Sunday, March 6, 2011
Statistics or Karma?
One of the deeper questions of our times...as we reach further with math and science, discovering more and more answers, yet generating more and more questions as we go...our empirical and spiritual horizons simultaneously expand...leading us to wonder, which is more powerful, the hard, empirical bonds of probability and statistics, or the more comforting embrace of karma? Even at the microcosm of our hobby we frequently discuss and wrestle with this notion, weighing "mathhammer" and "fluffy" play.
Today I'll take it even deeper. Dun dun dun!!!!
Two awesome contests. One a simple drawing. The other a raffle. If you stop by here, you probably already follow the blogs in question, or have seen them in my blogroll on the right. But to be clear, they are:
The Pay it Forward Giveaway from Miniature Wargame Conversions. I won't attempt to list the prizes here, but there's a lot. Books, battleforce, fantasy army, mega dread and more. Simple drawing, no cost to enter.
The Sin of Alacrity Raffle from A Gentleman's Ones. There is a cost to enter, but it's a chance to pick up a table's worth of awesome terrain for a song. Proceeds go to helping b.smoove cover the costs of his new boards for the Killzone events he's going to run at Adepticon and other con-related expenses. Assuming he pulls in enough to cover shipping for the beast, but I'm confident that he will.
SO: What might the outcome of this extra bit of publicity be? Pointing more people to the contests lowers my own odds based on an empirical view, but does this outweigh the good karma of pointing them there in the first place? If karma does win out, will it express itself directly, or in a more roundabout way?
Say, one of the gamers I point there wins in my place, and with their prize starts a new army. They sell off one of their older ones for the extra money to work on the project, and their old army winds up in the hands of someone in my area looking to get into 40K, who can now make a quick jump into the game instead of getting discouraged and giving up. We meet and I end up with a friend and a regular opponent. Surely at least as valuable as some physical reward. Or maybe even more complex, indirect results, like the winner staying home waiting for his package instead of driving to the store to buy a battleforce directly, setting in motion a new world-wide traffic pattern that spares one of my loved ones an accident? Dude.
But even if that sort of thing DOES happen, is it the effect of karma, or just the cumulative effect of odds and processes that are already in motion? Or does karma itself have some actual scientific basis that we haven't discovered...yet? And if we do crack the secret empirically, will the stack of mathematical formulae be able to finish transforming human society where religious and philosophical formulae have only been able to take us partway? Will we be able to prove the Golden Rule and enter a Golden Age?
Maybe. Or maybe someone will just win some cool gaming stuff. Go check 'em out!
Edit: Well isn't that lovely. Interesting finding this after such a discussion on karma:
Dakka thread on alleged scam