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Logic Against Humanity


The above is the loot I received from solving the penultimate puzzle from Cards Against Humanity's recent holiday promotion.

If you don't know what Cards Against Humanity is, it is an adult-oriented version of Apples to Apples that is very popular with young people. The first time I played it with my friends, I was sore for a week from how much belly laughing it induced.

The presents were mostly additional holiday themed cards for their game.

More interestingly (to me) the first day contained a simple caesar cipher that translated into "DO NOT THROW AWAY ANYTHING WE SEND YOU", the first step of the puzzle.

I originally had all the steps myself and others in the community took to solve the puzzle. But honestly, it became so esoteric and detailed that I deleted it. If you want to know the specifics ask me sometime.

Here's the executive summary:

During this whole process I was particpating in an ad hoc community of people who had opt'd into the puzzle and were trying to solve it.

I'm still rough around the edges when working with teams, but I've gotten better. One thing I noticed about this type of team though, was the effect of negative evidence on other's enthusiasm and participation.

At work, where the participants labor is static and participation is enforced by necessity of health care and rent money, it is important to avoid wasted effort by stopping inefficient ideas and projects before they start.

Whereas in a less formal community, proving that someone is wasting their time, is not necessarily helpful.

For instance, I remember one participant had a lot of good ideas and had found some promising things by anagraming the first clue above "DO NOT THROW AWAY ANYTHING WE SEND YOU". The problem with his method was he was looking for keywords and letting computers generate english sentences around that.

Which can seem like a perfectly good idea, unless you look at the math behind it and realize that there are close to hundreds of thousands of english phrases that can be anagramed from that large a domain of letters.

Anyway, I said as much, showed my work in a respectful and even apologetic tone. He agreed with me, and I never saw him participate again... Before that, he had several theories fizzle out on their own.

It made me begin to realize that unlike at work, these people were all particpating out of enthusiasm, and that explicity slaying the current object of their enthusiasm did not seem to redirect their enthusiasm, but rather slay it entirely.

Enthusiastic Monkey Typewriter Power rather than Combined Logical Concensus.

Although, I'm not sure if Enthusiasm was the proper term for my motivation. More accurately, unsolved puzzles just bug me. Is it still unsolved because of how hard it is or of how inadequate at solving puzzles I am? Only one way to find out...

It is not a healthy thing, but has helped me at work. I like solving problems for people, but if it was ever a choice between helping people and solving an interesting puzzle... Let's say I'd jump head first down that slippery slope towards supervillan any day.


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Meta Information:

Title: Logic Against Humanity
Date posted: 15 Mar '14 - 14:28
Filed under: General
Word Count: 66 words
Good Karma: 75 (vote)
Bad Karma: 39 (vote)
Next entry:  The Worst, except for all the others
Previous entry:  Hatchet Job

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