A Few Answers To Questions You Always Wondered About

December 21, 2016 | 10 Comments » | Topics: Answers, Interesting

What’s it like to be knocked out in an MMA Fight?

Interviewer: Anderson Silva, what is worse, getting knocked out in the UFC or giving 200 interviews explaining why it happened?

Silva: Getting knocked out I guess.

Interviewer: Is it worse than people asking about it? Like I’m doing again and again and again…

Silva: No no, there will always be questions. Fans, people, they want to know what happened, but being knocked out is worse because you can’t remember. There is just a blackout, and then when you wake up you’re like, “Uh? What Happened? The fight is over?” And the ref says, “Yeah, it’s over and you lost.” “But how?” Then the ref says, “you got knocked out” “BUT HOW?” The ref then answers, “You took a big shot and fell to the mat.”

Interviewer: Lights out? Do you even feel the pain?

Silva: No, you don’t feel anything. You will only feel it later, and there is that old motto, ‘cry on the bed because it’s warmer’.



Why are rich people more successful in court than poor people?

The problem is that my clients don’t enjoy the advantages of a well groomed lifestyle. Half of them don’t even know what I mean when I say “dress nice for trial tomorrow when the jury first sees you.” They think that means show up in jeans with their shirt tucked in, and if they know what kinds of clothes I’m talking about, odds are they can’t afford those ones. They don’t have impeccable hair cuts or nice things, and juries see that. The clients aren’t as relatable.

Their lack of education and lack of emotional training for a serious, quiet environment is a huge handicap as well. They may freak out at me in the middle of trial, talk or scribble on their notepad loudly, grab my shoulder a lot, speak under their breath when the jury’s in the room. When they testify, it tends to go one of two ways: (1) their grounded, simple sincerity wins the day, or (2) they give the prosecutor the kitchen sink by admitting to anything asked of them, true or not, or by trying and inevitably failing to outsmart a prosecutor who has 7+ more years of formal education and 20 years of experience under their belt.

Well before trial, those educational and cultural gaps between myself and the client cause problems. They don’t trust me as much; they often don’t respect me as much. They don’t bother prepping their case with me. I can’t explain complex concepts and expect them to understand after a few tries. A lot of the time explaining the way the law works will make them act out with anger, because they are not used to dealing with bad news quietly and constructively. They will make bad decisions in the lead-up to the case that leave us with handicaps before the trial even starts.

Then there’s the fact that the judge treats them very differently from a wealthier client. The judge knows what the jury often doesn’t: that this man has a long record, that he’s got experience in the system, that he hasn’t learned his lessons from past wrongs. Judges treat people with records very differently than they treat wealthy white people with no criminal record who grew up in the suburbs and have their teary-eyed parents watching from the pews. They don’t give my clients the same benefit of the doubt they might give a wealthier person in a suppression hearing or an evidentiary motion in limine. It’s very subtle, but it’s noticeable. And they’re definitely going to treat my client differently than a wealthier defendant for a sentencing after they’ve been convicted. That’s where it may hurt more than anything. It’s not just the priors and mandatory minimums that will fuck my clients — it’s also the fact that they don’t have the support structures at home to succeed on probation or keep their life in tact following a serious sentence.

None of this is to say that there aren’t also related issues with wealthier clients. Wealth isn’t a guarantee of intelligence or emotional maturity by any means. But I mean, come on — if I’m in a vacuum, having a medical doctor or a banker for a client is going to be a fucking cakewalk compared to having a homeless veteran with 20 things on his record. The doctor might be a headache of an entitled client, but he knows what way is up and how to act in a professional setting, to best reduce the chances that his trial blows up for reasons not related to the actual evidence against him. He’s not going to be sending the signals that trigger the subtle implicit biases judges and prosecutors walk through the door with everyday.

– NurRauch


What’s it like to be an Ugly Woman?

I’d like to answer this, not because I feel I am unattractive, but because at various points in my life I have been treated as such and I want to share honestly and openly what that experience was like.

To provide some background, I have struggled with my weight since I was a young child, and was more or less always the heaviest girl in my peer groups at school. My family did not have a lot of money, meaning that I didn’t get nice haircuts or highlights, makeup, or fashionable clothing and accessories. And finally, I was a nerdy tomboy who actively shunned the idea that appearance matters. I preferred sweatpants to jeans and didn’t have the first clue about how to dress myself or do my hair (which was always tangled and frizzy).

Later on in my life, some of these issues got straightened out, but I remained awkward and extremely overweight until my mid-20s. Therefore, I’ve experienced both the “ugly girl at school” and the “unattractive woman” sides of things.

Childhood and Youth

This was honestly the hardest. Children can be cruel and overt in their treatment of social misfits. I was teased mercilessly, especially by the attractive “popular kids”, on an ongoing basis from as early as first grade.  Here are just a few things that happened to me in grade school and middle school:

Young Adulthood

Things do improve as you get older. The teasing stops (mostly) as it becomes socially unacceptable to mock someone for their appearance or weight. But in some ways, this makes it harder to cope with. You know people are judging you and treating you differently in subtle ways, but since they’re nice about it it’s harder to just ignore them or put up walls.

The Good

While it can be extremely traumatic to go through the experiences I’ve described here, there is actually a silver lining to it all. Attractive women are treated well primarily because we as a society objectify them. In a way, you  get to dodge that bullet. It hurts to feel invisible to the world, but it’s also liberating. You are free to simply exist as a person, and if you are able to make the most of that it can be a great opportunity for spiritual growth.

The other big upside is that you have likely developed a good personality and/or career in order to cope with the social downsides of being unattractive. Combine this with the fact that age, money, and time can go a long way towards making you more attractive, and you will almost certainly end up at an advantage later on in your life.

Natural beauty fades, of course, but intelligence, empathy, wit, and kindness last forever.

Anne K. Halsall



What Is The Psychology behind All These Addictive Mobile Games?

Coming from the mobile video game industry, a lot of effort has gone into the study of what causes addiction without having to affect the addiction with foreign chemicals.

Findings typically go down the path of differences in how much people value short term benefit versus long term consequences. Since individuals are all different, the key is to find mechanisms that help monetize the ones who overvalue the short term. Creating ways to remove pressure/pinch points blocking someone from short-term fun is as effective as providing mechanisms to dose incremental amounts of fun/reward.

The Stanford marshmallow study is a good example of this… kids were offered one marshmallow now or wait and get two marshmallows. Some kids saw the long term benefit of patience and valued long term benefit. Others valued immediate gratification (and perhaps the minimal marginal benefit of the long term) and wanted their marshmallow now.

Addicts tend to be the ones who want one marshmallow now. Addicts are also susceptible to negative reinforcement created when designers place a barrier (known as a pinch) between the player and their reward. Those that are very impatient will spend money to avoid waiting or losing since these people value the positive feelings more than free players.

Games typically slowly dial up the amount of pain/pinching the longer the customer is engaged… this washes out the casual gamers over time and allows only highly dedicated (or highly spending) ones to remain. Naturally the marginal benefit of spending also degrades over time as the “highs” of the game diminish, so game designers also have to keep finding ways to keep the game fun and fresh.

If the monetization loop is too aggressive then even the addict will flame out or realize something is wrong. Just like in slot machines, the slow-drip cycle of a long bleed-out is critical to ensure addiction to the benefit of paying money without making the game feel like it’s detrimental to the addict.


I don’t work in video games any more. I think something became off-the-rails bad, and the digital interactive entertainment industry just went horribly off base when some developers realized mobile gaming was the perfect medium to legally apply strategies previously executed only by drug dealers, extortion rackets, and casino operators.

The immediate gratification and manipulation of addictive/short-term personalities into profit, especially by using negative reinforcement, is very powerful. If someone could be a sociopath and view customers as piles of cash to access in a monetized compulsion loop, that sociopath stood to make a fortune.

I actually like video games and interactive entertainment… so I got out of the business since it was so ugly.

I saw game studio pitch decks that contained more content talking about BF Skinner’s work on behavioral psychology and less content about what was actually going into the game. Developers were bragging about how they weren’t making games anymore, they were farming whales.

Here’s an article about Zynga’s creative director Roger Dickey (credited for Mafia Wars). He gleefully talks about how he can make a game about anything, since the winning $$$ formula comes by applying pain and letting customers pay to remove the pain.


“I wanted to see if game designers could create an addictive game out of anything. So I asked a bunch of people how to make a great game about the most boring thing I could think of: making toast.”

“But how can a company make money off a game about toasting bread?” … that part is pretty easy: Just wait until a player is in a groove — overcoming challenges — and then put a big fat barrier in front of him. Run out of time, run out of lives, run out of delicious strawberry jam. Then, make the player pay to get a little boost to get over that barrier.”

“In the business, this barrier is called ‘fun pain.'”

– holydonut2k1 



What’s it like to play a pickup game of basketball with Magic Johnson?

I used to have a membership at the Hollywood YMCA, and there as a pickup game there every single day. The normal game was just a bunch of guys who were there every day, but once or twice a week, some crazy good ex college and sometimes even ex pros came in.

You had 5 man teams, played to 10 points, winning team kept the court and the next team rotated in. When the really good guys came, they always played on the same team, and they ran the court for hours at a time. (They were dicks about it too, acting like they owned the place, etc.)

There was this really old man (60 or so) who played alot, he wasn’t worth much but he could bomb threes like mad when he was hot, and he always claimed he was friends with Magic Johnson and that one day he’d bring him in and we’d finally get to beat this one really good group of guys. We all thought he was full of shit. Then, lo and behold, one day the group of really good guys came in and started winning, (one of them played for UCLA back in the day, and one of them had played pro in Europe) and they started ordering everyone around, calling cheap fouls, etc. So this old man lost it, he leaves and says he’ll be back in twenty minutes. Twenty minutes later, he came back with, no shit, Magic Johnson.

This was like summer of 1997, so Magic was probably only a year or two removed from his comeback season with the Lakers. He was in really good shape, and he looked like he was about 37 feet tall compared to me, and I’m 6’3″. So, Magic and this old man formed a team, I tried to get on it but they needed runners and I was a known gunner. Eventually it’s their turn, and they take the court. Magic played PG, dribbled the ball up the court, and he said he would only shoot the ball two times per game. “The first bucket of the game, and the last.” The other team just scoffed and said he could shoot all he wanted, they were obviously not scared at all.

Long story short, Magic absolutely destroyed the game, made those guys look like little boys. As he stated, he did indeed score the first bucket of the game, a very long three pointer (it actually only counted as 2, that’s how we played) and then he just became strictly a passer. It seemed like he grabbed just about every rebound of the entire game, and made some insane passes. At one point he actually dribbled the ball up the court by running backwards, and was laughing and obviously not even trying at all. The old man who called him there ended up hitting a three to make the score 9-3, or maybe 9-4, I can’t recall, but then Magic said “Ok, you guys get one more posession, then this game is over.” With this big grin on his face. So the other team took the ball up the court, but all of a sudden, like a lightning bolt or something, Magic just… it was almost like he dissappeared, that’s how fast he moved… he just exploded off his feet, stole the ball from the dribbler, dribbled the ball up the court like a sprinting deer, took it all the way to the hole and dunked it. Not a hard dunk, not a spectacular dunk, it was more like he dunked it the way a normal person would open their car door, like, his facial expression didn’t even change. Game over.

Epilogue: The other guys were mad and demanded a rematch, but Magic said the rules of the court were that they had to give up the court to the winnig team and wait their turn to play again. Magic ended up playing there that day for about 2 hours, and won at least 10 games in that timespan. The really good team played his team 2 more times, and again Magic’s team won both times, score was never even close.

– @toldyaso