0601: "Game Theory"

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby Sprocket » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:38 pm UTC

But what if you get married and stay together until you die first? I see how someone's spouse dying seems like you still lose, if you die first WIN! err...

But honestly I'm surprised this one made it in... Unless you think finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with is "a silly outdated tradition" or you think that no matter who you pick you'll think the grass is always greener (which also tends to go away when you reach a certain point and find someone you are genuinely in real love with) of course you can win at love. Most importantly real love isn't a game. That's part of finding the person you want to be with forever, that person isn't playing a game and neither are you.

popprocks wrote:We should start calling Randal "His High Intelligence Doctor Randall Monroe the Third, PhD; The Greatest Philosopher of our Time."
Seriously.
I'm sorry, but you've stumbled upon "There's Nothing New Under the Sun" and there's not much that's going to satisfy you. You need to relax, dude.
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby Freiberg » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:40 pm UTC

Am I the only person who takes a different interpretation on WarGames?

The only winning move is not to play around

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby philsov » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:44 pm UTC

This idea has been passed around more than a joint on 420. EVERYBODY is familiar with the notion that 'love' (although every time Randall mentions love, I get the feeling he is talking about sex or immature young adult's/teenager's relationships, not REAL love) is complicated. Just a few comics ago, Randall makes a genius insight that sex causes people to act very emotionally and/or seriously, resulting in complications (which he tries to remedy). Now, His High Intelligence Doctor Randall Monroe the Third, PhD; The Greatest Philosopher of our Time lets us in on the clue that -love in general!- often results in heartbreak (of the shallow variety) and depression.

The alt-text also implies that, even though love is volatile and potentially harmful, that it is also just as bad to completely ignore the pursuit of 'love' (or whatever Randall perceives 'love' is).


.............or simply that love is not a game, much less about dominance, with an easy solution able to be solved by a computer.

http://xkcd.com/55/
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby lihan161051 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:44 pm UTC

DSDM wrote:Speaking of Hollywood, my biggest movie peeve EVER has to be this: How they make every single thing a computer program does make noise. Like text appearing on screen: It makes a little beeeebeebeebeeep noise, like the computer version of a dot matrix printer. Same thing happens when the have a graphic loading. One part of National Treasure, where the bad guys are looking up the Liberty Bell on a laptop, they're using IE or some other normal browser, and it makes that noise. Everything a computer program does, it makes some noise in the movies, never mind that programmers would never actually make them that way. Because 15 minutes of web surfing like that would drive you batshit insane. Or on some TV show, I saw this part where they deleted an image file, and the image slowly pixelated to nothing, all while making that noise. Who does that?


I wasn't going to mention that (because it's such a baseline nuisance these days that I often don't notice it anymore), but you're absolutely right. (And I'd love to see a scene where someone's using a computer that's making those goofy video-game noises with every single thing that happens on the screen, and have the character comment on it and hit a mute button somewhere and turn it off. I'd bet money that someone in the theater stands up and cheers. It might well be me. :D )

Then again:
    • 72-point-plus multisegment-display fonts in red for everything on the screen -- just in case someone doesn't realize it's on a computer
    • 2-3 inch tall flaming red or neon green flashing dialogs when something happens, like someone's fingerprint matches something
    • Every single intermediate result of a search flashes on the screen (with a little beep to let you know it's happening)

I could go on.

If anyone built a GUI like that in the real world, they'd be lynched.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby lihan161051 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:48 pm UTC

DSDM wrote:Speaking of Hollywood, my biggest movie peeve EVER has to be this: How they make every single thing a computer program does make noise. Like text appearing on screen: It makes a little beeeebeebeebeeep noise, like the computer version of a dot matrix printer. Same thing happens when the have a graphic loading. One part of National Treasure, where the bad guys are looking up the Liberty Bell on a laptop, they're using IE or some other normal browser, and it makes that noise. Everything a computer program does, it makes some noise in the movies, never mind that programmers would never actually make them that way. Because 15 minutes of web surfing like that would drive you batshit insane. Or on some TV show, I saw this part where they deleted an image file, and the image slowly pixelated to nothing, all while making that noise. Who does that?


Oh, and I almost forgot -- random snippets of code in anything but the language or script environment a hacker would actually be using to hack into something. The one that almost had me throwing things at the screen a week ago was actually Objective-C from something grabbed out of an Xcode reference library, I kid you not. (With several declarations of dependent classes of NSObject clearly visible.)

Almost as nauseating as the "It's Unix, I know this!" scene from Jurassic Park.

::facepalm::

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:50 pm UTC

10nitro wrote:
Samv6271__ wrote:I don't know why so few people have mentioned it yet ...
but I've DEFINITELY lost thegame.

At least 3 different times while reading this comic.

I did while I was making my post, but then I doublethinked it away. Congrats you brought down Oceania.
I still haven't lost twenty dollars and my self respect all week.


He couldn't have lost three times while reading it unless he was playing wrong -or- if he reads comics extremely slowly. You get a 30 minute grace period after each loss.
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby Sprocket » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:52 pm UTC

lihan161051 wrote:Almost as nauseating as the "It's Unix, I know this!" scene from Jurassic Park.

::facepalm::
I get really happy when people pick a lock on tv or in a movie properly. I don't get upset when they do it wrong. Movies are movies. It's ok. Relax.
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby Jirin » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:08 pm UTC

Flawed logic. Playing and losing has a greater net utility than not playing.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby mfank » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:13 pm UTC

So you argue it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? Some would say the pain isn't worth the happy memories. Or what if I were to argue that it is possible to live an equally happy life with only friends and never lovers?

I do love the comic. It's vaguly hints that Randal is getting back to the romance part of xkcd.
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby Aelfyre » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:19 pm UTC

There is only one possible reply to this comic...

"Bitter much?"
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby thumper55 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:24 pm UTC

One of my favorite bits of relationship advice is "Would you rather be right or happy?"

I don't know whether this wargames version was an intentional allusion, but if it was, then it is really clever.

And if the allusion wasn't intentional, well, would you rather be clever or lucky?
Last edited by thumper55 on Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:58 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby DSDM » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:27 pm UTC

lihan161051 wrote:
DSDM wrote:Speaking of Hollywood, my biggest movie peeve EVER has to be this: How they make every single thing a computer program does make noise. Like text appearing on screen: It makes a little beeeebeebeebeeep noise, like the computer version of a dot matrix printer. Same thing happens when the have a graphic loading. One part of National Treasure, where the bad guys are looking up the Liberty Bell on a laptop, they're using IE or some other normal browser, and it makes that noise. Everything a computer program does, it makes some noise in the movies, never mind that programmers would never actually make them that way. Because 15 minutes of web surfing like that would drive you batshit insane. Or on some TV show, I saw this part where they deleted an image file, and the image slowly pixelated to nothing, all while making that noise. Who does that?


Oh, and I almost forgot -- random snippets of code in anything but the language or script environment a hacker would actually be using to hack into something. The one that almost had me throwing things at the screen a week ago was actually Objective-C from something grabbed out of an Xcode reference library, I kid you not. (With several declarations of dependent classes of NSObject clearly visible.)

Almost as nauseating as the "It's Unix, I know this!" scene from Jurassic Park.

::facepalm::


One word: Hackers. That's all I need to say. "Yo...this is 'insanely great,' it's got a 28.8 bps modem!" Addendum to the Peeve: Movies showing flashy visualizations of "cyber space" and data going through a computer.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby iceberg » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:31 pm UTC

linguistic wrote:
sunami wrote:Sadness can be funny! This comic, I believe, raises the question, "what is love?"


Well great, now that's going to be in my head all afternoon.




Ha, Days later... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Is_a_Battlefield
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby DSDM » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:34 pm UTC

Sprocket wrote:
lihan161051 wrote:Almost as nauseating as the "It's Unix, I know this!" scene from Jurassic Park.

::facepalm::
I get really happy when people pick a lock on tv or in a movie properly. I don't get upset when they do it wrong. Movies are movies. It's ok. Relax.


It bugs me because I work tech support, and movies that do stuff like that are responsible for every computer-illiterate yokel trying to talk about computers and mangling the jargon, and having totally unrealistic expectations of what computers can do.

Lock-pickers, on the other hand, by nature mostly working alone because a lot of lock picking applications are illegal, doesn't have to deal with someone standing behind them saying "Why don't you jimmy it open with a credit card?" Or "Here, try this hair pin."

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby Gero » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:49 pm UTC

Dr._Orion wrote:So, I think we can all conclude from this that:

Love = Global Thermonuclear War

Which means that all the hippies in the world asking for everybody to love each other...


Actually you have it wrong. On a scale of Psychological damage:
A good solid War < Protracted game of Brokean Ultracricket < Love

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby FireZs » Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:19 pm UTC

There is no way to win, but there are ways to lose nobly.

philsov wrote:.............or simply that love is not a game, much less about dominance, with an easy solution able to be solved by a computer.


Ah, but it IS a game, and there ARE aspects of dominance, just like with any other social activity. The problem is that the moment you "win", you also lose, because what you have is no longer considered to be love.
Last edited by FireZs on Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:32 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby FireZs » Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:23 pm UTC

DSDM wrote:
lihan161051 wrote:
DSDM wrote:Speaking of Hollywood, my biggest movie peeve EVER has to be this: How they make every single thing a computer program does make noise. Like text appearing on screen: It makes a little beeeebeebeebeeep noise, like the computer version of a dot matrix printer. Same thing happens when the have a graphic loading. One part of National Treasure, where the bad guys are looking up the Liberty Bell on a laptop, they're using IE or some other normal browser, and it makes that noise. Everything a computer program does, it makes some noise in the movies, never mind that programmers would never actually make them that way. Because 15 minutes of web surfing like that would drive you batshit insane. Or on some TV show, I saw this part where they deleted an image file, and the image slowly pixelated to nothing, all while making that noise. Who does that?


Oh, and I almost forgot -- random snippets of code in anything but the language or script environment a hacker would actually be using to hack into something. The one that almost had me throwing things at the screen a week ago was actually Objective-C from something grabbed out of an Xcode reference library, I kid you not. (With several declarations of dependent classes of NSObject clearly visible.)

Almost as nauseating as the "It's Unix, I know this!" scene from Jurassic Park.

::facepalm::


One word: Hackers. That's all I need to say. "Yo...this is 'insanely great,' it's got a 28.8 bps modem!" Addendum to the Peeve: Movies showing flashy visualizations of "cyber space" and data going through a computer.


Laughter and ridicule are the correct responses to this sort of thing, once you get into anger and dismay you may be trying too hard, or caring too much.

My personal favorite is the HUGE PROGRESS BAR trope for when they need to show something being downloaded or decrypted. A close second is taking a blurry picture and declaring "ENHANCE!"

Someone should make an actual MovieOS that incorporates all of these.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby DSDM » Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:36 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:My personal favorite is the HUGE PROGRESS BAR trope for when they need to show something being downloaded or decrypted. A close second is taking a blurry picture and declaring "ENHANCE!"


Ah yes, I forgot the magical movie image enhancer that can take a low-res image from a cheap security camera and blow it up to a Hi-Def image of such clarity you can see the pores on a person's face.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby DSDM » Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:44 pm UTC

Another favorite is where all images that are displayed as part of a search result appear from the top to the bottom gradually, that is, in a visibly discernible manner, as opposed to almost instantaneously as they would at a normal refresh rate and connection speed. Apparently most law enforcement agencies in movies access their criminal databases via dialup. And of course, the display is always accompanied by the "data being displayed" noise.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby Shale » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:25 pm UTC

accessory to oranges wrote:Does anyone think that everyone is over analyzing this actually quite simple web comic?


Welcome to the forums! That happens a lot here. Best to smile, nod and move on while people debate the Nietzschean undertones of jokes about oral sex.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:29 pm UTC

Dr._Orion wrote:So, I think we can all conclude from this that:

Love = Global Thermonuclear War

Which means that all the hippies in the world asking for everybody to love each other...


I like the phrase "If brute force doesn't work; you aren't using enough."

Applied to "world peace." the "brute force" solution it to kill everybody.

As for the (IMO) off-topic movie-effect discussion: I think the first time I saw the image zoom in effect was an "X-Files" episode where they had a physical image on a scanner, and simply rescanned at a higher resolution (due to memory constraints, presumably). The effect is so compelling that it is now applied to images that are grainy and blurry even by video standards. I think I saw a similar effect in a movie that takes place in the future (where you are allowed more hand-waving) as well.
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby Jourdy289 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:34 pm UTC

Get out of my head Randall! A couple days ago I favorited the trailer for War Games on Youtube, and a couple weeks ago I saw the sequel: "War Games: The Dead Code" This is truly insane.
Truly. :mrgreen:
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby umop ap!sdn » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:38 pm UTC

But I suck at chess too... :cry:


Also:
DSDM wrote:There is no "iddqd" for love. And up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start is still illegal in at least 23 states.

There's your problem, you need a "Select" in there for the two player mode.
Sounds like you are just playing with yourself. (Yea, you heard me)
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby hypersapien » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:39 pm UTC

sunami wrote:
'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:...actually that's not that funny :(

Sadness can be funny! This comic, I believe, raises the question, "what is love?"


Sometimes an AI can answer the question

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY7qZeTBo98

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby axirim » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:46 pm UTC

So... is it good or bad that I was born years after the movie was released, and I still got the reference immediately?
The movie was great, though, so I don't know...

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby DSDM » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:10 pm UTC

They ran the simulation through the Friend/Amour Planned Response (F.A.P.R.) computer, testing every possible romantic interaction from "fuck buddies" to "devoted monogamy" and that was the only solution it could come up with.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby spiceXisXnice » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:33 pm UTC

I want a print of this comic. WarGames is one of my favorite movies of all time. LOVES!!

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:34 pm UTC

Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input.


BTW, the incredible book "The Art of Seduction" (Robert Greene) does a wonderful job of explaining how to play with love and win. It even includes character classes.

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Seduction-Rob ... 142001198/
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby setzer777 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:40 pm UTC

Eh...I'm not a big fan of the angsty undertone. I dunno, I find the whole "Love is pain! But worth it!" attitude kind of tiresome.
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby Dlaten » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:48 pm UTC

Just out of curiosity, who here is as old as Wargames?

Fun fact: Randall isn't!!

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby michael24easilybored » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:58 pm UTC

I am a shade older than wargames, and all you kids not remembering a film that was on tv a fair bit back in the day are making me feel ancient

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby DSDM » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:00 pm UTC

Dlaten wrote:Just out of curiosity, who here is as old as Wargames?

Fun fact: Randall isn't!!


Born in '81

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:34 pm UTC

Dlaten wrote:Just out of curiosity, who here is as old as Wargames?

Fun fact: Randall isn't!!


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086567/
WarGames (1983)

Uh... I was already... older.
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby JonThompson » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:27 pm UTC

Should have been "How about a nice game of Tic-Tac-Toe"

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby Soft-n-Swift » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:33 pm UTC

"The Game of Love"
"All is fair in love and war"

Question: If all is fair in love and war, then cheating is okay, Correct?
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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby DSDM » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:48 pm UTC

Soft-n-Swift wrote:"The Game of Love"
"All is fair in love and war"

Question: If all is fair in love and war, then cheating is okay, Correct?

Yes, but by the same token, anything that happens in retaliation to your cheating is also okay.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby popprocks » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:08 pm UTC

philsov wrote:.............or simply that love is not a game, much less about dominance, with an easy solution able to be solved by a computer.

http://xkcd.com/55/


Obviously what the computer says is meant to be taken seriously. The comic character acknowledges the computer's views and decides to play another 'game' because he truly believes the 'game' of love only ends negatively, just as the computer says.

If the character (and therefore us) was meant to believe that the computer was incapable of understanding the analysis, the character would've responded in a way that contradicted what was suggested to him. Instead, he goes along with it and plays a game that he CAN win at, supposedly unlike 'love.'

I wish I could stop putting quotation marks around 'game' and 'love,' but Randall has really fucked up ideas about love (especially since 4 our of the last 7 comics were explicitly about sex or masturbation), and the idea of love being a game is just a plot device. He makes love a 'game' because games are usually won or lost, which is less complex than the possible outcomes of love. He's basically just asking the computer about whether or not seeking a relationship will result in happiness. The computer responds that if he seeks a relationship, it will fail and he will be unhappy. The computer adds that if he does not seek a relationship, he will also be unhappy.

Randall is not talking about a game, he is just using the concept of a game to make it easier to talk about the success or failure from seeking a partner. He is, however, being serious when he says that both seeking and withdrawing from love will cause unhappiness. If Randall wasn't making a serious statement, the man wouldn't have taken the computer's analysis as truth and decided to 'play another game.' The stick man was interested in the 'game of love' at the beginning of the comic, and the only reason given for why he was uninterested at the end was that he was told that he would always 'lose' and he took that information SERIOUSLY.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby Yogiz » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:16 pm UTC

This comic has pretty much nothing to do with game theory. Way to waste a good comic title : (. Also, I bet I'm the only one who has constructed payoff tables for my relationship.

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Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby ThemePark » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:17 pm UTC

popprocks wrote:
philsov wrote:.............or simply that love is not a game, much less about dominance, with an easy solution able to be solved by a computer.

http://xkcd.com/55/


Obviously what the computer says is meant to be taken seriously. The comic character acknowledges the computer's views and decides to play another 'game' because he truly believes the 'game' of love only ends negatively, just as the computer says.

If the character (and therefore us) was meant to believe that the computer was incapable of understanding the analysis, the character would've responded in a way that contradicted what was suggested to him. Instead, he goes along with it and plays a game that he CAN win at, supposedly unlike 'love.'

I wish I could stop putting quotation marks around 'game' and 'love,' but Randall has really fucked up ideas about love (especially since 4 our of the
last 7 comics were explicitly about sex or masturbation), and the idea of love being a game is just a plot device. He makes love a 'game' because games are usually won or lost, which is less complex than the possible outcomes of love. He's basically just asking the computer about whether or not seeking a relationship will result in happiness. The computer responds that if he seeks a relationship, it will fail and he will be unhappy. The computer adds that if he does not seek a relationship, he will also be unhappy.

Randall is not talking about a game, he is just using the concept of a game to make it easier to talk about the success or failure from seeking a partner. He is, however, being serious when he says that both seeking and withdrawing from love will cause unhappiness. If Randall wasn't making a serious statement, the man wouldn't have taken the computer's analysis as truth and decided to 'play another game.' The stick man was interested in the 'game of love' at the beginning of the comic, and the only reason given for why he was uninterested at the end was that he was told that he would always 'lose' and he took that information SERIOUSLY.

Excellent useless rant. Except of course, it's completely false, since it implies that all of his readers have a fucked up concept of love because of Randall (where it really seems to only be you with the fucked up concept), it is based on the sole idea that the character says anything in this comic, which he doesn't (even the alt text is the computer), which you would know if you had bothered to read any of the posts here, and it's based on the idea that this is something more than a comic, something that's supposed to convey some deeper philosophical or otherwise meaning, instead of just a good laugh.

Now please go take a cold shower.

Edit:
Actually, I just realized that I misread part of your comment, and that Randall is the one who you believe has fucked up ideas about love. To which there can only be said: This is a comic. Stop putting some deeper non-existant meaning into it. Or if you must, then please stop trying to make it sound like you are the all-knowing one on the subject of what Randall does and thinks.
I have traveled from 1979 to be a member of the unofficial board Council of Elders. Phear M3

Mithrandir
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:10 am UTC

Re: "Game Theory" Discussion

Postby Mithrandir » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:37 pm UTC

That is the complete essence of a win. Wargames was done proud.


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