seem to be being indicted. Scratch the “Trump bracket” from the list.
How about the “Evil Queen” bracket? Nope. I’d never get a license, and the Mouse House is chock-a-block with lawyers instructed to maintain strict control over Disney characters. They’re probably already mad at me for quoting correctly from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the title to my last post.
There’s a local woman who’s recently become notable for trying to enhance her position by banishing a rival. Dolly is not her real name. So I’ll call this sabotage bracket the Dolly bracket.
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