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Is nuking women and children cheaper than firebombing them?

Games with non-real-world rules are how everyone who fights wars prepares for wars.

Polling Thread January 2016

16 minutes here. Also guessed frequently.


We have mandatory 'fun days' where we grill hot dogs and play ultimate football.

Thanks for the link, I'll definitely attempting to implement some of the lessons from it to my draft next year. Incidentally, drafting is where I've always failed- I kind of just picked players without any knowledge or analysis, and then figured out what I could do with them during the season. The waiver wire helped, of course. Mine is an extremely blue collar league, so there's not much in the way of strategy besides 'I follow my gut'.

Open Thread, Dec. 28 - Jan. 3, 2016

I'm deeply interested in this problem.

I've got to ask, though.

Isn't this a niche filled by 'business intelligence' and 'data science'? They call it a lot of different things, sure, but they seem to be operating in the same space- at least, they may seem to, to a non-technical executive. An exception is mid-to-small business - I don't think there's a lot of penetration there.


I no longer play sports (unless it's mandated by work), unless you count grappling on occasion.

Yes, I maintain a fantasy football team to practice statistical thinking (as opposed to actual statistics, at the moment) and because I found it ingratiates me with my colleagues. My workplace went from a den of geeks to regular Monday night football types in the space of months, so I switched from D&D to fantasy football.

It's safe to say I don't really have teams I root for (once upon a time it was Newcastle United, because I liked zebras as a kid) or sports I watch more than a few minutes of. Yet I'm interested in sports- now more than ever.

It's in the details. How does a tennis player improve his reaction time? How does handball transfer to boxing? How does the conditioning a football wide receiver employs differ from a midfielder's training in football? What are the steps coaches take to improve performance? When performance is at a peak, what's the best method for getting a group of people with adrenaline driving them to incorporate tactics into their play? Are tactics something you need to pay attention to? Sports provide a simple world with well-defined rules to explore the effect of competition on innovation.

If a team isn't maximizing play within those rules, that team should lose over time. There's a consequence for not paying attention to reality- especially in professional sports. If passing the ball in a particular way is bad form but it works and isn't against the rules, surely teams will eventually start doing it, and the game will have to be re-examined.

You can find a lot of these aspects in multiplayer virtual games, but the physical skills required for sports introduce a whole new element that's extremely interesting. Sure, Counter-Strike might raise your reaction time, but that's just your eyes and your hands. A squash player, now, she'll need to move her whole body.

I see the value in sports. I just don't find it fun to, actually, you know, play, due to skill mismatch. People are either way better or much worse. Unless it's capture the flag, paintball, or some other 'new' sport. The sports I do enjoy are one-on-one, but they carry a high risk of injury or are a heavy time sink.

I do wonder why people haven't come up with a better game- one that maximizes suspense and use of complex tactics.

But which sport has had the most rules changes over time? A cursory glance suggests the NFL, but I suppose I should make a note to crunch those numbers when I'm inclined.

One last thing. I think there might be a better way to structure professional teams to encourage drama. As the saying goes, you're just rooting for a jersey. Perhaps some sort of player buy-in to a team might change that. After all, city leagues, high school games, national, and even college sports make for more compelling stories.

Stupid Questions, 2nd half of December

Measuring RMR could reveal snowflake likelihood.

If ego depletion turns out to be real, choosing not to limit yourself in order to focus on something you find important might be a choice you make. Different people really do carry their fat differently, too, so there's that. Not everyone who runs marathons is slender, especially as they age.

And then there's injuries, but that brings up another subject.

I'm not sure how expensive whole body air displacement is in the civilian world, but it seems like a decent way to measure lean mass.

Open thread, Nov. 16 - Nov. 22, 2015

Have you talked to her about it? What does she say?

Rationality Merchandise - First Set

I'm a little surprised you hired someone for those designs. May I ask how much you paid? Quite honestly, you could've gotten the same design from a middle school student taking a graphic design class. This is fine if you're doing it yourself, but if you're paying for it, well, I think I could do better for free, and I've got absolutely no qualifications in the field.

I know what kind of designs appeal to a subset of society, but I guess we'd have to figure out who your target audience for those t-shirts are. It might not be anyone here, or anyone with the privilege of appreciating art, though the fact that you're publishing in sites like LifeHacker suggests otherwise.

It's the old argument with car dealership and personal injury/family/divorce law ads. Yes, they're not pleasing to you and me, but they may work for their intended audience.

However, I think there's something to be said for aesthetically pleasing designs, especially those that are universal enough to carry across a large number of cultures.

You can take a look at the general designer zeitgeist at portfolio websites like Behance and Dribble.

In addition to Fiverr, there's also 99designs and others. Plenty of t-shirt websites now use the contest format, as well, and you can look at submissions to see the kinds of designs that are given a chance.

Open thread, Nov. 09 - Nov. 15, 2015

I'm talking about pleasure in general. Not just sexual.

Open thread, Nov. 09 - Nov. 15, 2015

I'm not sure the potential risk of side effects of the drugs in question are worth such a change. I don't know how old you are, but your libido might also diminish over time.

I used to have similar thoughts as a teenager, so I understand the sentiment, but like everything else at that age, those concerns seem minute in hindsight.

How much fun do you have? Increasing hedons might yield a more efficient balance.

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