9/7/2015 15:07


I'm not a big fan of holidays, especially not hot, humid, and half-lit holidays such as we are experiencing today. I've never really enjoyed most holidays, for the simple reason that they are arranged to impose more costs than benefits. It is only logical to avoid situations which take more away from you than they return.

Of course, the balance of costs and benefits varies with the player. The modern American holiday encourages the gathering of large groups of people, which is stressful and difficult for me, although I have heard the claims of others to enjoy such gatherings. All our holidays excuse the expenditure of money, whether on food or on travel or on materialistic exchanges, and all insist on disrupting the orderliness of life.

Yes, I am introverted, parsimonious, and risk-averse. Holidays are designed for people who are extroverted, unthrifty, and adventuresome or who at least would like to play at those characteristics.

People who have limited financial resources can be unexpectedly conservative about economic reforms, because any reform whatever is necessarily disruptive. The poor do not have resources to expend on dealing with disruptions. In an analogous way, those of use who are socially impoverished don't have resoures we want to throw away on social disruptions. We find it hard enough to navigate society as it we normally find it without having to develop special strategies to cope with special occasions. Hold society on a steady course, and we will find a way to work around it.

In the actual reality game, some challenges are about how to stake a better position. Many challenges have more to do with maintaining a toehold just steps away from disaster.

In same cases, the correct play depends not on the proximity of the precipice so much as on the player's interpretation of the landscape. The cliff face is more a danger if the only options are to advance or retreat, less a danger if you can run parallel to the dropoff.

I suspect that making a more correct interpretation of the holidays would lead to more successful play, even on hot, humid, and half-lit holidays like today.