I love my brother. He is, in my opinion and the opinion of others – some sort of a wizard. When talking conservative principles he can break things down and unpack them in a VERY digestible way and my cluttered Momma-mind needs that. He’s got a new blog. And a ROCKIN’ podcast. Someone get the man a radio contract.
Take a few minutes to read this. Instead of linking it I am posting the whole thing here. You don’t even have to click and go somewhere else. So no excuses.
Pour a cup of coffee.
I think you’re really gonna like it. You might feel the overwhelming desire to paint your face blue and go all William Wallace on someone’s a$$- I sure did.
In his work A Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic, Richard Epstein says that when we are playing an “unfair game,” our most optimal strategy is one of “maximum boldness.” The gambler should, that is, be wagering “the maximum amount permissible consistent with his objective.”
I was reminded of this again last night while sitting at a Blackjack table. Recreational gamblers will sit for hours and hours at a Blackjack table piddling away their bankroll with minimal bets, hoping merely to be there when a run of good cards occurs. The problem with this strategy, of course, is that in most cases one squanders one’s bankroll just trying to hang around waiting for the run to happen, such that when it does happen it only helps them recover some of their losses they’ve already incurred over the wait.
The reason that this occurs is, of course, that Blackjack is an “unfair game” in the technical sense. The house has a statistical advantage over the player, with the result being that, on a long enough timeline, the house will always win more hands than the player does. Thus, if the player simply bets in a uniform, consistently minimal fashion, he is merely opting to slowly grind his capital down to nothing.
This is why Epstein says that if one is going to engage in such a game, maximum boldness is the optimal strategy. Notice that he is not recommending that one play an unfair game, but rather he is advising on the best way to proceed if one is involved in an unfair game. In many cases, the smart thing to do is not to play the unfair game in the first place. But if you are going to play the unfair game, or if you have no choice, then you must attack it. You must be maximally bold with your bets.
Now this is so counterintuitive to so many well-meaning folks at the local casino. And I sit next to them time and again and watch them slowly give away three or four hundred dollars, five dollars at a time, over the course of an evening, then get up from the table and mutter something about at least having had some entertainment for the evening, before heading for the parking lot empty-handed and defeated, again.
What they are doing is playing an unfair game in a way that is most conducive to their opponent’s victory.
See, the “house” already has an advantage in this game. It is an “unfair game” in Epstein’s sense. And even supposing the house’s advantage were a mere tenth of a single percent (such that the house’s overall chance of winning were 50.1% on any given hand) that mere .10% would realize itself on a long enough timeline. This is what statisticians are talking about when they refer to the “law of large numbers.” The idea is that eventually probabilities are realized. You just have to be there long enough to see it happen. Me winning the first ten, or even twenty, hands of a card game is perfectly consistent with the house having a huge edge on me. If I keep sitting there, that house edge will catch up.
So what these players (I have heard them pejoratively referred to as “ploppies” before) are doing is plopping down in their seat, playing minimal bets over and over again, trying to make their money stretch, and thus allowing the house every opportunity to reach its statistical end, which equals their defeat. Thus, as I said above, they are playing an unfair game in a way most conducive to their opponent’s victory.
This is why Epstein says that IF you are going to play an unfair game, your optimal strategy is “maximal boldness”. In so many words, he is saying that the “ploppies” are fools to sit down with their three or four hundred hard earned dollars and piddle them away five dollars at at time. What they should be doing is waiting for a moment, perhaps when the spirit leads (depending on your metaphysics) and chucking that whole stack of money, or half of it, or whatever, into the wagering circle and being done with it.
Yes, they might lose their whole bankroll in one or two hands of play.
But look, that is just the point! They MIGHT lose.
But when playing an unfair game they are GUARANTEED to lose if they do not play with such boldness.
And this statistical insight is an intuition that many, many unsuccessful gamblers lack, and which largely explains their lack of success. They simply cannot get up the gumption to attack. And so they are whittled away slowly by a game that is stacked against them from the outset.
And this is not only true at the Blackjack table, but in life too.
I have been reminded of this as I watch Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) almost single-handedly attack, with maximum boldness, a utterly unfair game dealt by an utterly unfair political foe, Liberal Democrats. The game is stacked against Senator Cruz in every way imaginable. Not only is he viciously slandered by the opposing political party while he tries to fight to save our republic from an increasingly brazen totalitarian mindset, but he is slandered by those in his own party who are mere political “ploppies”. They have not an ounce of courage in them. They prefer to sit and squander their political capital (and their constituents’ tax dollars) in losing hand after losing hand, merely so they can sit at the table (i.e. in elected office) longer. They are the epitome of cowardice. And when a man with common sense, gusto, and temerity steps to the table to beat the unfair house at its own game, the most they can muster is to mutter and mock him. They are losers. And the bankroll that they play with is your hard-earned dollars. They refuse to fight back against a game designed to destroy… not them, but YOU. And they cannot imagine what could possess a man to stand up and do otherwise.
I am painting with a broad analogical brush here, and surely mixing my metaphors a little too haphazardly for some dialectical purposes.
But the man of Common Sense does not need rigorous argument, he needs a reminder… a reminder to be BOLD.
He knows that in this world the game is stacked against him, but he is tempted on all sides by the ploppies’ plea of “moderation”. Likewise the Conservative knows that his enemies prey on the ignorance of their fellow men, in order to erect structures inimical to the freedom of man and the full flower of his abilities and capacities. But he is surrounded on all sides by a subtle and insidious call for minimal boldness, by those who only want to have a seat at the table a little longer into the night, even if it means losing everything that they have. Correction: Everything that you have.
Now is no time for timidity, but for temerity.
Every ounce of my respect, in every fiber of my being, goes to the man who stands, fights, attacks the enemy head on, with maximal boldness. I have seen too often in my life the pathetic sight of a man almost asking for permission to engage his enemy in battle. In fact the whole system of Naturalistic metaphysics and Evolutionary thinking that underpins the Marxist/Socialist ideology that Liberals have embraced gets by on precisely this sort of cowardice on the part of those of Common Sense who know that worldview to be a lie, and know it to be propagated unfairly, but are too timid to fight with maximal boldness a game stacked against them from the start.
King David, in the Old Testament, stepped forward not just to fight Goliath, but to MOCK him!! ”Who is this uncircumsized Philistine who DARES to speak against the armies of God?” Likewise, the Christian, in the New Testament, is exhorted and implored to “be BOLD, and be STRONG, for the Lord Your God is with You.“
I salute Senator Ted Cruz, and every man who looks evil in the face and laughs, then thrusts his sword straight at it no matter how far back behind the battle lines his countrymen stand trembling, hiding, like little David’s brothers in all their supposed military might.
There is yet a remnant of people in our land who share this courage, who share this love of freedom and truth, and who share this inextinguishable hatred of oppression, even oppression in its clever guise of a subtly encroaching soft tyranny. The Founding Fathers of our country were such. And they have sons and daughters among us today. They were willing to push all they had into the wagering circle in a gambit for freedom and victory over a system designed to take advantage of them.
You know no fight, you Goliaths, like the fight that burns in their chests.
Keep mocking. Keep laughing.
This is what Goliath was doing when a lone stone from a small boy’s sling shot shattered his forehead. And he was stone dead quiet as that little boy cut his head clean off with the giant’s own sword.
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