On Wed, Dec 05, 2001 at 11:34:35PM -0800, Tom Holub wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 05, 2001 at 09:36:43PM -0500, Mark Mielke wrote:
> > So... some of us are believers, and some are non-believers. 
> Some of us have seen at least three different actual netrek-playing robots
> in games against humans.

Which means absolutely nothing.

One could declare that because the Wright brothers could only have a
plane travel across a field a few times, that jets or space craft are
an impossibility, so they might as well have given up.

Not to associate it with the wonderful ability of being able to fly,
which was a gigantic step forward for humanity, and far removed from a
mere game such as Netrek, but rather, it is the concept regarding the
ability for mankind to thwart the creative abilities of minority
groups in an effort to maintain their illusion of reality and

What other purpose does it serve? Are you hurt by me spending time
doing something that you don't expect I would succeed at? I should
hope not. One of the most impressive gains of almost all open source
movements is the injection of *new* talent, and *new* ideas. Linus
Torvalds wrote a Unix kernel. It worked, but it wasn't really that
good. Since then, it has incorporated rather extensive improvements,
drivers, and quite a bit else that were likely beyond the ability of
Linus Torvalds, perhaps in skill, and definately in terms of time.

Development should be encouraged, not discouraged. What do you lose,
if the effort is a success?

You expect it to fail, you say? One of the other truths about open
source, is that only the fanatically ignorant pursue open source for
the sake of open source. Open source is not a gospel that grants the
wielder a pass into Heaven. People who develop for open source usually
do it for one of three primary reasons: 1) Fame, 2) Self improvement,
3) Thrill.

While a few of the TODO items will definately be tackled, most people
will tend to put their most open source efforts into fields that they
believe will increase their fame, increase their self, or because they
enjoy doing it.

I enjoy the prospects of creating a set of units that will not only
co-operate, but act as one, under the premise that I believe it could
function sufficiently better than a human team of many, under a very
strict, although complicated set of rules, to win most of the time.

This is my premise. Your only arguments against are "it's never been
done", "human players are more dynamic", and other such statements
that actually mean nothing. In an infinite problem space, I suspect
humans would definately have a clear advantage of any computer
existing at this point in time. Fortunately for me, the Netrek problem
space is *not* infinite.

Perhaps I won't have the time to make it beat the best INL team.

I suspect I could make it beat you.

Why? Because if you were truly creative, you would not trample all
over anybody else who attempted to be creative, or suggest that a bot
could never match the skills of the wonderfully 'clued'.

This seems religious in nature. I wonder what would happen if the
best INL team *was* beaten by a set of bots? Would the loss in
pride by sufficient to cause them to give up Netrek? Or would their
ambition cause them to improve to a point where they could beat
the bot?

I would expect them to pursue the second, assuming they truly
appreciated the art of Netrek.


mark at mielke.cc/markm at ncf.ca/markm at nortelnetworks.com __________________________
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