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Modern Blackjack nth Edition

Musings – Do Card Counters Contribute to Society?

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The question comes up on occasion, what do card counters contribute to society? Oddly, you don’t often hear the question “What do advertising execs, looking for new ways to push sugar on children, contribute to society?” Or, plastic surgeons that spend their time pumping fat into women’s lips instead of helping burn victims, or CEOs that buy and sell companies, laying off workers, to increase their own power and income instead of trying to create a better product. Or politicians of all stripes that stoop to any level to keep their place at the public trough. Or “celebrities” like Paris Hilton that are famous for being famous. Or day-traders that gamble on Wall Street, claiming that they are somehow aiding the market with “investments.” (Paris may be the most useful.) You get the point.

But, ignoring my diversion, it is a fair question. In my mind, gamblers add to the romance of life. Look at the literature devoted to gaming over the centuries. For those that are bored by their jobs, some measure of escapism is necessary. It is interesting that there are people that excel in any discipline, whether it be running fast, jumping high, playing Chess, Bridge or Blackjack. Every field has those who spend an in ordinate amount of time to rise above the pack, and that act as an inspiration. The fact that you can make money at gaming makes it all the more interesting and romantic.

Most average casino visitors know full well that the house has as edge over them. But, the fact that the casinos can be beat greatly adds to the enjoyment. And, providing excitement, diversion and entertainment to the public is certainly a contribution to society in my mind.
Yes, this may sound like a weak argument. But, it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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  1. Blackriver's Avatar
    Familiar argument but I've never heard it made so well. But the real strength does come from the preamble. how many industries are so cutthroat that after all the deception, exploitation, externalities, and political meddling are added up thriving in them is a badge of shame.
  2. Norm's Avatar
    Yes, the preamble suggests that other, respected people, are useless, so why shouldn’t I be as useless. Not a very strong, ethical argument. But, it will do in a pinch.

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