iceman

iceman's Comments

Raph Koster on Virtual Worlds vs Games (notes)

I finished reading both of his books earlier this year. Postmortems is worth its weight in gold; even when I disagreed with conclusions, the historical perspective was invaluable. The story of UO is interesting, where Koster tries to push a product that his players do not want, and once he had left, the UO team launches the "Trammel" server where there's no ability to attack other players and the userbase doubles! LWers should probably read these chapters with Goodhart's Law and the concept of legibility/Seeing Like a State in mind.

(You might also want to go find a copy of Star Wars Galaxies off ebay and try playing it on the SWGEmu servers, though I'd warn you that it hasn't aged very well. Combat is almost non-functional and rubber-bandy. But seeing its crafting system in action is kinda worth it, if you're interested in alternative MMO design. I put little weight in Koster's attempts at social engineering, but very much admire his simulationist bent to other areas of game design. "Start with the Sim.")

A Theory of Fun, however, isn't worth your time. It's a very casual overview of his theory with a side of culture war and several later chapters which are merely sermons about how important video games are. It was written long before we had the phrase "replication crisis" and cites a bunch of psychology from that time.

MIRI's 2017 Fundraiser

I donated about $20,000, most of that in ETH. (Employer matching programs add another $12,000 on top of that.)

HOWTO: Screw Up The LessWrong Survey and Bring Great Shame To Your Family

(Comment copied from the old site; where are we supposed to be commenting during this transitory period?)

if you took the survey and hit 'submit', your information was saved and you don't have to take it again.

I'm not sure this is true.

I took the survey over two sessions, where I filled out most of the multiple choice questions in the first session, and most of the long form questions in the second. When I did my final submitting, I also downloaded a copy of my answers. I was annoyed to find that it didn't contain my long form responses. At the time, I had assumed that this was just an export error, but you might want to verify that across sessions, at least long form responses from the additional sessions get saved.

HOWTO: Screw Up The LessWrong Survey and Bring Great Shame To Your Family

if you took the survey and hit 'submit', your information was saved and you don't have to take it again.

I'm not sure this is true.

I took the survey over two sessions, where I filled out most of the multiple choice questions in the first session, and most of the long form questions in the second. When I did my final submitting, I also downloaded a copy of my answers. I was annoyed to find that it didn't contain my long form responses. At the time, I had assumed that this was just an export error, but you might want to verify that across sessions, at least long form responses from the additional sessions get saved.

Seeking better name for "Effective Egoism"

I have previously been critical of Effective Altruism, comparing it to trying to be an Effective CooperateBot (example).

If we were to extend Effective CooperateBot to the other sorts of players in prisoner's dilemmas, by analogy we'd call egoists Effective FairBot / Effective PrudentBot, depending on how your brand of egoism deals with CooperateBots.

That's a mouthfull and might be too technical, but it might be a nice way of reframing the question; when you said 'egoism,' I didn't know exactly what you meant.

Politics Is Upstream of AI

I also enjoyed the linked Politics Is Upstream of Science, which went in-depth on the state interventions in science talked about in the beginning of this piece.

Open Thread May 30 - June 5, 2016

As a person who donates to MIRI and tries to not associate this with my powerword, I'd like to encourage people to not attempt to unmask psuedonyms.

Open Thread April 25 - May 1, 2016

Now, now, I'm entirely down with the use of ponies to make points about rationality.

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