Go Ahead. Flip a Coin.

I use this trick sometimes. It works pretty well:

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you, but because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for.


Josh Hull informed me via Twitter that the text in the poster above is an adaptation of the poem A Psychological Tip by Danish polymath Piet Hein. I figured that I couldn’t be the only one to formulate this trick after experiencing “flipper’s remorse” one too many times, but I had no idea it had been turned into a poem:

A Psychological Tip

Whenever you’re called on to make up your mind,
and you’re hampered by not having any,
the best way to solve the dilemma, you’ll find,
is simply by spinning a penny.
No — not so that chance shall decide the affair
while you’re passively standing there moping;
but the moment the penny is up in the air,
you suddenly know what you’re hoping.

Thanks to looking up Piet Hein, I also discovered the term Flipism, which I sometimes use to refer to Filipino cultural folderol. “Pointing with your lips? That’s a Flipism.”

Thanks for the heads-up, Josh!

2 replies on “Go Ahead. Flip a Coin.”

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