Maybe 2024 will be better

I suspect the captain was fleeing towards Russia.

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“I like to use a phrase that says the Port of Baltimore is the Taylor Swift of U.S. auto parts,” said Tinglong Dai, a professor of operations management and business analytics at Johns Hopkins University. “When she’s not performing, the world, it feels a greater loss.”

Source: Baltimore’s Key Bridge rebuild could take a decade, analysts say | WYPR

Are US car exports that big? I don’t see that many US cars on the streets here, except for Teslas.

I tried to look it up and from what I can find, US car exports are much less than imports. For example in 2018, US car exports to the EU amounted to 5.5 billion euros, while EU car exports to the US amounted to 37.3 billion euros.


Or does Tinglong Dai mean that US car imports will also fall due to the collapse of that bridge?

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I think he may have been talking about auto parts, specifically. However, I really only shared that particular quote since it compared the port of Baltimore to Taylor Swift.


That analogy was just a hyperbole to get himself on the news and it worked. After all, more people in the USA are likely to know Taylor Swift than the ones that are likely to know that Baltimore even had a port to begin with, so in order to “go viral” the professor went for such a quote.

Here is an article about the port’s importance without any mentions of famous people, as far as I can tell:

Happy Easter!


I’ve heard that things were bad for restaurants and workers (I do not order delivery, because I like to walk there and get things myself), but I hadn’t realised that those companies pushed everyone so badly and still haven’t managed to even turn a profit. Now that, I didn’t expect and I think I’ll add the “no food delivery apps” into the pros of living in a small village.

I never found out what was wrong with the old “restaurant catalogues in the drawer” method and the customers ditched it so fast for convenient apps, but it is a bit disappointing to see that we cannot even provide that seemingly simple service properly, without small businesses and workers getting the short end of the stick . :thinking:

Christ Oliver is still around?

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Not only that, but now they upload full episodes on YouTube … I guess some things did get better in 2024. :stuck_out_tongue:

The worst thing about Oliver still being around is the fact that it seems that mostly everything is a scam right now, so he doesn’t seem to run out of content :confused:

I am waiting for him to get wind of that:

Though this will not be funny at all…


I suspect the reason they are uploading full length episodes on YT is because his show is ultimately insignificant at this point on HBO max.

That or people are finally realising comedians don’t tend to have very fleshed out political opinions or in the case of Oliver they end up being very one sided and/or nit picky

Why go into the trouble of “suspecting” something when google is your friend? :slight_smile:

A) Quite the contrary, the show is doing well. Didn’t they recently win a couple of Emmy awards on top of all the other awards and nominations they already had (63 awards and 140 nominations, says the link, for those who are too bored to click on them)? So many awards don’t go to “insignifican shows”. Anyway, even if awards mean nothing, that the show is doing well seems to be a googlable fact.
B) The initial announcement was that the episodes are uploaded fully only for countries where there is no exclusive contract for the show. So, it is added viewers/revenue and advertisement for them, considering that most episodes were uploaded fully on YT anyway by illicit/disposable channels and they had to chase them to take them down in a few hours.

Fleshed out political views? From a comedy show? :sweat_smile:
It says a lot about the current society where people hold comedians to higher standards of quality, integrity and research than actual news organisations and elected politicians. :wink:

How had Jon Stewart put it to Tucker Carlson (back when Tucker was in CNN): "I didn’t realise - and maybe that explains quite a bit - that the news organisations look to Comedy Central for their cues on integrity […] You are on CNN, the show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls, what is wrong with you?"

Ah, the condemnations and criticisms I get to hear about comedians. If only the citizens could have applied the same critical thinking and severity to the people they elect to actually lead them. Sometimes, I think that this situation is funnier than the comedy shows themselves.


Chess candidates tournaments starting.

7/8 draws in round one between the two.

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I still think the following changes would reduce draws, reduce the White advantage, reduce (though not significantly) the importance of memorization in openings, and still leave the game feeling almost the same

  1. Implement the Swap-2 Pie rule (see below for explanation)
  2. Stalemate is a win for the player delivering stalemate
  3. Bare King is a win unless the opponent can bare your king immediately in return, in which case it’s a draw

Note that draw by repetition is still a draw, and the main losses from the changes to stalemate and bare king are endgames which are simple enough to be played perfectly by GMs anyway


  1. Slicer makes 3 ply of moves (White, Black, White)
  2. Chooser either
    a. chooses to play White (Slicer takes Black; proceed to step 4)
    b. chooses to play Black (Slicer takes White; proceed to step 4)
    c. makes 2 more ply of moves (Black, White, so that in total 5 ply will have been played so far; proceed to step 3)
  3. Slicer either
    a. chooses to play White (Chooser takes Black; proceed to step 4)
    b. chooses to play Black (Chooser takes White; proceed to step 4)
  4. Start playing! (it is Black’s turn, and colors should have been determined already by this point)


  • the 3-ply initial Pie gives room for more finely balanced offers, as well as expanding the number of reasonable first moves, with attendant (slight) nerfing of opening book memorization
  • 2a and 2b ensure that the initial Pie offer is reasonably balanced (if it’s too advantageous for one color or the other, Chooser should take option 2a or 2b and have said advantage for themselves)
  • 2c mutes the effect of Slicer studying an obscure Pie offer carefully such that they are better able to gain an advantage from it from either side by giving Chooser the power to throw a wrench in the works with a high branching factor reply (the 2 ply may be 2 very strong ply, 2 very weak ply, or anything in between)
  • 3a and 3b (note that step 3 will only be done if Chooser takes option 2c) ensures that 2c (if taken by Chooser) is reasonably balanced
  • Since all the major goals of a pie offer are fulfilled by the above, no further steps are needed: as complicated as necessary, but no more
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I don’t think 2 or 3 really impact draws that much. I also don’t like using the word “immediately” because it might be that I can capture your pawn before it promotes, and then we’re just left with kings which would be a draw, but it won’t be immediate.

All the games so far above were drawn by repetition (or an agreed draw - kind of a shortcut). I think Levy does a good job making them interesting to go over, and in some cases points out that maybe in later rounds players might continue a bit longer, trade off some more pieces, but the risk reward in round 1 in a round robin isn’t worth it.

I’m not massively a fan of Swap-2. I imagine players and spectators alike preferring to just watch Chess-960/Fischer Random/Freestyle Chess than Chess with a swap-2 rule.

I think when top players can memorise openings like 30 moves deep, or at least have strong enough evaluation that if you make strange imbalances in the first 3 moves, it won’t really balance the game anyway. It’ll be more like playing with fixed variations, since one player is controlling two colours at a time.

It could end up leading to even more draws, because maybe I can play the first 3-5 moves of an opening that is more likely than not to end up in draws.

(technically the person with first option to swap is always theoretically advantageous, the only disadvantage being that you have to now play the prep of the opponent. It’s quite an annoying part of swap/pie rules generally)

I did enjoy reading Balancing protocols in symmetric 2-player games

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By “immediately” I mean in 1 ply. Like it was in some historical predecessors to chess. Perhaps you’re mistaking your objections to the implications of my rule for me having missed said implications?

That is possible. The main goal here is to change as little as possible, so it’s possible some more draw-reducing measures would be necessary

Yeah, but it’s hard to separate out how many of those are repeating because every other move is worse, and how many of those are repeating because they know the endgame will be drawn, but might not be drawn if bare king is a win

I’m not against draws; it’s one of the things I love about integer komi (odd integer komi for area scoring), but chess is pushing the limits of how drawish a game can be at the top level and still be interesting

The goal here is to be more least change than chess-960. At the other extreme, I would recommend just changing chess games from Western Chess to Shogi :smiley:

Yes, there will still be almost as much opening memorization, reducing that is not the goal here (least change), rather a potential side-benefit. One could argue that the opening memorization is a cool emergent feature of chess which rewards a skill which is too often denigrated by abstract games enthusiasts

Possibly. I think if it did lead to more draws, it would be more likely due to balanced Pie offers shifting the EV of the game closer to 0, so that the color with the advantage (White at the start of the game) has a tougher time playing for a win, but if there are still too many draws with these rules, I think the issue is not in what openings are getting played, and thus the solution ought be in turning another draw-source into a win for one player (I hesitate to make repetition a loss, as that would more significantly impact the game, but the 50 move rule already covers the obvious abuse of that, so that is on the table as a last resort, if only making perpetual check a loss (but other repetitions a win) isn’t enough)

I don’t think that’s annoying. If the Pie is fit to the game well, then the advantage offered to Chooser will be within acceptable parameters

Looks interesting

I wonder if people on the forums of a chess server are discussing how they would drastically change the rules of Go in order to produce more draws.


They should be. Integer komi (odd integer komi when using area scoring) for the win!


So, is there some ideal rate of draws for abstract strategy games, that should be neither too large nor too close to zero?


My intuition would be somewhere in the closed interval [1/48, 1/3] (that’s 1/12 multiplied and divided by 4). That’s a rough estimate, but I think it roughly captures the range I’d consider good enough. I wouldn’t be super happy with either extreme, somewhere around the middle (1/12) would be my preference, but I purposefully gave a wide range

Everything measured at high (super-human AI if possible) level

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