Occam's Razor (Law of parsimony)
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 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.
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?
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.
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!