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A bad day - Many a mickle maks a muckle

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April 14th, 2003

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04:57 pm - A bad day
A tax demand for about £800 came this morning, which was annoying because I had previously received a letter which seemed to imply that my next tax demand would be for about £0 and I took it literally. This is already in the hands of my accountant.

Then I did something monumentally foolishly nosey. Can't ever go into details without making it worse, so please don't ask, but it was about the worst, most personally specific possible thing I could have done under the circumstances. Kindly assume it's someone who you care about very much (or who one of your friends cares about very much, or at worst someone two or three steps away, for the community is so well-entangled...) who I may have offended and alter your opinion of me a step away from "trustworthy" and a step closer to "untrustworthy".

Went for a walk into town to clear my head. My favourite sandwich shop had sold out of salad by the time I got there, but this is much less a bad thing than the others.

In news which isn't pertinent to a bad day: happy slightly belated birthday to jumbach, starcrossedgirl and tranquillo, whose birthdays were yesterday, and also to ericklendl whose birthday was a little further ago but he was so ill at the time he decided to postpone it to yesterday anyway.

Results of the game theory experiment: counting the people from the first poll, 8 people went for Foo, 19 went for Bar and 15 went for Quux. Accordingly, going for Foo is worth -11, going for Bar is worth 1 and going for Quux is worth 0. As ever, it's not a competition to try to score more than everyone else, it's a competition to try to score as many as possible.

A very similar experiment was run on a mailing list that bateleur and others are on. There, the analogue option to Foo turned out to be worth -4, the analogue option to Bar turned out to be worth 0 and, of course, the analogue option to Quux turned out to be worth 0 as well. The three options were called "Be nice", "Be nasty" and "Be cautious"; we wondered whether people would be more likely to choose each option when it had a less emotively loaded name. The distribution here (8/42 ~= 19%, 19/42 ~= 45%, 15/42 ~= 36%) doesn't vary particularly much from the distribution there (2/14 ~= 14%, 6/14 ~= 43%, 6/14 ~= 43%) so I don't think we can conclude it makes a difference from this data set.

There is no overtly right or wrong way to play this game, but bateleur has said that the equilibrium strategy is to pick the first option about 25% of the time, the second option about 25% of the time and the third option about 50% of the time.

Many thanks for playing. Debate is now welcome.
Current Mood: ashamed of myself

(12 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:April 14th, 2003 09:58 am (UTC)

Thanks for the birthday wishes. I was also glad to know that I scored the most points possible (i.e., 1) in the game. Woo hoo!
[User Picture]
Date:April 14th, 2003 10:58 am (UTC)
Then I did something monumentally foolishly nosey.

Oh dear. *hugs* I know you don't want to talk about it, so I'm just posing this for you to think about and you don't have to answer here or discuss it with me, but if you want to, you know I'm here for you (usually on YM these days). Are you sure it actually WAS nosy and bad? I mean, people have different comfort levels when it comes to what they consider as too invasive of their privacy or not, so perhaps you only felt you were being nosy, and they didn't. I don't know if that helps, but... *hugs again*
[User Picture]
Date:April 14th, 2003 11:40 am (UTC)
A question worth asking. I did kind of get lucky on that issue and the victim wasn't offended.

However, I don't feel much less lousy about it as a consequence. Still a pretty rotten thing to do, even if less bad than it might have been under the circumstances. Rest of day has sucked royally too - even entertaining TV and radio have not been particularly successful at cheering me up.

Better day tomorrow.
[User Picture]
Date:April 14th, 2003 11:58 am (UTC)
Ah - so you are having a harder time forgiving yourself than the person in question is. It is true that we are always harder on ourselves than others are. The best thing I can suggest is that you learn what you can from this - what your motivations were, what you thought you could gain/learn by doing it, why you felt you couldn't just ask the person, what you can do differently in the future.

And don't beat yourself up too much, okay? We all screw up. *hugs*
[User Picture]
Date:April 14th, 2003 01:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Couldn't imagine I shared a birthday with that many people only in the fandom! ^^
Date:April 14th, 2003 04:15 pm (UTC)
Ta muchly for the unbirthday greetings... as it turns out, I didn't have it yesterday either for various reasons. Tsk. Best bet seems to be to assume that I'll designate a day for my birthday later in the year and tell you about it after the event. That seems safer somehow.

You do frustrate me, you know. I often get the impression that you're fretting about things that you probably have no real cause to be fretting about, but then maybe you do, who knows, but I can't reassure you properly because I don't know what it is and I don't like asking in the circumstances. Some sort of generic puzzle team type encouragement is about all I can produce off the cuff... umm, can I lend you a pencil sharpener? :-/

I wonder if I chose Quux because it was the most exotic-sounding word. I fear so. I do that.
[User Picture]
Date:April 14th, 2003 05:11 pm (UTC)
I have been forbidden to beat myself up over the issue, so that put some sort of stop to it. On top of that:
  • there was the Treasure Hunt/Just A Minute/University Challenge: the Professionals triple header on BBCs 2, 7 and 2,
  • there's a recording of ISIHAC in Darlington just 15 miles away next month,
  • the chess results in the most recent This Week In Chess were very satisfactory (I particularly enjoyed reading about Howell D. over Broomfield M. in the A IM Group of the latest "First Monday" tournament in Hungary, and you are among the few who can probably unmuddle the context to understand why!),
  • I've just re-read Lori's Paradigm Of Uncertainty which was as wonderful as ever,
  • I'm listening to Wadde Hadde Dudde Da? right now and
  • I'm going to go to bed earlier tonight than I did for the past two nights. Honest.
Life is better. Not sure it's good, but it's better than it was at the time.

I too thought people would go for q-u-u-x simply because it's an inherently considerably cooler combination of letters than f-o-o or b-a-r (and there was commentary on this at the time!) but then I realised that most people have a natural affinity to the word bar even if they aren't fans of British American Racing.

Incidentally, I'd be amused if FOO and QUUX were not FOO* and QUUX*, but you never know.
Date:April 15th, 2003 06:47 am (UTC)
I've just re-read Lori's Paradigm Of Uncertainty which was as wonderful as ever,
I'm listening to Wadde Hadde Dudde Da? right now...

Somehow these two things seem a better fit than they should be, probably because I haven't touched PoU for rather a long time. There is a certain "paradigm of uncertainty" in the Raab thing though, don't you think?

The fine town of Darlington, as you may know, was founded in 1994 as a gift from Cherie Blair to the newly elected Labour party leader, its name deriving from a contraction of the phrase "darling Tony". Its short history has been exceptionally uneventful.

Howell D. must be getting on a bit now, mustn't he? I remember him when he was this high (actual size) (ish):

/ \

FOO* and QUUX* are thoroughly FOO* and QUUX*; QUUX* doesn't even have a playable anagram.
[User Picture]
Date:April 15th, 2003 06:19 am (UTC)
I often get the impression that you're fretting about things that you probably have no real cause to be fretting about, but then maybe you do, who knows, but I can't reassure you properly because I don't know what it is and I don't like asking in the circumstances.

Compare the problem of choosing between Foo, Bar and Quux without knowledge of other people's choices. "It's a metaphor, if you know what I mean."
Date:April 15th, 2003 09:29 pm (UTC)
Kindly assume ... and alter your opinion of me a step away from "trustworthy" and a step closer to "untrustworthy".

I still don't know you terribly well, but I just wanted to say that after reading a post such as that one, the very last thing I would do would be to lower my estimation of your trustworthiness.

Alright, you blundered. Oops. You are penitent. That is enough to warrant forgiveness.

But, you have gone above and beyond "enough." You confessed to a society of people whose good opinions (I think it safe to say) you hold in high regard. And then took yourself to task, branding a scarlet letter upon your chest.

If my opinion has in any way changed, it must be that I hold you in higher esteem than I did before.

[User Picture]
Date:April 17th, 2003 03:40 pm (UTC)
Well, that's up to you, and it's certainly flattering and gratifying. However, all things considered, I'd rather I hadn't done the deed in question and I hope I think better of doing anything like it again in the future.

No more self-flagellation. Case closed.
[User Picture]
Date:April 20th, 2003 09:54 am (UTC)

Bad day

Screw-up turns out to have been worse than at first thought.

I have pledged to stop beating myself up about it, but what's done can't be undone.

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