Thursday, May 11, 2006

Poker fever

I wasn't feeling great on Sunday night, and ended up down about $5. Monday I felt worse, left work an hour early, and skipped playing altogether. Tuesday, I had to force myself to go to work for a critical three-day meeting, as I still was feeling lousy. That night, I figured that my best financial move would be to read The Tipping Point instead of taking my chances at the tables.

Tonight, I'm feeling much better, and ended up ahead $5. Bummer hand was turning a set to my pocket jacks, only to lose to T9 which hit a jack-high straight.

Hmm... can I assume I'd have lost $5 on Monday and Tuesday, and consider myself ahead $10 for the week?

(By the way, The Tipping Point wasn't as good as the same author's Blink, which was good, but not as good as Freakonomics.)


Thornkin said...

The Tipping Point was pretty terrible in my opinion. There were a handful of interesting concepts in there but overall it felt like the data be extracted from the thesis and not the other way around. To insinuate the Paul Revere was more successful than his friend becasue he was more social seems to be made up out of thin air. There is no evidence presented that this is the case.

travisl said...

Yeah, I kept finding myself thinking that Gladwell was citing possible cause A and possible cause B, but ignoring possible cause C. For example, he cited grafitti cleanup and fare enforcement for the drop in New York subway violence in the mid 1990s, but blew off increased policing, and he completely ignored the expanded availability of abortion in the 1970's as a possible cause (cf., Freakonomics).

His cites were rarely more than anecdotal evidence; the studies often with subtle flaws (e.g., he makes no mention of students concern for their own safety in the Good Samaritan seminary student study).

I figured it was the fact that I was fighting a 102° fever that made the book weak. I'm glad to know that it wasn't just me.