Chronos and Betting

I was mistaken. Thank you for withdrawing the warning.

Good call.

I haven’t been active on this board for the past year or so, but I have fond memories of the informal bets that have been wagered here over the years. I feel this new rule represents a victory for ignorance.

It’s easy to make a prediction, to assert that something will happen. But a bet - or really the setting of odds - focuses the mind and can clarify the underlying issues. I once challenged Bricker by writing, “Gee guy, you seem pretty confident. Will you give me 10:1 odds?” He replied something like, “I’m not 10:1 confident. I’m even money confident”. Seen in that light, our differences were less than they might have first appeared. (By the way, that’s how you handle folks who use betting as a bullying tool. Ask them for 200:1 odds if they are so confident.)

More generally, while I believe truth exists, knowing it is a matter of being less wrong. That implies any reasonable conception of the truth must be probabilistic. And there are few better ways of grasping scientific probabilities than friendly wagers. As an example, I’d point to longbets.org. Wagers there run for many years; winnings go to charity. “Long Bets is about taking personal responsibility for ideas and opinions.”

Admittedly, progress in scientific betting is slow. Robin Hanson: “I think the most interesting question is how little effort we actually put into forecasting [aka probabilistic prediction -mfm], even on the things that are important to us… Even academics aren’t very interested in collecting a track record of forecasts- they’re not very interested in making clear enough forecasts to score… What’s in it for them? The more fundamental problem is that we have a demand for experts in our society but we don’t actually have a demand for accurate forecasts.”

You make some really nice points. And you are correct.

I wish we could.

In real life I have made and won and lost many bets; it’s part of the give and take of contact with other people. The bar bet can be a fun game.

There have been so many negative experiences and fistfights regarding bets, making of bets, collecting of bets, refusal to cover bets, etc. so much that cleaning up behind the wreckage of Bets Gone Bad is more than it’s worth.

Like many rules on the SDMB this has happened because we got pushed into it. And I regret that it has come to be like this.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

Ill bet that was a difficult decision to make! :drooling_face:

It may actually have been worse than that. I learned a different variant of this in high-school Driver’s Ed: If an underage occupant of a car is caught with his/her girlfriend/boyfriend with shoes off, you can get arrested for statutory rape. The actual rule, as alleged, was that you could be arrested for stat if you are caught without any item of clothing that would normally be worn in the circumstances.

But “I know we are not allowed to bet” very much was - any honest reason you left that first part out of your post?

Not that I care about the betting part of it, I don’t do bets for moral reasons anyway, but that was quite a disingenuous post.

Maybe the bit where you said “I know we are not allowed to bet”?

I guess I should read from top to bottom. Thank you.

I now “withdraw” my earlier statements. :slight_smile:

Please. A bet’s a bet, doesn’t matter how it pays out.

That you (eventually) got away with it doesn’t make Chronos’ stated reasoning any less sound. And I say this as someone who is decidedly not a fan of his.

Well, I’m ready for this to be over. The rule is clear now and again I thank the mods.

Except, as written, it’s clear he felt otherwise. Which is entirely reasonable.

But he also stated a belief that it is allowed if the proceeds go to charity. Taking the post as a whole, and not cherry picking lines, he states a belief that it was within the rules.

It’s worth noting: Reading for context is a skill one usually learns in the 4th or 5th grade.

Who is that comment directed against?

I was in agreement with you. I was just adding on to your statement to illustrate how bad it is when one doesn’t read for context.

Okay, thanks for the support, and for the clarification.

And I’ve stated a belief that no-one actually thinks that.

He was attempting to game the system he thought was in place, hence the “If I’m wrong…” disclaimer. That’s not the kind of disclaimer you put if you think you’re right, it’s the kind you put when you think you’re wrong and want to cover your posterior. It’s from the “I’m sorry if you were offended” school of hedging your, you know, bets.

It’s moot since he got away with it, but I still don’t think Chronos was in the wrong to mod the way he did.

In retrospect, I should have included the whole post. I wasn’t trying to pull a fast one, but you’re not the first person to focus on the clause I left out, and my point works fine with it there anyway.

The honest reason I left it out of my post was that I figured that anyone reading this thread would have read the relatively short post it was about, and that I was specifically intending to focus on the parts that disproved Chronos’s characterization of his post as “a clear statement” of anything.

To paraphrase the original post: “I know we’re not allowed to do X, but maybe we’re allowed to do Y? Anyway, if we are, Y, if not, then forget I said it” is not a clear statement of knowing wrongdoing. It’s a muddled mess. The opening clause that’s clear by itself does not add up to clarity when followed by a bunch of qualifiers and statements of ignorance.

Again, it was a mistake on my part to not include the context, but I wasn’t trying to be disingenuous: I thought that anyone participating in the thread would read the original post and I was highlighting the parts that didn’t fit with Chronos’s claim. With the context included, my point still stands. The post as a whole was not a clear statement that UV thought he was breaking the rules.

And I’ve stated a belief that no-one actually thinks that.

Many people do draw that distinction, though. Betting to win money yourself is seen as low-class and vulgar and sinful, but betting with proceeds to charity is something that public intellectuals regularly engage in, because removing the profit motive and making the whole thing “for a good cause” is a way of having the fun of a public statement of disagreement without the stuff that many people find distasteful.

It makes sense for the board rules to treat them the same, but people do actually think that they’re different.

I understand your position about the modding here, but I have to say, I completely disagree with it.

What Chronos should have said was something like:

"Actually, I just looked up the rules, and the only places that betting is explicitly banned is in the Great Debates and Politics and Elections forums, so you didn’t actually break any rules.

Here’s a friendly reminder for the future, though: a pre-emptive disclaimer or apology is never an excuse for breaking the rules, and if betting had actually been banned in the Game Room, you would have received a warning for this post."

It would have had the benefit of both accuracy and equity. Of course, it also would have required the moderator in question to know the damn rules that he’s responsible for enforcing.