One Hour One Life Forums

a multiplayer game of parenting and civilization building

You are not logged in.

#1 2019-02-19 17:38:48

Registered: 2018-03-21
Posts: 531

The Anna Karenina Principle

Tolstoy's classic novel Anna Karenina begins with the famous line, "All happy families are alike. All unhappy families are unhappy in their own way."

Historian Jared Diamond use this principle to discuss animal domestication in his book "Guns, Germs, and Steel." The reason some animals have never been domesticated is because for an animal to be domesticated several things have to be right, whereas one wrong aspect can prevent domestication. For example, North American deer are too skittish, zebras are too feisty, and elephants take too long to reach sexual maturity [note: there are "tamed" elephants not "domesticated elephants".]

Aristotle described a similar concept, much farther back in Nicomachean Ethics, writing, "Again, it is possible to fail in many ways (for evil belongs to the class of the unlimited, as the Pythagoreans conjectured, and good to that of the limited), while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is easy and the other difficult – to miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult); for these reasons also, then, excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue; For men are good in but one way, but bad in many."

My point in bringing up this concept, is that this is how how our camps and civilizations _should_ be functioning. It should never have been easy for an Eve an Eve camp to reach the point of a sustainable food supply. For an Eve camp to turn into a thriving civilization, several aspects have to be correct.

- near soil and water with enough food to survive
- Enough milkweed to make fire and snares
- responsible players who gather from the wilds and stay alive
- Getting early agriculture going rapidly (the first carrots coming in is a big achievement, even if not much food)
- Sufficient access to clay/someone actually making bowls and plates
- finding basic clothes
- Producing iron tools before local soil is out
- Capturing a mouflon and domesticating sheep
- Continuously making compost and eating food better than berries
- Not having sudden fertility problems
- Not being hit with mass violence

i'm sure people can think of more, but a village could fail for a near infinite number of reasons.

i was in a 20th gen village i ultimately ran away from yesterday that i'm pretty sure only survived a few more generations because i made one batch of compost before running off (I literally use the last wheat and planted the carrots, and there wasn't any other soil available...and someone stole one of two wheat straws..i ran because i figured it was doomed and someone threatened me). The point is, Plenty of things had to consistently happen to allow the society to survive up to that point, but at some time, the compost had just stopped being cared for, despite that it was obvious to see the berries were drying out and there was no soil around.

This game really isn't achieving its purpose if Eve camps have that high of survival rates. It needs to be remembered, a family may have 20-30 people, and there are max like 180 on the server at a time, There doesn't need to be that many total long lineages at any given time. That people are more likely to stay alive in a city favors those lineages anyway, on top of warmth and fullness/yum

Its not a bad thing if Eve camps have low survival rates, it's actually how the game should be working. It only takes a small percentage of Eve camps surviving for most people to be born into civilization. And with the size of the player base, we actually want enough players so great civs don't die when the playerbase drops at night etc. [so a limited number of larger civilized families at a time is desirable]. However, as long as people continue to use /die, I'm sure we'll continue to have more Eve camps than we would otherwise. On the bright side, Eveing and early camps are fun and exciting.

I'll tell you what I tell all my children: Make basket, always carry food.

Some recent data showed I have abnormally high [if not champion level] amounts of grandchildren, so LISTEN TO YOUR MOM! She knows what's best.


Board footer

Powered by FluxBB