Friday, August 31, 2007

USA and Iran

I don't reall hate the curent administration but geezz they really do have to go next election

David brin is rather more passionate than I might be butthe US government seems to have screwed up so many things by both democrat and republican standards in the last couple of terms. The sad thing being that a good part of the US seemsto be 'pulling an ostrich'.
I'm not a bleeding heart liberal by any standards I'd jsut like to see a litle bit of fiscal conservatism, use of military for specific achievable goals, good standards in political debates playing the issue and not the man etc.

New Zealand is in favour of global warming - apparently

I always say if you fully understand an issue and you arent willign to do what it takes to get the result you say you want then you don't REALLY want it.

it would seem that NZ (and Canada, Japan Russia & Switzerland) are IN FAVOUR OF global warming as Noright turn notes '100% pure' - yeah right!

Having said that apparently the poor countries are also for global warming (don't tell me some lame story about how they havent burnt as much oil as us throughout history like I read aas a justification in the herald - if you aren't willing to sacrifice anything then you don't care - full stop... besides isn't that like having a quota in your neighbourhood for wife beating?)

So overall it would seem there is a solid majority in favour of making the world hotter....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

marvel vs capcom 2 - Servbot

marvel vs capcom 2 is an arcade fighting game - Servbot is the weakest charachter in it. he looks like a cute lego man which wil make your victory a crowd pleaser one hopes. So being as I am I want to show peopel how to win with him.


he has the following moves

Servbot Assist: Grab – QCB, 2P
good if it connects but very hard to connect

Helicopter Drop, type 1 – QCB, 1K
Cancel the launcher into this

Helicopter Drop, type 2 – QCB, 2K
use against flying characters and to keep Sentinel behaving himself

Spicy Foods - QCF, 1P (hold to charge)
don’t charge for long - you'll get killed first

Spicy Foods, Anti Air – QCF, 2P (hold to charge)
the anti air version - almost useless

Paper Airplane – (DC, hold 1K and perform) QCF, Start

Bull Mover – QCF, K
always cancel this into the super unless you are absolutely sure you will be safe afterwards or have connected

Servbot Rush !HYPER! QCF, PP
Lunch Rush (alpha)
good for combos
Servbot Variable Rush (gamma)
good for chipping damage the opponent

Super Servbot – QCF, KK !HYPER!
usually must be canceled into another super

and of course 'punches' and 'kicks'

2) So how to win?

well there are 3 other players I know if that use servbot and here is what they do as far as I understand it

A) Soo mighty
Super jump and charge meter and gamma super if they roll behind you. you wont really win with Servbot using this strategy. Which was Soo mighty's intention of course. You may buy yourself some time and build u some super however which could allow your other guys to win. Soo mighty used magneto and Psylock - I suggest using a character that will easily combo off an unblocked super that allows you to punish them better - like Cable for example.

Build up super meter with someone like Spiral and super with Servbot from a distance This makes your Servbot much stronger by handing him a full meter. The problem here is that they can super jump to avoid your super which isn't quite fast enough if they know what to do.

C) SirOrion
Use Servbot grab assist to set up combos the problem here is that grab assist is only a ground based move - and your likely to be fighting Storm, sentinel, magneto. St and Mag will be in the air and sent will have super amour. Anyway to use this strategy try to be close to a corner because the grab will come out faster - good recovery so throw it around a bit anyway.

So there isa start - but I think we might be able to do a litle better... so what do I suggest?
Well first the basic logic

Firstly, on point, bottom line is you wont kill anyone using Servbot's combos. Servbot has two ways to hurt you

1) use his alpha combo (unblocked)/gamma combo (blocked)
2) use another character (in which case why pick him?)
3) use the assist

In regard to 1 you are either someone with fantastic ability to pull off combos or you will probably prefer the gamma version. the reason for this is that the alpha version is easy to see coming and only chains off other moves if you hit the opponent with the start up which is tiny just like servbot or if they are already caught in an assist (must be a pretty great assist) or a servbot grab. If you can catch them regularly with the servbot grab - well they are dead meat anyway and an assist jump over and variable lunch rush will also deal with that.
in relation to 2
if you are going to use the other charachters a lot and will need servbot's assist (eg if you expect one of them to die first) then you might want alpha servbot - his assist is a better way to pester opponents than the gamma - problem is that both will get kiled by hyper viper beams and ice storms etc and do minimal damage. Good news is both can set upcombos if by chance you connect.
In regard to 3 There are about 6 key characters that make good assists so I'll focus on them they are Cable (and to a lesser extent other beamers), Storm, sentinel, Spiral, blackheart, doom. So I'll mention what to do with these. Look to my assists section for details.

4) Assists

Servbot does almost no damage except via supers and assists. so how to fix this? well to solve the first problem you need an assist character that has anti air (a common requirement). blackheart, Sentinel and Cable (and to a lesser extent doom). In that order - blackhearts anti air is very effective. to solve the second problem you need can punish at a distance and not expect a hell of a lot of help to do so - so basically we need some chipping damage. this is sentinel and doom. to solve the third problem we need an assist that holds the opponent in place blocking or not - for this we can have someone like Spiral ground assist, blackheart and doom. as for the 4th problem we need someone who can chain their super onto a unblocked Servbot super (Sentinel Cable), someone who can charge meter very fast (Spiral) and someone who can do some serious damage to anyone caught in a Servbot grab (sentinel Spiral) However remember we are looking for an assist character. As Dasrik notes against a good player using Cable (as too many people do) blackheart is very vulnerable and you end up to scared to use him. worse yet Servbot is small so he can't protect blackheart anyway. So while blackheart has a excellent assist its not great against a good player.

There isn’t much of a problem with Cable except – he is a meter hog. If you use him you will be sorely tempted to use all the meter. And this is supposed to be a Servbot team!

Doom vs sentinal
Doom would also do as a third party. dooms DH combo does less damage 30 vs 33 but is easier to connect at a distance (although how you connected servbot's at a distance isa mystery!)its assist does less damage (10/14 vs 18) Dooms drives them up while sentinals pushes down (except at the end where the rockets fly up) sentinals thus can be followed by servbot grab or a Y lunchrush while dooms probably can't.
sentinal appears a bit faster to the other side he also takes damage beter and matches with storm and spiral. Dooms covers low projectiles but the big danger is other things and there sentinals body provides cover.

My strategy 'on point'

1) Servbot doesn’t take damage well - you need to block EVERY planned attack. if you fall asleep at the controls you will be killed in about two not very hard attacks. not only that but you cant spend to much time blocking if you want to live since your opponents could chip away at you and your short arms will limit your ability to fight your way out and your low power limits your ability to exchange punches. That presumably makes him keep away type, However,

2) against an average player you will struggle if they keep their distance- because Servbot has basically no decent distance attacks. So have some assists that can hurt them over there, remember he has a fast dash (but be careful) and super jump to stay out of the way.

3) worse yet Servbots grab and super the two attacks that are any good both come from the screen behind you. When you are against an amature you will find they duck and block as you combo, so you can do a ground combo bull-rush cancel into a super, if that is the case you will chip them to death as you build yet more super meter. a skillful opponent on the other side of the screen however has time to super jump (or just hop in the case of the grab) and get over it.

Since servbot will have a hard time with jump in attacks (he cant afford to be hit by a AA and doesnt have that grat priority) strangely our keep away character needs good opponents to come and get him!

so key moves are
1) call assists and super jump (the evasion game)
2) [at a distance] Sentinel assist [hits], Servbot grab, Sentinel
assist - jump to other side combo
3) [close to edge and opponent misses a hit] Servbot grab,
assist, Servbot grab, combo
4) [opponent rolls behind you] variable lunch rush
5) [opponent is falling out of the sky into your target zone] variable
lunch rush
6) variable lunch-rush [hits] Cable/Storm/ Sentinel/doom/
blackheart/Spiral triple canceled super. key things here is make sure
your next super hits (Cable/Storm will almost always hit Sentinel doom
require the right distance but they pull them back a little for the
Spiral blackheart combo. if its Spiral that you finish with you can
start building meter straight away.
7) Jump in jab, ji strong, stand jab (or short), stand fierce,
8) Dash short or jab, launch, helicopter
9) Sentinel
10) C. fierce, Jab Kobun Fire, XX immediately into Lunch Rush (be careful-they can roll before the Fire)
Doing a launcher cancelled into Helicopter Drop 1 will get you almost as much damage as doing an air combo so do that - remember you cant afford to slip up

Summary with spiral/servbot/sentinal

I suggest spiral first use swords and teleport to charge meter using sentinals assist with hte teleports of course to confuse them. then when meter is high switch in servbot. Jump around and stay close to your side of the screen if you can (makes your moves faster because your helpers are closer). Use your assists to chip at them. From time to time jump in with an assist and do combos that cancel into variable lunch-rush or dash in with an assist and combo. do this when you have full super since there is a risk they could jump out of it with little damage.

Then when you see a chance (for example if they fall into the zone and are out of super jumps or if you have them tied down somehow or just if you need cover then - variable lunchrush. See if it connects and if it does and they are in range (and you dont have to much health to heal on your assists) then cancel to the sentinal (or doom) and re-cancel into spiral to recharge again. If not block damage is probably better than normal damage.
when servbot is weak swap out if he needs to heal - the lunchrush makes for a safeish swap. If sentinal is on point your servbots probably hurt bad so dont use his assist much just use spirals-a it does lots of chip damage. you can use spirals a to assist servbot a bit.


So Mighty of course uses Magnito Servbot Psylock
Impulse uses spiral servbot Doom
Sir Orion uses servbot blackheart doom
I use spiral/storm servbot sentinal

in order my teams would be

Spiral Servbot Sentinel
Storm Servbot Sentinel
Spiral Servbot Doom
Spiral Servbot blackheart
Sentinel Servbot Cable
Doom servbot sentinal
Megaman Servbot Sentinel
Spiral Servbot Cable
Megaman Servbot blackheart
Spiral Servbot Storm
Megaman Servbot Cable
Chun-li Servbot Sentinel
Spiral Servbot Morrigan
iceman Servbot Sentinel
Spiral Servbot doom
doom servbot blackheart

basic principles are

meter charging (Spiral, Megaman) need this guy in position 1
using supers (Servbot, Cable) this guy can be position 2
keep away (Storm, sprial, Megaman, Chun-li) good on point
anti air (blackheart, Morrigan, Cable, chun li) must be 2 or 3
chiping asist (Sentinel, blackheart, doom, juggernaught, iceman) position 2 or 3
chipping (Servbot, iceman) position 2 or 3
assists that help combos (Spiral, doom, Sentinel, blackheart) position 2 or 3
DHC (Servbot, Chun-li, Storm, Cable, Megaman, Sentinel, blackheart,

you want
1) meter charger/keep away
2) combo user(ie servbot)
3) chiping assist/DHC/anti air

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fisk and 9/11

Robert fisk shows us an individual based example of how 911 conspiracies expand.
From the logical
that while there are unanswered questions about 9/11, I am the Middle East correspondent of The Independent, not the conspiracy correspondent; that I have quite enough real plots on my hands in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Iran, the Gulf, etc, to worry about imaginary ones in Manhattan. My final argument – a clincher, in my view – is that the Bush administration has screwed up everything – militarily, politically diplomatically – it has tried to do in the Middle East; so how on earth could it successfully bring off the international crimes against humanity in the United States on 11 September 2001?

Let me repeat. I am not a conspiracy theorist... But like everyone else, I would like to know the full story of 9/11

Conspiracy theories start with someone asking a question that no one knows the answer to and then demanding that they tell him the answer.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Section 2 more analysis on the DD argument

This is my proposed formulation of the DD argument

the indifference principle requires that you define a unit of measure - there is some debate over that - in our case we chose humans - probably including neanderthals and homosapiens and maybe a few others. this is of course a part of a continum so there is really no valid justification for saying "bob is included but fred is not". An interesting example is to ask what is the probability that you moght be a person who was never born or what is the probability that you would have been a person who was born but never had a thought (brain dead)?

I suggest the optimum unit of measurement is actually 'a unit of thought' what that does is
1) create a continum between us and a dog (let's say) while puting the weighting on ourselves. that prevents us from saying somthign stupid like "the baby became a human as a result of the instant when passing beyond the outer skin of it's mother".

2) it is the minimum set of information - you do indeed know that you are thinking right now (or if you are not then it doenst matter if the thing you are not doing is not logical!) at a rather deeper level than you know you are the a person born at a certain time. Imagine a person who has lost their memory of their past and developed a new personality after an accident.
3) it reates a very basic unit rather like how atoms are a more satisfying explination than earth fire air and water

Imagine a budist sort of world where a simgle person experiences every thought of every thing in the universe - some being rich thoughts (like those of a person reading my post I hope) and some being very poor ones (like that of a sleeper).

What this does is it heavily weights the data in favour of future people. In fact a single 'post human' could suck up a massive amount of thoughts. Worse yet a concious simulation computer might come to be close to being half the experineces in the universe. a rich mind indeed.

It also justifies why we are a human as opposed to a bug - afterall our brains are more of a magnet for our 'counciousness' under this sort of anthropic principle.

Bostrom's Simulation argument

A poster on overcoming bias notes

Bostrom's paper has been published in a top philosophical journal and has been discussed by academics working in top philosophy departments. If you are going to dismiss the simulation argument on the grounds that it is bad philosophy, you need to explain the fact that the expert philosophical community doesn’t think so. Merely dismissing “the whole idea” as “completely retarded” simply won’t do.

Well here is the argument that everyone else should have made.

Bostrom's paper says

probability we are a sim = simulations / total

this is basically the following basic assumptions

A) the indifference principle
which is
1)We have no reason to think we are special
using these fact
2) We know we are a 'human'

he expands that to be

Fp: Fraction of all human-level technological civilizations that survive to reach a posthuman stage
N : Average number of ancestor-simulations run by a posthuman civilization
H *: Average number of individuals that have lived in a civilization before it reaches a posthuman stage

fsim = fp N H
(fp N H)+ H

and N = Nifi (ie the number of civilizations running simulations times the number of simulations they run) and he proposes one of the following would be approximately true

fp = 0
fi = 0

now I have a simple rule to add to that which can be termed "once you get the hammer out of the tool box you have to hit every available nail." (call it the indifference to nails principle)
So the indifference principle does say what Bostrom suggests but it has something to say about a number of other things too.
so what does the indifference principle say about the remaining variables?

lets have a go at fp
well the Dooms day argument is well established it proposes that given we are alive now in 2007 then we should not be particularly close to the beginning or end of time (same sort of logic that would say we would be unlikely to be a real human if sims were very common).
now that formula requires us to define a set - lets say we use homo sapiens (I would want to modify this later). Boistrom makes a call on there being about 60 billion humans before us (which is probably more than just homo sapiens) so we will go with this because it is his position.

Now the UN suggests a rise to 9 billion around 2050 and then stabilization (assuming death rates keep up I presume so life expectancy around 67ish). So for us to be in the middle it would mean we have until something like 2470 I presume. Of course it would take quite a lot longer to get a 95% probability but we will just keep the distribution in mind for the moment.

Now Bostrom implies that these civilizations are running Sims of themselves (which makes them maximally equivalent) but our problem then is that our humans statistically should have become extinct around 2470 or reached the sort of singularity that results in no More births (or at least not statistically enough to effect the equation) OTHERWISE they would simulate after that period and that would drag forward our likely position in time.

Now you can say 'ok but there is still a good chance humans would not have did out in 3000 or so - but there is also still a chance they would have did out in 2200! In sense as you push out the deadline you have a higher percentage of a lower probability that we are a sim eventually you have an massive percentage of zero.

so the question now becomes how realistic is it that we will have total simulations by 2470? if there is a 0 % chance there is already a 50% chance there aren’t even any simulations AT ALL. (ok I’m abusing statistics a bit here but its one way to look at it)

one counter would be that there is a greater probability that we would live in a universe with a greater population but if you accept that the whole argument blows out as we start talking about near infinite populations, no dooms day at all, and all of a sudden, us appearing to be amazingly close to the beginning of time. Again the near infinite population would apply to the real and the sim worlds equally partly because of the way the sim is supposed to duplicate the real world and also because the hypothetical sim or the hypothetical real person should both face the same mathematical problem.

Basically I find that it is very hard to back out of the problem with the sim argument without crippling the reason why you are proposing it.


then there are some factors that would lower the number of early
time sims

A) there are some questions about how an ancestor simulation would be run - I'm inclined to think you would build backwards in time - you have current data so that would be the easiest way to run it.
B) the optimal unit of measure (to be addressed in section 2)
C) I'm inclined to think f'obviously not a sim' is a non zero set - I have no idea how large ifthat is the case a more relevant question might be "of the set to which we know we belong what are the odds that we belong to this subset that is a sim.


In summary for Psim to be very large we seem to need

1) to start making almost perfect sims very soon (so that we can have billions of more or less perfect sims by 2500 AD or so)
2) to have a crash in real and sim population soon

this seems an unlikely combination since it implies either a disaster that a civilization able to make perfect sims could not avoid down to the last man
a cesation of creation of new real people as part of a human singularity (somthing like us all becoming one person or somthing) despite a desire to rerun simulations of old people where both require, presumably, a similar information content (and thus similar cost?) and both being 'entities' which one would think one would want to aply the same sort of rules to particularly since - probably to a post human - one of those entities is an exact duplicate of the old you.

in adition to the standard arguments

3) to have a tendency to make ancestor sims as opposed to recognizably other sims (there are some reasons one might make ancestor sims but more than non ancestor?)
4) to care to make more sims than there were real (duplicates?)
5) for N to be large
6) for near perfect simulations to be possible and not too costly
etc etc

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

space as a result of matter

I was thinking about my theorythat matter creates space.
Imagine every matter particle creating waves of space around it and absorbing waves crom other praticles. what that can do is create shortening of space between any two matter particles and lengthening of space in general resulting in an apparent gravitational effect as well as a sort of 'inflation' effect (cf inflation after the Big bang). Sound reasonable?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

the simulation argument

Nick Bostrom offers a simulation argument

the simulation argument doesnt get you out of the dooms day argument. given we are in a simulation we will be 'deleeted' in the next "X" years based on the standard doom's day argument.

Furthermore the indifference principle also then implies somthign about the civilization running these simulations - ie that the civilizations cannot be older than a certain age otherwise the chance of them devoting huge amounts of computing power to this part of the simulation and not more of it becomes diminishingly small.

So you would get a limit for REAL human civilization (the one that is simulting us) that isn't all that much further out than the one for this simulation.

So the question then starts to become interested in what sort of computing power we can accumulate in the next few thousand years. we don't have to worry about the fraction of that resource likely to be devoted to ancestor civilizations because thats taken into account by the indifference principle already - although it might be that we take less programming space than a future human - it is debatable if that helps either (cf my analysis

Elimination of Racial Discrimination

apparently the UN Human Rights Commission's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has some things to say about NZ

The Committee was pleased with our progress in a number of areas including the improved status of te reo - apparently activly promoting the culture of a single race is considered a vital part of eliminating racism.

However it expressed concern in a number of areas that varies from "none of it's business" to "The UNHRCCERD just copies whatever the far left in that country says"

If only they were more sensible they might not get nationalistic chestbeating as a response.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

New Zealander

NRT informs me that I am a one of the "dead white males with a stick up their arse"

and apparently older, whiter, more monolingual, likely to be male and living in rural areas or the South Island (2 out of 5!).

hmm and "And so, apparently, do StatisticsNZ. According to [NRT's] sources within the department, the result of their analysis is a recommendation that the "New Zealanders" be included with "NZ Europeans" in data analysis."

oh well I guess I'll be a Maori in the next census - I might even give in to the pesky requests for me to join the Maori electoral role...

Part of my protest against the rather vague question which should either be "genetically what race are you mostly" (for the purpose of guessing blood types etc) or the lame "if a bunch of cultural groups started in your area and were offering free beer to join - which would you go to?"

besides it will make NZders and my fellow maori feel better about themselves if I push up the maori education statistics - maybe that is the whole plan.... Look how good we are improving maoris lot - I can imagine in political circles people saying

"look we made another ten thousand of them appeared and they were all more educated than the average!! pats on the back all around!"