One of the very best things about working on The Game Neverending
so far has been the incredibly wonderful little society that sprang up in the game prototype we ran for a few months (we shuttered it up just this last January 31). We somehow made a little sandbox for people to play in that fostered a spirit of cooperation and altruism among the players. Most of the hackers wore white hats, and nearly all the players were kind, funny, and interested in making the Game World a nice place to be. I think one of our biggest challenges in making the Real Game (coming later this year) is to create such an environment again, so that the beneficent folks have enough influence and support in the game to flourish amidst the nastiness that will surely have a stronger presence in a world with thousands and thousands and thousands of players.
Anyway, a link:
Anarchy and Game Theory
. From the introduction:
In any discussion of anarchism, or the conditions for a stateless society, sooner or later a claim like this surfaces: "people are too selfish for that to work". These, I believe, are based upon an assumption (or theory) about human nature, that is taken to be evidently true, rather than argued for. Often I hear a version of "I'm sorry but I just have a more pessimistic view of people than you." This purpose of this essay is to show that even if we grant the assumptions of selfish rationality then cooperation without the state is still a possibility.
From the summary:
Game theory shows us that even egoistic individuals will cooperate without coercion or coordination, given certain conditions. Certain conditions which are practically possible.
Ok, so this is a fascinating article: Looking for Madam Tetrachromat
. A snippet:
"Most people are trichromats, with retinas having three kinds of color sensors, called cone photopigments -- those for red, green, and blue. The 8 percent of men who are color-blind typically have the cone photopigment for blue but are either missing one of the other colors, or the men have them, in effect, for two very slightly different reds or greens. A tetrachromat would have a fourth cone photopigment, for a color between red and green. "
The article actually does a pretty good job of explaining the science of vision in some detail. But then there's this:
"And computers, color monitors, and the Internet raise a whole raft of
possibilities. Just as someone with normal three-color vision surfs
rings around a dichromat on the Internet, a tetrachromat, looking at a
special computer screen based on four primary colors rather than the
standard three, could theoretically dump data into her head faster
than the rest of us."
But, but, but... dichromats have a hard time surfing the web because it is not designed (for the most part) with them in mind! It's not like normal three-color vision actually helps dump any sort of special information into our heads; if standard color cues on the Web that are missed by dichromats were given with colors within their range of color vision, they would be be able to surf in rings too! And designing a screen to display colors for a tetrachromat would amount to nothing more that a wider palette of colors for giving color cues. That's not really a huge advantage, it seems to me. Not that seeing in 4 colors would not be cool, mind you.
: We pulled out a classic dance hits CD on New Year's day 1
AM because the kids and some of the happier adults wanted to shake
some booty to welcome in 2003. The CD has since become a favorite of 4
year old Phoebe and 7 year and 1 day old Jude, especially the smash
hit "Hot Stuff", which the kids with friends especially like to use as
the music for a good game of hot potato, DJ'ed as often as not by one
: While eating Jude's chosen birthday dinner (homemade macaroni and
cheese, broccoli) and listening to the music of his choice
(the aforementioned smash hit "Hot Stuff"), Phoebes and Judeski
Jude: I wonder what all this hot stuff is, anyway.
I need some hot stuff baby tonight
Phoebe: Maybe it's just coffee.
Jude: No, she says to give her the hot stuff tonight--and Mom doesn't
drink coffee at night.
I want some hot stuff baby this evenin'