126 1v1 Games of generals.io

One way in which generals.io stands out is that it automatically saves replays of games played (and even has nice playback functionalities in its replays, to boot). Thus, I can easily reference the 126 1v1 games I’ve played so far and make a chart out of them!


The above chart shows the 126 games plotted along an x-axis for the number of turns the game took, a y-axis for the number of pieces of land taken in the game, and a size of the game circle according to the total army size at the end (in the case of early-terminated games, the total army sizes at that point). The color of the circle reflects the outcome of the game:

  • Light green for games I won
  • Light grey for games I lost
  • Dark green for games I won by the opponent giving up
  • Dark grey for games I lost by giving up

Flolf, and Thoughts on Weather Neutrality

“You’re from California. You’re supposed to suffer or be confused.” —L. Gunderman

My freshman year, a co-forecaster on MIT’s weather team had a family visiting in late fall. He told his mother I was also on the weather team, and she responded that I appear to not have gotten the weather right, as I was in t-shirt and shorts.

I did know it’ll be what most people call “cold”. If my forecasting skills were that off, I couldn’t possibly have ever won an award in national-level weather forecasting. I knew what the weather was; I simply didn’t care.

I actually wear a t-shirt and shorts far into the Bostonian winter, often well past solstice. There’s actually layers of reasons why I consistently go out in a singular layer of clothing.

First of all, and probably most guessable of all, I appear to generally prefer colder temperatures than others, and thus can endure the cold a bit further. I’ve taken a look at some data on how I felt versus weather conditions over my time at MIT. It appears that, without winds, I start feeling cold around 39°F (4°C, 277 K). (I seem to take about a 1.5x factor on wind chill, so my isofeels rapidly go up in termperature as wind increases.) I appear to have a cold resistance, relatively. In fact, one of my friends, B. Tidor, decided to name my cold resistance “Fluffy” a few years ago. After a few months, I renamed it “Flolf” to avoid multitudinous namespace collision and, well, if an abstract entity will manage to get named, why not make it palindromic.

Flolf by itself, however, does not explain why I continue to wear a t-shirt and shorts down to 14°F (-10°C, 263 K). It’s easy to accidentally credit Flolf for that portion of the temperature spectrum.

There’s a second factor in balancing feeling cold against other inconveniences. It may be slightly cold to be outside for me in this temperature range, but is definitely way too hot indoors in most buildings here with jackets or longer sleeves on. Is it that much effort to deal with this that it’s worth getting a little cold?

Yes, yes actually. I like how with shorter sleeves, I feel less cold than I feel needlessly warm with longer sleeves, and additionally I feel freer and also more in touch with nature. And for jackets in particular, there’s that really high likelihood I accidentally forget my jacket where I leave it somewhere, and then there’s all that time and frustration I need to spend finding it again. I want it to be cold enough that I won’t forget I have a jacket with me before I start wearing a jacket. (I remember back when I was little my parents would yell mercilessly at me if and when I lost something, and maybe this left in me an increased fear of losing things. Speaking of parents…)

The third and deepest layer stacked upon my abbreviated layer of universal clothing goes into parental resentment.

Continue reading “Flolf, and Thoughts on Weather Neutrality”

There Exist Bad Trivia Questions

Just because an event is literally the glorification of random or useless knowledge doesn’t mean any question you can ask is acceptable. If you cannot figure out why each of the following are bad trivia questions, you should not write trivia questions.

Who was the first British king?

What is the sixtieth word in the text of Pride and Prejudice?

What is the smallest island in Indonesia?*

How many countries have a GDP per capita between $25000 and $27500?

How many countries are there on Earth?

Name the country that Jericho is in.

How many moons does Saturn have?

What is ossification?

In chess, what is White’s best possible first move?

Note that it is possible to slightly tweak many of these questions (or use special unusual rules for scoring) to make them substantially more acceptable trivia questions, so you don’t even have to throw away your ideas.

*Bonus: Why is ‘What is the largest island in Indonesia?’ not really a good question either?

The Inbreeding of Thought

Once tools have been made to be smart, to know what makes a user happy, and to reflect on these detections to tell people only that which they want to hear, to show people only that which they want to see, to expose people only to arguments for their belief, the inevitable end of the line is separate camps, preconvinced of the illegitimacy of the other, able to understand the other only as an unfathomable evil entity, and incapable of communicating with the other beyond the condemnation of the other as a singular evil.

Receipt Numbers at Cambridge Grill

I have now bought food from Cambridge Grill 50 times over my years at MIT. Over these 50 visits, this was the distribution of the thousands digit of the number of my order:

0: 16
1: 4
2: 2
3: 1
4: 0
5: 4
6: 5
7: 5
8: 6
9: 7

A Χ² test identifies this as statistically significantly different from a uniform distribution at even the p=0.001 level.

(For comparison, here’s the distribution of the units digits.

0: 4
1: 3
2: 4
3: 8
4: 5
5: 5
6: 4
7: 9
8: 4
9: 4

A Χ² test doesn’t identify this as statistically significantly different from a uniform distribution at even the p=0.1 level.)