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Mars the Infomage's Something or Other

10th August, 2017. 4:10 am. response to james damore's "google manifesto"

"Google's political bias has equated the freedom from offence with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety."

i don't get it. why is our calling the author a misogynistic asshole wrong, then? after all, he's saying the freedom from offense isn't the proper thing, and i should have the right to speak my mind, right?

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24th April, 2016. 3:59 am. slack spyfall rules

Welcome to Spyfall, the game of selective information for 3-8 players (more is better).

There will be "villagers", who know where everyone is, and one spy, who doesn't.
* There is a list of possible locations at the end of this post; One will be picked randomly, and will be given to all the villagers. Roles will also be randomly assigned by a non-game-participating master, unless we find a bot to do this for us.

Spy goal: figure out the current location.

Villager goal: figure out who the spy is before he succeeds.

The game ends when one of the following happens:

1) Spy announces himself (at any point before the question limit runs out). If he names the correct location, he wins. If he announces the wrong location, the villagers win. OR

2) The villagers unanimously vote for a spy (see rules below). If they are correct, they win. If they are incorrect, the spy wins. OR

3) The question limit is reached: question 40* has been asked and answered. The following then happens:
* One player picks a target. If the others agree, same as step 2. If the others don't, this vote is nullified, and the next player picks a target. Repeat until there is a consensus, or until all players had a turn. If no consensus has been reached, the spy wins. (The same player can be targeted multiple times, in this scenario.)

* Normally there's an 8-minute limit, but since we don't really do realtime in slack, setting a limit of 40 questions. This may need to be adjusted if the spy starts winning or losing too much, and/or based on number of active players. I strongly recommend prefixing your question with a counter, so that we can easily keep track of how far along we are.

Order of play:
1) Pick a player *other* than the one who just picked you (e.g. if Barbie just asked Ken a question, Ken can pick anyone *except* Barbie as his next target)

2) Ask a question about the current location. Any question is valid -
"What do you wear here?", "How did you get here?", "How many people are around?", "What colors do you see?", "Who are you with?" - that sort of thing. (For answer purposes, assume "while here" even if it's not explicitly specified in the question)

3) The target player *must* answer, and should answer as if he was a character in that setting (although the answer can be as vague or evasive as desired. "What are you wearing?" "Clothes" is a perfectly acceptable exchange). It will then be the target player's turn, and he can ask anyone except the person who just asked him.

4) Each player may, once per game (at any point, not just during your turn, but before the time runs out), accuse anyone of being the spy. If the accusation is unanimous (not counting the accused himself, of course), the accused reveals his role. If he was the spy, the villagers win; otherwise the spy wins. However, if there is no consensus, no accusation takes place, and the accuser cannot accuse anyone else. The same player *can* be targeted again by other players later.
Note: This is separate from the end-of-game accusation phase, if the timer runs out (so even if you used your accusation here, you can still accuse the same or a different player when the game ends, if nobody wins before then)

* Strategy note 1: Being evasive is good to keep the spy on your toes, but you want to make sure that you give the other villagers enough info to know that you're "safe". Being TOO evasive makes you look suspicious...
* Strategy note 2: Try to avoid questions or answers which narrow down the possible choices *too* much. "What are you wearing?" "A uniform" is fairly flexible. "What are you wearing?" "An eyepatch" makes it fairly clear that you're probably on a pirate ship.
* Strategy note 3: If you're the spy, be creative, evasive, and lie through your teeth.

Sample game with 4 players:
Barbie: 1: Ken, how long have you been here?
Ken: A while. 2: Skipper, who are you with?
Skipper: Friends. 3: George, how did you get here?
George: I drove. 4: Barbie, what are you wearing?
Ken: George's a spy
Skipper: yeah, I concur
Barbie: I agree
George: Yes :( How did you know?
Barbie: We're on a space station.

Advanced game: Each player (except the spy) gets the same location, but a different role. All of your answers should be from the point of view of that role (so on a pirate ship, someone might be the captain, someone might be the cabin boy, and someone can be a prisoner in the below-decks, for example; their answers to the same question will, necessarily, wildly differ)

List of possible locations:
Amusement Park
Circus Tent
Corporate Party
Crusader Army
Day Spa
Military Base
Movie Studio
Ocean Liner
Passenger Train
Pirate Ship
Polar Station
Police Station
Service Station
Space Station

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14th April, 2016. 6:33 pm. slack associations rules

Secretly pick a character (could be book / movie / tv / historical, but you specify which one)
Then people ask you questions about your associations with said character, and you answer with what first comes to mind. “No association” is an acceptable answer (far better than a far-fetched association).

You can ask about planet, weather, friends, hobbies, etc - anything that can be considered a category (so an association with "age" would be "young", "middle-aged", "ancient", etc, but not "47 years old")

the game may look something like this, from the perspective of the guessers:

Animal? Bear (does he have a pet bear? is he an actual bear? does he look like a bear? has a bear as his spirit animal? is it DiCaprio and did the clue-giver just watch Revenant?)

Color? Brown (brown hair? or is he african-american? or maybe it's a brown bear? or wears a brown coat? or his horse is particularly brown? or some sort of poop association?)

Vice? Gluttony (probably not DiCaprio... but wait, a hungry brown bear... let's check)

Material? Plush (aha! out of context, it might be that he likes plush, or is made of plush, or reminds the clue-giver of a stuffed animal, or any of a number of things, but at this point it's fairly obvious that the character's best friend is a real pig)

generally it is preferable to reveal your understanding by asking a question which narrows your target to one easily recognizable feature, rather than shouting out possible answers.

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13th April, 2016. 10:43 am. slack concept rules

Master: decide on a word, phrase, object, etc. Try to express it only with the available emojis.

While you don't strictly have to, it's generally very helpful for everyone else if you begin the clue with a type, followed by a colon (:package: for a physical item, :book: for something that is a book or is strongly associated with one, :speech_bubble: for a saying, etc)

Thus chess can be expressed, rather obviously, as
:game_die: : 8x :guardsman: :arrow_up: ( :crossed_swords: :arrow_upper_left: :arrow_upper_right: ), 1x :crown: :arrow_up_down: :left_right_arrow: :arrow_upper_right: etc

The master is allowed to say "yes" or "no" to people, and to post more clues or edit existing ones as needed, but speaking clues are discouraged otherwise (so "I edited the clue" is fine, but "I meant that as X" really isn't). Others try to guess what the thing is - the first person to say the correct word(s) (or get close enough for government work) wins the round.

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13th April, 2016. 9:51 am. slack zendo rules

Patterns: Emojis are treated as a group of individual items. Simple text is allowed (e.g. "8x <emoji>", which will be treated as 8 copies of that emoji). Complicated text is not (e.g. "elephant ears").

Compound Emojis: While it's possible to group multiple emojis into one item using parentheses (e.g. "(:elephant: :ear:)" will mean specifically an elephant ear, rather than a set of both an elephant and an ear), this is strongly discouraged.
For rule purposes, parenthesized things will count as a single emoji, and have all usual properties of such an item, but will retain all graphical aspects of their components; so, for instance, "(:elephant: :ear:)" will be flappy but also, paradoxically, sport a trunk and four legs.
To reiterate: unless absolutely necessary, avoid compound emojis!

And don't use thumbs in your patterns, please! (duh)

Pattern Rules: A rule will generally be a very simple statement. Color, shape, content, underlying idea, whatever can all be part of the intended rule.

Sample easy rule: "There are exactly two yellow emojis"

Sample medium rule: "Things that will wake me up in the morning" (can be made easier/harder by including or excluding things like :coffee: or :alarm_clock: in your initial setup)

Sample excessively hard rule: "The total count of visible eyes on all non-amphibians in the pattern is a prime number".


Master comes up with a rule, and makes two patterns, and labels one :thumbsup: (which meets the rule) and the other :thumbsdown: (which violates it).

For Competitive Rules only:
Students start with 1 guessing stone each, and take turns in order. (if playing competitively)

Given lack of physical stones, master is to keep track of and post roster of stone totals any time the counts change.

Student turn: (Competitive Rules)
0) decide on a pattern, and how you want it scored (see below)
1) build the pattern, followed by a question mark (to make reading easier). if you want the Master to score it, can label it as such here.
2) If you want the students to vote on it, add an additional comment with the word "students"
3) if student voting, *all* students react to the "students" post (not the original guess) with :thumbsup: or :thumbsdown:, depending on whether they think it meets the rule or not. everyone who guesses correctly will get one additional guessing stone.
4) regardless of option chosen in step 2, the master will react to the pattern from step 1, so you have a consistent view of what meets and doesn't meet the rule.
5) active student may, optionally, hand in a guessing stone to guess the actual rule. If right, (s)he wins. If rule is already violated by a pattern on the board, the guessing stone is refunded (since no additional information was added). If the guess is consistent with the existing clues but is still wrong, the master has to build a counter-example.
The student may repeat step 5 until (s)he guesses the rule (and wins the game!), decides to stop, or runs out of guessing stones, and then the next player goes.
(As a general guide, the guess is correct when no counter-example is possible; so if the phrasing is different but the statement is logically equivalent, it is still a win.)

Student turn: (Friendly Rules)
(step numbers are kept consistent with competitive rules for easier tracking)
1) build a pattern, followed by a question mark (to make reading easier).
4) the master will grade the pattern (using reactions)
5') At any point, any student can try to guess the rule. If right, (s)he wins. If rule is already violated by a pattern on the board, nothing happens. If wrong, the master has to build a counter-example.
(As a general guide, the guess is correct when no counter-example is possible; so if the phrasing is different but the statement is logically equivalent, it is still a win.)

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15th September, 2015. 10:25 pm. autoit clicker

autoit v3 code
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13th February, 2015. 12:16 pm. finding percentiles with SQL Server 2005

-- objective: for each record, find the % of items same as or smaller than it
-- ignore NULL values (i.e. they do not affect the outcome)
-- the NTILE function does not do this for small sets - NTILE(100) will return values in the range 1-4 if there are only 4 items (where we want 25, 50, 75, and 100)
-- if you have SQL Server 2012, or a non-MS DBMS, this is doable directly without the need for complicated formulas
-- ties should be assigned to the higher percentile (per the first bullet)

create table #ntiletest
( value int, year int )

insert into #ntiletest values(NULL, 2014)
insert into #ntiletest values(1, 2014)
insert into #ntiletest values(7, 2014)
insert into #ntiletest values(7, 2014)
insert into #ntiletest values(109, 2014)
insert into #ntiletest values(122, 2014)
insert into #ntiletest values(179, 2014)

select year, value
, rank() over(partition by year order by value desc) as rank_desc
, count(value) over (partition by year) as count
, count(value) over (partition by year) - rank() over(partition by year order by value desc) + 1 as rank_high
-- = count - rank_desc + 1
, (count(value) over (partition by year) - rank() over(partition by year order by value desc) + 1) * 100.0 / count(value) over (partition by year) as percentile
-- = rank_high * 100 / count
from #ntiletest

drop table #ntiletest

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31st January, 2015. 9:10 pm. queued links

http://www.livejournal.com/statistics http://www.livejournal.ru/counter/guests

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1st January, 2015. 12:00 pm. Referential Stuff

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marstheinfomage/
RSS (last 10): http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?id=10336948@N00&lang=en-us&format=rss_200)

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4935051
RSS: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list_rss/4935051

this journal:
Livejournal: http://marstheinfomage.livejournal.com/
Atom: http://marstheinfomage.livejournal.com/data/atom
RSS: http://marstheinfomage.livejournal.com/data/rss

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1st January, 2015. 11:30 am. watchings (reference)

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