What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:03 am

Getting limited answers to exact questions is very useful.
However, the bracers DO NOT 'predict' the future in a Predictamancy way, as Wanda's story shows us.

The bracers only answer the questions that you would think to ask it, which means that you have to already have an idea of what direction you are going.
Wanda's predictamancer told her that she would wield an Arkentool.
This is an event that is so rare and unlikely, most would never even think to ask about it.
However, once Wanda is told about it, she sets events in motion that eventually allow her to get it.

The bracers handle statistical, reactive predictions. "If I attack with X units against force Y, will I win or lose?"
Predictamancy handles manipulative, unforseen predictions. "You will bring peace to Erfworld someday."

-----

Let's take a simple, but potentially life-changing event: falling in love. Parson could attempt to use the bracers to find love.

Parson: "What is the chance that I'll find true love in Erfworld?"
Hypothetical hidden calculations:
  • Parson has a move of Zero.
  • Parson cannot fall in love with someone he can order around.
  • Parson can order all units at GK except for Ansom and Stanley.
  • Bracer allows for minor chance of GK falling, Parson getting captured, and meeting someone that way.
Bracer: "0.08 %"
Parson: "Yeah, no chance. I thought so."
Parson gives up.

Predictamancer: "You will find your true love in Erfworld, but you will not find her at Gobwin Knob."
Parson now starts to search for that person, whoever they might be. He manipulates Stanley to promote him from Garrison, and heads out into the world.
Events take unexpected turns, and eventually he encounters a small, hidden neutral side like FAQ once was, ruled by a hippiemancer caster instead of a royal.
Parson allies out of necessity, and brilliantly helps to fend off an attack. The he and the ruler fall in love.

The bracer is a risk-assessment tool. You have to already know what the goal and steps are, and it will determine the likeliest outcome.
It's the difference between "if I invest in Google, what are the odds that I will make money?" and "of the thousands of stocks to choose from, which stock will increase in value by over 10,000% and make me rich?"
The bracer can easily handle the first question, but you'd have to ask hundreds of questions to be able to get the answer to the second, while a Predictamancer would just walk into your bedroom and say "Buy X."
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby moose o death » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:45 am

Beholden wrote:Moose, you might be one of the more self confessed intelligent posters here... but you're being equally insulting.
yes to insulting, but i've never called myself intelligent.

on another topic marbit chow is offering another angle to my opinion of the bracers directly above. it's theorised at the moment that mathamncy includes statisticly predicting the future. where as predictamancy is predicting the future.

if you want to know the future get. a predictamancer. worked out very well for FAQ right up until wanda sold them all out.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby BoopingCynic » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:34 am

MarbitChow wrote:Getting limited answers to exact questions is very useful.
However, the bracers DO NOT 'predict' the future in a Predictamancy way, as Wanda's story shows us.

The bracers only answer the questions that you would think to ask it, which means that you have to already have an idea of what direction you are going.
Wanda's predictamancer told her that she would wield an Arkentool.
This is an event that is so rare and unlikely, most would never even think to ask about it.
However, once Wanda is told about it, she sets events in motion that eventually allow her to get it.

The bracers handle statistical, reactive predictions. "If I attack with X units against force Y, will I win or lose?"
Predictamancy handles manipulative, unforseen predictions. "You will bring peace to Erfworld someday."

-----

Let's take a simple, but potentially life-changing event: falling in love. Parson could attempt to use the bracers to find love.

Parson: "What is the chance that I'll find true love in Erfworld?"
Hypothetical hidden calculations:
  • Parson has a move of Zero.
  • Parson cannot fall in love with someone he can order around.
  • Parson can order all units at GK except for Ansom and Stanley.
  • Bracer allows for minor chance of GK falling, Parson getting captured, and meeting someone that way.
Bracer: "0.08 %"
Parson: "Yeah, no chance. I thought so."
Parson gives up.

Predictamancer: "You will find your true love in Erfworld, but you will not find her at Gobwin Knob."
Parson now starts to search for that person, whoever they might be. He manipulates Stanley to promote him from Garrison, and heads out into the world.
Events take unexpected turns, and eventually he encounters a small, hidden neutral side like FAQ once was, ruled by a hippiemancer caster instead of a royal.
Parson allies out of necessity, and brilliantly helps to fend off an attack. The he and the ruler fall in love.

The bracer is a risk-assessment tool. You have to already know what the goal and steps are, and it will determine the likeliest outcome.
It's the difference between "if I invest in Google, what are the odds that I will make money?" and "of the thousands of stocks to choose from, which stock will increase in value by over 10,000% and make me rich?"
The bracer can easily handle the first question, but you'd have to ask hundreds of questions to be able to get the answer to the second, while a Predictamancer would just walk into your bedroom and say "Buy X."


If you paired predictamancers with mathamancers, foolamancers and luckamancers (not with a link but affecting each other decisions like Faq) you could predict where the enemy is going to be then find the probability that they'll find the city use luckamancers to affect that and also cast a veil on it giving a near perfect defense :ugeek: even better than Faq :D.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:17 am

moose o death wrote:on another topic marbit chow is offering another angle to my opinion of the bracers directly above. it's theorised at the moment that mathamncy includes statisticly predicting the future. where as predictamancy is predicting the future.


That, and also that the bracers answer questions you are already thinking about, while Predictamancy answers questions you never thought to ask.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby carisbourg » Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:30 pm

MarbitChow wrote:That, and also that the bracers answer questions you are already thinking about, while Predictamancy answers questions you never thought to ask.


That's assuming that Wanda didn't ask the predictamancer "How can I wield unlimited Croakamancy power?"
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby ftl » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:15 pm

noxharrington wrote:Yes - if the answer had been 45%, that WOULD indicate that the bracer cannot yield precise answers to this sort of sweeping, lots-and-lots-of-variables-that-Parson-couldn't-possibly-know type questions.


I disagree with that. Both 4% and 45% can be either very precise or very imprecise answers to the question of "What's the probability of..."

If it could answer sweeping, lots-of-variables-that-Parson-couldn't-possibly-know type questions, it could still give either 4% or 45%. (For example, if the bracer could predict PERFECTLY everything, it could, for example, see that "whether or not it's worth it" would come down to one battle - for example, if Charlie wins that battle, it's not worth it, and if he loses it it is worth it. If Charlie has a 55% chance of winning that battle, the probability that it's worth it is 45%, and if he has a 96% chance of winning that battle the relevant probability is 4%. In this case, the 4% and 45% would come from averaging over just one little bit of uncertainty.

On the other hand, either 45% or 4% could come from averaging over a very LARGE amount of uncertainty - it could be getting them from "here's all the possible uses I can think of for information with numerical values attached to their usefulness based on how useful they seem, plus a certain probability of there being other uses I'm not taking into account. here's all the possible ways that I can think of for the information leaking out, plus a certain probability that there are other ways. Here's all the possible ways I can think of for using the remaining calculation, plus a probability that there are others I haven't thought of. Combining all that, the resulting probability is..."

Either a calculation which has lots of knowledge, or a calculation that has nearly no knowledge can come up with probabilities which are either very low, very high, or in the middle.

But, hey, look - it DIDN'T answer 45%. It answered 4%. So... I don't really understand the rest of your point. The bracer (as far as we know right now) CAN access information about the future and current events not known by Parson.


No, we don't know that it can access information about the future not known by parson.

Example: I have two standard six-sided dice right here. I can confidently tell you that the probability that I roll a number greater than or equal to 12 is just over 2.77%. I can do this without any sort of "priveleged knowledge" about the future, just knowledge about how six-sided dice have worked in the past. Giving a non-50% probability about the future doesn't necessarily mean you have any particular non-obvious knowledge about the future.

If it could not, it could not answer the question asked.


Yes, it could. You can answer "what's the probability of..." questions using any amount of knowledge. If you have perfect knowledge about the future, the answers will always be 0 or 100%; however, anything less than perfect knowledge can result in answers anywhere between the two extremes. The less knowledge you have, the less useful the answers are, but you can't tell how useful an answer is from the answer itself. Even if you have essentially no knowledge, you can still come up with a probability that will be correct given the knowledge you have, it just won't be very useful - if you show me twenty players playing a game, I can confidently give you 5% as a probability that player 5 will win, a nice round 1/20 chance, that player is as good as any other... it's just not a very useful probability for actually planning anything.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby ftl » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:18 pm

Oh, and great post by MarbitChow, I can't believe I somehow missed it.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby HailGreen28 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:39 pm

moose o death wrote:well i can't possibly argue against you. you said wrong so many times i have to be wrong.

you then proceed to insult my intelligence twice and my imagination once.

i am deeply humbled by your superior debating skills. i'm sorry to have disturbed you so.
Dude, if you want to keep calling YOURSELF out, go right ahead.

If you don't want to actually answer any points, like in the same post *I think* you're talking about, about how Charlie got a definitive answer to his question, quit trying to derail this thread.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby HailGreen28 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:01 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Getting limited answers to exact questions is very useful.
However, the bracers DO NOT 'predict' the future in a Predictamancy way, as Wanda's story shows us.

The bracers only answer the questions that you would think to ask it, which means that you have to already have an idea of what direction you are going.
Wanda's predictamancer told her that she would wield an Arkentool.
This is an event that is so rare and unlikely, most would never even think to ask about it.
However, once Wanda is told about it, she sets events in motion that eventually allow her to get it.

The bracers handle statistical, reactive predictions. "If I attack with X units against force Y, will I win or lose?"
Predictamancy handles manipulative, unforseen predictions. "You will bring peace to Erfworld someday."

-----

Let's take a simple, but potentially life-changing event: falling in love. Parson could attempt to use the bracers to find love.

Parson: "What is the chance that I'll find true love in Erfworld?"
Hypothetical hidden calculations:
  • Parson has a move of Zero.
  • Parson cannot fall in love with someone he can order around.
  • Parson can order all units at GK except for Ansom and Stanley.
  • Bracer allows for minor chance of GK falling, Parson getting captured, and meeting someone that way.
Bracer: "0.08 %"
Parson: "Yeah, no chance. I thought so."
Parson gives up.

Predictamancer: "You will find your true love in Erfworld, but you will not find her at Gobwin Knob."
Parson now starts to search for that person, whoever they might be. He manipulates Stanley to promote him from Garrison, and heads out into the world.
Events take unexpected turns, and eventually he encounters a small, hidden neutral side like FAQ once was, ruled by a hippiemancer caster instead of a royal.
Parson allies out of necessity, and brilliantly helps to fend off an attack. The he and the ruler fall in love.

The bracer is a risk-assessment tool. You have to already know what the goal and steps are, and it will determine the likeliest outcome.
It's the difference between "if I invest in Google, what are the odds that I will make money?" and "of the thousands of stocks to choose from, which stock will increase in value by over 10,000% and make me rich?"
The bracer can easily handle the first question, but you'd have to ask hundreds of questions to be able to get the answer to the second, while a Predictamancer would just walk into your bedroom and say "Buy X."
Your hypothetical with Parson is a great example of recursion. Something to watch out for.

On Wanda's situation, both the Bracer saying getting the Tool is unlikely, and the Predictomancer saying she'll get it, could both be right. With Wanda's participation in the battle for GW, from her being seriously damaged by Jillian's spell-breakage, her lone stand on the tower, the melee in the courtyard, the uncroaking a volcano underneath herself, it was a very close-run longshot process. Same as your example of Parson finding love.

MarbitChow wrote:"The bracer is a risk-assessment tool. You have to already know what the goal and steps are, and it will determine the likeliest outcome."
This is the only part of your post I really disagree with. Parson couldn't possibly have known all the steps involved in Charlie's question. The simplest and most logical explanation is that the Bracer knows stuff that Parson doesn't, otherwise Parson doesn't even need the Bracer. He could just use the calculator part, or pen and paper if the battery ran low that day. 8-)
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby noxharrington » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:01 pm

ftl wrote:
noxharrington wrote: Both 4% and 45% can be either very precise or very imprecise answers to the question of "What's the probability of..."


You're totally right. Point taken.

I think I need to narrow down my question a bit. Obviously, in order to yield answers to questions like "what are this unit's odds against this other unit," the bracer must have access to certain FACTS about both units - damage, "hit points," whatever. Easy question.
In order to answer the question about "will this knowledge be worth giving up questions," it must also have access to less tangible FACTS - not necessarily knowledge about the future, I guess, though Parson himself seemed to think that was implied, but certainly something like... "how clever is Charlie." The bracer MUST be able to know something like that about Charlie in order to determine how likely Charlie is to figure out the Archon's decryption by himself AND assign a potential value on future questions he might come up with. Even if we're saying that Parson knew those things would be factors in the outcome and the bracer simply assigned values to those Parson-determined (perhaps unconsciously?) factors, still, the bracer is drawing on fact in the Erfworld to get those answers. That is, the bracer is figuring based on how clever Charlie ACTUALLY is, NOT how clever Parson THINKS Charlie is, just as the bracer uses a units' ACTUAL stats, not what Parson THINKS the stats are.

If Parson asked, "What are the odds big unit X will beat little unit Y" and got "5%," Parson would say "Huh? I thought that unit was stronger! I wonder why?" So it's NOT based on what Parson knows - it's based on facts in Erfworld, of which Parson might be completely ignorant.

So, THAT BEING THE CASE (and I really think it has been shown to be the case), by question is: if the bracer knows things like a given unit's stats and cleverness and so forth, why wouldn't it know things like where that unit is right now, or whether that unit was alive or dead? Wouldn't it need to factor things like that in to its evaluations? If it knows these things, couldn't it give definitive answers to questions on those topics, as long as they were appropriately phrased?
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby noxharrington » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:15 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Getting limited answers to exact questions is very useful.
However, the bracers DO NOT 'predict' the future in a Predictamancy way, as Wanda's story shows us.
...
Let's take a simple, but potentially life-changing event: falling in love. Parson could attempt to use the bracers to find love.

Parson: "What is the chance that I'll find true love in Erfworld?"
Hypothetical hidden calculations:
  • Parson has a move of Zero.
  • Parson cannot fall in love with someone he can order around.
  • Parson can order all units at GK except for Ansom and Stanley.
  • Bracer allows for minor chance of GK falling, Parson getting captured, and meeting someone that way.
Bracer: "0.08 %"
Parson: "Yeah, no chance. I thought so."
Parson gives up.

Predictamancer: "You will find your true love in Erfworld, but you will not find her at Gobwin Knob."
...
The bracer can easily handle the first question, but you'd have to ask hundreds of questions to be able to get the answer to the second, while a Predictamancer would just walk into your bedroom and say "Buy X."


True, true. Predictamancy is also very boss.
And, yes, the bracer can't "predict" the future, because that implies that the future is predestined and every prediction would have binary values - 100% if the thing was destined to happen, 0% if not. The existence of Predictamancy kinda implies that this is the case - any fated, predicted event WILL happen, and I bet the bracer would need to confirm that. Perhaps not every event is built into the fabric of Erfworld as necessarily-definitely-going-to-happen, but fated events are? Maybe? Whoo, big questions with no evidence either way. Magic is confusing. Anyway, the point is, the bracer does NOT yield 100s and 0s, so it is not a window onto a predestined future (even if Predictamancy implies that such a future does in fact exist for Erfworld). It seems that Parson was wrong - the bracer does not "predict the future" - that is, have access to facts about what will happen - it just has an unprecedented degree of access to facts about the present, and can pull from all those facts to arrive at a probabilistic outcome.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:40 pm

HailGreen28 wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:"The bracer is a risk-assessment tool. You have to already know what the goal and steps are, and it will determine the likeliest outcome."
This is the only part of your post I really disagree with. Parson couldn't possibly have known all the steps involved in Charlie's question. The simplest and most logical explanation is that the Bracer knows stuff that Parson doesn't, otherwise Parson doesn't even need the Bracer.


I completely agree about the bracer knowing things that Parson doesn't.
By "knowing the goal and the steps", I meant only that whoever is asking the bracer questions has a clear goal in mind, and knows what steps to take to achieve it.
The bracer can provide success / failure ratings for those steps, allowing the steps to be modified to achieve the goal.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby HailGreen28 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:52 am

MarbitChow wrote:
HailGreen28 wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:"The bracer is a risk-assessment tool. You have to already know what the goal and steps are, and it will determine the likeliest outcome."
This is the only part of your post I really disagree with. Parson couldn't possibly have known all the steps involved in Charlie's question. The simplest and most logical explanation is that the Bracer knows stuff that Parson doesn't, otherwise Parson doesn't even need the Bracer.


I completely agree about the bracer knowing things that Parson doesn't.
By "knowing the goal and the steps", I meant only that whoever is asking the bracer questions has a clear goal in mind, and knows what steps to take to achieve it.
The bracer can provide success / failure ratings for those steps, allowing the steps to be modified to achieve the goal.
OH, I see what you mean now. Point taken.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby noxharrington » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:43 pm

"His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now. They'd either rolled a critical fumble, or something weird was going on."

How interesting.

"One thing he never volunteered in these meetings was that the bracer gave a 78% likelihood that there was something fishy going on with the lack of Gobwins and prevalence of Marbits."

Something fishy! My Lord, what a comprehensive power set this thing has.

"And if there was, then there was a better than 92% chance that the agency behind it was Charlescomm."

Wow. Ok, I am baffled. These numbers make no sense. If the bracer knows that there is "something fishy" going on, why does it give a 98% to finding something that is fishily not there? If it knows it's probably Charlie, why is it LESS sure that something is going on than it is about what is CAUSING the problem? Ok, maybe that last one is understandable - maybe if Parson pointed the bracer at ANY mystery problem and asked 'how likely is that to be Charlescomm messing with me" it would be likely. But I dunno - this is very strange.

So, the has access to information enough to say that IF there is a problem, it is VERY PROBABLY being caused by Charlie (though, as you all have pointed out several times, 8 times out of 100, it would be someone else)
It can also say that there is PROBABLY something fishy going on which explains the strange population breakdown (sort of a leading question on Parson's part, now that I think about it - 'hey, bracer, this is weird. what are the odds that this weird thing is weird?')
However, it was NOT aware of the weirdness/fishiness/Charlieness which prevented them from finding Gobwins when it was asked ONLY about how likely it was to find Gobwins. Maybe this question was phrased more like "under normal circumstances how likely would we be to find Gobwins?" so this answer doesn't take current information into account?

WEIRD. "Something fishy" indeed.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby DevilDan » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:04 pm

Does the bracer run off of information already in Parson's head or is it pulling stuff out of the sub-etha, as it were?

The bracer can be instructed to assume something, though. If one assumes that something fishy is going on, then it uses data from somewhere to pull together a gallery of suspects and then decides which side, given each side's proclivities and capabilities, then determines the likelihood that Charlescomm is guilty as opposed to one of the other sides. And let's face it, Charlie is the one with sneaky, rapid units and a penchant for oblique strategies.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby noxharrington » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:20 pm

DevilDan wrote:Does the bracer run off of information already in Parson's head or is it pulling stuff out of the sub-etha, as it were?

The bracer can be instructed to assume something, though. If one assumes that something fishy is going on, then it uses data from somewhere to pull together a gallery of suspects and then decides which side, given each side's proclivities and capabilities, then determines the likelihood that Charlescomm is guilty as opposed to one of the other sides. And let's face it, Charlie is the one with sneaky, rapid units and a penchant for oblique strategies.



It just seems very odd to me. "How likely are we to find this unit?" Very likely. "Assuming we're not finding that unit, is that weird?" Yes.

Thanks, bracer.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby DevilDan » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:24 am

If you know something is very likely to occur and yet doesn't, that's when you know something screwy is taking place.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby Lord Kasavin » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:44 am

DevilDan wrote:If you know something is very likely to occur and yet doesn't, that's when you know something screwy is taking place.


Actually, "very likely" tends to add up over time to the point where it become highly unlikely that nothing highly unlikely occurs. Did that make sense?

OK, take a typical lottery. Any individual who plays is more likely to get struck by lightning than winning. Yet, enough people play that not only does somebody inevitably win, having multiple winners is not uncommon. Take a d20 situation where only rolling a 1 means a player misses. If he attacks 10 times, there is still a roughly 40% chance he will miss at least once.

What I'm getting at is highly unlikely is inevitable, because there are so many highly unlikely occurrences. So, Parson can't dismiss the possibility that GK is just being unlucky. I can't tell you how many tanks I've lost to pikemen due to luck.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby noxharrington » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:47 am

Yes, it is not that unlikely that a GIVEN SINGLE Gobwin would go unfound. But the question was "how likely are we to find Gobwins." Answer: Very likely. No Gobwins found? Is that odd? Bracer: yes.

I think, in general, we understand how probabilities work. What is vexingly unclear is how the bracer works.
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Re: What questions would you use the Bracer to predict?

Postby DevilDan » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:43 am

Lord Kasavin wrote:What I'm getting at is highly unlikely is inevitable, because there are so many highly unlikely occurrences. So, Parson can't dismiss the possibility that GK is just being unlucky.


He can't dismiss the possibility. He just can't trust it.
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