Greedy Goblin

Friday, March 12, 2010

Challenge for social(ist)s

Ganking update: 120 accounts in the guild, but need more to bring havoc to the horde. Join! (still, only lvl70 and below, lvl80 transfer will open 2-3 weeks from now)

I've always had hard time fighting the "ferindly helpfull ppl", who waste their resources to the M&S, in game and RL alike. They seem to believe that this help will somehow bring fruits to them, or at least to the mankind. For me it was always obvious that it's just a waste but couldn't really convince many people to see that way.

Reading socialists essays help to understand why they do this nonsense. I assume most social people share this view. Finally I have a defined enemy, and not just shooting blindly to a direction:
"it's difficult to impossible to figure out how to distinguish poor/starting businessmen from your M&S. If someone poor wants to better themselves, by going to college say, they'll need money to afford the education, to of course make enough money to afford it in the first place. ... Thus in such situations, the government is needed to step in, by either offering grants, or guaranteeing student loans. While the person may just drop out because they really are a M&S, we can't know that in advance, and it's certainly worth it to society to help the non M&S poor educate themselves and become useful contributing members. Thus despite potentially helping the unqualified, such spending is beneficial to society as a whole. The saying is of course about the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching him to fish. Though, while he's learning you likely will need to give him a few fish so that he won't starve before he's skilled enough to be catching them on his own." In short: "Everyone are in need of help to start their successful life/business. We must help them even if some leeches get help too in the process".

I completely disagree. But at least I see why the social people act the way they do. They see the unlucky or "beginner" in the poor and not the M&S. I start to believe that if I convince someone that the above statement is incorrect, I can bring a killing blow to altruism in that person.

At first back to WoW. I documented the life of two characters starting from scratch and without any help I reached 5K G in weeks. Even better example: all of the players who started the game when it was published leveled their characters to 60 without external help. There were nobody out there who could boost them. They could only rely on their own strength and on mutually beneficial cooperation with others.

Imagine that one day you log in and find your character naked, tradeskills dropped, bank empty. The GM-s refuse to restore it as it was not hacked, it was turned naked by a disgruntled friend you carelessly shared account information (Don't!). Would you be unable to do anything and at the mercy of "freindly helpfull ppl"?

I wouldn't. I'd go to quest givers for some non-killing quests shooting drake riders in Icecrown or collecting Kaskala supplies. These would give me about 30-40G. With that gold I would go to the trainer to learn mining and herbalism, buy some bags and farm ores and herbs to sell. Selling those would provide dozens of gold that could be used to buy-low-sell-high basic business. The profit from these businesses would provide enough gold to buy reputation blues and AH-greens-blues to be able to do heroics. I'm sure that in a week I'd be raid ready. Granted, with external help I could do it in a day. I could use some help. But I don't need it. I can stand on my feet.

Now to real life: While most of us don't even want to think about it, there are available grind-jobs from McDonalds employee to janitor. Most of us believe that we reached the "status" where we are "above" such activities, and no "decent" men shall be forced to do it, it's only for immigrants and such "lowly" people. That's bullshit! The grind jobs are perfect start for anyone who does not have money but wants to have it. The grind does not only provide him food, but also makes sure that he will take any skilled job he can, instead of being unemployed with a diploma for years, refusing all jobs, waiting for some manager or senior tech job with six figures (that will never come of course, but hey, mom lets me live in the basement and play video games!).

Contrary to the quoted claim above, it's very easy to distinguish between an M&S and a starter person. The latter is working hard at day, and studying at the evenings. The M&S whines for help in the day and watches TV or drinks at the evenings.

Only the victims of disasters need help from the society. Everyone else has jobs around him waiting to be occupied. Maybe not dream jobs, just like grinding copper in Mulgore is not a dream job for me. However if you have no better opportunity, you shall take that.

Could you even imagine the "naked-character" situation in real life? No? Hundreds of millions experienced that in the history. Survivors of wars and dead-end societies had to face being not only without property but also without society itself. No questgivers around. Yet, they survived. The most famous of these people were the American settlers. They arrived to a lawless/stateless land. With the strength of their hands and the ideas of their brains they build what was enough for not just survival. It was enough to build the strongest country of the planet.

If you believe you depend on help from social people, start a new character on a random realm. and try to stand on your own feet. You may surprise yourself. If you like PvP, I just have a perfect server/side for you.

PS: there is a legitimate counter-argument that claims that helping the poor makes his progress much faster, saving time for the whole mankind. That would be true, if most of the help would not be wasted by M&S. Simply too big percentage of the "poor" is M&S and too small is "unlucky", despite the latter obviously exists (exactly as vast majority of 1500 DPS players are M&S and only a few are genuine new players). Giving help to the "poor" would get the society less benefit by boosting the "unlucky" than waste by rewarding the M&S. Of course there is a way out: give loan to the poor that the unlucky will use well and repay, and punish the M&S if they waste it and can't repay. That scenario would work, maybe even better than "let everyone grind for himself". But are you ready to deliver proper punishment to the M&S?


Syto said...

I'm sure there are other arguments besides the one you outlined to rationalize altruism but I think in reality most people our altruistic because it an intrinsic part of their moral code. It has nothing to with efficiency or advancing the human race - society has "socialized" us to the point where helping other people increases our personal utility.

I personally don't see anything wrong with this, it makes me happy to know that some people our better off then they possibly could have been without my intervention, just like it makes me happy to live in a society without abject poverty. I'm sure you might disagree with these forms of happiness but its no less valid then any other means of procuring it.

Carl said...

I agree with your example of starting from scratch in real life. However, the parallel example of starting a level 1 on a new realm is flawed, because this level 1 starts with knowledge and experience gained from a previous/concurrent "life".

In the real world, we do not have access to such luxuries. Imagine what a person can accomplish if he is born with full memory of someone else's life! Therefore, whether we become goblins or M&S is first and foremost determined by our parents, through both their genes and their guidance during your journey to adulthood.

In that perspective, it is truly a privilege to have the ability to think and act rationally.

Gevlon said...

@Lupius: common but wrong socialist idea. It's true that 10-12 years old children differ in knowledge and it depends on their parents. However since everyone is capable to gather and process knowledge, everyone could (and should) progress. Granted, that the unlucky people should start their progress from deeper. But there is no other reason for stagnation or decline than being M&S.

With WoW example: yes, there is a huge difference between my lvl1 and a complete newbie's lvl1. But he should gather information and learn. No doubt that I reach 80 faster, but he shall reach it too and by the time he gets there should know enough about his class. If he fails in it, he is an M&S.

Kaaterina said...

Isn't this a re-edit of an older post?

Anonymous said...

"I can bring a killing blow to altruism"

I think you've defined your mission statement. Short n' simple.

Feel free to add it as the sub-title to your blog, but no doubt it applies to your real life as well. How do you currently convince others of that in RL? Or is World of Warcraft the only outlet for persuading others to practice as you do (successfully), thus leaving you satisfied?

PS. I'll resist the urge to make any cracks about how you're assembling a coalition to invade a people that have done you no personal harm, all for the economic benefit of people like you (which, while not the primary reason spoken to the masses, is merely a happy coincidence.

Sven said...


Full credit to you for discussing the counter-argument, but I think you dismiss it too readily. You have to demonstrate that ' too big percentage of the "poor" is M&S and too small is "unlucky" ', not merely assert it. Where's your evidence?

As for your response to Lupius, you're assuming that the consequences of being unlucky are merely limited to physical poverty. I think his point is that your childhood circumstances don't just affect your immediate wealth, but the whole way you think about and interact with the world. Without outside intervention, people struggle to change unhelpful behaviours that learned as a child. For a few lucky people, this comes from good role models or "friendly helpful ppl" they meet in life. Unfortunately, relying on chance meetings isn't a very good policy for lifting people out of poverty. That's where state intervention comes in. It may not be 100% effective (we simply don't know how to undo many childhood traumas), but if it increases the number of people who can play a useful role in society, that's a good thing.

Eaten by a Grue said...

Gevlon, I think you draw too many conclusions from WoW. This is a game played by kids and many who are not the sharpest crayons in the box.

I mean, there is 80 levels of "kill me 10 boars". It takes a certain person to go through that, so you will get a larger percentage of stupid people than in other areas of life.

Attempts to draw correlation with real world based on this are therefore highly suspicious.

I will also add that even within WoW, your assessment of the percentage of the population that are inept is highly dubious. If it were true that 95% of WoW players were complete idiots, there would not be so many highly geared players. I realize that one can be carried, but if 95% of people are idiots, there simply would not be enough quality players to carry the idiots. Good players would probably avoid PUGs entirely. This is obviously not the case.

Anonymous said...

there's a huge difference between World of Warcraft and real life. WoW is extremely forgiving and if you fail, you will not die or starve your children, you simple didn't manage to succeed in a game. Moreover - quest givers could care less who works for them, they have infinite supply of money to pay you. Likewise - resources are only limited by respawn timers. It takes seconds vs years (or longer, depending on a resource) for a resource to become available again.

Real life is a lot more competitive and resources - more sparse. Pioneers that you mention? they didn't manage to survive and build by isolating themselves from each other. They built by working together, helping each other when needed.

Lastly, in WoW, you STILL get help from friendly helpful people. The ones that write addons, chronicle quests, calculate best specs and rotations. People who update wowhead, people who debate on elitist jerks. You can deny it all you wish, but even indirect help is still help.

Help doesn't have to come in shape of a handout or a boost. Its not difficult to attempt to teach someone to fish, you did it yourself on your blog when you posted gold making tips, tried out new ideas and then wrote them down for others to try.

Yes, its worth it to offer help. Sometimes its given to an M&S who ignores good advice and continues begging, dpsing bellow the tank, healing less then blood DK's deathstrike. And sometimes you help someone get better, someone who simply didn't know any better until you came along. You might play together again and that first bit of help you gave will end up making your future gameplay a lot smoother.

Anonymous said...

well, i red your first chapter, and this time you´re wrong. every buck payed in education system refers in roughly three bucks earned due to high taxes from educated people in the future. It´s quite stable profed. The fact is simple:

the clever son / daughter in a worker-family can´t afford to go to university, because there is no money to pay it. if they go to university, they have to work hard to afford it - and the rich M&S pays it by daddys credit card.

that´s stupid, because the clever working class guy should go to university and study, and the rich M&S shouldn´t.

That´s guaranteed by the government. Education is free for everybody, so everybody (in theory...) could go to university - if he´s good enough.

It brings more money for the government - so it´s completely different for social welfare - which brings back nothing but taxes on tabacco or alcohol.

Arceopteryx said...

You need to think that the M&S thoughts might not go that deep. All there is to it could possibly be: "OMG cool mamoot, I bet he will help me get gold lolol".

World of Warcraft is a game, that means you play it for fun. So it should be okay if "firendly" people want to waste their time on M&S?

Emmanuel ISSALY said...

as often, i find the idea interesting, but IRL comparison isn't really suited : for one, a Mc donald experience would be a serious handicap to explain in a job interview (worth it), and second, you're employability decreases with your age, while it hasn't any impact on wow.

If i take my personal experience of having recently (at 40) restarted studies, i was happy the state helped me pay a part of my master. There was a pure M&S also in that promotion, who failed. But the state gained more in the end, because i'm paying more tax than the cost of both our studies. In that case, helping us helped :)

Anonymous said...

What your argument commes down to is that you should blame your parents if they can't afford your education.

Lets look at this from a government point of view: people who have had higher education will get better jobs and pay more taxes.
Morons and Slackers (and idiots) end up with less paying jobs, which turn in less revenue but that's the best you'll be getting out of them anyways.
By forcing the smart (but poor) to make their own money for education, it'll take the poor-smart longer to start bringing in the big-bux, since they have to waste valuable time working with the M&S of society, but also risk that they'll drop out of education since some jobs are hard to combine with a full-time education, and some education is so expensive there's no way to get that kind of money within reasonable time (except robing banks or elderly).

In the end, the government ends up with more money (from taxes) by supporting education for those that can't afford it, but have a good brain.

Akrea said...

I fully agree with Gevlon's statement. I worked during the day as a cashier and studied for my finance degree at night. My whole salary went straight to the universaty while my collegues spent their salaries on "mammoths and choppers". Today I'm a financial manager.

And a proud member of Gevlon's Gankers!

Anonymous said...

So you set up the grounds for your argument, then extrapolate up to the point where you feel comfortable you have enough solid ground.

But why did you stop there? Take it a bit further, people in Africa/Asia starve because they want to, not because of circumstances totally out of their control.

A different example, death penalty, let's make sure it is carried swiftly to everyone who has committed a murder (e.g.), the fact that some innocents will die serves a better good.

And carry on with a few more examples, and you will end up with a system very similar to the Chinese Republic. Which I find fascinating, want capitalism ("goblinism") at its purest form? go to China.

Anonymous said...

the standard rises.

not so long ago (~300 years) most children didnt recieve a formal aducation. they were destined to lives of manual labour.

not so long ago (~100 years) most children did not complete secondary education. they were destined to live of low skilled employment.

not so long ago (~30 years) most people did not have the resources to achieve tertiary education.

in each time scholorships were made availiable to the brightest underprivaledged.

i wonder how many of the worlds great advancements were discovered by those who may not have had the education if it were not for a alutrism of their society.

Anonymous said...

Nice article, I generally tend to agree with you and I'm against "welfare" in most cases.
But I just found this article about someone who tried your "naked char" experiment in RL and failed:

While it would be possible to say that this is just another M&S, I just realized that there is a major difference between WoW and RL(I'm not sure, maybe you already pointed it out): your WoW char doesn't need anything to survive.
As a human being, it COULD be possible to be in a situation when you can't possibly earn enough to pay for the basic needs - food, clothes and home.

Jeanie said...

"With the strength of their hands and the ideas of their brains they build what was enough for not just survival. It was enough to build the strongest country of the planet."
Actually it's because that only the adventurous non M/S would survive (in fact they are the only who would travel there from the first place) that make USA the strongest country. Essentially there couln't be any altruism at the time, either you'd strive to survive or be shot.

"However since everyone is capable to gather and process knowledge, everyone could (and should) progress. Granted, that the unlucky people should start their progress from deeper. But there is no other reason for stagnation or decline than being M&S. "
This arguement actually is : it's your own fault that you're a moron. But is that true? With the same level of average natural intelligence, one with proper education (say university or equivalent) will be vastly different from one without any: the former will be useful to the society, while the latter will be a welfare leecher. I mean, education can make a difference between someone become a moron or not (granted, complete moron would still be moron, and genius will still likely to be genius, but it would be safe to assume that the median of human is of average intelligence, with the number going down to either extreme), so you can't just tell a moron that it's his fault for being one : he didn't get to choose whether to be educated or not, it largely depend on his parents and where he lives during his early life (10 years old poor kid can't do anything to get money for school). Also if one is born with really low natural intelligent, it's really not his fault ...

That said, I'm not altruist (but I'm not anti social to your extreme either), and I think the solution that you proposed before (the one that welfare can't vote) is great. However, our society won't allow such thing for the fear that without the poor' vote, the difference between them and the rich could even be further.

Note that all the altruist are actually quite intelligence and decently successful (at least those that can actually help anyone). And I really think that it's the non-altruism social that is causing complications now in the society.

Jeanie said...

P/S: I just realized that Lupius and Sven posted about the exactly same thing as my last post.

Anonymous said...

Your comment about bringing "a killing blow to altruism" reminded my of a BBC program " The Trap:What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom" by Adam Curtis, which can be viewed on Google video. Have you seen it? I bring this up because I perceive an error in removing altruism which is a subroutine that has been very valuable in human development. However I am a Hobbit and not a Goblin, so this could be a misunderstanding.

Kaaterina said...

Great! You found your target, kill altuism.

The problem with this is that virtually every shred of evidence is against you right now.

There is no denying that free education for everyone helps everyone, even if it's given to M&S.

A M&S in T9 still does more DpS than a moron in quest greens. Sure, he's underperforming, but he's better than his former self.

A M&S with SOME education is still better than one with no education at all.

Now what you meant to say is that giving resources to M&S is bad because those resources are better spent ELSEWHERE, not that he doesn't improve at all.


You can't really say that deprieving him of those resources and giving them to 'who deserves' will do more good, simply because there is no evidence to point that out. First, how do you decide 'who deserves' the help? Either by tight regulation, (which you're against since it's open to corruption in a dictatorship, raises HUGE ethical questions in eugenics, and is pretty much a bad way to go about doing things) or... free market.

Only the free market isn't that free. Parents can and will help their children irrespective of whether they're M&S or not. What are you going to propose next? Ban inheritance? Ban allowance? Every kid for himself?

Free market-like education will pretty much push the society back into the caste system of late middle ages.

Thing is, there is no a priori system of testing someone and saying BAM - M&S, BAM - Smart Person.

Even natural intelligence isn't enough of a metric, since personality depends Well, look here, a catch 22.

You can kill altruism when an objective way of measuring M&S is invented. Until then, killing it has about as much effect as throwing wooden bullets at a tank and hope it miraculously explodes.

Chopsui said...

Gevlon, you forget that real life is not an equal-opportunity situation. Parental success flows over to children, and that is mostly the influencing factor on the being poor or not from those starters.

In WOW, someone doing 1500dps or having 50 gold begging for repairs, *failed at the game with an equal start*. We all started with our white weapon and white clothes, reading our spells.

In real life, Bill Gates' children don't start out with the same resources as Joe the Orphan. The rich kids start out with so many resources and accompanying benefits (such as 50+ year salaries in interest, how's that for slavery?) than the poor kids. Can the poor kids help themselves by working hard, slowly climbing up the ladder? Yes, yes they probably can.

Some will fail and stumble somewhere along the way, never getting out of the poverty trap, since they cannot afford to pay E2000/year for tuition. In current society, there are people who simply do not have the means to educate themselves to their full potential.

And they need help. Help that society as a whole needs to provide, if business doesn't do it, then governments should. The only thing that's flawed in many government systems at the moment, is that they're non-discriminative. Everyone who starts a study in Holland has the same rights to benefits as other people, and there are only slight benefits to the top 10 students on a university or so. That's encouraging to be average, instead of encouraging to be excellent. The US system is better in that way, that you kinda need to excel before you get the grant. It pushes people to excel sooner, and that's better for society as a whole (in the educational system).

But the parallel you just drew between WOW and RL is flawed due to the fact, that everyone in wow starts poor, and not everyone in RL starts poor.

Gevlon said...

@Kaaterina: there cannot be free education, just as there cannot be free lunch. Teachers must eat, so must be paid, and it does not hurt if the classroom has roof.

So we can only talk about taxpayer-paid education and learner-paid education.

You miss the obvious business solution of student loans: if someone's income significantly would increase by education, it is a smart choice to give him money and get it back later with interest.

This way the separation of "smart but poor" and "M&S" becomes a business itself. "Smart seeker" agencies can compete on the market, selling their services to the student loan banks, as these banks don't want to give loan to M&S.

Dechion said...

Some time ago just out of curiosity I decided to try out your scenario. Actually I think I was going to do a post on it, but never got around to it. Perhaps I'll go back and rectify that.

I happened to have a long abandoned 70 Hunter sitting solo on a realm I no longer played on.

While I did not actually delete everything he had I put everything he owned in his bank, then mailed all his cash to a bank mule I created.

I unlearned both of his crafting skills, and put all his pets in the stable. Essentially he was standing in Stormwind in his undershorts like a character about to be deleted.

I proceeded to go tame a boar near Goldshire and then do a few quests in the area for a few silver.

Learning Mining and buying a pick I headed back out to Elwynn forest and did a few circuts gathering copper. I put it in the AH and waited till the next morning.

The gold I got from that was sifficent to pick up a couple level 65-70 greens, most notably a bow and some 16 slot bags.

I then learned Enchanting as my second profession and started farming Deadmines for easy cash, wool to sell, and low level enchanting mats for the AH.

Playing no more than an hour a day on that toon I was re-equipped sufficently to go to Northrend and start questing within 3 or 4 days.

I called the experiment at that point, as my point had been proven. I was getting gear that would have replaced mine anyway from the quests in the Boring Tundra and was sitting on over a hundred gold to cover expenses.

It took all of about 3.5 hours played time over the course of 3 or 4 days.

Anyone can do it, even those that don't run an AH business. I never flipped a thing, simply using auctioneer's default sales prices for the items I gathered.

Anonymous said...

Well you look at all this from the wrong side. People help other people not because of some higher goal they want to achieve, the act of helping alone makes people feel good und thus is enough reward in itself. It gives people a feeling of being needed, which is quite important for ones well-being.

But thats just basic philosophy, maybe you should read up on that ;)

This is closely related to the development of the human race by the way. Without mutual support our race would have gone extinct long ago. Only through very recent developments (the last ~300 years) has there been the individualization und personalization that spawns your train of thoughts, which basically is nothing more than the true and ugly face of capitalism.

Anonymous said...

We have loans for studying here
if youre top 10% you get 50% less to pay back
loans are naturally not given to everyone they check before they give them out.

Infact if you're good getting the loan and staying in the top 10% comes cheaper than paying studying fees directly.

Anonymous said...

So now we are giving "soft loans" to students? What next? Where do you draw the line?
Don't give access to medicines to those who can't afford them, and hence let the die?
Don't provide food to those who can't buy it, and let them starve?

You have made a very nice assay, but that is all what it is. Applying your theory to all situations within any society, would give place to an extremely unpleasant place to live in.

Euripides said...

First off, minimum wage can't afford to pay for any level of schooling in many places in the world. In fact, there are a lot of places that it barely produces enough to pay for rent and food.

Second, minimum wage itself is a social protection construct. If it were left up to supply and demand for the market, people without family resources to promote them past menial labor would never be paid enough to get out of the menial labor situation.

Jeanie said...

"You miss the obvious business solution of student loans: if someone's income significantly would increase by education, it is a smart choice to give him money and get it back later with interest."
That type of bussiness has already been around : scholarship with restriction in university. But, education for a kid started way before that time (It takes almost 20 years to educate someone to be useful to the society). And during the first 10 years (high school and before), it would be impossible to differentiate a smart one and a moron one.

Tonus said...

What your post describes is more libertarian than 'anti-social.' Libertarians are not necessarily anti-social or against altruism. They prefer that government not be the one to determine how the money the individual earns is spent. This would not stop a person from spending his own money to help the needy, if he was so inclined.

I'm not sure how to apply that to WOW. Perhaps by pointing out that Blizzard requires players to group together to defeat certain content, thus forcing a certain level of cooperation and dependency in order to succeed. Guilds and groups are not required to carry M&S but they may decide to do so for various reasons ("he is a friend" "I feel sorry for him" "it would waste time to find a replacement" etc).

Of course, there is a difference between being altruistic by your own choice, and having altruism forced upon you via taxation and government planning. But that is just one thing that separates many political and moral ideologies.

Klepsacovic said...

For the most part, M&S are made, not born or chosen. Read up on child development and the role of proper nutrition and early education. A capable child may be born, but in an unstimulating environment, their mind won't develop; they will grow up stupid, by no or fault of their own, but only by the environment. If there was more support for poor children, they'd be less stupid. Your antisocial tendencies actually create more M&S rather than reducing them.

Kaaterina said...


"Only through very recent developments (the last ~300 years) has there been the individualization und personalization that spawns your train of thoughts, which basically is nothing more than the true and ugly face of capitalism."

Oh please. You mean the last 300 years that basically increased life expectancy twofold, increased comfort of life to unparalleled levels, and actually ensured that humankind is the dominant species on Earth, against even naturally unbeatable predators like bacteria and viruses?

Yes, such an ugly face of capitalism.

You can't just split capitalism and say "This part of capitalism, good, this part of capitalism, bad." That's retarded. Capitalism is a whole, and while there are certain nuances to it, the basic idea of capitalism is that NO ONE knows better what to do with one's wealth than the person who owns it.

Pure socialism is dead. What the current socialist trends in modern democracies do is basically tell people. "Give us a part of your wealth, and we'll make SURE that the rest you have left is yours and yours alone, for ever and ever, and you can use it as you see fit."

Most lefties actually argue with the liberals on the percent of that 'part' as well as the destination of the money gathered, NOT the basic idea of capitalism.

Now, I appreciate you trying to convince Gevlon of some of his wrong ideas, but blanket statements that are borderline straw-man is not helping your argument.


You're just pushing the question aside. Tell me what metric should a 'smart-seeking' company use to determine who's smart and who is a M&S.

I'm genuinely interested in this. You said in one of your older posts that you measure a M&S on S3D by the amount of fire eating he does. IIRC, you precisely claimed that M&S can be measured.

Well then, if it can be measured, and you're gung-ho on paralleling WoW to RL, then it means that you can measure it in RL.

I want to hear what would be used in measuring, not blame-shifting of the type : "Oh, well, someone ELSE would do it."

Kaaterina said...

Also, Jeanie is absolutely correct.

The first years are of paramount importance in determining the behaviour of a future person. Educations starts way way way earlier than University.

Such a smart-seeking company would have to evaluate those children from the cradle to give everyone 'equal opportunity' otherwise it's not equal opportunity.

And that brings us to genetic determinism. Which, for obvious reasons is both morally and ethically unacceptable. I know that you're not big on morals or ethics, but even you would be hard pressed in finding an excuse to genetic segregation.

Besides, how does one supposed loan student company give loans to babies?

As I see it, such a system is not viable. Either this 'amrt-seeking company' rates people on their performance in primary/high-school (which, let's not kid ourselves, is more of a rating given to parents not the students themselves), or they give loans to genetically-selected babies.

Or, we can just give education to everyone.

Gevlon said...

@Klepsacovic: and how would you give more support to poor children? Children cannot trade. You can only give to their parents who will spend it on smoke and booze.

@Kaaterina: actually "someone else will do it" is NOT blame-shifting. That's market. I don't fight fires, I don't grow potato and I don't think this makes me bad.

Some hints on measurement: school grades. While not perfect, it's better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

A buddy of mine and I were trying to figure out a way to use our gold in wow to make other gold that was not based upon a crafting profession. This idea lead us to loans which ties in directly to your give gold to the starter or M&S.

It would be interesting if Blizzard implemented some sort of loaning mechanic. Allowing one player to loan another player money with the guarantee that he would pay that money back. If the player receiving the loan defaults on the loan then all the gold he receives from quest givers or loots will be directed mailed to the player who loaned the gold in the first place.

I feel this would be intensive enough to force players to repay their loans. Can you imagine not being able to buy anything or repair your gear for 2 weeks while you pay back your defaulted loan?

The only way to get around this is to get the loan on a toon that you don't care about. A lvl 1 bank alt or an old lvl 70 that you never plan on playing again.

Anonymous said...

A perfect explanation of why the minimum wage is a bad idea. It would be like someone saying "Quest below level 20 just don't give enough gold or experiance. Lets just remove all of those." Then they act totally shocked that there are suddenly a lot more poor stupid people standing around Ironforge begging for handouts.

Ratshag said...

"The most famous of these people were the American settlers."

Your complete lack of understanding of history continues to appall me. Most of the initial European settlements in North America failed. The ones that survived being wiped out by starvation and malnutrition - Virginia, Massachusetts Bay, and Quebec - did so because of the hand-outs from the local indigenous populations, who pretty much fed them through the initial winters. They also received considerable backing from the governments back in Europe, not because they had proved themselves deserving, but because they were blocking the colonies of rival nations. The governments didn't care if the colonists were successful businessman or not; they just wanted to make sure the land was held. This heavy government backing continued well into the 18th Century, when England achieved domination. Claiming the American settlers did everything on their own is nothing but romantic drivel.

Yaggle said...

The way I see it, a basic education is payment in advance for possible forced conscription into the country's armed forces. If you are required to serve in the armed forces later in life, it is justified since the country gave you an education and thus an opportunity to succeed with those basic math, reading, and language skills you learned.

Kaaterina said...

Sorry, Gevlon, I don't buy it.

If I were to go out in the street and say that it's easy to solve the energy crisis by telling that someone else should invent the zero-point energy tap, I'd be taken as a pretty funny guy. And if someone asks why I don't invent it myself and I reply that I don't know how to do that, I just grow potatoes, I'd be laughed at.

It's easy to be an armchair expert and talk the big talk. It's harder to find viable solutions.

While theoretically correct, both my idea and your education-reform are not anchored in the real world.

Anonymous said...


From previous posts, when Gevlon refers to the American Settler he's talking about the settlers in the American west.

Although I can't decide if the various homesteading acts that motivated people to move west were designed to reward people to try and build the country toward its manifest destiny or the largest welfare act ever known here.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, you are right in some ways and wrong in others, comparisons with real world doesn't apply to all aspects of wow. I assume you are basing the helping of others as random with no vetting procedure or further teachings? I found the carebare aspect of wow very rewarding as a sideline to my pvp and raiding, usually when drunk at the ah but sometimes semi sober out in the wilderness, not everyone does though.

Helping the lost lowbies or new friends can and does work. If all you do are random acts of kindness it does not due to the high percentage of people who will not use your help wisely. Luckily wow has player names and chat to enable you to vet who you help.

Whilst current and historical comparisons with the real word can be made, wow is a different kettle of fish and different rules apply, lives do not necessarily hang in the balance.

In wow the altruistic concept works very well with the likes of silithus and the war effort making it intrinsic to those in guild who didn't get to bank the gong. There's only a few of the basic real life boundaries to contend with wealth, enjoyment and social life for the greater good all being far easier to gain with minimal effort or a need for insurance!

In early wow but, to a much lesser extent now, a person willing to nurture the new and see the potential in someone could ensure a guild reaps much greater rewards in the future. For your challenge, such acts can only be beneficial if they are not simply random.

Altruism is to wow as education is to real life, opening doors and opportunity. In real life we have criminal laws and the police to filter out the wastes of space and prison helps where natural selection fails. A robust education and recruitment system, still very nepotistic also play their part.

Whilst your real world head is saying "don't help" your wow head should be "I'll help those who will in turn help me or others I am concerned about", wow is a social game afterall.

You may not be the person who is a natural helper but that does not stop being a facilitator for someone who is whilst still reaping the benefits from future rewards.

Jeanie said...

"@Klepsacovic: and how would you give more support to poor children? Children cannot trade. You can only give to their parents who will spend it on smoke and booze."
Allow all the kids to go to school, and use tax(or money invested by some company) to pay for their schooling? How actually is their parent going to buy smoke with that kind of support?

"Some hints on measurement: school grades. While not perfect, it's better than nothing."
You would get a generation of mind numbing kids with A+ GPA. Grade has to be there for measurement, but if it change from the gauge to the requirement, people will exploit it(that is actually what happens in alot of East-Asia country now, in quite a few country everyone got 3.5+ gpa, and since 6 years old kids have been told that university entrance exam is the utmost importance thing in their lives). Furthermore, school grade can only judge a person academically, and as much as I love academic knowledge, life has more than just chemistry and physics.

Ratshag said...

@Anonymous -

The granting of free land to individuals through the homestead act was indeed a government welfare policy, but not the biggest. The giving of land to ranchers and railroad companies, as well as mineral rights to oil companies and airwave space to telecommunications firms were all much larger welfare policies.

Any chapter of the history of US is loaded with examples of the government saying "Here! Free stuff!". Why? Because it worked.

Kaaterina said...

Forced conscription in the armed forces? What the?

From my PoV, the world needs LESS gun-totting crazies or young guys that shoot themselves in the head because of barracks depression, not more.

Gevlon's grade-backed student loans idea might be bad, but this forced conscription is downright appalling.

Conscription is an outdated concept. In the words of my grandfather, a WWII vet: "The army is a mish-mash of empty heads, hungry bellies and a complete waste of time."

Nationalism is dead, get over it.

Rob Dejournett said...

This post is somewhat timely, i am changing my career. I have done extensive research on my new career, attended a year of training, certification, only to find my way barred, due to lack of experience. Everything is like that. You can not go get a starter job at McDs and expect to ever make it in any other job. You aren't qualified to do anything but flip burgers.

In the real world, its not only what you know but what expertese level you are. Its also who you know, this is true. But in this job market, you really have to be a damn expert to even get a minimal job.

Anonymous said...

The commenter that said that removing basic education is like removing 1-20 quests and asking lowbies to level hit it in the nail. THAT is the akin to basic and high school education.

You proposed solution only contemplate the extremes: The big moron mass (say, 80% of the population) gets put on it's rightful place. And the top 5% will be able to overcome the small adversities and lack of external help and go on.

However, this forces the other 15% whom are not quite bright, not really moronic, to fall down to the moronic level. This is bad. Really bad. In a business, you are losing a lot of money if you let this 15% of potential income to go to waste because you might be investing on those other 80%. And, really, it's quite simple to identify most of those 80%...

In wow terms: Let the lowbies get their level 60 and epic mount alone (seriously, if you need a boost on these levels you are a failure...). Then force them to work towards their last levels, getting their equip sets, etc. And, if you wanna help them, measure their performance by some system, like how many group quests they soloed, PvP abilities, random dungeon success rate or whatever. Or maybe lend them gear, but only if they pay you back later.

Oh, and altruism is just another form of egoism. Unless you have some kind of disturb, you should only help people in order to get a greater benefit. That includes saying to the fail hunter on your group that his pet on aggressive auto casting growl is a bad idea (explain/link to a aggro site if you are feeling really nice), or to a lock that casting searing pain is not an okay way to DPS (I play as tank, your priorities should vary).

Altruism, however, ain't boosting the 500 DPS guy. It is pointing him to guides, saying that he must read them, and then kicking him out so he can learn how to not suck.

Ladron de la Noche said...

When was the last time you worked at one of those "grind" jobs? I don't know about wherever you are, but here in California it is literally impossible to live off of such a wage. Last time I did so I was also earning tips yet even so I was living paycheck to paycheck, slowly falling further and further into debt as I decided which bills would not be paid that month.

College costs a HUGE amount of money that takes decades to pay off with a decent job, do you really expect people to work for thirty years working "grind" jobs before being able to afford to go to college?

Wilder said...

I think you're bluring the lines a little between giving advice and actual in game items or help. (running through instances, giving gold, etc)
I don't condone the latter, but I strongly agree in giving the former when it is asked. The money for college metaphor works, but only when applied to ideas. When I first started WoW, in my first RFC instance, I saw on the chat people talking about tank and dps and etc. asked about it, and it was explained to me. So, when in a lower lvl instance I usually take the time to explain it to a new player, or at the very least tell them a website like wowwiki where they can find out about it (if that player isn't "M&S") simply because somebody did it for me. Nowadays if I don't understand something I look it up on wowhead or the like. So the college metaphor works for ideas, not for instance boosting and gold beggars. Somebody told me about those sites and told me techniques in the game, and so I'm grateful. I'm definitely a bit of a social. Also, I agree with Syto.
Also, if this is completely wrong or idiotic, please reply, I really enjoy hearing your point of view and it usually makes sense to me after explained. It's why I read your blog.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. In fact, i have done what you suggested in your last lines, got a character in a medium realm with no friends and alts or anything else. He's 1 month old and already got whatever Triumphs got to offer + a nicey 700g/day avg. Well nicey for a market of 10-11k items and my skills on economics , at least.

Really there isn't nothing more refreshing than getting all over from start sometimes.

As for the ganking plan, let me repeat myself: Feed on their tears. Some of us out there have many gains from your plans, fellow greedy greeny goblin.

Dan said...

The "grind jobs in real life" argument is one that is often repeated by the Ayn Rand libertarian types, and one that I myself used to fervently believe in, but it overlooks one thing. What if you can't even get that job? Should you just kill yourself?

I was "underemployed" for about eight months last year, and believe me I applied for every "grind" job out there and nobody wanted me. In my case, many potential employers said I was "overqualified" and they were afraid to hire me because they thought I would bolt for something better the moment it came. Which to an extent was true, but when you are scrambling to pay bills it can be very unnerving to hear that you are too good to work at Subway or Panera.

Then there is the case of people who are under qualified to work at these "grind" jobs. I know I'm stereotyping here, but take the case of somebody from a very poor background. Mom is a drug addict, dad is in jail, they go to an inner city "school" where nothing is taught, and most of their friends make money by boosting, roosting, or prostitution. This person has no diploma and even if they did, since it came from a joke school, it would be worthless. This person want to make it better for themselves, but can't even get a job at McDonalds. They are for all intents and purposes is unemployable. What are they supposed to do?

Listen, I am all about personal responsibility, and pulling your own weight in society but there are people out there that even the most basic things, things that we take for granted, are unavailable to them. In the race of life, they can't even get out of the starting block. It's easy to sit from your position and judge when you haven't experienced it for yourself.



A wise man one said:

Anyone who is willing to work and is serious about it will certainly find a job. Only you must not go to the man who tells you this, for he has no job to offer and doesn’t know anyone who knows of a vacancy. This is exactly the reason why he gives you such generous advice, out of brotherly love, and to demonstrate how little he knows the world.

Anonymous said...

One important caveat to the "free education" question:

Does the government make enough in additional tax revenue from an educated person such that they make a positive return per dollar spent? If so, I'd say free education was a good thing. That also argues for the government providing additional support based on college major--technical degrees (engineering, hard sciences) get more support, art degrees get very little support.

My wife worked in a free US Department of Labor program where they taught extremely poor and undecated people basic job skills such as showing up for work on time and how to dress for work. They also taught them a trade like plumbing, carpentry, or auto maintenance. There is an arguement that, by teaching them a trade, they became a net positive for the government rather than a net negative, even with a fairly high failure rate.