I am Andrew Hyer, currently living in New Jersey and working in New York (in the finance industry).

Wiki Contributions


What’s the weirdest way to win this game?

I think the linked post manages to avoid mentioning the actually-interesting thing about the problem.

Any given player is guessing their card's suit with almost no relevant information. (Yes, technically since you're drawing without replacement seeing a spade is very slight evidence against you having a spade.  Ignore that for now, it's not needed to solve the problem).  

This means that any given player is only 1/4 likely to get their card's suit right.  Nothing you can do will change that.  The goal is not to change that.   The goal is to solve the problem in spite of that.

The way to solve the problem, therefore, is not to try to improve any given person's odds of guessing correctly, but to try to arrange such that the guesses' correctness is negatively correlated (so when Alice gets it wrong, Bob more often gets it right, and when they both get it wrong, Claire or David will definitely get it right.)

And the more-advanced problem that uses the same concept:

You and three other prisoners have been captured by the Mathematical Problem Prison Warden.  As is tradition, he offers you a chance to win your freedom.

All four of you will be placed in a room.  Each of you will have a white or black hat on your head (the Warden will flip a coin for each of you independently to determine the color of that prisoner's hat), and will be able to see everyone's hat but their own, but will not be allowed to communicate once in the room.  You will, however, be able to arrange a strategy in advance.

You must all simultaneously either guess the color of your own hat, or stay silent.  If at least one of you guesses correctly and no-one guesses wrongly, you may all go free.  But if any of you guess wrongly, or if you all stay silent, the Mathematical Problem Prison Warden will keep you all in prison for the rest of your lives!

What strategy can you and your fellow prisoners follow to get the highest chance of freedom?

What if there are instead 15 of you?

[Book Review] "Sorceror's Apprentice" by Tahir Shah

I have learned that I do not want to go on an adventure.

D&D.Sci Dungeoncrawling: The Crown of Command Evaluation & Ruleset

I imagine that would be primarily a language-processing issue, I'm not super-familiar with the current standard of AI but I don't think it's quite good enough to do that.

With that said, I think you might be misunderstanding the objective of this game.  Players aren't actually given the rules here until the game is over.   This is the wrapup doc from last week's D&D.Sci scenario, where players were given not these full rules but the records of ~3k dungeon crawls that occurred under these rules.  The objective is to use that data to figure out the rules (or at least as much of them as is possible).  If you've done that successfully, it is supposed to be pretty straightfoward to calculate solutions given the rules.

D&D.Sci Dungeoncrawling: The Crown of Command Evaluation & Ruleset


The fact that no-one's gotten the optimal solution is very much intended.  (If anyone had, I would be both very impressed with them and somewhat disappointed with myself.)  You should not expect to be able to fully model a domain with data science, it's like trying to thread a needle wearing huge thick gloves.  But you can expect to figure out something about the domain, and use that to at least substantially outperform randomness.  (Our highest scorer this round, abstractapplic, had ~half the optimal winrate, but ~100x the 'random approach' winrate).

Improving on the Karma System

If I think that this post is interesting and well-written but disagree with it and prefer the current karma system, should I upvote or downvote it?

Improving on the Karma System

Another issue I'd highlight is one of complexity.  When I consider how much math is involved:

This post involves Gaussians, logarithms, weighted means, integration, and probably a few other things I missed.

The current karma system uses...addition?  Sometimes subtraction?

One of these things is much more transparent to new users.

D&D.Sci Dungeoncrawling: The Crown of Command

Intellectual Integrity Score: 10/10

Evil Overlording Score: 0/10

D&D.Sci Dungeoncrawling: The Crown of Command

Everyone's been getting all the names right this time. I'm quite surprised, and feel like I should be awarding roleplaying XP or something.

T-Mobile: Spurious Account Takeover Warning

When you say you visited 'the website', did you visit the site from the link, or did you independently find the T-mobile webpage? If the former, are you certain you went to the real T-mobile site?

D&D.Sci Dungeoncrawling: The Crown of Command

Excuse me, sir, but there are things one simply does not do.

Yes, your goal is to conquer the world and rule with an iron fist, subjugating all beneath the mailed boot of your immortal tyranny.

But borrowing money?  For shame!  You have some standards!

The only suggestion more preposterous than that would be the idea that you could raise additional money by cutting back on your living expenses.  It is perhaps true that spending 3,600gp per day on candles has cut what you have available for this plan, but if one is to be better than the beasts there are standards one must maintain.

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