Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Proving anything and it's opposite

It's pretty hard to argue against social people. The reason: since they are feeling and not fact-centered, they can prove anything and it's opposite. Let's see a real gem a comment from One-Eyed Jack: "[about goblin raiding]: I realised what the issue is with it. You only "saw" the content. You didn't "conquer" the content.

I wonder if it isn't a general problem with goblinism that, because of the definition of "self-" in self-interest, certain goals are simply outside of their capability. For instance, there are a lot of things that can only be done not just with a group, but by a group. For instance take killing Patchwerk. The raid kills Patchwerk. I "see" the fight and "get" gear. However, I never kill Patchwerk. No person can. Only raids can.

So, if killing Patchwerk is an important goal for me, the only way to do it is to see myself as a part of a group. The closer I identify myself with being a part of the group, the more the collective accomplishment feels like my accomplishment. But, if I don't see myself as a part of the group, all I did was see the content and get the gear. I never killed Patchwerk.

Perfect example: while he does not deny the fact that I was there when Patchwerk went down and also does not claim that I was carried, he still says that I did not killed Patchwerk, because my feelings exclude me from that group.

Let's address the simple part first: since no one can see into my head I can claim that I felt connected to the group since I believe in business transactions and paying them the fee triggers the same feelings as long friendship would in a normal person. Prove me wrong if you can! (you cannot since you have no way to disprove my claims about how I feel)

The more important part is that can be illuminated by a simple example: "I feel connected to Patchwerk, since I think he is not responsible for being created by the Lich King, therefore he should be left alone, so the raiding players are evil robbers and I'm happy to see them fall. Due to these feelings I feel a sense of accomplisment whenewer a raid wipes." Notice that this statement does not require any action on my part, I don't have to sabotate the raid, if they wipe, I am entitled to feel accomplished and a "winner".

Completely stupid isn't it? Yet if someone believes that feelings (which are mere creations of our mind), are more important than real facts of the real (or the game) world, he can claim absolutely anything, since everyone is capable to gonjure up any thought or feeling.

The bad news for these daydreamers is that the real world exists and just because one choose to ignore it, it keeps on doing what it was doing. Just because I feel healthy I can be a cancer patient. Just because I feel beautiful and nice, others can run from me like I was the devil.

As we speak, lot of people who had funny papers called "stocks" and "pension funds", therefore choose to perceive themselves as rich and safe for elderly age (and this view entitled them to feel accomplished), found out that they have nothing but toilet paper.

It's funny that one has to talk about something that should be established in the age of 5-7: the stable distinction between the mental world and the real world. So something can be considered a fact (as opposed to an imagined thing or idea) if:
  • it is observable by other people too, and independent observers agree in what they observe
  • it is observable by machines too
  • it can be manipulated to change and if different people perform the same manipulation, it shall give the same result (within error margins).
So, the "my chair is black" statement is a fact, because
  • any non sight-impared person would say so
  • if I make a photo, the machine sets near-000 RGB value for it's pixels while it sets higher RGB value to the surroundings
  • if I anyone paints it to red, it will stop being black

On the other hand "my chair is beautiful" is an opinion and not a fact because:
  • several people would find it ugly
  • there is no machine that has a beauty scale
  • there is no widely accepted procedure to "uglyfy" a chair. If I'd paint it to pink, some people would still find it beautiful

Summary: "proofs" that involve feelings and opinions instead of facts are not proofs, just feelings and opinions.

PS: in WoW one particular "proof" is abundant: "cause it's fun". You can even try to justify boosting with that. Like in any other feeling and opinion case, you are of course entitled to feel that way. However it has nothing to do with any debate. You cannot convince anyone with "it's fun" or "it's not fun", since no one cares what is fun for you. So please spare my blog (and also others) with such comments.


Anonymous said...

Do not try and bend the spoon, that's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth...that there is no spoon.

Kurt said...

Well, I have more mathematical critique of this point. He's basically saying, "the problem with being a goblin is that then you can't accomplish a goal that involves not being a goblin, like 'killing patchwerk while not being a goblin' " Or, analogously, "the problem with being tall is then you can't accomplish the task of learning to dunk a basketball on a ten foot rim while being 5'3" "

In mathematical terms, that's just saying that the problem with being A is that now you can't be not A. E.g., the problem with being level 80, is that now you're level 80. This is a contentless tautology, which in his version he stretched out over two paragraphs. I mean, I agree with some of what you're saying about mixing feelings and facts, but the problem here isn't that the feelings invalidate his proof, it's that he doesn't understand that he is never actually proving anything. Well, this sentence "I wonder if it isn't a general problem with goblinism that, because of the definition of "self-" in self-interest, certain goals are simply outside of their capability." is confused, it's not because of the definition of self, it's just a general fact of the universe that A = A, which renders certain goals unattainable.

Kurt said...

This is where someone should chime in and say "I wonder if the general problem with not being a goblin is because of the definition of self in self-interest, there are certain goals that are outside the capability for a non-goblin. For example, nongoblins have to share the feeling of victory with 24 other raid members, while goblins know they achieved their task without feeling subjugated to a mindless mob. Nongoblins never killed Patchwerk, they only killed his left toe. They can never achieve the goal of killing patchwerk while being a goblin. "


Tal said...

I don't think anyone "debates" boosting (or anything else they do in-game) and says "it's fun". Not every conversation is a debate.
"It's fun" is a motive (and considering that WoW is a game, is actually a good motive). When talking about people's motivations, they don't have to be based on facts.

Larísa said...

The fact that "feelings" and "what's fun" isn't any solid proof for anything doesn't make it uninteresting.

In the end you're asking us not to write about what's fun for us, about our motivators, neither in a comment on your blog, nor on our own blogs, since you're claiming that no one's interested to hear about it.

Well at least there's one person that is interested. I am. I'm really fascinated by how the game can be played in so many different ways.

I love to hear about what kicks other players find in activities I've never tried out. Sometimes it can inspire me to try it out for myself, to see if I'll find it as fun.

I love to hear about what makes Gevlon smile, cry, cringe or shake their fist in anger. I find rants that includes thoughts, opinions and emotions far mor interesting than to get the latest link to an MMO-post displaying the next tier set.

Stabs said...

It's funny that one has to talk about something that should be established in the age of 5-7: the stable distinction between the mental world and the real world

Doing precisely this is what academics mean when they talk about "philosophy".

If we recall for a moment your blog post a couple of months ago on consipcuous consumption are they not demonstrating, by being prepared to spend hours wiping and gearing up to get these bosses on farm, a greater ability to waste time in a pointless video game and therefore a higher level of sexual attractiveness than you possess?

One-Eyed Jack said...

I was talking about rational rather than irrational agents, so I was working off the assumption that such a person only feels a sense of accomplishment if one believes one has actually accomplished something.

I was also assuming that such a rational agent would be willing to forgo a feeling of accomplishment if one isn't really accomplishing the result.

So, then the question is whether or not the feeling of accomplishment is justified, in the sense that it is based on some real accomplishment, or whether it is based on an illusion.

I am a goblin myself, the question I'm interested in is whether this an intelligible and true (not illusory) way I can claim to have accomplished what groups of which I have been a member have accomplished.

I'm mainly interested in the logical relationship between individual accomplishment and group accomplishment and between "I" statements and "we" statements. Or rather, I'm interested in the logic of the relationship between:

a) "John and I killed Patchwerk" and
b) "I killed Patchwerk".

which is not the same as:

a) "John and I came to school"
b) "I came to school"


a) "John and Bob killed Patchwerk"
b) "I killed Patchwerk"

Strictly speaking, moving from "John and I killed Patchwerk" to "I killed Patchwerk" would be a fallacy of composition, but that just returns us to the problem of what sense can be made of composite action in the first place.

This is the kind of stuff I'm interested in exploring, because if there is some intelligible sense in which I can claim group accomplishments as my own, even if it means considering myself as a part of something, it increases the scope of fulfillable desires I may pursue.

Hombre said...

Your summary is about proofs while the main argument in the post is about facts.

I won't argue with your definition of a fact, in fact (!), I would've not come up with your third criterium. Where'd you get that?

But a proof is nothing more than a logical reasoning from some axioms to a conclusion. These axioms can be the axioms of Euclidean geometry, they can be some well-established facts gathered from articles or other sources. They can also be personal opinions.

If an axiom is a personal opinion, that means the proof only holds for the people that agree with the axiom. But for them, it still holds.

The real discussion, I find (but this is merely my opinion :-)), is in finding someone's axioms.

A totally unrelated point: why would I correct your spelling? There is enough work in that area, but if I'd say anything, you'd be thankful, make a correction, and then delete my post. In other words, I'd be correcting your grammar without any personal gain. Not exactly the goblin way, if you ask me.

Inquisitor said...

This is the thing... 'fun', being what WoW is about, *is* measurable and mutable in the way you require.

(The prizes for being good at WoW are neglibible - for the vast majority of people, the only reward they have for spending their time on the game is the enjoyment they get from spending their time in that fashion.)

So, consider the opinion of people, in aggregate, as to what is fun. It *is* measurable. Blizzard can and do collect extensive stats on what people spend their time doing, how they do it, how they spec, and so forth.

Indeed, the ultimate 'machine' that measures fun is one which counts their subscriptions (and, of course, the diminishing subscriptions to WAR et al).

And, while we don't care which of the Blizzard developers makes any given change, no matter who it is that (say) introduces death knights, it has a pretty similar effect.

Still, you have to realise that 'what they find fun' *is*, in fact, the only thing motivating most of the playerbase. Hell, there's a clue in the term M&S. The *slackers*. They *could* be doing more and better (by your standards), but they don't want to. You've seen yourself that they are capable of more, when motivated suitably.

Now, I'm not going to suggest that 'all opinions are equally valid' or some such, but I will point out that your opinion that the evening you spent killing patchwerk was a rational use of your time (and the time you spent acquiring the money that paid for it) is just that: An opinion. There is no great gain you can point to and say 'look, it was rationally worthwhile' - only your own sense of fun, satisfaction, vindication, or whatever it is that drives you. An awful lot of people in the world would mock all three of us for spending so much time on a video game...

One-Eyed Jack said...

"So something can be considered a fact (as opposed to an imagined thing or idea) if:

* it is observable by other people too, and independent observers agree in what they observe
* it is observable by machines too
* it can be manipulated to change and if different people perform the same manipulation, it shall give the same result (within error margins)."

It's also worth noting that this statement is not a fact by its own criteria.

Observ said...

Considering feelings as the main ingredient to feel accomplished about anything (I.e. killing Patchwerk) anyone in any state can feel acomplished.

If i dream i killed it then after i wake up i would feel the accomplishment.

My point is that the human mind can chose to percive about anything in any way they want, but cannot chose to make others feel the same way.

Gevlon said...

@Kurt: see my answer to One-Eyed Jack

@Tal: saying "somebody do something because it's fun for him" is not worth saying, because:
* it's obvious, and only it's opposite "somebody does something although he finds it not fun" worth mentioning
* "fun" is completely unmeasurable, I can claim "I am running in greens because corpseruning is lot of fun". While obviously a lie, you cannot prove it as lie.

@Larísa: and that's why your blog is such a friendly place and a sanctuary to escape when my head is about to explode. However I run a thousand-subscription business here and emotions don't mix with business :-)

@Stabs: I don't understand what you are saying, please clarify.

@One-Eyed Jack: the "feeling of accomplishment" cannot be justified or proved wrong. The following fact can be measured, therefore justified or falsified:
* Patchwerk died or not
* I was there or not
* I contributed X or not
* X is enough contribution or I was carried

@Hombre: the third criteria is the "repeatable experiment".
While theoretically we can have a debate based on non-factual axioms, we would quickly reach the enumeration of angels on a pinhead. While we would be logically correct, we would also be completely irrelevant.

@Inquisitor: Blizzard want subscribers and not people having fun. The reason why they stay (fun, envy, peer pressure, friends) is irrelevant for them. Their experiment is: "I perform X on WoW, and the subscriber number changes Y". If Y is negative, they undo the change, if small positive, they leave it, if big positive, they implement several X-like changes. Subscriber number is a *fact*, player fun is not.

K. said...

It seems like your response to the original email misses the point, to some extent. I agree with everything you say - that obviously no one can dispute how you feel, and that obviously feelings are not a claim to empirical evidence. But despite agreeing with you, I think the original emailer has a good point.

If I were to respond, I'd say his real point is less about feelings and more about process. By criticizing you for "seeing" rather than "conquering," he's implying that only by learning content with a guild can you really be considered victorious over it rather than just being carried along by those who did the work before you.

A similar example might be, say, a new guild recruit who hasn't gotten as far ahead in the content as the guild he's applying to, but is applying to a guild that has the entire game on farm. The applicant's guild might think that he would just be "carried along" in the fights he's never seen before.

Paying for a spot in a farm raid is similar. Even if you do contribute adequately (in terms of DPS, healing, or whatever your role is), you will still be coming in afterward and benefiting from the work others did beforehand in order to learn those fights. Buying a spot wouldn't be possible if others hadn't done labor to pave the way for you. (Which is, of course, why it is so expensive to purchase a raid spot as you describe, since you are paying for that labor.)

And that's where it becomes a value judgment. I personally think it's fine to pay for a spot in a raid, if you are able to do so, but I can see someone rationally disagreeing, if they think that raids are a privilege that should be extended only to those who worked to learn the battles.

One-Eyed Jack said...


Your entire response to me depended on the claim that it was "stupid" to feel a sense accomplishment by identifying with Patchwerk. But if a feeling can't be "proved wrong", it can't be "stupid", either.

Look over this statement:

"I feel connected to Patchwerk, since I think he is not responsible for being created by the Lich King, therefore he should be left alone, so the raiding players are evil robbers and I'm happy to see them fall. Due to these feelings I feel a sense of accomplisment whenewer a raid wipes."

This is entirely a statement about feelings. You say this is completely stupid. You are evaluating feelings just as much as I am.

In fact, I'd suggest that your criterion of stupidity is exactly the converse of my criterion of justification, that is, a feeling is justified when it follows on a fact and "stupid" when it follows on an illusion.


Moreover, you say that real things are more 'important' than imaginary things. You also say that everything that isn't measurable by a machine is just opinion.

Please tell me where you have found the importance machine that measures importance. I'm serious. I've long looked to merge the craft of measurement with value. If such a thing were possible, there would be a craft of happiness, the greatest possession imaginable.

Gevlon said...

@K: "considered victorious" is also not a fact, strike that "victorious" is also not. One can claim (and some do) that we are all pathetic casual losers for not clearing the content in November. Others claim that those who did that are "no-life losers"

And I disagree that anyone can be "rationally disagreeing" if he uses the word "privilage", since it's also just a matter of opinion.

@One-Eyed Jack: with "loving Patchwerk" I just tried to prove that ANYTHING can be considered "accomplishment" if you define it that way.

No, I found talking about "feeling accomplished" stupid. Anyone can feel accomplished for absolutely anything, therefore this cannot be justified or falsified by any logic. It's a feeling, outside of logic and debates.

Barrista said...

"I'd say his real point is less about feelings and more about process. By criticizing you for "seeing" rather than "conquering," he's implying that only by learning content with a guild can you really be considered victorious over it rather than just being carried along by those who did the work before you."

And those of us who are more scientific would say this is just a way to rationalize your own point of view. A way to try and hold yourself or your situation as better than someone else (Gevlon in this case). If you did it with a group and think that is the only way to truly accomplish it and Gevlon did it as a pug, you have to somehow reestablish your own ideas as being more true or correct. Maybe that is what Gevlon meant by "feelings" as opposed to truth.

My guild finally cleared Naxx last night. There were 2 dps with us who were consistently 1k or less. They were obviously carried, but by their guild. Does this mean we did or did not "conquer"?

I felt more a sense of accomplishment with the group outside of my guild who I cleared Naxx with. This is my "feeling". Just because you are with a group of non-guildies does not mean you are not entitled to a feeling of accomplishment. To suggest so is just snobbish and egotistical. Being with a pug doesn't mean I was carried nor did I anyone else.

So, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is a sense of accomplishment or the feeling of having "conquered" any content. That is up to the individual.


"I feel connected to Patchwerk, since I think he is not responsible for being created by the Lich King, ...."

"This is entirely a statement about feelings."

I think you read his statement from a defensive view and didn't get the point. He was making an "emotion" statement to make a point.

Importance is also relative, as you state, but if you say that your ideals of "conquering" or of "I" and "we" are more imporant, then you are doing the same thing you are accusing him of doing.

HokieJayBee said...

lost in the debate about accomplishment or not, or even a sense of this accomplishment or not, including the self-valuation of one's contributions to the kill.......

how often do you think M&S or boost-ees don't know they're being boosted? meaning:

[1] patchwerk died
[2] they were present
[3] they did minimal, if not zero dps/tanking/healing with an early death
[4] they literally "feel" accomplishment, even though they did nothing towards the actual accomplishment

this argument over the feelings of it are what's at play here, and the difference in those arguments. i don't think gevlon or one-eyed-jack are wrong, either of them. they're arguing a similar point from different angles.

further thought: a fishhead M&S who died one millisecond into patchwerk, let's say a PuG mage PoM Pyro'd patchwerk on his way up and overtook the tank's misdirect aggro. he dies instantaneously. then the tank picks him up and the raid [well the other 24 people] kill patchwerk in under 3 minutes. well the entire raid, including this mage, gets the "make quick werk..." achievement for killing patch in under 3 minutes.
[1] does this fishhead even know he's being boosted, like the whole instance and specifically on said fight where he contributed nothing more than a wipe-scare, or does he honestly feel a sense of belonging?
[2] does he literally [gevlon's points] now have the achievement for 3 minute kill? yes.
[3] did he really [one eyed jack's points] technically "achieve" it? no.
[4] but the computer, achievement system, statistics, literal written history now [gevlon's points] - say he did
[5] can he sleep at night with the feelings of self-worth, like "he killed patchwerk", or maybe even link his new achievement to his fellow M&S and guildees, not even really truly knowing that he was useless to that fight and didn't help? that depends on the level of M&S he/she is.

the point of my awesome overly written rambling on a blog comment was to eventually get to this....
the fundamental difference between gevlon and his detractors [in regards to this issue] is this:

i.e. gevlon paid for a run from a top end guild. he was M&S to them [regardless of whether or not his contributions ending up speeding up the run, after all, if they couldn't 24-man naxx, they wouldn't be selling the 25th spot]. he was boosted by them. but HE's FINE WITH IT. he "saw" the content, he "conquered" the content, he "achieved" the content. he got gear. he doesn't care about feelings, he beat WoW on that night, in his way.

to one-eyed-jack's points, SHOULD gevlon feel accomplished here is the root of that argument?

i find it funny. on my server i run my main in the 3rd or 4th ranked guild [depending on who you ask :) ]. if some of us are pushing heroics to get 200 more badges for that stupid other mammoth mount, or maybe just pushing H UP for a shot at the blue proto - we'll sometimes end up with 4 able bodied people from guild. so we'll PuG an M&S for the 5th spot. literally, "/2 LF anything, any class, any spec to be 5th for heroic farming". this says, in trade chat, "hey fishheads, you know who you are, come get boosted for badges".

the person who answers this need, and ultimately comes on this run....what level of M&S are they? do they know the level of irony involved in them even accepting the invite posed so pompously in trade chat? if they're fine with it [gevlon's points], good for them, they're "using" us at zero cost to them. if they're not only fine with it, but feel a sense [one-eyed-jack's points] of this accomplishment for these badges or a random upgrade.........shame on them?

Pzychotix said...

"Moreover, you say that real things are more 'important' than imaginary things. You also say that everything that isn't measurable by a machine is just opinion."

He never said that at all here.

He said that real things are PROVABLE while imaginary things are not. He did imply that provable things are more important to a debate.

And I don't think that's a point up to opinion. An argument based on an unprovable statement can neither be attacked nor defended, since neither party can prove the veracity of such a point, meaning that it's pretty much useless for either party in a debate. Which is why he stated he didn't want such statements here.

One-Eyed Jack said...

I'm willing to swap "correlates with a fact" for "justified", so as not to be question-begging.

Having pleasures that "correlate with falsehoods" is, at the very least, dangerous. A lot of the delusional examples you mentioned were the result of people not caring about the truth because they were too busy enjoying falsehoods (like the cancer patient).

So, "justified" may be too strong, but I would still suggest that having pleasures correlate with facts is, usually, beneficial.

Pernicies said...


OEJ's objection is meaningless within the framework of your philosophy. Rather than split hairs about why, I'm going to pose a question to you instead...

Why continue playing when you've accomplished all that could be within the framework of the game? You have more gold than you could spend. You've seen all of the content there is to see. You've demonstrated that there's a place for an individual to see end game with minimal work and without requiring the sacrifice of others.

Despite this, you seem interested in hitting the gold cap even when such an action serves no purpose beyond making you feel that you've accomplished something. Further wealth accumulation can serve no objective purpose, yet you feel compelled to continue.

If your motivations are irrational (based on feeling rather than objective, tangible benefit), then why is it surprising to you that another player may have motivations that are equally irrational?

I greatly enjoy your work and mean no personal offense. I'm just curious about what appears to be a disconnect between your current goals in-game and a philosophy that embraces objective value rather than value based on irrational motivations.


Karl said...

The problem with raiding is that many, especially the top raiders, expect everyone to accept their value system for attendance, preparation, and performance, and to have a similar "feeling" of accomplishment at the end.

To Gevlon's point, the "value" that is placed on the outcome cannot be measured, as it is very much a feeling-based system. Some value the gear, some the kill, some the teamwork, and some just the adrenaline of the fight itself, or some combination of these.

A goblin attending a raid knows exactly what he wants to get from that raid, sets a "price" (gold, preparation, or whatever), and if the chance of the desired outcome is high enough, proceeds with the raid.

A non-goblin might be attending the raid out of such intangibles as "duty" "friendship" "fun" and such. Now those are all very good, and might be valuable to that person and that value, TO THAT PERSON cannot be denied, BUT, as they are emotion-based, they don't have "value" outside of the individual player, or at best the small social circle of the "guild". And since there is no common defined measurement, these "values" cannot be applied to other players in the sense of judgement that many often try to do.

One cannot expect everyone to have the same values.

I value gear more that Gelvon. Does that make either of us wrong? no. (The "value" of gear in creating the opportunity to generate more "wealth" is an entirely different topic that should be addressed).

A great example is the use of macros. Those who can manually weave character actions with a flurry on the keyboard rail in a very elitist way upon those who pound a one-button macro. Why?..

As an aside, I'd love to see a study comparing guild dynamics to tribal cultures and to animal groups (lion prides and wolf packs would be good choices).

KrisP said...


You said: "the "feeling of accomplishment" cannot be justified or proved wrong. The following fact can be measured, therefore justified or falsified:
* Patchwerk died or not
* I was there or not
* I contributed X or not
* X is enough contribution or I was carried"

How is "X is enough contribution or I was carried" measurable as a fact?

Karl said...

"How is "X is enough contribution or I was carried" measurable as a fact?"

DPS and healing meters, combined with a kill or no-kill on the boss, also factoring in the ease of the boss kill.

A 1000dps performance might be considered a contribution if the kill is made 5sec before Patch enrages, but a 1000dps performance on a 2.3 minute kill is "being carried".

Or it simply could be not doing something stupid and not standing in the red/green/blue stuff if "Glory" is the goal of the run.

It's not an exact measurement, but it can be done to some degree, based on the goals.

Gevlon said...

@Pernicies: I've told several times that my further WoW actions (both moneymaking and goblin raiding) are means for this blog running. If I wouldn't play the game, I couldn't blog about it. Quite rational.

@Karl: /agree, on first comment, on the second see @Krisp


Anthony, New Zealand said...

Gevlon, given your rather materialistic version of 'facts' (something I'd have to say few of even the world's best phsyical scientists would agree with, let alone those of us in the humanities) is a tooth-ache a fact or an opinion?

Anonymous said...

Surely "good" enough, is objective, not fact.

Everyone stands in the fire even a tiny little bit sometimes. In my opinion, at some point in their raid career, everyone takes a bit damage they probably could have avoided, if they we're playing a perfect game.

So where do we draw the line between how much standing in the fire is bad? Does one fire wall or void zone, once, ever, make you instantly an M&S... clearly not. I would hesitate to guess, that on your paid trip to Malygos, you might have taken a little tiny bit of damage from being a tad slow on a phase 2 bubble, or a phase 3 lightning explosion thing - everyone does. But how much is ok? Clearly dying in it makes you fail at it, so thats pretty conclusive, but everything from that upwards - but what if your healers have to save your life? To many, that wouldn't be "good enough", to others, hey you're not dead - you win.

Therefore the whole notion of; "
* Patchwerk died or not
* I was there or not
* I contributed X or not
* X is enough contribution or I was carried"

X is subject to "it is observable by other people too, and independent observers agree in what they observe"

And therefore, on any boss which isn't patchwerk (such as my malygos example above) your "conquering" that raid boss is not a fact, but an opinion held by you?

By logic, we can conclude that
"Summary: "proofs" that involve feelings and opinions instead of facts are not proofs, just feelings and opinions." In your own words.

You cannot prove that you were "good enough" - Therefore, the opinion is open to each individual, as to whether you saw the content, or conquered it. Since we weren't in the raid group with you, and you probably won't link a WWS, I guess we'll never know.

Apologies for posting Anon - I don't need another account anywhere thanks.

RyanC said...

I have never seen such a slew of idiotic responses in one thread.

It's like some asylum for Emo wow players just let every patient out of the crybaby ward.

Here's a fact: people who do things "for fun" are the kind of people that don't actually get ahead in life. Why? Because WoW eats up the one finite resource you, I, and Warren Buffet all have the EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF: Hours in the day.

One-eyed Jack is a moron. If Patchwerk dies at your feet, and you were actively doing something to make that happen, then you killed him. END OF STORY.

Manny Ramirez hit home runs as a selfish individual in Boston, playing on a team, and brought them a World Series. Yet it's clear that he was a clubhouse 'cancer'; as if baseballs fly out of parks when everyone holds hands and sings.

At the end of the day, you're part of the accomplishment EVEN IF MENTALLY YOU DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM THE TEAM.

Presently, I f***ing hate the guild I'm in, because they're constantly late to raids, nobody seems to remember to repair, and have even cancelled a couple of raids lately.

They treat their time, and other people's time, as worth nothing because their time is worth nothing. They're mostly college students, which means nobody else pays them to do anything, so there is no opportunity cost.

Their comments on vent are asinine at best, pointless at worst. I truly, truly, don't like them at all. But they have their uses...

And that use is sweet-ass gear, and sweet-ass gear is the only point of running raids. If I died 10 seconds into every fight, I wouldn't consider the raid conquered, I would just BE there.

But my contribution is real and significant. I don't cross polarities in Thaddius. I know when to Bloodlust, when to drop aggro, when to throw off an emergency short I'm useful.

There are plenty of people who hated each other, and still accomplished things. Reggie Jackson hated Billy Martin...they both got World Series rings. You would not and can not say Reggie didn't win the World Series because he was a one-man island, and didn't like his teammates.

BTW, If you're making your friends in an online game, delete your toon and get some fresh air.

And the only reason to be in a group, is to get gear. If you think 'fun' is the reason you play, you should run old world instances exclusively. They're super-duper fun! Let me know how long it takes you to put together a 25-man AQ Pug vs a 25-man Naxx Pug.

If you work at a crappy job, and make $9/hour, then lost time means nothing to you. These are the types of people who do things "for fun".

I have a real job, with a real salary, and I'm getting ready for my MBA...time is a premium for me. I run with these asshats, because it would take me many more hours on my own to get what I want, and what I want is gear!

I know that Ulduar will break up a lot of guilds, since it will no longer be sleepwalked's then that I'll be able to move to a group that runs their guild like a pro: on time, full consumables, ready to pull at the allotted time.

Until then, I enjoy the ride, I enjoy the content, and yes...I have beaten Naxx and despised the 24 people to my left and right.

(Personally, it cracks me up that I have 24 other people doing my unwitting bidding...gearing me up to move on.)

Anonymous said...



one point if you can tell me what the second M stands for.

another point if you know what the G stands for.

And your guild are retarded, because in the lesiure time, they like to play a MULTIPLAYER GAME for... dum dum dum... having fun and socialising? shocking.

People have their own reasons for playing. Whether these are valid or not, is again, opinion. As Gevlon said;
"it is observable by other people too, and independent observers agree in what they observe"

Clearly, people do not agree. YOU play the game for gear. Larisa loves most aspects of a massively social land of mystery and adventure.

"""people who do things "for fun" are the kind of people that don't actually get ahead in life.""""

Clearly you like to "get ahead" in WoW. Gevlon likes to have loads of money and then write about having loads of money. Many people like to have fun, since its a game and all...

I feel sad for the person who never has any fun.

Akiosama said...


Your comment that Blizzard can determine what's fun through their data mining process is interesting because the data in its totality does not entirely represent 'fun' activities. People do what they do for a multitude of reasons - pride (Achievements and the likes), advancement (to get better at what they're doing or because it’s required to get to their ultimate goal), profit (goblinism/goldfarming/botting), obligation (guild activities done not for any enjoyment), fun (activities done mainly for enjoyment), and a multitude of other reasons. Claiming that the data surrounding an activity can determine how the populace feels about said activity is probably stretching the true nature of Blizzard's data collection unreasonably.

It does show what people are doing. It shows how people are going about doing said activities. It provides data for performance, efficiency, group composition, and a whole multitude of other data points contained within the game. However, it cannot quantify the emotions behind the actions.

Even if Blizzard read through every piece of text being communicated through their game, they could not determine the true intents and emotions behind their players' actions. "Everybody lies," to quote House, M.D., and I feel that's doubly apt on the Internet.

Because of this mix of motivations present in the game, and because there's no way to make the data tell you the motivations of the players out there, one cannot assume that there's any measure of fun within the data at all. I think Gevlon does have a point that people motivate themselves by individual tastes, and that what works for one may be M&S-ism to another. His way is not necessarily a better approach to the game than anyone else's. In fact, one of his motivations is to keep people coming to his website - he says so himself - which keeps him performing tasks which may not be fun within WoW, but nets him enjoyment elsewhere, here on his blog.

I think it’s more safe to say that Blizzard’s data mining process determines what the population will do, how long it takes them to do it, how much of the population is doing it, and how the population goes about doing it. Not why. Never why.

My 2 yen,


Karl said...

@Gelvon - regarding

Despite the math, I would argue that the question of if someone is being "carried" is a subjective one, much as getting a "B" on an exam can be a good or bad grade, depending on other variables.

@RyanC - as long as you feel you are getting your $15/month worth...

Pzychotix said...

"Despite the math, I would argue that the question of if someone is being "carried" is a subjective one, much as getting a "B" on an exam can be a good or bad grade, depending on other variables."

The fact that the criteria for "good enough" can change doesn't make "good enough" subjective. The question of good enough is the measurement of whether you fulfilled the proposed criteria or not. No, this measurement is not necessarily objective, but neither is it necessarily subjective. It all lies in the question asked.

"Is my DPS good enough for Patchwerk?"

"Is my fire dodging skills good enough for Sarth?"

Hagu said...

You should have used mathematics for real facts; "one plus zero is one" is true, regardless of where you are or what planet you are on.

Semantics or sophistry would say "my chair is black" is still an opinion. Re observations and reproducibility - the twentieth century brought us Heisenberg - the act of observing changes the observed - and chaos theory - very similar inputs can cause very different outputs. I.e.. performing very, very nearly the same input on two chaotic systems and getting very different results does not mean that the two systems were different.

And I assume you define people (due to rgb-blindness or brain-tumor) as sight-impaired if they do not agree with your assessment of the color? That's how the M&S define "wrong".

If you had a manufacturer make a million chairs equally spaced in the color range from your black to red, I'm sure there would be some that some people would describe as black and some would not.

Not all cameras (e.g. IR, UV) in all lights would be able to distinguish between a black and a blue chair.

Certainly being observable by many people does not make it true - many people have seen UFOs.

If there was a drop of red paint on you chair, then most people would say your chair is black. But somewhere between a drop and a hundred gallons of paint, many people would say your chair is not black. In the spectrum of the chairs, it is just peoples opinions as to what is a black chair.

Or say you put a blue towel on your chair, the chair is still black. but what if you put a blue fabric slipcover on it, is it a blue chair or a black chair in a slip cover? And if 80% said blue and you were one of the ones that said black, then which is it? Is the blackness of the chair changed by the opinions of the observers? And if I explained to the people that the blue cover was just for moving and showed them the chair underneath and if they changed their opinion, did that change the color of the chair?

But my homage to GG is this thought experiment: if I brought my green chair to your office and had you sit in it and you brought in a hundred M&S and asked them if your chair was black, what kind of answer do you think you would get?

One-Eyed Jack said...

Looking carefully over the post again, I realise that my view was misunderstood. I should have checked out how I was summarised more carefully from the beginning, rather than addressing later portions of the post that already followed from a misunderstanding of my position.

I did not say that I do not kill Patchwerk because I do not feel like a part of the group. Whether I killed Patchwerk or not has nothing to do with my feelings.

What I was referring to is that I cannot feel a sense of accomplishment unless I also believe I have accomplished something. I think it is incoherent to say that "I feel a sense of accomplishment that I have done x, but I don't believe that I have done x".

I never, though, for a second suggested that I in any way ought to generate beliefs in order to feel a sense of accomplishment. That would be absolutely irrational, and if you thought that was what I was suggesting, you were right to criticise it. However, that wasn't my view nor my proposal. I would never choose a false belief over a true one, ever.

Your earlier post had gotten me thinking: There is something other than seeing content and getting gear that I enjoy about raiding: what is it? It was in the process of thinking that through that I wrote the response.

What motivated the post is that, if there is some true sense in which I can be said to share in my guild's accomplishment that can be said to be my accomplishment, then I would be excluding myself from the pleasure of feeling that sense of accomplishment if I didn't have the true belief. If, however, it was a false belief, I would happily abandon it.

So, the claim that I was somehow arguing either that the world is a certain way or that I ought to believe the world is a certain way because it gives me pleasure to believe that is a certain way is a misunderstanding of my views. I do not hold such views; I would never hold such views.

(If there was confusion, I think it might have been about what I meant by "identification" and "see". These were never intended as emotional terms. They were references to beliefs about the nature of collaborative action, beliefs that I have not yet fully developed, because of various issues concerning sets and composition).

Please remember also that my original post was a comment written on a blog, not a polished summary of my views. This is a more polished exposition (it's not perfect either). If there are apparent inconsistencies between the posts, it was because I was being sloppier there in my distinctions and language.

At any rate, I will no longer be reading your blog. Thank you for your frankness and good will.

And of course the recipe business idea :).

Take care and goodbye.

Barrista said...

Is a toothache a fact or opinion? As a scientist I can't help but answer this. There are methods of measuring a toothache I am sure. The swelling of the gums or jaw near the tooth in question. The bodys release of certain chemicals in response to pain may also be measured. I'm sure you will point out that these are all indirect measurements, but so are about 90% of the analytical analyses that are done in research and hospital labs. I would say that unless the person in question were lying, a toothache is a fact.

Just in case you do come back to read..
sorry if I misunderstood. I think the word "you" comes into play here. It can take the tone of "I have but you have have not" as in boosting one ideal over another.