Against Level Ups


epistemic status: a first draft. I think what I am saying is correct but could be persuaded otherwise without much trouble.

Noticing confusion is good because it helps ensure that your models match reality. “Level up moments” are essentially examples of this followed by an update of said models that went on to produce value. However I do not believe attempting to replicate them to be a constructive endeavor for a few reasons.

Magic is really all about cohesive models. You can be taking the third best lines throughout a game and still be in a solid position provided they align with each and whatever your relevant overarching model is. Trying to push your models into a new equilibrium on the basis of a level up moment without experiencing the evidence that initially inspired the level up is not particularly likely to be successful and is likely to do more harm than good provided it affects any change at all and is not just acting as glorified insight porn.

Beyond that, we have the more general fact most advice is not good. My general model for advice is that some things work for some people in a way that we cannot meaningfully control or predict and I expect that to be true here as well.

So if you’re looking to improve, go watch some replays.