Saturday, June 09, 2007

Poker face it, you're rubbish

So I was disappointed to bubble in R’s tourney, but I guess I only had myself to blame. It was all quite instructive, illustrating how the game might have its ups and downs but good play rests on solid principles.

I think you cash small tourneys more often than not by playing solidly, but you have to play solidly all the time, not just most of it. It’s a failing of mine that I can go wrong for a hand or two.

The principles I felt were illustrated yesterday were:
Solid play is best.
When they raise, they have it.
Don’t expect them to play well.
If you hope to be a good player, you must be able to distinguish good play from good luck.
Do not play scared.

I pick up KsTs on the button and make it 3xBB to go. This is the standard raise and I’ve made it all night without varying for hand strength. L, who thinks he is a good player but has been a calling station all night – I guess he thinks he’s good enough to LAG it up – calls in the BB. The flop comes QJx with one spade. I bet out, hoping to take it down right away. He calls. Another spade comes on the turn, he checks, I check behind (I think). The river is a third spade. He bets, I raise big. He thinks for a very long time and folds. I can’t figure out what you had, he said. I can’t see what fits that action. I don’t tell him but later he tells me he had AA. Well, you fucking butchered that, I’m thinking. Solid play is best. But I’m kicking myself for betting so much on the river, because he could call a smaller bet, I think. Still, the big bet looks a lot like a bluff. Unfortunately, the river card also brought in a straight draw (not the one I had), so he was more willing to lay it down than he would have been had it bricked.

Later, W, who has tightened up a bit preflop but is awful postflop, completes his small blind and I wake up in the BB with Q9. I should just openfold that hand against W because a month or so ago I flopped two pair out of the BB and raised him when he bet. He called the raise and turned an A, which gave him two pair and I boneheadedly pushed into the exact hand I had put him on. Anyway, this time the flop comes A96 and he checks. I make a small bet calculated to get him to lay down whatever shit he completed with. He calls. Uh oh, I’m thinking. He’s probably slowplayed an ace. So the turn is nothing and he checks, I check behind. The river is a Q. I bet out and he raises quite big. I call it. He shows AA for the flopped set. WTF? Well, okay, I made a mistake. I’m quite capable of laying that river down. It’s a mistake I make to rationalise others’ plays into ranges of cards that I beat. In this case, I put him on Ax, but not two pair. But W is a weak player, who will not bluff in this particular spot, and would likely just call with that hand. When they raise, they have it. So after the hand, he starts mouthing off about how he “milked” the hand? I’m like what the fuck? Dude, if I hadn’t rivered a Q or 9, you would have only made the bet I made on the flop. Milked me? Hardly. Quite the opposite. He played the hand very weakly, giving me a chance to outflop him for free, failing to get money in when miles ahead, and then needing to be lucky to make any sort of pot from a huge hand. I don’t have a problem with slowplaying a monster and letting the other guy catch up, but you can’t claim you’ve done anything special. If you hope to be a good player, you must be able to distinguish good play from good luck.

Trying to get tricky preflop is usually a bad idea. Now, I played some of my starting hands a bit too fast, and didn’t get action on them, which was annoying, and I also played made hands too fast, playing scared. When you’ve been burned, sometimes you tilt a bit and start thinking they’ll always catch up if you don’t take pots down. That’s a big failing in my game. I need to remind myself: don’t play scared. I am tons better when I play aggressively and bravely. But slowplaying is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, it didn’t bite my opponents, but it easily could have done. In one hand, D, an older guy who fancied himself a player but didn’t look all that solid to me, limped from the button, W completed and I checked my option with J4. The flop came all diamonds, KJx. All checked. The turn was nothing special. W checked, I checked, D made a weak bet. I knew he had hit the flop so I chucked it. He showed his hand, AdKc. A monster. But here’s the thing. He made nothing with it, and risked everything to get it. Preflop, he gave us a chance to outflop him for nothing, and after the flop he gave me a shot at pairing my kicker on the turn. An offsuit four on the turn and I likely bust the idiot. A jack and he’s in a bad position, unsure when I bet whether I really have it, and hating to throw away his draw (which could be – but wasn’t – dead).

The biggest hand for me was one I’m not sure about. On the bubble, I had the big stack (which makes it all the more painful to win nothing). UTG I have 77, and make it 3xBB, which at this stage is 3000 chips, a big chunk of most of our stacks. I expect most times to fold everyone out. T, a weak player who has been riding his luck, but has learned since I last played him to get aggro with a shortstack rather than get blinded out, pushes. I have him covered by plenty and I’m getting 11.5 to 4 on the call. In this spot, I tend to discount the likelihood of both big and little pairs. He doesn’t have the balls to push 22 in this spot, and there are far more big aces than big pairs. So I figure I’m probably ahead of AK-AJ. Against his range, I am probably dead on even. I think he folds smaller aces. Do I call? The pot odds say yes yes yes, but I can fold, avoid risk and maintain a very decent stack. I can definitely find better spots to get money in than a coinflip. I don’t think I can lay it down though. Maybe the result is influencing my thinking too much. Had I won it, I would have had a stack big enough to slap the other guys around, and I think I would have won the tourney. Anyway, I call quickly, and he shows AK. It doesn’t really matter which overcards he shows, of course, so long as they’re not suited. Except that the flop and turn were all lower than a seven but the river was, of course, a king.

Finally, I forgot that even though I have started treating Friday home games as SNGs, and playing them accordingly, my opponents don’t, and they don’t have a clue what good play even looks like. Shortstacked, but covering W, who is BB, I push UTG with QTs. I think this is a good play, because the table is playing tight and I’m a good chance to get three folds. But W calls with KQ. WTF? This is an autofold in the BB against a player who has you covered. Against any range he can put me on he’s behind for all his chips. But he doesn’t think like that. He sees two face cards and thinks “wahey!” Don’t expect them to play well. I do not improve and double him up and that’s me very short.

Well, it could have been different. I played pretty well, and my mistakes were not horrible. But for a rivered king, I would have had the stack my play had merited. Maybe folding 77 on the bubble might have been better because I really didn't need to get involved. I dunno. It's easy to think you played even worse than you did when you lose.

29 Comments:

At 9:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots:

Maybe the result is influencing my thinking too much. Had I won it, I would have had a stack big enough to slap the other guys around, and I think I would have won the tourney. Anyway, ...

At some level you didn't want to win the tourney, you couldn't permit the rupture of so many beliefs; less costly to spend a few nickels and avoid the issue. "Anyway," you don't want to think about it, so don't.

I dunno. It's easy to think you played even worse than you did when you lose.

Bugger. You'll never get it. Well, perhaps you will.

You've made up some rules for yourself,

Solid play is best.
When they raise, they have it.
Don’t expect them to play well.
If you hope to be a good player, you must be able to distinguish good play from good luck.
Do not play scared.


Tie your hands with rules and you make it even worse.

It's easy to make yourself a loser when you're afraid to be a winner, especially in a game like poker that involves "luck", if you began to win consistently it would fuck your worldview and that isn't allowable. If you won 95% of the hands you played for a week, you'd curl into the foetal position and suck your thumb.

Think about it. Your hand, play it as you will.

 
At 9:48 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

I think you're being a bit harsh. They are just rules of thumb, which help a novice not to fuck up so often.

I'm not afraid to win. One thing I've been learning is how to win; curiously, the first step is learning how to lose.

 
At 6:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots:


I think you're being a bit harsh.

When grandpa beat daddy with a hoe handle, that was "a bit harsh".

I'm attempting to communicate information to you that is not what you are accustomed to hearing, and which you may in fact not wish to hear because it conflicts with your established belief set.

They are just rules of thumb, which help a novice not to fuck up so often.

Understanding general principles helps us find discrepancies and further refine our understanding, but codifying them prevents that kind of observation.

I'm not afraid to win.

If that's true why aren't you winning? "But for a rivered king, I would have had the stack my play had merited."


...curiously, the first step is learning how to lose.

Granted the first thing they teach you in a Judo class is how to fall down... but the idea is not to fall down because you're not in conflict to begin with.

Any twit can lose. Anyone who has suffered a bit can lose a hand without loss of vital functions. Those are not first steps, those are pre-requisites to learning.

The first step is to understand why you lose. It is also, coincidentally, the last step.

But for a rivered king, I would have had the stack my play had merited.

You wrote that sentence, please read what you wrote. It contains the key to winning.

You seem to think your play is restricted to the mechanics of moving pieces of paper about yet that is the smallest portion of the game.

You won precisely the stack that your play merited.

 
At 7:13 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Point one, it is diverging from those principles that loses me money, not sticking with them. They are the fundamentals, boots.

Point two, I am not losing money. I win. My quest is to improve so that that remains true at a higher level.

Point three, I took a coinflip getting three to one. I correctly read the other guy and made a call that was completely correct. It's only losing that colours my view on it, but in the same spot, I'd make the same call EVERY TIME. What I meant was that my play through the night had merited better. Another night, I will be in the same spot, win the hand, and be rewarded by winning the tourney.

Point four, I understand perfectly well why I lost. This post gives the reasons. I made a mistake that cost me a few thousand chips. I will learn from that, and I've added to my "book" on the guy that raised the river. I also added to the book on myself. I have improved a lot in learning when to fold and when not, but it's still a weakness. If I never find any, I'll never put them right! I lost a coinflip for a big chunk of my stack. Can't help that. Sometimes he just will river that king, and sometimes he just won't. I'm cool with that. It's not that I don't understand that poker is a game of luck as well as skill. I can't fix the luck, boots; I can only work to manage it. After all, that's what a good player is trying to do: manage luck. I made a solid play when short to try to steal with QTs, and got a retarded call. I don't mind that so much. Retards call; it's what they do. I thank them for it mostly. It's a pity I was dominated -- particularly since I hit my pair -- but the range of cards he might have called with contained far more that didn't dominate than did. I had plenty of fold equity too. Maybe I overestimated how likely he was to call with hands like KQ, which he should fold. I did have him covered, after all. And as it happens, I had the flush draw after the flop but it didn't come in. Such is poker. I'm much more upset at my play, for instance, when I had AA against T, he flopped top pair and instead of calling or making a small raise, I went too big. That's playing scared, which was an overreaction to getting burned by slow play on another hand (and not a logical reaction either).

 
At 8:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots:

Point one, it is diverging from those principles that loses me money, not sticking with them. They are the fundamentals, boots.

They are not the fundamentals, they are mechanistic explanations of details which derive from the fundamentals. You're looking at the pixels and claiming they're the picture, you can't begin to see the fundamentals from that level.

Point two, I am not losing money. I win. My quest is to improve so that that remains true at a higher level.

Money is incidental to gambling. The maths can only take you so far.

Point three, I took a coinflip getting three to one.

The river fucked you.

Point four, I understand perfectly well why I lost.

You don't have a clue why you lost, you simply have a plausible explanation for it.

I can't fix the luck, boots; I can only work to manage it. After all, that's what a good player is trying to do: manage luck.

Wearing those blinders you will never be a world-class gambler, nor will your life ever be what you wish it was. It's your world, create it as you choose; if you choose you can abdicate all responsibility and whine to your heart's content.

I'm sure you think me either harsh or insane. So it goes. I'll try and bugger off for the nonce. Best "luck" to you.

 
At 4:09 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

I just find you not very helpful. A person who says "no, that's wrong" but never points out what's right doesn't do me any good.

 
At 5:04 pm, Anonymous $Zero said...

Scrabble!

 
At 5:11 pm, Anonymous $Zero said...

either that, or find a bunch of sucker games where nobody really knows what they're doing (AT ALL) and methodically liberate them of their disposable income.

 
At 5:15 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Well yes, Z, but the first step is not to be the sucker.

 
At 5:18 pm, Anonymous $Zero said...

point mine.

poker is about bluffing.

anybody can learn the probabilities.

 
At 5:21 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Stick to talking about scrabble. You don't know a thing about poker. Guys who think it's about bluffing leave with empty wallets because guys like me use the percentages to snap them off and take their dough.

 
At 5:44 pm, Anonymous $Zero said...

clearly you enjoy playing poker, as do i, but...

the only way you can consistently win at a game based so much on chance is to find people who know far less than you do about the odds -- otherwise you've all got an equal chance to win.

and given that the variables in poker are so few, and the number of people studying it so great, the odds of finding such people dimishes greatly.

if not, simply concentrate on finding and playing with those who don't know what they're doing oddswise and your work is done.

OTOH, Scrabble, for instance, is something that you can become more and more skilled at in such a way that others are far less likely to be able to compete with you -- especially given that the number of variables (possible valid words and the assortment of play strategies) are so much greater than poker.

with poker, there's only 52 cards.

i'm certainly not trying to burst your poker bubble, your love of the game is hard to miss.

i'm just suggesting that if you truly want to win cash, you might want to consider something where the odds are far more in your favor.

OTOH, if you master the bluffing aspects of poker (recognizing bluffs as well as engaging in them), which are far more complicated than the odds end of it, your odds of winning cash will go up there as well.

IOW, all other things being nearly equal, good bluffers win more frequently than statisticians -- precisely BECAUSE of the way that statiticians play the game.

summary: at a poker tourney, how many of the finalists are clueless about the finite set of probabilities?

 
At 5:49 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

You'd be astonished at how few people have the smallest clue how to play. Particularly at the lower levels. I know I need to know more and have more skill to beat guys that do have a clue. But you need a technical foundation to build your game on. No good player lacks that, Zero. They have the overlay of being very good judges of others' play, but there's no conflict between understanding the maths and understanding the psychology. Part of the latter is actually a question of understanding how others understand the former, after all.

 
At 5:53 pm, Anonymous $Zero said...

You'd be astonished at how few people have the smallest clue how to play.

no i wouldn't.

 
At 5:56 pm, Anonymous $Zero said...

but given that fact, that so few know how to play, how do you explain that you're not winning all of their money and living high off the hog on poker?

see my point?

find them and liberate them.

 
At 5:57 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Well then, you should be clear enough that a little ability can go a long way, so long as you are clear that you only have a little.

 
At 5:58 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

I don't play high enough just yet. I am building my bankroll and my ability. The latter is more important in my view.

 
At 6:08 pm, Anonymous $Zero said...

I don't play high enough just yet.

isn't that a bit at odds with your other conclusion that so few know what they're doing?

i've scanned your poker blogs over the years and you definitely talk a good game, so what's the hold up?

cashwise, playing poker online is about as useful as usenet.

organize several games and LIBERATE them!

IOW: go team, go!

 
At 6:09 pm, Anonymous $Zero said...

IOW: poker is about bluffing.

see my point?

 
At 11:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots:

I just find you not very helpful. A person who says "no, that's wrong" but never points out what's right doesn't do me any good.

There's someone out there who's the best poker player in the world, I don't know his name because I don't follow poker personalities, but there's someone out there. The guy has a "feel for the cards" and wins more often than he should, maths being what they are. He has something that other people don't have. They're stuck with the mechanics, but somehow he strikes to the essence of the game. He "knows" when the river is going to fuck him and he folds out, he "knows" when the river will save his ass and he raises. Does this sound like anyone you've heard of?

He's playing the actual game, and his opponents are playing mechanistic poker. You're trying to look at a pointillistic painting with your nose against the canvas like the rest of his opponents, you can't possibly focus on the picture unless you step back, nevermind that there's a fucking cliff behind you, either you must see the picture to continue breathing or you don't care and will continue taking what the maths hand you and continue attributing Whozits' success to some unnamed "skill" you can't have because you weren't born with it or some rubbish.

Money is incidental to gambling. If you view gambling as a money harvesting mechanism you're going to make a lot of contributions to others. Never make a play because you're afraid not to, never make a play because you lust for the pot, never make a play because it's what the maths dictate; instead listen for what Whozits hears and pay attention.

The limiting factor in poker is not skill, it is luck. Remove luck from the game and you may as well write a computer program to play it. It's the luck aspect that controls the river, and the luck aspect of gambling or of life is not what people ascribe it to be.

You can't grasp the luck aspect of gambling when you limit yourself to what you've been told, any more than ancient mariners could circumnavigate the globe when they were limited by the flat-earth concept. You can't get there from here, you need to go somewhere else from which you can get there.

It's as though the world was a box, and within the box all you can really do is collect observable properties and attempt to weave an understanding from them. That's what science has done, it's tried to collect innumerable facts and make sense of them -- but it seems to have discarded some of the most important data points as spurious.

The best you can do from within the box is to construct a theory of how things work. Then you can test your theory and see if it plays out. The only useful correct theories are those that enable you to meet the whole at a point slightly outside the box.

Collect the inexplicable, the undeterminable, and eventually you may begin to learn that they are not so inexplicable as science would have you believe. There is luck in the world but there are no chance occurrences, how can that be?

I'm not a wealthy man, Zen. You may reasonably ask why not if I so grasp the luck aspect of the world. The reason is fairly simple. During my brief gambling career I mostly lost, but I did learn from it -- not because I am ever so smart, but because the understanding was shoved up my nose like it or not. What I learned has made money not only incidental to gambling, it has made money incidental to life. There's no point in my gambling for money because when I need it, it inexplicably appears.

 
At 9:45 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"There's someone out there who's the best poker player in the world, I don't know his name because I don't follow poker personalities, but there's someone out there."

I'm not sure there's a "best" but let's say there is. Let's say it's Ivey.


"The guy has a "feel for the cards" and wins more often than he should, maths being what they are."

This is the part of what you say that I don't agree with. The maths are only part of it, not all of it. You don't "beat the maths". You use the maths to "beat the player".

"He has something that other people don't have."

Ivey reads people very well and plays situationally. I know I'm weak at both, but partly that's an outcome of lack of experience.

And maybe an X factor that I don't, and maybe won't ever, have.

"They're stuck with the mechanics, but somehow he strikes to the essence of the game."

I think this is mostly imaginary. Ivey knows the mechanics inside out.

"He "knows" when the river is going to fuck him and he folds out"

Ivey would have made the call I made, boots. He's good but he's not clairvoyant.

"he "knows" when the river will save his ass and he raises. Does this sound like anyone you've heard of?"

No. It sounds like someone you've imagined.

"He's playing the actual game, and his opponents are playing mechanistic poker."

The disdain for "mechanics" is probably why you went busto.

"You're trying to look at a pointillistic painting with your nose against the canvas like the rest of his opponents, you can't possibly focus on the picture unless you step back, nevermind that there's a fucking cliff behind you, either you must see the picture to continue breathing or you don't care and will continue taking what the maths hand you and continue attributing Whozits' success to some unnamed "skill" you can't have because you weren't born with it or some rubbish."

It's a combination of things, boots. You have to know when the painting looks like other paintings, and how you reacted to them when they looked the same, and whether that worked. You have to know how the painting is constructed and all the other ways it could have been constructed. All the while, you can only see a small part of the picture, and others are trying to mislead you into thinking that the horse you're looking at is a cow or pig.

"Money is incidental to gambling. If you view gambling as a money harvesting mechanism you're going to make a lot of contributions to others."

I say once more to the naysayers that I am a winning player and could remain that way in perpetuity.

"Never make a play because you're afraid not to, never make a play because you lust for the pot, never make a play because it's what the maths dictate; instead listen for what Whozits hears and pay attention."

No. I think this is ultra bad advice and I *would* become a losing player if I played like this, particularly in limit poker.

"The limiting factor in poker is not skill, it is luck."

It is both, boots. You have to manage luck. Make yourself "luckier" if you like. Yes, you can be luckier or less lucky, although it will even out over enough time (but it's quite possible you will not play for "enough time"). But you cannot guess when you will be lucky or not, which is why you have to rely on the maths of expectation.

Could I have known that the guy would river a king? No. In retrospect, of course it seems obvious that he would. But I have had 77 hold up against AK *many* times. If I kept records, I would doubtless find that I have won races about half the time.

What I can manage are hands such as the one in which W flopped a set of aces. I have a good read on him. Looking through my posts the other day, I realised that I had previously read him as a calling station, only raising when he had the nuts. I ignored my read and lost chips because I was overeager and wanted my good hand to be a winner. That's a failing I have and I have to work on it. After all, he's only going to bluff me once in a blue moon, so I should let him.

"Remove luck from the game and you may as well write a computer program to play it."

Sure. Without luck, there would be no fish.

"It's the luck aspect that controls the river, and the luck aspect of gambling or of life is not what people ascribe it to be."

I think you are purposely opaque on this subject because you don't actually have anything to say about it.

"You can't grasp the luck aspect of gambling when you limit yourself to what you've been told, any more than ancient mariners could circumnavigate the globe when they were limited by the flat-earth concept."

There are no other concepts. I've never known anyone think there are who was any good, boots.

"You can't get there from here, you need to go somewhere else from which you can get there.

It's as though the world was a box, and within the box all you can really do is collect observable properties and attempt to weave an understanding from them. That's what science has done, it's tried to collect innumerable facts and make sense of them -- but it seems to have discarded some of the most important data points as spurious."

I don't agree. Part of science is making a rational judgement about what should be in and what out. The hope is that over enough trials you will average out to the right things in.

"The best you can do from within the box is to construct a theory of how things work. Then you can test your theory and see if it plays out. The only useful correct theories are those that enable you to meet the whole at a point slightly outside the box."

I simply do not believe there is a transcendental position to view poker from. If you had one, I'd gladly take it up!

"Collect the inexplicable, the undeterminable, and eventually you may begin to learn that they are not so inexplicable as science would have you believe."

But a rivered king is perfectly explicable. He has about an even chance to hit one of his cards. I have a much lower chance of hitting mine, because it's a pair, so only one, and I already have two of them, so only two to hit.

Half the time he will hit. Half he won't. I do not believe anyone I play slips cards from under their sleeve or deals from the bottom. I believe that the deck is reasonably shuffled. I don't have any "data points" that lead me to believe that the cards will be anything but inscrutable.

"There is luck in the world but there are no chance occurrences, how can that be?"

I don't know that that's true.

"I'm not a wealthy man, Zen. You may reasonably ask why not if I so grasp the luck aspect of the world. The reason is fairly simple. During my brief gambling career I mostly lost, but I did learn from it -- not because I am ever so smart, but because the understanding was shoved up my nose like it or not. What I learned has made money not only incidental to gambling, it has made money incidental to life. There's no point in my gambling for money because when I need it, it inexplicably appears."

Dude, if you know how it inexplicably appears, give me a clue, because I am in sore need of some.

 
At 7:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots:

This is the part of what you say that I don't agree with. The maths are only part of it, not all of it. You don't "beat the maths". You use the maths to "beat the player".

"Beat the maths"? There are no maths to "beat", the maths are like gas mileage, both account for past facts and neither affects them; they are explanatory abstractions that relate only to past data, neither determines nor influences future outcomes in any way except to predispose the rationalist.

Gambling is a short-run activity related only to future outcome, the maths don't come into it at all until pot-counting time. The concept that the "maths" can help you determine a short-run outcome is grossly deceptive.

"It's the luck aspect that controls the river, and the luck aspect of gambling or of life is not what people ascribe it to be."

I think you are purposely opaque on this subject because you don't actually have anything to say about it.


Your rationality and your certainty ill serve you, were you less definitely correct you might see that in fact I am not the least bit opaque, and that Mrs Zen might have slight reason for her irrational-seeming position. That may seem like hitting below the belt at first, but it is much less harsh than a hoe handle.

This is not opaque, it is literal. Luck is not random. Luck is not something that happens to you. As long as you reverse cause and effect and stand firmly on your rectitude discussion is a fwot.

I don't blame you for an unthinking acceptance of what you were taught but your worshipful certainty that it is absolutely correct is like an utter belief that Jesus has saved you, it prevents the possibility of useful discussion.

 
At 9:06 pm, Anonymous $Zero said...

boots: The concept that the "maths" can help you determine a short-run outcome is grossly deceptive.

yikes.

you seriously underestimate the usefulness of probability.

to a fault.

(and that's a fact which is almost 100% certain).

for instance, if you're palying three-card poker with one card face-up per player, and your hand consists of mixed suits of a 6, 4, and 2, -- the odds of you having a better hand than someone showing a 5 are very very very poor, to say the least.

"the maths" are definitely important, though not exclusively so.

for instance, you could still win with your 6 high hand, as long as you know how to bluff properly.

have you ever played Guts?

(where you need to match the usually ever-increasing pot if you lose?)

it's the ultimate bluffer's game.

with some of the larger pots (depending on the players and your perception of their budgets) you can scare away a pair of Jacks with your measely six-high.

it's a beauty to behold.

 
At 10:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$Zero said:

you seriously underestimate the usefulness of probability.

boots sez:

Card-counting is useful, knowing you have a Jack in your hand and there is one on the table tells you something, though it doesn't tell you the thing you care about.

Probability has no usefulness whatsoever in predicting future outcomes, it is possibility that is of importance in that arena.

The crucial question is which of the possible outcomes will occur, and the useful question is why that one rather than another... and if you truly understand the why of it then the which becomes irrelevant.

Of course this is not what the Tyranny Of Stupidity has brainwashed us into believing, so it should be discounted as useless. [big grin]

 
At 4:43 pm, Anonymous $Zero said...

if you truly understand the why of it then the which becomes irrelevant

you seem to think that not expressing your idea of "the why of it" somehow gets you off the hook, probability-wise.

but it doesn't.

so, are you gonna see my raise, or just fold?

 
At 7:51 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

boots has been bluffing for some time.

 
At 9:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots sez:

All right girls, you've decided to call my hand?

$Zero sed: you seem to think that not expressing your idea of "the why of it" somehow gets you off the hook, probability-wise.

Then Zen sed: boots has been bluffing for some time.

So it appears you think there is a simple trick that I can impart with a flourish and set you right, eh? Well there is, it's simply a matter of holding your mouth right - figuratively speaking.

$Zero, knowing a thing and being able to wrap your arms around it and "express" it are very different.

Zen, I've told you what seems like a thousand times, but I've apparently never been able to "express" it in terms you can comprehend or will consider.

It is fundamentally and inherently impossible for me to "express" the why of it for you because your essence determines the details; I can only attempt to give you a more correct map for existence and from there you must take it up.

Cause and effect are swell concepts, but you have to keep them pointed in the right direction. So long as you retain the belief that you are a speck within an infinite material universe you will -- must -- remain at the mercy of that material universe, your magic will remain legerdemain, and Lady Luck will continue to shit in your shoe when you least expect it.

What exists, and what occurs, are the data of the issue; the "why" of it is another topic. Berkeley was not a nutjob, though perhaps it is impossible to "prove" it so on other than an individually experiential basis.

In simple terms then:

Perception is a cause, not an effect.

Consistency with the past is necessary.

If you can learn what "you" is, that is the thing which chooses from the possible alternatives and manifests them in your face.

There you go; it's a new world, enjoy it if you have the balls.

 
At 9:29 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Curiously enough, I was going to use that theme for a book. Probably still will because it's an interesting concept. I forget whose theory it is that we choose our path through a block universe, but it's pretty cool.

I'll give it a go though. I'd sure like to be choosing my rivers.

 
At 10:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots sez:

Curiously enough, I was going to use that theme for a book. Probably still will because it's an interesting concept.

Thieves everywhere! [grin]

I'm still trying to wrap my arms around a first novel... sort of a Harry Potter thingy for adults. No doubt you're too lofty for co-authorship and I'm too lame to write it myself, so I'll need to wait and read your book when it's published.

A few(?) years back there was a TV series that lasted half a dozen episodes or so called "Strange Luck", don't know if you'd have had a chance to see it or not being on your side of the planet and all.

I'd sure like to be choosing my rivers

You are, Zen. If you pay close attention to the way you perceive things, eventually it may become conscious.

 

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