The Robot Co-op

The Gambler’s Fallacy

September 29, 2006 · Leave a Comment

I can’t remember what we talked about at lunch today. That’s either because we didn’t sustain a single subject long enough for it to matter, or because I daydreamed about regaining my financial footing after this string of Credit Card Roulette losses. The problem with a serious losing streak is giving up the gambler’s fallacy and accepting that randomness has no memory. There is no mathematical fairness to CCR unless we play the game an infinite number of times. Randomness does not “owe me” a string of winning, free lunches to make everything even. Instead, we start from statistical scratch every time we play the game.

This problem, the vanishing past, is a sticking point for some, and a liberating opportunity for others. Some say that what we think of as The Past is just an assemblage of memories, evidence, and the stories we tell, and that those things are just aspects of the present – malleable ones at that. The past ceases to exist but leaves behind a plastic residue. I have a sense that Josh, our resident historian, rails against this notion. As for me, I like that we are always starting from scratch. I’m heeding the bumper sticker that states “forgiveness is giving up hope for a better past.” Lady Luck didn’t owe me anything due to our past, but she still let me win CCR today. Now, how does that past victory continue to exist? I have a memory of Josh’s card being picked, I have evidence in my wallet that I got lunch for free, and I have completed my assignment to add a story to our blog.

Categories: Lunch

Crazy Train

September 29, 2006 · 1 Comment

Todd is on a crazy losing streak. He lost again at Ballet yesterday. He even lost out on the opportunity to make Daniel pay for failing to pick someone to write the blog post after Daniel bought us all delicious Pizza. Thanks for lunch Daniel and Todd!

What else is going on at the Robot Co-op this week? We had a great conversation about habits and habit forming. Todd & I have both been experimenting with taking the bus and walking to work. Daniel has been rehearsing with his new band. Eric swam in a volcano. Buster got sick. Ivan told us a crazy story about a cherry tree. And Geoffrey Grosenbach is hanging out at the Co-op to help us with some graphs.

Categories: Lunch