Mindsets and PUBG

“What do they see in [thing/person]???”

It’s a common refrain when people encounter an interpretation vastly different from their own. It’s easy to say it’s wrong if others simply disagree with you, and similarly simply if you’ve seen it before and believe it comes down to personal preference. But it can go from that to feeling so foreign it’s as if it came out of the unknown.

It’s as if they came from a different world.

An inconceivable thought, to the post-enlightenment standard. Everything is made out of atoms, we all live on the same planet, we even use the same words all of which are defined right here in these written scribbles on bound pages / glowing screens! How could it be possible we live in different worlds? If it’s from someone with a different facial structure or clothing then the magical word of “culture” is invoked. If it’s from someone who looks or sounds funny then it’s chalked up to them being crazy kooks. And yet, sometime or another, we intuitively know that “we all live in the same world” is simply not the case. That perspective was explained by someone who has 99.x% the same DNA and made of the same 100% starstuff as you, saw something different through the two balls in their head. Something different enough that it makes you question not their way of looking at the world, but yours.

That is how I’ve felt about everything for a long time. Wherever I go and whatever I do there usually is some sort of rulebook or dictionary to look up, but the moment I put down the map to look at the territory, it’s without fail so wildly different I wonder if I should’ve bothered to begin with. The overwhelming proportion of the rules and definitions rarely ever have more power than mere guidelines and suggestions, so much so that they should’ve been presented instead as “some guy’s introduction to this subject matter”. It should be read as WEBSTER’s Dictionary not Webster’s DICTIONARY and Encyclopedia BRITANNICA not ENCYCLOPEDIA Britannica, which is only made harder these days because who’s actually in charge at “en.wikipedia.org” or “dictionary.com“?

Do people, the vast majority of actual living human beings, actually say, “In event of dispute, the rules/definitions laid out by this faceless third party will be the revealed word of the almighty god-or-science?” I feel instead that people usually already have some vague idea of their own to begin with. Rules and definitions, or more generally, “truths”, are less things that will strike omnipotent lightning against any and all who oppose it, and more just things that happen to be lying around for those who can use them. Like a fireteam happening to reach and secure a hill or a building before their enemies. It’s not that they’re not objectively true, or effectively objectively true (e.g. social norms). They’re loci of power, but they’re not god-or-science. Things are there, but they’re only there as much as people understand them. A military that understands cavalry but not firearms will charge; a military that understands firearms considers open land in front of a position watched by the enemy would seen as a bottomless cliff. It’s not actually a bottomless cliff. But it might as well be.

In this sense it wouldn’t be incorrect to say people create the world. One world per person. And the differences are more common than you think – so much so that it might be accurate to say,

“What you see isn’t necessarily reality.
Everyone has secrets, things they can’t tell others.
There are no normal people anywhere.”

– Celty Sturluson, Durarara!!


Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (“PUBG”) is an online PvP battle royale survival shooter: 100 enter, 1 leaves. It has been out since late March 2017, and every week since then up until recently, its peak concurrent players have only risen. It solidly holds its position as the most popular game on Steam, in turn the most popular digital distribution platform for PC games. PUBG‘s peak concurrent players at time of writing is ~2.2M, the next two positions are ~800k (DOTA2) and ~640k (CSGO). Though it has desync problems, server issues, and questionable moves on part of the developer in relation to development progress, streamers, and monetization, there has been no stops on its continued success.

I use PUBG as my example this time because

  1. I’ve recently gotten to play it myself,
  2. it’s popular,
  3. it’s easy to understand, and
  4. the parts of it I am going to use are nonpoliticized.

In general when I’ve tried to used real-world examples to talk about something else entirely, they’ve been read almost entirely differently from what I intended. I don’t see any problem using obscure comparisons, but apparently no one else agrees.

PUBG, specifically, how to think about playing PUBG, looks like it could bypass many of these problems. It’s a PvP game with no story, so the inside of it has no politics. It’s a 3D game rather than some concept, and (I think) more people have a better grasp of pseudo-physical and spatial realities than do people who can keep up with complex arguments. The game has no experience/progression system along with very few mechanics, so there’s no hidden unknowable depths that can be gatekept by “veterans”. And finally, it’s not only popular, but I feel for once I have a decent understanding as to why it is.

In other, shorter words: PUBG is a convenient coincidence.

Originally I was fully opposed to the PUBG hype. Openworld-survival-pvp-crafting has been around for a very long time, producing iteration upon bad iteration, with the original DayZ starting as an Arma3 mod in who knows what year and having been “in development” as a standalone game since 2012, then came H1Z1 and a bunch of other -Z’s whose names I forget, but it’s okay, because none of them have ever amounted to anything. PUBG though for whatever reason has not died off, and I wasn’t inclined to look into it because it was “Early Access” like all the other trash, and posters on /v/ wouldn’t stop spamming that welding helmet and the orange explosion as OP images. Literally everything else anyone talks about can come up with more than one (1) image; for whatever reason these PUBG guys couldn’t. Apparently PUBG removed the zombies, persistence, crafting, and simplified the formula down to just a battle royale.

This formula I still had problems with. Not having played or watched it much at all except to determine the general feel for accuracy and ranges, it was pretty clear that the game involved doing a lot of nothing. You have 100 people dropping into an area that’s 64km2 – that’s a really, really low population density. Even if most people start off in the same place, most of the game’s duration almost by definition will not involve combat. Most of it won’t even involve picking things up. If you don’t find a car, a very likely scenario to the average player, then most of the game involves running from “The Blue”, which over time forces all remaining players into smaller and smaller areas. A few minutes of picking stuff up, a lot of minutes just running, and then in a few seconds, loud sounds and death. Someone saw you before you saw them, they took their shots, and now it’s game over. Back to the menus with you.

If the fundamentals of the game’s balance are that aim is at all accurate, if damage is that high and fire rate is that fast, if the kill speed is significantly higher than travel speed and visibility problems are nonexistent… that’s the kind of game that necessarily results. It’s probably not too far from how it’d work in real life (“The Blue” not withstanding) but realism doesn’t mean good design. I just thought I’d do something better with my time. I’d occasionally read about PUBG in a certain blog I follow, but that was about it.

I got PUBG after watching my friend play it for a few hours. Watching him play it, with all the shiny marketing and wHoA sO cUhRaZy stripped away and replaced with a down-to-earth personality I was familiar and comfortable with, the appeal of the game was clear: it’s the tension. Saying that most of the game is spent “doing nothing” is not untrue, but the important part is that most of the game is also spent “potentially doing something very significant in the next moment”. You’re not shooting every second, but you are paying attention. At any time you could spot something in the next second that tells you that an enemy is around. Perhaps they spot you and you get notified with the crack of a bullet, perhaps with it the loss of a third of your health. Or maybe nothing will happen.

But something could.

After having played PUBG for about 30 hours now and gaining some desire to become more proficient, I’ve noticed that there are very, very different ways of approaching how to play it. My main reason in getting PUBG was simply to spend time with a friend, and certainly it explains a lot of others’ way of thinking about the game too. Just to make it simple, we’re going to pass over these “social” mindsets in favor of looking those that are about winning. Winning in this game is clearly defined: be the last one standing. But the mindsets built to achieve that are different. It’s the same game everyone’s playing, yet the understandings between them aren’t the same at all.

I’ve seen four different mindsets: four different PUBG’s, four different worlds.

They are:

  • World of Campers
  • World of Looters
  • World of Predators
  • World of Gods

“Imagine you exist within a sacred landscape. How could a modern person conceive of that? Well that’s easy. Leave home for… a while. And then come back. Let’s say it’s your parents’ home and you’ve been gone for fifteen years, and you come back and everything in the house is imbued with magical significance.

And you might say well that’s not inherent to the object. Like, yeah, sure. Depending on how you define the object. It’s completely inherent to the object as they manifest themselves in your realm of perception. And you can dissociate the object itself from the subjective overlay, but that’s not such an easy thing to do, and it’s not so self-evident. And it’s not even obvious that what you’re doing when you do that is coming up with a more accurate picture of reality, because the picture of reality that represents the item of sacred importance.

How do you know that importance isn’t the most important part of that item? That’s how you act. You won’t throw it away. Well, why? It’s just a material entity. Well no it’s not. It’s an element of being. And that’s a different thing.

And so what people prior to the dawn of the materialist age was producing maps of being, and that meant things had historical significance. The mountain where your grandfather was buried was not the same mountain as another mountain. And you might say, yes they are, they’re made out of the same clay and silica and all of that, and it’s like, yeah, man, you’re missing the point.

A Westerner might say, “yes but it’s extraordinarily useful to differentiate and to act as if there’s an objective reality and a subjective reality because it opens up all sorts of new avenues of pursuit”, and yes, that’s why we’re technological wizards. But we’ve lost something. We’ve lost our capacity to understand the reality of that overlay that we scraped off in order to produce objective reality.”

– Jordan B. Peterson


CAMPERS

A not-uncommon way to play the game involves sitting inside a building with cover on all sides, and gun pointing at the point of entry. Sometimes it’s a shed, sometimes it’s a bathroom, sometimes it’s in the kitchen, if it’s that kind of kitchen.

The idea is that it’s the optimal way to survive. Guns are deadly. The map has really wide open spaces that make it hard to see people and hard to be protected from bullets. If you don’t want to die then you need to not get shot, if you want to not get shot you need cover. And if you want to kill people before they kill you, the best thing to have is surprise. What better combination of these elements than hiding in a small room in a building? Guaranteed safety up until the moment that door opens, and while you get to hear the intruder’s footsteps, they have no information on you up until the moment they open that door. When they do, they’ll be surprised, and you won’t.

The definition of winning is being able to shoot first.

What causes loss is lack of the element of surprise.

LOOTERS

This game starts everyone off with no offensive or defensive items, air-dropping from the same plane over a random flight path. What little background lore there is on the game states that this is some deserted russian island, which just happens to have quite a few guns, ammo, and armor just laying around for everyone to use and kill each other with. There is some variety between the weapons, with pistols, SMGs, shotguns, and rifles to pick up, all doing varying amounts of damages at various ranges.

The idea of the looter is simply to win via having more/better items. If, for example, a rifle does more damage, has more bullets per magazine, and can take scopes to make longer range shooting easier, then it’s of utmost importance to have a rifle. To be the last man standing you must have some health when everyone else has none, and what causes that is more healing and more power. More, more, more.

This is how my friend and I duo – we just go around continually getting more stuff from more buildings all game long. Both in duo and in solo using this mindset has reliably gotten me to sub-25 rankings… though, since I generally also don’t hit my shots, nor ever have time to heal, I think it’s really more to do with how I initially land from the plane and how I think about moving around afterwards than anything else.

I picked this up from the blog I mentioned earlier, and idea is so strong it can get you to the overall top 0.5%. Gevlon intentionally sits as far away from anyone as possible, sometimes even deep within “The Blue”, just healing until he runs out and dies. On average he kills someone once every 33 games. My (effectively) no-items running around can reliably get to top 25, Gevlon’s heals galore reliably gets him within top 10.

And top 10 is where all the ratings gains happen. The game doesn’t really care so much how many other people you kill, it cares how long you survive relative to everyone else.

The definition of winning is the most reliable method of climbing the overall competitive “ladder”. As applied to PUBG, the definition of winning is: actively avoiding danger.

What causes loss is having poor strategy.

PREDATORS

It’s a battle royale: in the beginning there were many, and in the end only one will be left alive. Since it’s not actually Battle Royale and it’s PUBG instead, you can’t leave the island or team up to fight the power, and the actual only way to win is by everyone else dying. Since they’re probably not going to go off and die on their own, you have to kill them. And if you’re going to kill them, you might as well do more of it, sooner, where possible. Generally speaking, anyways – too much danger doesn’t work, but too little of it means that it’s not clear if it’s there. Unknown dangers are worse than known dangers, and the danger is not only out there, it’s here inside your head. If you’re constantly fighting, then you’re ready. If all is silent for just a little too long, rust builds up quick.

The definition of winning is more actively controlling and reducing potential danger.

I recently found a fairly unique streamer through watching various videos and, though he usually doesn’t drop in high-risk-high-reward areas, when he does, he chooses specific parts of it which are locally less populated and easier to secure his position. chocoTaco almost always sticks to his overall mid-game strategy of finding a certain kind of building in a central location and defending it. The type of building is one which has open stretches of land on all sides, meaning if someone happens to be around, he will have access to cover and they will not. The central location means he will never be too far from the next safe zone from “The Blue”.

The moment he sees someone he starts shooting. chocoTaco has said multiple times while in extremely exposed positions, “I wouldn’t mind taking a few shots right now. Then I’d know where they are / I’d see some action”. This isn’t an untrue way of thinking. With only a few exceptions no gun will kill you in one hit, and only rarely will a gunshot not have a sound effect telling you which direction the shot came from. Regardless of how good your eyes are at hunting pixels, you could always use the help of someone else, and if you’re getting shot at that means there’s an enemy that can see you. Also helpfully is that most people in this game are bad shots. If you have reliable and quick access to cover, a few shots are basically as good as “Marco!”.

Sure, those bullets could hit. But what if they don’t hit? What if they weren’t fired? What if you chose a poorer area with a poorer building, and someone not only could but decided they would sit near your vehicle, waiting for you to come back out when the next “Blue” is announced to shotgun you in the face? That would be more dangerous. Better to set fire to the forests before the forests decide to set fire to you.

chocoTaco’s way of playing definitely requires more skill than Gevlon’s, but with a little tweaking here and there it can be used for fair chunk of the playerbase. Pick shots rather than picking them all. Don’t run around outside. Something else he recommends is to not loot after a certain point: there’s a certain amount of certain things you need, after that don’t worry about it, because 1) after a very early point the people you’ll run into will be dangerous, 2) it increases the probability you will run into campers, and 3) if you’re looting buildings or bodies, you aren’t paying attention to what’s around you.

In this way, lack of attention, not bullets, is what causes death.

If there’s five people and everyone’s hiding, no one knows anything about anyone, which means everyone at every point might be in danger. If instead one guy is firing at another and that guy is firing back, then there’s at least two points to focus on. Not only has the number of unknowns has been reduced from 5 to 3, those 3 remaining are probably also focused on the known 2. You can decide to look for the danger first. If you find them first, you have the surprise. If you didn’t, but you didn’t die, surprise is not a factor. If you’re firing then it’s usually at the cost of your own position, but in the end it’s a decision. Are you going to put yourself in some danger to obtain information, or aren’t you? Remember, you’re in general danger anyways. It’s a battle royale after all.

Given a skill level like chocoTaco’s, that decision is a pretty easy one – to a certain extent.

Some others though play like there’s no extent.

GODS

Based on how people drop and the most popular videos on youtube, this is the most popular way. People overwhelmingly prefer to drop in the few large areas with the highest chance of high quality items, knowing full well that that’s what other people have in mind and it’s up to whoever happens to find guns first and gets better shots off that wins. And that’s all okay, because [I] WILL drop the fastest, [I] WILL get to the best guns first, and [I] WILL kill everyone before they get to kill me. Almost all the top videos are killcam highlights of crazy trick shots. The “gunplay” in this game is not very interesting, the death animations are nonexistent, yet that’s what’s focused on, because that’s the definition of winning.

The definition of winning is killing everyone as they appear no matter the situation.

What causes loss is low skill.

These are the players that will talk about “git gud”, because that’s the prerequisite. Not even a loose prerequisite, but an absolute one. If you are just running around not really thinking about what you’re doing, and you want to win, you better be extremely good at what you do. In a simple game like PUBG it comes down to putting more/bigger bullets into the enemy before they do you and, since enemies are on average really poor shots, it doesn’t seem too far out of reach. It especially doesn’t seem far with all the streamers out there, seemingly randomly getting into dangerous situations just like they do, whipping out quick kills or even instant kills with sniper rifle headshots, then turning back and answering fun and personal questions from their public chats. With little old them.

In my due diligence minimal research for this section of this post I’ve watched a bit played by a few big name streamers, and they all largely follow this line. A few hours of Shroud showed he doesn’t seem to place much of a priority on dropping safely or securing a vehicle, at one point he stands around for almost 30 seconds, pondering aloud his next move – meaning he doesn’t have a strategy or a plan. What little I watched of Tecnosh was largely the same with dropping into really high risk areas. His midgame strat though does exist: he’s permanently driving around in a type of vehicle that’s large enough to give him plenty of cover, giving him the choice to pick engagements and be in a decent position if he decides to pick one. But nothing else he did made sense.

I was watching Grimmmz for a third example, but less than an hour in I just had to hear him talk about how youtube is bad because it’s too easy for random trolls to take down other peoples’ videos. Which is unfortunate because 1) He streams a hell of a lot on a lot of different games and I had to scroll down to last month to find one that was mostly PUBG, and 2) I just happened to be on a certain thread while searching for other streamers to look up and maybe prove myself wrong, and I read that Grimmmz is the guy who set the precedent for honking while in a streamer’s game to be a bannable offense (there’s no names in-game until you’re dead so you can’t possibly know if you’re being watched), he also took down a video of some deliberate stream honking on youtube… by a copyright claim. Wow! Shortly after I found out Shroud is the one behind the banning of suspected “stream snipers”, meaning “people who watch my in-game screen, which purely by my own volition i have put up for public display, who attempt to get in the same game with me, and who use that information to their advantage”. Not that he has any problem with all the stream snipers who come up to him harmlessly and stand around to feed him kills and items though. Of course not. God I hate streamers. Streaming was a civilization-level mistake. But that’s a different topic.

Off topic as well as on topic, Grimmmz just like Shroud didn’t display anything particular of note other than very very reliable shooting skills. Everything else was a wash. These are some of the biggest streamers on Twitch, and among others are the ones you’ll hear about if you look up which PUBG players to watch if you want to “git gud”.

Those players act like gods, and in many ways, they really are gods. Generally speaking, past the first few minutes after they’ve gotten geared up, everyone they see *will* die.

However, when newcomers see and attempts to emulate “not caring and simply making things happen”, what happens is they become prey. And they’ll like being prey, because every once in a while the stars will align, they’ll get that victory screen for being the last man standing, that “WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!”, and in that moment that will overshadow all else, they too will have become a god.


Everyone who plays PUBG is playing the same game… in a sense. They’re all connecting to the same servers and interacting with the same 3D world and ranked on the same /100 in game and by some other numbers out of game.

Yet they’re not playing the same game.

So many times I’ve seen chocoTaco notice someone outside his building, someone who also knows he’s inside because he makes it obvious by breaking windows and parking right next to a door, and he simply jumps out of a second-story window to flank and make a clean kill. Most people know that it’s possible to leave a building from the second floor… when they’re safe and looting. But when they’re approaching a threat inside a building, people usually think if they watch “the entrances” then they’re safe, and “the entrances to a building”, generally speaking, means “doors on the first floor”. In that moment, their world is just the first floor’s doors. Even though they’re making an assault on a building, what they see isn’t all that different from the guy squatting on a toilet or laying down in a bathtub.

In one game I was playing alone I happened to reach a “care package”, a random airdrop which has items much more powerful than those that spawn on the island. Usually people go for these and I don’t, but for some reason this one was untouched, and I got my hands on a big belt-fed machinegun. The strongest non-sniper weapon in the game. I had survived and made it to the final 10 with such a weapon.

But with that power I laid down in the grass.

And did nothing. No damage.

And then I died.

So I might as well have had a submachinegun. Or no gun at all.

In one game chocoTaco was fired upon by a machinegun. He took up residence in the next building over, and while looking around for other enemies, he constantly wondered the machine gun was silent. Paraphrased, he said something like ‘What’s this guy doing? He has the big gun, he can do whatever he wants. Why isn’t he pushing me?’. Eventually, chocoTaco got an angle jumping around different rooftops to get a grenade in for the kill. From the time chocoTaco originally got fired upon to that grenade, the machinegun did not fire a single shot. Our bunnyhopper had worse weapons and a more exposed position. But he won and the big gun didn’t, and it wasn’t due to “luck” or some “trickshot”. He does have luck and can pull trickshots, but that’s not important.

Or perhaps it’s all that’s important. chocoTaco explains what he’s doing and is almost always doing the same strategy – a strategy that’s boring. It’s good, and when it’s fun it’s fun, but it’s boring. Gevlon has an even more solid strategy, and if he streamed, it would be even more boring.

You know what is exciting though?

“OOOOOOOOOOH!!!!!!”
“OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!”
“WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?”

What was I talking about?

I’ve gone at pretty decent length describing a few things in this post, but none at all right there. So what was I talking about? Do you have any idea?

The most common player such a good idea, this reveal wouldn’t even be a reveal.

Ignore the commentary by the aggregator, just pay attention to what the people from inside the gameplay clips say.

When they do or see things like that, they see

“That could be me. This is fun.

This is a game worth playing.”

When I see things like that, I see

“Some of that stuff really was legitimately good decisions and good moves, but a lot of it shouldn’t even happened to begin with. More than a few of those bad situations were as a result of bad choices. You don’t get in fistfights with 4 people if you don’t decide to land at a terrible building in a populated area. You don’t get that far outside a circle if you pay attention.

And most importantly, all of them had really stupid reactions. Are you skilled or are you not? If you are, then it should be a “oh neat, that worked” surprise and not an “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD” surprise. If you’re not, then yes, that’s the appropriate response… but submitting that to a “Top Plays of the Week” contest means you don’t think that. Or you do, and think the results of skills are worth no more than results of accidents.

And if there’s someone with high reach out there that makes videos accepting such submissions with a title like “Top Plays of the Week”… well.

This is a game for stupid monkeys.”

Those two games are not the same game. Land in front of an enemy formation is not the same as an enemy position watching over a bottomless cliff. The game I see in that video is also not the same game as the one I play.

It’s also entirely possible there is some method behind the madness of the streamers I watched. I like Gevlon and chocoTaco not just because they can win, but because they are a certain kind of person. They give explanations about what they do and how they think, ones which are close enough to how I think that I feel I could’ve said something like that myself.

There’s a lot of advice videos on PUBG out there and a lot of them talk about practice practice practice. Having heard “practice practice practice” might be helpful for some people but I feel like I wasted my time and wish youtube’s video ranking system still worked based on up/down votes. More than a few videos I’ve watched on How To Improve Aim give the advice to drop into highly contested areas over and over because that’s the highest frequency of fighting you can get. Which I thought was just stupid because there’s a minute pre-game, a minute dropping, and if you drop into such an area it’s maybe a minute before you’re probably going to die, all for a (one) (1) gunfight. That’s a frequency of 1 every 3 minutes.

chocoTaco says basically the same thing:

“The truth is, if you really want to work on your aim, you need to play a different game on the side. Unfortunately, PUBG is a terrible game for working on your shot. There are plans for the devs to include a shooting range in the game, but we have no idea when this will be added, or even if it will be added. The problem is there’s so much deadtime between kills that you truly can’t practice your shot. Not only that, but PUBG isn’t really a game where you rack up kills.

Let’s say you win a game with 10 kills, that takes something like 35 minutes, so that’s about 1 kill every 3 1/2 minutes. And that’s only sometimes. Sometimes you’ll get no kills. Sometimes you’ll get one kill.

Any other shooter that’s fast paced will work great for practicing your aim.”

He follows this up by saying he personally uses CSGO to practice.

To which my good friend Laxeris responded:

LAX: Absolutely disgusting
LAX: >CS:GO
LAX: DROPPED
REZ: im playing it for pubguh aims
LAX: Poor excuse
[…]
LAX: You’re better off practicing your aim in pubg
LAX: Or playing something like Osu
LAX: Or some aiming trainer
[…]
LAX: https://aim400kg.com/
[…]
REZ: why do you prefer that flash site over playing csgo or some other shooter
LAX: Because Cs go is shit
LAX: If I want to practice shooting I’ll practice in the game I’m playing
[…]
LAX: This is why I say just play bubg
REZ: but flash clickers are better than csgo??
LAX: Yes
REZ: why?
LAX: Cus csgo is shit
LAX: It’s bascially the same problem you said earlier when compairing cs to bubg
LAX: 10 seconds inbetween each shot
REZ: 10s while having to look around isnt so bad
LAX: Whereas most trainers have them at 1-5 intervals

I like these three guys because I can understand them. They don’t completely agree with each other, but they share enough of the same kind of mindset that I see what’s going on. A certain way of looking at the world… of creating the world.

And yet they come to opposite results on how the game should be played. The Way of the Looter and the Way of the Predator couldn’t be more different from each other. Within one mindset of a certain criteria, two opposing mindsets of a different criteria result. Then we add in all the other mindsets, not only the Campers and Gods (who are obviously just wrong), but those people who are just around for social reasons and don’t care about winning at all. Then add in all the things these mindsets do in not-PUBG.

Grimmmz clearly doesn’t care about freedom of speech or sanctity of law. He cares about something, but it’s not that. Same with certain other streamers and certain other things we understand to be general moral guidelines. Certainly, they’re able to get away with it because they have powerful positions, but they also have a way of creating the world that makes doing these things a possibility to begin with. That part doesn’t come from the power.

How else do different mindsets appear in all the other realms of human activity?

What else exists that we can’t see?

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Game of Truth

REZ: i remember one summer a long time ago
REZ: probably middle school
REZ: i went to a “writing camp” over the summer
REZ: i.e. a class run by non-teachers
REZ: and for some reason i forget we played this game
REZ: two people would be blindfolded and put into a ring
REZ: a rolled up newspaper would be thrown in there
REZ: and there’s two stages to the game
REZ: first is someone needs to find the newspaper
REZ: second is when the newspaper is found, it’s announced, then the guy with the newspaper needs to be able to find and whack the other guy
REZ: arena size was…
REZ: i was a kid so it was smaller; i’m trying to imagine how large it’d be for an adult
REZ: 9×9′ or 10×10′, thereabouts
REZ: i wasnt the first to play so i got a chance to see others play for a while, maybe it was even the second or third time it happened until it was my turn
REZ: maybe multiple days, maybe not, i forget
REZ: but the way i saw people do it was really really obtuse
REZ: granted it’s young teens doing it but whatever they had in their minds, it was different than mine
REZ: newspaper’s somewhere on the ground, and what they do is they reach out at different spots with their hands to see what’s there
REZ: second phase was basically the same except standing up and with one guy not reaching out at different spots
REZ: maybe 3~5 minute rounds of people blindfolded, acting as if they weren’t blindfolded
REZ: as if the lights had just been turned off
REZ: the whole time.
REZ: then it came my turn with some girl
REZ: and i swam along the carpet
REZ: the objective was to find a newspaper and there was nothing that would hurt me, so the strategy as far as i could tell involved covering the largest amount of area as soon as possible
REZ: made me look like an idiot but i wasn’t interested in that
REZ: so basically, breaststroke.
REZ: unfortunately my strategy wasn’t able to get me the newspaper because i hadn’t thought through how to measure covered ground versus uncovered ground, and i started in a bad direction
REZ: i hit the edge of the arena multiple times and didn’t know where i was facing after i got turned around
REZ: so now i’m the hunted versus the hunter
REZ: and rather than walking around with the smallest profile like a girl in a movie walking down a dark unfamiliar street
REZ: my upper body was about as wide as it’d normally be
REZ: but i was basically squatting with how far apart my legs were
REZ: and rather than having (nothing) to indicate to me where my opponent was
REZ: i listened and felt for heat
REZ: if i felt something, i’d move far with only a few strides
REZ: i’d stay mostly put otherwise unless something changed
REZ: it went on for 10~15 minutes until the “teachers” finally stopped it.
REZ: i got pretty popular afterwards for a few minutes.
REZ: then afterwards the game was broken and i don’t think anyone really felt tension from playing it anymore.
REZ: both players would always start out with breaststroke and whoever got the newspaper would instantly start swinging it around like a madman
REZ: i forget if everyone actually got a chance to play in the end or if it was just stopped without comment.
REZ: oh yeah i forgot one part of the story
LAX: I feel like someone would have accidentally gotten punched like that
REZ: when the blindfold was put on, i was also the first to insist on a certain way it was put on
REZ: namely, that they didn’t cover my ears.
REZ: oh sure
REZ: i meant relatively speaking
REZ: rather than a swordsman in a dark dungeon on the wary for large monsters
REZ: the hunter actually did assume the role of the hunter after that
REZ: moved quick, “sword” in front, extended arms
REZ: one time where i really did change ‘everything’.
REZ: i solved it
REZ: and then i ruined it.
LAX: What do you mean ruined it?
REZ: what’s the point in playing a game?
LAX: To win
REZ: no no no
REZ: that’s the point when you’re already playing a game
REZ: why do you pick up a game?
REZ: why play a game rather than do something else?
LAX: Because other stuff is boring?
REZ: yes
REZ: because games are fun
REZ: it wasn’t fun after i and whoever came after me solved it, me with the search and defensive standards, and him with the offensive standard
REZ: “everyone” had a certain understanding of “how” the game was played
REZ: then i played it
REZ: and that other guy played it.
REZ: it was a game of tension and mystery
REZ: then it became a dice roll.
REZ: or rather, a coin flip.
REZ: i wonder if i was the dumb one in the end.
LAX: Nope
LAX: You were the only one to think outside the box
LAX: The rest of the kids followed in your footsteps, no one else attempted to change it
LAX: It’s like when a new “unbeatable” meta shows up in a game
LAX: Everyone conforms to that meta and no one tries to break it
LAX: Everyone was doing what you did rather than thinking about how to beat what you did
LAX: AKA they were fucking stupid sheep
REZ: as was the case with most educational summer camps, no kid actually wanted to be there and little of it was interesting at all
REZ: that was the first time something happened that was both interesting and something they couldnt simply replicate at home
REZ: you really do need a human ring creating an arena for no danger of running into things to be involved, and enough eyes on the scene to determine what the objective state of the game is
REZ: but after those two games it was just another thing to do.
REZ: and then not a thing to do, because it stopped.
REZ: back to writing stupid shit no one cares about and no one reads.
LAX: The problem with your story isnot that you ruined the game
LAX: It’s that the game was stupid.
REZ: oh sure
LAX: Or more that the rest of the kids were….
REZ: we’re adults and we have experience with games so we can see that the design was absolutely retarded
REZ: but i don’t think that changes the purpose and niche the game filled for that situation at that time
REZ: everyone played the game as if there was also the rule that you had to act as if you could actually see
REZ: and that created a certain feel for the game
REZ: i played as if that rule didn’t exist and revealed that the emperor wasn’t really wearing any clothes
REZ: good for me i suppose
REZ: but all that was left for me and everyone else after that was looking at a hairy fat ugly old man.
LAX: The real problem is that you were theonly person that actually played the game
LAX: In a competetive game the goal is to win
LAX: Or rather to beat the other person
LAX: Everyone saw that you found the winning defense strategy
LAX: If there were a few smart kids in that group the game could have been a bit more like rock paper sissors with a phsyical aspect
LAX: The problem with being smart is you tend to ruin the “fun” for everyone else who isn’t smart.
LAX: No one else there had the physical or mental capacity to win aginast a decently thought out plan
LAX: But, was there a point to that story?
REZ: i’ve been reading some of the kaiji stuff i hadnt before since i cant sleep and something in there reminded me of this story
REZ: the point was that i wasn’t sure if it was the right move
LAX: It was the right move for you
REZ: it was the right move inside the game.
LAX: Same difference
REZ: no, i think it was the wrong move outside
REZ: there’s fewer smart people than dumb people
LAX: No matter what, the same outcome would have happened
REZ: if smart people can figure out a way to win, they should also figure out the cost of ruining the whole thing
REZ: on a long enough timeline, yes
REZ: but it was a camp of like 4 weeks, maybe 16 days
REZ: and its not like we played all that time
REZ: the dumb kids wouldn’t have made it out, only the smarter ones
REZ: we could’ve played for a few hours longer rather than not
LAX: With enough iterations the game would have evolved anyways
LAX: With your strat that is
LAX: Someone would have figured out how to beat it
LAX: Really, the burden lies on the teachers.
LAX: For ruining the game
LAX: They’re the ones who cancled it, presumably
REZ: i think that way of thinking will evade the understanding of a lot of things people do
REZ: there are more dumb kids than smart kids, more dumb people than smart people
LAX: Sure
REZ: how much of society is run with the super smart people pretending just enough so that all the dumb people continue enjoying life the way things are?
REZ: or rather: not seeing how absolutely retarded their situation is, not realize such a thing, and thus also never start trying to even want to look for a way out of it?
LAX: A lot.
REZ: probably.
REZ: and people like us, not-dumb not-super-smart people, spend time looking at how to win the individual games instead.

IFLS is an intended result of Science

LAX: What is that supposed to mean
REZ: whats what supposed to mean
LAX: “objectivity is a big fucking meme, just like science”
REZ: it’s the same group of people and same mentality
REZ: IFLS is effectively a religion
REZ: or if you’re a bit more highbrow, the Rationality Community e.g. Less Wrong, Slate Star Codex et. all
LAX: Are you saying you’re opposed to science?
LAX: Science and being objective are appropriate in certain situations
REZ: I am opposed to both science and IFLSers, though they’re two slightly different topics
REZ: well, i suppose it could be seen as two slightly different ways of being the same thing
LAX: How can you be opposed to science yet use a computer?
REZ: my using a computer has nothing to do with science
LAX: It’s a byproduct of science
REZ: i will give you 5 more arguments until i stop this line because it’s base as fuck and wastes my time
LAX: I get being opposed to the IFLS shitlords
REZ: it’s a byproduct of a bunch of things which aren’t science too; doesn’t mean anything
REZ: it’s like saying haha aren’t communists funny they complain about capitalism but they still buy things
REZ: communists are idiots but that’s not a legitimate argument to level against them
REZ: they have about as much choice to not buy things as they do to evade taxes or not drive cars or not speak english
REZ: there’s one great thing that everyone touts about science and it’s that it’s self correcting
REZ: which is completely nonunique since every way of thinking has methods of self correcting
REZ: religions have priests who interpret their holy books, science has scientists who interpret their experimental results
REZ: i forget the number but something came out recently showing that something like 1/2 or 2/3 of scientific papers in recent years have experiments which aren’t reproducible
REZ: in english that means “most of recent science is effectively made up shit and not science”
LAX: I know of this
REZ: science isn’t so great that i have to acknowledge tribute to it by using something i have to use in order to live
REZ: science sticks its name in a bunch of things just because it’s only ever so marginally related
REZ: like a college claiming “oh yeah that famous guy? he went here.”
REZ: whereas the vast majority of people who’ve actually been to college can tell you, it really isn’t that special.
REZ: except for the partying.
REZ: when colleges start saying “oh yeah that famous guy? he partied here. and that’s why he’s famous” instead of pretending it’s some great knowledge or insight he gained through hard work and education, i’ll take another look.
REZ: same with science.
REZ: but if they do that, then their credibility goes out the window, so i won’t have to.
LAX: So you’re not actually opposed to the scientific method, just the way people use science to “seem smart”?
LAX: like people using science to publish a paper that’s just total bullshit?
REZ: why would the difference between what something is and how it manifests matter to me?
REZ: we had this conversation like yesterday
REZ: my brother COULD be something that ISNT a complete literal retard
REZ: but unless it’s demonstrated who cares?
REZ: science COULD be the greatest thing ever but if the big people who are so much smarter and so much more productive than me are 1/2~2/3 LYING about their SHIT then why do i care?
REZ: i don’t have any personal investment in the word or ideology of “science”
REZ: i see its leaders being shit, as far as i’m concerned, it’s shit
REZ: if i remember high school science and youtube atheism from pre-2010 correctly this is the scientific response too
REZ: god COULD exist
REZ: but if we can’t detect him then he’s not in this universe, i.e. he doesn’t exist
REZ: that’s the big problem
REZ: the other problem which is somewhat related is science is one of the mainstream religions
REZ: anything which is NOT “proven by science” is “pseudoscience”
REZ: things which have long existed before science are deemed “immoral” or “wrong”, even if they are accurate predictions and have demonstrable effects, up until the moment some “scientist” records it in an experiment and presents his conclusions to a “scientific community”
REZ: at which point it becomes truth, oh look we were wrong this whole time, isn’t it great we have science to correct our ways?
REZ: like literally go fuck yourself
REZ: the point, anywhere in any field of human activity, is to be “correct” or to get a job “done”
REZ: whether it’s “scientific” or not is secondary
REZ: and the more i see and hear about science it’s the modern day equivalent of religion in the sense that they’re the gatekeepers of knowledge
REZ: just like media
REZ: “if we say its true its true, if we say its false its false”
REZ: media has eroded a bit thanks to internet and smartphone video but people just keep lapping up whatever they hear when they also hear the word “science” or whatever
REZ: it’s all related
REZ: IFLS is not a mistake, it’s an intended consequence of how science is portrayed and how their people work in our system
LAX: Okay I’m with you now
REZ: good
REZ: laxeris was not an idiot today
LAX: I don’t know about not an idiot.
LAX: But I wasn’t totally retarded
LAX: :3
REZ: yes, which is why i said “today”.
LAX: Sometimes I forget the way you view things and it makes it really hard to comprehend how you come to conclusions
LAX: Like how you put science and science people in the same category. Which makes sense, but not the way I do it.
REZ: people like to recite that one line from v for vendetta, ‘you can’t kill an idea’
REZ: but you can kill people, and you can censor books, and if there are no people to espouse an idea and no one to hear the tree fall in the forest, it doesn’t make a sound
LAX: I dislike that line, it’s pretty stupid
REZ: in obverse: an idea is only as much as its people
REZ: i could take the conventional stance, “those guys weren’t real scientists, how horrible they abused our system!”
REZ: but why would i do that?
REZ: people generally don’t reach that question because they just accept that science is correct
REZ: which it might or might not be
REZ: if we’re to believe the great message of science, that we’re always learning and 90% of what we knew 100 years is wrong today and 90% of what we know today will be wrong 100 years from now
REZ: it’s pretty plausible what we think of as “the scientific method” today will look fucking stupid in 100 years
REZ: in which case the only thing retained is the name
REZ: the brand
REZ: the marketing.
REZ: the religion.
REZ: and i don’t care about marketing that brand for free.
REZ: i’m gonna need to get paid.
LAX: I think it’s fair to assume that science is correct a decent amount of the time. But to place one’s entire faith into the results of science and accept it as fact, I completely disagree with too
REZ: i’m not going to assume science is correct even a decent amount of the time
LAX: I think the baseline of what science would change into (should) still remain the same
LAX: To compare them to computers, in 100 years our computers will be slow and basically useless
REZ: first of all stuff we actually operate on day to day doesnt rely on science
REZ: science today is string theory or other nonsense
LAX: But at their cores they’d still be the same fundamental idea
REZ: yes… a same fundamental brand.
REZ: an idea in your head and not related to anything that’s actually done.
LAX: The methods used to “extract data” would still remain fairly the same
REZ: you say this without any knowledge of how university researchers do things today or how university researchers did thing in the enlightenment.
LAX: I don’t need to know the tiny details of how they find things, like what equation they use, or what material etc
LAX: Those things will obviously change
LAX: The core of having an idea, then testing the idea, then retesting the idea should remain the same
LAX: Which is the core of what science is built on
LAX: If that were to change, and it still remained “science” that would be a problem
LAX: But if the catalyst in which science is preformed is changed that doesn’t really affect anything.
REZ: clearly it doesn’t exist anymore then, because 300 years ago a majority of experiments were actually done to retest other people’s ideas, these days everyone’s trying to do their own because that’s what gets published
REZ: which is why you hear about all these studies being done on some really specific super obscure shit that doesn’t matter
REZ: it’s “still science”
REZ: just like how people living in california can “still own a gun”
REZ: have fun marketing pointless research no one’s interested in for grant money and not being able to buy a rifle with a detachable magazine in the current year
LAX: Plenty of people still test old ideas with new variables to see if it still holds ups
LAX: Obiviously not a lot of people though
REZ: undergrads in chem 02a and that’s it.
REZ: you’re right though
REZ: chem 02a is mandatory, so “plenty of people” is an accurate statement.
LAX: Until someone finds a new variable to test the old things with, what would be the point of testing them with the same variables?
LAX: Thus people look for new variables and have to go through the bullshit procedure of getting funding
REZ: “what would be the point of testing them with the same variables”
REZ: well lets see
REZ: lets see if i cant find some textbook-like description of the pillars of science
REZ: actually i dont have to
REZ: you already conceded that the 1/2~2/3 story was true
LAX: Mhm
REZ: the only reason why that story matters is because reproducibility matters
REZ: if i do an experiment and you can’t reproduce it, that means, in science world, that something is wrong
REZ: whether you can’t won’t or don’t is irrelevant
REZ: that it isn’t means science either is dying or isn’t happening