Greedy Goblin

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Weekend minipost: the unluckiest guy in BDO

This is why you should shop instead of enchanting yourself:

Friday, February 24, 2017

The big health care question

The town halls of US congressmen are full of angry voters who don't want Obamacare repealed because it will make them uninsured. When it was introduced, it was full of angry voters who didn't want it implemented because it makes them impoverished. There isn't a replacement in sight and for a good reason.

If the health care providers are free to implement new, expensive methods, health care prices skyrocket. That's why I believe health care providing (the doctors and not the insurers) must be government employees. But this is besides the point, the debate of Obamacare is about how to finance the current for-profit providers.

This question can be simplified as: "will you take crippling amount of money from Adam, pushing him into poverty to pay for Bob's health care, or will you let Bob die in a curable illness". The answer is "moral", there is no objectively correct answer. Obama went with option A, designing a health care system where everyone is insured, regardless of the expected costs of his health care. The result is of course very high fees for everyone and insurance companies still going bankrupt.

Obama could make it implemented by flat out lying: "you can keep your doctor", "premiums will not go up". The skyrocketing premiums clearly contributed to the defeat of the Democrats. The problem of the Republicans is that they can't just lie their way back, since its obvious for every Obamacare recipient that they will lose their plan. This is what is told into their face in town halls: "I have pre-existing condition X and without Obamacare I couldn't get insurance and would just die, do you want that congressman?!"

I think they should just flat out tell the truth: "we believe in individual freedom, therefore we will not force several other people to be impoverished just to save your life. If your savings and charities can't pay for your health care, I can only pray for you." I would say it without hesitation (actually, I'd go for government providers, but even there there would be too expensive illnesses), but elected politicians obviously don't want to tell someone "sorry, I let you die" on TV. The problem is that the only alternative of that is some version of Obamacare. If someone needs $1M worth of health care to live, you can't save him without taking $1M from someone, that's clear.

I'll be very curious if Republicans will go anti-social on Obamacare or chicken out. The trick is that Obamacare is unpopular, since more people are forced to pay than saved (You need to take $20K from 50 people to pay for a $1M bill). So if they flat out stand up for their capitalistic beliefs, they get more votes. So the self-interest is there. Still, I wonder how many of them will look into the eye of a young girl in a wheelchair and say "sorry, I won't force 50 people into poverty to save your life".

"May you live in interesting times!"

Thursday, February 23, 2017

BDO Wealth: Processing for profit and speed

Processing is one of the main tradeskills in Black Desert Online and one with the highest AFK-earning capacity, providing absurd silver/activity results. I mean you set it up, leave the computer for the night and return to have several millions more.

Before all, a warning: processing is very pearl-intensive activity. If you don't want to spend on the item shop, just forget it. The reason for that is the weight of the materials. If you exceed 100% weight, processing stops. First you need the maid/buttler costume (pearl/costume/Venecil set). It allows you to process from the warehouse, so you don't have to store raw materials on your back. The female costume makes your avatar look like a porn actress, but you can fix it (somewhat) by painting black parts to a light color, white parts to a dark shade of the same color and the ribbon to your hair color:

Secondly you need every weight extension that money or loyalty points can buy. You also need Hercules gear with extra weight gems:

You can process most raw materials (things your workers get). Typically you can chop timber into planks, planks to plywood. You can smelt ore to shards and shards to ingots. You can smelt raw crystals to crystals. You can grind flax, cotton and fleece into thread. The purpose is simple: to increase the value and the value density of the materials:

If your processing skill is high enough, you'll get about 2.5 secondary materials (plank, shard) per processing, using 5 primary materials. You'll also get about 2.5 tertiary materials (plywood, ingot) per processing, using 10 secondaries. One processing step takes about 12 seconds, due to some tries fail. So, using the picture, if you have 1000 iron ore (390K), you can process it into 500 iron shards (650K) in 2400 seconds, so you make 390K per hour by processing. You can also put your 500 shards into one market batch instead of two as the ore. If you process the 500 shards into ingot, you get 125 (1300K) ingots in 600 seconds, so the second step has 3.9M/hour profit !!!, yes that's comparable to grinding mobs and you can do it while totally AFK. Ingots stack by 200 on the market, so you further compressed your material (0.62 stacks).

Of course you must always mind the market, don't process into something that is overfilled and never sell. It's better to sell Ash timber for 300/unit than process 8 units into a 8500 worth of plywood, just so you can watch it lingering on the market forever. Also, you are often better of buying secondaries (shards) to process them to tertiaries (ingots) while selling your primaries (ore), because processing the ores to shards would waste your time from ingot-making. Remember, losing 400K/hour on the ore-shard transaction is acceptable if you spend the time on 4M/hour ingot making. Of course if there are no shard for sale, you must make them yourself.

I made a chart for the various materials, but it's a snapshot. Prices can change a bit (within the set minimum and maximum) but more importantly market overfilling (red boxes) can happen any time. A few people doing mass-processing can overfill markets, this case you must quit that processing and move to creating less profitable, but sellable products:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

BDO wealth: Secret shop

Since cooking, processing and alchemy needs no energy, the energy bar just fills up. You can use it to replace workers but sooner or later all your workers will be yellow at least. You can use the energy to replace them for orange, you get one for about 1000 energy, but that also involves 200 clicking. Hating to see it go wasted, I looked for a way to use it and found the night vendors. These are special shop NPCs that appear only at night at certain locations.

For 50 energy they offer you an item. It's usually a single black stone for a discount. But sometimes you get something nice:
While you make about 50K profit for a single stone, a pack of stones is 250K profit. You sometimes get a pack of shards and sell them for 1M profit. A special weapon that you can sell for 2M profit. Or, you get something ridiculously overpriced. Always mouseover the item to see its market price, buying this would have been a 20M mistake:
The night vendor won't make you rich. But it adds a few million a day for a few clicks. Better than just letting all that energy go waste.

There is another way of spending energy: gathering river water. You just have to stand into the river with a bunch of empty bottles and click on them. Gathering starts and repeats until you run out of energy. Every 20 seconds you get a 2.3K worth of bottle of river water (410K/hour). Later you can thin it with processing into about 2.3 purified water that costs 1.5K each (another 410K/hour). However processing ore into sellable ingots provide 1M/hour, so doing this isn't a too good idea. Always mind the opportunity cost and bring your energy to the secret shop.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Representatives: why politics gets polarized

Have you noticed that in normal everyday life conflicts are settled, but in politics they are not? I mean, most lawsuits end in settlement, most divorces end in an agreement, most employment termination doesn't end up on court, most broken up couples don't harass each other and so on. On the other hand political disagreements tend to live on for decades. How come that emotion filled couples can find a compromise over what's best for their child in a divorce but professional politicians can't find a compromise on abortion?

The answer is simple: personal self-interest. In the normal life, people are personally interested in an acceptable outcome. While they wish to win, their will to not lose is stronger. They are also deterred by the cost of the competition. For example, if one chooses to go for full custody of the kid, he will surely pay high legal fees and risks ending up with no kid at all as the court finds him a liar who uses the kid for his power plays with nor regard of the kid's interest. If he agrees to a reasonable custody, the fees will be low and he will have fair access to the kid.

On the other hand representatives (politicians, activists, journalists...) are not personally involved in the issue. None of the pro-life or pro-choice activists are fetuses or have friends who are fetuses. Nor they are uneducated poor women who don't know about or can't pay for contraceptives. So even if the other side would score a total victory, they wouldn't suffer personally. Actually, they would probably be better off, as a total defeat would surely fire up their side which can lead to mass donations. Being the defeated sucks, but fighting for the defeated is "noble".

Because of this, we cannot expect politics to be more compromise seeking and decent, we can expect the direct opposite, more partisan, more extreme. To change that, one must decrease the level of representation, delegating decisions to as low level as possible. Cities, counties, states should have as much self-governance as possible to allow the people affected make the decisions, as such people are motivated to seek compromise.

Monday, February 20, 2017

My blog was much more alive back then

As I'm indexing old posts, I realized that I had 30+ comments despite half as much traffic. Both me and my commenters engaged "trolls" who - often in a primitive manner - defended social thinking.

Today I don't engage them, I just moderate them out. I'm annoyed by them as they repeat the same old crap that was disproved almost a decade ago. No, just because he writes, a friendly social guild will not complete any meaningful content. No, "getting skillz" will definitely not let you rise out of the masses who all believe in "skillz".

Maybe I am wrong with this approach. Maybe I should engage with these people if my goal is to change their thinking. I have to accept that - despite I spent 4 years in EVE - I couldn't weed out the 0.01-ing. It's not a philosophical thing, it's not something pressed by Goons or protected by corrupted devs. It's a simple idiocy coming from lacking any clue about economics. And I failed to exterminate it. I'm pretty sure that if I'd go back to EVE, I'd find the market full of 0.01-ing idiots.

Does moderating every single idiot who says "market is about 24/7 sitting and updating orders" helps? Well, it helps with me feeling better. It probably helps the choir I preach to feel better. After all, seeing these idiots hurts. But does it help the World? Wouldn't it be better if I'd take the time to not only throw a link to them (which they won't read), but answer their retarded arguments the zillionth time?

I start to see that by moderating out idiots, I'm just creating a sterile ghetto for educated/rational people which acts like a closed facebook group. We are happy about being not idiots and make absolutely no difference.

On the other hand I see how much different I was back then. These things were new and I enjoyed debating them. Now they are trivialities. I've argued for them over almost a decade, I've seen all possible counter-arguments and defeated them. It's very unlikely that any 0.01-er could tell me anything that I haven't seen at least 100x.

I admit that I'm frustrated by this lack of progress. I mean my position about 0.01-ing is something obviously true and would greatly increase the income of anyone who listens. If people can't be convinced about that, how could they be convinced about social stuff? On the other hand my high hit count on business tip posts show that many people are interested in them and want to learn. So maybe I'm doing it right and moderating out the idiots was the right call. After all, most readers never commented, just read.

I don't know. The thing is that I enjoyed blogging and playing more back then. Maybe the two were connected and if I find a good game, it will be enjoyable again! Like many of us, I'm hit hard by the gradual "accessible gaming" + pay-to-win changes of games. The question is: can I increase blog quality and enjoyment without the games I write about getting better?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weekend minipost: ultimate power

I'm indexing old posts and found this gem from 2009. It's just as true as it was back then. And it's still funny.