The Robot Co-op

Not the best bet I’ve ever made

September 22, 2006 · Leave a Comment

coin flip

There’s this article that talks about the role of emotions in risk taking. As an example, they have this experiment where they ask people whether or not they’d like to risk losing $100 for an opportunity to win $150 on a coin flip. Personally, I don’t think I’d ever turn that down unless I didn’t have $100 in the bank. Any takers? However, when I asked my coworkers about it they said no more often than yes. In the article, most people also said no.

The explanation for this is that most people are more sensitive to failure than success. Losing hurts more than winning feels good. It sort of makes sense. We posted about it a bit on our other blog.

Today, we went to this new restaurant in Cascade called Feierabend and Josh and I ended up drinking a German liter of beer each. The topics had already covered the difference between alcoholics and drunks, the whiskey diet, celebrity sightings, what exactly makes a goal acheivable, and Russian spas, so it was time to start making bets. Josh challenged me to the bet where we’d flip a coin and if it was heads I would give him $150 and if it was tails he would give me $100. Because whatever mechanism that keeps most people from making even safe bets was left out of my brain, I accepted, Daniel flipped, the coin rolled off the table onto the bench, and came up heads.

Now I owe Josh 50-75 coffees. That’s randomness for you.

Categories: Lunch

Holding hands

September 22, 2006 · 1 Comment

Yesterday Ivan called me on my way to work and told me to meet him at Cafe Vita. He gave me a couple movie gift cards, hugged me and wished me a belated happy birthday. We talked about Ivan’s home in Slovakia. This felt great.

At lunch I lost at credit card roulette at Piroshky on Broadway and that felt great, too, as I haven’t lost in a while. So Todd, Erik, Ivan and I all ate the lunch special. The Russian lady that took our order told me that Ivan’s Russian was excellent and even better than her own English (which was very good in my opinion). The special was reliably delicious.

Late last night I cranked the electric guitar in the basement. This truly felt great. I remember when I was 14 my parents took a trip to Los Angeles, California (we’re from Anchorage). They asked me if I wanted anything. California was an exotic place to me as a kid—so I asked for an electric guitar not knowing much about them. Sure enough my Dad returned from LA with a used 1976 sunburst Fender Lead II. Somehow I got my hands on a torn up Fender Bassman amp head and speaker cab from a friend. I painted it brown with leftover paint from the house and thus began my habit of playing loud, shabby instruments.

At lunch we talked about the food—specifically about the delicious potatoes. A while back when trying to describe his passion for potatoes, Ivan caught us all off guard by ending his description of potatoes as his favorite food with, “I LOVE potatoes! Me and potato holding hands … walking down the street together”.

If I could hold hands with a couple things it may be that California guitar on my left and the brown painted amp on my right. Me and guitar and amp holding hands … walking down the street together.

Categories: Lunch