Monday, February 16, 2015

Story Post: Trial: Why Josh is an Android

Cannot be passed after 48 hours, with 4 votes against and none for. Josh

Adminned at 18 Feb 2015 22:38:06 UTC

I accuse Josh of being an Android.

Evidence that Josh is an Android (ancient to recent):

  • Josh was accused before, by Bucky. Bucky got Disabled by an Android phaser shot, possibly to stop him posting the Trial again. Bucky’s reasoning was that Josh was responsible for the Mark-flushing that lead to ayesdeeef’s Disablement (and the Marking mechanic in general), and that Marking is basically impossible to track, reasoning that still applies. Interestingly, the FOR voters included all of the players with lowest Clearance. These players are statistically more likely to be Human; an Android would be unlikely to Sabotage a Mission (and their own winning chances along with it), although it’s possible that there are Androids among those players who didn’t dare to derelict the mission and reduce their Clearance penalty.
  • As of the 12/02 03:38 GNDT update, Josh was actually in the lead for low Clearance, tied with Sylphrena, Bucky and Darknight. He’s allowed that lead to be thrown away via Mediator actions and via allowing ties to change his Clearance (admittedly, the latter is only weak evidence, because it’s mostly due to quick thinking on the part of Sylphrena). This is very counterintuitive behaviour for a Human.
  • Josh accuses me of being an Android with some very interesting arguments. He constructs a narrative based on reduced Android activity while I’d been gone, something I hadn’t actually noticed. Combining this with the retroactive veto means that it looks a bit like there was an intentional attempt to frame me. If so, Josh is most likely behind it.
  • Josh votes AGAINST on a Demand, despite being well aware (his EVC shows the awareness) that doing so will increase his Clearance. This would have been trivial to avoid; it’s not like Josh’s vote was needed to fail the proposal. His policy of ignoring Mediator effects is bizarre and makes no sense for a Human; you have a choice of Clearances, just pick the lower one, that is literally the only difference between AGAINST and no vote. (Voting FOR would also have been possible, and risky because the proposal would be passing but not quorumed. I requested an admin to fail the proposal immediately because I was worried about a potential last minute CoV, forcing the proposal to pass, especially with players idling; people rarely pay attention to proposals deep in the queue.)
  • Josh suggested that Bucky shot himself, which would be a completely crazy thing for an Android to do. In my experience in Werewolf games, the people suggesting crazy theories are normally the Werewolves (because they have more information as to what happened and can rule out more possibilities; the Humans tend to consider more sensible theories in crazy situations because they have less information with which to rule the sensible ones out).
  • Josh votes AGAINST my proposal here that lets players get rid of unwanted Command Roles. If Human, the Mediator is one of the players who would benefit the most from this proposal, because Mediator effects are much more likely to increase clearance than decrease it (something that’s borne out by the historical record). In effect, Josh is expressing the opinion that he wants to keep getting free Clearance, while not benefitting the Humans in any way from this. In other words, he’s an Android.

For balance, evidence that Josh is Human (also worth reviewing, to make sure we aren’t making a mistake):

  • From GNDT history: When Bucky got shot, Josh and Bucky had just finished a little argument in the GNDT over the use of Marks. If Bucky had got shot during the argument, it’d look very bad for Josh, but Josh seems less likely to have taken the shot, given the circumstances. (Although Bucky was the main person pushing for Josh’s Disabling.)
  • Josh had a deciding vote on the proposal to make it harder for Brendan to reach the Human victory; a CoV by him would have failed the proposal. In addition to making it harder for Brendan to reach the Human victory, it also makes it easier for him to reach the Android victory. It’s possible that Josh was just trying to avoid suspicion, or that he was somehow sure that Brendan was Human. It’s also possible that he was a Human and hoping to dissuade Brendan from rostering, so as to be able to reduce Clearance. (This is incompatible with his behaviour with Mediator, though.)

I think this is easily strong enough evidence for an Accusation. (Also, I’m unwilling to Disable players by trial if I think they have a reasonable chance of being Human, because then they’d be ahead of me in the Clearance race. So I’m not going to post one of these unless I’m pretty sure.)


Josh: he/they

16-02-2015 21:40:42 UTC

against Basically every post you’ve made over the past week has included some variation on the words “Josh is an Android”, so I’m not going to attempt to argue with you. I’ll answer the points then try to avoid threadsitting.

There’s two main responses I’m going to make here, one broad, one narrow. The broad one is that ais and I have different philosophies for this dynasty, and that informs, I think, our mutual accusations. He’s pursuing a maximalist strategy around optimising his own personal victory, and that’s fine. I’m not interested in my own personal victory here, so points 2, 4 and 6 are all irrelevant, as well as the second point in my favour. I treat werewolf as a logic puzzle and enjoy it for the process of working out who the werewolves are. That’s it. I’m not interested in clearance, I’m not interested in personal victory, I’m interested in how people respond to the situation in which they find themselves and how that exhibits itself in terms of mechanical interactions.

Post his trial, I’m increasingly unsure that ais is an Android - but it is clear that regardless of our roles, we’re playing entirely different games. That’s fine, but it doesn’t say anything at all about our respective roles.

The narrower point is around ais’ point 3, which is apparently when he became convinced that I was an Android. Basically, what ais is accusing me of here is noticing something that he didn’t, something that took place during a period in which he was idle. There’s a number of ways to approach that as an accusation, including (but not limited to) “why do you think you have a monopoly on keeping track of stuff”? If the challenge here is that I somehow dug deep and managed to match, even if only briefly, the Sherlockian powers of ais, then I have some more evidence to incriminate myself with because I’m quite sure that it’s not the only thing that I’ve noticed that he hasn’t.

The point I was making in that trial was not indefensible. I won’t rehash it - the trail didn’t succeed and that’s fair enough. But Occam’s Razor plays a part here. As I said in my accusation against him, what’s more likely? That the Androids, led by me, imposed a deliberate and self-restricting moratorium on public actions just to set up one player who might not come back? Or that the lack of actions and the idle period coincided because the player taking the actions and the player who was idle were one and the same? I may have rhetorically over-egged the pudding by not conceding that it could have been a coincidence, but given that this was apparently the incident that set ais off, and thus the accident that has informed all of his confirmation bias instincts ever since, it’s important to note that my initial crime here is a) noticing a thing and b) drawing a logically sustainable inference from it.

That leaves 1 and 5. 5 is misleading - I was responding to Darknight’s point, not making one of my own, and as that post suggests I consider it to be quite an aûtre possibility, albeit one that is technically legal. 1 is unanswerable, but to say that the shot itself is meaningless in terms of evidence, as it is precisely as plausible to have been a false flag as a real response to the trial.

I am very aware that many players have decided that I am an Android. I hope that those players will note that I have not flushed marks since, and that my proposals since the last trial have been mostly somewhere between constructive and administrative. I hope that they will also note that of ais’ six points above, not one speaks to an actual hostile motivation. Most of them, as discussed, are around ais not understanding that not everybody is constantly motivated by the impulse to attack a high score. The rest are highly stretched interpretations of very ambiguous actions.


16-02-2015 21:46:25 UTC

With regards to the timing of the GNDT Mark argument and the Phaser shot, it’s more plausible that he waited to see whether I’d take my Mark off him before shooting, so that he wouldn’t get stuck with a permanent mark against him.


17-02-2015 15:10:34 UTC



17-02-2015 17:16:35 UTC

Josh, your actions aren’t particularly conductive to actually playing a game of Werewolf. I used to play Werewolf quite a lot outside the context of nomic. One of the most important rules of Werewolf is every player must try their best to win. Part of the reason for this is that if players aren’t trying to win, then it becomes almost impossible to see what team people are on.

Or to put it a different way, if “this player isn’t aiming for the Human victory” isn’t a valid indicator of “this player isn’t Human”, then what is? It’s completely impossible to play Werewolf unless the two factions have different motivations.

Josh: he/they

17-02-2015 17:22:55 UTC

Thank you for the lesson ais, I have never encountered werewolf before and certainly don’t have my own opinions on how to play it, having it patronising explained has made my day.

The purpose of this proves to is evaluate whether I’m an Android or not, not dispense school lessons. If you have any queries related to that then bring then forward.


17-02-2015 17:27:02 UTC

You didn’t answer my question.

What would you say is a valid indicator of someone being a Human, or a Werewolf?

I assume there is one, because if you can’t give one, then it’s impossible for you to play Werewolf as Werewolf.

Josh: he/they

17-02-2015 17:32:27 UTC

I announced in the first line if my post that my intention was not to argue with you. I answered your points, and I have no intention of being drawn into further discussion with you, when your intentions are in demonstrably poor faith.

You had your chance to make your argument in the first post, and if it’s not getting you anywhere then feel free to put me on trial on a different basis again in a day or two. If you just want to discuss philosophy of play then I’m up for that, but let’s take it to email.


17-02-2015 17:51:33 UTC

Then I’ll argue instead.  What would you say is a valid indicator of someone being a Human, or a Werewolf?


17-02-2015 17:54:46 UTC

ais523, why should they have to know or tell you what the valid indicator should be? If it were black and white, we would have acted on such information and the game would be over already. The reason we deal with suspicions, trials, and evidence is precisely because there is no clear-cut indicator of Android-hood; anyone could be, anyone might not be.

On the other hand, assuming that everyone is trying to win seems to be a reasonably safe assumption in a Nomic. At the same time, I don’t see why this motivation would necessarily lead to Josh playing the game the way ais523 would expect them to. Pretending to be an Android still seems to be a legitimate strategy.

However, if Josh’s intentions were so noble as to be focused on serving justice, I see no reason that they would care whether they get convicted or not. After all, even the Disabled can post Trials.

The one thing that concerns me most is the Phaser shot. Josh had more motivation than anyone else to shoot Nucky, assuming he could. We know that the Phaser shot happened and that it requires significant expenditure of resources. Therefore, the warrant seems to be that Josh was angry at Bucky and perhaps intimidated by the Trial. To be fair though, a lot of us benefitted from that shot because it weakened Bucky/Brendan. I don’t understand who other than Josh would have enough motivation to actually waste the Phaser shot like that though.

Josh, I hope you are open to discussion even if ais523 makes you angry. What would you say is the probability that ais523 is an Android, and why?


17-02-2015 18:02:48 UTC

@ayesdeeef: I’m trying to establish whether it’s the case that Josh a) is telling the truth about trying to play this dynasty as Werewolf, or b) is lying in the hope that people will vote AGAINST the Trial.

If there’s no potential evidence that would lead to Josh considering a particular person to be a Human or an Android, then a) can’t possibly be the case, because if there’s nothing that lets you determine somebody’s alignment, then it’s impossible to play the game as Werewolf. In order to even get started, there needs to be some factor that causes Humans and Werewolves to play differently.

In most Werewolf games, this is done by telling the Werewolves each others’ identities; then you can (in theory) identify them by the fact that they’re trying to keep each other alive. In this dynasty, attempts to tell the Werewolves each others’ identities have been repeatedly voted down. Thus, as far as I can tell, the only valid indicator we have is what victory condition people seem to be aiming for. If a person doesn’t consider that a valid indicator, then unless they can provide an alternative valid indicator, it is theoretically impossible for that person to play this dynasty as Werewolf (and thus, any claim that that’s what they’re doing is necessarily a lie).

Actually, if we’re talking about classic Werewolf indicators, attempting to avoid questioning / cutting off attempts to determine alignment is something that typically benefits Werewolves and hurts Humans, thus Josh refusing to be questioned is quite suspicious in its own right.


17-02-2015 18:42:09 UTC

Ais, you are making a fundamentally flawed assumption. You seem to believe we are playing Werewolf. We aren’t playing Werewolf: we are playing Nomic. We have many, many more tools at our disposal, and so strategies in Nomic are by definition different than strategies in Werewolf.

Also, it was Ais who pointed out that if history is a reasonable predictor of this game’s outcome then this game will be won by cross-factional alliance. This requires some player to work against their own victory to allow someone else to win. Not everyone is playing to win. Josh’s playstyle is perfectly reasonable, even if it makes the game work differently than others expected.


17-02-2015 18:51:18 UTC

@Sylphrena: Huh? I’ve been playing this as Nomic all along, and have been the person most defending that point of view.

You, of all people, benefit most from Androids being disabled (assuming you’re Human yourself, which seems likely), because you’re closest to a Human victory. Is your argument that you think Josh is a Human, but intentionally trying to help out an Android somewhere rather than winning? I guess that’s plausible, but it’s only a minor argument to not Disable him.

I’ll give a counterargument: unless we start Disabling people via Trial sometime, the dynasty’s not going to end at all, because nobody’s likely to meet their victory condition purely via the other mechanics in the rules. So if you’re playing this purely as a Nomic, when you’re winning, it’s in your interests to move the dynasty closer to an end (so that it ends while you still have the lead).


17-02-2015 19:35:37 UTC

You have said (in this conversation) “Josh, your actions aren’t particularly conductive to actually playing a game of Werewolf.”

You’re argument seems to be that Josh’s actions don’t seem designed to lead to Human victory. I’m pointing out that not everyone goes for victory in nomic. (This was pointed out in one of the player essays on the wiki.) It would be nice if I win, but I find watching gameplay evolve more interesting than finding a winning strategy. Since I can believe that Josh is not trying to win, I don’t see enough evidence to disable him (and therefore possibly put him ahead of me in Clearance).

Josh: he/they

17-02-2015 19:53:10 UTC

Sorry for the long delay in response; a combination of underground trains and dead phone battery. In order:

Bucky - I’ve actually given what I thought was a great indicator of someone being a werewolf. It was when werewolf actions dried up at a time that perfectly coincided with the absence of a loud, active player. I know I’m beating this drum a bit too much, and in fairness ais did deal with it impressively well, somehow managing to turn it into a weakness for me rather than themself. But as a piece of evidence it’s pretty strong. This game of werewolf is unusual because we have other mechanisms for determining role beyond behaviour, but usually what you are doing is looking at who is making alliances with whom, who is getting involved in which arguments, and who is dying as a result of them.

ayesdeeef: Contrary to the above, I no longer fully believe that ais is an Android, nor are they in my top two candidates. I think that their early play, whereby they forewent any attempt at playing the Android / human game in order to pursue a maximalist solo victory strategy, was made unsustainable by their first trial, and their reincarnated persona has been broadly more constructive. Rather than malign to the human cause, however, he has been inefficient. We’ve had a lot of commentary on the impact of individual actions, but very little attempt to develop or progress lines of investigation into human / Android behaviour, nor any attempt to examine any lines of deductive enquiry beyond comparative Clearance scores. That could be explained by simple confirmation bias - they decided I was an Android quickly, got locked into it and now can’t see beyond it as a possibility. It also reflects their own objectives, which are to win the game via Clearance, which is a valid way to play - albeit shortsighted, as the Human victory via Clearance only comes into effect when the Androids are dead. I would be interested to hear what they have to say about eg Brendan, on the subject of whom - as far as I can tell - they have yet to say anything.

On the phaser shot, I think you’re being unfair. As I said at the time, I had no motivation to shoot Bucky - it did not improve my chances in the Trail that was happening at the time. In fact it worsened them, by lowering Command Quorum without obliviating their vote, and as they point out in this thread, it also - at the time - locked me in as their Mark. In exchange, all I got was a single corpse - which, facing a very narrow escape in a Trial, would not have been much use had I been an Android. It makes far more sense to me that it was a stitch up. I still don’t know by whom.

ais is right in one thing - it is usually a hallmark of werewolves in Werewolf to avoid or stifle debate. It is also, however, generically a good idea in life to not debate someone who has no intention of engaging in the discussion in good faith. I hope that it is clear that ais has no intention of allowing me to convince them that they’re wrong in their suspicion of me. Their very question is loaded - they know that I have demonstrably found potential evidence of a player being an Android, because I used it against them, in their own Trial. I will willingly debate the cut and thrust of the game but I will not contribute material to be used against me in rhetorical tricks.


17-02-2015 20:23:38 UTC

Well, the evidence you’ve used against me is evidence that will never be available for any player in future. Idling has been eliminated as a strategy via a sequence of proposals.

This dynasty’s a bit weird in that alliances are mostly not visible (apart from the Bucky/Brendan thing, which was one single comment that has been talked about a lot, but could have been faked by Bucky). I’m pretty sure there’s a huge amount of PM traffic going on; in most Werewolf games, that stuff’s forced to be in the thread.

In regards to Brendan, I’m a little torn. There are two main viewpoints that have been expressed, “Brendan is incompetent” and “Brendan is an Android”. Brendan is, at least, unlikely to achieve a Human victory at this point (due to currently being behind, and unable to gain an advantage via the Pilot role). Losing the Rostering ability might hurt the Humans a little, but at this point, it’s looking like the success or failure of Missions might not end up making a significant difference to the dynasty. I’m currently trying to evaluate how important the Pilot role is. That said, all this comes down to “I haven’t made strong claims about Brendan because I don’t think I’d be able to justify them”, and “I’m not sure how much it benefits me for Brendan to be dead”. These aren’t really useful claims to speak about unprompted.

With respect to the Clearance victory, I’ve come to the conclusion that a) it’s not going to be any easier for Androids to identify each other than it is for Humans to identify them, b) the way things are going, with people not prepared to convict anyone at Trial, it doesn’t really matter how good players are at identifying Androids anyway because nobody will ever get Disabled that way. In other words, I think the faction that wins the dynasty will most likely be decided by chance or alliances; at least, I doubt it’s a factor that’s within my control. (This Trial is an attempt to put some influence on it, although I don’t have high hopes.) If there is an Android victory, there’s not much I can do about it short of rules changes (which will just get Sabotaged), so I’m trying to put myself in the best possible position to win if it doesn’t happen.

(Also, note that the Clearance victory happens the instant all Androids are dead, so it would be terrible play from my part to Disable the last Android when people are still ahead of me on Clearance. I believe that there are at least two Androids currently out there; Darknight was not in the first wave, and I believe Bucky and ayesdeeef to be human. Sphinx is a potential problem; he was first wave, right? I just have to hope he happened to have been Human.)


17-02-2015 20:32:29 UTC

The phaser did not lock Josh in as my Mark, which I switched off before the shot happened.

Josh: he/they

17-02-2015 20:32:43 UTC

“it’s not going to be any easier for Androids to identify each other than it is for Humans to identify them”

You don’t think the Androids currently know who each other are?


17-02-2015 20:37:35 UTC

I don’t. As far as I know, they don’t have any information on the subject that Humans don’t have.

I think it’s statistically more likely for some Human player to know the identity of an Android (but to keep it quiet for personal gain), than it is for an Android to know the identity of a different Android. This is because there are many more Humans around.

Is there any mechanical reason that an Android would have any advantage in finding another Android?

Josh: he/they

17-02-2015 20:40:27 UTC

I guess this was before your time, but I’m pretty sure they figured it out at that point.


17-02-2015 21:25:47 UTC

Ah right. I saw the proposal, but didn’t realise the implications until you linked it. (The fact that it’s a Demand proves that an Android sent it, and the other Androids could email that address, doing something in order to verify their identity.)

I’m not convinced that the Androids recognise each other even despite that. Actually acting on that email would have been a bad idea for the other Androids, because it would create an information asymmetry; nothing would force the Android who sent it to confirm their own identity, and that would be a potentially major advantage. (I’ve seen similar things happen in other Werewolf games; it rarely ends well for the responder.) It does increase the chances, though.

Josh: he/they

17-02-2015 21:34:49 UTC

The thing that swings it for me is the killing of ayesdeeef. The reason why I wanted to keep flushing the marks around then was because I wanted confirmation that the Androids were working together. Two flushed marks aimed at the same Crewmember doesn’t strike me as a likely coincidence, especially as the second would have needed two M4RKs to override GNDT votes.


17-02-2015 21:49:47 UTC

The second would have needed three M4RKs to override GNDT votes, unless one of them was Sylphrena or Brendan.

Come to think of it, this is very similar to the list of people involved in the recent Life Support sabotage (or tampering, but it comes to the same thing): _Fox_, Sylphrena, Brendan.

The conclusion here is that we have strong evidence of a conspiracy that includes a) an Android, b) either Sylphrena or Brendan. (I also note that Brendan was arguing against the theory that implicated the {Sylphrena, Brendan} set back at the time.)

You’ve given me something to think about, at least.


17-02-2015 23:08:53 UTC

There were zero GNDT marks in place for the first Flush, one for the second Flush (my mark on Josh) and four for the third Flush (as per your notes).


17-02-2015 23:28:29 UTC

Team Human - Remember, the strongest evidence Josh is an Android is still that he proposed Marks, which is so rigged in favor of the Androids that whoever wrote it must have been either trying to make the Androids win or a game-throwing idiot who didn’t think through any of the implications of their own proposal.


17-02-2015 23:56:19 UTC

“I’m pretty sure there’s a huge amount of PM traffic going on.”

Hmm… I wonder why you would happen to know that which such confidence ais523?


18-02-2015 00:45:07 UTC

I buy that Josh would not want to phaser Bucky. But, I don’t buy that the Androids know each other yet. I’m just trying to figure out if Josh and his Marks Flushing somehow led to my demise so that I can cast my own biased vote.


18-02-2015 01:15:34 UTC

@ayesdeeef: I don’t think you can vote. Being Disabled blocks Trial votes (rule “Injuries”), in addition to blocking non-Cerebral actions.


18-02-2015 01:29:20 UTC

aww… well still, for closure, ais523 what do you think?

;\ arrow


18-02-2015 05:22:06 UTC

The existence of Marks definitely lead to your disabling. It’s unclear who was responsible, though, because nobody was really thinking about counter-markbomb tactics at the time, and the Marks system does a very good job at being impossible to track.


18-02-2015 10:02:25 UTC

against I still think Josh is an Android. However: a) I no longer think it strongly enough to risk dropping his clearance to 0; b) I don’t want to risk being right on an Josh/Brendan Android team and having the Humans win while I don’t have the lowest Clearance.

Josh: he/they

18-02-2015 16:59:17 UTC

I note that someone has at last figured out how to use the Marks system effectively as a human, and await apologies from those who insulted me about it with baited breath.


18-02-2015 18:48:10 UTC



18-02-2015 20:38:30 UTC

against CoV