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Game Theory – Why Suicide is a poor strategy.

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Took 5 years to learn how to make a custom title.
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Originally this was just a vague impression which solidified when I tried to explain it to a friend, but it seemed to have an impact so I figured I should post it here, of course slightly altered so its not so specific to my friend:

Many people out there hate life, and many of those have good reason to hate their lives, and there comes a time when they consider killing themselves, and yes, this is an option, but not a very good one.

Ultimately it boils down to mathematics. There is an area of mathematics called "Game Theory" which is all about finding the easiest way to arrive at the best outcome in any situation, the most obvious use of Game Theory is in AI opponents in games, unless there is some underlying mathematical formula for the perfect game (which is tricky but not always impossible) then the best approach is almost always to just try everything; the more different options you try the more likely you will find a positive outcome, there is so much more to it but it pretty much boils down to that. The more you restrict your options the less likely you will have a positive outcome so you should always try your options in the order that allows you to try as many as possible so if there is a choice between two options, A and B, so that if you try A you can’t try B afterwards you should always try B first and then try A, that way you get to try both instead of just 1.

Think of it like this, life is a game, the more you enjoy life the higher your score. If you enjoy life your score is 1 or higher, if you want to die it is -1 or lower, if you are dead, it is 0. The idea of suicide is that 0 is better than a minus number, however, ANY positive number is better than 0 so you should always try every other option before death because any of those options could potentially bring you above 0 but choosing death gets you stuck at 0 forever.

So, short version, never give up, put your options in order, most likely to make your life better first where possible, but making sure to maximise how many you can try before running out of options, which would obviously put suicide at the very end of the list. If you make it all the way to suicide and there is nothing else you can try then you have to decide if suicide is better than your current option, but there are almost always more options; not knowing anything about who is reading this here are some general options you can try:

1) Changing job
2) Getting professional help
3) Taking up a new hobby
4) Move to a new country
5) Go on a diet
6) Beat the crap out of whoever is making you miserable
7) Leave your abusive spouse
8) Join the circus
9) Run away and start a new life
10) Start a business
11) Buy takeout
12) Draw a penis on your face and see how many churches you can get kicked out of in 24 hours

Literally anything is an option, the list goes on and on and right at the bottom is suicide, just because you don’t think it will work doesn’t mean you shouldn't try it, because any chance may be the one that gives you a positive outcome and it’s not like if you wait too long you won’t get to kill yourself anymore, that option never goes away, so take your time and try all the others, no matter how dumb.

Even shorter version: Don’t give up until you have tried everything because if you are going to kill yourself anyway, what have you got to lose from trying something else first?


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This is a great post Dante, you almost lost me at "mathematics" :) my right brain(thinking) was never good at that :) I'm glad I read on.
Excellent and thank you for posting.
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~*Mod Extraordinaire*~
Staff Alumni
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wow, you are clever! I'm stunned by this extroadinary post. I think it should be stickied. It's a very well thought out game theory, like brian I was stumped when it came tothe maths bit lol but glad I kept reading, thanks so much for sharing this with all of us, I am sure it will help some of us!


~*Mod Extraordinaire*~
Staff Alumni
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bumping this as i keep reading it lol and want others to see it :) it has helped me a lot over the past few days, ty dante


Took 5 years to learn how to make a custom title.
SF Supporter
Thanks, that's nice to hear, not just for my ego, but its gratifying to know I have done something useful.


Well-Known Member
With the exception of 2,5,8 and 12 I can personally vouch for all the others. And if something doesn't work first time it's possible to go back and give it another try.

I'm looking forward to the first post that reads, I'm off to join the circus.


We either find a way, or make one.
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I dont know if you are a poker plyer or not Dante, but reading about GTO [Game Theory Optimal] would probably interest you. I know I find it a fascinating subject.
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