Man loses life savings on New Hampshire carnival game trying to win Xbox

Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:43 AM | Contributed by Vater

Henry Gribbohm says he attended a Manchester carnival run by New Hampshire-based Fiesta Shows and wanted to win an Xbox Kinect at a game called Tubs of Fun where contestants toss balls into a tub. When he practiced he says it was easy, but something changed when he started playing for the prize and the balls kept popping out.

Read more and see video from WBZ/Boston.

Monday, March 3, 2014 10:04 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RCMAC - Science Channel

Brian - I don't see chance there at all. I see 30,000 kids actively making conscious decisions. Then Salganik creates several aggregate versions of different subsets of those 30,000 decisions and calls it chance.

Hell, even his decision to break the groups into the specific ones he did influenced the outcome. If he had grouped those 30,000 differently, different aggregate results would likely have occured - creating different results for the same 30,000 choices.

If anything, it speaks to the idea that we control the outcome of things. There were nine different outcomes based on the choices kids made. There was nothing lucky about it. The popular songs didn't happen at random, they happened by choice. Even more interesting would have been to find a way to see how much influence and artist could have by letting them promote their music or get feedback and create additional works based on that feedback of what people liked and didn't like. Is is possible for the artist to overcome the hive mind? To beat 'chance'?

Edited to add: Even Chaos Is Predictable

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Tuesday, March 4, 2014 12:00 AM
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Monday, March 3, 2014 3:10 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Didn't watch the clip (at work right now), but what is the effective difference between "actually random" and "complex enough to not be able to be figured out with current technology and power?"

What can you do with the knowledge that "there is a rhyme or pattern here that nobody can figure out" as opposed to "there is no rhyme or pattern?" I feel like what we call 'luck' is shorthand for the first case in the event that you don't believe the second case ever exists.

And apparently (I don't really understand how this was proven) at the quantum level, the second case provably exists.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Monday, March 3, 2014 4:53 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Your touching on exactly what I believe, Andy.

We simply ascribe 'luck' or 'randomness' to outcomes where the equation to create that outcome was too complex to deal with.

"I dunno why it happened. Must have been dumb luck."

(Here is my post in this thread touching on that idea)


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Monday, March 3, 2014 8:15 PM

How I read the article is that the people who were selected to go first had the most influence. After the first couple of people went, the subsequent people were influenced by the first people, and then the popularity of the songs grew from there. He states that the groups of people were selected randomly, and I assume the order of the people to go in each group was done randomly as well. (If this wasn't the case, then it really isn't very good science.) Since the first people to select the songs was random, whatever preferences they had were randomly selected. The popular songs grew in popularity from there.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 8:52 AM

There is no luck because everything that happens is the result of physical, chemical, etc processes some of which are too complex, difficult, etc. to observe and predict with any consistency and thus they appear to us to be the result of chance (both on a global and individual level).

If that is true (and I won't necessarily say it isn't as a matter of theory but as a practical matter, in certain instances the lack of info/understanding/ability to predict etc means little effective difference with chance/luck (though as noted we tend to ascribe chance/luck more often than we should), is there any such thing as choice? Or is what we label as "choice" just the result of neuro chemical/electrical processes that are too complex, difficult, etc. to observe and predict with any consistency and thus they appear to us to be the result of the exercise of free will?

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 1:30 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

The illusion of free will?

We most likely live in a computer simulation:

Now brace yourself: In 30 years we expect that a PlayStation—they come out with a new PlayStation every six to eight years, so this would be a PlayStation 7—will be able to compute about 10,000 human lifetimes simultaneously in real time, or about a human lifetime in an hour.

There’s how many PlayStations worldwide? More than 100 million, certainly. So think of 100 million consoles, each one containing 10,000 humans. That means, by that time, conceptually, you could have more humans living in PlayStations than you have humans living on Earth today.

(source)

Stop and think about it. That power is just 30 years off. What lies just beyond that?

If you have even a remote understanding of probability/odds then which seems more likely:

That you're living in the one and only 'true' physical universe or that you exist in one of the infinite simulations that technology of some kind is running?

And if we do exist inside one of those simulations just chugging away on a desk somehere, then the code that makes us run (those neuro chemical/electrical processes as we perceive them) have long ago decided how we react. Which would certainly qualify as the illusion of free will.


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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 1:48 PM
Jeff's avatar

The code runs in some creature's smart phone, not on their desk. Duh.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 4:01 PM

So Henry Gribbohm may have been trying to win a system in which he was already living? Seeking to win his freedom perhaps, though possible illusional.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 4:20 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Didn't bother to check the source but what does "compute one human lifetime" even mean? How do you put a measure of computing power on that? Do they mean instructions? Because brain instructions are fundamentally different from transistor instructions. It's not like you could take all those playstations together and pass the Turing test or create some meaningful artificial intelligence.

All that said, even if we could create human-like AI's a million times over, what does that have to do with me and my experience of the world? Why is it more likely that I am a simulation than that I am "real?"


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 5:32 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

Didn't bother to check the source but what does "compute one human lifetime" even mean?

Maybe read into more and you'll get your answer. Not sure I understand it enough myself to give what I feel is a good answer.

How do you put a measure of computing power on that? Do they mean instructions? Because brain instructions are fundamentally different from transistor instructions.

Again, I'm not confident in giving an answer. Here's another quote from the article that I feel applies:

"If you make a simple calculation using Moore’s Law, you’ll find that these supercomputers, inside of a decade, will have the ability to compute an entire human lifetime of 80 years—including every thought ever conceived during that lifetime—in the span of a month."

It's not like you could take all those playstations together and pass the Turing test or create some meaningful artificial intelligence.

You seem pretty sure about that. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me that technology could get there. Seems more unreasonable to believe it won't.

Meaningful AI and Turing tests are only important measures on our level of intelligence. It's what matters in our zone of perception and ability. A vastly superior intelligence might see those ideas as a failure to exhibit 'real' itelligence by their levels of perception.

Within the simulation we feel very validated by those measures. To those watching the simulation perhaps we are a failure to achieve what, to them, is real AI.

All that said, even if we could create human-like AI's a million times over, what does that have to do with me and my experience of the world?

Becuase AI would think exactly what you just said. You only know your experience of the world. If you were AI, you'd have exactly that thought. If you were AI and you didn't know you were AI, you'd think exactly like that.

Perception is reality.

AI in an artificial world that meets the extents of it's perception doesn't know it's not real.

Why is it more likely that I am a simulation than that I am "real?"

1. I think it's safe to assume there's only one physical reality.

2. If technology can actively simulate reality to the extent of the perception of the beings (or intelligence) within that reality - then it's 'real' to the beings inside it.

3. There's no reason to believe that many multiple instances of these simulations wouldn't be run. Any number, really.

4. Which is more likely? That you hit the lottery and actually exist in the one, single 'true' physical reality or that you reside in one of the possibly infinite numbers of simulated realities? If you're a numbers guy, the numbers are totally against us. Hell, it only takes two simulations running to put the odds against you.

With all of that said, does it matter? No. Your reality is what it is. Even if we're in a simulation, it's very real to us (see #2)...and perception is reality.


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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 5:59 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

Becuase AI would think exactly what you just said. You only know your experience of the world.

See, I'm not convinced AI would think anything or have any experience. It would just be able to create responses that mimic those of something that did think and did experience.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 6:39 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

So maybe you're simply mimicking the response of a skeptic, right now.

You're assuming what you perceive as thought processes aren't just programmed responses.

Even the simplest most basic of AI can process yes/no, and/or responses. Perhaps you're programmed to deny the very concept that you might be a program when faced with that stimulus.

You know, learning AI exists. (although I think we're well beyond any simulation/technology that you or I could really conceive of here - that's why we don't know all the answers)

Again, this is all we know. But it's not inconceivable that our everything is merely a subset of a greater intelligence. The same way you look down at AI and its abilities.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Tuesday, March 4, 2014 6:47 PM
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 8:59 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Sure. It's a great intelligence is not inconceivable. Hence the whole faith thing. But I don't think something we create will have experiences in the same way we do.

But to suggest that it's a matter of probability (i.e. What's more likely...?) doesn't follow. Especially given the anthropic principle (i.e. There may very well be millions of universes with non-sentient things and bacteria and plants but the reason I "hit the lottery" to be born in the one that supports sentient life is because it's the only one that can support sentient life.)

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, March 4, 2014 9:03 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 9:55 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

Sure. It's a great intelligence is not inconceivable. Hence the whole faith thing. But I don't think something we create will have experiences in the same way we do.

Even if we can't...and never can...and even the greatest intelligence to ever exist can't emulate it's own experience still doesn't mean we aren't a lesser simulation of a greater experience.

The point is you're thinking of us as the top of the chain and going down from there. What if we're not the top of the chain and our experience is an inferior simulation of a greater intelligence's being?

Assuming our level of existence can be simulated (and there's no reason to believe it couldn't be by a greater intelligence - even our own future intelligence and capability) - the odds of us being a simulation are vastly greater than the odds of us existing in the true physical world. Just vy virute that running such a smulation would eventually be cheap enough that it could be done on a large scale by anyone interested.

The moment there is the possibility of two separate simulations running effectively enough to replicate all that you or I perceive, the odds are greater that you're in a simulation than the real phsyical world.

But to suggest that it's a matter of probability (i.e. What's more likely...?) doesn't follow. Especially given the anthropic principle (i.e. There may very well be millions of universes with non-sentient things and bacteria and plants but the reason I "hit the lottery" to be born in the one that supports sentient life is because it's the only one that can support sentient life.)

But I don't think it is the same.

There is no other known option for sentinent life forms. It's a certainty that as a sentinent life form you exist in the only universe that can sustain you. Certainty is pretty much opposite of lottery.

The simulation theory says there are anywhere up to an infinite number of simulations able to sustain what you perceive as being. There is only one known phsyical reality. Your odds of being in that physical reality rather than one of the simulated ones are ∞-to-1.


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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 10:09 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Lots and lots of assumptions there.

First we have to accept that simulations could reproduce what we perceive as being, which is far from given. We must also accept that there are approximately an infinite number of such simulations...why? Then we have to accept that there is only one physical reality - also far from given. Then we have to conclude that a "being" i.e. me would be randomly but evenly distributed among the possible sentient being across all those simulation/realities.

I'm not saying it's not possible - Plato (allegory of the cave) and Descartes (evil demon) both have explored the possibilities quite well. I just don't think "prohibitively likely" is a foregone conclusion.

(The argument you're proposing is somewhat similar to the Doomsday argument which has a handful of rebuttals as well, some of which involve a lot of math which I barely understand.

One rebuttal is as follows: Who's to say how many actual "real" intelligent beings there are in the universe/multiverse? Perhaps the number of "real" beings is "just as close to infinity" as the number of simulated beings).

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, March 4, 2014 10:28 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:05 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

First we have to accept that simulations could reproduce what we perceive as being, which is far from given.

The only reason not to believe that is if you believe we are the pinnacle of knowledge, perception and being in all that could possibly or potentially exist. (or close enough to it that we will never be far enough past it to replicate it on an acceptable level)

Even I'm not that arrogant.

We must also accept that there are approximately an infinite number of such simulations...why?

We must accept that there could be up to an infinite number of simulations. The second just two exist, the odds are against you existing in a phsyical reality.

Then we have to accept that there is only one physical reality - also far from given.

Fair enough. Although I find a little humor in that some of the other ideas are too far fetched for you, but multiple physical realities isn't.

Then we have to conclude that a "being" i.e. me would be randomly but evenly distributed among the possible sentient being across all those simulation/realities.

Maybe. Not sure I'm following completely on this one.

I would guess the distribution is most likely biased towards simulation because I imagine the cost of creating a new 'sim' in a virtual world is much less than nature spitting out another physical human.

Inputing a few variables or lines of code vs the act of physical reproduction.

I'm not saying it's not possible - Plato (allegory of the cave) and Descartes (evil demon) both have explored the possibilities quite well. I just don't think "prohibitively likely" is a foregone conclusion.

Ok.

(The argument you're proposing is somewhat similar to the Doomsday argument which has a handful of rebuttals as well, some of which involve a lot of math which I barely understand.

Yeah, that's way over my head. But skimming through it makes me wish I understood it better.

One rebuttal is as follows: Who's to say how many actual "real" intelligent beings there are in the universe/multiverse? Perhaps the number of "real" beings is "just as close to infinity" as the number of simulated beings).

Maybe. But looking it it that way, even then you still only have a 50/50 shot at really existing in a physical reality.


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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:10 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:14 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

ApolloAndy said:

One rebuttal is as follows: Who's to say how many actual "real" intelligent beings there are in the universe/multiverse? Perhaps the number of "real" beings is "just as close to infinity" as the number of simulated beings).

Maybe. But looking it it that way, even then you still only have a 50/50 shot at really existing in a physical reality.

Well, not all infinities are equal. What if it takes 10 billion sentient beings before a single simulated being could be produced (like our history) and the average number of simulated beings created over the lifespan of a sentient species (because of cost, interest, ethics) is 500. Then even if there are an infinite number of such species, your odds of being a simulation are less than 500 : 10B. Or hell, what if the species decides it wants to produce an "infinite" number of simulated beings but it still takes 10 guys just to run the simulation. Then at best you're 10%.

Edit:

The super short version of the Doomsday Argument is as follows: If you assume on average a given human has about half the number of total humans born before them and half the number of total humans born after them, then given the insane increase in the birthrate over the past few millennia, we're really close to the end of human history. Pretty much, it took a million or so years to produce the first 50% of humanity up to today and it will take about 9,000 more years to produce the other 50%, so in all likelihood we're getting really close to the end of our species.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:20 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:25 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

And this is why I love Coasterbuzz so much. Sometimes we have fascinating discussions about coasters. And sometimes we have fascinating discussions that are in no way about coasters, and it's all good.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:40 PM
Vater's avatar

I wonder if Henry Gribbohm has any idea the philosophical debate his complete idiocy nearly a year ago has spawned.

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