Day by Day Daily Cartoon by Chris Muir

The Mad Scientist... Mwahahahahahahahaha

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Independence Day

It's the 31st of August today, which is the Malaysian independence day. Actually, it's the Malayan independence day, which makes me wonder why East Malaysians should be celebrating it, but never mind.

So, Happy MERDEKA! For what it's worth.

I'm an unhappy camper. Cheesed off, really. Just downloaded a backgammon program for my Dad, and am trying it out myself. But let me tell you something. If you've ever been tempted to think that computer opponents stack the deck against you, well they do. Inevitably, wherever it is possible, my dice rolls will be implausibly, even impossibly against me. And everything will go hunky dory with the computer. How is this possible? Well, not having the source for the program, I cannot say. But I'm willing to bet that the so-called pseudo-random dice roller algorithm is plugged into the algorithm of the backgammon playing AI engine for the computer player.

Now, it might not even be intentional, just an unintended side-effect of dynamic run-time interaction of both sets of code. But there you have it, folks, a backgammon program that is nigh impossible to beat without some major strategy involved, not to mention seriously conservative playing styles.

What does that have to do with my title? Nothing, really. Oh, I suppose I could make out that in a similar fashion, the odds are stacked against non-Malay, non-Muslim minorities in this country (and possibly every other Muslim country you come across), but that would be reaching. No, it's just your basic rant against dummkopf programs and the power of observer bias.

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