Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Games, resources, losses

Lions are animals. They don't have conscience, rational intelligence, language, abstract thinking or anything that makes humans humans. Yet they play.

Evolution isn't a loving and fair thing. It's a ruthless fight for survival. Yet these creatures do something that obviously doesn't help self-preservation or multiplication: they play. Why do they do it? Lions clearly unable to say "for fun lol", so there must be some better reason: to train. The lion cubs play to practice skills that will be needed in the wild. The calories burnt by jumping around and playfully wrestle will pay off well when they'll be out hunting for food. Playing is learning, practicing.

The human civilization always had games. Toys were also found in the caves of prehistoric men, despite - just like the animals - they had to focus on survival. Sport competitions happened in the most ancient civilizations, for the same reason: to practice and learn without real risk. The game objectives aren't real, losing doesn't cost real resources.

The modern age gave us lot of tools to play games. Yet a weird thing happened: games became real. People are spending money not to play games but to get game objectives. Developers and illicit RMT-ers sell non-existing things for real money. These non-existing things are game objectives, nothing else than bits in the game server. Is is a game anymore if you can sell its items? The RMT-farmers are surely not players but workers.

Developers talk about making their games "casual friendly" and removing losses from the game. Last time I checked, there couldn't be losses in a game by definition, since none of the game assets are real. You are not a mage or a spaceship pilot, but a player sitting in his room, spending his time front of his computer. No spaceships were destroyed, merely a game round was lost. Yet they talk about game assets like they were real, and losing these assets would somehow be a real loss.

Do we have games left, or all we have is a weird virtual world with virtual, but valuable items?



GRR project update: besides surprising amount of Goon propagandists pestering my blog and Goon servants are littering the Lemming and Marmite killboard, one thing needs to be noticed:

Despite CCP just increased corporation limits, Goons decided to purge inactives. Of course it has nothing to do with my demands to make equal performance demands to all corps in Goonswarm and all alliances in CFC. It's similar to transferring their highsec POCOs to RvB, which was their plan all along and they are actually sad that they don't have the fun rep ops anymore.

I think Goons are running forward, fixing their most obnoxious things before they are forced to. With the inactives out, the Goonwaffe participation won't be that bad on the next campaign. I wonder if they do Burn Jita this year. I mean if they call it off now, that's merely a "shift in their priorities". If they call it off after this year massacre, they were defeated. Reforms before defeats is a good way to upkeep their reign.

If you check dotlan, you can see that N3 decisively won the last war, despite their nasty defeat in B-R. Northern Associates and Brothers of Tangra (N3 and PL renters) grown to an all-time high, both in members and sov, while Greater Western co-Prosperity Sphere (Goon renters) have lost members in the last month, despite they lost no Sov. Maybe the fact that Goon renters are massacred in highsec helped some to make the correct decision and rent from landlords who don't call them PBLRD.

Finally, Fatal Ascension capital fleet down before they were even created.

27 comments:

Babar said...

Goonwaffe do regular purges of inactives, they've been doing it for years. You obviously know this, and it can be verified on dotlan easily enough.

And considering Marmite and Lemmings are also at war with Northern Associates, shouldn't their numbers also be down according to your logic?

Arrendis said...

Lions are animals. They don't have conscience, rational intelligence, language, abstract thinking or anything that makes humans humans. Yet they play.

This is a factually curious statement. We know quite clearly that social predators like lions or wolves do communicate with one another, as do primates and other tetrapods, including monitor lizards and other non-mammalian social creatures. Such communication involves concepts like dominance, the approach of danger, and other things which are very much abstract concepts.

As for rational intelligence - before we use ruling that out among other animals as a means to differentiate ourselves, it would first be of no small benefit to demonstrate actual evidence for rational intelligence in humanity. Right now, the best science we have on the subject, including a fairly well-known brain imaging study at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, demonstrates just the opposite: our decisions are made without the awareness of the conscious mind, often by as much as seven seconds. Subjects would be able to present completely 'rational' reasoning behind their decision, but the imaging scans done while the decision was actually occurring, and again while the reasoning was being explained, showed a very different picture: the conscious mind rationalizes out a decision-making process that does not involve it whatsoever.

Instead, what we're coming to understand more and more clearly is that our conception of the mind, of conscious thought, is probably fatally flawed by the simple fact that the instrument being measured is the very one trying to do the measurement. What actually appears to be happening, contrary to all our preconceptions and conceits about our 'rational' thought processes, is that we are, in fact, simply incredibly complex recursive stimulus/response cascades, gaining more and more opacity in our ultimate causal relationships through that complex, constantly aggregating recursion. We are, in effect, fractals that iterate every single time any neuron in the body fires, with the 'conscious' mind as an emergent property given rise from that recursion, with the very curious property of being a lie that it tells itself, possibly as a coping mechanism.

A coping mechanism against what? Well, the mind's basic functions are pattern matching, situational awareness, and problem-solving. Its job is to take in all the input it can, and use that information, that aggregate stimulus (which includes everything that has ever had any effect upon us) to make decisions. And one of the basic necessities in order to achieve that is self-evaluation: 'am I in pain? am I hungry? am I tired?'

And that's where that recursion and aggregation comes in: recursive self-evaluation requires understanding of the mechanisms being understood. Physical mechanisms are comparatively simple. But the mind, being a habitual evaluator, seeks to evaluate the tools and processes being used to make the evaluations, and that's where it runs into a problem. On the surface of it, the mind simply doesn't have the information required to understand the mind. So it evaluates on incomplete information, and operates under the same selective denial principles that allow it to leave the house every day without dwelling on every possible thing that might kill it on that day, from freak accidents to un-perceived illness to acts of intentional malice.

So, really, before you're going to go saying 'lions don't have X, Y, or Z, and that makes us different'... first, you need to demonstrate that those things actually exist. Because right now, the science on them isn't looking so good for our status as anything more exceptional than... mammalian termites, really. Big, complex, mammalian termites.

Anonymous said...

Look at the GoonWaffe member graphs for

May 27th, 2013
October 17th, 2012
August 16th, 2011
May 24th, 2010

and tell me with a straight face that purging inactives is a reaction to your actions.

Gevlon said...

@Babar: Northern Associates wars happen because of ex-PBLDR corps carry their wars to their new alliance. So blame the Goons! Of course these wars are not upkept and wind down after the 1 week.

@Arrendis: indeed, social people don't use their rational parts of their brain for decision making. But psychopaths have different brain structure, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2514670/Scientist-James-Fallon-hes-brain-psychopath-related-Lizzie-Borden.html

It is true that socials aren't much more than instinct-driven animals, but not everyone are social. Otherwise we'd still be on the trees.

Anonymous said...

It is true that socials aren't much more than instinct-driven animals, but not everyone are social. Otherwise we'd still be on the trees.

Woah, wait? what? did you just say that? that makes absolutely no sense.

Our evolution to upright walking, tool making, civilization building primates is, by your assessment, driven out of asocial behavior?


Arrendis said...

indeed, social people don't use their rational parts of their brain for decision making. But psychopaths have different brain structure, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2514670/Scientist-James-Fallon-hes-brain-psychopath-related-Lizzie-Borden.html

It is true that socials aren't much more than instinct-driven animals, but not everyone are social. Otherwise we'd still be on the trees.


You're actually completely missing the point: It's not that 'socials' behave this way, but rather the human brain operates in this manner. In the Planck study, participants included individuals with autism-spectrum conditions, including asperger's. In addition, the decision being made was not a social one.

The decision was 'when this light turns on, push the button on the left, or the button on the right'. No social component whatsoever.

Every participant exhibited the same dichotomous brain activity during decision making vs during explanation: the explanations were, for lack of a better term, all elaborate fantasies and justifications to rationalize the decision away. Nothing more.

Gevlon said...

@Arrendis: the task was completely social: press button because researcher told you so. Neither act did any good or bad to the participant.

@Anonymous: blindly following the masses (being social) is safety. The masses are alive. But they would mean no progress. Every piece of progress was made by the few who strayed from the flock in the good direction. Of course for every such asocial, there were 99 unsuccessful asocials who died for going wrong way.

Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

@Arrendis
The claim that decisions made within the span of less than 7 seconds are irrational is very weak. Even split-second decisions can be rational - just ask anyone with serious athletic experience.

Well, that is, unless you consider sitting down, having a coffee, and thinking over a problem for a day or two an absolutely necessary step in rational decision-making.

Also science does not really have the tools to deal with exceptional status of humans. Scientific process implicitly assumes that everything it experiments on is a passive object with no intelligence or will. It is a core assumption of science, without which it is unable to apply the scientific method.

As a result, when science experiments on humans, it implicitly denies everything that makes human exceptional, and is then obviously unable to find anything exceptional about humans, much like a color-blind person can't see color (despite being a true expert on various shades of gray).

Science must treat humans as big, complex, mammalian termites in order to work with them. This limitation of science, however, is not proof or human nature. This is just a limitation of science.

@Gevlon
If animals are social,
and humans are not much more than animals,
and some of them are asocial...
Does that make asocials less than animals?

----

Regarding games, the conundrum you present is resolved by accepting that fun and learning and one and the same. Therefore when lions play, they both have fun and learn.

It is a tough thing to accept, though. For one, it requires incorporating stuff like muscle building and reflex memory into the process of "learning", which not many people are comfortable with.

The fact that current reality is becoming more and more "virtual" is something i agree with. This is an artifact of us getting increasingly better at guaranteeing our own survival and procreation through less and less man-hours. A person needs to entertain oneself in the downtime.

However, the question then becomes - how are we using this virtual reality?
Because, as it is becoming increasingly apparent in the world's psychological practice, virtual reality is really no substitute for the real thing when it comes to fundamentals like love, happiness and general feeling that your life is somehow important.

Arrendis said...

blindly following the masses (being social) is safety. The masses are alive. But they would mean no progress. Every piece of progress was made by the few who strayed from the flock in the good direction. Of course for every such asocial, there were 99 unsuccessful asocials who died for going wrong way.

And just for the record: No.

The vast majority of why we are not 'on the trees' as you put it, is increasing complexity of social behavior. Social behavior, in fact, is the root of civilization and advancement. Tool use is learned, not re-discovered by each new generation. Advances are passed on. It is social behavior that drives advancements, just as it is social behavior that forms the foundation of society itself in the form of the Hobbesian Social Contract ("You agree to give up your natural right to do anything you are physically capable of, like kill me, and I'll agree to give up my natural right to do anything I'm physically capable of, like kill you.").

Lucas Kell said...

I'm a little confused on your comments on the renters and the war. PBLRD corp count has barely changed, maybe a loss of like 3 over the past week, but way up since B-R. And N3/PLs renters have gains, sure, some from the space the took from the russians and some from transfers in. They likely transferred in because they needed the additional income. How you translate that into "they won the war" I have no idea, and I doubt very much that even they themselves see it that way.

"Every piece of progress was made by the few who strayed from the flock in the good direction. Of course for every such asocial, there were 99 unsuccessful asocials who died for going wrong way."
Citation needed. There are plenty of things throughout history that simply wouldn't have been possible by a single individual acting out of self interest and refusing to be social.

Arrendis said...

Maxim:
The claim that decisions made within the span of less than 7 seconds are irrational is very weak. Even split-second decisions can be rational - just ask anyone with serious athletic experience.

Ah, no, you misunderstand. The study doesn't show decisions are made within seven seconds. The study shows the decision is made up to seven seconds before the conscious mind is even aware the decision has been made.

In other words, the conscious mind does not make a decision. It only comes up with justification for the decision the subconscious has made quite completely without it. Note: that doesn't make it wrong, necessarily, only that for the most part, those justifications are a guess.

Mull over the pros and cons of a decision all you like. Your brain will make the decision. And some time in the next seven seconds, the construct you call your consciousness will be informed of that decision, and begin retroactively telling itself why it did that.

Gevlon said...

@Lucas: the war was won the same way as the highsec POCO war: Goons gone bored of constant structure ops and went home.

@Arrendis: can you solve the problem 5+9 = ? in seven seconds? Do you think we have subconscious ability to count?

Anonymous said...

http://evemaps.dotlan.net/map/Devoid/Enka#sec

there's still a hisec island full of goon pocos

Cathfaern said...

@Arrendis
Yes, tool use is learned. But if you just learn to use a tool and use that during your whole life (because this is the way your social group thought you) you won't invent a new tool. To invent a new tool you have to say that everyone is doing that thing wrong, and we need new method. And that is the opposite of being social.

@Lucas Kell
"Citation needed. There are plenty of things throughout history that simply wouldn't have been possible by a single individual acting out of self interest and refusing to be social."
Asocial people acting out doesn't mean that asocial people don't use social tools to achieve his/her plan. Just look at Gevlon, starting an alliance is a social thing.

Lucas Kell said...

"the war was won the same way as the highsec POCO war: Goons gone bored of constant structure ops and went home."
Well if that's the way you want to see it you can go right ahead. You are probably the only person thinking that way though. In reality, the CFC accomplished what they set out to do, which was establish themselves as the strongest null coalition. Nobody wants to stomp all enemies into non-existence, since that would be incredibly boring and that why there's deals between the coalitions to ensure they main thair ability to survive even when fighting.

N3 declared they were going to destroy the CFC, and the CFC showed them that wasn't happening. As an added bonus, we managed to collapse the PL supercap superiority issue which has pretty much prevented alliances engaging with supers in a volume for a long time (at least back as far as my days as a renter in SOLAR), which in honesty we probably wouldn't have been able to do in any situation where the fight wasn't forced like it was.

By all means though, continue to believe whatever you want. Your words won't suddenly make the CFC collapse, so its not a threat to us, and your opinion is just as valid as any other.

"Do you think we have subconscious ability to count?"
Yes. Numeracy was developed specifically to cater for the way our minds quantify and identify patterns. There's been research that shows that the brain can process numbers subconsciously, and in some circumstances can do so better than the individual can consciously. That's not to say that training consciously doesn't help, but people that are trained in mathematics will know the answers before they can think about the question, in the same way that muscle memory is developed in athletes and soldiers.

Tegiminis said...

Nobody accomplishes something alone. If anything, social behavior is the only rational behavior.

You talk of people who made the big difference in society as being asocial, but those people only wielded power because of social links with other humans. Existing in a social vacuum is incredibly damaging, even for a sociopath, and results in a person very out of touch with the basics of being successful.

Take the researcher who discovers that tachyons exist. He was only able to do this thanks to the endless knowledge gathered by his forebears, the support of his country/research institution, and the assistance of his peers.

You mention that sociopaths use rational thinking, and social people don't. This is not accurate; sociopaths and socials both use social behaviors with impunity. The difference is that sociopaths are purely selfish, while socials have a mix of motivation. Pure selfishness is not a rational trait, as it undermines the animal's survival and procreation. On the other hand, socials - who mix selfishness with pragmatism and altruism - often wield more power and do better than those who eschew social bonds.

To link this to EVE:

You are asocial. The Mittani is very much social. Which of you wields more influence?

Your problem is that you are so enamored with your irrational thinking that you fail to understand the power of sociability. If you truly want to be effective in the way you seem to, you need to understand it.

Lucas Kell said...

@Cathfaern
"Asocial people acting out doesn't mean that asocial people don't use social tools to achieve his/her plan. Just look at Gevlon, starting an alliance is a social thing."
That still doesn't in any way mean that asocial people are the only reason humans have progressed as far as they have. One of the main reasons we are more advanced that other species is our ability to communicate and work together.

And I certainly wouldn't use lemmings as an example, since that wasn't Gevlon doing the work. The lemmings are a collection of socials more than anything else. If they were all asocial, they would have been working individually and nothing would have been done at all. Yet on the other side if instead of Gevlon a social had funded them they would have done exactly the same as they did. This tells me that the fact that Gevlon is asocial had no bearing whatsoever on their campaign, except the obvious diplomacy issues encountered throughout the campaign.

To be honest, the whole thing reeks of the classic "I'm asocial thus being asocial is better than anything else", with no actual thought being put into it. It's just a collection of opinions to support a preconceived conclusion.

Gevlon said...

@Tegiminis: Tomorrow's post.

@Lucas: but no social will ever fund anything because they have nothing but their absolutely necessary tools (the bombless bomber). Having disposable income requires working, and socials prefer to "have fun" instead.

Anonymous said...

@Lucas: but no social will ever fund anything because they have nothing but their absolutely necessary tools (the bombless bomber). Having disposable income requires working, and socials prefer to "have fun" instead.


In general, working is a social activity. Even fabulously wealthy founders of companies work with people. I can't think of any successful asocial people off the top of my head. I just can't.

You are conflating disposable income with asocial activity - and you are stating that the only thing socials can do is "have fun" (in fact, you are stating that is what they PREFER to do). I work with a team of 10 people in real life. We work hard, sometimes 60 hours a week. We develop software. This isn't "fun". It is enjoyable, and rewarding, but it isn't "for fun". And it would be impossible for us to do it as individuals.

Your entire argument is built on absolutes which do not stack up to any scrutiny whatsoever. No matter how you slice it, social interaction wins out against asocial and anti-social interaction because it allows us to pool our individual talents and resources to solve problems more efficiently. This is the reason we climbed down from the trees. This is the reason we were able to build civilisations. We are a social species - and our species has selected for social traits and continues to do so.

Cathfaern said...

@Lucas Kell
A social person would never fund a war like Gevlon did. A social people would try to recruit other social people to make a big alliance and try to convience them it's a good cause so they should help him.

Anonymous said...

Social people do this, asocial people that. What a load of bullshit, people aren't pigeon-holed into two types like that, it's all a fantasy in your head. Here are two famous, wealthy people who I would consider sociable, in that they talk a fair amount in public chat channels, the forums and have a considerable amount of connections: Entity (~30T ISK NAV) and mynnna (~3T NAV). You could also argue that this blog and the Goblinworks channels rope you into this 'social' group too, in that you are the figurehead of this community you created.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of examples of asocial company owners and founders of companies. The most recent I have read about is the Tootsie Roll company. For years those people wouldn't talk to anyone, they had people offering to buy their brand and would get no response. And it isn't like they were hiding, they were a NYSE listed company. The problem is that you don't hear about many of these folks because they are....asocial. In fact, one of the problems with ranking people on the Forbes 500 list is that there are billionaires in the United States who have fabulous wealth and have told no one. It is impossible to quantify these people because they keep it a secret. The modern age and the way we communicate has just made it easier to be a recluse.

Jean-Mira said...

I agree with your stance, Gevlon, even if not as black and white as you (i.e. I think asocials help progression more, but aren't the only ones). Btw, I think Cathfaern explained it best.

But I had to laugh at that:

"@Arrendis: can you solve the problem 5+9 = ? in seven seconds? Do you think we have subconscious ability to count?"

Actually, yes. I looked at that equation and the answer just came to me, before I could calculate it. Of course, that's simply due to training. But it had nothing to do at all with rational thinking. Should have used a more complex example. :-)

Arrendis said...

Gevlon:
can you solve the problem 5+9 = ? in seven seconds? Do you think we have subconscious ability to count?

Math is a terrible example. Do we have a subconscious ability to count? Yes, we have the subconscious ability to look at a group and assess how many are there. What we don't have, innately, from birth, is the conscious understanding of what we're doing. Let me give you an example:

Do you think you have a subconscious ability to do relational physics? Can you, for example, calculate with reasonable accuracy the launch velocity, rotational speed, and rough mass of an object just by looking at it? Can you factor in a combination of local gravity and atmospheric conditions like air temperature and humidity to come up with a rough estimate of wind resistance?

Can you do all of that in under a tenth of a second?

The answer, of course, is 'yes, Arrendis, I can catch a ball.'

You're also capable of estimating impact force of a descending object and calculating a continually changing application of counter-thrust to ensure the object suffers no structural damage despite repeated impacts, with the required application of thrust continuously shifting from one side of the central axis to the other in abrupt jumps: You can walk down a flight of stairs.

Mathematics is a terrible method to try to show a reliance on conscious thought. Mathematics, after all, is the language of the innate poetry of existence. It is built into us from the smallest scale.

Cathfaern:
To invent a new tool you have to say that everyone is doing that thing wrong, and we need new method. And that is the opposite of being social.

Not at all. All you need to do is identify a need or desire that's not being met. This doesn't mean 'everyone is doing that wrong', it only means 'others didn't want it, or didn't find this way to get it'.

After all, I highly doubt that Robert Fulton thought John Fitch was 'wrong', or that Marconi or Bell thought that people using a telegraph were 'wrong'. The first step in producing something new is identifying a need that's currently unmet. 'Necessity is the mother of invention', as it were. And that means being able to assess the motives and wants of other people - which is a decidedly social capability.

Keep in mind, when Gevlon says 'asocial' as a type of person, what he's referring to is actually a high-functioning Autism-spectrum condition similar to Asperger's. One of the things that marks his 'asocials' (including himself) is a fundamental disconnect at the empathetic* level. Gevlon doesn't mean 'loners' or 'isolated geniuses', he means that the only people who make serious advances are the ones who literally cannot understand the emotional and social bonds between people.

Evaluating the activities and motives of other people is something that's pretty much impossible for them to do - it's why Gevlon so consistently gets all of his analysis on the actions and reactions of CFC pilots wrong.

* - I am talking about the basic primate ability to say 'what does that individual want', not some kind of 'Captain, the Ferengi is angry' Counselor Troi bullshit.

Arrendis said...

Cathfaern:
A social person would never fund a war like Gevlon did. A social people would try to recruit other social people to make a big alliance and try to convience them it's a good cause so they should help him.

Actually, that's exactly what Gevlon tried to do, at first. Go back and look at his early posts - you'll see where he's ganking, and trying to recruit his gank victims to join in 'the fight' against Goons. It was only after 3-4 months of failure that he decided to try throwing money at Marmite.

See, you say a 'social person' would try to recruit others, but in my experience, it doesn't matter if you're 'normal' (what Gevlon calls 'social'), or a high-functioning autist (what Gevlon calls 'asocial'), what matters is the ability to critically evaluate your own abilities. Someone who revels in social interaction, who loves hanging out and doing things with his peer group, but who is at the same time aware that he is not a leader, that he doesn't have 'it', that spark of personal magnetism, he's not going to try to build a group around himself. He's going to try to find a group to get into, instead.

Anonymous said...

I think you are confusing not-physical and not-real. A tiny fraction of my "money" is currency. During the dotcom bubble before I bought a house, if every physical thing I owned - clothes, BMW, computer, electronics - was destroyed and the stock market had a great day, I would have come out financially ahead.

Similarly, if you spent years writing a novel and an ex deliberately erased all copies, would you say no harm was done? I would much rather someone destroy several $100 bills in my wallet than the virtual digital family photos I own.

Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

@Arrendis
The 7-second thing sounds strange and made-up.
A person can change his mind on any point at any time he wishes.

Can you name the scientists that conducted the study, the university where that study was conducted and the name of that study, so that i could find it and read it in detail?

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