More than halfway to killing ads!

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By balder Comments (54)

Mine4erf Day 4 report - Holy hole in the ground, we're halfway there

Thursday's over and like every day since we started, it was the best day in the mines so far. Hashrate has grown every day and we're regularly seeing 45-65 people mining at a time on the pool dashboard. Amazingly, if every day going forward is like today, then we are at (a little) over 50 percent of our target.

What's the target for killing ads? There actually wasn't an obvious answer to that question, because ads go up and down with the seasons and ebbs and flows in our page views and probably sorcery somewhere. We also don't know if a whole bunch of people are going to get tired of mining and drop out. I would really really like to avoid saying, "um, we have to bring ads back because Mine4erf stopped being a better option."

We finally settled on average historical performance for March, April and May of last year, which (if I'm putting up numbers I might as well paint the whole picture) was $137.56 a day.

You make $50,000 a year on ads?? You greedy boop

...I did mention it was a lot of money. Ads are a hard drug to quit. Tools don't see ads (if you're logged in), but lots of people read Erfworld and don't subscribe, so I've had to sell your eyeballs. I don't sell 'em cheap. It's like a buck and a quarter for every thousand ads served.

I want to say two things about this number, though.

First, keep in mind that we are not trying to raise $50,000 or add $50,000/year by mining crypto. I'm desperately looking for a way to give up $50,000 a year, so you don't have to put up with ads here anymore (and neither do I). A relatively tiny number of people loaning their processor power can essentially buy AdBlock for everybody else on this site.

Second, that ad money is why we have a website. It's how half the team gets paid. The tech half. The half that makes us go. As much as I want ads gone, I can't kill them until I can answer, "well how do we pay Red, John, and Brendan?"

So far, Mine4erf is making a good case for itself as an answer to that question.

Gem sales were also active! This wee beauty was bought for 1899 Shmuckers. One of a bunch of gems that were bought on the market in the last 24 hours.    




Gems being mined: 23 yesterday not counting free spins.


And I am happy to report that in 40 total spins this week, on the second to last one, I got a small green gem with no glow, worth one point. I'm a marbit, and this gem is the color of a dirty green gobwin. I called it "Little Booger" to match "Little Booper." That's 1 point for Team Marbit, and let's GO PINKZ!



Any offers? Wanna boogie?


  • Bandaid

    @ nooneinparticular

    And I am very grateful for your Shmuckers.

    That being said, I think this should be communicated, I hope it was not the reason you bought my gems:

    Buying and selling gems does NOT affect the mining score for the teams! That it appeared that way briefly was due to a bug.

    At the moment I write this I possess exactly one gem while my score remains at 91 (Still Chief of Marbits! For now.).

  • Morsious

    Wow, that much for the marketplace.... Makes me wish I could still afford to be a tool.

  • Poraxus

    I mean, Rob, in the previous update you wrote very prominently how all nay-sayers are wrong. But I don't think anyone (and definitely not me) was nay-saying to mine4erf itself, just cryptocurrencies and their place in sosciety in general. 


    While I'm sure you personally weren't one of those people, there were quite a lot of critics who made it explicitly clear that they weren't merely warning against the downsides of cryptocurrencies in general, but rather making a specific moral judgment against mine4erf and erfworld in general for even considering such an obviously morally repugnant option. That, plus throwing around terms like "Skinner-boxing," which again I'm sure wasn't meant to be nay-saying mine4erf itself, just neutral commentary about the dangerous of operant conditioning I suppose.


    I think it's fair to say that we shouldn't lump all people who are skeptical about cryptocurrency into the same group as the, well, let's just call them the folks who were less than measured and less than nice in how they expressed their criticism. I wouldn't want to be associated with those folks either. However, to deny that those folks existed or said what they said in order to question the validity of the harsh response they got is, well, not a reasonable way to make an argument. If misrepresenting an opponent's position to make them seem more unreasonable is straw manning, is misrepresenting an ally's (or in this case, a bunch of allies') position to make them seem less unreasonable a reverse straw-man?

    And before I get the expected response from the crowd in question, let me just hasten to add that I'm not blindly in support of mine4erf. In fact, I am rather curious about the estimates of the processing costs of serving ads and whether they hold up against Rob's claim that mining might be more efficient than (or at least, roughly break even with) using ads to make the same revenue.

  • Arzie

    I wish I could join in, but I get 0.0 Mh/s.  :^/

  • Rakned

    my computer is too trash to contribute, unfortunately... ;-;

  • Valareos

    I will be supplying info on the benefit of renting mining hash, but i will say that looking at eth mining caclulators my 70 dollars spent for a week of 150 MH/s is netting Erfworld just about 70 dollars for the week.  

    Mining is all luck based..> Renting out miners? you even out your luck, and people wont rent miners without having the potential of getting back what they put in.  Those that rent out miners are after that stable paycheck though

  • Tathar

    Since we're sharing pictures of our shinies:


    Shiny Pebble

  • Honeybadgertattoo

    Question, what kind of gem would you like to see that's one of a kind worth collecting, or buying, or trading for?
    I personally goes towards naughty, or pin-up...
    what's your thoughts?

  • Bandaid

    @ Honeybadgertattoo 
    I would need clarification on that. The gems, while awesome, are nothing I would describe as naughty. Do you mean something like a naked archon statue made out of a gem or something? Because I guarantee you that would sell. Sex sells after all. Though that might bring in the "No Fun allowed" brigade.

  • Caprice

    How about a gem with a bit of "canon" story behind it? Like, "This served as one of the crown jewels of Jetstone before King Buckfast the Impecunious was forced to sell it off 50000 turns ago"

  • Keybounce

    Sadly, my comp has a 750M. ... Yea.

  • Omnimancer

    @Valareos - Even if you break even by hiring mining services, aren't there still conversion fees to account for? Those mining services seem to exclusively take crypto, so if you don't already have crypto you'd have to buy some with USD on an exchange to pay them and incur a fee. Then Rob would have to pay a second fee when he wants to convert it back to USD.

  • DunkelMentat

    It does not feel very good to have the author of my favorite work of fiction of all time rudely dismiss my concerns about something relating to computer science while I finish up a graduate program in data science and AI. Especially considering my years of formal education in the biological sciences, including environmental science. It does not feel good at all.

  • JBeshir

    I'm also a computer science graduate! I graduated some years ago and have been a professional programmer since, and have a particular interest in distributed systems (my final year project involved building a barebones messaging system which used an implementation of the Paxos consensus algorithm for fault-tolerant message relaying). Other people have their own relevant history but I'm more comfortable talking about my own.

    I don't think it's any insult to your background for this to not be something you agree with- clearly, expertise neither means liking or disliking crypto, as professionals are quite divided in their opinions on it. I'm sceptical about a lot of cryptocurrency projects myself- there's definitely a lot of people out there who are just trying to make a cheap buck off speculators, and others who are making a good case for why consumer protection laws exist.

    We've done a lot of research into crypto-related things (I've been watching it on and off since the early days), and while I've not actually written non-trivial code manipulating a blockchain, I feel that it is reasonable to consider ourselves fairly informed on the topic, such that it's reasonable for me to think that I have a fairly good idea what I'm doing, and for us to think that we know well enough to have counterarguments to the common arguments about crypto, or reasons to believe they don't necessarily apply to what we're doing- even when they're backed by people who also have related background.

    I don't think this should be taken as a slight against your expertise more widely, and regret that this made you feel like one was implied.

  • balder

    @DunkelMentat It's 2018, and this is how we respond now. Strongly. Very strongly. All the best people respond to criticism this way, believe me. Especially to science. I just have a problem with all these crooked scientists and your very wrong so-called alleged data. Somebody should do something.


    Okay, look...really? This comic with the 40 different point-of-view characters who are often killing one another over relatively trivial differences of opinion and think the author of that story says "everybody's wrong" and means it literally? You could reasonably take that at face value if were the only thing I said, but that post was 2000 words long. It was all to make it clearer that we weren't unaware or unconcerned about these things.


    Look, this dustup is all my fault. All the stuff that went into that post should have been said somewhere at launch. We really do care about all those potential downsides and negatives. The criticisms aren't wrong, at least not all of them. The only thing that is completely wrong is saying we didn't think of these things, or that they don't matter.


    I wanted to show our work, like the power meter I bought in January and the data it displayed, and our decision calculus around electricity consumption. I pinkie swear to you that if the numbers on that device hadn't come out in favor of GPU mining, you would never have heard of Mine4erf. I'm pretty sure we could be walloping our ad revenue right now, if we did browser mining. But we won't because it's not worth it in power cost or ROI for those "donating" electricity to Erfworld. And I don't think the reduced cost of serving ads would cover that difference. It's not a rationale, it's what we think the data tells us.


    And we know it's incomplete. It's a guesstimate. We could (horror of horrors in 2018) be wrong. But as a data scientist, you should know it holds up enough to run the experiment. I was a data analyst. We go where numerical reality leads us. The risk to users' equipment, the environmental impact, the cost to miners vs the benefit to Erfworld, the potential to exploit heuristics and cause gambling-like behavior, these and other negatives were all discussed, investigated, researched, tested, and analyzed. We made our best, rational decisions. We drew some lines that weren't in our favor, such as not selling spins and not allowing inefficient forms of cryptocurrency mining.


    DunkelMentat, you're one of the stars of this community. You and the people like you are why I do this. Having you believe I don't respect your expertise or take your objections seriously does not feel good, either. So if you still think I'm being a butt here, tell me. If you've got some data that says "stop what you're doing or dire consequences follow" I'll look at it. Just please don't misunderstand where I'm coming from.

  • Bandaid

    @Rob  Quote:"you're wrong. Every last one of you is wrong about every single thing you said about Mine4erf. :P" End quote.

    I think you did not do yourself a favor by using this phrase. Apparently a lot of people interpreted that as a direct attack against their concerns and values and felt insulted, missing the humorous element I believe to have spotted. And once you feel insulted, you are heavily disinclined to see the point of view of the other person.

    Yes, no matter what you say and how you say it, you will offend someone. I for one love to use hyperbole, sarcasm and irony. And more then once did the other side not get how I meant something. 

    In this case, I think something like "I think you are wrong and this is why: Argument 1, Argument 2, ...  " would have been better.

    But yeah, hindsight is always 20/20.

  • balder

    Yeah, I guess we still need a sarcasm font.


    In other news, 20 more spins and still only the two gems.

  • Bandaid

    @ Rob
    If it makes you feel better, I have not found an additional gem since I got my last one almost immediatly after I spun my alpha spins. And I have been mining 24/7 since then. Random chance is random. Unless you get your shares up to 1024 per hour. Though at that point, you have earned your guaranteed gem.

  • Vreejack

    I need a better graphics card. This one was top-tier when I got it  but now it's severely out-classed.

  • DunkelMentat

    I really appreciate your response Rob (and not just because you said something very nice about me), thank you. I saw the electricity draw measurements in the original post and now I want to get my own meter to look at my usage when I'm running models, so thank you for that idea. I certainly did notice how you had thought through a lot of the issues around this and I definitely agree that as a business proposition it's worth an experiment; especially given that you aren't going the route of the greatest electricity expenditure - browser mining (like god damn Salon what a bunch of assholes over there). That browser mining is indeed the most profitable method and you are choosing to forgo it for ethical concerns says a lot about you, all of it good. So thank you for being you.

    My machines all run on POSIX compatible OSes so I can't run Mine4Erf, but if I could I probably would, if only to get in on a bit of Erfworld community fun. If that seems contradictory to anyone please understand that my issues are not specific to Mine4Erf at all, but rather to crypto-currencies generally.  (I should note that my reaction to the announcement was colored by research I'm doing right now, which I am taking a break from to write this. I hope people will forgive me for the conceit - I'm going to say something about it real quick in a post below this one. It's relevant.) The power draw of an individual is small, but as a whole the amount of carbon being emitted because of this new industry is alarming, and I don't see much in the way of a benefit that would justify such a global expense. It's a mass action problem - Mine4Erf's contribution will be minuscule, not worth worrying about. But as a whole, crypto currency's carbon emissions are most certainly something to worry about. So that's where my concerns lie, and why I'm reticent to put my resources behind it.

    Anyway, if I'm totally honest with myself I can't ignore the fact that I feel a lot of guilt and a little shame around my poor support for Erfworld, or lack thereof. And perhaps it's affecting my reaction here. Erfworld has provided me with enjoyment for over a decade now, since the first update on GitPG. That's an understatement. I loves me some Erfworld. Erfworld fanfic is the only fanfic I've ever read. The idea of signamancy has actually changed how I approach professional settings in a way that's helped me to network better. I started writing my own fanfic the other day. I have never written any fiction in my entire life - I'm 34. And yet, for all that, I'm not a Tool. It's a tiny amount of money but there have been times when that withdrawal would have bounced. I've been drowning in debt my whole adult life because I decided I wanted to cure diseases and became a neuroscientist. Neuroscientists don't make any fucking money. Remember kids: academia is for people with parents who will take care of them financially until their late 30s. Things have turned around because I married a genius who makes good money, but I haven't asked her to send the money she works so hard for to a comic I like every month. Now I'm doing data science because you can make literally twice as much as you can as an neuroscientist. So once I get a job doing that I'll finally be able to be a Tool! I'm very excited for that day and I will be very proud, just like the forum badge says. If the first part of this paragraph sounds familiar to any other readers, solidarity, friends. It's hard out here in 2018.


    And Rob, as to judging your words as real person by your creative work: it's an interesting question. I try to avoid that. Artists express themselves through their work, but that doesn't mean their characters are a reflection of their character. Besides, if you go down the route of judging an artist by their work you have to also start judging the work by the artist. And then you have to stop listening to Thriller because Michael Jackson was a serial child rapist. And I'm not going to stop listening to Thriller. Thriller is very good.

    ''' opens up a tab to youtube to put on Thriller, gets reminded of an absolutely incredible pop culture reference in Erfworld book 1 '''

  • DunkelMentat

    Okay that post about my research got inappropriate for this thread. Never mind. The long and short of it was: be very afraid of climate change and take electricity consumption seriously.

  • Valareos

    @balder Oh the miscommunication that exists because you can not convey emotion with words


    When I say you, I use the general you as in people in general, and when I say miscommunication I mean "Oh crap I pissed off my best friend because I forgot the tongue-out in a text message to show im messing with them and they were having a bad day cause they didnt explicitly tell me they having a bad day!!!"


    Been there done that.  sarcasm font be great.  Hmm use comic sans, because no person can ever take that font seriously

    Bright Yellow Comic sans is for serious conversations only!!!

  • Valareos

    @everyone I apologize for any blindness my last post created


  • Bandaid

    @ Valareos, MY EYES!

    Trying to read that literally hurts my eyes! Curse you.

  • Windscion

    Thank you, Mr Balder, for letting me feel like a real dwarf.

    I am a dwarf and I'm digging a hole

    Diggy diggy hole, diggy diggy hole...