Do You Believe in "Nagare"?

Japanese Reach Mahjong Rules. Strategy, news, sets - anything!

Moderator: Shirluban

Esh
Fresh Reacher
Fresh Reacher
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:08 pm

Re:Do You Believe in

Post by Esh » Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:21 pm

HotelFSR:

I was actually referring to luck in general. Not just for playing games. People catch lucky breaks all the time, while some people just never seem to get out of a slump. But, I suppose that\'s neither here nor now. But the point is, I wasn\'t referring to cartoon characters when I said I believed that some people were more lucky than others. Both my sister and my best friend refuse to gamble. I\'ve never seen them lose in a game of poker, or anything else, really. Maybe they\'re cheating, maybe not, but I believe that they\'re honest and that they play honest, and they still win.

It\'s kinda difficult for me to put down in words. . .

Basically, I believe that the \"variance\" of the probability for winning is stuck with some people. That, statistically, they\'re going to win more often, just because they were another statistic.

Let me explain it this way:

Lets say that 1 out of every 100 children, throughout their life, will win more games of chance than any of the other 99 children. They aren\'t special, persé, but rather a statistic.

I dunno if that\'s making any sense right now. I\'ve never really had to put it into any words.


However, for the concept of Nagare? Yeah, I don\'t believe in that for a second. However, I don\'t know the history, but I think that it was just another superstition that people started noticing that when they win, they keep on winning until they lose. It\'s just a natural tendency of humans. In fact, there was a guy who did a social experiment, Derren Brown, where he took 5 people and put them in a room with a digital counter, a glass door with a pile of money behind it, lots of many odd and senseless things like rubber balls and colored spots, and a sign that says the door will open if the counter gets up to 100. However, what they aren\'t told, is that the counter is rigged up to a button in front of a goldfish tank in another room. And every time one of the two gold fish cross the center of the tank, a person would press that button, which would increase the counter by one.


Long story short(too late), by the end, the 5 people were doing ridiculous things in order to increase the counter. They would spin around in circles, they would jump up and down on the rubber balls on top of the colored circles, etc, etc. While it may seem slightly off topic at this point, I believe that this experiment shows Nagare for what exactly it is. People applying meaning to otherwise meaningless things, then basing their actions on or around it.

I\'m just rambling now, so I\'ll just wait to see what you have to say.

HotelFSR
Expert Reacher
Expert Reacher
Posts: 328
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 am
Location: Federated States of Micronesia

Re:Do You Believe in

Post by HotelFSR » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:27 pm

Interesting experiment!

As for luck being tied to certain people, what evidence do you see for that?

It\'s precisely because people like your sister play very few games that they may seem to be extremely lucky/unlucky. Over many games this variation would naturally be ironed out and their true ability/expected statistics would become more apparent.

For example, I recently started a new account on a Mahjong site and started out with some great hands and had about 70% combined 1st + 2nd percentage over my first 20-30 games or so. This must have made me seem godly to opponents scouting me, but of course this trend didn\'t last for long and my record now is more in tune with my actual ability level after I logged more games.

Although some top players on Ron2 actually maintain combined 1st + 2nd win percentages around 60-70% over hundreds of games due to their skill (confirmed by their rating), you would nevertheless statistically expect an average player to beat them (1st or 2nd place) about 30-40% of the time, or roughly 1 out of 3 games. Based on that, it\'s not particularly improbable that an average player could sit down with some of these top guys on a given night and beat them in two or three out of four games. Perhaps that\'s all they play that particular night. All of a sudden the average player seems like a genius, or appears to be particularly lucky! Of course, this is not statistically all that unusual, and would be ironed over a greater number of games. The chances of the average player get exponentially worse with each additional game when the number played is small. Over ten games the average player\'s chance of coming out ahead is tiny, even though he has a 1 in 3 chance in each individual game. To calculate this, you multiply each game\'s outcome probabilites expressed as fractions rather than add them.

Does this answer your point about some people seeming inherently lucky or unlucky?

Esh
Fresh Reacher
Fresh Reacher
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:08 pm

Re:Do You Believe in

Post by Esh » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:41 pm

Maybe.

I mean, you\'re right, I have seen them play very few games of chance. It could just be that they haven\'t played enough to really lose a lot either. But then again, I haven\'t been them, I haven\'t seen the things that they do when I\'m not around. So who knows?

And then there\'s the subconscious effects there too. I seem to lose like crazy if you start to involve money, making me a horrible gambler. But whether this is because it\'s just luck or chance, or simply because maybe my mentality changes slightly, I\'ll never really know. Probability and luck, you can\'t really prove them. You can only really measure them, and compare those measurements to others.

HotelFSR
Expert Reacher
Expert Reacher
Posts: 328
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 am
Location: Federated States of Micronesia

Re:Do You Believe in

Post by HotelFSR » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:48 pm

Well, you can \'prove\' them in a way. You can make very accurate predictions based on probabilites you have measured. This is used a lot in fields like medicine and engineering.

There is much more use to statistics than just measurement.

Yttrasil
Fresh Reacher
Fresh Reacher
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:11 am

Re:Do You Believe in

Post by Yttrasil » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:28 pm

Esh, not to be rude but you are so immensely incredibly wrong in all aspects here. That\'s just an excuse for being bad at life-mahjong whatever blaming it on being unlucky. Won\'t even try to argue vs you more than this, it\'s just stupid... so pls stop being stupid and ppl please don\'t listen to him, it will hurt your game alot!

Archon_Wing
Fresh Reacher
Fresh Reacher
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:53 am

Re:Do You Believe in

Post by Archon_Wing » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:32 pm

People try to rationalize everything, and end up seeing patterns when there are none. Sometimes, numbers are just numbers. ;)

WorTeX
Senior Reacher
Senior Reacher
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:36 am
Location: Finland

Re:Do You Believe in

Post by WorTeX » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:46 pm

Was I lucky or unlucky when I got hit by a truck but survived and still being able to think and walk? I\'ve always wondered, and I also think that luck is rather a pendulum-effect in general, something bad happens, something good happens.

Though there are people who just seem to fail miserably at everything, is it just their part in this life, being the negative side of luck, when someone gets his/hers part?

This topic could go for years and we couldn\'t get agreement whether luck is real or not. I am 100% every one of you have wished for a certain tile when playing mahjong and you actually drew it on first try and thought:\"yessss, lucky!\" which means you believe in luck at some level.

HotelFSR
Expert Reacher
Expert Reacher
Posts: 328
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 am
Location: Federated States of Micronesia

Re:Do You Believe in

Post by HotelFSR » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:54 pm

I think we need to decide what we mean by luck.

Do we mean randomness? Randomness exists, it\'s what the universe is built on. Of course, true randomness means that there will be streaks here and there, but on average something \'good\' will happen, then something opposite will happen. That is the nature of chaos. There is both balance and imbalance, both order and disorder from which all things arise.

If we tossed a coin over and over again and it was heads every other time, that would not be random (even though it would still be coming up 50% of the time). People often confuse the nature of probability and randomness in such cases.

So what do we mean by luck? I would define it as any instance where something random occurs in your favor. This naturally is something that happens in life, to some more than others- but that in itself is random except where skill is involved such that the situation can be influenced. That does not mean anything supernatural or fated is going on. There is no magic in the real world.

Esh
Fresh Reacher
Fresh Reacher
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:08 pm

Re:Do You Believe in

Post by Esh » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:54 pm

Yttrasil wrote:Esh, not to be rude but you are so immensely incredibly wrong in all aspects here. That\'s just an excuse for being bad at life-mahjong whatever blaming it on being unlucky. Won\'t even try to argue vs you more than this, it\'s just stupid... so pls stop being stupid and ppl please don\'t listen to him, it will hurt your game alot!
I know you said you don\'t want to argue about me with this, but I\'m very interested in what you mean by "just an excuse". It kind of implies that being \'unlucky\' is my fault, somehow, and that I should do something about it.

Do what?

Yukun
Fresh Reacher
Fresh Reacher
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:48 pm
Location: Tochigi,Japan

Re:Do You Believe in

Post by Yukun » Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:29 am

People, I think we are going off from the topic a little bit.

Of cource there is luck or randamness or probability in Mahjong since you cannot see every single tile and other players tiles.

What I meant is... it just can be applied to any field. Supporse there is a good golf player, but some how he\'s doing aweful this year. In this kind of situation, the better skilled player he is, the more people tend to think \"oh he has not cought a good wave this year\".

Afterall, it\'s all about his skill,so he should\'t excuse on not having cought a good wave.

But luck involves in any field! Even top-pro shougi players like Habu believes in this nagare. But nagare in phycological sense.

So What I want to say is,,, I\'m not talking about nagare and the result from \"nagare thinking\", but nagare in every single draw you make. The result is always unknown, but the procedure is always more important right?

By the way, try to respect everyone\'s own belief or thinking!
I don\'t want this board to be a place to argue. Rather list everyone\'s own idea about \"Nagare\".

Or let me rephrase the topic little. What about...\"do you fully trust your \"inspiration\"-hirameki- in Mahjong playings?\" I think this is also a part of Nagare thinking.

HotelFSR
Expert Reacher
Expert Reacher
Posts: 328
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 am
Location: Federated States of Micronesia

Re:Do You Believe in

Post by HotelFSR » Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:59 am

Certainly \'Nagare\' exists psychologically.

The tides of confidence can turn in a person\'s mind and affect their playing. I think anyone would agree with this.

Having read most of Habu\'s books, I think that this is what he talks about. The same thing is talked about in Sun Tzu\'s Art of War.

If this is what you mean then I definitely agree.


However, there is no evidence that Nagare exists as a magical force. For example, the tiles are set in the wall in a given order. Your \'power of thinking\' cannot influence what you draw. You can only have the self-confidence to make better or worse moves, and you can play a psychological battle with your opponent.

Which one are you referring to Yukun?

Yukun
Fresh Reacher
Fresh Reacher
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:48 pm
Location: Tochigi,Japan

Re:Do You Believe in Nagare?

Post by Yukun » Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:44 pm

The former is I believe what Nagare should be defined as.

However, there ARE people who believe in nagare as \"magical force\".(esp. among eldery people in Japan) I was wandering wheter which connotation is mostly believed by Western people.

Kojima Takeo pro is famous for this thinking(latter). He plays, discards, pushes, riiches based on nagare and his intuition. He often says something like \"cuz I had the tide, I should\'ve riiched at that situation..\"

Thank you HotelFSR! I hope this will help understanding to people what I want to know from this topic.

Benjamin
Senior Reacher
Senior Reacher
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:49 am
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re:Do You Believe in Nagare?

Post by Benjamin » Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:40 am

Im with HotelFSR et al on this one. Skill and varience both exist in Mahjong, as they do with many other things in life. That doesn\'t mean there\'s some mystical \"Force\" out there. If there were, wouldn\'t there be a lot more poker players talking about how to tell you\'re on a rush of good cards?

I actually have a piece on this in this week\'s Metropolis (Tokyo-based English magazine) If you\'re in the area, pick one up.

If not:

http://metropolis.co.jp/tokyo/recent/lastword.asp

User avatar
Shirluban
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 764
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:53 pm
Location: Svartalfheim
Contact:

Re:Do You Believe in Nagare?

Post by Shirluban » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:07 pm

Yukun wrote:However, there ARE people who believe in nagare as "magical force".(esp. among eldery people in Japan) I was wandering wheter which connotation is mostly believed by Western people.
The "wave of luck" as "it sometimes happens that someone get better draws than others", ok.
It\'s just varience.

In the meaning "I had good draws until now, so I will have more good draws", no.
Tiles/cards/balls/whatever comes in a random order.
The probability of a random event to occur is totaly unrelated to whatever events occurs before.

It\'s the definition of random, it\'s base statistics.


Someone can say he was lucky if, looking back, he judge the randomness who had happend to be "good".
He can NOT say he is lucky nor he will be lucky, he can only say he was lucky.

WorTeX
Was I lucky or unlucky when I got hit by a truck but survived and still being able to think and walk?
It all depends on how wide your definition of "good" is.


--------
a slot machine in a kimono
:laugh: :lol: :laugh:
Didn\'t japanese have math and statistic lessons?
Cats don't do タンヤオ (tan-yao) but タニャーオ (ta-nya-o).
World Riichi Championship Rules
Comparison of riichi rules around the world

Benjamin
Senior Reacher
Senior Reacher
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:49 am
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re:Do You Believe in Nagare?

Post by Benjamin » Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:33 pm

Shirluban wrote: Didn\'t japanese have math and statistic lessons?
You\'d be surprised. Japanese education doesn\'t really stress real-world application. I\'ve talked to judges, super-elite in Japan, who honestly believe that the reason people win at mahjong is because they can "analyze" nagare.

Post Reply