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How 2 rob a bank

How 2 rob a bank

By Bia and Zoey

A podcast discussing topics which lie on the intersections of maths, data, human behaviour, and philosophy. Hosted by Bia and Zoey.
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How 2 lie with Zombie Statistics

How 2 rob a bankJan 03, 2021

How 2 be a snake

How 2 be a snake

Imagine you and a stranger are paired together for a little game. Now there’s some money up for grabs and you’re both given 2 choices; Share or Snake.

If you both share you both win £15 each
If one of you shares and one of you snakes, the snake will win £50 leaving the person who chose share with nothing.
If you both pick snake, you both leave with nothing.

Would you pick ‘snake’ in the hopes of taking a bigger prize for yourself, or would you pick ‘share’ to share a smaller prize!? What would you do? What should you do? And why should we even care?
In this episode, which is also the season finale, Bia shares some introductory game theory with Zoey by discussing:

The social-media experiment they both conducted through Instagram: "Snake or Share"
The Prisoner's dilemma (which is the original problem)
The Traveller's dilemma.

Acting like a "snake" i.e. picking the "dominant strategy" may give you control leaving you less susceptible to exploitation, but is it always the most profitable strategy? And what about the long-term implications of this?

Our Instagram: @how2robabank
Our Twitter: @how2robabank
Sodosage's Instagram (poet): @sodosage
Jun 30, 202142:19
How 2 create a dating app
Apr 11, 202132:22
How 2 illustrate a scientist with Nina Chhita

How 2 illustrate a scientist with Nina Chhita

In light of International Women's Day 2021, Zoey and Bia interview Nina Chhita, a medical writer based in Canada. Nina brings together art and science by illustrating trailblazers in science who happen to be women. 

00:10 Introduction

00:42 What has been the reaction to your work as a science communicator?

02:09 Quick fire quiz

03:15 What does it mean to be a medical writer?

05:31 Did you always want to study biology when you were younger?

08:10 Who were your role models growing up?

11:39 Which blue plaque story led to @science.unhinged and @nina.draws.scientists?

14:59 What was it about Rosalind Franklin that drew you to her story?

16:15 How do you get inspiration for the scientists you illustrate now?

18:26 How easy is it to find misinformation about less well-known women?

20:30 Which scientist you've illustrated has been most fascinating to you?

23:42 Has anything surprised you on this journey of science communication?

26:26 What are ways we can feature women in science to be more mainstream?

32:40 What would you change about the current curriculum to encourage girls to take more STEM-based subjects?

33:40 How much more progress do we need in the future and how do you think we can get there?

35:34 What makes a good scientist in your opinion?

37:45 What is planned next for nina.draws.scientist?

Connect with Nina Chhita on Instagram @nina.draws.scientists and on Twitter @Nina_Chhita

Mar 08, 202140:59
Jan 31, 202123:20
How 2 lie with Zombie Statistics

How 2 lie with Zombie Statistics

Zoey and Bia discuss what zombie statistics are, why it's hard for zombie statistics and facts to die and whether it is right for a wrong statistic to be cited even if it produces positive effects.


  • 00:15 – Lies, damned lies and statistics
  • 01:48 – Zombie statistics definition

Quiz and answers discussion

  • 03:52 – Zombie stats or facts quiz
  • 05:45 – Zombie stat/fact #1 – One in four people will suffer from mental illness/ depression in their lifetime
  • 09:18 – Zombie stat/fact #2 – You need to drink eight glasses of water a day
  • 12:18 – Zombie stat/fact #3 – People use only 10% of their brains
  • 14:22 – Zombie stat/fact #4 – You need to walk 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy and fit
  • 19:05 – Zombie stat/fact # 5 – The ban of plastic straws will massively reduce plastic waste in our oceans

General discussion

  • 26:26 – Discussion on why it's hard for zombie stats/facts to "die" - beneficial information to people/companies and confirmation bias?
  • 30:37 – Is it okay for a statistic to be wrong even if it has a positive effect?
  • 33:45 – Making sure you understand the entire story of the statistic and taking it with a pinch of salt
  • 35:29 – Conclusions

Useful links:

  • Adult Psychiatric Morbidity in England - 2007, Results of a household survey
  • Medical Myths"
  • Dirty Streaming: The Internet's Big Secret
Jan 03, 202138:57
How 2 rig an election

How 2 rig an election

Bia and Zoey discuss some of the key mathematical concepts in voting, focusing on political elections in some Western countries, as well as Brexit.


  • 0:15 – Introduction on the voting system in the UK, with an example
  • 4:27 – Condorcet’s paradox
  • 6:00 – The French system
  • 6:44 – The Australian system – Preferential/Alternative voting
  • 7:42 – What defines a good voting system?
  • 9:43 – How do we balance a good voting system with one which everyone understands

Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem & Instagram poll

  • 11:40 – Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem
  • 13:46 – Independent voting systems where Arrow’s theorem doesn’t apply.
  • 15:00 – Instagram poll discussion: Tactical voting vs Voting for who you want
  • 17:31 – Protest voting vs voting for who you want
  • 20:20 – When it would be worth strategically voting “mathematically”


  • 21:22 – Zoey exposing Bia as a “Remoaner”
  • 22:50 – How Bia think the referendum should have been done.

General discussion

  • 24:05 – Have you ever not voted?
  • 26:12 – Should 16 year olds be allowed to vote?
  • 27:29 – Accessibility in a voting system

The future of voting

  • 27:54 – The future of voting
  • 28:52 – The issues with a voting system which takes too long (NP-hard/ NP-complete)
  • 30:00 – Dodgson’s voting method (Lewis Carroll = Charles Dodgson)
  • 32:52 – Final thoughts

80% of voters are strategic: "Counting Votes Right: Strategic Voters versus Strategic Parties, Filippo Mezzanotti and Giovanni Reggiani"

Nov 24, 202035:46
How 2 predict grades badly...
Oct 21, 202029:20
How 2 make a decision
Aug 23, 202025:34