noggin-scratcher

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Integers as Compression

Seems quite similar in spirit to the way of defining numbers into existence around the 'successor' function.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Successor_function

I suspect one factor in the question of housing as a good investment is the availability of credit - I can get a mortgage for almost the entire value of a house, pay a relatively low rate of interest on that debt (currently at least), then benefit from appreciation on the full value of the whole property.

Meanwhile I can't make a comparably leveraged investment into the stock market - borrowing money secured against my ownership of shares or index funds or whatever would be much more expensive, if it were even available in the first place.

Puzzle Games

I thought most of it fell under "How difficult is the game, in general", "How the puzzles fit into the Deduction category", and "If there are (good) sequels" but evidently my interpretation was looser than your intent.

Puzzle Games

Hexcells and its sequels, Hexcells Plus and Hexcells Infinite, are good examples in the deduction category.

The rules are vaguely akin to the classic Minesweeper (use the visible information to determine which cell is safe to click on, safe clicks uncover more information, rinse repeat) except that it's played on a hex grid and adds more variety to the clues.

Every puzzle can be solved by strict deduction (no guessing is ever required) but they often involve a long chain of reasoning integrating information from all over the grid, just to make the next small increment of progress. So at times it may feel like there's no possible way to advance further, until you have the necessary flash of insight.

Infinite adds a procedural generator for theoretically nigh-unlimited puzzles, but the designed levels are generally superior.

Conflict, the Rules of Engagement, and Professionalism

If anyone knows where to find either the “questions to ask if you wanted to end your relationship” post, or more about the harms of professionalism, I'd be interested.

Emotional valence vs RL reward: a video game analogy

I thought it was still quite an apt analogy, because we do essentially the same time-biased thing in all kinds of other contexts

Emotional valence vs RL reward: a video game analogy

Well, if the health gain from the health kit is large enough to outweigh the health loss from needing to run through lava afterwards, then OK, maybe that's worth doing.

Also even if it's not actually enough, and you're going to come out at a small loss overall, sometimes by the magic of time discounting it still feels like a net positive to your present self - because the cost is further away into the future than the gain.

Are We Right about How Effective Mockery Is?

I would expect the effectiveness of mockery in making people change their mind/behaviour to vary strongly based on who's doing the mocking.

If I find myself being mocked by someone I have no particular respect for, no ongoing interaction with, or who I can judge doesn't know what they're talking about, that's much easier to shrug off and deflect than if I'm being mocked by a peer or authority figure, or collectively mocked by a group I want to be part of.

Could be another source of discrepancy if "Does mockery work?" prompts people to imagine the first type where they try to mock a random stranger and the stranger doesn't care; whereas asking "Have you ever changed in response to mockery" dredges up memories of the actually effective kind of mockery.

Why don't countries, like companies, more often merge?

The constituent countries within the UK used to be independent of each other.

Wales was conquered by England, but Scotland entered into a union voluntarily-ish (I don't know the full story of the reasons for it; seem to recall something about Scotland being heavily in debt). And the ins/outs of Ireland / Northern Ireland are a whole thing unto themselves.

Also not uncommon for modern countries to have previously been a patchwork of rival kingdoms that later unified - although it'll vary whether that was by choice or by conquest (with the latter seeming less like a "merger")

Causality and its harms

P(E) ~= 1 | C (where "|" stands for "given"). If I can say this, I can most certainly say that C causes E

Well... unless P(E) also ~= 1 | !C because P(E) ~= 1 and C is irrelevant

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