28 January 2011


"A story begins when something unexpected happens. Sometimes this is a mistake, but it can be other things."

I hate it when I can't fall asleep! 70th post in this weblog, not counting deleted posts.

20 January 2011

It's hard to give imaginative titles when...

. . . you're not being exposed to new stories or anything interesting. 'LFD queues' sounds boring, 'dungeon queues' even worse, 'Waiting' is just vague and boring !

It's difficult to find average expectations for performance in a population, but given enough interactions it will be found. The problem is that when any kind of learning is needed within a group without any expectation of past or future social interactions, benefit depends on a prediction of the amount of effort to reach the goal but obtaining the information to accurately make that prediction takes its own effort, which may turn out to be a lost investment.

Someone may be presented with two possible cases: 'competence', or 'lack of competence'. In the second case due exactly to the factors leading to lack of competence, advice for improving mistakes may not be instantly accepted. At the same time, the system must be designed on the assumption that improvement will happen.

. . .

Meuh, fine, this entry is about WoW now—

It's important to separate players making honest mistakes from lack of experience from those who blame their mistakes on others and are unwilling to improve.

If the playerbase cannot assist those of the first category, Blizzard will nerf the game, making all of the current encounters much easier exactly like you imply you dislike. The second category is not important, but the only way for a group to distinguish between them is iteration; it can't be done instantly the way groups would like.

For accepting risk to become a popular decision, one of the possible results of taking greater risk must actually be seen as rewarding.

16 January 2011

That which cannot be seen

When the system does not provide enough information to preserve justice, it's up to other individuals to ensure fair treatment. Few will admit this as a motive even to themselves when it would be more personally rewarding to let mistakes or ignorance slip by, but it is the basis of many actions.

edit: was trying to preserve an original thought, not restate something else encountered before ._. The loss of information obtained from the current situation (unable to be communicated within the current system in a useful way), and the effect of this potential information loss on decision making due to the uncertainty of future benefit and cost of remembering are the salient points of the thought. This is related to the manipulation of values, and priorities of action, when the source of those values is not known or understood.

Note that it isn't mentioned whose mistakes or ignorance, the definition of rewarding or whether that reward assumes a constancy in factors that might have other influences.

Zero tolerance

Hackers have a wide interest in many things. This is why I'm trying to make myself read an article about how to make it in prison published in the most famous hacker magazine, /sigh. It went like this, 1) mention security vulnerabilities in software 2) re-read articles about the commercialized fraud industry 3) browse blog discussing security issues including 'jihadist publications' (it's hard to criticize someone for not knowing a language when, well~) 4) skim articles for current magazine issue 5) profit!

Wait missing a step there.

"X is too expensive. Y is missing features. Z just doesn't interest me." At some point, one allows oneself less and less freedom to choose an acceptable option until combined with overlap of uncertainty of multiple factors the size of the range of options that one allows oneself to approve of becomes negative, but I don't remember why this is. Probably something to do with being simple, or some other communication-based concern.

(17 Jan 2011 11:09 pm) oh, I remember: "A feeling of control of the environment", or rather when the amount of control is the amount desired. Ultimately arising from feedback on perceptions of and abilities of the self, due to the lack of real information flow when actions neither affect, nor are affected by the 'outside world' and the mental model of the world's current state and direction of change, in other words disassociation from a perceived reality. Related to population trends after the second world war.

14 January 2011

Special snowflake

If there are multiple options available, is one of them more attractive because it's your idea? Obviously in some aspects of life this isn't true, as people hire interior decorators so they don't have to think about which colours match, or whether a dragon could fit its tail between the couch and a wall. But in other cases, people seem to display a distinct preference for originating any changes to an arrangement instead of adopting them from an outside source.

The logic seems to be that there are a number of potential solutions towards a goal; however, there is no way to distinguish between them. The only way to find the most beneficial solution is by experimentation, meaning that the knowledge about effectiveness is an 'experience good' or 'credence good' in Wikipedia economics terminology. The benefit of a solution therefore has an important reflection on the source of that idea, as it provides the sole means of evaluating the likely correctness of future analysis in related topics.

It's possible there are things for which an analysis of value or correctness cannot be agreed upon, yet specific sources of opinion or creation have high correlation with economic success or popular appeal. This description would probably apply to many of the fine arts. Yet for the same reason, these things are criticized when something seen as having low value becomes popular due to marketing efforts or being promoted by certain economic products associated with an artistic work, due to the emphasis on convenience of purchase by consumers and lack of interest in comparing the quality of a complex product.

Of a game which is mentioned three times on the first page of search results for "$100 million failed MMO", the pages for job recruitment at the developing company are no longer available due to the failure of the company and archive.org doesn't have them either lol, but a discussion that linked to one of them quotes the following from the previous text on that page:

"If you’re looking for your first job in games, it’s worth thinking very carefully about your future employer. Do you want to work on jaded, derivative titles that receive scathing reviews and go straight to the bargain bin? Do you want to work large amounts of unpaid overtime because your project is underfunded and poorly managed? Do you want to work on codebases that are messy and poorly-designed because there’s never time to do things properly? Do you want to live in fear of your company’s financial security?

It’s sad that these and other games industry horror stories are more frequent than they should be, but it’s not like that here."

(quote continued from a different source)

. . . "And while making games is great fun, we take our work seriously. We pride ourselves on our unusually sensible, sustainable and professional development practices, resulting in smoothly-run projects and far less overtime than is normal for many game developers. We’re passionate about engineering and crafting our games to the highest of standards. We cultivate an open working environment where ideas are valued on their own merits, no matter whose they are."

While being 'original' seems to be one element of success, it should be questioned how much of this is due to the motivational aspect of doing something you like to do, without a real increase in quality compared to others with the same level of motivation.

A textbook for Japanese language lists the following as important for making hiring decisions, based on a survey of 501 companies :-
  • Enthusiasm/desire - 86.7%
  • Personality/cooperation - 57.3%
  • Creativity - 40.7%
  • Specialist knowledge/contents of research - 34.9%
  • Individuality - 31.0%
  • Amount of effort put forth during education - 16.7%
  • Practical knowledge/existing ability for work - 11.3%
  • Grades from education - 6.5%
  • School graduated from - 5.0%
  • Other - 2.8%

Enthusiasm, or perception of personal benefit from a field of work independent of salary is seen as being twice as important to hiring decisions as the propensity for expressing unique ideas.

Is there any point in quoting this? Lol. It doesn't seem efficient to say the same thing in multiple places. But then again, I'm


For many people in NA, the approach to a problem such as the ganking that occurs in Aion is to modify just the situations of the particular individuals involved in a specific scenario - there is the casual player who has just been ganked; and there is the ganker. The 'solution' is one that changes the relationship between these two.

This pattern of asking questions ignores interactions outside the immediate - by penalizing the ganker, it is understood that their ability to PvP against players other than the casual player who was ganked will also be affected, and solutions attempt to minimize this effect while accepting it. In other words, the assumption is any modifications of the interaction of the ganker with other players, other than the casual player who was ganked, are due to changes to the situation of the ganker, and that these distant players will not, or even that they should not be directly affected by any 'solution' that resolves the options and emotions of the casual player who was ganked.

Casual player

- - - (irrelevant) - - - Another well-geared player
 Another well-geared player

This is why suggestions to fix PvP consistently omit that all players that PvP frequently should award more AP, and lose more AP than casual players who do not PvP. The 'option' of whether someone is interested in PvP can be expressed, and communicated to other players simply by avoiding participation in it.

12 January 2011

Turtle and the rabbit

It's possible that it's often said that it helps a writer to diversify and have experience with many different types of stories. A mystery, then:

There is a mechanism which may result in the death of a cat without any possibility of prediction. However, the cat is not present at the moment. The only way to ascertain whether the cat is living is to examine traces in the environment where the cat has been.

Some of the traces, an incidental result of movement here or a scratched couch there, are not conclusive. The best analysis is unable to conclude they are of recent origin, but even in the case they are several weeks old they only prove the cat existed at the time, and an event to change that may or may not have occurred since then.

But there is also a different kind of evidence, marking unusual behavior for a cat. The question is whether this evidence, left by a cat that seems to be no longer visible, is more likely to have been done by a cat that is currently alive elsewhere, or a cat that is dead..?

Suppose that the motivation for an action is not to prevent someone else from hating something, but to prevent yourself from hating—it, or something else..?

11 January 2011

Frozen trees

Warm light on white snow
Shadows open to the sky
The night does not end

The price of future contracts for commodities with low storage cost is remarkably flat and close to spot price. The possibility of buying the commodity now to sell as a future means that the contract price cannot be too high, but also means that spot price cannot be too low and the predictions of the most risky positions by specialists have already influenced the spot market.

However, for goods with significant storage costs especially this only provides a maximum for future contracts price, which not always be at the contango value predicted by the difference between the short-term cost of money and benefit of lending the commodity. When the cost of carry exceeds the investment benefit of the good, the optimal time to invest will be delayed until the inflection point with the rest of the market realizing the coming rise in price, resulting in decreasing purchase volume as prices rise until the market price stabilizes and begins to fall.

But the current popular gold futures exchange requires $5000 USD on margin for a 100 troy ounce contract (~$140k, yay) to even enter, which by itself would not provide nearly enough safety to cope with artificial fluctuations whether or not working the less competitive supply side of contracts is also possible so meh ._. without $20~30k or so not going to happen

10 January 2011

bubbly rice

Learning how to invest in gold is annoying. As always, the expectation that people will do things in an efficient way is a useless hope.

The preferences of a market expressed by aggregate choices are not homogeneous. Try to understand the correctness of a certain sector, in the form of the average intelligence of people interested in that choice. Often, even telling people that an investment or activity would benefit them will not let them understand that it would, so the people choosing it will tend to be smarter than average and demand, and consequently average price level will be artificially low, or alternatively supply is low and profits are high. Avoid the unwise choices with a low amount of aggregate intelligence. Since price will only change over time due to a change in conditions, the limited capital and risk acceptance of individuals intelligent enough to make that choice means that additional investments do not affect the profit of other investors, only the profit of industries that depend on the consumption demand at a specific price.

However, it seems that most companies that sell gold to private investors are selling gold as a physical object to feel assurance from and profit from the difference between supply and demand for a long-term investment with physical shipping, in the form of a price premium on sales and/or purchases resulting from the uncertainty about the value of the good and the lack of liquidity.

It would be just as 'efficient' in the short term for the gold to never require shipping at all with no increase in uncertainty about the value of the good, and just store the gold as a number in the accounts of the selling company. The gross revenue then being used to further invest in gold coins purchased from other companies. However, since companies can be destroyed and constantly increasing physical storage requirements is not seen as the natural result of a business that sells things, this is not the service that these companies are selling to people interested in long-term investment in gold as a form of assurance against currency inflation. Similarly, while investment for individual retirement accounts is another common goal which is facilitated by a broker, taxes and income are a primary consideration and the liquidity of a smaller short-term investment in gold is not.

So it seems the only way to invest in gold on a short-term scale while retaining liquidity is an exchange traded fund for gold, where the service being sold is knowledge about the expected future changes in the price of gold. Investments are not a purchase, but an expression of agreement about the current market trends and a current profitable choice.

However one has to wonder if it's worth the effort

edit 7 minutes later http://www.bullionvault.com/ can has pretty website??

edit 11:20 pm 10 Jan 2011 . . . normally investment is limited by capital, in derivatives like futures exchange it's only limited by risk one is willing to take and the restriction of the negative consequences that stupidity can have by laws limiting risk. If only one person could invest with margin leveraging their capital, then any expectation of a rise in prices would be cause for a high-risk position if the rest of the market is intelligent. But when specialists in the market have access to the same leverage, the price difference between a futures contract and spot price already reflects the expected maximum profit from a high-risk position.

Since the greatest risks are consistently taken by those with the most confidence of success, futures prices should predict the actual future spot price to some degree after taking into account the depreciation over time with respect to a currency bearing interest※. But when short-term motivations are removed and simply finding the balance between leveraged risk and long-term profit becomes the goal, then there is no reason to expect a futures market to provide substantially greater profit than a normal long investment, without specific understanding of events or trends influencing the short-term market to the contrary. This is why gold exchange-traded funds have such high investment by major players like banks, since it doesn't make sense to depend on specific individuals with 'skill' for risky investments in a futures exchange. Those skilled enough to do so are already able to profit on their own while reaching the same limit with attention span and market opportunities, not investment capital, restricting their gains that they would have making decisions for a bank.

When leverage of risk is selectable, profit requires not only understanding of the proper price but also the proper amount of risk at that price, and many people will guess wrong without realizing why.

※In a stable economy with no change in economic output or the size of the money supply from credit and other promises, this means that gold would not be a profitable investment, because it would not be helping an intelligent person to do something they otherwise couldn't do without loans or outside capital investment, which are themselves a judgement of quality and take effort.

. . . actually I think 'contango' has nothing to do with the cost of borrowing money (the good doesn't even need to exist when the contract is sold) and everything to do with supply-side uncertainty, /sigh. when the cost of a commodity varies by up to 10% per year there's little point in worrying about people not knowing why they lost 0.6% of principle to renew a futures contract anyway. Maybe the sellers of gold futures contracts do have to put up some kind of guarantee that prevents them from earning interest on money they have, it's all quite confusing lol. Right now I can't even remember if short vs long is the same as seller vs buyer. too late? lol. I'm so productive. 2:43 am

09 January 2011


Proper social interactions require knowing the values placed in things by others. This includes the significance of the loss of those things, but manipulation of the possible outcomes of a situation is often without an understanding of the reasons for the relative size of the value of each thing.

For an individual or entity to hold the same values for things, is it necessary to understand the reasons for those values? For humans specifically, does lacking the reason make the value harder to remember? In which cases should it decrease confidence in the result?

08 January 2011


On the other hand, dreams can be quite stereotypical sometimes, almost as if they are a derivative work.

Overanalyzing a dream is when the same scene is replayed multiple times, to see what works. One example is when large or sharp objects are being tossed or moved at high speed, since the natural reaction is to flinch or blink which makes it hard to see what's happening.

As a story progresses, its beginning becomes more and more shrouded in time. However, a conflict; the group of raiding outlaws are persuaded to return on their previous path. Wolves may be prominent. At the same time they do, tracking them without being seen is not an easy task, the dips and turns in the mountain path strangely visible despite the general sense of darkness and steepness on either side that is usually found when mountains are used in stories.

After crossing the magical bridge of stone, the hostile group continues in their retreat but must follow them before the magical bridge of stone disappears. Closer to the opposite end, and closer... time is running up. Preparing to leap as the bridge disappears or falls away. The bridge remains solid and the opposite side is reached next to the shrouded individual standing to one side, turning to look the magical bridge of stone is still solid but after a few seconds does disappear. It is invoked one more time for the individual to cross and depart in the direction of the original objective of the hostile group, and perhaps remains for a second traveler to cross and likewise depart.

Arriving from a distance at the confrontation between the hostile group and their leader. Of course the leader is being challenged; but how to exploit the opportunity? Taking cover behind a metal dumpster (used for a different purpose of course) as large objects of similar size to the dumpster are exchanged between the largest and most aggressive of the marauders, who is unattractive, and the leader at the base camp.

"How not to get squished" obviously requires the proper choreography of large objects being thrown, camera locations, etc. Anyway to skip forward, sort of fighting against the leader. A nearby subordinate is slain, to provide offense and defense against the leader. After a few clashes with the leader who is hovering with an altitude advantage, they are surprised that their weapon has been broken. The next attack is fatal to them.

One of the large metal dumpster-sized objects is nearby, with the weapon of the large marauder who had been fighting embedded in it. The ends are clean and the construction is solid. It is picked up and hefted by the female protagonist, twirling it quietly in the silence to get a measure of its balance.

The next scene presents confusing images, but it turns out to be a sort of knighting or other ceremony (not a hanging). One of the previous marauders, or maybe they are a peasant receives what may be the weapon handled in the previous scene.


Is this in opposition to literary works such as A Clockwork Orange? From the most superficial glance, it might appear so.

07 January 2011


An empty plastic yoghurt cup, a white crane made out of a paper towel, and a glass of water.

I dislike being vague~

mm and practical leather ankle booties with a folded topline

06 January 2011

"Things to revert"

I took a semester or two of judo at a local college once, while failing an introductory computer programming course taken at the same time. Other forms of defense may be more effective overall, but there were stories to hear such as the girl who had a knife held to her throat while walking with a friend at a university, and used that arm to throw her attacker to the ground. I was fascinated by the technique of the basic foot sweep while walking, where one becomes airborne before noticing that the foot is not firmly placed on the ground.

And yes, as mentioned the second president and current prime minister of the Russian Federation is a black belt.

. . . I was trying to look this up, but it isn't as clear as I wanted. I'm not sure if my understanding of this was correct so I will just quote
To Hit the Enemy "In One Timing"
"In One Timing" means, when you have closed with the enemy, to hit him as quickly and directly as possible, without moving your body or settling your spirit, while you see that he is still undecided. The timing of hitting before the enemy decides to withdraw, break or hit, is this "In One Timing".

You must train to achieve this timing, to be able to hit in the timing of an instant.

The "Abdomen Timing of Two"
When you attack and the enemy quickly retreats, as you see him tense you must feint a cut. Then, as he relaxes, follow up and hit him. This is the "Abdomen Timing of Two".

It is very difficult to attain this merely by reading this book, but you will soon understand with a little instruction.

No Design, No Conception
In this method, when the enemy attacks and you decide to attack, hit with your body, and hit with your spirit, and hit from the Void with your hands, accelerating strongly. This is the "No Design, No Conception" cut.

This is the most important method of hitting. It is often used. You must train hard to understand it.

Don't be a newb. Anyway. According to Wikipedia, occupatio is "the rhetorical figure of bringing up and responding to a counterpoint before the opponent has the chance to make it." According to the premier experts on all Internets-related matters, occupatio is "a rhetoric technique in a debate or trial whereby the speaker would predict his opponent's behavior/argument before they'd made it. This prevented their opponent from pursuing that line of action. If they do pursue that line of action, then they seem like the mindless puppets of the original speaker."

(Examples omitted)

The difference is the assumption of audience. The expectation is that the action will not be taken. However, for this exact reason the action may be taken anyway. By not mentioning the action, it may be possible to avoid it by avoiding the expectation that the action will not be taken.