Tag Archives: game

Hyppo and Critter: We Are The Champions!

h-and-c140

Snot

puzzleIt’s been a long, long time since I generated a puzzle.

All you have to do is figure out what’s going on in this excerpted column of numbers. Any bean counters out there? This is a great way to spend your free time.

Don’t bother searching for help. Even the almighty Google is powerless to help you here.

Let’s roll!

293964673
843711893
934911548
657511668
675385661
629282665
428252383
827272787
137477727
111774723
111167338
111185574
111166766
111156824
111122114
111177114
111126116
111199116
625268916
628863136
634362136
832337832
433338138
533333933
433333633
433333133
433333833
611179566
211159619
911187516
111111316
111111114
111111117
111111115
111111113
111111111

How They’re Gaming Yelp

yelpNever underestimate the human desire to game systems. Why expend actual effort when you can “win” by cheating? Because, to the victor go the spoils. Today I’d like to explain one way that business owners go about gaming their reviews.

So there’s this thing called Yelp. They claim to be generally positive system but the dictionary definition of the word “yelp” is: “a short sharp cry, esp. of pain or alarm.” Yeah, baby. Those are my kind of reviews. Let’s go negative and keep it that way. Don’t believe me? Look it up in your own dictionary.

I went to the trendy meat cafe and they served me an elk burger that was oozing blood. That’s how I earned “connoisseur of raw elk meat” on my Twitter profile! And, oh yeah, you better believe I yelped it as soon as I got home.

My understanding is that Yelp frowns on business owners asking for reviews. That’s bad form in a reputation system that’s supposedly driven from a wellspring of organic experiences from normal people like you and me. Normal! Yeah, right.

Here’s how the gaming works:

You place an order on a website. A few days or weeks later you receive a survey request. “How did we do on your recent order?” and what not.

You’ll likely be given the ability to enter some comments and provide a rating. If you give them a good rating, they’ll say thanks and provide a clickable link to the Yelp website where you can enter a review. If you give a bad rating, they only say thanks. No linky for you.

Voila! It’s as simple as that. The system just got gamed. The preliminary survey is nothing more than a sieve to sort the good eggs from the bad. The good eggs are passed along to Yelp and the bad eggs go down the chute. You might think that businesses appreciate negative feedback most of all because that’s vital information to help them improve. You’d be wrong. Why waste time on that shit when you can be gaming the system instead?

This is just one small example of gaming. People in the world of business spend more time thinking about stuff like this than they do on actual products and services. And they’re really good at it. That’s ingenuity.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to nosh on some raw elk. RAWR!

Like A Boss: The negotiations never took place

Ha ha ha! I'm the boss of you!

Ha ha ha! I’m the boss of you!

I recently completed my first year of working at home as a contractor. Although not as good as my dream of doing nothing, the year was still pretty good and … I had no complaints.

What’s good about working from home? No phones. No walk-in customers leaping in your office. No floor sales. No public toilet across the hall. No attending awkward pizza-only lunches on every employee’s birthday. You don’t spend your day using company-owned equipment. (A previous boss liked to joke he was logging my keystrokes. That was a real damper on my twitter activity.) You get your very own chair. No boogers from other employees on your stuff. There’s an ottoman where two cats sleep and the view out the window is squirrels playing.

When my one-year contract expired, of course I wanted more. It was a no-brainer.

These are the actual and verbatim excerpts of the official transcripts of the negotiation process. I’m sharing them because I don’t mind being humiliated in public.

From: Shouts
Subject: Contract

I am ready to keep things simple and renew the same deal, no changes needed on my end, with all the same terms (another 12 months) excepting a modest increase of only $x.xx to the hourly rate for COLA. That’s $xx.xx/hour up from $xx.xx. Other than that I can’t think of anything else.

It’s official. You all know my salary now. I literally make $X amount. Note my colorful use of marketing terms like “modest” and “only.” Ha ha ha! Player at work! Also, thinking I was being clever, I provided dollar amounts and not percentages. This was a deliberate attempt to confuse and astound. -Ed

Make the jump to read additional communiques from the “negotiation” process and the surprising twist at the end.
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Outside The Box

outside_the_boxWe’ve all been told at some point in our lives to “think outside the box” by some weasel-face jackass, right?

The problem is when your mind is limited, it’s really hard to be aware of how it’s limited. Because, you know, you’re not even aware. True original thought is so contrary to our ingrained pre-programmed mental pathways that if we actually had one it would bite us in the ass.

Perhaps heart attacks and strokes are merely the symptoms of people who’ve experienced an original thought. Hey, I’ll bet that’s an original thought right there. Ugh. What’s this tingling in my fingers? Oh, pretty rainbow colors. My head hurts.

Thunk!

Oops. Sorry about that. I’m back. Turns out it wasn’t an original thought after all. Just the same old thing that always when I happen to stand up too fast. I’ll try to be more careful so we can get this damn post over and done with.
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Stark Market

This is what my home office looks like. That's my stunt double.

This is my home office. That’s my stunt double.

If you came here expecting to learn about Winterfell please hold still while my dire wolves rip out your throat. For the rest of us, it’s time to explore the heady world of the stock market and high finance. BYOC. (Bring Your Own Cocaine.)

After yesterday’s false cheer I feel so dirty. It’s time to come clean. I’m gonna tell you how the shit works. All of it.

Disclaimer: I’m not big on introspection. I have never taken stock. I’m just a humble social scientist. These are my findings.

Allow me to introduce GUNT. That stands for Grand Unified Negativity Theory. GUNT is my life’s work. It’s a model that attempts to explain the sum total of human behavior.

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What’s The Points?

Guru hard at work.

Guru hard at work.

The computer screen told the story. A weather system, shown as a menacing blob of glowing crimson on the screen, was bearing down on us and about to engulf the whole damn island. Isla Nublar was really in for it. Gale force winds, 40 foot swells, the whole nine yards.

Communications were already out.

The control room shook as horizontal rain punished the windows creating enough background noise to decidedly get on my nerves. I took a moment to glance out the window. The tropical trees were whipping in the wind like piñatas under a baseball bat.

It was up to me.

I realized a voice was coming out of the high-tech radio I held in my hand. “Sqwk! Say again, say again, we are pinned down. No way out. Request immediate EVAC. Do you copy? Over. Sqwk!

Sending out the chopper in these conditions would almost certainly be suicide. Yet there stood the flight crew, having already volunteered, now impatiently awaiting my decision. Risk three lives to save eight? I could barely comprehend the mathematics that involved.

The weather display was blinking now. It has just been updated with the name of the storm which was now closer than ever. “Fiona” they were calling in. Wow, I thought. They named the storm. That’s extremely useful information.

“Clever girl,” I said without realizing I was saying out loud.

Time was growing short. It was do or die. This command decision had to be made so I could triage the next looming disaster only seconds away.

“Send ’em out,” I ordered. I keyed the mic. “Help is on the way. Out.”

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