Zoom Call #1

And I said, I said, ‘a simple point that people forget to explain to outsiders about the consumption of random/plain/goofy/noisy artifacts is that it’s not the random/plain/goofy/noisy artifact that is doing the work but the 3000 years long acummulation of techniques for attentively scrutizing objects (which developed as a corollary of 3000 years of creating…… Continue reading Zoom Call #1

Barry Lyndon, pt 2: The Duel

Last time: It is selection games and debt, all the way down. Nora has been “flinging” herself as an option to “every man” in the area, but none have selected her. Barry owes his uncle a great deal, and his uncle owes the bank a great deal in turn, which puts both into obligation. This…… Continue reading Barry Lyndon, pt 2: The Duel

Games of Strategy are Games of Reading and Writing

1. Schelling defines games of strategy as any situation in which each player’s best choice of action depends on the actions (he expects) the other player will take (and vice-versa, reflexively). This is in contrast to games of skill and games of chance. “Strategy,” then, is the study of conflicting parties’ behaviors as they are premised on…… Continue reading Games of Strategy are Games of Reading and Writing

Positional pricing, positional leverage

To understand positional leverage, we first need a theory of public belief. My contention is that—to give a “just so” story from our evolutionary history—humans have traditionally lived in relatively small communities, where individual opinion held some sway in group decision-making, if only by exerting tacit pressure on a chieftain or council of elders. (We see this dynamic still: politicians in democratic societies are beholden to their populations, so that even if individual discontents are not registered, widespread discontents are.) Public beliefs, then, are situated, strategic interventions into a communal decision-making discourse.

Barry Lyndon, Man of Games pt. 1

Our lives, being a kind of game—an attempt at optimization, within constraints and laws—are subject to four interwoven influences which determine the game’s outcome. Who we are, the choices we make, the abilities we carry, and the luck which accompanies them. In other words, our status, our selections, our skills, and our stars.

Surrogation, or why we can’t have nice things

X: Representation and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.

Y: True, but but anything before that probably couldn’t be called the human race.

Selection games

rock’s apparent shape, size, and kind. The rock has no perception of John’s selection, nor any interest in whether or not it is selected. It is unable to change itself or its appearance in any way to increase or decrease its chances of selection, even if it were aware of, and interested in, the selection process.

Is strategic interaction Machiavellian?

nderstanding of this objection is that it is founded in phenomenology—a feeling from those objecting that their conscious experience is only occasionally marked by a scheming, instrumental attitude toward their fellow interactants.

Epistemic Strategies pt. 1

This is the first of a two-part essay on strategic manipulations of other agents’ epistemic states. Part One lays the groundwork by tying together theories of metonyms, expression games, and signals vs. cues. Part Two will lay out the epistemic axes of legibility vs. illegibility, commitment vs. flexibility, and ignorance vs. knowingness, and the situations…… Continue reading Epistemic Strategies pt. 1

Letter to Tamler Sommers and David Pizarro

“In each part of the poem, the goddess of cancer orders the evolving entities to compete, but the goddess of everything else recasts it as a two-layer competition where cooperation of the internal layer helps win the competition on the external layer.” A Sextant Colder Honor culture isn’t dead, just mutated. Alternate titles: The Public-Private Information…… Continue reading Letter to Tamler Sommers and David Pizarro