Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The limit of free market 2

(read part 1) There is another way for competition (= free market) to enforce and spread effective behavior: Darwinist selection. The giraffes didn't make a choice to have longer or shorter necks. Some had longer, some had shorter. It's blind luck for the individual giraffe what kind of genes he inherited. The longer was better, so these giraffes were more successful in the competition and had more chance to spread their genes.

The same thing can happen in the world: there are two equally irrational socials and one of them find "undead dance is cool" while the other thinks "trolls have cooler /laugh". The second mage will do 2-3% more damage, and more likely to get the only raidspot even in the social guild. Since he'll have "cooler" items, soon he'll be the role model and his definition of "cool" will be dominant. The "trolls are cooler than undeads" meme will spread, without the socials participating in the act having any idea what and why they are doing. All it needs is free competition, so raid spot is somehow affected by DPS.

So the second way for free market is blind selection. If action A is better than B, than it will spread, simply because the "action B" people will be weaker and won't be able to spread the "idea B" as strong as the "action A" people are spreading "idea A".

This is a great thing and until the latest ages this was the only way of improvement of the mankind as vast majority were complete irrationals. However note its weakness: while "idea B" is not spreading fast or not at all, those irrational people who believe in it won't abandon it, or only slowly if "idea A" spreads into their groups. Most likely "idea B" will disappear only when all its carrier people die, just like the "shorter neck" gene stays until the last "short neck" giraffe dies.

The selection method also has a "social limit": if "action A" is much-much better than "B", then "action B" people will have serious disadvantage. On the one hand it's obvious and good: "idea B" will disappear very quickly. On the other hand social people don't want to let other people die, even if their misery is completely their fault. The "don't let losers die" meme was not always wrong. In earlier ages there was huge need for menial labor, so saving idiots from their own stupidity was good for the society: saved one more useful worker for the group.

So we reached an almost-vicious-circle:
  1. the dumb make bad decisions
  2. free market punish them
  3. the dumb keep making bad decisions
  4. free market punish them to the point of destruction
  5. socials don't let them be destroyed
  6. they live on and spread their dumb ideas
  7. more dumb people come to existence
  8. goto 1
Luckily the circle is just almost vicious, meaning that the feedback is below 100%. The reason is that no one is completely dumb so there is a chance that the "good" ideas spread into their circles, making them to make better decisions. The other way is less likely, since - although not destroyed - the losers are still losers and no one wants to be them. So in every generation the "good ideas" spread a bit. Since "being altruist" is also a bad meme, the above affects it equally, so every generation is less altruist than the previous, weakening the circle even more.

However it still exists and ignoring it is bad business. This is a practical limit to free market. Free market must be regulated to the point where the suffering of the dumb is equal to the tolerance and strength of the socials.

If the market is too regulated: the selection will be too weak and the dumb ideas will be not repressed. This happened in the communist countries where the surviving dumbness caused the whole economy be way weaker than in capitalist countries.

If the market is not regulated enough: the selection will be too strong, causing too much damage to the dumb, the socials will not tolerate it and undo the effect. Do-undo is a waste. This happened in the current economic crisis: the bankers gave subprime loans and financed it by selling poisoned papers to ignorant people while picking up huge salaries. Without the socials the subprime people would be evicted from their homes and the ignorant would lose their investments.

Without the socials the subprime people (very stupid) would freeze to death and the investors (mildly stupid) would lose lot of money, so the "buy stuff from loan you can't repay" idea would die out and "invest your money without carefully researching what you invest in" idea would be seriously damaged.

The socials did not tolerate the death of the idiots and the huge loss of the ignorant and saved the banks from taxpayers money (so the investors didn't lost anything and not forced to gain some back by foreclosures). By this event the stupid behaviors evaded their punishment so there is no reason why one should not try to buy a $200K home with $20K income or to give his money to the banker who offers the highest interest or for bankers to pay bonuses. This way the work done to create all this was waste.

This waste could have been prevented by proper regulation: for example "no home can be mortgaged beyond 60% of its value". With this regulation the people would not be any smarter but the billions would not be wasted.

So despite regulation is bad for the economy, it's the lesser evil than causing too much damage to the dumb, since the socials will undo it anyway.

Notice that in WoW, the successful guilds are well-regulated. Since there are many kids playing, the playerbase of WoW is much dumber than the average population. The class leaders are making the decisions and enforce it to the members to prevent them making stupid choices like 0/0/71. There are no free market guilds where everyone does what he wants and DPS meter decides. The socials would not let their "friends" to be excluded by "elitists" and the guild will explode, just as Tobold prophesized.

That's why I regulate: writing social chit-chat to the guild channel is forbidden (first case: demoted to "lolled", second case /gkick). This way social drama is regulated out: simply there is no field for it, just like you can't give subprime loans if the home can only be mortgaged to 60% (as the subprime people will never be able to get the 40% to get the loan). Also we started theorycrafting forums and I will enforce their reading to those whose DPS is sub-par (by not promoting them to raider).

So despite I love free market, it cannot be unregulated. Of course we must always aim for the lowest possible regulation. But we must always keep in mind that the socials don't let the morons fall too deep, so we're better off with regulation that stop them from that, rather then let them fall and watch the socials pull them back... using our resources.

51 comments:

Spinks said...

"Also we started theorycrafting forums and I will enforce their reading (by not promoting anyone to raider until his spec and rotation fits the theorycraft)."

Did you consider just testing their dps instead? Theoretically that should also reward the people who take the initiative to use minmaxed specs and rotations, but doesn't need you to babysit them so much.

Gevlon said...

If his DPS is good with another rotation, it's fine for me.

The point is not to regulate those who are good but to rule out stupid behavior like bad rotation.

Christian said...

Gevlon, the saving of stupid people done by socials is not a bad thing, it is a requirement for our civilization.
(Following also explained why such behavior evolved, which is something that wouldn't have happened if it were purely bad.)

What it allows people to do is take risks.
And by taking risks are great ideas formed.

I'll explain.

Take ten new ideas and inventions that their inventor wants to make work properly.
One of those inventions is brilliant, the other ten are stupid.
In order to make the invention work properly, each inventor will need to invest a lot of time, and all the money they have. Each inventor knows it may not work quickly enough for him to survive. If they don't get some backing, they will die if they pursue their invention without it.

The socials provide the backing.
The socials are also unable to see the difference between the ideas.
Nine of them will make no sense to the socials because the idea makes no sense. One of them will make no sense to the socials because the socials are too uneducated or stupid.

So the socials take the bad with the good - they trade backing nine bad ideas for having one good idea.

And before you bring survival of the fittest up too much, you should consider that it doesn't really apply - the socials are more numerous then the goblins, so the socials are surviving a lot better as a species.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon says: "So despite regulation is bad for the economy, it's the lesser evil than causing too much damage to the dumb, since the socials will undo it anyway."

This is an idiotic comment. Regulation serves purposes other than preventing the revolt of the dumb. Consider the following kinds of regulation:

-Nutritional labeling for food. I do not know how much niacin is in a loaf of bread, nor do I know how much I ought to eat per day, but the labels on food help me to make informed decisions about what I eat. This regulation is actually -good- for the economy as informed buyers are essential to a functioning market system.

-Car safety requirements. I do not have the technical expertise, engineering software or the time to evaluate the safety of various vehicles in a car crash. Thankfully all cars are required to meet some minimum standards for safety. The time I would have spent figuring this out can be put towards more productive ends.

-Anti-trust regulations. Monopolies are bad and distort the market. Enough said.

Gevlon said...

@Christian: the ideas can be supported not only by indiscriminate social support but also by investment. If my idea is not completely stupid, I can find investors to it. Also I can support my own survival on savings. It's obvious that most of those who are on social support are not there because they even ATTEMPTED something new. They were just lazy and stupid.

Anonymous said...

Y'know, you put a LOT of emphasis on racials. Yes, I paid to race transfer, but that's solely because of my desire to maximize dps. But the way you author your posts, it's as it you expect every troll mage to hands-down destroy every undead mage. That's just not true. I very highly doubt you'll ever be in a situation where raid spots are going to come down to racial buffs, as opposed to general competency as a mage.

I still really believe you'll cut most of your mages because they're stacking crit instead of haste, like absolutely terrible players. If it ever comes down to pure racials, consider yourself lucky to having just excellent ranged dps. And even in that circumstance, I'd sooner phase out a dumb melee dps before replacing a competent mage.

Schumpeter said...

You fail again to understand free markets. Unfettered capitalism is premised on voluntary association and voluntary transactions. In no way does this devolve into some kind of darwin-style mass murder of non-entrepreneurs. Your story--the very poor die because of free markets and the middle class overthrows capitalism because of the vast damage to the underclass--has never occurred on this Earth. Indeed, the only true workers rebellion (Poland) resulted in the abolishment of socialism in favor of more capitalism.

The banking crisis was caused by the mixture of politics into business (government into the free market). Politicians, deriving their power from giving money to those who have none, pressured banks with incentives (and punishments) to increase subprime loaning practices to riskier and riskier people. Rather than responding to economic indicators ("this person is highly unlikely to ever pay back") they began to respond to political indicators ("If I provide a loan to this poor person, Congressman X will continue funneling public money to me"). This moral hazarding was destined to fail from the beginning, because business was being encouraged to take extra risk that it normally wouldn't have. And politicians caused it.

Let's put aside all of that for a moment. You say that capitalism should have some regulation. Who do you think is going to regulate it? Politicians, and those whose power source is the poor and middle class. This is the equivalent to suggesting that a council of people from social guilds ought to regulate how gear is distributed in the game.

This post and the last one on the "limit of the free market" have truly no real grounds of criticism.

Schumpeter said...

Gevlon, you also have a huge specification problem in your discussions on WoW and free markets. There is a tremendous difference between private contracting/private association and government regulation. I know you understand this, but you still claim that elite guilds are "highly regulated." This is a bad comparison. Elite guilds are not regulated by a Democratic governing body, but are based on the voluntary association of the members. Elite guilds do not carry the weaker among them, for fear that people in the guild will be outraged if the slacker is booted.

Gevlon said...

@Schumpeter: I never claimed "darwin-style mass murder of non-entrepreneurs". One can make money as an obedient worker too.

The main problem with morons is not low earnings, but moronic spending way beyond their income. In free market they would be allowed to get loans from the market, and when not being able to pay it, evicted from their homes. Homeless people have 5-6 years average survival time on the streets despite shelters. So "freeze to death" is a pretty accurate description of what would happen.

"our story--the very poor die because of free markets and the middle class overthrows capitalism because of the vast damage to the underclass--has never occurred on this Earth." Really? Ever heard of Europe? We here pay 50-60% of our income to taxes and different "mandatory insurances" (health, pension). This makes huge areas legally non-market, and another huge areas being un-competitive with government funding (for example any kind of menial work salary is uncompetitive with welfare, you simply can't find workers to menial jobs).

"Let's put aside all of that for a moment. You say that capitalism should have some regulation. Who do you think is going to regulate it? Politicians, and those whose power source is the poor and middle class. This is the equivalent to suggesting that a council of people from social guilds ought to regulate how gear is distributed in the game." This is indeed a good guestion and will get a whole post of answer.

"Elite guilds are not regulated by a Democratic governing body, but are based on the voluntary association of the members." This is not a difference. They vote with their legs. If they are unsatisfied with the leadership, they can find a new one quickly.

Anonymous said...

You'd just love to go back to situations we knew at the turning of the previous century: badly payed 'dumb' workers, forced to buy stuff in overpriced factory-owned stores, fined for every mistake on the workfloor, living in bad housing ...
The problem with this is that the true potential of children of those 'dumb' M&S is never developed and they too end up condemned to being an M&S, because they don't have access to the education that would help them rise above the level of their 'dumb' parents.
In a social system the dumb are supported 'just in case', and once in a while, socials are proven right to do so.

thenoisyrogue said...

@annonymous

You said;

" ...-Nutritional labeling for food. ..."

It is quite ironic that you use this as an example, considering that labels on processed food are some of the most misleading advertising to be found. Do you know that the heart foundation will endorse a product if the company pays them enough? That is why the heart foundation now endorses products such as coco-pop breakfast bars.

People who take the time to inform themselves and who are interested in their life and living well and for a long time, (goblins I would say), know that processed bread might have "niacin" and other additives, but it is remarkably lacking in nutrients, ie the things that keep you alive.

This is why doctors in California are now seeing obese children with diseases such as rickets, only found previously in malnourished children.

The morons will believe this advertising, buy the food, trust the companies, and succumb to a myriad of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, alzhiemers, etc which are most prevelant in a western diet. The socials will ask for higher spending on health care even though it may well bankrupt the economy.

The Goblins will inform themselves and eat real food, prepared properly by themselves. In fact, maybe this is one way to up the numbers of Goblins somewhat.

By the way, I expect a rant in reply. How about instead of ranting you go and inform yourself. I recommend the book, "In Defense of Food."

Treeston said...

If you want to enforce this in the Guild, I'd also suggest giving out loots based on DPS. Otherwise a mage that is on the lower end of the "gets a raid spot" spectrum might out-luck a very well-performing mage and, to use your example, get "the cooler loots", and thus the socials will follow him.

Anonymous said...

Honestly your no social chit-chat is bull.

It's a very common knowledge that teamwork is best executed between people who know eachother. Being friends with people grant you that social-padding that makes initial failures acceptable and lets good raiders work into eachothers playstyle. Example is my first pull of dreadscale in my new guild, i pulled him behind acidmaw as i had been told, but i pulled him way to far and that killed of 2 dps and a healer because they got hit by breath. Now instead of them just kicking me because i was a "n00b" or whatever i got a second chance because i had socialised with the people of the raid and thus they gave me another chance. the week after i pulled him perfectly and i and i have progressed from trial raider to full-time raider in a matter of 1½ months. If i had just shut up in my guild all along and no one knew me they would just have kicked me and they would be back to 0 DK tanks. If you look at many top guilds many of them are not very militaristic. Among good players that just is not a thing that is needed. Just like many of them do not read up on places like EJ or do theorycrafting because they know that the stat values they come up with there is not suited for any playstyle but is only calculated by an "optimal" rotation on patchwerk with no latency. The simple fact is that good players do not need limitations just like good players hate playing with morons. honestly if you really aim for destroying the lich king after he gets nerfed in blue gear and you think that something like social chit chat or racials are going to be a problem i do not think you have done enough raiding.

Nils said...

Darwin doesn't describe the evolvement of individuals, but of the world:

Means:
Elements of the world that survive and replicate best dominate. Immitating somebody who seems to be very smart is 'social' but very helpful for a society, because not everybody can be an expert for everything.


Glad you found one important property of our society: Evolution. it's one reason why our economic system is quite good (compared to most others).

Quoting John Kay once again:

Markets are not a well-oiled machine: they are a constantly changing, adaptive biological system. Pluralism is their motive force, their essence chaotic, their development inherently uncertain. If we could predict the evolution of markets, we would not need markets in the first place.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: they gave you a second chance because they needed a DK tank and you were not beyond help.

Also you forget that chit-chat not only make friends. It makes drama too.

@Treeston: what loot are you talking about? We'll raid in blues so we get epics that we won't equip.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

"Politicians, deriving their power from giving money to those who have none, pressured banks with incentives (and punishments) to increase subprime loaning practices to riskier and riskier people."

Politicians had a lot to do with the crisis, but this was not the mechanism. The sector of the market which did not have any government incentives or punishments around lending/not lending to poor people, was *far* more active in subprime lending than the sector which did.

But the real problem was never subprime lending, it was the web of derivative contracts *around* subprime lending, which caused the *banks* to become insolvent when a fairly normal default uptick was combined with a falling housing market.

The real problem was regulatory arbitrage. One sector of the banking industry had to maintain very strict capital requirements, while other sectors did not have any restrictions at all. Wall Street found a way to let the regulated sector take on *much* more leverage in a way that was invisible to the outdated regulations.

Combine that with the corporate welffare of the fed put, and you see the problem.

Unfortunately, there is a rational reason for the fed put. Letting a huge pile of banks fail all at once, would have had drastic consequences for the whole economy, not just the banks, and the people who made stupid loans and home purchases, but everybody else as well. The big problem is that we set the price of that put way too high, high enough so that some of the biggest problem players in the game are having hugely profitable 2009, largely at taxpayer expense.

But the problem here is that Big Wall Street firms basically own the government. The idea that regulations around loaning to poor people caused this crisis is the biggest load of wall street ass-kissing hooey going. Call it a bad policy if you will, but it didn't cause this crisis, not even close. The regulatory capture by wall street is what laid the foundation for the problem.

Liv said...

Forbidding chit chat in guild channel actually makes us get to know each other better (remember that in whispers and party we can chat as much as we want) - instead of spaming /g we do talk to each other directly.
Just compare it to a huge party, where some people prefear to sit around table and compete, who's jokes are more funny or who's one is longer in some other way while there are also other kind of folks, who take more interest in each other as a unique personalities.

Treeston said...

@Gevlon: Ah, yes. I mis-read the part about the troll getting better items and thus being considered "cooler" as being directed at the guild without taking into consideration that you raid in blues. Sorry.

Leonus said...

Found one small error, you referred to the government bailout of banking institutions as "using taxpayers money". Actually, the Fed simply had the Treasury print more money to hand out. So very little of tax-collected revenue goes to government expenditures these days.

On the bright side, however, the cheapened dollars have made our exports more competitive on the world market...if only there were buyers :(

Keep up the good work, Gev...

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about putting together an arena team in all blues/bg rewards to see how high you can get?

cmill said...

now only if natural selection can kill off the bads and M&S in the game... sadly I think natural selection is doing the opposite, its killing off the skilled players who are tired of putting up with so many idiots.

HokieJayBee said...

""The "trolls are cooler than undeads" meme will spread, without the socials participating in the act having any idea what and why they are doing. ""

Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, you'll see a banana hanging on a string with a set of stairs placed under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, all of the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water.


After a while, another monkey makes an attempt to obtain the banana. As soon as his foot touches the stairs, all of the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. It's not long before all of the other monkeys try to prevent any monkey from climbing the stairs.


Now, put away the cold water, remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him as he makes his way toward the stairs. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.


Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.


After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.

Why not?

Jeff said...

I find it entertaining that Gelvon is becoming more Scottish and less Austrian in his thinking as he progresses.

A 2-3% difference in DPS is barely statistically significant. In a single boss fight a mere few million points of damage in which a single player should be about 15-18% of the total damage you want to quibble over 0.3% of total damage when outside factors such as crowd control, raid buffs like scorch or improved shadow bolt, or replenishment mean much more to raid dps than 0.3%? You have a lot to learn about Raid Leading.

(full disclosure, very back of the envelope math so probably off if you drill the numbers, more for sake of comparison)

Rotations? Are we back to this? I run a death knight and a lock on raids and I don't have solid rotations on either. I have strong priority systems in place.

Destro Lock:
1. Dots (CoD is a dot for this purpose)
2. If all dots are up Conflagrate
3. If Conflagrate is on Cooldown Chaos Bolt
4. If Chaos Bolt is on Cooldown Incinerate

That is Basic Lock 101, not a rotation but a priority system.

Intermediate lock includes:

1. if healer has aggro use searing pain
2. buff tank with fire shield
3. Is AoE or CC needed, if so where and what kind?
4. Is the pet hitting the right target at this moment, the best place for pet dps is not always the main target, what situations require changing.

Advanced locking requires more pet skills and macros, and is easier with a demonology lock.

The Gnome of Zurich has a basic understanding of the current financial situation, the rest of you are uneducated socials on the subject.

Nils said...

Found one small error, you referred to the government bailout of banking institutions as "using taxpayers money". Actually, the Fed simply had the Treasury print more money to hand out. So very little of tax-collected revenue goes to government expenditures these days.


That is exactly the same.
In the past the kings 'printed' money, but didn't take in much taxes. That's called inflation tax.

Printing money in the long term always devalues the money already in existence.

There is no difference whatsoever between taxes and printing money in the long run.

csdx said...

Gevlon, have you considered that it might not be the morons/socials who would cause the damage (or undo the good effects as you say), but the Goblins. The best, and thus most brought up example is the Tragedy of the Commons (I will assume the reader is familiar with the scenario, if not go educate yourself). Without any regulation, it would be the most goblinish individuals who cause the problem, because they're ambitious and smart enough to realize they can break the 'social convention' while earning the benefit. Thus when the economy collapses a few generations later (after the goblinish individuals who over-harvested are long gone, and thus don't care about what will happen in the future) everyone suffers as a result. Thus regulation is needed to in fact keep the goblins from destroying everything for their own temporary benefit.

csdx said...

Also for a more up to date example: the whole subprime crisis. That situation is actually pretty analogous to selling stacks of 100 arrows or bullets. The goblins manage to make a quick profit off the morons who didn't know better. Similarly the goblins in the mortgage business offered subprime loans and quickly sold them off to investors, making instant profit, and letting the morons (home owners and stupid investors) take the fall when the time came.

So I don't see why you'd oppose this practice in the real economy, but cheer on this behavior in the WoW economy. Perhaps it's because of your position, in the WoW economy, you're one of those people who can run the show, but out here you're just another worker bee (and thus don't benefit from such practices)? Might I go so far as to say that regulation is not a necessary thing to deal with morons, but more of an enlightened self interest of goblins lower in the totem pole.

Gevlon said...

@csdx: I cheer at it in WoW because I know that no one will compensate them for it. You didn't seem to understand the post. Regulation is a necessary evil to prevent the socials starting to compensate them. In WoW the other (outraged) players have no means to tax my income and compensate the "scam victims". I DON'T support regulation in the real world. I wish it would not exist. But it has to as long as socials can and want to protect the morons.

Anonymous said...

People roll a race for aesthetics (a.k.a. looks), that's why Humans and Blood Elves are the most popular races in their respective factions.

You can compare it to a situation when someone pays additionally to get a red car instead of white. It has no practical meaning neither is it done to keep up with the Joneses and impress the neighbourhood.

And you don't accept an answer "I like red more than white", you always need an ape-subroutine behind it.

Actually, the ape-subroutine to roll Humans and Blood Elves instead of Dwarves and Trolls is what looks are considered "sexy". Dwarves and Gnomes are short and small, Trolls and Orcs are hunched, and the ape to human evolution was from small and hunched to the tall and walking straight.

Nils said...

@ HokieJayBee:

Very nice. Thank you!

Now, before anybody thinks these apes are dump .. they are not.

Do you like to eat spiders or insects? No? That's strange, because most of them are quite tasty and improve your health.

Fact is: You immitate the eating habbits of your parents. That's why at first babies put into their mouth almost anything. But a few years later parents struggle to have them eat almost anything.

It's hard-wired in your brain.
This way the next generation doesn't always have to scrifice half of the population to find out what is healthy and what is not.

As always, immitation is not perfect. It's imperfect, as with insects. But, given some degrees of freedom, immitation is learning - and good at society level.

Nils said...

I DON'T support regulation in the real world

Assuming oil runs out in 80 years. (that's very optimistic).

Is there any reason for a Goblin to decrease oil consumption now?

No, because in 80 years he will most probably be dead.
Same is true for a society consisting of Golines.

Is this behaviour good at the level of a society?
No. Societies that act this way will die out in the long run.

Which is why such societies did not develop / not survive evolution.

Anonymous said...

first i like your blog it is good -first post ever so i thougth id say that.
"Without the socials the subprime people (very stupid) would freeze to death and the investors (mildly stupid) would lose lot of money, so the "buy stuff from loan you can't repay" idea would die out and "invest your money without carefully researching what you invest in" idea would be seriously damaged."
two problems the supply of morons is practically unlimited and most of them DID avoid the sub prime loans sadly not enough.
second most of the investments were done by big funds mostly owned by the American public (pension founds and similar) and they did research it. they just didn't think about what would happen later, shortsightedness is a common human trait, but letting them reap what they sow would just be pointless the poor would pay and those in power wouldn't learn anything.
and it is them that were the problem because to them this was a good idea they made money and when all went to hell the government stepped in and saved them and they are the problem.
which leads me to the conclusion regulation is necessary because if everyone did what was best for themselves everyone would suffer, the bankers did what was best for them and quite allot of people paid for it but it wasn't good for the economy.
punishing a moron for doing something moronic is moronic its the educated person doing something moronic that needs the lesson.
and a PS afaik the ammo bug only apears on auctioneer, 1) learn to use price/unit 2) auctioneer just makes morons more efficient it seems.
sorry for the wall of text and possible typos/grammar/syntax and other related problems

Anonymous said...

"Regulation is a necessary evil
to prevent the socials starting to compensate them. In WoW the other (outraged) players have no means to tax my income and compensate the "scam victims". I DON'T support regulation in the real world. I wish it would not exist. But it has to as long as socials can and want to protect the morons.
problems with your line of reasoning include the following a) i sell you a loaf of bread that is filled with poison without regulation you would die, you say you pick the other ones but how do you know which is good ? - no regulation i think i lie on my labeling and say its healthy the problem all of this winds down to is: if there is no regulation i can, and will, profit from doing things that are bad, pollute, poor product or lie to you.
and you cant get all the information in this world, it works in wow because of the scale , but IRL experts has power and they exploit it and you suffer without regulation even the brightest goblins would suffer.
besides i do not want to live in a world were helping your fellow man isnt a promoted idea.
and i think you should try reading Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. its quite enlightening and several of the chapters are quite on the nose for your post

and a PS following your recommendation, in regards to the banking crisis, would have turned the world into chaos and mayhem nopt good for anyone.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

@Jeff: I don't plan to turn anybody down for rolling the wrong race. I myself am playing a human pally when dwarf would have been a better choice for tank/dps and I don't really want to heal (though I'll spec prot/heal at 80 if I remain mediocre at melee dps -- my feral does less than my mage with better gear).

I'm doing it because I wanted the head start of using an existing alt, and I rolled him human originally for the rep bonus. Plus, EMFH is a good enough racial for the decision to be pretty borderline.

Horde racials for dps, OTOH, are a pretty clear 1-2% loss with no real tradeoff benefit if you choose the wrong race. To me, that's a significant mark against you. The way you become a top dpser is by making a few dozen different decisions that are worth anywhere from .1% to 5% correctly.

Sure, relative to other actual players who will make mistakes, you can make up for any one bad decision up by doing well with all the others. But it's not a question of "I don't get bloodfury, *but* I will be very effective at CC and other useful functions". Not rolling orc as a hunter or unholy dk doesn't make you more effective at CC or avoiding fire, it *only* loses dps.

Rolling a new character and passing up a 2% benefit racial with no positive tradeoff is a lot like saying "I'm not going to bother with leg armor" or "I'm not going to spend my last talent point", from the standpoint of min-maxing.

Anonymous said...

While your concepts have merit, your perspective is so rigid that you don't see the positive outliers.

Let's say the undead mage and the troll mage are in a raid together, and the troll mage, despite his amazing 3% higher DPS, keeps pulling aggro and doing stupid shit that gets him killed way too early, but the undead mage is smart and can stay alive to kill the boss. Do you still think the troll is better? If you're dead, you're not doing ANY damage, even if you were doing 3% more before. You'd be a horrible guild leader not to see that the undead is the better option here.

And regarding the comment from someone about stacking crit instead of haste, etc, it's another aspect of knowing what the best choices are for a class and then making GOOD decisions for the GROUP. FOR EXAMPLE. Demonology warlocks provide a very nice SP buff to the whole raid... even though they do slightly less damage than destruction warlocks (and die less, because they don't steal all the aggro from the tanks). If you didn't 'allow' any demo locks to raid because of their lower DPS, you'd be missing out on a DPS boost overall from the buff.

You seem to not understand how variations can contribute positively for the benefit of the group. I'm not advocating bailouts or anything, but when it comes to a raid, things have to be coordinated and functional.

Gevlon said...

I don't plan to turn anyone down for race either. They simply have worse chance for winning. And I'm unsure he is aware of his handicap.

@Nils: oil won't disappear in a day. The drilling becomes more and more expensive as you drill worse and worse oil fields. This means oil will GRADUALLY become expensive. So other goblins can start to compete with oil barons by crafting wind, water or nuclear plants.

Anonymous said...

Altruism is brought up often in science vs. religion literature. Evolutionists argue that altruism is a beneficial trait that helps with survival. Here it seems you are saying that an altruistic society is doomed to a downward spiral. Could you elaborate on this a bit?

My first reaction here is to consider that there are no rules to quantify the 'merit' or 'value' a person provides to society. Rather, each person's contribution is judged by their peers. It has been shown that, if given the chance, people will punish those that they deem are acting selfishly. Unless you are capable of printing your own money, at some point you are going to rely on transactions with other people to do business. It is very conceivable to me that altruism is a trait that protects people from vindictive customers, managers, shareholders, etc., and can help further a person's career, rather than a weakness that would be eliminated via evolutionary means.

Also, out of curiosity, what is your take on the de-evolution theme from the movie Idiocracy? It seems like the type of thing I'd expect to read on your blog.

gustavoscharf said...

"...will disappear only when all its carrier people die, just like the "shorter neck" gene stays until the last "short neck" giraffe dies."

Well, technically there would still be recessive "shorter neck" genes that could pop up in later generations ;).

Nevertheless, good read.

jmurdo2 said...

You're assertion that banks were bailed out to prevent people from losing their homes is just wrong. Banks were bailed out because the government felt that the failure of a major bank, through their involvement and misuse of derivative securities based on mortgage backed securities, would have crippling effect on the both the U.S. and world economies. Making no statement on whether I agree with that thought or not, you completely misunderstood their motives. There was no altruism involved, no protection of the social masses. It was a decision made to protect U.S. interests in the world economy. You are so quick to try and identify situations where people are making bad decisions to help others, that you know are over-reaching in your claims.

strutt said...

Gev, a little heads up about the DPS, DPS isnt everything. For instance, on a 25VoA run i average a little over 8k DPS on the new boss. If I really wanted I can just sit there and fart around untill the last 20% pop all my CS's shoot up to about 10k on the meters...


So would you take the 6k DPS that does 100k damage for the whole fight, or the 10k DPS hunter that did 30k...

and what about the retards that can pull 8K constantly but die to fire all of the time...

Cant test that on a dummy?

Nils said...

oil won't disappear in a day. The drilling becomes more and more expensive as you drill worse and worse oil fields. This means oil will GRADUALLY become expensive. So other goblins can start to compete with oil barons by crafting wind, water or nuclear plants.

Oil is not only used to produce electrical power...

Additionally, the demand increases like crazy right now, with the billion of asians finally learning from the west and creating their own 'developed' societies. Gratz to them, but the demand is not very elastic. Ways to replace oil are rare and usually extremely expensive.

I'm not an expert here, but in my opinion there will come a time when exponentially increasing demand will hit almost static supply.
Since oil is very costly to store once out of the well, it's also very hard to speculate with it's long run price. In addition: Why should a goblin buy an oil-well 60 years in advance? He'd probably be dead in 60 years and if he is not he might want to invest in a product that pays off next year so that he can actually spend some time with the money.

Make us live forever and it might work, but the limited human life span is one of several reason why unregulated markets are not optimal from a society point of view.

csdx said...

@Gevlon actually my point is that regulations exist for the benefit of upcoming goblins, just as much as for socials.

So ignoring socials completely, I assert that there are more unsuccessful (or less successful) goblins than very successful goblins. Thus the lesser goblins will want controls on the higher goblins so that they might be able to compete against them and win. (Of course once they become successful, they fight to change things the other way). But since there are more goblins interested in getting to the top then there are at the top, it is in their interest to have regulations to help them bring those at the top down.

So say there was no regulation, then the Goblin coporate boss, who is very smart will find a way to not pay his workers very much. You are a worker and a goblin. If you let him have his way, you'll never be able to make money and beat him. Thus you need to enlist the support of your other workers goblins or not, to make sure he can't keep you all down.

Now a big thing of yours is that "Monopolists can't win", but I (and history) call you wrong. If you're unwilling to look up history yourself, then answer the question, why do we need anti-trust regulation? If the monopolist is sure to fail, then it's unnecessary even to protect the morons. But the truth is it's not and that the anti trust regulation is really for the benefit of goblins more than morons. Because now they can compete and start their own businesses (I'm assuming morons aren't ever able to do this). Thus it is in a goblin's interest to support regulation, not reluctantly accept it. (Unless they're already at the top, then they want to fight it as much as possible).

Jeff said...

On an interesting side note biologists and anthropologists have recently identified a genetic propensity to religion. Religion was and remains a very successful evolutionary development. People who are members of the same religious group have a better ability to bond with others and survive.

In other words evolution is some times strange but never wasteful.

Religion exists and continues to dominate economic thinking for a reason.

Also with your dummy test for dps you run a major risk. One of the best DPS characters in a boss fight is an affliction lock, however you do not see the benefit of this spec until the curse of doom starts to go off. At at least one minute into the fight, making their trash DPS terrible.

Midnight said...

Too many people have let the comment "Also you forget that chit-chat not only make friends. It makes drama too." by Gevlon slide.
Chit-chat is necessary for a guild to survive. Guilds that don't build strong social relationships do not last. You need teamwork to survive, and you need synergy. If you don't bond on any level with your tank, you're not going to work well in a team with him. Teamwork REQUIRES trust, and trust is implicit in friendship. Yes, it CAN build drama, but look at any top 50 guild. They talk. They're friends. They know each other's names IRL and probably know where some people live. They've probably met up in real life. And little to no drama, because REAL friendship does not have guild-breaking drama.

As a tank in my guild and guilds I run with, I am aware at what point the healer will pop the oh-shit cooldowns, and my healer knows approximately when I will do the same. Many a time we have, with zero communication, chained our cooldowns between us to keep me alive. Because there is trust and there is knowledge and there is friendship.

Furthermore, I find some interesting inconsistencies in what you say. You say that "The average population of wow is dumber than that of the world because kids are playing". Then, in comments, you assert that you almost care less about the decisions players make than their ability to learn. As a raid leader, that's a GREAT skill--it's better for your raiders to be able to adapt and figure stuff out on their own than to just walk in and hit 10k dps in blues but die to the fire.
Which begs the question--why don't you want kids? Kids learn better. They adapt better. The plasticity of a brain until about 25 or so is pretty incredible--that's why there are dual-language schools these days; kids can learn two languages at once. Adults find it very difficult to become fluent in a second language. Adults find it very difficult to learn how to play an instrument well, which is why you see child prodigies (and adult players saying "I've been playing since I was thirteen").

If you want adaptive players that are receptive to teaching, get kids, not the 'smarter' people thrice their age.

Vennren said...

Very well thought out about the whole subject.

And I prefer the word "priority" above "rotation", a rotation can be messed up due to certain circumstances in the environment, but your priority 'list' will stay unchanged even if you had to run away from a fire and missed that one skill S before you are supposed to cast skill T.

Tree said...

I am amazed. The assumptions this post are based on are epic in scope and unsupported by even the barest shred of evidence. I hardly know where to begin.

The suggestion that altruism weakens with every generation is downright comical - I don't recall World Vision or Save the Children operating in the 17th Century, or any government foreign aid for that matter, or any social security system.

If the kind of process you suggest is at work, you have to face the fact that the altruists are winning. Probably because other people like them and follow thier example. There are advantages to being "social".

Moreover the suggestion that most people were "irrationals" until recently completely ignores the role of education. No matter how rational you may be, if you don't have the essential facts (or the means to obtain them) your decisions will still be wrong. That doesn't make you irrational or stupid, just wrong.

Furthermore, let us suppose we take the "socials" out of the scenario. The "stupid people" have nobody to protect them and are left to their fate while the "rationals" acquire wealth. What happens then? Bloody revolution and a whole lot of dead "rationals".

You may not like "irrationals", you may look down on them and wish they were not there. But do not assume for an instant that just because they can't outmatch you on the AH, they can't put your palace to the torch. Underestimating the rage of the disadvantaged has often proven to be a tyrant's final mistake.

Gevlon said...

@Tree: the bloody revolt idea is silly. They are just matter of bullets. See how easily we can keep off those M&S that doesn't have social support (like immigrants). The "revolt" would really be bloody but it would only be their blood. You know the pitchfork vs attack helicopter battle is pretty much oneshot.

While you might see the increase of meaningless CHARITY, you seem to ignore the huge decline of meaningful altruisms. Centuries or even several decades ago the "one must die for his homeland" or "one must be loyal to his family at all cost" were obvious ideas. Today you can openly say "fuck the army" or divorce and leave even minor kids behind without any kind of (even social) punishment.

Ladron de la Noche said...

If the market is too regulated: the selection will be too weak and the dumb ideas will be not repressed. This happened in the communist countries where the surviving dumbness caused the whole economy be way weaker than in capitalist countries.

Did you really just claim that communist countries didn't kill enough poor people?

According to your ideology, poor people are that way because they are dumb or lazy. Dumb and lazy people should be allowed to fail. Failing without support means death. Nobody has ever killed more of the people that you describe than those communist countries. The people in charge, the wealthy, the successful, were the ones with bad ideas, and look where the successful classes got them. This is easily the most illogical and ill-conceived post I've read of yours.

You should also do yourself a favor and read up a bit on Evolutionary Theory. You might learn something.

l2pnub said...

There is no reason for the underperforming to be "saved" by welfare. Machines can very well do all menial work.

The reason why menial work is still done by people is that said people are much better at killing/beating than doing productive work and are a political threat.

Also, from an evolution point of view, welfare-slackers are just as adapted and "good" as anyone else, because it works.

@Gevlon: And unless you find a way to procreate more by using your qualities, they are not qualities (according to you at least).

Did I get it right? :)

csdx said...

@Gevlon "the bloody revolt idea is silly. They are just matter of bullets."

Actually when there's more of them that means 5 guns are pointed at you for your 1 (or two if you an action movie star). I'm putting my bets on you going down even if you do take a few with you.

But they're too poor to afford guns you might counter. Sure, but an poorer than you, but still enterprising goblin could easily supply them. Why he could make a profit selling weapons, take you out as competition, and earn the support and respect of the masses all in one fell swoop. Remember it's not just the morons who stand to profit from the revolution, but smart goblins will encourage it as well for their own benefit.

Also even assume they aren't armed very well at all. I suggest you look up how well fighting land wars in Asia went for would be conquerors.

Tree said...

@Gevlon

As for the bloody revolt being silly, I refer you to the French Revolution, the October revolution, the rise of communist China. In fact an endless litany of events going back as far as the Plebian revolt in imperial Rome. At every stage there has been someone going "the rabble are harmless". Usually they've ended up bleeding to death in a ditch.

As for "Centuries or even several decades ago the "one must die for his homeland" or "one must be loyal to his family at all cost" were obvious ideas. That is frankly historical revisionism - nothing but a gloss put on an earlier era to make it appear simpler than it actually was. Remember - we've had divorce and abandonment of children as problems since prehistory.

Any suggestion that people were more "moral" or "altruistic" in the past is pure fantasy that even the most token of research should dispell.

kangax said...

comparing free market theory to wow is an interesting idea, however as you might have found there are a lot of setbacks ... wow is not a player driven economy (look EVE) and in my opinion it has a very "flawed" economic system.

2nd
On regulation... Not saving AIG would have put the US and the UK in a big big shitstorm (macro-economically). At least that is what one of my finance professors says :D I say let em burn :D

btw very very nice blog... been reading it for a long time and some of the stuff is really nice. especially the philosophy and economic stuff. However I dislike some of the Moron of the Week posts. Way too much hate for insignificant things.
I would be interested to know what have you studied in university, since I see a lot of constructive thought :P

Jeers, Keep up the good work and
Happy New Year !