Yogesh Dhimate

Notes to Myself

Jul 6, 2022 - 1 minute read - Personal

Solving Absurd Trolley Problems

Absurd Trolley Problems is an interesting exercise. When I started at level 1 my goal was to keep the number the deaths caused by my decisions as low as possible. But at every other level this rule of thumb wasn’t useful e.g. Killing 5 elderly people to save a baby seemed moral to me.

The one question threw me off was this.

Due to a construction error, a trolley is stuck in an eternal loop. If you pull the lever the trolley will explode, and if you don’t the trolley and it’s passengers will go in circles for eternity. What do you do?

Apparantly 50% people who played, still preferred to pull the lever (potentially) instantly killing them. What would be the justification for that?

The other ones I kept thinking about after closing the game were

  • 50% chance of killing 2 people or a 10% chance of killing 10 people

  • Killing 5 people now or 5 people in the future

  • Killing 1 cat or 5 lobsters

It’s also a little bit creepy that I unintentionally followed Three Laws of Robotics to make my decisions.

Jun 23, 2022 - 2 minute read - Personal

Finishing Clash of Clans

Today will go down in the history as a remarkable day. Approximately after 8 odd years I finished playing Clash of Clans. Upgrading that last brick of wall was a bittersweet moment.

I’m not much of a gamer. I do not own PlayStations, Wiis or such gadgets. I would rather read a book or watch a suspenseful movie than chase pixel upgrades on a tiny phone screen. But I still got hooked. Supercell (and it’s ilk) has figured out human psychology. They leverage ‘Sunk Cost Fallacy’ very well. And you have to be EXTREMELY mindful.

Unlocking new defenses and troops across 14 different townhall upgrades, leveling up armies, grinding heroes, pets, and walls is all in the past now. It was tiring, frustrating and fun at the same time. Climbing up those trophies and reaching legend level felt magically fullfilling. Here’s a funny anecdote - at the peak of my enthusiasm for this game, I timed rest-room breaks on long road trips so I could have an army ready to get a couple of attacks in.

Reflecting on my journey, I think I enjoyed playing Clash a lot due to excellent camaraderie in my team. While we were playing anonymously, we had deep trust in players. We respected team decisions. Followed through the plans when participating in wars. Built our upgrade and war strategy using modern tools like skitch and google docs. Over communicated using discord to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. But we never forgot to play casually to enjoy the spirit of the game. As I got busy with work and family, I gave up playing for a couple of years. I came back to finish what I had originally started in 2014. It felt unending journey. Well, it’s a wrap now!

Thanks for a good time Clash! While I will miss you, I am NOT looking forward to playing it anymore!