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I already posted this on /r/button a while ago, but:

"In [the The Robbers Cave Experiment], the experimental subjects—excuse me, 'campers'—were 22 boys between 5th and 6th grade, selected from 22 different schools in Oklahoma City, of stable middle-class Protestant families, doing well in school, median IQ 112. They were as well-adjusted and as similar to each other as the researchers could manage.

"The experiment, conducted in the bewildered aftermath of World War II, was meant to investigate the causes—and possible remedies—of intergroup conflict. How would they spark an intergroup conflict to investigate? Well, the 22 boys were divided into two groups of 11 campers, and—

"—and that turned out to be quite sufficient.

"The researchers' original plans called for the experiment to be conducted in three stages. In Stage 1, each group of campers would settle in, unaware of the other group's existence. Toward the end of Stage 1, the groups would gradually be made aware of each other. In Stage 2, a set of contests and prize competitions would set the two groups at odds.

"They needn't have bothered with Stage 2. There was hostility almost from the moment each group became aware of the other group's existence: They were using our campground, our baseball diamond. On their first meeting, the two groups began hurling insults...."

Eliezer Yudkowsky, The Robber's Cave Experiment: http://lesswrong.com/lw/lt/the_robbers_cave_experiment/

Distressing how well it fits, isn't it?




Quite distressing. Especially considering we've now had several decades of these sorts of stories in the popsci press. You would think people would be more aware of these sorts of issues.

Like, don't people know freemium smartphone games are a scam? I see people who had the same education as me, people I know have read the same psychology textbooks, paying hundreds of dollars to play these games that have no compelling "fun" factor. These games have such shallow verniers over their slot-machine nature that I don't understand why supposedly intelligent, knowledgeable people can't see them for what they are.

I get needing entertainment and I get not spending 100% of your time single-mindedly focused on "business" or whatever. I watch movies, play games, read books, drink in bars, go to sportsball recitals. I'm here, posting on HN. At least with HN I, get practice writing, have my opinions challenged, learn about new and interesting things, and get a chance to share my own work for feedback and traffic. I don't get money out of HN, but I do get real things out of it.


> games that have no compelling "fun" factor.

"Fun" is subjective. To the people that play these games, they are fun and they are deriving enjoyment from them. I don't understand why the enjoy it either, but then again, they probably see some of my hobbies and wonder why the fuck I would spend time/money on them.

Live and let live man.


What is "fun"? It's some state of neurons firing in our brains, or some chemical state. Why do you suggest that watching movies is "real" fun, while pressing a button is not? Don't kid yourself, we are not robots. We are humans, ruled by our chemical states.


The Cave Experiment seems even more planned out than this.

My gut says this was just a silly April Fool's joke to confuse Reddit users, but now it's evolved into its own animal.

(I don't plan to click, anyway)


Reminds me of: youarenotsosmart.com/2011/08/21/the-illusion-of-asymmetric-insight/




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