The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Must we always follow the rules?

Each day, having nothing of greater importance to do most of the time (just as before I retired), I play a number of Freecell games. I have become adept at this game. I have developed complicated and shrewd strategies to solve the puzzle that underlies the game.

To date, under the reign of this computer, I have managed to accumulate Four Thousand Six Hundred Sixteen games of which I have solved Four Thousand Six Hundred Fifteen of them. Before I had loaded Windows 7 on this computer, I had managed only to achieve about a 83% solve rate. What changed? Why, I discovered that I could now back up to the start of the game by pressing the Ctrl+Z combination. Each press backs you up one move. Holding the key combination down results in a quick journey back toward the beginning.

I know, a number of you are shaking your heads and muttering "What a cheater!" But I have always done this with hand dealt solitaire games. I would back up from the current move to where I felt I had made a fatal mistake. Usually only four or five moves needed to be undone. More are often needed with Freecell. Sometimes the mistake is made at the very beginning. Still, I do not consider this cheating. More like "amending."

You can also, once you have backed up to the beginning, just exit the game without it being registered as a loss. I rarely do this unless I have a pressing engagement elsewhere and must leave.

I was chatting with a friend who bragged about not having lost any Freecell games at all on his Windows XP machine. Of course, he had learned (as I had) that you could simply Ctrl-Alt-Del out of the game and it would not register as a loss. He did not feel he was cheating. He did, however, think what I did was. Situational ethics, I call that. Especially since doing that in Vista or Win 7 is more complicated than in previous versions.

In any case, I haven't abused this feature. At least, not as I define abuse.

We often abuse rules in games. Golf is a fine example. I play golf three days a week. We fudge the rules a little within our group of 9-12 (summer) or 15-30 (Winter) because we realize we are not pros. Therefore, we are allowed "roll the ball" on the fairway and "fluff" in the rough. The latter has been recently extended to what are called "waste bunkers." and some also apply it to regular bunkers where they have been poorly (or not at all) raked after play.

I do not do any of that as a general rule. I admit to rolling in the fairway when the fairway has been so poorly maintained that it constitutes pseudo-rough. We do not often play on well manicured courses. But, other than that, I play the ball as it lies. And I only do that when playing in our group. If I am playing alone or with strangers, I do not do this ever, not once... okay, maybe once or twice. I do not take what are called "Mulligans." These I reserve for Freecell.

Freecell is where I feel free to fudge the rules a bit. If there really is a rule that says I cannot take back as many moves as I wish.

1 comment:

Bagman and Butler said...

I'm not sure you can cheat at solitaire. It's sort of like a tree falling in the forest. Does it make any noise? It's just a shame that we can't push control-Z when we screw up in real life.