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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:47 pm 
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JWPlatt wrote:
I believe it's the best, the most real, and the most significant part of the game so far with its integration of multiple ages, a public setting and the engendering of community cooperation - not division - within an environmental challenge.

You have got to be kidding me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:54 pm 
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JWPlatt wrote:
I believe it's...the most real...It has pleased me no end to know that the simulator (and its algorithm) is safely beyond the reach of any easy answers of reverse engineering and the database; beyond the reach even of open source! Discovery will have to be scientific and, yes, empirical.


But your self contradiction is the big problem. If it really was real, it would be measurable scientifically. It's not measurable scientifically, therefore it's not real. Right now, all it is...is an algorithm. It doesn't matter how much math is involved, to use, it's no more impressive than the algorithm that makes the fireflies fly around and attach themselves to avatars. You might as well tell me "ah, but if you walk around in circles the fireflies will do something different - but the change is so subtle you might not notice is, and furthermore, I won't tell you anything about the fireflies or walking." OK that's a bad analogy because if you did walk around in circles at least you'd be able to measure how far you walked.

But we don't know how many pellets are dropped, or what the scores of said pellets are. We also don't know the health of the lake. We have the number from the SDL and the daily numbers, but there's no explanation for what those numbers represent or mean.

So, to break it down, here's a simple equation:

Input * Algorithm = Output
- OR -
X * Y = Z

solve for Y...without knowing X or Z. That's what we're faced with.

As I said before, I'd /like/ to be able to solve the puzzle of how the lake works. I don't want to just look it up. But, in the universe we occupy, it is physically impossible to do so. And unless that's gonna change, the only alternative is to open source it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:53 pm 
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OHB wrote:
JWPlatt wrote:
I believe it's...the most real...It has pleased me no end to know that the simulator (and its algorithm) is safely beyond the reach of any easy answers of reverse engineering and the database; beyond the reach even of open source! Discovery will have to be scientific and, yes, empirical.


But your self contradiction is the big problem. If it really was real, it would be measurable scientifically. It's not measurable scientifically, therefore it's not real.

Depends on what "it" is. We should start with a null hypothesis that dropping pellets has no effect. We then gather data to see if we can reject that hypothesis. (And yes, I know that we are all Bayesians now (bonus if you get the inside joke), but I'll stick to what I think of as classic Popperian science.) To date, we are unable to reject the null hypothesis that there is no effect - does that mean that we accept that hypothesis as truth?

No, because the measurements to date are also compatible with numerous other hypotheses that cover the possible form of the effect. For example, I could posit a step function or any other relation that involves a threshold that must be reached before an effect is observed, and then the observations to date are consistent with that form. Given that we are allegedly dealing with algae, then our a priori expectations should in fact make such a functional form more likely.

If we are going to invoke science, then let's do it properly (or is that Popperly?). It may make for bad gameplay, but IC, our minds should always be open to possibilities, and a hypothesis rejected today should simply be shelved until we can gather more data.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:01 pm 
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Given that the amount of data we have to work with is largely provided by Cyan anyway, I don't think it's an issue to take their word (given that RAWA was speaking OOC) that the pellets /do/ have an effect. So, we should start with that as a presupposition and try and determine what the effect is.

Although I still content that it's impossible to do so. All we can have is theories (read guesses) and a limited capacity to test them. And even then, all we can do is get numbers. We still don't know what those numbers mean. Therefore any result, currently, is meaningless.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:14 pm 
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OHB wrote:
So, to break it down, here's a simple equation:

Input * Algorithm = Output
- OR -
X * Y = Z

solve for Y...without knowing X or Z. That's what we're faced with.

Regrettably the beans have been spilled and the vantage points plus the possible output levels are now known. So I guess it would be just a small step from here to reveal the current level.

[spoiler]Possible light levels: 0 - 4
Current light level (retrieved by friendly hacking): 1[/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:10 pm 
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I choose to approach it more as a logic puzzle than as math. We do have details to go off of.

1) Dropping of pellets has an effect.
2) The DRC (Cyan) has stressed the the importance of consistency. Directly quoting, "The speed is not nearly as important as the spikes."
3) The light level has "been updated (raised and lowered) as necessary".
4) "The effects on the lake are subtle, and they are not analog."
5) Changes happen when currently undefined "thresholds" are reached (and those thresholds are meant to be months apart).

It's true, those details don't tell us much. I think there are some reasonable assumptions that can be made however. First, that we do not have a linear system. Also, it seems hinted at that our actions in attempting to feed the algae can be detrimental as well as helpful. Can the lake be over fed? Do the needs of the lake change in response to other factors? Is, perhaps, the system based less on overall results than on average levels of participation? All of these are questions which could (I stress could) be important to understanding the changes and what needs to be done.

At the end of the day though, the important thing to keep in mind is that, as RAWA said, "The journey is the reward". More than simply trying to achieve some uncertain goal, the biggest factor here should be that we, as the community of URU and D'ni, have been given a way to impact and change the state of the world. Our actions have an effect, and someone out there is paying attention to them. At least to me, the what is not as important as the how. We will see the end result of feeding the lake when it happens...if it happens. Weather there is an end to this project or not, the fact remains that it is an example of what we do, as a whole and as individuals, having meaning. Even if that meaning isn't clear.

In a strange way, it can even be said that debating what we should be doing like this is as important to the process as doing it. Right now everyone here is interested and involved. You care about what happens. Everyone checking into this topic, in some way is investing a part of their self into what happens, and what the future holds for this. Think about it for a second, and tell me there isn't something magical in that.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:17 pm 
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If this were Real Life, and someone wanted to study what was going on, they'd be measuring at least the following values:

  • food levels in the lake
  • food contributions to the lake (maybe pellet points? we don't really know how food->points works)
  • algae levels in the lake
  • light output levels in the lake


Ideally, these would be measured from many locations, and measured multiple times a day.

The numbers we have are pellet points (possibly useful as a "total food" measure) and a very coarse measurement of lake light output. That's not enough to figure out how the lake works through "science"; at best we can guess.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:41 pm 
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Also...

D'Lanor wrote:
Regrettably the beans have been spilled and the vantage points plus the possible output levels are now known. So I guess it would be just a small step from here to reveal the current level.

[spoiler]Possible light levels: 0 - 4
Current light level (retrieved by friendly hacking): 1[/spoiler]


Well, we already knew we were at level 1. Wasn't that mentioned earlier in this thread also? But "Level 1" doesn't mean anything either. We don't know if 4 is the maximum. OK...the SDL says the possible values are 0-4, but does Cyan have other plans? When it's time to reach level 5 could there be a PRP update to implement the changes that level 5 requires? Perhaps that PRP hasn't been written yet.

But even if you assume that 4 /is the maximum, what does each level mean? Are they evenly spaced representations of the health of the lake? (0 being 0-20%, 1 being 20-40%, etc).

Even then, how does one determine the percentage of lake health? On a scale of what to what?

I think, however, that we should largely disregard the 0-4 light level number. It's too general. Looking at the math, there could have been more levels. The range of possible colors between 0 and 4 is larger than 3. (code reference). It would be like asking you how much money you have and you saying "on a scale of 1-5, I have 3". Good for you - but again, how much money to you have? 3 is kinda meaningless.

I want precision! :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:43 pm 
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Given the spoiling nature of some of the recent revelations, I've decided to move this into the "Spoilers" section.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:45 pm 
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Mac_Fife wrote:
Given the spoiling nature of some of the recent revelations, I've decided to move this into the "Spoilers" section.


That's fine. Good call.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:13 pm 
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I would still like to see the giant fish swimming near the Bevin scope get turned on again. I submitted that as a feature request many months ago.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:16 am 
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Rik wrote:
I would still like to see the giant fish swimming near the Bevin scope get turned on again. I submitted that as a feature request many months ago.


:shock:

What giant fish?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:45 am 
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Jmp12 wrote:
Rik wrote:
I would still like to see the giant fish swimming near the Bevin scope get turned on again. I submitted that as a feature request many months ago.


:shock:

What giant fish?



I'm going to say "the one I didn't know about either, but now really want to see". XD

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:01 am 
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Quote:
What giant fish?


There for a while, if you stood by the telescope in a neighborhood, you could see something moving across the lake. I'm not sure we ever knew exactly what it was. I recall some of us thought it was a boat, manned perhaps by one of the DRC.

Mowog

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:23 am 
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No, the boat is a different thing. There's a fish and there's a boat. Both are turned off in MOULa.

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