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A.D&D.Sci May 2021: Interdimensional Monster Carcass Auction

My first thought was that if I'm bidding against different versions of me then we should all co-operate and bid at most 1sp in order to maximise our profits. However we would most likely be up against NPC who won't do this which wrecks this strategy. In the absence of any indicateion of how the NPC and other bidders would bid I generated a random price between 0.9* average price and 0.9* minimum price, and then manually adjusted a couple that didn't  look right which resulted in the following bids:

Lot 1 Red Dragon 1 days since killed       73sp
Lot 2 Jungle Mammoth 1 days since killed     35sp
Lot 3 Mild Boar 5 days since killed        14sp
Lot 4 Jungle Mammoth 5 days since killed     22sp
Lot 5 Mild Boar 1 days since killed        14sp   
Lot 6 Green Dragon 2 days since killed      63sp
Lot 7 Mild Boar 2 days since killed        16sp
Lot 8 Mild Boar 5 days since killed        7sp
Lot 9 Mild Boar 8 days since killed        5sp
Lot 10 Mild Boar 6 days since killed       10sp
Lot 11 Mild Boar 8 days since killed       2sp
Lot 12 Blue Dragon 8 days since killed      18sp
Lot 13 Jewel Beetle 1 days since killed      4sp
Lot 14 Mild Boar 1 days since killed       14sp 
Lot 15 Jungle Mammoth 4 days since killed     29sp
Lot 16 Jungle Mammoth 2 days since killed     29sp
Lot 17 Mild Boar 5 days since killed       10sp
Lot 18 Red Dragon 6 days since killed       44sp
Lot 19 Mild Boar 5 days since killed       14sp
Lot 20 Jungle Mammoth 1 days since killed     34sp

D&D.Sci May 2021: Monster Carcass Auction

Spoiler protection.

Long term pattern of prices falling with time since killed for all monsters.
Yeti are consistently the cheapest. Winter Wolfs start of as the most expensive, but as time since killed 
increases the Snow Serpent becomes roughly equal.
Yeti have yielded the highest profit with Snow Wolf the highest losses.

From the description it looks like the winning bid and profit should be independent.
For each lot find similar lots in the past. From the ones Carver didn't win we can estimate the probability of winning for each possible bid, and from the ones she did win we can estimate the amount of money to be made by selling it. For each lot we can then look for the bif which maximises P(Winning)*Estimated profit.

Yeti 0 days since killed. All other winning bids at 55. 56 Should win with an estimated 18 profit.
Snow Serpent 2 days since killed. All other bids were at 20. 21 should win with estimated 5 profit.
Snow Serpent 1 day since killed. All other bids were at 40. 41 should win with UNKNOWN profit.
Winter Wolf 1 day since killed. All other bids were at 38. 39 should win with estimated -2 profit.
Yeti 5 days since killed. Other bids between 30-33. 34 should win with estimated 24 profit,  but there are only 4 other winners, so the risk of losing unless we bid more seem realistic, but that probably won't offset the risk of losing if we win.
Winter Wolf 1 day since killed. All other bids were at 38. 29 should win with estimated -2 profit.
Snow Serpent 1 day since killed. All other bids were at 40. 41 should win with unknown profit.
Snow serpent 5 days since killed. Other bids 10-16. 17 should win with estimated 10 profit, but only 6 cases where other bidders won. Winter wolf 3 days since killed. Carver won all of these by bidding between 24 and 38 average selling price was 33.
Winter Wolf 7 days since killed. Other bids between 20 - 23. Bidding 24 generates an estimated 1 profit.
Winter Wolf 8 days since killed. Other bids at  20-23. 24 Wins at estimated -3 profit.
Snow Serpent 8 days since killed. Other bids between 12 and 17. 18 wins with an estimated profit of 9.
Winter Wolf 2 days since killed. No non Carver winners. Craver bid between 27 and 41 with an average selling price of 34.
For the cases where there are no non Carver winners it seems reasonable to enter the lowest bid. There are a number of cases where the best non Carver bid is constant, so there is a realistic chance that dropping the bid will guarantee that we don't win. Whilst there are only a few at the lowest bid it looks like increasing the bid will reduce the expected profits more than can be expected to be gained by increasing the odds of winning.
For the cases where the profit is unknown. Looking at the other data the selling price only seems to drop
by a few sp per day. This suggests that we probably can't make a profit on the Snow Serpent unless we submit a low bid and get very lucky. Guess and knock a modertae value (10sp) off the average bid
Where the expect profit is < 0 put in a cheeky low bid just on the off chance we can pick one up cheap.
Do this at one below the lowest selling price where there are a reasonable number, otherwise guess and knock 10sp off.
So we have:
lot 1 Yeti 0 days since killed - 56sp
lot 2 Snow Serpent 2 days since killed - 21 sp
lot 3 Snow Serpent 1 day since killed - 30sp
lot 4 Winter Wolf 1 day since killed  - 29sp
lot 5 Yeti 5 days since killed - 34sp
lot 6 Winter Wolf 1 day since killed - 29sp
lot 7 Snow Serpent 1 day since killed - 30sp
lot 8 Snow Seppent 5 days since killed - 17sp
lot 9 Winter Wolf 3 days since killed - 24sp
lot 10 Winter Wolf 7 days since killed - 24sp
lot 11 Winter Wolf 8 days since killed - 11sp
lot 12 Snow Serpent 8 days since killed - 18sp
lot 13 Winter Wolf 2 days since killed - 27sp
350sp in total so we don't have to worry about losing later lots because we spent too much earlier.

D&D.Sci April 2021: Voyages of the Gray Swan

Spoiler protection

Known harpy, kraken, merpeople, and shark attacks seem to be on a gentle rising trend.



Known pirate attacks fall substantially from 1401 onwards, but are still the most common. Despite this the year and month doesn't appear to have much impact on losses, and there is no obvious correlation between the month and the frequency of a given attack.

The direction doesn't appear to have much impact either.

Looking at how the damage is distributed across known encounters

- Harpy peaks at around 10-15 then falls away, none have done more than 23

- Kraken peaks at around 55 then falls away, none have done more than 78

- Pirates peaks around 15-20, and falls away, none have done more than 64

- Sharks peaks at around 20 -25 then falls away, none have done more than 56

- water elemental is strongly peaked around 80, but falls away rapidly, none have done more than 85

Suggests the only serious threats are:

- crabmonsters

- demon whale

- merpeople

- nessie



All of these peaked below 100 percent damage with 1 exception the demon whale, which suggests this is the biggest threat. With this in mind I should definitely invest in all 20 oars for 20 gp.


Nessie is responsible the causing the second highest number of incidents with very heavy damage, so investing another 30gp in cannons looks sensible.


Merpeople are the next biggest threat, but bribing them could make matters worse if it leads to more dangerous encounters. There were 2678 known merpeople encounters. If we assume they are spread evenly across the other 8 encounter types that means at least 334 demon whale attacks. Looking at the distribution of damage caused by the demon whale attacks it looks like the peak is likely to be well over 100 percent damage, and they represent a very real threat even with all the extra oars. It is not at all clear if this would represent a net reduction in risk, and when I consider that the high cost would prevent me investing in crabmonster defenses the benefits of this look dubious.


The crabmonsters are the only other encounter that do a large amount of damage, so arming the carpenters for 20gp looks sensible.


For the remaining 35 gp investing money to reduce a minute risk to my life and impressing the admiralty with less damage done to the ship seems a lot more attractive than minutely increasing the risk to my life and impressing them with saving money. Of the lesser threats the water elementals do the most damage, so if any of them are going to get me it is most likely to be them, so I will invest the last of the gold in the foam swords.


Final decision:

- 20 oars @ 20gp

- 3 cannons @ 30gp

- Arm the carpenters @ 20gp

- Foam swords for the deck crew @ 15gp

- 15 gp under budget

D&D.Sci III Evaluation and Ruleset

Thank you for organising this.

I think a week is a good length for them to last. 3 days felt a little rushed.

D&D.Sci III: Mancer Matchups

Spoiler protection

 So you foolish mortals, you don't trust me enough to give your true names,
  your worried that I might talk you out of your soul if you allow me to talk to you,
  and you feel the need to put in place precautions to stop me sending you anything other than your marching
  orders. Despite this you do apparently trust me to take an important decision for you. If everything is
  as it appears this set of mortals is even more stupid than the usual lot.
  Looking at the the list it start of with the necromancers attacking the geomancers.
  The the pyromancers intevene breifly, before the necromacners start attacking the vitamancers
  Then the vitamancers and the pyromancers start attacking one another
  Then things gets pretty random
  Then the necromancers attack ther cryomancers.
  Then there are 607 groups of 5 battles where all of the mancers ignoring the electomancer are involved in once.
 The groups of 5 battles involve a lot of groups with attacks on both sides territory, which suggest either a
 very good spy network predicting one sides attacks, or someone is actively organising this. It also suggests the records are grouped in chronological order.
  The so called good mancers have won more battles than the other side, in particular once the group battles
  occur their lead over the other mancers appears to increase at a roughly constant rate. Granted some battles
  can be more important than others, but it does rather suggest that this plane is in rather more danger of
  being taken over by this lot than the other lot. You may call yourselves good, but anyone can call 
  themselves that.
  Assuming the probabilities of each mancers winning a battle only depend on the mancers involved and the
  location, and not any other battles suggest that if I want to maximise their chances of winning 5 battles
  I should tell them to:
  Cryomancer COUNTER  v Pyromancer A 100.0 % of WIN Min data points 18
  Vitamancer A COUNTER  v Pyromancer B 71.42857142857143 % of WIN Min data points 18
  Geomancer A DEFEND  v Necromancer A 100.0 % of WIN Min data points 18
  Vitamancer B COUNTER  v Necromancer B 65.21739130434783 % of WIN Min data points 18
  Geomancer B DEFEND  v Necromancer C 100.0 % of WIN Min data points 18
  P(All Win) = 46.58385093167702
  P(4 Win) = 71.42857142857143
  And if I was to sabotage there efforts by maximising there chances of losing 5 battles:
  Vitamancer A DEFEND  v Pyromancer A 11.888111888111888 % of WIN Min data points 19
  Cryomancer DEFEND  v Pyromancer B 12.5 % of WIN Min data points 19
  Vitamancer B COUNTER  v Necromancer A 0.0 % of WIN Min data points 19
  Geomancer A COUNTER  v Necromancer B 28.000000000000004 % of WIN Min data points 19
  Geomancer B COUNTER  v Necromancer C 4.166666666666666 % of WIN Min data points 19
  P(All Lose) = 53.197552447552454
  P(4 Lose) = 73.88548951048952
 Is winning all 5 battles more important than a bigger chance of winning 4 battles . This bunch of incompetents don't say. In any case it makes no difference if I was to help them, and only a small difference if I wasn't.
  Confining the analysis just to the groups of 5 yields slightly different results:
  Vitamancer B COUNTER  v Pyromancer A 89.1891891891892 % of WIN Min data points 18
  Cryomancer COUNTER  v Pyromancer B 85.29411764705883 % of WIN Min data points 18
  Geomancer A DEFEND  v Necromancer A 100.0 % of WIN Min data points 18
  Vitamancer A DEFEND  v Necromancer B 76.92307692307693 % of WIN Min data points 18
  Geomancer B DEFEND  v Necromancer C 100.0 % of WIN Min data points 18
  P(All Win) = 58.51779381191147
  P(4 Win) = 76.0731319554849
  Vitamancer A DEFEND  v Pyromancer A 9.090909090909092 % of WIN Min data points 12
  Cryomancer DEFEND  v Pyromancer B 12.5 % of WIN Min data points 12
  Vitamancer B COUNTER  v Necromancer A 0.0 % of WIN Min data points 12
  Geomancer A COUNTER  v Necromancer B 31.57894736842105 % of WIN Min data points 12
  Geomancer B COUNTER  v Necromancer C 4.166666666666666 % of WIN Min data points 12
  P(All Lose) = 52.15809409888358
  P(4 Lose) = 76.23106060606062
As the situation qualitatively changed when the groups of battles started to occur these are the ones to use
if I want to help or hinder them? But do I? On the available data there is no obvious way to know which outcome would best server my interests. If they are  distrustfull enough to take all these precautions they may be expecting me to give them what seems to be the worst possible outcome, and they are trying to trick me by changing the labels so that it is actually the best.
 These mind games are what demons should be playing on mortals not the other way around. They are really out of line by putting me in this position! So I won't give them any advice at all. Whatever they were planning 
 it is highly unlikely that they would go to the trouble of summoning a demon in the hope that it would
 ignore them. And if I ever comes across them again in more normal circumstances I will be sure to teach them a lesson. Now back to some good old fashioning demoning...

D&D.Sci III: Mancer Matchups

The intel file contains two attacks by Necromancer A, but no attacks by Necromancer C. We're also told that the attacks will be simultaneous, and two mages can't be in the same place at the same time. Is this a typo?

D&D.Sci II: The Sorceror's Personal Shopper

I came up with this:

// Plotting a graph of reading v colour reveals the following.
//- Blue somewhat erratic but definite trend of increasing mana with increasing reading
//  The erratic part is in the 22 - 63 range, before and after steady increase/decrease.
//- Green  seems to fluctuate in the 2- 40 range regardless or reading
//- red erratic all over the place, no consistent pattern
//- yellow seems to fluctuate in the 18 - 21 range regardless of reading
// Green has an average mana of 21, red 25 , though green seems to have fewer with really low values.
// There is no obvious correlation based on the items name.
// Eliminating obviously uneconomic items suggest the following are realistic:
//Pendant of Hope         54 mana      34 gold    BLUE
//Ring of Joy             10-30 mana   32 gold    BLUE
//Hammer of Capability    15-35 mana   35 gold    BLUE
//Warhammer of Justice +1 18-21 mana   41 gold    YELLOW
//Plough of Plenty        18-21 mana   35 gold    YELLOW
//Saw of Capability +1    avg 21 mana  35 gold    GREEN
//Amulet of Wounding +2   avg 21 mana  35 gold    GREEN
//Pendant of Truth        avg 25 mana  38 gold    RED
// Pendant of Hope is obviously the best. Could reach target with near 100 percent certainty with top 5 items
// leaving me with 23 gold.
// Pendant of Hope + Saw of Capabilty + amulet of Wounding + Pendant of Truth would leave me with 58 gold
// if it worked, but would probably fail just under 50 percent of the time. This could be reduce significantly
// by paying 32 gold, but that would only leave me with 3 gold more, and still looks less certain.
// As avoiding being in debt by 200 gold is probably much more important to me than gaining 25 gold I will go
// for what looks to be the safe option of:
// Pendant of Hope
// Ring of Joy
// Hammer of Capability
// Warhammer of Justice + 1
// Plough of Plenty
// And hopefully 23 gold.


My attempt:


My first thought is to look for the lowest stat in each category which succeeded. I will probably want at least this. Unfortunately this is 2 in every case, so this doesn't help.

My second thought is to look for a patch in stat space where there are a disproportionably large number of successes, however of the stats I can access none has a meaningful number of adventurers particularly close to them.

My third idea is, for every possible set of stats we could choose look at the adventurers whose stats were strictly worse than or equal to those, and see which ones enclosed the highest proportion of successes. There are several with a 100 percent success rate, but none with more than 2 data points, which isn't much. There are however 2 with 6 datapoints and an 83 percent success rate, which seems better established:
str: 8 con: 14 dex: 13 int: 20 wis: 12 cha: 5
str: 8 con: 14 dex: 13 int: 19 wis: 13 cha: 5
Both seem roughly evenly balanced, and either seems to be a reasonable choice. I would go with the first purely on the intuition that if you are going to have one really strong stat, better to go all the way.

Final Babble Challenge (for now): 100 ways to light a candle
Answer by YongeNov 14, 202011

Stop anything showing up in the spoilers.

1) With a match.

2) Use a magnifying glass to focus the suns rays onto it.

3) Fire a laser beam at it.

4) Use a cigarette lighter.

5) Use a bunsen burner.

6) Strike flints against one another to generate sparks to light the candle.

7) Dip it in a lava pool.

8) Use a heater to increase the temperature in the room till it self ignites.

9) Attach the wick to two wires, then use them to put a large amount of electrical power through it.

10) Take it to a bonfire, and put the candle in it.

11) Rub sticks together to start a fire, then use it to light the candle.

12) Detonating some explosives might light it if you are lucky.

13) Position the candle under a space rocket and wait for the rocket to launch.

14) Send the candle into a solar flare.

15) Send the candle into the accretion disk of a black hole.

16) Find a burning building, and light the candle from it.

17) Put it in the overn, and turn the heat up to maximum.

18) Wait till the news reports a heathland fire, then head to the fire to light it.

19) Put the candle at the edge of a nuclear fireball.

20) The candle might be electrically powered, in which case it can just be switched on.

21) Use another candle that is already lit.

22) Put it at the top of a lightning conductor, and hope it gets hit by lightning.

23) Put the wick in the way of a discharge from a Van De Graph generator.

24) Soak it in water, bombard it with an intense beam of microwaves, and hope it is heated up enough to ignite.

25) Put the candle in a solar furnace.

26) A telescope could be used to focus sunlight onto the candle.

27) Buy a lot of mirrors, rig up a complicated system to focus sunlight onto the candle.

28) Smash a lightbulb while it is switched on and use the hot filament to ignite the candle.

29) Douse the wick in hydrochloric acid, then drop a piece of potassium on it.

30) Cover the wick in phosphorus powder, take it to the Sahara desert where the high temperature will cause it to self ignite.

31) Take it to a steam train and use the fire in it to ignite the candle.

32) Hire a hot air balloon, use the flame that generates the hot air to ignite the candle.

33) Position the candle under a firework when it is launched.

34) Use the flame that burns above oil rigs to ignite it.

35) Put it in the fire burning in my fireplace.

36) Go to a fossil fuelled power station and use its fire to ignite it.

37) Go to a blast furnace and dip the candle in the molten metal.

38) Leave it in an experimental nuclear fusion power plant before it is switched on should do the trick.

39) Find part of a jungle that is going to be slashed and burned and leave it in the fires path.

40) Use a camping stove to ignite it.

41) Wait for the random motion of air molecules to cause it to spontaneously ignite.

42) Bore a hole down to the mantle and lower the candle down.

43) Mass burn all of the planets fossil fuels, eventually global warming will get so bad it will self ignite.

44) Put it in a box and send it to Venus where the high temperature will cause it to spontaneously ignite.

45) Would putting it in a room where the atmosphere was made of 100 percent oxygen ignite it?

46) Extract the gunpowder from several party poppers, detonate them at once near the candle and hope this ignites it.

47) Light a sparkler, and use the sparks given off to ignite the candle.

48) Use the spark generated by a spark plug in a car to ignite the candle.

49) Dip the candle in chlorine, replace the atmosphere in the room with hydrogen, and warm until it self ignites.

50) Fire an intense X ray beam at the candle.

51) Put the candle in a jet engine.

52) Putting the candle in a particle accelerator might work.

53) Use an intense neutrino beam to light it.

54) If the wick is laced with metal wires moving a strong magnet rapidly above it may induce currents which heat it up and cause it to light.

55) Drop the candle from the top of the atmosphere. The heat generated during renetry will light it.

56) Use the flame from an oil lamp to light it.

57) Use a burning compost heap to light it.

58) Take it to a neighbour and light it from their barbecue.

59) Light it from a burning torch.

60) Take it to a kiln.

61) Pour some molten lead on the candle.

62) Get a fire breather to breathe on it.

63) Use a welder to light the candle.

64) Dip it in a vat of boiling oil.

65) Compress the atmosphere in the room until it heats up enough that the candle self ignites.

66) Drop a minuscule amount of anti matter on the candle.

67) Use virtual quantum particles to transfer heat from a nearby hot object to the candle.

68) Drop a meteorite on the earth, light the candle from the resulting fireball.

69) Use the dynamo effect between Jupiter and Io to light it.

70) Leave the candle in the vicinity of a supernova.

71) Focus the energy generated by the northern lights onto it.

72) Go on an expedition to the Amazon in the search of a previously unknown fire breathing animal.

73) Maybe the current generated by an electric eel could light it?

74) Use some Greek fire.

75) Give it to a friend who has some means of lighting it for me.

76) Leave it in a rack of candles in a church, at some point someone will come along and light it.

77) If I throw it out in the rubbish, and the rubbish is burnt in an incinerator, it will in some sense be lighted.

78) Wait for the sun to expand to swallow the earth, which will inevitably light the candle.

79) Use a flame thrower.

80) Start a war and position it in a target likely to be targeted by incendiary bombs.

81) Use the hot air generated by politicians speeches to light it.

82) Return it to the place it was bought from, hopefully someone else will buy it and light it for me.

83) The Trojan candle stratagem: Claim that the candle is a gift from the Gods, and that the city that lights it will never be conquered. Hope this tricks someone into lighting it for me.

84) Use an oxyacetylene torch.

85) Use some nano technology that will bring atoms in the candle together with oxygen atoms in such a way that the candle will light.

86) Maybe dark matter could be used to light it some how?

87) Or maybe dark energy could be used instead?

88) Firing a high energy beam of muons at it would probably do the trick.

89) Leave the candle next to a battery that is known to catch fire. Wait for the battery to catch fire and light the candle.

90) Wait for the next scheduled witch burning. Insert the candle in the pyre, and wait for it to be lit.

91) Or wait for the next mock Viking ship to be burnt, and hide it in there.

92) Break into a shop that sells candles, add this one to the collection, leave someone else to buy it and light it for me.

93) Pour some sulfuric acid on it, then deposit a piece of sodium on it.

94) Carbonic acid and lithium should also work.

95) Soaking it in water, then pumping fluorine gas into the room should also work.

96) Pay someone else to light it for me.

97) Focus several sound waves on the candle to cause it to warm up and light.

98) Attach the candle to springs at either end, use them to pull it back and forth very fast so that air resistance causes it to heat up and light the candle.

99) Put it in a computer driven car. Program the car to drive into something at high speed. Hope that the resulting crash starts a fire that lights the candle.

100) Post a babble challenge on Less Wrong asking for 100 ways to light an candle, then use the best one.

Babble Challenge: 50 thoughts on stable, cooperative institutions
Answer by YongeNov 08, 202011

1) Working complicated cooperative institutions are formed from many smaller institutions that work together.

2) People altruistically valuing the same thing can give rise to co-operation on a small scale, but I suspect it isn't so important at larger scales

3) Co-operation often arises because it is in the selfish interests of the co-operating entities.

4) People are probably genetically pre-disposed to co-operate with what they perceive as their ``tribe''.

5) My immediate reaction to this statement is that it isn't true: ``The magic that used to enable such cooperative institutions is fading.''

6) I agree that institutional cultures can help foster co-operation (or make it more difficult)

7) Peer pressure is a key factor in maintaining institutional cultures.

8) Government institutions have failed before, current situation doesn't look unique.

9) It is possible for things to get better.

10) Could the co-operation exhibited by ant colonies be regarded as an ant institution?

11) Maybe something like an institution is inevitable when multiple members of the same species live close to one another?

12) Things that look like an institutional failure from the outside may look like an institutional success from the inside. e.g. the bureaucracy may like expanding the bureaucracy even if no on else does.

13) Political institutions have become more inclusive over the 20th century, e.g. by giving women the vote.

14) At a high level could the entire human species be thought of as an institution?

15) The fall of early civilizations like Rome can be regarded as an early form of institutional failure.

16) Plenty of private sector institutions also fail. Most new companies tend to go bankrupt.

17) Government failings may be bigger/more noticeable than private sector ones because private sector ones tend to go bankrupt at an early stage, whereas the government has a large supply of cash to bail out failed projects.

18)Improvements in communications technologies have mad it easier for institutions to co-operate over larger scales.

19) re ``Most brand names seem to be less regarded than they used to be'' could probably be said at most times during the past.

20) Are subcultures much more difficult to form now, or is it that the ones that are forming are less visible to you?

21) The scale of the largest institutions has increased through time and will probably continue to do so.

22) Large institutions can insulate most of themselves from problems at the top, which limits the damage incompetent leaders can do.

23) Private sector institutions seem to be gaining in importance relative to public sector ones.

24) Governments may force some of the largest private sector institutions (google/amazon) to stop them become more powerful.

25) Multi national institutions will probably become more prevalent and more powerful.

26) We may get interplanetary institutions one day.

27) A pre historic tribe can be thought of as an institution, so in one form or another they have always been with us.

28) Short of going to live as a hermit in a remote location it is probably impossible to avoid being a member of an institution.

29) Relations between different institutions are a key part of what they do, and a major determinant of how successful they are.

30) Humans instinctively divide people into ingroup/outgroup. This probably helps define institutions as distinct entities.

31) Institutions that fail badly tend to cease to exist and be replaced by others. So at any time the existing institutions are the ones which have succeeded in co-operating at least to an extent. So we shouldn't be surprised that existing institutions tend to co-operate at least moderately well.

32) An institution can't form, or exist for any length of time without at least some co-operation and stability. So the title could be replaced with ``Where do institutions come from?''

33) Peoples knowledge of how to craft institutional cultures may be more instinctive and sub-conscious than conscious.

34) Perceived self interest is key. Rich and powerful people tend to set up incentives for others mainly because it is in their interest to do so, not out of altruism.

35) Fear of punishment (e.g. prison) for defecting against the institution can help keep them stable.

36) The post talks about trends originating on the West coast of the US, then spreading to the rest of the West, but what about Asia?

37) Asian nations will probably play a stronger role in shaping multi-national institutions in the future than western ones.

38) Maybe sub-cultures are harder to form now because most of the ones there is a need for have already formed?

39) Co-operative institutions are often not intentionally designed in the way they operate.

40) I wouldn't regard brands such as bitcoin or Amazon as being better regarded.

Mismanagement by government institutions is not limited to America. Some examples from Britain:

41) The government had ``Private Finance Initiatives'' which meant they didn't have to pay for infrastructure until a later date, and due to accounting tricks didn't have to be reported as government debt. If they had just borrowed the money up front and used that to pay for the infrastructure it would have cost less overall.

42) In the early part of the 21st century the government significantly increased the health budget to make themselves look good, unfortunately it was increased faster than it could easily absorb it, so a lot of it ended up being wasted on things that didn't improve health care.

43) Every government IT program seems to be delivered late and over budget. The government had to recently delay some changes to the law on same sex marriages because they couldn't change their IT systems in time, and they spent 10 billion pounds on an IT system for the health service that didn't work.

44) Strikes in the winter of 1978-79 disrupted key services such as gravedigging, rubbish collection, and some health services. Things got better after that, so it is possible to recover from failures.

45) In the 1990s Britain stopped building submarines for a while. When we started again loss of key skills meant the program was seriously delayed and went massively over budget, and the Americans had to be asked to help sort out this mess. It was later estimated that it would have been cheaper to build a couple of submarines during the gap to maintain the skill base than what actually happened.

46) Britain's handling of Covid 19 is an epic fail. The government seems to be reacting against short term pressure with no clear long term plan to handle it.

47) When the British government was building the next generation of air defence destroyers they changed the program so that fewer would be built for more money just because it would keep it within short term budgets.

48) When the British government was negotiating Brexit they gave away their best negotiating cards in the initial round of negotiations without getting anything meaning full in return.

49) The British government spent billions of pounds on a new maritime patrol aircraft, paid the company more money for providing fewer of them at a later date when they screwed up, then scrapped them just as they were about to become operational, then realised a few years later this left a major capability gap, and then decided to buy inferior aircraft from abroad as they no longer had confidence local industry could deliver.

50) A few years ago when a new pay package was being negotiated for some workers in the health system the government agreed to pay them a lot more for doing less just because the unions proposed it.

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