Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Martingale school of foreign policy

Glenn Greenwald catalogues the way the Neocons are seizing upon the escalating violence in the Middle East as an opportunity to have the war they really, really wanted all along.

One of the most widely known and widely ridiculed "systems" for casino gambling is the Martingale system.
Most players in the casino are looking for a system to help them get the edge. Many of them stumble upon or hear about a surefire system that involves doubling their bets after each loss. They figure that sooner or later they have to win. This system that is called the Martingale system and it has been around for years. It has also been the ruin of many players. Here is how it works. You make a bet and if you lose you double your bet. If you lose again you double your bet. You keep doing this until you win and then go back to your original bet.

The Martingale System assumes two facts: that the there are no table limits, and that the player's pockets are bottomless. If either or both of those assumptions is false, the system generally leads to disaster.

I don't use the Martingale system, because it is so obviously, fatally flawed. I don't like casinos, because the games are all stacked against players. Las Vegas was built as a monument to, and using the money taken from, those who believe in "systems," "luck," or some oxymoronic combination thereof.

But it looks like I will be financing a Martingale play after all.


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