A Game of Three-Halves

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Following July’s successful clash between a squad of quantum physicians, sponsored by New Scientist, and assorted three-sided veterans, NXTPA operatives managed to slip past security at London’s Excel Centre to catch Oxford anthropologist Professor Robin Dunbar’s lecture on the game at September’s New Scientist Live event. Our operatives had not taken a sudden interest in number mysticism, opiates and mutual masturbation threesomes, or any of the other red herrings Dunbar threw in to distract his befuddled audience. Indeed, we have been interested in such matters for a long time. No, rather, we were keen to hear Dunbar venture that three-sided football offers direct proof of the hypothesis advanced in ‘Dunbar’s Third Law of Coincidence’. Furthermore, that three-sided variants of the game spontaneously throw up the kind of illusory correlations predicted by the so-called “Dunbar Bell-Curve”. In this regard at least, we were not disappointed.

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