The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Two reviews of ‘Seeing Like a State’

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I haven’t read the book (by James C. Scott). But I am a fan of Scott Alexander, so I naturally saw his review a few months ago. Nice, but no real reason for me to mention it. (The fact that the book nicely confirms what I already believed means that I should be somewhat cautious.)

(Seeing like a State points out how well-meaning scientific technocrats — of all economic beliefs — often do horrible damage to systems they are trying to improve, and provides examples of how governments do things to increase their visibility into systems — usually for purposes of taxation. Like I said, “nicely confirms what I already believed”. I believe Nassim Talib’s Antifragile covers the same ground.)

Anyway, I come back to the country I see that Scott has pointed to a review by Samzdat and that is quite useful for people on both sides of the political discussion, as it tries to explain the phenomenom of increased political divisiveness even in an improving society. (It does this by introducing the concept of legibility to the conversation, and goes in a surprising direction that seems correct, at least on first glance).

Anyway, this may be of interest. I’m definitely going to be reading through Samzdat. The article on Polyani’s Great Transformation extends this further (and contains some very interesting thoughts on economics that, strangely enough, I just encountered in Paradise Lost). And the next book to be discussed is Hoffer’s The True Believer, which I did read (30 years ago, vhoj’ha moi!).

 

Written by taogaming

June 20, 2017 at 8:04 pm

A lot of research on the question of Kickstarters

is a nice thing, and the resulting article is worth a read.

(Intelligent curmudgeonry leads to the same result much faster, but you have to appreciate the effort of doing the math).

In other news, AlphaGo is retiring undefeated. (The main news from Game 2 is that according to AlphaGo’s analysis, Ke Jie was ‘playing perfectly’ through the first hundred moves. Ke Jie thought he was winning and said his excitement may have led to the mistakes that cost him the game). I’d like to see Deepmind work on something of more value (AI medicine, or driving) but the last two years of Go has been interesting.

Played a few games of non-basic High Frontier (just with basic rules + supports. Nothing else) and its still quite demanding. I may play a few tries at the Advanced Solitaire CEO. Apart from one game of 7 wonders duel and two sessions of bridge, I have played literally nothing else the last month.

Written by taogaming

May 27, 2017 at 10:54 pm

Posted in Linky Love, Session Reports

Tagged with ,

Less Deep Thought than before

You know, after I bought my new game, I happened upon some old advice of mine. But the reason I noticed it was a thought that popped into my head about SW: Rebellion.

Written by taogaming

January 3, 2017 at 9:58 am

Posted in Linky Love

Weekday update

With a holiday mid-week game day, I’ve decided to officially add another game to my Fifty-by-Fifty list. In all honesty, I probably had fifty plays of the game within a few years of owning it, and I’ve owned it a few decades, but after that I only played yearly….

And I finally won the second “New Hope” scenario on Factorio.

Written by taogaming

December 29, 2016 at 11:26 am

Posted in Misc

Radley Balko for Supreme Court and other thoughts on the Election

(Don’t worry, gaming content later)

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Written by taogaming

November 9, 2016 at 9:19 am

Posted in Misc, Non-Gaming

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Bah — Finance Majors

Or — as we call them around here — idjits.

I mean, how else can you explain the fact that when presented with a game rigged in their favor and offered the chance to bet real money repeatedly playing the game … in any amount they choose … as many times as they could play in 30 minutes

A full third of them lost money! More than a quarter of them went broke! Some of the test subjects were making a living working in investment firms!

Idiots, I say.

Certainly not gamers.

Definitely not gamers with a background in engineering or math.

Of the 61 subjects, 18 subjects bet their entire bankroll on one flip, which increased the probability of ruin from close to 0% using [the optimal strategy] to 40% if their all-in flip was on heads, or 60% if they bet it all on tails, which amazingly some of them did.

Read the full paper (Rational Decision-Making under Uncertainty: Observed Betting Patterns on a Biased Coin) then consider where your retirement savings are.

(Mine are in index funds).

Written by taogaming

November 4, 2016 at 8:34 pm

Posted in Misc, Strategy, Thoughts about Thinking

Tagged with

Sweet Saturnalia

Some random thoughts for a random day:

  • Man, Attika is good. It’s been too long.
  • Luke Cage — fine.
  • I suppose I should say good — I finished in six days, although today was a sick day … but all of Netflix’s Marvel shows could stand to lose 3-5 episodes. More tone than plot (not that I’m against that), Luke Cage easily had the best ensemble cast of any of them.
  • The CW superhero shows are now dropping, so that will be next (I’ve heard that Arrow tanked last year, so I’ll start with Flash).
  • Played Eclipse vs the TaoLing when he got home from school (since I was home). I was about to get schooled (I randomly took the Orbital guys, Aidan picked Hydran) after The Boy drew not one but two “Advanced Research” double pink tiles early on. But the worm turned. On Turn 4 the Hydran super cruisers (Anti-Matter Cannons and +6 to hit and initiative, using the discovery power to fuel it!) attacked two aliens and rolled — snake eyes. Then the Aliens wipe two cruisers (because they had zero hull). Down ten material and then lose a world because the Hydran’s banked on that orange planet to cover expenses…. Even then I might have lost except he had another minor set back so I could use the GCDS as a screen for most of the game.
  • 1846 is charging, so looks like I’ll get a new game in a moth or so. And Jump Drive maybe this year…
  • My 50 by 50 geeklist hasn’t had any additions in a while, but several games are inching their way towards fifty. (I’ve played six games that were in the 25-49 category this week). In fact, I almost played my fiftieth game of a title today, but I wasn’t in the mood. Still, it will take a concerted effort to finish in time….
  • If you know Mrs. Tao, you may want to shoot her a congratulatory email, as her new job title is “Intern.” (She’s starting work as a programmer).

Written by taogaming

October 5, 2016 at 10:01 pm

Posted in Eclipse, Misc, Session Reports

Tagged with , , ,