Poker the Metaphor

The more I think about poker, the more apt of a metaphor for life it becomes. Roommate chris informed me that high level matches go to showdown about one in 200 times on the site he plays on. My first reaction was that of distaste, that there was a huge barrier to newcomers learning anything since they have precious little objective evidence to learn from. I then thought that maybe there were players out there with mentors, and that you would be outcompeted by rule-following rote-learners if you tried to learn the game from scratch.

Then I realized that I had been going about it the wrong way, and I had been too bent on my own definition of reality, which involved knowing what cards the other players have, or having some theory about them, in order to learn. That is, after all, the objective reality on which winning or losing the game was based on.

Or is it? This is really a complex question, the objectivity of a situation, when the underlying reality percolates up to observed reality in such a convoluted manner that you might as well make up a fresh theory for what happens on the surface. Which, I think might just be the case here, that poker (barring certain obtusities) depends on understanding the manners in which others seek patterns as much as, or even more than, the underlying mechanics of shuffling cards and objective odds.

The stock market is the same. The long time it takes for earnings to prove themselves surely makes the movement of prices analogous to a showdown only one-in-200 times, and yet is the ultimate reality on which every other movement is based. Reality is mixed here, neither objective nor arbitrary.

Why animal rights? Because we think of animals on a continuum with humans, and having animal rights forms a buffer for human rights. It is difficult for someone to grant animal rights without granting human rights, and so pushing for animal rights makes human rights more dependable. Sensible moves based on using the structure of the world. Fruitarians go too far though.

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