Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] [Zendo] Another Spock Rule question

  • FromNick Lamicela <nupanick@xxxxxxxxx>
  • DateFri, 5 Aug 2011 14:58:38 -0400
I'd like to drop the hypothetical scrabble example and replace it with one that actually happened to me.

Once I had a novice master come up with what he thought was a really cool rule: akhtbn iff it is a stack of pyramids such that the colors of the top two combine additively to create the bottom color. In other words, valid koans were things like red-blue-purple, blue-yellow-green, blue-green-cyan, etc. I'm colorblind. I eventually gave up, because from my perspective I could tell that colors mattered, but what specific combinations of colors were accepted appeared completely arbitrary.

Would I mark every koan the same way if I had phrased the rule like that? Probably not. Was it a valid and consistent rule? Absolutely. Heck, if I hadn't been colorblind, it probably would have been downright easy. I just personally wouldn't use a rule like that because it doesn't feel "elegant" to me, in the sense that it relies on either a long list of conditions or an external property (depending on how you phrase it).

On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 1:36 PM, Buddha Buck <blaisepascal@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 1:25 PM, David "Barahon" Willson
<DLWillson@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Our only house rule bans the use of "or" in the rule. This implies a ban on
> iterative sets, like the stupid Scrabble rule.
> To re-state it in the positive: The rule must be one simple rule, not a
> collection of more than one rules.

So you would mark the "duodecimal prime" koan white, and the "explicit
enumeration of duodecimal prime koans" koan black?

> When we play next, I'll suggest two new house rules:
> The rule must be built in concepts that are familiar to all players. No
> "prime number rules or modulus rules when playing with grammar-schoolers,
> for instance.

Covered in "Don't be a dick", I would think.
> Don't be a dick. I like that rule.

I don't claim credit for it; I heard it from both Phil Plait (the Bad
Astronomer) and Wil Wheaton (one of the stars of Stand By Me, with
occasional appearances in a late-80's SF show).
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