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Matthew Monahan Articles

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"Whereas the only advantage in placing higher used to be that you would theoretically play against worse players because they're lowing in the bracket (although that rarely pragmatically mattered,) now they've added a stipulation that could matter a lot more, and leads us to a questions."

 

should be something like

 

"Whereas the only advantage in placing higher used to be that you would theoretically play against worse players because they're lower in the bracket, (although this effect was rarely significant) now they've added a stipulation which will be much more relevant in determining the outcome of your top cut matches."

 

Lowing should be lower, rarely pragmatically mattered is an ambiguous phrase because "rarely" is adverb (ie: was it rarely pragmatic or did it rarely matter?), "and leads us to questions" sounds awkward and isn't necessary in the sentence.

 

Taking it to the next level with even plainer language

 

"The only upside to placing higher used to be that you could play against worse players because they're lower in the bracket (altho this rarely mattered).  Now there's a stipulation which makes it (weasel word, should be something specific) far more important to winning top cut games."

 

And that's from me as a terrible writer who gets off on conjunctions and basic articles like someone's sprinkled crystal meth on a goat control deck, and thinks to themselves "who needs full stops when you can just have commas."  

 

 

It's not like I've warped the message at all here.  Literally the only trick I've used is that I've written the post EXACTLY how I would say it to somebody else if I was having a conversation with them, and it's removed all the pseudo-academic language from the sentance and made it far more readable.  Whereas and theoretically are just not words you should use, or need to use, on an internet forum.  

 

You need to use words like that when you're using actual formal deductive logic, but there's no need for that kind of formal deductive logic when the aim isn't to provide a formal mathematical proof or a convincing scientific hypothesis.  

 

The point of posting is to just present the idea in a neato way and get on with winning Yugioh duels, you're not trying to reinforce the rigour of your idea you're just trying to communicate it in the most painless and attractive way possible.   Good writing beats good message every day of the week in the real world.  

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Had another article up while the site wasn't working. I'm going to have to get used to this new layout though. Anyway:

 

On Timed Testing

 

http://www.argcircuitseries.com/matthew-monahan/on-timed-testing

 

 

I have written before about both testing and the logistics of such but something I had yet to cover, within those logistics, is rather or not you ought to test with formal time rules as they are at events. Our investigation requires we first take a step back and ask ourselves what the only two purposes of testing are.

 
"Finding situations you hadn't realized in theory" and "practicing your playing habits" are the only things that should result from testing, as I've argued before. Anything else, such as using results from testing to directly influence deck building without going through the middle-man of considering the situation's pertinence and likelihood in theory, along with the proper conclusion of it, are fallible considerations.
 
Therefore, we must judge rather or not you ought to test timed in accordance to how best they meet those paradigms. What we also must be vigilant in doing is comparing how this would work to other ways of testing effectively the same thing. An application of that in another area of testing is how some people put cards from their deck to their hand at the beginning of the game so they don't have to wait around to draw them.
 
So, the situations where you would want to play with a match clock will be judged in comparison to using the same idea as the "adding cards" scenario: just forcing situations to either go into time or not into time, or to ask yourself either. 
 
Let's get a bit more in-depth on this topic though. You have heard it been said that testing with the clock is wise as it's more realistic and practices the skills in which affect your play going in to time.
 
I am here to convince you of, however, quite the contrary. Let us first address the idea of what makes you play faster. On the one hand, you can say that timing your tested matches allows for a sense of urgency in your playing. On the other hand, actually knowing the right plays for situations means that when they come up, you'll be able to immediately know what to do.
 
Compare the former to the latter. Whereas the former can allow for you to make the wrong play due to being constrained on time and rushed, the latter is the best of both worlds as it allows you both to play in a timely manner while also figuring out the right move to make in proportion to how thoroughly you practiced. In fact, when the right play corresponding to a situation and a specific set of circumstances becomes ingrained in your mind, you can also make the argument that you'd actually play faster than rushing anyway. 
 
But, just playing faster doesn't guarantee you won't hit time. You still have an opponent who, no matter how many times you call a judge over or rush them, is volatile in their ability to play at the reasonable pace that we will. This will bring us back to the "adding cards" situation. Consider that you actually have the goal of practicing time (if you don't think you need to for whatever reason, than not playing it would be obvious anyway.)
 
What is the more effective way of practicing it? Playing games until you reach ones where it happens, or forcing it to happen in your testing? What if you asked at every turn how you would play differently if you were in x turn of time, or x turns before time, vs how you would play otherwise? That seems to be the only concrete way to apply as many scenarios went over in practice with the actual tournaments you play.
 
There is more we must consider, though. Thus far we have only thought about our practice in relation to the "practicing playing habits" component of testing, not the other one regarding analytics. Will time have an effect on how you build your deck? Of course it will, look no further than Rainbow Lives of the past. But there is more to it than that.
 
An indictment against using your own timed matches as the anecdotes for basing your theory of how often people go into time, and thus how you should build accordingly, is that there is a better method to find that out all-together. You should poll for that information where you can and average out the results, as you should with a lot of analytics. The reasons for this include: you being a particular slow or fast player, your opponents being particularly slow or fast players, you being an outlier, etc.
 
I will talk about polling specifics at a later time, but the point here is that the relationship that certain situations you find in testing bear towards deck building are better supplemented by polling in general. Certain situations, but not all. The distinction is sociological factors vs ones you can just figure out the likelihood of on a hypergeometric calculator. That relationship will also be something I'll address in the future.
 
We have looked at this issue from several angles. From the angle of playing habits we have found that a more efficient way to test timed if you need to is either A. forcing the situations to occur or B. asking yourself in each turn what would be different if you were about to go to time. From the angle of "realizing situations you didn't find in theory," we find that the odds you go into time, due in part to our reasonable pace among other things, are sociological in nature and therefore better found with polling.
 
Lastly, we looked at it in correlation to you, the player. We found that practicing timed not only isn't the most efficient way to go faster, but also not the most efficient way to make the best moves in the allotted time. All of these things lead me to the conclusion that no, you should not be standard round-clocking your testing matches, and you should practice the methods discussed as a better alternative to doing so. Thank you for reading.
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for some reason urthors post isnt here anymore (i think it has something to do with the new site layout,) but i did want to get back to just one thing in it that sort of bothered me because I dont think he really understood the conclusion of that piece (I could have worded the conclusion more strongly myself though)

basically, when I write I'm not interested in letting you know what you can do, I'm interested in investigating what you should do. so it isn't, paraphrasing urthor "haha just putting up these ideas in a neato way," because in the instance of that particular piece the conclusion is that you should only be doing one of those three in args, not anything else. this is where that conclusion is made:

Quote

    We have realized what to do when you're a slower player or your deck is slower, when your deck or strategy can largely benefit from drawing into a certain bracket, and when, if you don't fall into either of the first two groups, you should be otherwise drawing. No player is uniform in that they will invariably only play a deck or have a strategy that necessitates only one of these things so you may bounce around a lot between them once realized, and there can even exist overlap in all 3. 
 

I'm fine with taking in criticisms to improve my writing skills, and will incorporate them, but keep in mind the aim of my writing is strictly to reach conclusions. I think virtuoso made the same mistake in the latter part of the road of the king thread when he said something similar to urthor like "hes just presenting an idea you might want to consider" as opposed to the literal numbered conclusions patrick had made in the piece.

 

edit: found urthors post, it got knocked over a page for some reason

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New article up.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Fallacy & Bias

http://www.argcircuitseries.com/matthew-monahan/yu-gi-oh-fallacy-bias

Quote

Several have written before about the biases and fallacies rampant within the "community" (for lack of a better term) of this game. They wrote in the hopes that the reader would move past those errors in critical thinking. The problem is that they hadn't articulated the most central of them, especially for those above the literal lowest level of intellectual prowess (the comparative upper echelons of players, respectively.) I seek to alleviate these conditions by presenting you with what, from my experience, I have witnessed as being the most erroneous and widespread logical impurities (predominantly those I think folks have overlooked.)

 I would like you to keep in mind as a precept that I am not completely versed within the realm of what some of these are called in formal academia. So, I have ascribed my own names to them and am not entirely interested in what they are otherwise referred to as (although if you were to note their proper name to me, I would use them in the future.) Obviously me attributing different labels to them does not alter their meaning, although some players certainly are more attentive than they ought to about those semantics. 

1. The Negation Fallacy

We're going to start with the most important one. This is, above all else, the most destructive to how people think about the game (and a lot of things, as with any of these.) A negation fallacy is extrapolating a claim counter to another as completely negating the original claim. I'd like to distinguish that my meaning of the word negation is a bit different from the classical dialecticians, I consider a negation to be the complete overhaul of an idea to where 0% of the idea remains true.

Think of a reason to play a certain card. Do you currently think you should play it? Now think of a reason not to play the same card. Do you now think you shouldn't play it? There are examples of these in practically every contemporary discussion of Yu-Gi-Oh!, but I'll supply some of my personal findings:

A. Burning Abyss is bad because of Abyss Dweller.

B. Secret Village is bad because of people playing Spellcaster Normal Summons.

C. Infernity is bad because of Maxx "C".

I picked some of the low hanging fruit here, but judging by my reading of some recent discussion regarding what the goal of this game is, the Zodiac Duelist crowd is by no means the only perpetrator of this. A lot of fallacies previously discussed are rephrasings of this, but intrinsically amount to the same umbrella. The answer to this is diligence in trying to find both the exact effect that your information has on your other information, as well as analytically finding as many of these points as possible. 

It's what people may refer to as "seeing things from every angle," but goes further than just "seeing them" and actually asks what their relevance is, as a total.

2. The Flip-Flop Fallacy

This one isn't as much something that you can demonstrate by freezing a conversation at a particular moment and illuminating, but rather, something that is representative of a progression of discussion. The fallacy is "when faced with a theoretical problem, switch to practicality; when faced with a practical problem, switch to theoretics." The former is the far more prevalent of the two. Not only is this a blatantly dishonest way to try to reach the truth of a notion, but its problems exceed even that. Let's look at some examples:

A. *You made some good points, but I just don't think it can survive 11 rounds of swiss.

B. It works on paper but not in practice.

C. Isn't that kind of idealistic though? 

D. You're just over thinking it (and all anti-discourse equivalents.)

*Word to the wise, whenever people in conversations start weaseling their way out with things like "I see what you're saying, but...," "you made some decent points, but...," etc, odds are they aren't worth the time of day. Some people really do talk like that while considering something, but most of the time I see people do it just to reaffirm their position without seriously refuting what you said. If you catch them in the future completely ignoring what you damn well know they heard/read you say without refutation, while also arguing earlier points in your debate, you can take that as proof of their intellectual bankruptcy.  

Otherwise, there are two main things to point out about this. First, that the flip-flop fallacy is completely infused with how a lot of people think about the relationship of testing and theory in this game. The second, which logically answers both the first and this fallacy in general, is to hammer it within your head that there is no intrinsic difference between things that you realized in testing and things that you realized in theory, especially in how you ought to go about comparing and working on them. 

Did you find something in testing? Could you have found it in theory? The answer is "yes." Therefore, neither is granted any mystical superpowers over the other and, just like the solution to negation fallacy, the focus is on finding the pertinence and persistence of all points which bring you to your conclusions. We move forward:

3. Appeal to Authority

Other writers have done a decent job at explaining this one but I believe people seldom realize the extent, along with the three forms, of the appeal to authority. For the two people reading who don't know what an appeal to authority is, it's taking one person's argument over another person's on the basis of who they are as opposed to what they're saying. More interesting than telling you things you already know, though, is telling you the mentioned extent of this nuisance. 

The three main appeals to authority among Yu-Gi-Oh! players are: 

A. An appeal to current popular players.

B. An appeal to old popular players.

C. An appeal to popular Magic the Gathering players.

There is a lot of overlap between groups A and B, groups B and C, but not a lot of overlap between groups A and C. When you reach the upper comparative echelons of players in this game, you see a lot less of group A because they're either the popular players within that group, or they have some level of independent thought (even if this thought is hive mind within their "circle.)" It's like the distinction between calling the DPRK internationally anarchistic while domestically autocratic. 

So, due to the marginality of group A within the mediums I talk about this game, it's only natural that I find groups B and C both a lot more obnoxious, and that I encounter them more in general. However, looking at the bigger picture, group A is far and away the most common among players. 

4. Denial of Principle Continuum

To my knowledge, it was filmmaker Peter Joseph that coined this phrase, but I'm sure it has other synonyms. Essentially, it's an error of metrics where you apply a standard to one thing and not another thing, even though they're both applicable to the metric. This goes to the core of a lot of platitudinous nonsense people use to justify their incompetent deck-building. Examples:

A. I don't play 3 copies of X card because I don't want to draw multiples (while playing 3 copies of another card you don't want to see multiple of.)

B. I don't play X because "it doesn't increase my ceiling" (while playing another card that has nothing to do with summoning.)

C. Mathematics told me to play this specific number of X card, oh and I just decided to last-minute throw a Dark Hole in my deck.

I have my reservations about honestly all three of these concepts separate from the following conclusion, but obviously the answer here is universal application of your measures. Or at least, application to the point where you've covered all things comparable, nothing more and nothing less.

5. Contingency

This last note isn't as much a fallacy or bias as it is a contradiction. Let's say that you find reason to make your opponent believe you're a particular kind of player, a bad one will suffice for our purpose. Let's say that you use this rationale to cover your deck box and mat being a certain type that, sociologically, your opponent is most likely to make that assumption about. But wait a minute, what if you're also using the most expensive calculator and calculator case on top of that? Player's Choice white sleeves? Kid Robot backpack (lol?) 

Is it possible for your opponent not to consider them? Sure, but the higher the contradictions are, the more likely they will notice. The resolution here is to acknowledge this contingency and instead of that Kid Robot backpack, maybe bring one of those sacks on a stick that nomads travel around with. Joking, and this is an extreme example, but realizing the contingency not only in these accessory-related things but also deck-building is beyond important, such as one card relying on another to be good. 

Conclusions

We have introduced five transgressions in logical soundness here, as well as their solutions. We have dismissed the negation fallacy as not considering the effect of what it distorts, dismissed the flip-flop fallacy as being intellectually dishonest, dismissed appeals to authority while analyzing their various forms among players, dismissed the denial of principle continuum as the cause of a lot of inconsistencies in deck-building, and went over contradictions in contingency. Emancipate your mind from these, and you're on the right track. I'll end on a haiku:

I'll write less wordy,

In the future, best regards,

Matthew Monahan

 

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ugh fuck the new site now the entire op is messed up. does anyone know how to get rid of quotes while editing? it used to just be backspacing but now i cant find any way

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8 minutes ago, Monahan said:

ugh fuck the new site now the entire op is messed up. does anyone know how to get rid of quotes while editing? it used to just be backspacing but now i cant find any way

figured out and fixed the quote problem, but now the spoilers are all within eachother for some reason. ill deal with it later

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This was one of your better articles. I think this is a topic that really needs to be examined more.

Personally, the biggest bias that I see in Yugioh is what I called the "skill" bias, which is this idea that some decks require more skill to play than others, and decks that require less skill should be avoided. This stopped many players on DGZ in particular from playing decks like Lightsworn, Dark World, Rabbit (for awhile), and more recently Domain Monarch.

People seem more concerned with having intellectually stimulating matches rather than winning their matches.

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On 4/29/2016 at 9:12 AM, ACP said:

People seem more concerned with having intellectually stimulating matches rather than winning their matches.

This is definitely true. People place too much emphasis on analyzing matches in general.

 

I do think people have mostly moved past the whole "skilless = not playing it" thing, though. Obviously the "stigma" of what they call "ignorant" decks (I know you hate that phrase) is still around, but the important part is that they're willing to play these decks they call "ignorant" when they think they're good, at this moment. The point where people wouldn't play decks of that label, I believe, faded out around late 2013 early 2014ish. 

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Missed the part about Domain Monarch, maybe it's still around a bit then. Maybe my issue is I only really talk and read about yugioh through mediums like this and chats with specific players. I don't go to locals, rarely go to regionals, don't hang out on dn, don't read arg/coretcg/tcgplayer articles, and don't read anything from popular fb groups. That could lead me to the false assumption that shifts in the "comparative upper echelons" of players is equivalent to shifts in the lower.

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I did not realize that we got notifications whenever someone quoted us. That's a cool feature I guess.

I think this skill bias is still there. For example, after the adjusted ban list, I don't think PePe was a very good deck, and yet the majority of "good" players were still playing them. I think it has a lot of do with the fact that mirror matches were viewed as being skill-intensive (which admittedly, they were) and the deck had lots of different Xyz plays, which people find interesting.

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matt i know you said youd be less wordy but i cant believe you passed up an opportunity to use the word bindle

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pinned this as well, because I think newer players should be able to read these articles as they are good, even though the examples are outdated, the way of thinking itself is inspiring 

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realized i never got around to fixing the formatting, just did. honestly dont like these, but i know a lot of players found them helpful 

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Am I the only guy on this forum that notices Matt always says "rather or not" instead of "whether or not"

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yes my bad, i used to think it was the same word

 

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