Morning Coffee – Too Many Edition

In Blackjack, too much isn't better

Back in the days of yore, when I was traveling some 250 days a year I would find occasion to head out and do something fun in the city that I happened to be in. Since I was in Las Vegas a lot, it often meant that the closest thing to good clean fun was playing low dollar blackjack at a casino.

On one occasion, several of us were playing, and the dealer was this nice fellow of Korean descent. He was probably more helpful than the House really wanted him to be, often giving unsolicited advice that came in the form of “Are you sure you want to do that”‘s and other cautions for actions that went against the ideas of good blackjack playing.

Every time someone, including himself, would bust, he would say, “Awww, toooo maaannnnnyyyyy”, and proceed to pay or collect depending on who busted.

Eventually, I guess he decided he’d given us enough help and stopped with the advice. As with all kinds of gaming, different people act in different ways. Some acted on emotion, other acted in a way more consistent with the laws of probability. Sometimes emotion payed off, but more often than not it didn’t. Probability also wasn’t 100 percent dependable, but seemed to work better overall than emotion. Of course, none of us relied solely on one or the other, but in the end, the ones who relied more on probability left with more money than the ones who relied more on emotion.

I don’t think that the game of blackjack is necessarily an allegory for life, but it is the game that gives you the best probability of winning against the house.

In life, the decision to hit or pass isn’t written on a card that you can memorize. Life is more complicated than blackjack. But there are some general rules that give you a higher probability of success. Following those rules, along with the guidance of your instincts and emotions, can lead to higher pay-outs. Relying too much on any one of these may give you more cards, but doesn’t necessarily end up in helping you “win”.

It’s a difficult balance to maintain, but like blackjack, finding that balance between the two can pay off big in the end.

Ok, on to the coffee!

NPR’s Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr has passed away. He was a great and distinctive voice and he will be sorely missed.

“My views are fairly conservative”, Oy.

The South Memphis Farmer’s Market gets a shout out.

Bellevue Baptist’s Steve Gaines is taking some heat.

Bob Corker isn’t so keen on helping small business.

And finally, the Metro Charter Commission is talking legislative districts for the Council it would create. However, the ultimate makeup of that Council is up for discussion this Monday.

Have a great weekend. We’ll see you on Monday.

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