Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Brown rain

It's dangerous thing for a blogger to write about politics. Not because it's easy to be wrong or controversial (those make a blog interesting), but because it's easy to be the #54151 guy writing the same thing. Every "clever and original analysis" you can make was probably written by hundreds of others who have more expertise on the field. Anything I could write on the topic was probably written by Ann Coulter already. My choice to openly endorse Trump in August was pretty brave, but not at all original. About 50M Americans already endorsed him, just didn't bother to yell about it.

So usually I just shut up and delete half-written posts. However this one will be new to 99.9% of you, because this is about something that happened in Hungary, an obscure East-European country where I happen to live (OK, not as obscure since we built a fence and locked out the migrants and our PM endorsed Trump as first in-office leader). This experience is important because of its reductio ad absurdum nature.

Hungary was a communist dictatorship until 1990. The real, Castro-Kim-Mao-Brezhnev type of communism with government ownership of all companies, formal censorship office and "criticism gets you to jail" society. Now the communists did one thing very seriously: hunting right-wing extremism. WW2 Nazis were executed after the war and any kind of nationalist or racist sentiment was hunted. You made a racist joke at the water-cooler and your colleague reported you (or there was a mike hidden in the room)? You just lost your job and got blacklisted from any jobs except the lowliest of menial tasks. You tried to spread nationalist propaganda? A couple of years in jail for you.

This extreme hunting of right-wing extremist views, combined with no external support in smuggled Western literature made these views extinct. I grew up without hearing a single anti-Semite joke. "Jew" was just as emotion-less descriptive term as "Malay" or "Finnish". I haven't heard a single racist slur either, if kids wanted to insult each other, they typically used "your mom is a whore" or "you're nothing" but nothing racist, simply because there were no source for them to learn it. African students were common sight in universities and no one cared. So communist Hungary was the perfect politically correct utopia for liberals.

Yet right after the fall of communism the newly formed liberal journals were full of warnings about the Nazi menace threatening our life. Which at first was funny as we never seen a single one nor they actually referenced any kind of hate crime or particular person as enemy. We were told to be very afraid of non-existent Nazis. Soon our smile got wiped out when the liberals started to preach that because of the looming danger of non-existent Nazis we must unite with the communists. Yes, those communists who ran the dictatorship just a few months ago. Those communists who kept the very same liberals in jail, who executed the guys whose photos were on the same journals demanding union.

On 1991. Sept 27, 17 months after the first democratic election the "Democratic Charta" was signed by liberal opinion leaders and former communist leaders to unite their forces against the "brown rain", the invasion of Nazis - without anyone seeing a single Nazi person in Hungary. Soon everyone who were not them was named a Nazi and deemed persona non grata everywhere. The moderate right first democratically elected government was deemed "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, islamophobic, you name it" and lost the next election to the coalition of liberals and communists. Then we could witness our first democratically elected president who was sentenced to death after the '56 revolution and spent a decade in communist prison welcoming the second democratically elected prime minister, who was a volunteer communist soldier during the same revolution.

This unholy alliance lost the next election due to their horrible incompetence (they barely evaded bankruptcy and caused unprecedented loss of income for the average people) and since then we have a strong moderate-right party that is governing now (and endorsed Trump). So it's all old history from an irrelevant country, why bother?

Because it's the ultimate evidence that you can't appease liberals by denouncing irrelevant neo-nazi hillbillies! The liberal fear from "white supremacist", the "alt-right" or "white nationalists" isn't irrational, it's a lie. Even if you'd literally execute every KKK member, imprison the whole Breitbart crew, Ann Coulter, Tomi Lahren and whoever you can think of, take away the internet of everyone ever visited r/altright or shared a green frog meme, fire everyone who made a dumb joke about jews, gays or fat people; liberals would still be terrified by the incoming Nazi menace. It's not an exxageration, this is what happened in Hungary.

Liberals being terrified is a lie made to silence their own dissenters. When a young, honest (not Soros paid) liberal asks "why are we burning cars instead of discussion" he can be yelled at "do you want the KKK win and kill all the blacks?!". Liberals made this lie to make their followers fight like they were fighting against the next Holocaust which is just around the corner. "There is no place for discussion, there is no place for compromise or moral questioning of our methods. We are the last bastion of humanity against the Nazis".

How can you fight this? By not giving an inch to them. By not denouncing irrelevant hillbillies voting David Duke to the 7th place of the senate election or able to collect 200 idiots shouting Nazi salute. By not speaking politically correctly, by not censoring dumb jokes (I'm not saying you should say them, but you should fight for the right of dumb people to say them). By openly trolling liberals and their safe spaces. By building a mock wall on campus. By wearing a green frog T-shirt. By tweeting "all lives matter". According to them, this is being a Nazi. If enough of us do so, they will soon see that they are "surrounded by Nazis", yet all these "Nazis" do nothing to hurt them. Some of them will realize that these "Nazis" aren't that bad and this particularly disgusting manipulation will stop working.

PS: of course I don't claim that there are no neo-Nazis in Hungary now, 25 years later. They are a tiny group with no public support and 1-2 hate crimes a year. But they were totally suppressed and invisible during the communist era and took them years to reach this "high" level of presence they have now.

PS2: Obama was right on one thing, markets move if Trump tweets.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Riot rigging: the purpose of "can't lose league"

I had trouble with the "you can't lose league" rigging. It means that if you are in Gold league and keep losing games you get to Gold 5, 0 LP and stay there, don't drop to silver and keep dropping. This effect is huge, large amount of players are being artificially held on league borders:

This seemed pointless to me as it makes the games static and pointless. There is no risk of defeat but also nothing to gain: if you win in this position, you'll still be where you were, until you win enough to work off the debt you gathered with losing. If someone reached Gold once and keep playing, he'll reach it again if he drops off. Why rig something when it gives you nothing?!

Then I met Jozyno. He is in Platinum 5 which makes him the first Platinum player I played with. I'm Silver 3 and while my hidden MMR is probably in Gold 3-4, judged from the usual teammates I get, seeing a real Platinum pro was seemed a milestone passed. Until he picked Poppy top. I checked his history for playing Poppy and found a single defeat, so it's not some secret new meta, it's exactly what it looks: a dumb pick. I checked his last month performance it has 48 wins and 68 losses. His response to my criticism that he picked an inappropriate champion with zero previous performance was flaming.

How could a Platinum player fall so bad? He probably didn't, just sold his account to a bronze noob who is now losing games and making idiotic picks while flaming anyone since he's a "pro". I believe he is the target audience of the league locking rigging. There is no point buying a Platinum account if you just drive it to Bronze anyway. But with the rigging, the new owner of Jozyno will forever be a "Platinum pro" who can talk down on the "bronze noobs" he'll be playing with.

Why would Riot cater to account buyers? Because they already represented their willingness to pay money for prestige. They are the most likely buyers of "cool" skins, ward skins, summoner icons, chromas, card borders and whatever nonsense Riot can come up for sale.

From this point it's not a huge leap to assume that Riot (or employees) may create high-ranking accounts and sell them via third parties.

Realizing this problem explains some weird defeats. I mean I checked the statistics of my teammates and found them to be good, only to see them as clueless noobs feeding in game. Take for example Kukunas who had 58% winrate with his main, Caitlyn in season 6. Pretty safe to go with him ADC-ing, right? Well, his last month Caitlyn performance is 3 wins, 12 losses, so maybe not. My new evaluation completely disregards old season data and uses only last month games. Sure it doesn't protect from those who bought their accounts yesterday, but do from those who bought them before last month. It's important to watch for all games, not just the chosen champion. If the player has 25% overall winrate, you are safe to assume purchased account.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Full repeal Obamacare!

This post is not about health care itself (how doctors and treatments are selected) but about health care financing: how we pay for whatever health care we have.

Republicans are in trouble that after years of barking at Obamacare, now they clearly have an option to get rid of it. Their problem is that only 26% of the people are behind full repeal. Below I'd like to explain why Obamacare is a disaster and must be repealed and the demands of the people met different ways.

Obamacare is a welfare mixed into health insurance. Insurances spread risks of a person over time. They make an evaluation on your risks (this case health risks), look at the statistics and see that someone with your demographics has X costs on an average year and make you pay X + operating costs + profit for your insurance. Your advantage is that for an individual there is no average year. You can't get 0.2% heart attack. You either don't have it (this case you lost your insurance money) or you have it and then the insurer pays 500X for your expensive treatment.

Now the problem is that X can be too high for poor people and for people with high risk of medical treatment, typically those with pre-existing medical conditions. These people will go uninsured and when they have medical costs, they go bankrupt or untreated. Obamacare "fixes" this by forcing insurance companies to take these customers for less-than-X payment, mandating them to operate at loss. Of course they would go bankrupt if they'd operate at loss, so Obamacare also mandate people with low risks to buy insurance at a higher price than market. So Obamacare is a simple welfare taxing healthy people to donate to sick ones.

No, I don't go into goblin here and say that this is wrong and the sick are not our problem. I'm saying that it's not insurance problem but welfare. It's a political decision to give taxed money to uninsurable poor and sick people. But mixing this welfare into the insurance just make it overly complicated and ineffective as no one is allowed to make good business decisions.

The solution is simple: full repeal, don't replace with anything, let the poor and sick go uninsured and if there is political will, give them Medicaide or taxed vouchers to buy insurance on the market or whatever welfare you want to give them.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Weekend minipost: Trump is "clueless again"

This time the newly elected US president "failed" by receiving a call from the president of Taiwan, which is against the policy of "One China". Then "naively" he tweeted "Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call."

I see two options:
  1. He is an idiot who has no idea about the US policy on China and doesn't understand the difference between unofficial arms deals and official relations.
  2. He is trying to start a trade war with China which was his major campaign promise using a morally unquestionable act that will provoke China to hit first.
Of course everyone goes with #1, since Donald has obviously no clue about nothing. After all pulling the impossible feat of winning a US presidential election as a total outsider, without party support against total media consensus, is a clear proof of being an idiot.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Smoking gun on Riot rigging

I expected proving Riot rigging League of Legends to be a complicated data analysis. Instead, I just bumped into a smoking gun:
Yes, I was autofilled into Bot role, despite I picked Jungle and Top and both jungle and top players were glad to do ADC. There is no other explanation for this than the game wanted us to lose and placed everyone purposefully to the wrong lane.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Politics after the press era

This isn't a Trump-celebration post, I did that right after the election. And yes, I endorsed him when no one believed that he'll win. This post is about his very new method of connecting to the people. I wrote:
The only risk left is that the establishment will try to isolate him from the people. What they couldn't reach with "Crazy Donald can't build a wall because he'll never be president" can succeed with "Great President Trump in his infinite grace should allow undocumented people to stay". But I'm not too afraid of that. Despite he is president elect, he keeps tweeting in his unique style, to the people directly, bypassing the media, which was, is and forever will be his mortal enemy.

In the old way the connection between the people and a democratically elected leader was very limited outside of election campaigns and both direction was controlled by the press. They reported the actions of the government to the people. They also reported the problems of the people and the government had to deal with these problems, couldn't ignore them anymore. Of course this placed huge power in the hand of privately owned corporations. They could form the opinion of the voters by one-sided reporting on the government and they could form the opinion of the government by reporting only on a well-selected slice of the problems of the people. You most probably heard much more about attacks performed by white supremacists than about welfare leeches, despite there are a handful of hate murders a year compared to the dozens of "robbery turned into murder" cases every day, mostly performed by unemployed young men.

The advancement in technology allowed us to communicate directly without personal connections. You are reading my words from thousands of miles without either one of us having to pay for this. Trump was the first politician really utilizing the full power of internet communications. While everyone else mirrors his press releases and reminders on the internet, Trump sends out original communication on Twitter. If you want to know the next appointee to his cabinet, you shouldn't watch newspapers, they will know when you know on Twitter. Since Trump, the fastest and most accurate information about the position of a politician is coming from the horse's mouth.

Unfortunately - and that's what I wrote about in the quote - this only works one way. The voters can't tweet their problems to the leader since it's impossible for him to follow millions of channels. So the voter to politician communication was bound to go the old way: gatekeepers - typically journalists - talk to the people, decide which problems are worthy and communicate these few ones to the leaders, giving them power over the perceived reality of the leaders. I didn't really see how could Trump overcome this problem without a huge staff doing communication collection - a staff he doesn't have. I feared that he'll have to use the press and the Establishment Republican staff, doomed to hear what these special interests want him to hear.

I underestimated him:

Since he had no perfect direct channel, he uses the imperfect he had during the campaign: reading the crowd physically present on his rallies. While it's still a small and self-selected sample of voters, it's not selected by any special interest group. Nothing stops a US citizen to show up on these "thank you" rallies and present his opinion to the president-elect by applause, booing and chanting.

I can't wait the crowd boo out Romney, demand the wall and to "lock her up".
Update: the rally is over and they did chant these things.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Warwick's plight

People hate Warwick. They often flame when I pick him. And, I pick Warwick 80% of the time, so they flame a lot. I barely see opponents picking Warwick or this champion listed as picks for other teammates when I check their stats out. So I started to wonder what's wrong with Warwick. I believe that Riot doesn't create seriously undertuned champions as it's not their interest to effectively destroy a champion and his sales and skin sales. Sure, some champions are a bit stronger than others, but a couple % of power doesn't matter in lower leagues.

So what's wrong with Warwick? Actually, the right question is "what's right with Rengar, Kha'zix, Vi, Lee Sin, Hecarim and Shacko?" who are so loved and feared (75% banrate!!! For Rengar, 47% for Kha). The answer is: these champions can farm noobs like Warwick cannot. Warwick is very hard to counter with his gap-close + stun + high damage ultimate, track+fast chase finisher and very high life steal rate that makes him very strong in 1v1. By the time you notice him coming, there isn't much you can do. The feared "super junglers" on the other hand are trivial to counter: place a ward and when you see them, run to your tower.

But placing wards and avoiding unwarded bushes is a skill rarely seen in Silver or Bronze. I often look at the minimap and see a situation that is a guaranteed gank for the enemy. I ping with the red exclamation mark and sometimes they run. Most times they just keep laning near the enemy tower with no ward behind them as easy food for the enemy jungler. You can see a Kha'zix doing nothing else but walking up and down on the river, getting kills left and right. If the teammates wouldn't be total noobs, or they wouldn't be totally occupied by micro-managing a champion they don't know, he would have zero kills.

Therefore Warwick is a perfect choice for my plan, to elevate ratings just by queue-dodging. No one will blame me for simply being mechanically skilled and carry games.

However if you aren't running a project, just want to get out of Bronze and Silver, just learn the "super junglers" and walk up and down the river.