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October 13, 2010



Vegas casinos used to have (maybe they still do) cheap room deals that required you to buy $x in chips to get the good room rate. The way it worked was that the chips you had to buy were marked so you couldn't cash them in -- you had to gamble them to win chips that you could cash in. If you just wanted the cheap room and weren't interested in gambling, the trick was to bet on even chances (like red on the roulette table), accept that you'd lose a little when the zeroes came up, and cash in your slightly diminished stake for money after you'd cycled through all your funny chips.


I'm going to have to call bullshit on an economic system that rewards the winners so lavishly that they can shrug off tens of millions of dollars in losses. At bullshit games like baccarat, at that.

I'm supposed to believe that these guys are just that many orders of magnitude more productive than the people cleaning the hotel rooms?

Gary Farber

"Whales" are what big gamblers have been called in casinos for decades.

Minor point to frighten you to death into alienation and despair: you're sufficiently out of touch with American popular culture to have missed the existence of this top-watched tv show which referred to whales as whales approximately ten times an episode from February, 2003 and on into however many years hence in constant reruns on umpty American cable channels, because it's still so popular: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Vegas_(TV_series)

But I first ran across the term in books... okay, I don't remember for sure how long ago, right now. But definitely at least by 1990.

And I've never been in a casino or even bought a lottery ticket, ever.

Shorter me: I'd be highly pleased if they treated me like multi-millionaire and called me that.

Meanwhile, don't see Flash: use Firefox and Adblocker, and NoScript would be best, if you're up to it, but if you tell me what browser you use, I might be able to help.

If it's IE, I can't help. On second thought, I can only help on Firefox. Which you needn't use. But I never see advertising on the internet, except when I'm briefly forced to use another browser, and I couldn't use the internet otherwise, due to my ADD, and other perception problems. I literally can't read without tremendously difficulty with that kind of distraction.

Gary Farber

Oh, screw it, tell me what browser you like, and I'll at least go take a fresh look. I could use the motivation, but I don't care enough on my own to go looking right now, but would be delighted to do so for you, Belle, so ask away whenever you like, should you like.

You'd be doing me a favor, although I still probably will come back and say, duh, didn't find what I was looking for.

Because I just swing that U2 way, and even sometimes the YouTube way, whom clearly U2 should sue for trademark violation. It'd make as much sense as other cases I've seen.

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