Haha, I would never argue that I'm a better person than anyone. That would be a logic fallacy as I cannot hope to know another person. And I don't care for the "you are other, therefore I am better" thing that happens all the time.
The way the Steam works is you sign onto your Steam account from a different IP than you normally have and it stops you, tells you it sent you an email with a code you need to enter. You check your email, get the code, enter the code, and it gives you access to your account. I know it's not 100% full proof, but it works well with the understanding that you don't give out your personal information to other people, even friends. So, if someone gets your Steam info, they would also have to have your email info. And it's not like that is the only use for it. Steam literally sends every piece of info to this account, game receipts, watched forum threads, etc. If someone else had this information they could literally know exactly what is going on with your Steam account. I do not think that most people would be comfortable sharing this level of information with a lot of people, but that could just be me.
I find that post from Sony interesting. The reasoning makes perfect sense but it doesn't give a reason that they went down to only 2 consoles attached to an account. Besides the speculative reasons (speculation is the most fun part of all these articles, isn't it?).
1.) This is the part where I may be hitting a wall or possibly not understanding this correctly. Your point 1 makes perfect sense, but the way the article is written makes it sound as though the first two systems signed into your account are hardware locked to the account. So, say you had a flood and you and your kids had a PSN account you shared on two separate console, then you would lose all that bought digital software if you had to a natural disaster. But, I could be completely wrong on this. As an aside to that, I know a guy who at one point had 6 360's. And while it was tantamount to reckless spending, it would not be right that he was not allowed to take 4 of 6 he bought online.
2.) Doesn't really apply since they aren't account sharing. Which is fine. Just because they live in the same household, why should they share accounts. You are correct that it seems like a more plausible reason as to why there would be more than 2 PS3's in a household.
3.) I love statistical data. We should be friends because I'm completely guilty of backing my arguments with this where it's appropriate. When people are talking about economics, I love doing this. Even if the statistics aren't that damning, they make a mental wall that is hard to surmount. That said, I do read those statistics the same way you do.
The book you are talking about with the Conjunction Fallacy is called Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman. If you ever get a chance, it's a superb read, though it can be dry at times. Him and Amos Tvesky did work that changed how both Neuroscience and Psychology see how the brain reacts with both decision making and statistics and intuitive statistics. The Conjunction Fallacy is when you put multiple pieces of data together and think it's more likely to happen. In this case: Business man, travels alot, owns 3 PS3's. Each one of those things is far more likely singly than in conjunction with one another. Same thing with 3 PS3's and 3 household. Those things are far more likely to happen individually than together. Kahneman explains that the set of circumstances you put together for a person to conceivably have a reason to have more than 2 PS3's actually make it far less probable to have happened. He also explains that when people see this kind of information, they are answering what is more plausible because there is a little homunculus in your brain telling you this is more likely. That is what he would call the flaw of your intuitive statistics. Check this out, it's the Linda Problem:
Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations.
Which is more probable?
Linda is a bank teller.
Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement.
This is actually a shortened version of the original problem, the longer one was better. It's actually easier when you have a backround in statistic so pick up the problem, in this case. There was originally 7 instances and those two were not next to each other. It made it easier miss the statistical problem, even for statisticians. So the explanation is this: The bank teller choice includes all bank tellers + feminist bank tellers. But, he explains that there is a part of your brain, even in full view of the statistical fact that is screaming that it's far more likely that she is a feminist bank teller, even though there is a much worse probability than just being a bank teller.
In the case of your instance, it is far more likely that people own more than 2 PS3's than if they are an elite businessman or politician that travels a lot and owns 3 PS3's. That was your use of the conjunction fallacy. I fear as though I may have had some sort of mental diarrhea on this post... and I should have looked at the "less is more" aspect of his book. In the forum speak I have seen used so often, "come at me, bro". :)
Darn we're getting into mega quote territory, I feel it spoils argument flow but I haven't stumbled upon a way of solving it. I also love the come at me, bro line :D
Finally I believe that you can 'judge a person by his fruits' or as the bible equates it, that in the end someones actions are intimately tied into who they are and it's not a seperable thing, so screw your beliefs, I'm going to judge you as the better person for taking the more loving ground in this conversation, whether you like it or not :D
The Steam system isn't that related. The PSN system is identical, but a little quicker and not only involves sharing passwords, but potentially opening your credit card to abuse. But people do it anyone and there are sites on the internet listing how you can create a new account specifically for the purpose of gamesharing and get around some of those difficulties.
As far as I understand, the Sony quote was about their attitude to their game redownloading service and gamesharing in general which is why it doesn't mention the change. General speculation is that they should never have gone to 5 and only realised quite a bit later that 5 was too much for what they were offering.
To clear up the PSN thing, as far as I understand it, you can have infinite PSN accounts on infinite consoles, count limitation has no effect on your ability to go online, only your ability to redownload games attached to your account. So the guy with the 360's good go online all he liked. What he would not be able to do is play the same downloadable game on all 6 360's whilst having his account activated on all of them. He could deactivate an account and reactivate at will which would solve his problem though. It's an easy process and non-destructive
As Sony said, part of the point of this was that you could go round a friends house and play your game
If your PS3's get destroyed, part of what Sony changed is there is now a website available where you can deactivate them. Before, you could only phone Sony and ask for it to be changed. My old PS3 broke and so I never deactivated my account on that, however because Sony have a 2 activation policy (well 5 for all the games I bought) I could sign onto the PSN on my new console without bothering with that process. If I had two in my house during the flood, I'd have to bother with that process
I guess I've really made my case for why I think this is a reasonable process now, so I leave the facts where they are and if you still feel that the new activation limit is too tight, then I guess that's cool.
Back onto fun stuff, I really wanted that book for Christmas, but couldn't track it down. I'm glad to hear it'll be as good as was hoping :D, I guess you can't say that I have a background in statistics, but I'm studying degree level Maths at the moment and currently second year Stats and Prob modules, so I can at least do the conditional probability required quite easily.
I'm trying to re-examine what I said because I have to admit, I hadn't thought there was much fallacy to the conjuction fallacy. I got the answer wrong the first time and when it was pointed out I was wrong, it wasn't a 'hmm how does that work' moment, but a 'darn look how silly I am' moment and I was assuming that that was the point. We think irrational things when we're not looking at a problem, but glancing at it. Incidentally in brackets are two small gripes I have with the question
(there's also a small problem with the question as the short version stands that I know doesn't help. In speech, if someone said something like that, there's often an implied exclusive or in the sentence. If I said 'Do you think it will rain tomorrow or rain tomorrow _and_ the day after' there is a strong implication that the first option is where there is a non-rainy day after. Similarly if someone asked you whether Linda was a banker, or a banker and feminist, in ordinary conversation, then the implication in the question is that the first option is actually 'a banker and not a feminist'. This was definitely a little involved in my answer, and is a non-logical flaw to choose the second option. If 60% of female 30 year old, empowered bankers are feminists, then under the natural conversation interpretation, b) is the correct option)
(the second problem is that the presentation of the question, triggers people's narrative reactions to being tested. That in a test, no information is irrelevant. If this monday, during my number theory examination, I was given a question and in that same question reminded of the existence of classification theory of abelian groups, I would expect that theory to be fundamental to solving the question. Purely logically, if that question was abstract, there is no reason why the existence of the classification theory should be any more relevant to the question than any other theory, but the question isn't in abstract and I expect the examiner to have made logical decisions when forming the question, which he almost certainly did. This is why it felt like a trick question at first because it's actively using deception :D )
I'm not sure I committed the fallacy even so, because my reasoning was
If someone has legitimately more than 2 PS3's they must have a reason for it
=> If we show that the only reasons are ridiculously unlikely, the chances are not many people own more than 2 PS3's
Now I guess some of the unseen logic was, 1. If multiple people groups are playing games from the same account it's gamesharing, so it must be a unit group, like a family or a single person. 2. I can't see any reason for having so many playstations with the same account in one household, so I presume by my reasoning that humans have a reason that very few people have multiple PS3's in one household => We're talking about a situation with multiple households => Someone has three households (small flaw here, but my argument for more than one household was that if someone wants to play a particular game, they can just get up and walk to the correct playstation) => Applying the 'humans have reasons for things' logic again, a person has a reason for having multiple households, also there's an assumption he must be rich
Now here comes the part where I don't think I'm breaking logic. If I said 'he has multiple households => he must be a businessman' then that's wrong because not all people with multiple households are businessmen.
However I was trying to demonstrate that there are only a very small amount of innocent people to be affected by this problem, so what I was doing was showing that what I felt to be one of the most likely reasons to be in this state, was still pretty rare.
Saying the most likely sort of person to have multiple households is a businessman (whilst factually unsupported :D) isn't a logical error, because in this case, the likelihood of the probability of someone with multiple households being anything is P(That a person is something and has multiple households)/P(That a person has multiple households), so I can make a statement about the businessman, because all probabilities at this level are divided through by the probability of having a household. What's more it's true that if the businessman with multiple households is the most likely and yet rare compared to most people, then all the other options will be even rarer.
The equivalent in terms of the Linda problem would be if I were asked, what's the probability that Linda is a banker and I said, well since she's a young empowered women she's more likely to be a feminist banker than a straight banker because the majority of women like that are feiminist. Since the number of feminist bankers is extremely rare, and yet more common than straight bankers, then the total number of women bankers must be very low.
Which isn't conjuction fallacy (i think :D)