The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Archive for the ‘Linky Love’ Category

Follow up, links

Re: Alpha Zero — Thoughts from Ken Regan, including how this affects his thoughts that a perfect chess player would be rated ~3600 ELO, and how to generalize the algorithm to hard (non-game) problems by making the problem an opponent.

Re: Universal Paperclips — Ted Chiang (author of the story that became Arrival) on how the “Paperclip AI” that destroys the world by trying to maximize a single parameter already exists …. and is called ‘the corporation.’

As a Factorio player I’m not in much of a position to laugh at Minecraft …. (and the SouthPark episode “Informative Murder Porn” had some great Minecraft gags), but at least I can say that my game didn’t inspire a truly massive botnet that disrupted much of the US Internet last year.

And I’m taking a small bite-of-cake-sized break from Factorio to spend some time on a new game with an old friend. For Science. You Monster.


Written by taogaming

December 20, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Posted in Linky Love

This moment of “I’m old” is brought to you by Ars Technica

Ever since its first edition was released almost 20 years ago, Twilight Imperium has been one of the most massive propositions in tabletop gaming.

Ars Technica Review of TI4

(I have nothing to say about TI4, but a simple linear regression says I probably rate it a 5 or 6).

Written by taogaming

October 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Posted in Linky Love

A surprising shout out to my (Graduate) Alma Mater

from Gregg Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback

Obscure College Score. Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17. The Tartans of Carnegie Mellon—arguably America’s most interesting college, as its strengths are engineering and theater, quite the combo…

I honestly did not know they had a football team. I did know about the theater school ….

Written by taogaming

September 28, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Posted in Linky Love

Two reviews of ‘Seeing Like a State’

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

Hitting the Links

I’ve spent several hours watching the videos on primitive technology. I’m not saying I can now hand craft an axe, hut and kiln from nothing more than the nearby dirt and trees, but it will hopefully save me some time should I need to do so.

I note (via Slashdot) that the designer of the Logo programming language, Seymour Papert, has died. I did a small computer class over three decades ago and we worked in Logo, which is apparently much more powerful than the stuff I did as a kid, although it was mainly used for teaching anklebiters such as my(former)self.

The R4TG-ified update to The City has been announced.

An interesting way to debunk conspiracy theories by Scott Aaronson — 20 reasons to believe Oswald acted alone. (Older post)

I did really enjoy Stranger Things. BGG (Chit Chat) seems to agree.

And I almost forgot about Meow Wolf which built an sort of interactive Zork-like videogame in real life called The House of Eternal Return. (20,000 square feet. Touch everything!) There must be a review forthcoming in the game-o-sphere….


Written by taogaming

August 3, 2016 at 9:13 pm

Posted in Linky Love