Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

RPS — seriously? It ain’t all random.


Let me begin by saying, this is not the post I thought I would write today, but….

then I dropped into Megan Willome’s beautifully designed new website and read her post, Rock-Paper-Scissors and I had to share!

Let me also say, I had no idea. Seriously. I did not know there is a world federation for those who compete in Rock Paper Scissors. Now that I think about it, I didn’t even know there was a way to compete at RPS. Imagine. Hundreds of people world wide competing in what I thought, but now find out as not to be the case, the randomness of RPS.

Yes folks. You heard it here first. Or maybe somewhere else but what the hey!  I’m tellin’ you now — RPS is not a random game. Nor is it a game for sissies!  But seriously, we humans are not random. We are predictable. We seek patterns. We seek the deliberate.

Huh? Seriously? It’s not all random?

Dang. And here I thought all those life-changing decisions I made playing RPS with myself were answers founded on solid evidence and research. And heck,  my answers always surprised me — and if they surprise me, they must be good answers right?

I mean seriously, when trying to decide between wearing the red dress or the black pant suit, I play RPS with myself and always wear whatever my left hand says. Of course, sometimes, and don’t hate me for this, I mighta cheated just a little bit. I mean, I don’t own a red dress so really, it was kinda predictable what my left hand would choose.

I know. I know. Self-defeating behaviours but really, I wanted to spice up my morning just a little bit and thought, I could fool my lefthand into choosing the red if I told it I had a choice.

How hard we fall when the one we are fooling is only ourself.

But honestly, it seems to me that always, the left hand knows the answers. Heck. It’s not as well-used as my right hand so it must have extra energy to make these life-changing decisions, right? It can ‘see’ better than my right hand which is always busy taking care of cutting, chopping, driving, drinking, eating, earning, fishing, fixing… you get the picture. My right hand is my dominant useful hand. My left has much more time to just laze about and ponder life’s dilemmas. Which is why, when I play RPS with myself, I hold fast to my conviction that the left hand knows.

And now, I discover after reading Megan’s post that maybe, my left hand has been playing tricks on me. Maybe its decision-making skills are not that random, not that sound. Maybe, it really is predictable just how and what it will choose.

In the spirit of true confessions, I must acknowledge that I have broken one of the cardinal rules of RPS — Rule no. 3. Always establish what is to be decided or whether the match is to be played for honour. 

I sometimes know what I want the answer to be, and tell my left-hand what the right-hand is going to choose.

I know. I know. Cheater/Cheater. But honestly, sometimes I just don’t want to go for Chinese. I really do want Greek. And the right hand will always take the easy route out, especially when everyone else is looking to eat chinese. So, surreptitiously, I tell my left hand to go for the scissors, ’cause I know the right will always vote paper when the stakes are about food.


No more.

Another game toast on the playing fields of life. Another bubble burst in the illusions of every day.

The left hand knew all along what the right was doing.

It wasn’t random.

It was all a big act.


Back to the drawing boards. Gotta go find me another game to play.

(and yes, this entire post was inspired by Megan and my horrifying realization that all along I’ve been playing RPS by myself when really, I could have been playing it for fame and fortune! ‘Cause seriuosly, I’m that good at it!  🙂 )

find out how you can dominate the world of RPS, HERE, at the World RPS Society website — and yes, they do have tips on “How you can beat anyone at Rock Paper Scissors” — hint… it’s all about manipulating your opponent into not choosing one element, like rocks, because, so they say, we humans are terrible at trying to be random. We just ain’t so.



Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

9 thoughts on “RPS — seriously? It ain’t all random.

  1. Great post! You’re not cheating! Funny how I can’t write… maybe cuzzz I know I should be in the shower right now heading for work.. and not reading blogs! lol.


  2. Was it you, or someone else that once told me that when you have to make an important decision, write out the question with your dominant hand (in my case, the right) and write the answer with the other hand? It takes longer to answer (does this make the answer more thoughtful? I don’t know.) even though I practised in grade school to write with my left and also to write in mirror handwriting hahaha


    • Yup.. That was me. 🙂 And it’s true. The non-dominant hand has greater access to unused neural pathways because…. well, it’s just not as set in its ways! 🙂 and btw — the point isn’t to write ‘beautifully’, it’s to write fast and furiously in the other hand! Silly girl. And here you were, all along, trying to do it in reverse! (love mirror handwriting — gotta go try it. Maybe I’ll find another way to fool myself into believing my left hand knows what it’s doing. 🙂 )


  3. The poet Marge Piercy has a collection “Stone, Paper, Knife”, one of my favorites of hers. I always think of it whenever someone mentions RPS.

    I am endlessly fascinated by what people do.


  4. Ok I have read this and my mind can not come up with anything to say about the post I keep thinking of the childrens show “Regular Show” Little Leo loves the show and there was an episode about RPS and how it is evil and for some reason that is all I can think after reading this…………..lol


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