The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Archive for the ‘Linky Love’ Category

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

Some links

Back from my vacation — I took a number of games (“for the kinder”) but there was no rain and so everyone was outside. Did get in a few games of scrabble.

A good article on the Battle of Midway and how the historical view has been changing as more and more records get examined. (Old, but interesting. I never really played much WWII naval, because they are fiddly, but then again — so is history).

My beach reading for the last month was the incredibly long serial Worm. Looking for an angsty super-hero story (superpowers are usually the product of severe trauma) with interesting powers and exploitation thereof? This will keep you covered for 1.7M words.  Some sloggy points, but taut for something that was cranked out in 2.5 years (which means 15k words/week).

And — for a change — some minor game content!

I was looking over the GenCon list and saw that Acquaintance (and Homonym) of this blog, Mr. TauCeti Deichmann, has a game that sounds like something I’d like to try. And an Archer-themed Love Letter? Insert your best archer-phrase review in the comments. (But the Rick and Morty dice game sounds dire, so no link for that). There were also a few other games I’d like to try (A Chris Cieslik/Asmadi Nethack-ish card game? Yeah). Also looking forward to the new Quartmaster General Expansion and the 2-4 player Peleponessian wars game….

Rather a lot of games I’m going to try. Not even counting the dice dominion game I didn’t play at the Gathering that got good buzz.


Written by taogaming

July 10, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Posted in Linky Love

If you are anything like myself

5,000 words, many pictures, and (yes!) a few embedded videos on the typography of Bladerunner will make a brilliant addition to your day. Courtesy of the soon to-be-read-cover-to-cover site of typesetinthefuture.

Written by taogaming

June 22, 2016 at 9:44 pm

Posted in Linky Love, TV & Media

Tagged with

April Links

Apparently someone has made headway deciphering the Voynich manuscript!

No link, but let me just rant that the Southwest Airlines App is terrible. I will make the assumption that the developers are having to work with the crappy airline system that’s older than I am, but still. These are baby mistakes. An example. I try to check in. “Which flight?” Uh, how about the only flight I have that occurs within the next 24 hours? Or maybe the only flight I have, since it’s a return trip? Or even just list me flights and let me pick? No, the app wants me to pick from every flight southwest has. To Check In. But no, I enter my flight number. That isn’t good enough. “Error — Please specify the cities.” Are you shitting me? Southwest knows who I am and which flight I want to check in, and you can’t figure out which cities are involved? You can’t even offer me the “Well, that flight goes from A to B to C, so is this A->B, A->C or B->C, so please pick” but I have to scroll through every destination. Southwest is no longer a scrappy underdog from my youth. Now they are just amateurs.

The list of games that Buddha would not play [H/T Slatestarcodex]

Design a game based on Caro’s bio of Robert Moses and win cash prizes!

Many years ago I had the thought that Cultural Evolution was Lamarkian, which pleased me (more for the ability to pack a lot of information into four words, I doubt the idea is original). But how important are societal norms? The consensus appears to be growing that the answer is: very.

I was reading the latest news from GMT and wondered, why isn’t 1846 on the schedule? Probably very different to print than their normal games, I imagine.

A TED talk a bit too close to home — inside the mind of a master procrastinator.

It was pointed out to me that the problem with BGG Rankings is yet another example of Goodhart’s Law (“When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure”) although there are other problems with BGG.

I’ve been following the replicability issue in psychology (a little), but in case you haven’t: Everything you think you know may be wrong.

Written by taogaming

April 19, 2016 at 4:52 pm

Posted in Linky Love