Using Beer to Determine the Value of Mustard

Paul is hosting George and his dog, Alan, for lunch at his apartment.

The available lunch fixings are as follows:

2 plain hot dogs with buns
1 raw hot dog for Alan
1 empty dog's dish for Alan
1 sealed foil pak of mustard, enough for only 1 hot dog
1 16 oz unopened can of beer
1 empty 16 oz plastic cup

Assumptions : As soon as Paul has poured a measured amount of beer from the can into the plastic cup, the rest of the beer in the can will be poured into the dog dish. If there is no beer remaining in the can, the dog dish will be filled with water from the tap. Neither the cup nor the dog dish can be shared.

Paul has no idea what George's food preferences are. Alan's preferences are beyond the scope of this problem.

All of Paul's actions shall be assumed to be in his own short term self interest.

Plot :

Paul sets two places at the table. Each place has a hot dog with bun.

One of the places has the foil pak of mustard and the other has the plastic cup containing beer.

George is allowed to choose where to sit.

Question #1 : What have we learned about George's preferences?

Question #2 : What do we know about the quantity of beer in the cup?

Question #3 : What do we know about the economic value of the mustard pak?

Question #4 : George has been snooping in Paul's kitchen cabinets and, just before Paul pours the remaining beer into Alan's dish, George finds a second 16 oz plastic cup. How does this change the process above and what is the effect on the answer to question #3?

Regards, Don


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