Summer Updates - 045

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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby DevilDan » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:18 pm

Now we know one use for prisons: keep units alive until they can be killed and decrypted.
They could not possibly win. Every man knew this with certainty, and lo it was glorious.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby HailGreen28 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:50 pm

Justyn wrote:
HailGreen28 wrote:2. Marbits in the tunnels! I would be horrified if i were in Parson's place.
a. There is a naturally hostile force right under GW's noses / feet. Why hasn't Parson or Stanley ordered a Marbit extermination squad, like yesterday?
b. Sizemore deliberately wrecked Gobwin Knob once before by collapsing tunnels. What if the Marbits can do the same?
c. The mines are where GW's wealth of gems is! Are the Marbits robbing GW as we speak?
d. As an afterthought, yeah maybe the Marbits are keeping GW from popping Gobwins. Parson should consult with Sizemore and Maggie, ask the Bracer more questions to try nailing down the source of the Marbit threat, what ELSE might be down there, and what hostile force strength is down there. Then send enough troops to crush them immediately.


The Marbits are in the tunnel systems of the other mountains around Gobwin Knob, but not in the actual mountain Gobwin Knob is on. Take a look at the mountains in the background of the first panel of the first page of book 2... those are the mountains the Marbits are in.
Yes, but the update mentions Sizemore underground also, implying GK itself as well.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby HailGreen28 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:15 pm

ftl wrote:This really is turning into a pet peeve of mine. I'm trying to avoid it, but I can't help but comment...

You CAN'T tell what information is going into calculating a probability by what the probability is. I quite disagree that the bracer needs to account for information Parson and his allies do not have. The questions "what's the probability that something fishy is going on" and "what's the probability that charlie is behind it" just give us numbers, so you can't tell anything about the Bracer's reasoning for those numbers. The 92% might just be based on "something fishy is probably going on, and Charlescomm is pretty much the only agency around who would be involved in 'something fishy'." - no privileged knowledge necessary.

HOWEVER, the one question where we CAN compare the numbers to what actually happened supports the other side, that the bracer isn't omniscient! We know that
"His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now."

However, they did not find any. Clearly, the bracer was missing some critical information when it made that probability assignment! (Again, we can't tell this just from the number itself, but we CAN tell by comparison to what actually happened.)

If the Bracer had information that Parson did not, it would not put the probability so high, since it would know that "something fishy was going on."

However, if the bracer does NOT have predictamancy or lookamancy powers, and just mathamancy, then the sequence of questions and answers makes sense.
It's not the ANSWERS that prove the Bracer has outside info, in addition to as Parson said the ability to "predict the future". The QUESTIONS THE BRACER IS ANSWERING is proof that it has info that neither Parson nor GK has.

This is a prime example: "Tell me the odds that learning what happened to my Archons right now will be worth giving up those calculations in the future." - Not only has to account for the world situation outside GK's sight, but predictomancy on odds Parson and Charlie will stay alive long enough to do the calcs.

And let's look at your example. " His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now. They'd either rolled a critical fumble, or something weird was going on." Key word is SHOULD. Parson makes it pretty clear he's not asking what WILL the Archons and Sizemore find, but what they should they have found. The normal odds of that happening.

The next statements "One thing he never volunteered in these meetings was that the bracer gave a 78% likelihood that there was something fishy going on with the lack of Gobwins and prevalence of Marbits. And if there was, then there was a better than 92% chance that the agency behind it was Charlescomm." indicate the Bracer is indeed able to use info outside GK. How would the Bracer calculate the odds of "something fishy" unless it had info that GK didn't have? That it was more likely to be Charlie than say the Tardy Elves hanging around, Jetstone covertly tunneling the area, the Marbits themselves claiming the mountains as "natural territory", or some other detail the authors haven't given us yet? The bracer couldn't begin to calc those odds unless it had info that GK and Parson didn't.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby ftl » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:22 am

HailGreen28 wrote:It's not the ANSWERS that prove the Bracer has outside info, in addition to as Parson said the ability to "predict the future". The QUESTIONS THE BRACER IS ANSWERING is proof that it has info that neither Parson nor GK has.


No. You can answer ANY PROPERLY PHRASED QUESTION with a probability, no matter how low information you have on it.

This is a prime example: "Tell me the odds that learning what happened to my Archons right now will be worth giving up those calculations in the future." - Not only has to account for the world situation outside GK's sight, but predictomancy on odds Parson and Charlie will stay alive long enough to do the calcs.


No. Accounting for those things will give you more accurate answers. You can give a probability without accounting for any of it.

Example from real life: suppose I see two players playing chess. No further information - I can put a 52% probability on white winning, 48% on black winning.

Then I find out that Black is Kasparov, and White is my grandfather. Hey, now I put the probability of Black winning as 99%.

Same question, different information, different answers, both equally valid given the information at the time provided.

And let's look at your example. " His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now. They'd either rolled a critical fumble, or something weird was going on." Key word is SHOULD. Parson makes it pretty clear he's not asking what WILL the Archons and Sizemore find, but what they should they have found. The normal odds of that happening.


Right, and the "normal odds" of it happening depend on a multitude of factors, including what other sides are doing. If Parson asks "hey, what's the chance of us finding Gobwins this way" and the Bracer knows about Charlie, then it would put really low odds, because it would know Charlie's involved.

But it didn't. The answer to the question was 98% - it was extremely likely for them to find Gobwins. They didn't - therefore, there was information the bracer was missing.

Are you saying that Parson specifically told it to disregard information it had when making that calculation? The quote was "His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now." Not "should have found some if there was nothing fishy going on." Not "should have found some if nobody interferes." Just "should have found some." No specific information being removed from the calculation.

The next statements "One thing he never volunteered in these meetings was that the bracer gave a 78% likelihood that there was something fishy going on with the lack of Gobwins and prevalence of Marbits. And if there was, then there was a better than 92% chance that the agency behind it was Charlescomm." indicate the Bracer is indeed able to use info outside GK.


No, it does not. You can answer a probability question with any amount of information, from zero to perfect information. The more information goes in to the calculation, the more useful it is. But you cannot find out the usefulness by just looking at the answer, unless that answer is 0 or 100%.

How would the Bracer calculate the odds of "something fishy" unless it had info that GK didn't have?


By using whatever info GK did have. (Which is substantial. GK knows Gobwin spawn rates. Parson can easily find out a number of things about Gobwin mentality from Sizemore, Wanda, who have been around and worked with Gobwins. He can probably account for all the non-fishy ways that they might have missed Gobwins - thus, what remains is fishy. )

That it was more likely to be Charlie than say the Tardy Elves hanging around, Jetstone covertly tunneling the area, the Marbits themselves claiming the mountains as "natural territory", or some other detail the authors haven't given us yet? The bracer couldn't begin to calc those odds unless it had info that GK and Parson didn't.


No, it could. There's a laundry list of things it MIGHT be - but, in the end, the only agency around that's really LIKELY to do something tricky like that is Charlescomm. That is a conclusion that might happily have been derived from "rulebook + Parson" knowledge.

Heck, If the bracer knew substantially more info than GK and Parson did - such as info about Charlie - it wouldn't be giving "72" or "92" for "something fishy" or "Charlie". If it knew why the Gobwins were gone, it would answer either 0 or 100%. It's not a hard question to answer if you have priveleged information about Gobwins.
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Re: Summer Updates - 045

Postby HailGreen28 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:55 pm

ftl wrote:No. You can answer ANY PROPERLY PHRASED QUESTION with a probability, no matter how low information you have on it.

No. Accounting for those things will give you more accurate answers. You can give a probability without accounting for any of it.

Example from real life: suppose I see two players playing chess. No further information - I can put a 52% probability on white winning, 48% on black winning.

Then I find out that Black is Kasparov, and White is my grandfather. Hey, now I put the probability of Black winning as 99%.

Same question, different information, different answers, both equally valid given the information at the time provided.

But Parson is getting answers ranging in the 70-90 %. Pretty accurate by your standards. Therefore the bracer uses a lot of info GK doesn't have access to.


ftl wrote:Right, and the "normal odds" of it happening depend on a multitude of factors, including what other sides are doing. If Parson asks "hey, what's the chance of us finding Gobwins this way" and the Bracer knows about Charlie, then it would put really low odds, because it would know Charlie's involved.

But it didn't. The answer to the question was 98% - it was extremely likely for them to find Gobwins. They didn't - therefore, there was information the bracer was missing.

Are you saying that Parson specifically told it to disregard information it had when making that calculation? The quote was "His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now." Not "should have found some if there was nothing fishy going on." Not "should have found some if nobody interferes." Just "should have found some." No specific information being removed from the calculation.
I'm thinking the 98% came from what you describe as Parson asking about the "normal odds" in that situation. Which isn't a bad question to ask, when trying to figure out if something weird is afoot.


ftl wrote:No, it does not. You can answer a probability question with any amount of information, from zero to perfect information. The more information goes in to the calculation, the more useful it is. But you cannot find out the usefulness by just looking at the answer, unless that answer is 0 or 100%.
I'm mainly looking at the questions the Bracer is asked, not the answers. And Parson's actual claim that he can predict the future.

ftl wrote:By using whatever info GK did have. (Which is substantial. GK knows Gobwin spawn rates. Parson can easily find out a number of things about Gobwin mentality from Sizemore, Wanda, who have been around and worked with Gobwins. He can probably account for all the non-fishy ways that they might have missed Gobwins - thus, what remains is fishy. )

No, it could. There's a laundry list of things it MIGHT be - but, in the end, the only agency around that's really LIKELY to do something tricky like that is Charlescomm. That is a conclusion that might happily have been derived from "rulebook + Parson" knowledge.
But Parson and GK appear to have zero knowledge of Charlies involvement with the Great Gobwin Disappearance. Yet the Bracer gave a probability of C's involvement.


ftl wrote:Heck, If the bracer knew substantially more info than GK and Parson did - such as info about Charlie - it wouldn't be giving "72" or "92" for "something fishy" or "Charlie". If it knew why the Gobwins were gone, it would answer either 0 or 100%. It's not a hard question to answer if you have priveleged information about Gobwins.
Good point. Your example seems to me to prove that the Bracer isn't omniscient after all. Since we're talking about something that HAS happened, the answer of C's possible involvement should be 0 or 100%

(Of course, maybe the problem is Parson asking odds rather than binary yes/no style questions, or maybe charlie has help so his actual contribution is only what 72%? :P ) But I'm inclined to your point, so far.

It's just we have Parson actually claiming the Bracer can predict the future. Parson is asking probabilities that he doesn't know of, otherwise why bother? And enough info to answer questions like "Charlie should keep his calcs" and "Charlie's involved in the Great Gobwin Disapperance" , seems to me to be beyond Parson's capabilities at this point. If the Bracer can pull all relevent knowledge from all of GK, that would be impressive itself. It's the "predict the future" I would like to put to the test. With yes/no questions.
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