Whoever said resource allocation is a solved problem deserves a kick in the nads.

Thursday, 01 October, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

From the very logs in question :

mircea_popescu and of course now the problem that faces me is the twin headed monster of how to split and how to price this bunch of chetty sticks.
mircea_popescu whoever said resource allocation is a solved problem deserves a kick in the nads.
danielpbarron mircea_popescu> those kits to make samovars are incumbent upon danielpbarron delivering my 500odd io. << i need the shrooms and moss from diana_coman
mircea_popescu danielpbarron you basically want all the sticks you can get your hands on or what's your position ?
danielpbarron yeah
mircea_popescu diana_coman you idem, iirc ?
diana_coman yes, lol

To understand the very instructive situation that arose in this absolutely priceless laboratory of economic experimentation and subsequent learning the likes of which never was seen (and from which you absentee yourself at your own sad and irreparable loss) : the three parties to the above conversation find themselves in a relatively balanced situation. Long gone are the days of Messiah walking the lands. The needs and imperatives of ever growing commercial exchange have pushed that quaint, spiritual, comfortably familiar world aside, to make way for THE FUTURE OF PROGRESS!

These days, the Evil Empire of Dianai, with its utter disregard for human rights and a clear notunderstanding of how the world works inexplicably enjoys a significant advantage in mining. While it's true that she doesn't have Sortage, which helps in yet unknown ways with (apparently) mostly basic resources, both the other two do. What they don't have, however, she does - Farming, a skill that's similar except addresses grocery type items (leaving both mining products and lumberjacking yet uncovered by the inteprid if slow going colonists of this new world). She's also the highest skilled Gatherer, and a major source of Wooly Mushrooms and so on.

Meanwhile, the mysterious, distant and incomprehensible Jewish-Ferenghi confederacy of Daniel enjoys monopoly on all sorts of odds and ends, such as the whole sacrificial sort of spirituality as it exists in The Murky World, as well as the time honored and universally reviled quality of sole and only auction winner for all official S.MG in-game auctions. Into his black-hole like storage depots many a youthful, hopeful item were sucked, never to be heard from again!

And sandwiched between the Russian Bear and the Chinese... what is it, wasp ? you find my very humble and your servant self, lone shield of the true faith and defender of the Saxons plus uphelder of the one true way and democracy in this cruel, demeaning, dirty world. I, humbly, heroicly, I only fight to preserve the good of the entire world plus cookies from the all consuming evil of everyone else all the time!

So basically to cut to the chase, you got the US, Russia and China walking into a bar. The bartender's busy mixing metaphors in a semaphore manner. I mean sophomore miner. Or anyway, nevermind.

Moving on : Chetty Sticks are about 100 times as expensive to operate as the Improved version of the widely available mining tools (Cruddy Hoes, Stone Adzes and Stone Picks), though it's not directly clear what this does. Nevertheless, because they markedly offer larger finds per unit time, as well as larger skill gains per idem, and also because they are in short supply, Chetty Sticks are a strategic item.

Their production is iffy, and I depend on its continuation both strictly and merely for convenience on the two. Let's go into detail. Chetty Sticks take

  1. Particularly Promising Branches, which are easy to make, but in that they need 77 readily gatherable Solid Branches and go 3 to the Chetty Stick, they're a pain. You can readily spend an hour scouring the beaches with a Cruddy Hoe to get together 231 Solid Branches.ii
  2. Flinty Toothpaste, which in turn
    1. Takes Abandoned Eggs, which I've never mined (but usually buy from Diana), they're not that hard to get but they still have to be gotten,
    2. Also takes Shiny Rock Shards which I have plenty of, and Disgusting Goop which idem,
    3. Has to be cooked on a Samovar, which is iffy because it takes mostly (by value) items that I control the production of, but hinges on Slithy Tove, a not yet found natural resource of which I have small stocks and Diana comparatively large stocks.
  3. Also Thorns and Polished Stones, of which I have sufficient stocks
  4. And also require the use of a Toolkit, which I have well enough in hand but still, it has to be done,
  5. As well as recipes, which are a pain to get because they require noobs to work them and somehow noobs are in short supply in Eulora.

So, not to put too fine a point on it, my interests are as follows :

  1. That I maximize the cash receipts for the sale of the stack of Chetty Sticks I produced,
  2. But not in such a way that I piss off either of the two raving lunatic anti-Western Gaddafi Noriegas so I end up with trade sanctions, attempted coups and cyberwarfare,
  3. While at the same time optimizing so that these technological items that are used to produce natural resources we'll need in the future actually are used efficienctly (as it helps me naught to make 10% more coppers on this deal and then lose ten thousand as many coppers as a result of price increases of future raw materials etc).

Does it sound enough like home, yet ? Good. Because it is.

So how do you allocate resources ?

I could, of course, auction them off. But this winner-takes-all approach to resource allocation necessarily creates unutilized capacity, which will make someone somewhere bitter.

I could, of course, sell for a fixed price. But if the price is lower than the demand would allow I've solved absolutely no problem (both will offer to pay), whereas if it is higher I idem solved no problem (neither will pay) but created some problems (both will identify ME as the reason they can't have nice things, because they're just the sort of devil-inspired alien foreigners that'd think such damnable heretic thoughts). My chances of discovering the right price by meditation are nil, and the auction method which actually works is already discussed above.

Or I could not sell anything and just go use them myself and then use the products and then increase the size of the day to have more time to keep chasing down all the work needed in this economy and then jack off with one hand and play with myself with the other (to see which one fills first). Except what is the fun in that ?

Life's hard because it's not easy, what can I say.iii

  1. Here's an Oglaf illustration from the early days of Oglaf ilustrationing :

    the-venerial-gourmet []

  2. The only reason this batch even happened is because Daniel sold me a large pile of PPB. []
  3. Resource allocation is a solved problem only in those contexts where you don't have multiple agents. Solved by lying as it were, like the case of "curing cancer" by only treating patients that don't actually have cancer. Whenever you have actual independent agents acting sovereignly, "economy" as is understood in English doesn't pay for the book bindings it finds itself in. []
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2 Responses

  1. [...] until you are truly skint. Then read some logs for a taste of the pricing problem. Read about the trouble of resource allocation and read about some of the rather complex trade agreements currently in place. Yes, you can [...]

  2. [...] trade to date and assorted teologico-socioeconomic considerations) and the second from October 1st (Whoever said resource allocation is a solved problem deserves a kick in the nads), because they illustrate and record for posterity how in the narrow space of a coupla of months, [...]

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