Winners &Losers

Winner & Losers
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One Dark Night>
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Gordon Moody
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Percentages and Chances

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Eudaemons to Draw

Nevada & New Jersey

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The Game of Life
Real Until


Lesson 5

It took a long time, more than a year in fact, causing the Eudaemons to draw poker down their last reserves of will and patience, let alone $ 15,000 in expenses.  By now the collective obsession to beat roulette in a big way had taken over from the claims of ordinary life, like working teaching, completing PhD these.  Their state of mind can be gauged by a dream one of the team described: ‘I was inside a casino … But it was also a church, with candles and incense burning   … There were nuns and prists officiating at what looked like a roomful of altars… But then when you got up close you saw that the nuns had bare legs.  The priests were really croupiers, and the worshippers at these altars were blackjack and roulette players taking the Holy Sacrament in the form of casino chips and Bloody Marys.’

            Finally the new equipment was invisibly stitched into the soles and heels of two pairs of leather Oxford shoes.  Thomas Bass, chronicler of the story, was assigned the role of high-stakes bettor.  The team hit Las Vegas. And you guessed it. ‘I notice something strange about the computer’s signals.  There seems to be a problem with the solenoids.  Every few seconds, apparently at random, they pop with different vibrations.  I start to place a bet with one signal and then switch midway on getting another.  Or I wait for a buzz and get nothing…

            ‘The computer underfoot thinks and whirs from one prediction to the next.  Extraneous buzzes pop off when the ball isn’t even in motion.  They follow rapid-fire, one on top of another… With more an more buzzes coming out of nowhere, my foot feels like a foot massager run amock.  I’m getting a ten-week course in acupuncture all in one night.’

          The problem was random noise.  Noise is the electronics terms for a signal with no function.  It probably came from the surveillance system of ‘the eye in the sky’ which is nothing but a giant TV installation.  It ’s like the Russians jamming the Voice of America.  So many signals were beaming across the casino that only garbage could get through.
           That experience proved to be the end of the line.  To go back to the former system, by taking the computer out of the shoe, strapping it to the leg and redesigning the whole process, was too much.  The Eudaemonic Pie, involving so many cooks, baked for so long, never got eaten it got thinner and thinner and disappeared into the Californian moonshine.
         The team could certainly claim a statistical victory; they had proved they could beat the game and then they quit.  A fitting epitaph on the affair was taken from Dostoyevsky: ‘However comical it may be that I should expect to get so much out of roulette, the routine opinion, accepted by everybody, that it is absurd and silly to expect anything at all from gambling seems to me even funnier.’
         One day another team will try to beat roulette.  I believe they’ll do it.

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