A coupla' dumb thoughts


Okay, you know how sometimes there’s a “M.P.” on fancy menus? “Market Price.” For a lobster or something, because lobster price varies a lot. But like, it’s gauche to ask how much the lobster costs, I guess. But restaurateurs can’t just say “Lobster is always $30” because maybe sometimes they’d lose money.

You could say, “well, Lobster is always $30, sometimes we’ll make money, sometimes we’ll lose it, whatever.” But then, there’s an opportunity for Lobstarbitrage: if you know there’s peak demand for lobster, and you can’t get it elsewhere for less than $40, you could still take the $30 deal for cheap lobster.

What if, instead, the menu said “Lobster costs N(30, 5)": Lobster cost falls along a normal distribution with mean=30 and SD=5. It’s set each day (and the menu updates if, say, lobster is getting long-term more expensive), but you don’t know exactly what the price is going to be until you get the bill. (You can, of course, ask, if you don’t mind being gauche.) They get to smooth out their costs so that they’ll usually make about $30 per lobster, but you don’t get to arbitrage them. You also get to know approx how much you’re going to pay.

(Ok, yes, this is solving a problem that doesn’t exist.)

Related: the Post Office

I didn’t know this, but apparently you can use their DIY scales to measure how much something will cost, before you box it up! And then you can make a Real Informed Decision about whether to use their fixed-price boxes, or not, or just not even send the damn thing.

Information avoidance games

Are, generally, great. I’m talking about Whamageddon or LDB or Lastman. It’s a very 2017 kind of game; in a world where information is everywhere, the only game we can play with information is just “see if you can run from it.” It’s a kind of fun flavor of weird.
For the record, I have not heard “Last Christmas” yet.

Speaking of games that are great

Have I mentioned yet how much I like Crypt of the Necrodancer? It’s very good. Action/arcadey.

I also like

These “extremely genre-specific” electronic playlists. Deep House is my favorite so far.

In other news

I don’t have a lot of other news! Turns out having a job takes a lot of time? And that’s okay? And the fact that I can’t be goshdarn Da Vinci and renaissance everything is also okay? Okay.

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