Who ordered the scrambled brains?

Documenting the only time in his life in which he has the time to document his life.

Pocketbook Status

Last night I got a little feverish and started betting $20 at a time on 3:1 payouts on roulette. Ended up losing the $40 winnings from the first day. Factoring in the $3 tip I gave on Tuesday….

Pocketbook Status: -$3
High: +$60
Low: -$3

Whether I win or lose, I ask myself if the mild amusement of the thrill of gambling itself is worth the loss of the wager, each time I place a bet. It was funny to note both the release of endorphins experienced after winning on Tuesday, and the mild distress after losing yesterday. Rather than caving in to the psychological addiction that is so seductive, I manipulated the experience into serving as a reminder (as does my overall impression of Las Vegas) how fleeting and meaningless money is and also how highly it is valued. One minute you could be up thousands of dollars, others you could be down just as much, and it is all dictated by a more or less random (hopefully) mechanism that is socially embued with that power. Amazingly absurd and irrational!

(The other things of Vegas that give me that impression are the absurd cost of basic ammenities such as $18/day to use the Trop’s workout facilities!!, the thin and superficial fun for which you are pressured to spend tons of money everywhere you look, the manipulative proliferation of cheap alcohol, the manipulative “pretty lights!!@!!11@!” and catchy tunes soothing you into a super-consumer, etc…)

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Roshan said:

One of the interesting things I learned in some econ classes is that the positive and negative “emotional” impact of winning or losing X amount of money does not equal zero for most people. If you could quantify a feeling into a number, say Y, where +Y is a certain amount happiness and -Y is the same amount of grief, one would think that most rational people would feel +Y for winning $100 and -Y for losing $100. It turns out that most people feel +Y for the 100, and -Z (Where Z>Y) for losing 100. And that makes no sense at all rationally and doesn’t explain why people gamble so much.

Mike McG said:

Wow that is crazy. Could that be the root of all evil in society? That behavior can encourage hoarding, and greed.

But then again the point of what you said was that we still take huge irrational eomtional risks. I guess from an evolutionary standpoint, the harm of not having enough resources outweighs the benefit of having surplus. I guess that makes sense because without enough resources, you die before your reproduce and those genes of yours disappear from the pool.

Shaun said:

“One minute you could be up thousands of dollars, others you could be down just as much, and it is all dictated by a more or less random (hopefully) mechanism that is socially embued with that power.”

One minute you could have a pocket full of chippers, the next some guy is trying to steal your pants.

I’ll keep reminding you of this throughout the week.

Natalie said:

Way to bring it back to the most important part of Vegas Shaun……THE CHIPPERS.

For me, money doesn’t exist in Vegas……it’s pure chippers.

Mike McG said:

Damn straight. I had some kettle-cooked for lunch… Vegas is all about the kettle-cooked. And kettle-cooked is all about Vegas.

Mike McG said:

I think I understand. No more references to that necessary. Thank you.


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