Chronos and Betting


Then what you are describing is attacking the poster, rather than the post. The reason for offering a bet is to gather evidence about whether they are an “intellectual chickenshit.” It’s not to see if their argument is correct or incorrect.

I’m pretty sure you just described why the tactic was banned in GD.

IMHO, the reason it was banned in GD was because Bricker was the main practitioner of this tactic. Many people found this irritating, because it was a lot easier to overwhelm him via sheer numbers of people insulting him than to take - frequently lose - his bets.

I find your interpretation of what happened to be entertaining at best.

This is like the Simpsons episode where Homer realizes he can bluff his way through life by slapping everyone with a dueling glove (until someone calls his bluff, with hilarious results).

I’m not really interested in a board where people are trying to bully each other into submission by demanding that they put money behind anything they say.

Now, if the board itself had some kind of internal betting market using fake board-issued currency, and transparent account balances, that might be an interesting tool. It would be equally accessible to everyone and you could easily see how much marginal risk someone is taking.

The thing about that tactic is that it’s only really useful when confronting people who express absolute certainty that their interpretation is correct. (This is the situation that a person like Bricker would frequently find himself, due to board dynamics.) But anyone who suitably hedges his opinions would have nothing to fear from this type of gambit.

Has @Chronos defended or withdrawn the warning yet?

I think both methods have their place and are valuable. And, arguably, mostly apply to different situations.

Clear writing with evidence is very useful for understanding how things are, or for making a case for how they should be.

Predictions backed by bets are much more useful for understanding how things will be.

The goal of the board is to fight ignorance, not to promote rhetoric. Bets are a tool that can be used to fight ignorance.

The fundamental problem of punditry is that people who are good at making arguments or providing explanations are not necessarily any good at predicting the future. A bet is useful here for a couple reasons. One is that actually making a specific wager requires nailing down specific measurable things, which people are often not that willing to do. The other is that it (hopefully) induces people to go back and reexamine why they were wrong when they are proven wrong (I have learned much more from the intellectual bets I lost than the ones I won). And, conversely, some of the least satisfying discussions I’ve had are with people who are rhetorically gifted but a little too fond of winning arguments to argue in good faith.

When discussing possible futures, I’ll choose the poster with a track record of being correct about specific bets in the past over the one who can write circles around him, because the best explained evidence in the world doesn’t make you right.

I think what I’d really like to see is a forum devoted to predictions that embraces stating clear falsifiable predictions with a definite timeline. Not to what is or what should be, but honest attempts to clearly draw a line in the sand about the future, with a culture of returning to past statements and admitting when one was mistaken. We could confine wagers to that forum, and they could be either monetary or just “I was wrong about this bet made in this post and I admit it” honor-based.

I had not addressed this yet because I wished to confer with the other moderators first. I have now done so. The relevant facts are that, first, the rule against betting does not, in fact, apply to the Game Room, but that second, in the post in question, UltraVires clearly stated that it was his belief that it did apply. By engaging in behavior that he stated to be against board rules, he undermined the rules of the board and was unnecessarily provocative. Therefore, the warning stands.

This is the most ridiculous excuse for a warning ever. Just because someone thinks they are breaking the rules doesnt mean that they are. Im glad you are not a cop.

Me:I was doing 45 in what I thought was a 35 zone.

Cop:While the speed limit is 45 Im giving you a ticket because you believed you were breaking the speed limit.

That doesn’t look like a clear statement that he thinks what he’s doing is against the rules to me. Most clear statements aren’t qualified with phrases like “I’m not sure if…”, “If we are…”, or “If this is against the rules, then I retract.”

I cannot fathom the reasoning that a poster who is not sure what the rules are, thinks that maybe he is allowed to do something, ends up correct that he is allowed to do so, gets warned, and then has the warning stand because well, he shouldn’t have mentioned that he was unsure about the rules when he was doing something totally within the rules.

Chronos, you got this call wrong, and what you should do is go apologize to UltraVires for warning him for behavior that was not against the rules at all and clarify what the rule is for others in the thread. Instead you’re doubling down.

That’s the most ridiculous defense of a moderator action I’ve ever heard. And that’s like the third or fourth most ridiculous defense of a moderator action I’ve ever heard from you, specifically.

Now, you’re one of my favorite posters, if not my absolute favorite. But Jesus god, your moderation…

Pretty much all the betting that I saw Bricker demand from other posters was about things in the future. The outcome of court cases or elections.

By definition, no one has an absolute certainty about the future.

He would often turn a “I think that Obama will win in 2012” into a demand that we back that prediction with money before he would allow the discussion to progress further. He would turn a general statement or prediction into an accusation of absolute certainty and demand that his opponent put money on the line.

It’s pushy and it lends nothing to actual discourse. It is only a tactic to attempt to shut down your opposition by claiming that they “won’t commit”.

I actually have no problem with the idea of betting in general, but nearly every time I’ve seen it used on this board, it has been used as a tactic of silencing someone with bullying.

To follow up on the moderation:

While I agree with the prohibition on betting going forward, I do not think that it is appropriate at all to apply it in this case.

Wow. So not only did you get it completely wrong, your fellow wagon-circlers did as well? I’d be surprised if it wasn’t completely predictable. I think UV’s posts are a general stain on most threads he participates in, but holy crap that’s absurd.

I disagree, from my recollection. You can’t “turn a “I think that Obama will win in 2012” into a demand that we back that prediction with money” - that would never work. If you’re just saying “I think it’s likely that Obama will win” or something comparable, then there’s no way that can be confronted with a demand for a bet since “I don’t want to bet since it’s also possible that Obama won’t win”.

What you can do is turn “it’s obvious that Obama will win in 2012 and anyone who thinks otherwise is a complete idiot” into a demand to back that prediction with money, because if indeed it’s so obvious then it should be easy money for the guy making the assertion.

As noted above, this board is full of these types of statements, either directly about the future or having logical implications for the future, made with absolute certainty and with contempt for any dissenting notion. The implication of this certainty is that it’s no risk easy money for a bet. And the plethora of such sentiments made this a ripe environment for such challenges. Of course, those making these types of forceful assertions disliked the betting challenge, for these exact reasons. And so it came to pass that the betting gambit became extremely unpopular on this MB, which translated to a ban on the practice from a sympathetic moderator.

It doesn’t look like a clear statement that he knows it’s against the rules if you edit out the sentence immediately prior where he says that he knows it’s against the rules.

This is ridiculous. First and most important, he did not break the rules. Second, this was a soft, contingent bet (i.e. “Ignore this if it’s against the rules”) that showed respect for the rules (which again, were not broken at any point).

I mean, come on, Chronos didn’t even know if the rule was in effect when he gave the warning. If a mod was ruling from ignorance, surely we can forgive a poster for posting from ignorance (and NOT breaking the rule, it must be repeated).

Rescind this warning, then implement a global ban on betting so nobody else gets confused about it.

And the following statement where he says he’s unsure about donations?

Just admit you didn’t know what you were talking about and gave a warning in error. Easy peasy.

Unless you keep digging.

I am Ludovic and I support this statement.

I saw it differently, where someone made an offhand prediction, and someone interpreted it to be a “forceful assertion” and demand that it be backed.

I personally thought poorly of the person demanding the bet, as they not only are being a bully, but also deliberately misrepresenting the other poster to force them into a corner.

And you are right, being a jerk is unpopular on this MB, and I never saw bets proposed that were not jerkish behavior.

The way I see it is as I were to say, “I love the Bengals, they are the best team ever!” And you coming back, and saying, “Oh yeah, if you don’t agree to bet me money that they win the next Superbowl, then you are not willing to commit and should stop talking about them.”

I have never seen a serious bet on this board improve discourse in the slightest, and has only caused irritation at best.