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Nicothodes

My classmates terrify me

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Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Poker is different in that the casino gets a fee for hosting the game, but all the remaining money goes to the winners.

If you are serious and skilled then you can make money in the long run by remembering how other players play given certain hands and their tells on whether they have a good or bad hand. The remake of Casino Royale does cover this briefly in the gambling scene between James Bond and Le Chiffer. It comes down to minimizing losses when you aren't likely to win the hand and trying to extract the most money when you can.


In the original book, he plays Baccarat, a game vaguely resembling blackjack, but where the players and even the house have zero input on the play of the hand- there are tables that tell the house when to draw and when to stay, and the game is simply played straight down via those tables until the hand is over. So it is rather odd that they decided to switch Bond from playing a game of random chance and predetermined outcomes to a game of skill and psychology (and some random chance). I guess they think it's less badass for Bond to win based totally on random chance, though I don't know why they didn't just substitute in, say, a chess or Go tournament if they wanted to so a game of skill alone.

It is rather curious, though, as Baccarat is the only casino game in existence where there is one consistent bet that yields even money but has a 51% probability of occurring. Of course, the casino circumvents this by having you pay off 5% of your winnings from bets made on that wager as a comission, but still.

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In the book, Bond taking on the bad guy at Baccarat was supposed to be purely about psychology. It wasn't that Bond was good at the game — nobody can be. The winning was luck; the plot point was that, given enough luck, Bond kept challenging.

 

The Bond books aren't good, but they're honestly bad.

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I have a friend who spent a year trying to live on winnings from online poker. His income wasn't great, and his hours were long, but he did turn enough of a profit to live on. It can be done if you're diligent, methodical, and skilled, but it takes a lot of games.

 

—Alorael, who of course should point out that it also requires people who are not diligent, methodical, and skilled. Someone has to be paying the stupid tax for poker.

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Originally Posted By: Nicothodes
Actually, the fact that people *here* are stating opinions like this is what shocks me. My school is known(when people have heard of it, that is) for being extremely liberal. My best guess is that people everywhere pretty much suck and that my tendency to hermit has protected me from this fact.

I apologize for being on topic but I wanted to reassure the OP. Cynicism is cool but really, no: people don't suck in that way everywhere. You can always find more reasons to despise people but that one isn't going to work for you.
If a school is indeed "extremely liberal", you should see the effect on its graduates, not on sophomores.
I would be surprised if any school in the US was very liberal. I'm not knowledgable about US schools and I understand the US of A is a fairly diverse country but it's violently anti-liberal as a whole. I consider myself a liberal but I often get called a Marxist and whatnot by gringos. Needless to say, my views aren't very popular with actual Marxists.

note: in case anyone's wondering, I've used the peculiar US political lingo above. In many places, libertarians are very far to the left while liberals cover a spectrum from mildly to strongly to the right. I understand definitions are different in the US.

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Blackjack and craps can be profitable if you're doing it right. Craps is a bit more difficult since you have to have an in depth knowledge of the probabilities involved. Blackjack is easier because you can count cards and base your bets off of it. I know quite a few people who successfully supplement their incomes with those games. The key thing, really, is to leave when you're ahead...just don't be surprised if you get kicked out at some point.

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Originally Posted By: msazad
Originally Posted By: Nicothodes
Actually, the fact that people *here* are stating opinions like this is what shocks me. My school is known(when people have heard of it, that is) for being extremely liberal. My best guess is that people everywhere pretty much suck and that my tendency to hermit has protected me from this fact.

I apologize for being on topic but I wanted to reassure the OP. Cynicism is cool but really, no: people don't suck in that way everywhere. You can always find more reasons to despise people but that one isn't going to work for you.
If a school is indeed "extremely liberal", you should see the effect on its graduates, not on sophomores.
I would be surprised if any school in the US was very liberal. I'm not knowledgable about US schools and I understand the US of A is a fairly diverse country but it's violently anti-liberal as a whole. I consider myself a liberal but I often get called a Marxist and whatnot by gringos. Needless to say, my views aren't very popular with actual Marxists.

That's quite untrue. America as a whole is probably centrist to center-right, but the Republican party, which generally represents the right, has been hijacked by the extreme right in recent years. Some areas of the country are, in fact, quite left-leaning, and academia tends to be a leftist bastion in general. Yes, most colleges are expected to be very liberal, often far more so than any mainstream politicians.

Quote:
note: in case anyone's wondering, I've used the peculiar US political lingo above. In many places, libertarians are very far to the left while liberals cover a spectrum from mildly to strongly to the right. I understand definitions are different in the US.

"Libertarian" is more social philosophy than political leaning, so libertarian political parties can be left- or right-wing depending on whether they're emphasizing personal freedoms or minimizing government intervention. The American libertarian party tends to be rightist, but many American liberals also espouse some degree of libertarianism. "Liberal" is, to the best of my knowledge, explicitly leftist; while some liberals are rather centrist, I'm unaware of any definition that includes the right-wing among liberals.

—Alorael, who under the impression that in the USA "liberal" was a dirty word to the right, while elsewhere "liberal" is an acceptable political leaning that others disagree with. Of course, "vitriolic" is also a popular political affiliation in all places and at all times.

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There's also the fact that classical liberalism is different from modern liberalism, but I don't think many people use 'liberal' in the older sense nowadays.

 

Regarding poker: there's a simple way to make a profit in online poker: collaborate. A team of players joining an online table and communicating on the side is actually becoming quite the problem for these sites.

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The major problem in this discussion is that "far left" and "far right" are in very different places in the U.S. and in Europe. Compared to most of Europe, the U.S. is very far on the right. And Obama is:

 

- painted by the U.S. far right: as an extremist on the far left

- in reality, on the U.S. spectrum: at most a moderate leftist

- and on most European spectra: somewhere on the right

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Dear Al,

I'm not sure what you mean when you say the US is center-right... relative to what? As Slarty pointed out, it makes a difference. Compared to the rest of the world or US politics before Nixon, there's little that's centrist about US politics nowadays. When I said US politics are anti-liberal, I meant in comparison with traditional liberal ideas and policies (see Eleanor Roosevelt, J.K. Galbraith and so on). I'm afraid the Democratic party has been taken over by rightists (the DLC) as well.

 

You may be right about US schools. But I would expect sophomores to influenced more by the general political environment (the news media, the movies and so on) than by the faculty.

The kind of behaviour described by Nicothodes would have been unthinkable in one of my sophomore classes. The local feminist brigade was fierce for one thing. But even on other topics, the teachers themselves would be heckled if they said something grossly politically incorrect (and when the professor had a microphone, her class would be leafletted). This caused some trouble because of the lack of political correctness of the curriculum. :-) So the average student wouldn't have been courageous enough to behave so offensively (women all want babies? for real?) in public.

 

You should get acquainted with the strange notions people have in the rest of the world. It's interesting.

The "liberal" group in the EU parliament is clearly right-wing for example. They chose that name because, in much of Europe, the mainstream secular right-wing parties (as opposed to the nominally christian right-wing parties) are called "liberal this" or "liberal that".

As to "libertarians", I hear people often learn Spanish or French in the US. Assuming you can more or less decipher at least one of these languages, check out "El Libertario" or "le Monde libertaire". You might be surprised by the content.

 

Dinti,

Right but there's another type of liberal ideology, often called neoliberalism. In many countries, that's what people tend to refer to when they say "liberal".

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Originally Posted By: Dintiradan
There's also the fact that classical liberalism is different from modern liberalism, but I don't think many people use 'liberal' in the older sense nowadays.


Well, just about all political parties are classical liberals- you don't see many people arguing for mercantilism or colonialism nowadays.

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Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
In the book, Bond taking on the bad guy at Baccarat was supposed to be purely about psychology. It wasn't that Bond was good at the game — nobody can be. The winning was luck; the plot point was that, given enough luck, Bond kept challenging.

The Bond books aren't good, but they're honestly bad.


also, the fact that James Bond has uncommonly good luck and is capable of passing that luck on to others is an actual plot point in the books

seriously, there's one bit where he impresses a woman by causing her to win at roulette

Originally Posted By: Cheap Happiness

"Libertarian" is more social philosophy than political leaning, so libertarian political parties can be left- or right-wing depending on whether they're emphasizing personal freedoms or minimizing government intervention. The American libertarian party tends to be rightist, but many American liberals also espouse some degree of libertarianism. "Liberal" is, to the best of my knowledge, explicitly leftist; while some liberals are rather centrist, I'm unaware of any definition that includes the right-wing among liberals.


this is definitely a thing that varies from country to country: in Australia the Liberal Party is the main right-wing party

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Party names and party politics aren't exactly highly relevant. The Democratic Party does not oppose the fact that the USA is a republic, and the Republicans don't oppose democracy.

 

(Actually, they occasionally, but it's not something they publicly acknowledge.)

 

—Alorael, who would call the USA center-right if you look at the spectrum of political beliefs. Europe is center-left, or maybe mid-left; it's generally not communist, just moderately socialist, and the markets are free-ish. America has social programs and protections to the point where the true right loudly decries its socialism. Governments in general tend to end up rather central; it's hard to pander to enough people if you drift too far one way or another.

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Dear Al,

Outside of your country, the names of political parties tend to be more relevant (there are many exceptions of course). I was talking about a recently-formed parliamentary group in a place where people can usually choose between more than two parties and names get updated frequently. If that's not relevant, what is? newspaper articles? hip-hop lyrics? Around the world, the definition of "liberal" you're not aware of is very common so it's easy to find examples.

 

You say Europe is center-left or perhaps even left... as compared to the current dysfunctional US political spectrum I guess. You're probably not using a political spectrum which would include the communist party of China or the Brazilian workers' party.

The EU parliament has 2 left groups (the reds and the greens) and one group which could be called center-left even though it includes parties with dubious left-wing credentials like New Labour. Let's throw in 4 non-aligned MEPs which might conceivably be considered somewhat left of center (the rest are ultra-nationalists or outright fascists) and you get 282 MEPs which are likely to be slightly to strongly to the left in the European political spectrum... that's only 38% of the parliament.

So I'm curious about this: which of the politicians or parties generally considered to be right-wing in Europe are actually left-wing in your opinion? To move Europe from the right to the left you're going to need a bunch of them. Counting nominally center-right politicians from unusally liberal countries such as Sweden as left-wingers will barely move the dial because these are small countries. So who's a secret leftist? Merkel, Berlusconi or perhaps Sarkozy?

 

The only way I get a political spectrum in which the USA is merely center-right is by taking seriously the views of US "true right" which you say decries US social programs as socialist (seriously?).

You're entitled to use whatever political spectrum you like of course but, at the end of the day, most countries do not have ubiquitous extreme right-wing propaganda or a significant amount of people willing to vote for people such as Palin. And so I would expect sophomores to behave more decently in many countries around the world.

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Again, it's all relative. The U.S. is large enough and self-involved enough that, yes, everything here is judged relative to the U.S. Surely you've noticed that bias on, say, Wikipedia.

 

I don't know what Sarkozy would count as in the U.S., but his comments about how immigrants and minorities should be treated would surely get him disowned by the mainstream left. Merkel certainly seems far more liberal than the GOP. Berlusconi is hard to take seriously here since we only hear about the endless sex scandals; I have no idea what his actual political views are like.

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Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
Berlusconi is hard to take seriously here since we only hear about the endless sex scandals; I have no idea what his actual political views are like.



The average of his political views is 18 center-right

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Slarty,

I checked the Wiki for Merkel. She's described as a conservative free-marketeer and the article says she's been compared to Margaret Thatcher by the English speaking press (which is news to me).

Her US Presidential Medal of Freedom is mentionned but I think it's notable. Forbes calling her the most powerful woman in the world is notable as well so I don't think the article mentions it out of US-centric bias. There's a picture of her alongside the Obamas but there's also a picture of her with another prime minister. The article also mentions her meeting Ehud Barak and the Dalai Lama.

If anything, there's a Jewish/Israeli bias on her Wiki page but it's not surprising this stuff is given special attention considering the history involving not only her country but also the forerunner of her political party and European Jews.

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I don't think of Chess and Go as having stakes as high as in major poker tournaments or the fictional game that (film) Bond played. At least, there seem to be a few too many impoverished to lower middle class grandmasters to chalk up to pure eccentricity.

 

Also, on the prior health insurance question: I think your logic is flawed in that it doesn't consider the (presumable) inevitability of death. Even if we take death as an infinitely unfavorable outcome (various suicides would disagree, but they probably also don't care too much about health insurance), good medical treatment delays rather than prevents it. So it's more a wager of health insurance premiums against the possibility of extra time alive due to medical care. Or cost of premiums against the possibility of crippling debt resulting from uninsured medical fees, depending on the case.

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On the subject of insurance and utility - one of the interesting measurements is a micromort: a one-in-a-million chance of death. Wikipedia

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