Self-Meta for Null Tells

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Rob14
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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:25 am

This argument came up in the recently finished Micro 553.

Conventional wisdom says that self-meta is useless because you can manipulate your meta when you're aware of it. This conventional wisdom is usually sound, but I believe there is one instance in which self-meta is very useful and informative. When I've used self-meta this way in the past, I've been met with mixed reactions.

The case in which I believe self-meta is useful is to point out your own null tells. Basically, if you know you do some action "X" as both town and scum, then it should be appropriate for you to point this out.

Example:

Player A is calling Player B scum for doing action X.
Player B cites other games where he has done action X as town.
Player B claims this is proof that action X is not a scum tell (i.e. a null tell).


Should Player B be believed? I'd say yes, provided they can give proof that they've done action X as town. This follows basic rules of logic, in my opinion.

Player A is claiming the implication that "X --> Player B is scum".
Player B finds an example of "X and Player B is town".
Then the implication does not hold, because "X and Player B is town" is logically equivalent to the negation of "X --> Player B is scum".

Why should this be considered different than normal self-meta? Because it is not subject to manipulation. Saying that you've done X as town and therefore you're town in this game is clearly open to manipulation. On the other hand, it's simply stating a fact to provide proof that you've done X as town. It's verifiable by other players in the game. It doesn't prove you're town, but it does disprove that you're scum because of X, because you've shown a game (or, better, a set of games) where applying the tell that "X --> Player B is scum" would yield an incorrect result.

I would also claim that it's optimal to point out when someone is using one of your null tells to paint you as scum. You know what you've done in past games best. You can't trust others to prove you've done X as town if they haven't read the game where it happened. You're in a unique situation to apply self-meta, so long as you do so carefully and do not attempt to use it to show you're town.

I'm interested in thoughts on this. From a logical perspective, I think this is airtight, but most people see self-meta and immediately back away in fear. I think this is one more example of conventional scum-hunting tactics and tells becoming out of date and leading people awry. Applying self-meta to disprove a scum tell should absolutely be a tool in a townie's toolbox, as well as a goon's. It's all in how you apply the self-meta.

Just to be very clear, I agree that self-meta to prove you're town is awful and subject to manipulation. I'm only talking about self-meta to prove something is a null tell for you.

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Post Post #1  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:28 am

Completely agree with this. Thanks, Rob!
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Post Post #2  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:50 am

um... isn't this just common sense? i think most of the stigma against "self-meta" is about people going "this is my town meta"...

edit: i mean, this doesn't just apply to self-meta but meta in general, so...
spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh

Rob14
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Post Post #3  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:00 am

I would say so, Muffin, but you can read Micro 553 to see at least two players be very strictly against considering this at all. I hold both of those players in high regard, as do many others, so apparently this isn't as much common sense as I thought.

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Post Post #4  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:04 am

then they're wrong and lacking in common sense

or they didn't understand the point being made

one or the other

and if the former, they're also bad at using meta and should probably never use it as a tool
spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh spiffeh

Rob14
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Post Post #5  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:45 am

One of them was against meta as a whole, which I consider even worse.

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Post Post #6  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:17 am

i agree with you rob
third best scummer of all time

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Post Post #7  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:58 am

I agree that pointing out something as null is beneficial. I think "I'm always like this" is a valid response to attack.

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Post Post #8  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:51 am

I self-meta things I do as either alignment all the time and heavily discourage people from doing other types of self-meta whenever I see it.

Generally its because the first reasons I get scumreadare for nulltells on me, though.
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Post Post #9  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:19 pm

It really is common sense, and somehow there always seems to be someone trying to take an argumen like that and say you're implying you're Town because of it. I think the proper response to those people is "they could still be scum, but not because of this."

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Post Post #10  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:32 am

The problem is that every context is different, which heavily influences the undertaken actions. There are often subtle (or not so subtle) differences. Every game is different in a way. So when someone says "that is a null tell against me", I will not be convinced right away that I should drop this specific reason for scumreading them. Other than that, sometimes something is a null tell regardless of meta.

It is also better if someone else does the meta-reading for you (if you want to use meta-reads to nullify reads). Self-metas are meh.
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Post Post #11  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:54 am

You don't have to agree with them just because they say something's null for them. It's not a get out of scumreading free card. It's okay to reply with "I still think you're scum". But I don't think it's scummy to say "yeah I do that every game that's just who I am".

They're saying it's null, which means they do it as both alignments, which means they could still be scum or they could be town after all.

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Post Post #12  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:17 am

In post 11, Plotinus wrote:You don't have to agree with them just because they say something's null for them. It's not a get out of scumreading free card. It's okay to reply with "I still think you're scum". But I don't think it's scummy to say "yeah I do that every game that's just who I am".

They're saying it's null, which means they do it as both alignments, which means they could still be scum or they could be town after all.
Yes, but perhaps they are leaving the context out of consideration. Saying "I do action X all the time regardless of alignment" when they actually meant "I do action X all the time when context C regardless of alignment". However, if this is context C', not context C, then that may not be a null tell after all.
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Post Post #13  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:29 am

Perhaps they are. What matters is that they think, or want you to think, that it's a null tell for them. So you can either do some legwork to find out whether it's really null, or you can continue scumreading them based on deeper things -- motivation, how they're affecting the game state -- rather than surface level stuff (which is usually the kind of things that people claim are null for them anyway).

For example: I wall post a lot. I can't help it very much, even when I'm trying to be brief. I wall post as town and I wall post as scum and I wall post as 3rd party. The fact that I'm wall posting doesn't mean very much. Saying I'm town because I wouldn't be efforting if I were scum will make me suspicious if I think you have a reason to know better. Saying I'm scum because I'm writing too many words will piss me off. Saying I'm 3rd party for walling will make me wonder why you're 3rd party hunting instead of scumhunting :P

What you need to do is look at what i'm saying. How am I affecting the game state? What am I trying to accomplish with the post that I have written? Is the wall post a town wall or a scum wall? Saying "it's too many words, must be [alignment]" is lazy and you'll only be accidentally correct, and it makes your argument weaker because there will be other players who have seen me do it as the opposite alignment to what you're suggesting I am.

"They consistently derailed scum wagons onto town even when there was a lot of circumstantial evidence to suggest the person was guilty" is a good argument for me being scum and will convince people to vote me.

"They wrote a lot of words but I didn't read them" is a meaningless statement.

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Post Post #14  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:39 am

Saying I'm scum because I'm writing too many words will piss me off.
Yeah, that is shitty reasoning regardless of your meta.
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Post Post #15  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:40 am

like if you say "in post 1337, Plotinus looked like they were really reluctant to their buddy" nobody is ever going to say "looking reluctant to bus people is a null tell for me. i do it as both alignments."

And if you say "in post 666, Plotinus posted a kitten picture so they're probably scum" then i'll probably reply with:

Image



pedit: it is, yeah. I used that example specifically because people have attacked me from that angle in a bunch of games (as both alignments)

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Post Post #16  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:32 am

I have vastly different activity levels independent of alignment. The reasons for doing so are usually different based on alignment, biut there's no reasonable way to tell them apart as an outside soiurce.
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Post Post #17  (ISO)  » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:07 pm

IMO the prohibition on using self meta only applies if you bring it up yourself. If someone else brings up meta, then sure, it's appropriate and pretty much necessary to defend with your meta, and you can claim that it's null or town if you can support it.

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Post Post #18  (ISO)  » Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:01 pm

I'd argue that bringing up meta yourself is fine for null tells. That's kind of the point, and I did do that in the game I was referring to.

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Post Post #19  (ISO)  » Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:21 pm

Rob, you were scum in that game. Perhaps people had a good reason to bring that up against you. You felt that you didn't give anything away, because you felt that you didn't diverge from your town game. I just don't believe that.

This is why you are not "allowed" to talk about your self-meta. You were scum and were using it to stop people from suspecting you. However, they were right to suspect you.
Last edited by AlwaysInnocent on Thu Dec 24, 2015 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Post #20  (ISO)  » Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:24 pm

In post 19, AlwaysInnocent wrote:Rob, you were scum in that game. Perhaps people had a good reason to bring that up against you. You felt that you didn't give anything away, because you felt that you didn't diverge from your town game. I just don't believe that.

This is why you are not allowed to talk about your self-meta. You were scum and were using it to stop people from suspecting you. However, they were right to suspect you.

Just because the correct conclusion is reached, it doesn't mean the methods used to reach that conclusion are correct.

I feel this applies a lot to Mafia. Quite often people go "well my logic wasn't flawed because [X] was scum" to deflect criticism of flawed arguments, and that is fallacious.
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Post Post #21  (ISO)  » Thu Dec 24, 2015 6:23 pm

In post 20, Davsto wrote:
In post 19, AlwaysInnocent wrote:Rob, you were scum in that game. Perhaps people had a good reason to bring that up against you. You felt that you didn't give anything away, because you felt that you didn't diverge from your town game. I just don't believe that.

This is why you are not allowed to talk about your self-meta. You were scum and were using it to stop people from suspecting you. However, they were right to suspect you.

Just because the correct conclusion is reached, it doesn't mean the methods used to reach that conclusion are correct.

I feel this applies a lot to Mafia. Quite often people go "well my logic wasn't flawed because [X] was scum" to deflect criticism of flawed arguments, and that is fallacious.
Perhaps it was a certain way of tunneling that caused people to believe that he was scum, that was different from his town game, and they just weren't able to formulate it well enough. There are so many things that can be overlooked.
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Post Post #22  (ISO)  » Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:19 pm

In post 19, AlwaysInnocent wrote:Rob, you were scum in that game. Perhaps people had a good reason to bring that up against you. You felt that you didn't give anything away, because you felt that you didn't diverge from your town game. I just don't believe that.

This is why you are not "allowed" to talk about your self-meta. You were scum and were using it to stop people from suspecting you. However, they were right to suspect you.


And I can quote you five town games where I brought up self-meta to point out null tells as well. That means it's a null tell.

(lol)

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Post Post #23  (ISO)  » Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:22 pm

Every time someone has pushed me based on something that's null when applied to me, they have never played with me before or only have played with me once.
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Post Post #24  (ISO)  » Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:23 pm



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