# Expectations

May 14 2003 at 7:46 AM

Response to I don't buy it

Continuing the discussion at the risk of inflaming feelings

Not risk, certainty. But sure, go ahead.

Slot machines make for a good analogy for the points you want to prove, but I submit that it is not the correct analogy. The one I used is the correct analogy: blackjack.

Blackjack enjoys randomnity, but even with multiple-deck shoes, there are a fixed number of outcomes in the deck. When some of those are used up, the probabilities on the remaining possibilities changes. The casinos understand this, which is why they change shoes well before the number of cards runs low, and why they watch like hawks for card counters.

Casinos neither discourage the use of "systems" for slot machines, nor throw folks out on their ass for using them. There's a reason for that. Of course they aren't afraid of that. The payout ratio on slot machines is statistical. Like everything else with real randomnity, you can't play the system when the odds of one event are not affected by previous events. The math ensures their profits.

"Systems" aren't against the rules for slot machines or craps, but they are for blackjack. Now why is that? I asked you that before and you ignored it.

From Urug's Epic Nine report:

With so much luck and the knowledge of the theory of random sequences used for number generators, which results in random events being not independent, I used a couple of seeds on bombardments ... an I was correct, most of them failed. Now it is still not sure I'll be victorious again but the probability is much higher. So my remaining 8 modern armor continued the attack.

From Urug's Epic Twelve report:

You can see Brundisium in the east causing a lot of pain costing the life of a couple of my horsemen. My war in the west was very successful, but my assault on Brundisium got all my bad die rolls. In 10 AD I successfully took Rome.

The key phrase there was "results in random events not being independent". He was right, and I picked up on that immediately. I knew from there on out that this player was going to post a lot of big successes, and it completely changed my perception of him. He went right to the head of the class, so to speak.

I knew this was one of your principled positions, so a collision was all but imminent. The only question was whether we'd glance off one another or collide head on.

My army move wasn't made on the strength of analyzing the seeds. It came at the start of the turn. Getting that damned knight off my road was all I had in mind. I had no idea how many seeds had been used up between turns or what the recent results had been. (I wasn't counting the cards at that point. The dealer had just changed shoes, so I had to play the first hand without any help).

I just got tired of luck management. Whether the counting was doing me any good or not doesn't even matter. If I turned off the animation to remove counting as a factor, I would still be thinking constantly about probabilities and risk management in a different way.

You want absolute proof? You know I can't provide it. I wouldn't even if I could; it's not worth it. You latched on to one point here that was only a component of my overall restlessness. Even if you were right, it wouldn't change the other things. It wouldn't matter. So why are you arguing this? Just because it seems to be your nature to do so. You had to defend the principle, and in some ways I appreciate that. As you say, at least you are consistent.

You don't always have the whole picture, though. You picked a senseless, damaging fight with me over policy concerning Epic Six and tournament patch policy. You did that out of principle, too, but you were wrong. I had a higher principle in play. This isn't as bad, but it's in the same spirit. At least I knew to expect it. A lot of my previous upset with you has risen out of misreading you, expecting you to see my point of view without me having to spell it out in full detail. You are such a bright guy, I used to expect you to be able to see things with only part of the picture revealed to you, especially when there were valid reasons to keep some of the picture hidden -- reasons not limited to security or morale concerns, either. One of those reasons was simply not being a pain in my ass over minor issues -- picking your fights, not arguing about EVERYthing. I expected you to know better. Well, not any more. You have a few blind spots, and in those limited areas I finally came to lower my expectations. I still hoped, though. I knew this would poke at you, but I also hoped you'd have the wisdom to realize this wasn't about you. Maybe you would choose to say your bit and let it go, leave the arguments on the table and let others sort it out. Guess not.

Anyway, you can have the last word if you want. I won't have anything more to add.

- Sirian

 Respond to this message
Responses

1. Last word - T-hawk on May 14, 8:44 AM
2.
3. Reply - Sirp on May 14, 7:21 PM
1. Couldn't you test it... - Jester on Jun 2, 12:33 AM
2. P.S. - Jester on Jun 2, 12:35 AM

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