A guaranteed gambling system from a man you can trust ...
... and you really can trust him when it's Julian Simon. The late great free-market economist has a treasury of his writings on the Web. These include not only the second edition of The Ultimate Resource, but also the almost-complete draft of The Science and Art of Thinking Well in Science, Business, the Arts, and Love. It's yet another must-read to join the groaning bookshelves of must-reads I may never get round to reading. (I'm a voracious non-reader of books as well as a fertile and industrious non-writer of blogs.)
But check out these chapter titles. Some sound like something from conventional economics textbooks:
Weighing Present Versus Future Benefits (and Costs)
Dealing With Risks
Reconciling Multiple Goals
Others sound tastier, like something from a self-improvement book:
Choosing Goals and Criteria of Success
Getting and Eliminating Ideas
Self-Discipline and Habits of Thought
Some come from a 'personal experience of deep and prolonged melancholy' (as he describes it in another book at the site, Good Mood: The New Psychology of Overcoming Depression):
The Nature of Sadness and Depression
Step-By-Step Fight Against Sadness and Depression
Yes, I shall be reading those chapters. I can't describe myself as a depressive, but I do certain self-destructive things that seem to have affinities with what depressives do. I suspect there's something in Simon's pages to benefit a voracious non-reader and copious non-writer.
So there seems to be something for most everyone in The Science and Art ...
And the gambling system? One chapter is called 'Winning in poker and business'. Poker, of course, is a game of skill - I expect business is, too - so there's nothing unreasonable in the idea of a winning method. Simon writes:
How to Make Money Playing Poker
To win money in a serious poker game when there are at least
four other players, you need to do only one thing: play the
hands that you know you ought to play, and drop out when you know
you ought to drop out. That is, winning or losing depends almost
completely upon your self-control. It is really as simple as
... Of course you must sometimes bluff, that is, bet even when
you do not have a good chance to win. But the purpose of the
bluff is simply to ensure that other players know that you
sometimes bluff, and therefore they cannot afford to drop out
whenever you stay in. ... Losers bluff too often, and they do so
in hopes of winning bad hands by bluffing others out.
Games with less than five players are a different matter, ...
... but read the full text to find out why. And to find out the answer to an obvious question:
Now we come to the bottom line: If I can win money playing
poker, why don't I devote myself to it, rather than quit playing
as I did after a year or two?
Placed under observation
I felt I had to make an entry today. This afternoon I'm meeting Adam Reed, who sociologizes, or perhaps ethnographs, about blogging at Anthroblog, and has apparently mistaken me for a real blogger.