Shaving the Godfather : the Mafia Razors
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  1. #1

    Shaving the Godfather : the Mafia Razors

    Occam's Razor (Law of parsimony)
    Hanlon's Razor
    Hitchens' Razor
    Alder's Razor (PEW PEW LAZORZ)

    I'm linking Wikipedia, but I checked with other sources to see if it was coherent before posting about it so it's ok ;)


    ~~


    This is definetly something I will be using in next games. I have done a lot of research for my personal benefit, fun, and.... for Mafia, obviously lol. I'd like to know your thoughts on the linked "razors" (mostly epistemology scientific rules) here, and their uses in Mafia. If you like the subject and would like to further discuss it, feel free to open a thread in serious discussion, I'll be glad to participate!


    Occam's Razor

    Occam's razor states that: simple solutions/answers to a question are more likely to be correct than complex ones. This applies to both scientific rigor and everyday judgement. Of course, here, we will be looking at the everyday judgement aspect, as it pertains to FM.

    This equals to stating that simple cases against people, or simple tells, are more likely to be successful at finding scum. Far-fetched scumreads are usually wrong, by my personal experience.

    The following derive from Occam's razor, yet are interesting cases to work on for Mafia.


    Hanlon's Razor

    Never attribute to wrong intent/malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence/stupidity.

    This usually works in the normal context of relatively low occurence (usually) of intentional and malicious wrong doing.
    But in Mafia, where there are confirmed evildoers, where does this apply, if it applies at all?


    Hitchens' Razor

    That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    Theories asserted without evidence are very often given in Mafia, the most common form being OMGUS.
    The question here is: can we actually apply this in Mafia? Dimissing without evidence sure works, but is there a benefit to dismiss an OMGUS without evidence instead of going against the author and creating a situation against them?


    Alder's Razor, aka Newton's Flaming Laser Sword.
    PEW PEW


    Directly quoting Wikipedia article here, but it really summarizes it well: What cannot be settled by experiment is not worth debating.
    This is the Newtonian (and scientific) way to do things. And here is Alder's conclusion: Alder admits, however, that "While the Newtonian insistence on ensuring that any statement is testable by observation ... undoubtedly cuts out the crap, it also seems to cut out almost everything else as well."

    In Mafia, this applies to a common behavior that is extremely detrimental to game quality, and more speficially, to Town. If you're "waiting for leads", you're going to wait a long, long time before gathering any reads. DO PRODUCTIVE THINGS! As soon as the thread is open, you can and should be posting setup theories, votes, and thoughts on other players' posts. Don't cut out almost everything, info is town's best weapon!

    Disclaimer : In "pure" science, the flaming laser sword is actually useful and needed in order to avoid errors. If you cannot experiment on something, you cannot assert that this something is true, and the scientific method's basis is truth. However, "humanities", such as politics, philosophy or religion, cannot actually be experimented. Not having "experimented" God doesn't mean that He does not exist, nor does it mean that He does, and so on for other subjects, including Mafia.


    ~~


    There are some interesting questions to work on here in order to improve the site's meta, the gameplay quality, and simply player skills. I'm waiting on your comments!
    Quote Originally Posted by Damus_Graves View Post
    Mafia MAY be town.
    Spoiler : LOGIC :
    Quote Originally Posted by Distorted View Post
    ACCEPT THE ONE TRUE FAITH

    Quote Originally Posted by Damus_Graves View Post
    Mafia MAY be town.

  2. #2

    Re: Shaving the Godfather : the Mafia Razors

    All the razors are true and important imo.
    First one works just like you said. You all end up scumreading good players way more just because you think they could be good enough to pull something extremely unlikely. Usually they don't and those reads end up being wrong however. We see that every game really.
    2nd is about actual scumtells and scumpainting/shading. Wiisp for example complained everyone on this site is shading way too much. That razor there is one reason.
    Hitchen, like you said. People scumpaint with no evidence, you gotta make use of that action of them as a scumtell in itself.
    Last one with the experiments is essentially what usually ends up being labeled as gambits in mafia. Gambits are good and you gotta use them. I don't even know what you mean by that disclaimer lmao. Every experiment gets you somewhere, doesn't matter if the result is true or false.

  3. #3

    Re: Shaving the Godfather : the Mafia Razors

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny View Post
    All the razors are true and important imo.
    First one works just like you said. You all end up scumreading good players way more just because you think they could be good enough to pull something extremely unlikely. Usually they don't and those reads end up being wrong however. We see that every game really.
    2nd is about actual scumtells and scumpainting/shading. Wiisp for example complained everyone on this site is shading way too much. That razor there is one reason.
    Hitchen, like you said. People scumpaint with no evidence, you gotta make use of that action of them as a scumtell in itself.
    Last one with the experiments is essentially what usually ends up being labeled as gambits in mafia. Gambits are good and you gotta use them. I don't even know what you mean by that disclaimer lmao. Every experiment gets you somewhere, doesn't matter if the result is true or false.
    The issue that comes up is that a few players can actually pull "scum gambits" that will make this rule fail. I even think it is, consciously or not, to counter that very idea that scum gambits are a thing. So, how to use it at its maximum power?

    But how do you see what's scumpainting and simple town misplay? Plus, scumpainting =/= misplay as town, not always. You can get a lot of info through it.

    Indeed. I think I'm going to apply this more, and encourage other players to do so. This allows to get rid of bullshit cases pretty well. However, RVS is an exception... it's not ALWAYS bad to give a read without evidence (by evidence, I here mean a reasonably heavy point based on day chat, not a "lead" from night actions).

    I don't think I understand how that makes gambits. As for the disclaimer, I meant that the Newtonian approach (and the scientific method's basis) is not a bad thing. It's useful, even needed for science. But for Mafia and other things that cannot really be experimented, yet are important subjects... it sucks. That includes Mafia. Basically, Alder's razor tells us that waiting for leads is crappy.

    ~~

    This is more subtle than it looks like, honestly. Stating things as facts without looking at the exceptions is dangerous, care...
    Quote Originally Posted by Damus_Graves View Post
    Mafia MAY be town.
    Spoiler : LOGIC :
    Quote Originally Posted by Distorted View Post
    ACCEPT THE ONE TRUE FAITH

    Quote Originally Posted by Damus_Graves View Post
    Mafia MAY be town.

  4. #4

    Re: Shaving the Godfather : the Mafia Razors

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Marshall View Post
    The issue that comes up is that a few players can actually pull "scum gambits" that will make this rule fail. I even think it is, consciously or not, to counter that very idea that scum gambits are a thing. So, how to use it at its maximum power?

    But how do you see what's scumpainting and simple town misplay? Plus, scumpainting =/= misplay as town, not always. You can get a lot of info through it.

    Indeed. I think I'm going to apply this more, and encourage other players to do so. This allows to get rid of bullshit cases pretty well. However, RVS is an exception... it's not ALWAYS bad to give a read without evidence (by evidence, I here mean a reasonably heavy point based on day chat, not a "lead" from night actions).

    I don't think I understand how that makes gambits. As for the disclaimer, I meant that the Newtonian approach (and the scientific method's basis) is not a bad thing. It's useful, even needed for science. But for Mafia and other things that cannot really be experimented, yet are important subjects... it sucks. That includes Mafia. Basically, Alder's razor tells us that waiting for leads is crappy.

    ~~

    This is more subtle than it looks like, honestly. Stating things as facts without looking at the exceptions is dangerous, care...
    A good player will almost always go the most successful approach as scum while convincing the town of the other, less likely possibilities to be what's happening. Most of the time actual "scum gambits" as you call them are misplays that by themselves already would put the scum in an inconvenient spot. That is convenient for the town, that's why people want to believe that. 99% of the time it just isn't happening however.

    You don't see a difference between poor play and scimpainting. That's exactly the point of the razor and the reason why it's bad to play poorly as town. If you're doing that intentionally it's a gambit, then it's fine but you gotta reach a conclusion that isn't you actually believing the misplay to be right in the end.

    .

    Mafia can be experimented and it is getting experimented in almost every game. Gambits are experiments. Experiments don't suck.

  5. #5

    Re: Shaving the Godfather : the Mafia Razors

    Hitchens' Razor

    That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    Theories asserted without evidence are very often given in Mafia, the most common form being OMGUS.
    The question here is: can we actually apply this in Mafia? Dimissing without evidence sure works, but is there a benefit to dismiss an OMGUS without evidence instead of going against the author and creating a situation against them?
    This gets town in trouble quite often, because it is not true.

    Usually it's a failure of day one, as conversation does not gain traction due to this. There isn't much evidence (some would argue none) to go off of during the first day, town often does next to nothing productive and scum gets a free kill.

    In some of the larger, well, medium-sized forum mafia games I've played in, a lot of accusations are thrown around. Some town ends up getting pointed at but they ignore the accusations because the accusations are "baseless", but their actions are not baseless. Every accusation has been constucted with the biases of the author. Each post is made up of words and gifs that hold the keys to the subconscious heart of their poster. Using Hitchen's Razor as the warrant to dismiss even baseless accusations is a sure way to be labeled as scum.

    Hitchens' Razor works well in real life where information is in overabundance, but this is mafia and the information is limited to the words typed on the page. Every word counts.

  6. #6

    Re: Shaving the Godfather : the Mafia Razors

    Quote Originally Posted by secondpassing View Post
    This gets town in trouble quite often, because it is not true.

    Usually it's a failure of day one, as conversation does not gain traction due to this. There isn't much evidence (some would argue none) to go off of during the first day, town often does next to nothing productive and scum gets a free kill.

    In some of the larger, well, medium-sized forum mafia games I've played in, a lot of accusations are thrown around. Some town ends up getting pointed at but they ignore the accusations because the accusations are "baseless", but their actions are not baseless. Every accusation has been constucted with the biases of the author. Each post is made up of words and gifs that hold the keys to the subconscious heart of their poster. Using Hitchen's Razor as the warrant to dismiss even baseless accusations is a sure way to be labeled as scum.

    Hitchens' Razor works well in real life where information is in overabundance, but this is mafia and the information is limited to the words typed on the page. Every word counts.
    ^^ On D1, it gets people in trouble literally every game. Lack of info, and lack of attempts to gather more. However, as games advances, it becomes a necessity: spamming no-evidence-what-so-ever theories only makes the thread bigger, yet not more info-containing.

    I do not agree that it labels you as scum to dismiss it, though. I think it needs to be used with care, but not to be left unused, as it allows to dismiss the matter of the spammy, weak attacks. However, dismissing does not mean ignoring : you can then use the weak attack as a tell by itself, without considering its content as valuable for anything but analysis of the author.
    Thanks for deeper input!
    Quote Originally Posted by Damus_Graves View Post
    Mafia MAY be town.
    Spoiler : LOGIC :
    Quote Originally Posted by Distorted View Post
    ACCEPT THE ONE TRUE FAITH

    Quote Originally Posted by Damus_Graves View Post
    Mafia MAY be town.

  7. #7

    Re: Shaving the Godfather : the Mafia Razors

    Tbh, I think that secondpassing is right about the presence of bias in someoneís posts. I think that town far too ooften bury themselves by following self-defeating heuristics, e.g.?scum would never act this scummy, whereas itís actually true that people act scummy because they need to achieve their wincob, so if Scum isnít scummy on some level of analysis something is very wrong. I think people far too often hedge on their reads out of fear of being wrong.

    This is why Occamís Razor is the most useful IMO. Itís probsbly one of the most useful heuristics ever devised. Just that itís very difficult to apply, especially in Mafia, because all posts and perspectives are inherently subjective. However, personally I find that if you look at it closely, people are much more rational and predictable than youíd think. There is a logic behind every post action and post, and I think most people understand this, however our main flaw as a player base on this site stems from the fact that we form reads off of someoneís tone, which can cause one to be unsure of someoneís alignment and also cause people to misread.
    Quote Originally Posted by blinkskater View Post
    Polish my nuts and serve me a milkshake. Anyone who uses scum syntax will be lynched.

  8. #8

    Re: Shaving the Godfather : the Mafia Razors

    Also, one of the problems with Hanlonís razor is that people will often get pushed off of valid reasons, but either the ones pushing sort of know those reasons but canít quite express them, or they know the reason but canít quite express why the evidence points in that direction. I believe this is kind of the same thing 2ndpasing was talking about, cuz otherwise Hanlonís razor seems completely true and applicable
    Quote Originally Posted by blinkskater View Post
    Polish my nuts and serve me a milkshake. Anyone who uses scum syntax will be lynched.

  9. #9

    Re: Shaving the Godfather : the Mafia Razors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganelon View Post
    Also, one of the problems with Hanlonís razor is that people will often get pushed off of valid reasons, but either the ones pushing sort of know those reasons but canít quite express them, or they know the reason but canít quite express why the evidence points in that direction. I believe this is kind of the same thing 2ndpasing was talking about, cuz otherwise Hanlonís razor seems completely true and applicable
    i meant hitchens
    Quote Originally Posted by blinkskater View Post
    Polish my nuts and serve me a milkshake. Anyone who uses scum syntax will be lynched.

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  12. #12

    Re: Shaving the Godfather : the Mafia Razors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganelon View Post
    we would if you signed up for my game :3
    ^^ sign for Mag's game everyone

    This is game theory. Not everyone uses it, some prefer to use "gut reads" and to just jump in and point out what they believe to be inconsistencies. Exhibit A :
    Wtf are you guys talking about lol, just play mafia
    This is also interesting to study (as ironic as it is). What are the benefits of not going deeper into game theory, and what are the disadvantages? I believe there must be some benefits, such as not overthinking things (which comes back to Occam's razor), but do they outweight the benefits?

    No offense meant to anyone here, just to clarify. It's a related subject
    Quote Originally Posted by Damus_Graves View Post
    Mafia MAY be town.
    Spoiler : LOGIC :
    Quote Originally Posted by Distorted View Post
    ACCEPT THE ONE TRUE FAITH

    Quote Originally Posted by Damus_Graves View Post
    Mafia MAY be town.

  13. #13

  14. #14

  15. #15

    Re: Shaving the Godfather : the Mafia Razors

    Quote Originally Posted by Gandalfr View Post
    Sign for the Game of a lifetime!

    a Sign a day keeps the inactives away!
    let me finish it for you

    ''a Sign a day keeps the inactives away from the ongoing FM they're supposed to participate in''
    im looking at people like Hybrid over here
    May The Heart Be Your Guiding Key

  16. #16

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