Chaos theory and intelectual stuff. (in Off-topic)

Hammerhead April 28 2005 11:35 AM EDT

I have started this thread for two reasons:

1). I would like to know whether players of cb are more intelectual than players of games like runescape(on adverage i know some people play both so dont get angry if you play runscape because i do to), maybe text based stuff needs a bit more brain power.

2). I would like someone to explain fractal maths and chaos theory in more detail for me. I already know that fractal maths involves infinately small pictures and that chaos theory is about things that apear random

If all this is boring you go to (you must have speakers). It had me in stitches.

IndependenZ April 28 2005 11:39 AM EDT

*intellectual stuff


Zoglog[T] [big bucks] April 28 2005 11:40 AM EDT

Chaos theory is that theoretically there is a chance that a butterfly flapping it's wings in Australia could have a knock-on effect to create a hurricane in England.
It can never be proven and most likely hasn't happened but it can be applied to many situations.

Hammerhead April 28 2005 11:41 AM EDT

You are helping my research a great deal independenz

LumpBot April 28 2005 11:43 AM EDT

It was rather funny =P

Undertow April 28 2005 11:48 AM EDT

Okay, go get the movie Butterfly Effect on DVD.

Now, watch the movie, and you'll learn a LITTLE about chaos theory.

However, the real point to having you get it, was the special features. There is a couple of 15 minute - one half hour long documentrys on both Chaos theory and time travel. REAL good stuff.

Maelstrom April 28 2005 1:47 PM EDT

Do you really think that someone needs to be interested in Chaos Theory and fractals to be an intellectual?

And why do you think intellectualism is related to the presence of graphics in computer games? I think I once checked out Runescape, but the graphics were so horrible that I was turned off. Tolerance of poor graphics surely can't indicate a lack of intellect.

Chocolate Thunder April 28 2005 1:57 PM EDT

on average*

Hammerhead April 28 2005 2:19 PM EDT

Sorry Maelstrom and anyone else i have offended. In answer to your points, chaos theory and fractal maths are not the only subjects that intelectuals are interested in and an intrest in them does not really make you an intelectual. They are just examples.
secondly this was the entire point of the thread to find out if text based games did have more intelectual players than ones with animations and stuff. My theory was that people who had spent most of their time on games console games and similar games on a computer (now i sound like an old person) might not be as intellectual and make graphics something they looked for in a good game.

AdminJonathan April 28 2005 2:20 PM EDT

There are less idiots on CB than in most communities because we tolerate them less.

slurpz April 28 2005 2:21 PM EDT

lol jon

Maelstrom April 28 2005 2:38 PM EDT

I wasn't offended, just curious.

I don't think it is the case that CB is more enjoyable for intellectuals, or that "dumb" people prefer graphics, but rather that CB attracts an older, or at least more mature crowd.

(Sure there are exceptions, and I never go into chat, so I don't experience the irritating newbies...)

People that are older probably used to play the text-based DOS rpgs, MUDs, and other such games, whereas in general, children prefer games with pictures. Similarly, most children would rather watch TV than read.

Todd April 28 2005 3:10 PM EDT

Ok, Jon, that's it!!!!! I quit (again).


hey, wait a minute.

mchaos April 28 2005 3:12 PM EDT

*Carnage Blender, a fun, welcoming community, unless you're an idiot*

Undertow April 28 2005 3:15 PM EDT

The rules are placed strategically to hedge out morons. The non-pg rule is a great example. The game is just complex enough that idiots don't like it, and has next to no instant gratification, which kids love.

Will [Retired] April 28 2005 3:20 PM EDT

lol ask me a question on any EEE and i should be able to help, but fractal maths? lol thats just for geeks who like pretty patterns :p

Think you'll find a lot of said 'intellectuals' probably cant be bothered thinking outside of work so its always nice to go shoot people on Time Crisis or something just to get away from it all :D bang bang ur dead... woo

Maelstrom April 28 2005 3:35 PM EDT

One can look at fractals as simply "pretty pictures", but I think those who are interested in them are interested in the fact that they can be created using surprisingly simple self-referencing (i.e. recursive) equations.

[EG] Almuric April 28 2005 4:06 PM EDT

A long time ago, a guy name E.E 'Doc' Smith wrote the 'Lensman' series, the prototypical 'Space Opera'. In it, was a race of perfect intellects called the 'Arisians'. Mentor of Arisia (who mentored the good guys) had a saying: "Given any one fact, the rest can be deduced." (I'm paraphrasing, I don't remember the exact quote.) Anyway, the Arisians felt that if anyone was smart enough, that if they knew just one thing about a universe (perhaps it's 'state' at one given period of time), everything that happened before could be figured out from that knowledge - i.e. there is only one way for the universe to have evolved and arrived at this exact state - and all future happenings could be figured out because, well, you know what's going to happen in the next second since you can figure it out from what's happening now, and you can go to the next second from that, and so on.

That's all well and good except for one thing: Chaos. Smith's supposition was that with the exact same inputs, the same thing happens every time. This is not the case. Things happen randomly. For instance, take radioactive decay. If you've got two identical pounds of Uranium in two identical universes, will they decay in exactly the same way? Unlikely. The half-life is the same, that doesn't mean that atom 918,465 will split before atom 3,456,788 in both universes.

Weather is the most common example of chaos theory. Let's assume you've got a new super-weather-detector-grid that measures everything at 1 centimeter intervals all around the earth. You know the temperature, pressure, wind speed, humidity and everything else that can be measured - so you should be able to figure out the weather perfectly for years in the future, right? Nope, odds are you wouldn't get it right for more than a week or two. Why, because you don't know what's going on between your measurements. The subtle variations of atoms in between your measurement grids will throw your forecasts off. (And if you're all smart and stuff and think that you could just measure individual atoms... well, at that point Heisenberg takes over and says you can't know everything about things that small - the act of measuring an atom's speed changes it.)

Did you know that physics postulates that particles can come into being at any given time? Yep, at any moment a proton-antiproton pair can spring into existence, and as long as you conserve mass, spin, momentum and everything that's supposed to be conserved, you've violated no laws of physics. Usually when that happens they annihilate each other right away and no-one's the wiser. But if that happens at the event horizon of a black hole, one could escape and one could get sucked into the black hole and the universe has been subtly changed.

So, basically, chaos theory says that given identical inputs, different results can be achieved. Or to put it another way, even if you know everything about a situation, the end result can be different than what you expected. This is what Jeff Goldbloom's character was saying in 'Jurassic Park', but it wasn't explained very well in the movie.

Fractals are geometric shapes where small parts of a particular shape look roughly the same as larger parts. Or maybe a shape that appears to be made up of smaller versions of that shape, which appear to be made up of even smaller parts of the shape, and so on.

That's about all the time I have to write on the subject. I'm sure a google search can fill you in on a lot of this. Incidentally, Rudy Rucker has a version of the 'Chaos' software that accompanied James Gleick's 'Chaos' way back when. It's free. I spent more hours playing with that than playing CB if that tells you anything. It's here.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] April 28 2005 4:15 PM EDT

I'll take a issue of Popular Mechanics or Scientific American anyday to one of those numerous car magazines.

Caedmon [Revenge of the Forgers] April 28 2005 4:43 PM EDT

Almuric, it's far worse than that. You don't need to conserve mass, because of Heisenberg's principle. Mass (or energy) can be spontaneously created or destroyed, over small enough time frames. (Delta)E * (Delta)t < h-bar.

Chaos Theory (a term I really don't like, btw -- too pop culture) is considerably more weird as well.

Blarg April 28 2005 6:11 PM EDT

Here are a couple hints for hammerhead:

1. If you are trying to find if there is any intelligence in CB, you should try to show some yourself. A good way to show intelligence is to not misspell a lot of words.

2. When asking people to do something for you that you are either too busy or too lazy to do yourself, you should not try to mask your question or request under a transparent blanket of "intelligence".

3. When including a website on your post, make sure it is at all relevent to your subject.

IndependenZ April 28 2005 6:53 PM EDT

To help your research a great deal, I'll add a bit to the conversation. I don't know anything about fractals or chaos theory, as I hate physics. I do know a bit about New Media and Cultural Studies. So I'll just stick to the first question, which i think isn't a good question to research.

First of all, it cannot be answered. You will have to determine what 'an intellectual' actually is. Are you looking for someone who can speak over 30 languages? Someone who reads a lot? Or someone who understands fractals and chaos theory? You could be looking for someone who knows all about herbs. How about a psychic? What I'm trying to say is, intelligence comes in a variety of forms. I don't think you can make a distinction, who is an intellectual or not. In my point of view, everyone has their own unique abilities, therefor somehow an intellectual.

However, you can 'rate' people for their achievements in life. You can count how many people with a PhD currently play CB2. Or Runescape, for that matter. You can have every CB2-player do an IQ-test, and compare the results to te ones from Runescape. All these results will be meaningless though. So what if the average IQ amongst the CB2-players is 110, and Runescape's 105? I do play CB2, and not Runescape. Now would that mean I'm more intelligent, according to your results? No.

So you have a big group of very different people playing these games. This group consist of all kinds of people, with their own interests and backgrounds. It's true that CB2, or Runescape, attract a certain 'kind' of person. I talk about these games as being quite similar, because I don't think the lousy Runescape-graphics attract more people than the text of CB2. About the 'kind' of person that plays, well, patience is required. You need to have a 'weakness' for the addictive parts as well. We all want to be part of the community. We all want to be the best in something of CB2 or Runescape. And, you must be willing to spend time on the game. But do you have to be more of an intellectual to play either one of these games? I don't think so. If you don't have one of these 'drives' I mentioned above, you will probably not play any RPG-game at all. Are you impatient and looking for a quick adrenaline rush? Try Counterstrike or Unreal Tournament. But not something like CB2 or Runescape.

Text-based games don't need a bit more brain power. A bit more imagination? Nah. Do you actually see your minions fighting, in your mind? I don't. I couldn't care less about what my second minion looks like. So I don't use my imagination to play this game. As long as you know and understand the rules of the game, you can play it. Graphics aren't necessary. However, the less graphics a game has, the more abstract it becomes. Imagine a text-based Unreal Tournament. Quite hard to play eh? "IndependenZ shoots Hammerhead with a Flak Cannon." 'Hammerhead strafes to the right while firing his Rocket Launcher.' You will have to 'slow down' the pace of the game, to give us (as humans who respond to what we see) the time to read and understand what's happening. The speed makes is exciting. Without graphics, all action games will lose their main point of being fun to play. They will get boring. The visual effects support the construction of the game. It helps you understand quickly. But that doesn't apply to Runescape. You could very well translate that entire game into text. Fighting and mining are slow enough to understand without graphics. The graphics aren't very supportive. The same applies to other RPG's.

So, now I've almost completely flamed your first question. You will not find a specific intellectual player, and the CB2-Runescape comparison isn't good for finding out whether graphics attract less 'smart players'. If you analyze the average intelligence of Unreal Tournament/Need For Speed Underground-players and compare that to the results from CarnageBlender/Runescape-players, that might be more interesting. The question about what an intellectual is would still remain though.

Fishead April 28 2005 11:01 PM EDT

Almuric, I take back all those things I thought about you after finding out about that giant staff sling;)

QBsutekh137 April 28 2005 11:13 PM EDT

Or, Jonathan, it is just as likely that CB cultivates an environment where the idiots know how to hide better. Correlation is easy. Cause and effect? That's an entirely different kettle of fish.

Lensman. Heh, thanks for that, Almuric. Good buddy in college used that as his avatar name. Nice.

[FireBreathing]Chicken April 29 2005 12:08 AM EDT

Intelligence has little to do with spelling or how much you know about these silly theories. There are tons of really stupid people who study and study because they are told to. (escpecially if you live 20 min. from Stanford). A lot of people earn PhDs, not because they're sincerely interested in science, but because they want to get rich.

Intelligence doesn't have much to do with your maturity either. I help out at a center for the physically disabled, and there are people ages 17+ who laugh at the lamest jokes. This isn't because they are stupid, its just a lack of exposure to society. They still learn very quickly, and aren't stupid. In fact, I taught this kid how to play chess last year, and he's entering the county tournament next month.

[FireBreathing]Chicken April 29 2005 12:16 AM EDT

In short, Intelligence is your ability to acquire knowledge, not how much knowledge you currently posess.

QBsutekh137 April 29 2005 12:23 AM EDT

And in Chicken's case, always...ALWAYS use multiple posts where one would suffice.


Just kidding, dude.

[FireBreathing]Chicken April 29 2005 12:50 AM EDT

I just get so excited when I type up something good, and click the confirm button all too quickly. :)

BrandonLP April 29 2005 12:58 AM EDT

FBC, I wouldn't base intelligence on laughing at lame jokes and inexposure to "society." I know some incredibly intelligent people who get kicks out of the stupidest things. Intelligence, fortunately or unfortunately (however you view it), is relative.

Fishead April 29 2005 2:03 AM EDT

I think intelligence should be measured by one's ability to comprehend and apply the knowledge they acquired. There are a lot of people out there with a lot of education, and the ability to memorize, but what they've learned is only useful to win at Trivial Pursuit. These are the people who ask "is this going to be on the test?" They don't learn to learn, they learn to pass the test, get the grade, work the system.

I knew a girl who got into UC Berkeley and said to her mom in Los Angeles "There's a beautiful full moon out tonight, is it full where you are?"

QBJohnnywas April 29 2005 7:31 AM EDT

Can you ask people who spend hour upon hour, day upon day, creating an IMAGINARY character, clothing and equipping it with IMAGINARY armours and weapons, and then spending REAL money on it, if they are intelligent?

QBJohnnywas April 29 2005 7:42 AM EDT

And then you also have to ask yourself is 'intellect' really about intelligence? I always thought intellect was about using the rational side of your mind, avoiding emotional instinctive response. But some of the greatest scientific discoveries have probably had as much to do with instinct; that 'eureka!' moment was never the product of pure intellect.

Also a lot of people confuse intelligence with education. It's an intelligent choice to get a good education but getting a good education doesn't make you intelligent.

Intelligence to me is using both sides of your mind - intellect and instinct to the best of your abilities.

It's also knowing when to leave work early because the sun's shining and the pubs are open. =)

Ah, the weekend in London calls...

Chocolate Thunder April 29 2005 8:00 AM EDT

I have to tell you Chicken. Anyone that gets a Ph.D. to get rich is definately stupid. *grumble*

Caedmon [Revenge of the Forgers] April 29 2005 8:51 AM EDT

Yeah, I'm really laughing about that one. MBA, maybe, but that just takes a pulse and a checkbook.

YNM April 30 2005 12:09 AM EDT

Nope i'm a complete moron with a gpa of 1.25 and i play the game (secretly i don't apply myself).

Hammerhead April 30 2005 6:52 AM EDT

Thank you to most of you for giving such reasoned and intelligent answers. By doing this, even the ones that dissagreed with me you have proved that most cb players are intellegent.

Khardin April 30 2005 7:14 AM EDT

I know plenty of people that could be considered intelligent that I would never want to have near me in any situation relating to physical reality in any sense.
I would not want them to: have a weapon in any possible vicinity to me, operate any sort of machinary whatsoever for any reason, build anything that requiredd any degree of safety, or do anything besides sound really intelligent in papers they write to impress their professor.

And I think randomness is more of a concept invented to handle the observations we've made of the universe. I don't think it essentially exists in the form we imagine because of the seemingly logical flow in the universe that has led to the fact that life exists. But I imagine it more of a path of least possible resistance issue.. that what must happen, does happen because it's the easiest solution which is really the only solution.. it's just our messed up sense of things that creates the confusion.. any sentient being locked in a prison of a reality would probably have an endlessly frustrating drive to explain its surroundings to anticipate change and attempt to ensure its own survival.

All in all the most important question could be do we have the resources on this one simple planet to escape from it, and if so, where would we actually go and what would we do when we got there?

if not, it would seem a more logical goal would be to achieve a stasis on our own planet to attempt to survive as long as possible
or just orgot about it and enjoy life because none of it really matters anyhow

ah, the luxury our lives offer to contemplate such useless questions as whether carnage blenders might have a slight advantage over other people
intellectually and what an ego we must have to worry about such an issue

Khardin April 30 2005 7:17 AM EDT

and orgot is really forget but just spelled really terribly

Xiaz on Hiatus April 30 2005 10:05 AM EDT

Me fail English? That's unpossible!

Manta April 30 2005 11:39 AM EDT

To answer the second question, I suggest to look on Wikipedia, at the entries "Fractal" and "Chaos theory". If you are interested in the math, you could also read the entry "Hausdorff dimension".

You could also go through some of the links listed at the end, or read some of the books suggested.

maulaxe May 2 2005 8:52 PM EDT

randomness about randomness -

1)science is using what we know now to explain what might happen in the future.

2)because there are certian things that we cannot possibly know at any given time (all the information about a particular atom, for ex.), we must deal with AVERAGES.
- about that theoretical pair of equal universes with the two chunks of uranium, on average they will be the same, yes; also, they WILL be exactly the same, ALL circumstances being equal. The problem is that there are an infinite number of levels in the complexity of the universe.
-- first we thought that atoms were indivisible (thats what the name atom means), then we figured out electrons, protons, and neutrons, next it was quarks, (and i think that were starting to go deeper yet, but I can't remember if it was "proven" yet) ... - see a pattern? I sincerely believe that no matter how deep we look, there will never cease to be another layer down below, if we only could see it. That also applies to bigger things.

3) infinite layers of complexity means that we cannot ever "know" something about the universe - those arisians would probably agree. thats what sucks when you start to talk about theoretical stufff, is that you have to assume that you have accounted for ALL of the factors, but then when you start arguing about that theory, you sometimes forget one of the things you had to assume in order to get there in the first place.
- that is what i think applies to discussions about the chaos theory - when you talk about 'the same thing done twice' not giving the same results, most of the time you are NOT talking about the SAME thing, merely about as close as we can get to the same.

WOW that was along rant. ...thats the problem about intellectuals, you can never tell them from ranting and raving lunatics... ; )
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