What You Can and Can't Learn from Games


Epistemic Progress

Strongly agree and am excited to see this -- this area seems deeply neglected.

Beware Experiments Without Evaluation

Yeah, I should point out that not all cases of experiments without evaluation are "sneaking" by any means -- sometimes one might have a well-intentioned idea for a change and just not go about testing it very systematically. However, in some ways the negative consequences can be similar.

John_Maxwell's Shortform

I've noticed a similar trend in a very different area. In various strategic games there has IMO been a major drop in quality of discussion and content thanks to the shift from "discuss strategy on old-style forums and blogs" to "discuss strategy on group chats (Skype/Discord/Slack) and Reddit".

The former was much better at creating "permanent information" that could easily be linked and referred to; the latter probably has a higher volume of messages sent, but information is much more ephemeral and tends to be lost if you weren't in the right place at the right time. It's a lot harder to refer to "that influential Discord conversation a few weeks ago" than it is to link to a forum thread!

Davis_Kingsley's Shortform

Sure, here's the most recent completed one. I just used the same site I was familiar with from an old Netrunner league, it's trivial to do. (This doesn't show the tournament I ran at the end but that wasn't especially hard either, I just sent people their pairings on Discord etc.)

Davis_Kingsley's Shortform

One thing that perplexes me a bit is the weird veneration given to "content creators" these days, especially in gaming communities and similar. Does anyone have good insights into this? In particular, I've noticed that a lot of it is very easy to do (having done so myself), and also that people don't much do it.

An example:

There's a game that I play and do streams for sometimes. A while back I decided it would be cool to run an online ladder similar to the ones that I'd seen in a few other games. It was very easy to set up and probably took me a few hours of not-very-focused work, then once I ran it a bunch of people signed up and we had a tournament with streamed commentary for the top players at the end.

Recently I started playing another game, enjoyed it, and decided to duplicate my league format from the first game. This time it probably took me like 30 minutes to set up since I mostly just had to rewrite the rules from the first game. Already people are signing up, thanking me for organizing it, etc.

I don't get it. What's the big deal about stuff like this? I basically just copied a format that I'd seen others use successfully and adapted it a bit. It didn't take any technical skill whatsoever to do and many others could have done the same thing I did -- but nobody did.

Is the big thing about "content creators" just one of those "these are the people who bothered to show up" things, or what?

(I feel similarly about "maker culture" -- but at least there there's often some more interesting technical skill involved!)

Rationality for Kids?

It's still around: https://thirdfoundation.github.io/#/main

I haven't read everything on the site and do not necessarily endorse it all, but the Inflection Point curriculum document might be especially relevant.

Davis_Kingsley's Shortform

Reference class forecasting would seem to indicate that we will soon experience a major "second wave" of coronavirus infections in many locations. This will likely be especially true in the US, which has many factors pointing towards significantly elevated risk soon (reopenings without proper infrastructure, Memorial Day celebrations, recent police brutality protests). Mostly just posting this to log the prediction, I suspect it isn't particularly novel for those who have been following these events.

Baking is Not a Ritual

Excellent post! I'd love to see more content like this on LW.

What can currently be done about the "flooding the zone" issue?

So, to be clear, Vox is very much part of the problem. Vox co-founder Matt Yglesias has openly said that he wants "wrong right-wing ideas to be discredited while wrong left-wing ideas gain power" in order to shift the US policy status quo to the left. In other words, Vox wants to tell their own narrative, and the President is better at getting his narrative out there than they are.

This doesn't mean that what's going on here isn't a problem, it is. But a solution to these sorts of media issues and incentives is going to need to address Vox's own misbehavior and related concerns as well.

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