Heroes die once

Imagine an eccentric tycoon offering you $10 million to play Russian roulette, i.e., to put a revolver containing one bullet in the 6 available chambers to your head and pull the trigger. Each realization would count as one history, for a total of 6 possible histories with equal probabilities. 5 out these 6 histories would lead to enrichment; 1 would lead to a statistic, that is, an obituary with an embarrassing (but certainly original) cause of death. The problem is that only one of the histories is observed in reality; and the winner of $10 million would elicit the admiration and praise of some fatuous journalist (the very same who unconditionally admire the Forbes 500 billionaires).

If a 25 year old roulette player played every year, there is a very slim chance that he would make it till his 50th birthday. But, if there are say there are 1000s of 25 year old players. We can then expect to see  a handful of extremely rich survivors (and a very large cemetery).

Consider the possibility that the Russian roulette winner would be used as a role model by his family, friends and neighbors. Wouldn’t that be a sight?


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