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Gambling sucks, video games suck, and poker really sucks

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Silver_nz   New Zealand. Jan 07 2018 12:37. Posts 5628



Is he right LP?

Is there any value to poker besides the hedonism of stimulating our competitive drive, which we could stimulate through fighting nature as well (though the feedback to our pleasure centers wouldn't be as fast and rewarding)

I know most here have already moved on to other things, some of which will be creating value for the world and advancing the state of human knowledge. Are you doing anything that will have lasting meaning?

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Spitfiree   Bulgaria. Jan 07 2018 13:08. Posts 8099

He has some reasonable arguments but the majority of this video was pure shit


deathstar   United States. Jan 07 2018 15:50. Posts 97

I 100% agree. I feel the pain my opponent feels when I beat them. I'm too sensitive to that to be a professional card player.
Being a professional poker player goes against Buddha's noble eightfold path because its not a right livelihood.
Its a harmful profession. It harms your opponents and it provides 0 value to others.
All that said, I'm not quitting tomorrow or the next day. And not even this year. But hopefully the year after.


Loco   Canada. Jan 07 2018 15:53. Posts 19049

This is a mix of common sense talk about opportunity cost and the destructive nature of competitiveness and specialization along with superficial talk and bad examples. I only listened up to 6:00 but short answer is that you can't judge an activity/profession in an absolute way. Most of us went into poker because we were very much into gaming so those skills transferred nicely and afforded us the opportunity to make more money than we ever could at the time. For us it was largely a good thing; we had already "wasted" a ton of time gaming, it was only logical to at least make money doing it. What we did with the freedom it afforded us and the money we made is where we can discuss good and bad, the game itself was just the means.

I think very few of us imagined that we were living life to the fullest as pro players and we're probably all aware many years later of some of the possible opportunities it costed us. But if we clearly had better opportunities back then we would have taken them. It's easy to fool yourself and think that in retrospect you could have chosen differently, but we chose to satisfy our needs with the best information we had at the time. For those who are still playing because they have invested a lot of time into it, it might be best for them to keep doing it for some more time until they can see themselves being satisfied doing something else.

I do believe that meaningful work should be sought and that we are happier when we contribute something to others, but that doesn't mean that the only things that can possibly be good are those, which is what is implied in the video. Why is it not good that a poker player can put food on his table thanks to his playing? If that is the best way to feed your family in your particular situation then I don't think it makes sense to say the person is doing something that sucks. It would make more sense to say: the system that puts a person into a situation where they do meaningless work to feed their family sucks. In which case, you're talking about a lot of jobs, not just gaming.

There is one thing though that I think is dangerous with gaming in large doses and it's that the feedback mechanism conditions your brain to be used to that kind of stimuli so that you can no longer appreciate normal activities and focus on simple tasks properly. This is true of chronic internet usage in general as well. This can be reversed but most people are not even aware that this is a problem, which is the real issue.

The idea of seeking "lasting meaning" is just a remnant from a archaic/religious worldview, there is factually no such thing, why concern yourself with it? It's also not given to everyone to be able to "advance the state of human knowledge". This is the case for the person who made that video, so hopefully he isn't pretending like he is doing that. There is no one universal path towards meaning and fulfillment, it comes down to having the freedom to cultivate your own abilities and having the opportunity to give back to those in need.

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (Mencken)Last edit: 07/01/2018 22:02

NMcNasty    United States. Jan 07 2018 21:20. Posts 1890

I agree with the general sentiment that too much problem-solving talent is being spent on games of some sort as opposed to issues of critical importance like the environment, but overall the video is pretty bad.

Some things:

He mainly mentions poker, and seems to have a relatively accurate idea of what it entails, to start off his rant. Then he mentions the stock market kind of as an afterthought. The poker brain drain is a complete joke compared to Wall Street. There are probably 1,000 people wasting talent in some sort part of the financial services industry for every professional poker player.

Inventing something that helps the environment is a ridiculously high standard. Sorry I'm not a Nobel prize winning biochemist.

He's a hypocrite. He has a ton of videos about bitcoin.

The idea that when you tackle environmental/societal issues you aren't competing against other humans is wrong. Other humans spend billions of dollars lobbying for policies that harm the environment.

He goes out of his way to say that poker actively harms people as opposed to being value-neutral. Yes, when you win money from someone else they lose money, but when you spend the money you won, someone else gets that money, it does not disappear from society. When you pay your taxes on your winnings I think its pretty clear you're even a net benefit to society since that money might have just been hoarded otherwise.

+1 to Loco's post

Read comments in the video. Doug Polk

 Last edit: 07/01/2018 21:21

Loco   Canada. Jan 07 2018 22:07. Posts 19049


  On January 07 2018 20:20 NMcNasty wrote:
I agree with the general sentiment that too much problem-solving talent is being spent on games of some sort as opposed to issues of critical importance like the environment, but overall the video is pretty bad.




I agree that the guy is a hypocrite, and what makes the video pretty bad is precisely that this is true but it's vacuous. It doesn't say anything about why people are driven to do that and possible alternatives to make them driven to not do it in favor of something that not only benefits them but likely benefits others as well. Does he think YouTube talking heads like him are the ones who are going to start that reform by stating the obvious?

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (Mencken)Last edit: 07/01/2018 22:12

Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jan 07 2018 22:34. Posts 3838

the vast majority of the economy is completely ineffcient and irrational in todays world. Poker is surely pretty useless for society, so is financial speculation, which takes up 40% of corporate profits in the US. the 'jobs' people have in todays economy are very rarely focused on manufacturing, as they used to be. So he could really turn this into a criticism about the whole global economy, not just poker. But at the end of the video he tells us to look at the fortune 400 to see the wealth creators, which is a bit of a joke, the koch brothers harm society more than the entire poker profession put together.

I don't think many poker players think the game contributes much, we just play because we have few other opportunities. I would like to quit poker once I've made around 2million from it and go on to accomplish things. I am definitely on of those people that wants to contribute something. It's not a stupid game either, as he calls it. It's highly intellectually stimulating, like chess.

I was GTO in 2007 -wobbly_auLast edit: 07/01/2018 22:53

Silver_nz   New Zealand. Jan 07 2018 22:44. Posts 5628


  On January 07 2018 14:53 Loco wrote:
This is a mix of common sense talk about opportunity cost and the destructive nature of competitiveness and specialization along with superficial talk and bad examples. I only listened up to 6:00 but short answer is that you can't judge an activity/profession in an absolute way. Most of us went into poker because we were very much into gaming so those skills transferred nicely and afforded us the opportunity to make more money than we ever could at the time. For us it was largely a good thing; we had already "wasted" a ton of time gaming, it was only logical to at least make money doing it. What we did with the freedom it afforded us and the money we made is where we can discuss good and bad, the game itself was just the means.


I think very few of us imagined that we were living life to the fullest as pro players and we're probably all aware many years later of some of the possible opportunities it costed us. But if we clearly had better opportunities back then we would have taken them. It's easy to fool yourself and think that in retrospect you could have chosen differently, but we chose to satisfy our needs with the best information we had at the time. For those who are still playing because they have invested a lot of time into it, it might be best for them to keep doing it for some more time until they can see themselves being satisfied doing something else.



Yes, when we started poker this was the best opportunity. Even though we were hurting others and not really advancing ourselves long term, we did make money in the short term. In this way it is alot like any predator in nature - the prey doesn't want to be eaten. The gazelle has meat. Both the lion and a gazelle want the meat, the lion to eat it for calories, and the gazelle for moving around to graze and mate. We developed the fangs playing starcraft, so we might as well use them, For the successful hunter himself it is a good thing.
Disagree that if we had better opportunities we would have taken them.As you say that feedback mechanism gets in the way. For me at least I did have better opportunities but it came down to short-term vs long-term thinking: Starcraft gives me a reward in under 20mins of play, if I have to actually go out try to break into nanotech like I wanted to at the time, that would take alot of reading, then approaching professors and doing menial task, and it would just take maybe 1000 times as long before I start to see any reward or feel my influence on the world. However it would be more satisfying overall - and more human - animals go for short term rewards, only humans think ahead. And so it was with poker too - here is a way to get short term feedback everyday on how good I am at something - plus I get paid. Rather than for example, getting an engineering job where it take 3 months to complete one project and get feedback on how you did.

If you do have an island of say 100 people surviving and building a society from nothing, and they all work and fish and build houses vs an island of 100 that is otherwise identical but has 10 pro poker players and everyone plays poker for on average 2 hours per day, the island with no poker is all going to end up with a better life: more food, housing, health - however you want to measure the good, the island without poker and the freeloading poker pros will have more "good stuff" - in fact the poker addict island will probably end up starving - its not easy to survive and even harder if you are addicted to a short-term reward that adsorbs your energy resources. Isn't it clear that, at least in terms of the base meaning that got us here in the first place - that is: surviving and reproducing - poker and competitive gaming is maladaptive?


  On January 07 2018 20:20 NMcNasty wrote:
He goes out of his way to say that poker actively harms people as opposed to being value-neutral. Yes, when you win money from someone else they lose money, but when you spend the money you won, someone else gets that money, it does not disappear from society. When you pay your taxes on your winnings I think its pretty clear you're even a net benefit to society since that money might have just been hoarded otherwise.



Yeah, it is neutral in terms of money-flowing around the economy, but certainly not neutral in terms of real value right? compare what you did do for 5 years (poker) vs what you could have done (build better computer simulations of the global weather maybe?) its clear that at the end of that 5 years one will have a lot more value - even in the most basic sense of value to the future survival of yourself and of the human species or even all large vertebrates and trees.

Btw, this guy already got mega-rich off bitcoin and has lived the hedonistic lifestyle but it came up empty. So he says the reason he is doing this is to wake a few people up, but doing using the things that motivate people, and that they can relate to - i.e. money and gaming. Seems quite a genuine guy to me:



Baalim   Mexico. Jan 07 2018 22:55. Posts 31865

NEWFLASH

playing games is more enjoyable than trying to solve rienmans equation ZOMG!

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro Online 

Baalim   Mexico. Jan 07 2018 22:57. Posts 31865


  On January 07 2018 14:53 Loco wrote:
the destructive nature of competitiveness.



It is also the only constructive drive in nature

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro Online 

Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jan 07 2018 22:58. Posts 3838

^not for everyone, math can be pretty fun haha. Mathematicians rarely actually do math because it contributes to society, they do it because it is fun. it is just coincidental that mathematics has a lot of use for people.

I was GTO in 2007 -wobbly_au 

Baalim   Mexico. Jan 07 2018 23:07. Posts 31865


  On January 07 2018 21:58 Stroggoz wrote:
^not for everyone, math can be pretty fun haha. Mathematicians rarely actually do math because it contributes to society, they do it because it is fun. it is just coincidental that mathematics has a lot of use for people.



which is exactly my point

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro Online 

Spitfiree   Bulgaria. Jan 07 2018 23:57. Posts 8099


  On January 07 2018 21:55 Baalim wrote:
NEWFLASH

playing games is more enjoyable than trying to solve rienmans equation ZOMG!



how dare people play video games instead of ending world hunger though


NMcNasty    United States. Jan 08 2018 01:18. Posts 1890


  On January 07 2018 21:44 Silver_nz wrote:
If you do have an island of say 100 people surviving and building a society from nothing, and they all work and fish and build houses vs an island of 100 that is otherwise identical but has 10 pro poker players and everyone plays poker for on average 2 hours per day, the island with no poker is all going to end up with a better life: more food, housing, health - however you want to measure the good, the island without poker and the freeloading poker pros will have more "good stuff"



That would be true for your example, but its a bit more tricky when don't assume a society has full employment. If you have and island with 100 people, with 40 builders, 40 fisherman, 10 unemployed, and 10 cripples, changing the unemployed to poker players won't be a net negative to the society, and you can argue it's even a positive benefit if the tax from the poker games brings assistance to the cripples. Its not even far fetched, a lot of US states are legalizing gambling just so they can tax it and help pay for various programs. It also creates all the casino related jobs. You can make the argument that all that can happen without professional players specifically, but pros are driving the industry to some extent. The idea that you might be able to get good enough to make a ton of money and quit your day job is part of what brings people in.

Still, I'm willing to concede that all the above is only true up to an extent. Maybe the first five poker players are adding value to the community while the next five are just leeches, and its pretty easy to concede that if the 10 poker players were scientists instead that would be much better.


 
Yeah, it is neutral in terms of money-flowing around the economy, but certainly not neutral in terms of real value right? compare what you did do for 5 years (poker) vs what you could have done (build better computer simulations of the global weather maybe?)



Yeah, see you're just giving me (or us) way too much credit. I actually had all the opportunities I needed being a white middle class American male who's parents paid for college. Yes I could have invented new computer weather simulations, but again, that's just a ridiculously high standard, its incredibly difficult to do. I would have had to approach my entire life differently since at least my freshman year. Also, even with more realistic expectations, since society has more people than jobs the value added is only relevant compared to our replacements. If I become a poker player instead of a programmer its not like society is out a programmer, some computer science grad somewhere will be happy to quit their job at coffee shop to take that place.

Anyway, that's what I tell myself.

 Last edit: 08/01/2018 01:20

NMcNasty    United States. Jan 08 2018 01:19. Posts 1890

delete

 Last edit: 08/01/2018 01:19

Arirang   Canada. Jan 08 2018 04:48. Posts 1672

ya you fuckers, go solve cancer.


Floofy   Canada. Jan 08 2018 05:48. Posts 8629

I personally don't buy the idea that poker players "hurt" other poker players. Of course, there are some players who are degenerate that lose large ammounts of money they can't afford to lose, but obviously, the person responsible for this isn't his opponements.

But overall, its a bit always this way is every competitive game or sport. The best MMA fighters "hurt" other ones. You could argue Connor McGregor greatly hurt many fighters's career (like Aldo). You could argue Kasparov is responsible for Karpov not being greatest chess player of his time. Can we blame Boxer for kinda "hurting" Yellow's career in starcraft. Its just the nature of competitive games, being good at a game or sport means other people won't be as good as you.

Are we going to blame Connor Mcgregor for the dude who quit his job to become a martial artist and fail horribly?

Of course, you could argue all of those things, pro gamers, pro sport players, etc, are "useless" to society and would be better off all researching cancer, but i think humans with talent are allowed to do whatever they really like doing and shouldn't feel bad if that means other less talented people won't be able to do it.

james9994: make note dont play against floofy, ;( 

bigredhoss   Cook Islands. Jan 08 2018 08:40. Posts 8584


  On January 08 2018 04:48 Floofy wrote:
I personally don't buy the idea that poker players "hurt" other poker players. Of course, there are some players who are degenerate that lose large ammounts of money they can't afford to lose, but obviously, the person responsible for this isn't his opponements.

But overall, its a bit always this way is every competitive game or sport. The best MMA fighters "hurt" other ones. You could argue Connor McGregor greatly hurt many fighters's career (like Aldo). You could argue Kasparov is responsible for Karpov not being greatest chess player of his time. Can we blame Boxer for kinda "hurting" Yellow's career in starcraft. Its just the nature of competitive games, being good at a game or sport means other people won't be as good as you.

Are we going to blame Connor Mcgregor for the dude who quit his job to become a martial artist and fail horribly?

Of course, you could argue all of those things, pro gamers, pro sport players, etc, are "useless" to society and would be better off all researching cancer, but i think humans with talent are allowed to do whatever they really like doing and shouldn't feel bad if that means other less talented people won't be able to do it.



I basically think people should do what they want including playing poker, but your analogies are off. It's impossible for a mediocre chess or starcraft player to believe he can become one of the best in the world without being dispelled of that notion very quickly. But there's hundreds of thousands of mediocre or worse poker players who have held the belief that they were the 2nd coming of phil ivey after going on a heater. Some go through a lot of suffering and pointless struggle chasing that idea. Also - while there are surely exceptions - being obsessed with martial arts or chess generally doesn't have the same level of detriment to someone's life that being an obsessed losing poker player does.

Truck-Crash Life 

MezmerizePLZ    United States. Jan 08 2018 09:11. Posts 2580

List of things to cut out of life so that we can help humanity optimally?

1. Milkshakes, they're really not worth it, even if you're spending money at a restaurant, they're pretty annoying to make and you probably negatively impacted the worker compared to ordering an iced tea, which is more healthy so you can live longer and benefit humanity better.

2. Fashion, in the future once we have all figured out that helping humanity is optimal, there will be no need for it. It's really pretty much just self serving to look cool, even if you're a designer, you should probably start designing things that can actually help people. Maybe like a new sweet hot tub or something.

3. Alcohol, you may think that it's fun, or that its helping you make connections, but really its just damaging ur brain cells which could be used to help humanity.

4. Any type of sports, pretty much just zero sum games, in the future no one will watch sports anyway cuz its -EV compared to helping humanity, so you won't be able to go pro anyway. Potentially good for health so maybe this one shouldn't be on here WHO KNOWS

etc. etc.

I mean I listened to the whole thing and I don't really get his point, obviously poker is not that great of a thing humanity wise, but there is a market for it where playing poker for a living is substantially more +EV for certain people than the alternatives of trying to work up through a 9-5 or risk starting their own business for god knows what. When that happens then people will play poker over their other options. I definitely think there are a lot of people who are just barely surviving in poker that would benefit from switching to something more stable/enjoyable for them. He seems to think its more important to be productive than to be happy, or maybe hes arguing that being productive will make you more happy? idk



whammbot   Belarus. Jan 08 2018 10:06. Posts 95

The big question is: How much did he lose?


 
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