Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby SecondTalon » Mon May 31, 2010 6:01 am UTC

Tomo wrote:Ahh man kids who set up a band are so blind and stupid, the chance of them suceeding is so minor.

And those people going into scientific research, ha, totally blind and stupid, what are the chances of them discovering anything.

Oh wow don't get me started on trying to be a professional sportsman, blind and stupid, do you know how many of them succeed?

And everyone who enters into a relationship, lol! the chances are completely against it lasting, it's bound to end in heartache. Blind and stupid.

Everything in life is chance, and sometimes things are fun despite the expected outcome.
The, uh.. difference is that mathematically speaking, you're more likely to start a successful band, make a notable discovery, get on a professional sports team and have a successful relationship than you are to win a several million dollar lottery.

Hell, you're probably more likely to do two or three of those things at the same time than you are to win a lottery. And if you fail at those things... you either learned how to play an instrument, if nothing else giving you a better appreciation of music and some cool stories to tell your kids of when you were in a no-name band, were assisting some jackass who got the credit for the discovery or at least are an educated person with a decent paycheck, tried your best and are at least in pretty good physical condition and know how to play a game far more than the average person, or at least have learned something new about yourself and your method of interaction with the gender you're in to. Fail at the lottery and.. you're out some cash. No lesson learned, no skill gained, just money from your pocketbook gone in exchange for minor entertainment.

But hey, if that's what you're really in to.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Tomo » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:16 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:The, uh.. difference is that mathematically speaking, you're more likely to start a successful band, make a notable discovery, get on a professional sports team and have a successful relationship than you are to win a several million dollar lottery.

Hell, you're probably more likely to do two or three of those things at the same time than you are to win a lottery. And if you fail at those things... you either learned how to play an instrument, if nothing else giving you a better appreciation of music and some cool stories to tell your kids of when you were in a no-name band, were assisting some jackass who got the credit for the discovery or at least are an educated person with a decent paycheck, tried your best and are at least in pretty good physical condition and know how to play a game far more than the average person, or at least have learned something new about yourself and your method of interaction with the gender you're in to. Fail at the lottery and.. you're out some cash. No lesson learned, no skill gained, just money from your pocketbook gone in exchange for minor entertainment.

But hey, if that's what you're really in to.


Well firstly, yay for me taking a far more argumentative and generally troll-esque tone than normal due to posting after a few pints. Now for a sober response.

Re: ST
True enough that some people are much more likely to succeed in any of those fields, but I'd say the potential losses are far greater as well. I know far more people who have become depressed (to the point of suicide in one case) because of a failed relationship, than I do who have had any negative effect from losing at the lottery. And I know one colleague who recently had his entire career screwed over because of a failed attempt at scientific research. He has a PhD, and now works as a mall janitor. Risks.

But meh, I guess it all comes down to "Fail at the lottery...just money from your pocketbook gone in exchange for minor entertainment."

Money for minor entertainment? To me, that doesn't sound like anything close to a bad thing.

Re: The thread
I'm obviously not arguing that there aren't people who have destroyed their lives because of excessive lottery abuse, just that it's not inherently a bad thing. In fact, lives are destroyed by a huge variety of addictions, from gambling to alcohol to World of Warcraft, and I'd say "Money for minor entertainment" covers each of them equally well. And while I'm sure there are people out there who would decry all three of those examples as stupid, I think it's a fairly offensive attitude to assume no-one but you is capable of weighing their personal happiness gained against money/time lost and coming out with something that works for them.

Which I think might have been close to what the OP was trying to say, but oh well.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby tastelikecoke » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:42 am UTC

Re: The thread
I'm obviously not arguing that there aren't people who have destroyed their lives because of excessive lottery abuse, just that it's not inherently a bad thing. In fact, lives are destroyed by a huge variety of addictions, from gambling to alcohol to World of Warcraft, and I'd say "Money for minor entertainment" covers each of them equally well. And while I'm sure there are people out there who would decry all three of those examples as stupid, I think it's a fairly offensive attitude to assume no-one but you is capable of weighing their personal happiness gained against money/time lost and coming out with something that works for them.

Saying things that are worse than lotteries doesn't hide the fact that lottery is only good for 0.001% of the population.

Lottery addiction is like the minor cancer inducing radiation around you. It doesn't damage you a lot, but it does.
It does damage you a lot, and that only worsens my argument.

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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Antimony-120 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:36 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:Re: ST
True enough that some people are much more likely to succeed in any of those fields, but I'd say the potential losses are far greater as well. I know far more people who have become depressed (to the point of suicide in one case) because of a failed relationship, than I do who have had any negative effect from losing at the lottery. And I know one colleague who recently had his entire career screwed over because of a failed attempt at scientific research. He has a PhD, and now works as a mall janitor. Risks.


Try new Anecdotestm! Because what happens to one person you know is always exactly what happens to everybody!

Tomo wrote:But meh, I guess it all comes down to "Fail at the lottery...just money from your pocketbook gone in exchange for minor entertainment."

Money for minor entertainment? To me, that doesn't sound like anything close to a bad thing.

Re: The thread
I'm obviously not arguing that there aren't people who have destroyed their lives because of excessive lottery abuse, just that it's not inherently a bad thing. In fact, lives are destroyed by a huge variety of addictions, from gambling to alcohol to World of Warcraft, and I'd say "Money for minor entertainment" covers each of them equally well. And while I'm sure there are people out there who would decry all three of those examples as stupid, I think it's a fairly offensive attitude to assume no-one but you is capable of weighing their personal happiness gained against money/time lost and coming out with something that works for them.

Which I think might have been close to what the OP was trying to say, but oh well.


It's true that all those addictions are similar to a lottery addiction. Mind you, they're also all addictions and generally a bad thing. The problem with the lottery isn't that doing something a little stupid for entertainment is a horrible thing. Tonight I plan on mildly poisoning myself and dehydrating my brain for amusement. And that's fine, but I don't consider it to be a smart thing to do. It's an action taken for entertainment rather than benefit.

But if I were to go out and get drunk every day, that would be bad. If I were to say that "alcohol makes me feel better" that would be a BAD THING. If I were to say that I expected alcohol to increase my life quality it would be both a bad thing and incredibly stupid.

The problem isn't playing the lottery knowing you're going to lose and calling it good fun. The problem is when people actually expect to win, and end up spending 1250$ a year (5$ a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks) out of a total of 20K income, because they're expecting to win. Again, it's not the stupidity in exchange for entertainment that's the problem, it's the ignorence that what you're doing is stupid, and the overspending that results.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Tomo » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:10 pm UTC

Antimony-120 wrote:Try new Anecdotestm! Because what happens to one person you know is always exactly what happens to everybody!


Which is maybe why I said "people are much more likely to succeed in any of those fields," [but still, some people don't], not "My personal experience shows that some people have not succeeded, therefore no-one will"? Just a thought.

Antimony-120 wrote:It's true that all those addictions are similar to a lottery addiction. Mind you, they're also all addictions and generally a bad thing. The problem with the lottery isn't that doing something a little stupid for entertainment is a horrible thing. Tonight I plan on mildly poisoning myself and dehydrating my brain for amusement. And that's fine, but I don't consider it to be a smart thing to do. It's an action taken for entertainment rather than benefit.

But if I were to go out and get drunk every day, that would be bad.


I agree with all of this, because it's just paraphrasing exactly what I said?

Antimony-120 wrote:The problem isn't playing the lottery knowing you're going to lose and calling it good fun. The problem is when people actually expect to win, and end up spending 1250$ a year (5$ a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks) out of a total of 20K income, because they're expecting to win.


And again?

Antimony-120 wrote: If I were to say that "alcohol makes me feel better" that would be a BAD THING. If I were to say that I expected alcohol to increase my life quality it would be both a bad thing and incredibly stupid.


Now this I actually disagree with. I will happily state that alcohol makes me feel better! I still only drink in moderation ~once a month. I'll also say that having a few glasses of wine with my partner when we can steal a nice evening together does increase the quality of my life. I don't really think that's a bad thing or stupid, but hey, YMMV.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Lucrece » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:01 am UTC

It might have to do with a failure to understand what being financially constricted, or outright poor, FEELS LIKE.

It's hell. Vacations? Nope. Able to afford eating at an average restaurant at least once per week? Nope. Having to cut on grocery shopping in order to cover the travel costs of a visiting family member? Think again.

It's bleak. It's a place you don't want to tolerate for one more second. You may argue about saving and improving the situation, but when the cleaning process takes approximately 5+ years (and even one year itself, or months, is already terribly long psychologically), you really want to hold on to that hope that something will save you. It's not logical, but it makes you FEEL BETTER.

And that's what most humans strive for, as opposed to making sure every action is carefully explained and justified within some robust system of understanding.

This is where it comes from. From desperate people who have no hope of a better life outside of some strike of luck or divine intervention.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby G.v.K » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:01 am UTC

Tomo wrote:Ahh man kids who set up a band are so blind and stupid, the chance of them suceeding is so minor.

And those people going into scientific research, ha, totally blind and stupid, what are the chances of them discovering anything.

Oh wow don't get me started on trying to be a professional sportsman, blind and stupid, do you know how many of them succeed?

And everyone who enters into a relationship, lol! the chances are completely against it lasting, it's bound to end in heartache. Blind and stupid.

Everything in life is chance, and sometimes things are fun despite the expected outcome.


as one who has undertaken some of these activities, i draw a distinction between them and the lotto.

with these activities, i understand the ideal and, if i am honest with myself, i say that i gave up before i achieved the ideal and that is why i failed. what i could have done is kept trying until the day i died to achieve the ideal. fun is not relevant in this case. it takes hard work to achieve something even though the means to the end involve chance.

with lotto, chance is the end. there actually is no ideal when it comes to lotto and nothing to strive towards. there is no good or bad way to win lotto. if i win lotto i can take no credit personally. i can take no pride. there is no achievement involved. nobody respects a lotto winner. but we rightly have respect for somebody who through their courage and endurance achieved an ideal or made a breakthrough.

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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Vaniver » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:21 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:It might have to do with a failure to understand what being financially constricted, or outright poor, FEELS LIKE.
Doubtful. There are significant cultural differences between different groups of poor people; the ones that have a culture that promotes saving tend to materially improve their situation in a manner of generations, while the ones that have a culture that promotes gambling and spending tend to stagnate.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Tomo » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:04 pm UTC

G.v.K wrote:as one who has undertaken some of these activities, i draw a distinction between them and the lotto.

with these activities, i understand the ideal and, if i am honest with myself, i say that i gave up before i achieved the ideal and that is why i failed. what i could have done is kept trying until the day i died to achieve the ideal. fun is not relevant in this case. it takes hard work to achieve something even though the means to the end involve chance.

with lotto, chance is the end. there actually is no ideal when it comes to lotto and nothing to strive towards. there is no good or bad way to win lotto. if i win lotto i can take no credit personally. i can take no pride. there is no achievement involved. nobody respects a lotto winner. but we rightly have respect for somebody who through their courage and endurance achieved an ideal or made a breakthrough.


I've already adressed this multiple times, but since I seem to still be misunderstood:

I knew one student who transferred from China to do a PhD in computer science. He knew nothing about programming, had no prior training, couldn't speak English but lucked out and ended up with a supervisor from his hometown. He was passed without writing a line of code, with a 100 page thesis he wrote in a week, after an interview/thesis defence that lasted 20 minutes and involved a nice chat about said hometown.

I also knew a budding footballer who was hit by a car.

You can say things like "It's all my own hard work, I won't fail if I keep trying" and so on all you want, and for the majority of individual cases that will be true, but it's far from 100%, and risks happen everywhere. Sometimes people luck out and get given things they don't deserve.

Not that I'm saying we should respect lotto winners, or players, it's right that we shouldn't. But equally I wouldn't disrespect them, unless it started to have a negative effect on their life or finances as a whole. Again, exactly the same my attitude towards spending on any other frivolity.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:12 am UTC

I knew one student who transferred from China to do a PhD in computer science. He knew nothing about programming, had no prior training, couldn't speak English but lucked out and ended up with a supervisor from his hometown. He was passed without writing a line of code, with a 100 page thesis he wrote in a week, after an interview/thesis defence that lasted 20 minutes and involved a nice chat about said hometown.


Here is a question though, did he ever manage to do anything with that phd? While in this case it looks like he "cheated" the system, you can't exactly do much with computers if you can't do anything with computers.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby morriswalters » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:52 am UTC

I invest 4 dollars a week playing the lottery, sometimes less. It brings me amusement. I can afford it. And I don't plan my life around it. That investment is classified as a high risk investment. I will probably lose my investment. If however, that risk pays off, then I will recoup my investment back at an interest rate which I am unable to calculate. The only difference between this investment and a stock investment is the degree of risk and the amount of invested capital. A Powerball ticket is a low capital, very high risk, high return investment. Stocks are a relatively high capital, moderate risk, low return investment. The capital requirements are low enough on the lottery that I can make the investment, and enjoy the thought of reaping the fruits of my investment, without worrying about the loss of capital. I wish that I could say the same about the investment in my 401k. In terms of respecting the lottery winner, if I win, I'll take the money. You can keep the respect.

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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Azrael » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:32 am UTC

The lottey is no more of an investment than a hand at the blackjack table. It's a gamble. While you personally may be able to interchange those two words without causing any long term ill effects, the two words simply are not synonymous.

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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Goldstein » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:09 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:A Powerball ticket is a low capital, very high risk, high return investment.

I think it's technically a moderate risk, negative return on investment instrument.

The return on investment should take into account the typical - or perhaps average, if the system is understood as well as the lottery is - return; this is typically the price of the ticket, or some fraction of the price on average as it's unusual and perhaps unheard of for the full cost of all tickets to be returned as prizes.

The 'risk' really refers to the probability of deviation from the typical. In this case, as the lottery is a negative return investment, the 'risk' should refer to the chance of a win. I know that the national lottery here in the UK, perhaps like most lotteries, makes it reasonably likely to win small amounts so that people keep playing.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Dark567 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:51 pm UTC

Goldstein wrote:
morriswalters wrote:A Powerball ticket is a low capital, very high risk, high return investment.

I think it's technically a moderate risk, negative return on investment instrument.

The return on investment should take into account the typical - or perhaps average, if the system is understood as well as the lottery is - return; this is typically the price of the ticket, or some fraction of the price on average as it's unusual and perhaps unheard of for the full cost of all tickets to be returned as prizes.

The 'risk' really refers to the probability of deviation from the typical. In this case, as the lottery is a negative return investment, the 'risk' should refer to the chance of a win. I know that the national lottery here in the UK, perhaps like most lotteries, makes it reasonably likely to win small amounts so that people keep playing.


In traditional investing I believe it would actually qualify as a very low risk, negative return investment. You measure the risk by how much the return is likely to change(in this case not very likely) and the return based of what the average case yields(in this case a loss). I think this is actually the way to find the difference between gambling and investing. If something has negative yield, its probably gambling.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby guenther » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:08 pm UTC

I thought this quote from the author of Stumbling on Happiness might be appropriate:

Daniel Gilbert wrote:I want my book to invite people to have a healthy skepticism about their own intuitions. When they look forward, thinking that winning the lottery will make them happy, perhaps they will rethink that. In addition to being skeptical, I would encourage people to observe. If you think winning the lottery is going to make you really happy, for a long time, check out some lottery winners. What you’ll find is that some of them are really happy, and some of them are really unhappy. If you look at enough of them, you’ll find that on average, they are exactly as happy as the people who didn’t win the lottery. So distrust your brain, and trust your eyes a little bit more. Ultimately, the way to overcome the foibles of imagination is to circumvent imagination entirely. Instead of closing your eyes, open them.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby JonR » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:38 pm UTC

the lotto is a funny old thing, people willingly spend £1 a week all year, and say that they don't mind 'losing' £50 - that's fair enough, but in my opinion if they don't mind losing £50/year, it makes much more sense to 'spend' that £50 on lotto tickets all in one week on the same draw.

If you play once a week, each ticket has 1/17m chance - 50 tickets over 50 weeks, each week each ticket only has 1/17m chance.
if you play all £50 in one week - now your chances on that one draw are 50/17m (presuming that you've chosen 50 different sets of numbers) or 1/340,000, and if you pick the numbers in a sensible way, you gaurentee that whatever number turns up is on at least one of your lines somewhere (something that isn't gaurenteed if you have 1 ticket on each of 50 different draws) - which is why syndicates are a good idea, because you can get enough people together, all only have a small outlay, but increase your odds many fold.
(I was in a syndicate where the manager let people chose their own numbers, or ask for lucky dip - with no check on which numbers were being chosen, and so we ended up when I picked my numbers having several numbers appearing 5 or 6 times, and more than 6 numbers not appearing at all - I had to chose 6 from those that hadn't been already chosen, and unluckily the draw turned up 2 of the numbers that nobody had chosen - when I took over, at least every number drawn appeared somewhere on our collection of tickets)
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Vaniver » Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:03 pm UTC

JonR wrote:If you play once a week, each ticket has 1/17m chance - 50 tickets over 50 weeks, each week each ticket only has 1/17m chance.
if you play all £50 in one week - now your chances on that one draw are 50/17m (presuming that you've chosen 50 different sets of numbers) or 1/340,000, and if you pick the numbers in a sensible way, you gaurentee that whatever number turns up is on at least one of your lines somewhere (something that isn't gaurenteed if you have 1 ticket on each of 50 different draws) - which is why syndicates are a good idea, because you can get enough people together, all only have a small outlay, but increase your odds many fold.
This decreases your chance of losing from 99.999705882777% to 99.999705882353%. The likelihood of winning once increases by .000144%. You lose out on the chance to win more than once, but that's another million times less likely than winning one in the first place.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby tastelikecoke » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:34 pm UTC

There is no correlation between retardation and drawing lottery, let alone blindness.

If winning 100 million is not worth it and you aren't going to be happy about it, what's the purpose of all these money games anyway? I'm pretty sure everyone will be at least be happy if they win the lottery.

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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Tomo » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:50 pm UTC

tastelikecoke wrote: I'm pretty sure everyone will be at least be happy if they win the lottery.


That really isn't true. However, I know I'd be happy if I won the lottery - but that's largely because it would change my life very little, and I'm pretty damn happy right now anyway.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Vaniver » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:55 pm UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:I'm pretty sure everyone will be at least be happy if they win the lottery.
Windfall gains are pretty hard to turn into happiness. You need to know what to do with it- and most people play the lottery because they aren't that financially sophisticated.

Happiness studies on lottery winners suggests there's a giant short-term boost, and then any long-term gains are tiny or nonexistent.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby HermanBlount » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:35 pm UTC

The question "Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?" is confusing the cause and effect. I'd rephrase to: Do mathematically illiterate people make running a lottery viable/profitable? Answer: most definitely.

This is pretty much the case with all popular forms of gambling. The house always wins, and in the case of a state lottery, the state always wins.

Edit: First prize goes to Teddy Bears.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Tomo » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:58 pm UTC

No, both the above posters are incorrect. As has been said time and again, it's only playing the lottery to make money that is dumb/stupid/mathematically illiterate.

Playing the lottery, or blackjack, or whatever the hell else you want to waste your money on for fun is fine, and shows nothing about the intellect of those involved.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby HermanBlount » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:04 pm UTC

I was nitpicking, so I guess I deserved a little in return. Still, if people only gambled for fun, the amount of dollars entering the game would drop considerably. This would make the games more trouble than they are worth for whoever is administering them.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:05 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:
Playing the lottery, or blackjack, or whatever the hell else you want to waste your money on for fun is fine, and shows nothing about the intellect of those involved.


...what about the fact they find it fun to throw away money?
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Tomo » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:07 pm UTC

HermanBlount wrote:I was nitpicking, so I guess I deserved a little in return. Still, if people only gambled for fun, the amount of dollars entering the game would drop considerably. This would make the games more trouble than they are worth for whoever is administering them.


yeah, I agree with this completely! And personally I spend a minuscule fraction of my household income on the lottery on an irregular basis, and it is kinda fun :p - I personally don't think I'm blind, stupid or mathematically illiterate either.

Dark567 wrote:...what about the fact they find it fun to throw away money?


I assume by this that you don't drink, eat out, play any games/sports, read, buy music, use the internet, buy toilet roll when washing in the sink would suffice, or make your life easier or more enjoyable with any consumable products at all?
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:13 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:
HermanBlount wrote:I was nitpicking, so I guess I deserved a little in return. Still, if people only gambled for fun, the amount of dollars entering the game would drop considerably. This would make the games more trouble than they are worth for whoever is administering them.


yeah, I agree with this completely! And personally I spend a minuscule fraction of my household income on the lottery on an irregular basis, and it is kinda fun :p - I personally don't think I'm blind, stupid or mathematically illiterate either.

Dark567 wrote:...what about the fact they find it fun to throw away money?


I assume by this that you don't drink, eat out, play any games/sports, read, buy music, use the internet, buy toilet roll when washing in the sink would suffice, or make your life easier or more enjoyable with any consumable products at all?


All those products make my life easier, the lottery only makes it harder. I am just saying that if someone finds it fun to basically throw away money, it in fact says something about their intellect.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby ReneePark » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:14 pm UTC

[quote="Duban"]Does the Lottery and the promise of money make people do stupid acts, blind to what's really happening?

I think it's less about ignorance and more about the need to purchase some hope. With all the chaos, pain and tragedy in the world today, people are more likely to spend some money to maintain a hope or dream that they may hit it big and have all their cares taken away. They can step back and tell you how irrational it is, but emotions are not rational- unless you're a Vulcan. That's how I understand the lottery behavior for most people. Good topic.

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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Tomo » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:21 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:All those products make my life easier, the lottery only makes it harder. I am just saying that if someone finds it fun to basically throw away money, it in fact says something about their intellect.


How does drinking make your life easier? Because honestly, the sort of people with statements like that aren't generally renowned for their intellect either.

Not to mention anything else where you trade money for fun.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:30 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:
Dark567 wrote:All those products make my life easier, the lottery only makes it harder. I am just saying that if someone finds it fun to basically throw away money, it in fact says something about their intellect.


How does drinking make your life easier? Because honestly, the sort of people with statements like that aren't generally renowned for their intellect either.

Not to mention anything else where you trade money for fun.


Sorry, I didn't catch it when you said drinking.

There is nothing wrong with trading money for fun. What I am saying is if someone throws away there money for fun it says something about their intellect.

Drinking for fun can also say something about a persons intellect. Going on a roller coaster could say something about a persons intellect.
I apologize, 90% of the time I write on the Fora I am intoxicated.


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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Tomo » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:38 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:There is nothing wrong with trading money for fun. What I am saying is if someone throws away there money for fun it says something about their intellect.

Drinking for fun can also say something about a persons intellect. Going on a roller coaster could say something about a persons intellect.


It really doesn't, unless you're reducing the discussion to "Going on a roller coaster could say something about a persons intellect. It tells you that they like going on roller coasters."

Which, you know, I agree with, but is a really far cry from the thread title of such people being blind and stupid. Judging anyone else for how they choose to spend their time is arrogant and unfair. I could easily make the argument that alcohol, drugs, hookers, fizzy drinks or chocolate are "throwing away money for fun", but there's no way I'd claim to know anything about their intellect from that fact.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby dubsola » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:47 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
tastelikecoke wrote:I'm pretty sure everyone will be at least be happy if they win the lottery.
Windfall gains are pretty hard to turn into happiness. You need to know what to do with it- and most people play the lottery because they aren't that financially sophisticated.

Happiness studies on lottery winners suggests there's a giant short-term boost, and then any long-term gains are tiny or nonexistent.

I have come across a specific instance of this - a large family who won a medium-sized lottery pot, gave away a lot of it to their extended family, spent the rest on cars, and ended up getting in trouble because they did not report the win to the social security branch of their gov't.

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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Vaniver » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:40 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:Playing the lottery, or blackjack, or whatever the hell else you want to waste your money on for fun is fine, and shows nothing about the intellect of those involved.
I'm pretty sure there's an intelligence spread between people who play bingo for fun and people who play bridge for fun. Someone who goes to a casino to play poker is most likely different from someone who goes to the gas station to buy a lotto ticket.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:48 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Tomo wrote:Playing the lottery, or blackjack, or whatever the hell else you want to waste your money on for fun is fine, and shows nothing about the intellect of those involved.
I'm pretty sure there's an intelligence spread between people who play bingo for fun and people who play bridge for fun. Someone who goes to a casino to play poker is most likely different from someone who goes to the gas station to buy a lotto ticket.


Yeah, and you know the fact that Bridge and Poker are actual games, so at least you could be saying you are paying to play a game for fun. With the lottery is basically throwing your money down the toilet for fun.
I apologize, 90% of the time I write on the Fora I am intoxicated.


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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Vaniver » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:53 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:Yeah, and you know the fact that Bridge and Poker are actual games, so at least you could be saying you are paying to play a game for fun. With the lottery is basically throwing your money down the toilet for fun.
It does make a very nice swirling motion.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Tomo » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:52 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:I'm pretty sure there's an intelligence spread between people who play bingo for fun and people who play bridge for fun. Someone who goes to a casino to play poker is most likely different from someone who goes to the gas station to buy a lotto ticket.


That's definitely true! But the fact that average intellect can vary doesn't say anything about the individuals in question. Doubtless there will be a few very smart people who play the lotto for fun, and a few very dumb people who play bridge for fun. I shouldn't have to explain why homogenising a group of people based on a common characteristic is a really, really bad thing.

Dark567 wrote:Yeah, and you know the fact that Bridge and Poker are actual games, so at least you could be saying you are paying to play a game for fun. With the lottery is basically throwing your money down the toilet for fun.


I'm really starting to get to the slamming head into desk point here, but I'll try once more anyway. In simple sentences this time. Different people find different things fun, and some things some people do for fun cost money. Just because you don't find something fun, doesn't mean other people won't. Assuming something is "throwing your money away" simply because you get nothing else out of it is fallacious. Assuming people doing something you don't enjoy are stupid makes you a bigot.

And again, c.f. alcohol, drugs, hookers, fizzy drinks, chocolate, watching football, whatever.

Do we really have to keep retreading this?
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby morriswalters » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:44 am UTC

Azrael wrote:The lottey is no more of an investment than a hand at the blackjack table. It's a gamble. While you personally may be able to interchange those two words without causing any long term ill effects, the two words simply are not synonymous.


I argue that any financial transaction involving money can be viewed as a machine where you input money. The machine has two controls, duration and odds. The duration control acts as a multiplier which rewards wagers with long duration, the longer the duration of the wager the larger the multiplier. The odds control works by making the payout inversely proportional , higher rewards for higher odds. The output can be anything equal or greater than 0, depending on the input and the two modifiers. We will treat cash accounts earning interest as nulls since compound interest would only become important after a span longer than useful life. This machine should be able to replicate any financial transaction "reasonably" well assuming that you can figure the odds.

Having said that, the real value of the Lottery of most people is in the entertainment value provided by real if statistically unlikely possibility that you could win.

Edit: decided to quote reasonably to make sure people don't take it as exactly.

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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Yakk » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:19 am UTC

Tomo wrote:Ahh man kids who set up a band are so blind and stupid, the chance of them suceeding is so minor.

Yes, kids who set up a band in the hopes of becoming a rock star (or to get rich) are blind and stupid.

Kids who set up a band to have fun, or to learn music, or ... are not.
And those people going into scientific research, ha, totally blind and stupid, what are the chances of them discovering anything.

Low. But unlike lotteries, it is a positive-sum game.
Oh wow don't get me started on trying to be a professional sportsman, blind and stupid, do you know how many of them succeed?

Yes, being a professional sportsman is a really poor career.

The fact that you are comparing the above to lotteries indicates you don't understand how different they are. Even the foolish things above (careers in acting, sports or music) are ridiculously less stupid than sending anywhere near a similar amount of resources at a lottery.

Don't get me wrong: the illusion that you too can be a major rock star is very similar to the reason why lotteries are popular.
And everyone who enters into a relationship, lol! the chances are completely against it lasting, it's bound to end in heartache. Blind and stupid.

The odds of winning the jackpot there is ... a completely different kind than the odds of winning a jackpot at the lottery.

You seem to not understand the fundamental difference between a negative-sum and positive-sum game.

In essence, I have an almost undetectably equal chance as you do at winning the lottery. And I don't buy lottery tickets, nor do people buy me them. My chance of having a lottery ticket blow into my face and then noticing it is a winning one is practically impossible to distinguish from your chance of buying a lottery ticket and winning.

To increase my chances, I'm in a pool -- if that happens to me, or to someone else I know, we have agreed to split the winnings.

Now, lotteries are really addictive games (especially for how simple they are). But that is what they are - a crack dealer who is stringing you along in order to drain your resources. They are trying to addict you, they are trying to get you to think that you will win, and they are taking your hope and abusing you with it. If they succeed in addicting you, they want you to fall into a deeper spiral of spending more and larger amounts on your hopeless illusion of hope, in order to get yet more money from you. People, just like you, have walked down the path they want you to walk down, and ended up a broken mess at the bottom (do you really think that addicts -- and you are an addict, quite possibly! -- plan to go down a spiral of destruction?)

Now, as it happens, the government tends to be a bit less nasty with this pattern of behavior than the old school "numbers game" type things mafia was (prior to prohibition and the drug trade, the mafia sold illegal lottery tickets -- same game, addict suckers and then bleed them dry) playing. So I'm all for the government lottery existing -- I'd rather you be crack addicts to the government than crack addicts to a criminal organization. The government is less efficient at exploiting crack addicts.

Much like state-owned liquor stores, I'd prefer if it wasn't nearly as promoted or optimized to get you to "play even more!": I'm talking cigarette-style labels telling you that playing this game is stupid, and education in elementary/high school about how stupid adults play those games and the government soaks them for money. I'd also rather, ethically, if it was closer to revenue-neutral, instead of being the cash cow that it is.

...

Note that there are high-risk games that are not as evil as the lottery is. Day trading, for example, is a gambling game that has at least a near-zero expected return (instead of the 50%-odd that lotteries have). Or even buying risky stocks and reading the financial paper each day to see how they are doing... (less addictive, better returns)
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Tomo » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:41 am UTC

Yakk wrote:stuff


You didn't actually read any of my other posts, did you? Either way, I pretty much agree with most of what you've said, and I've explained my stance more fully numerous times - see my last post for easy, simple clarification sentences.

Spoiler:
I'm really starting to get to the slamming head into desk point here, but I'll try once more anyway. In simple sentences this time. Different people find different things fun, and some things some people find fun cost money. Just because you don't find something fun, doesn't mean other people won't. Assuming something is "throwing your money away" simply because you get nothing else out of it is fallacious. Assuming people doing something you don't enjoy are stupid makes you a bigot.

And again, c.f. alcohol, drugs, hookers, fizzy drinks, chocolate, watching football, whatever.

Do we really have to keep retreading this?


And yes, addiction to anything is bad - but playing the lotto doesn't mean you're addicted any more than drinking some alcohol makes you an alcoholic. Yes, playing the lottery and expecting to win is stupid, but that's not the only reason to play the lottery. It's completely possible to waste a little money now and then, fully expecting to lose, for fun, without being blind or stupid.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Yakk » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:31 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:
Yakk wrote:stuff


You didn't actually read any of my other posts, did you? Either way, I pretty much agree with most of what you've said, and I've explained my stance more fully numerous times - see my last post for easy, simple clarification sentences.

Yep.

You find playing the lotto fun. You don't think you are addicted, you can quit whenever you want.

You seem to fail to understand that your chance of winning the jackpot is not practically different if you just wrote down the numbers you wanted to play on a piece of paper. In fact you could play a positive sum version of the lottary -- pick a lottary. Each time you play put money into a jar. When you win, take money out of the jar (you can include IOUs for the extremely short period (or extremely unlikely) at the start where you take more out than you put in).

As your chance of winning the jackpot (or even getting substantially ahead) is essentially zero... you'll end up with a jar full of cash for serious emergencies. Every year you can put it into a savings account (or something more risky).

Suppose you play a 5$ ticket once a week. At 1% after inflation, that 260$ per year, over 30 years, generates (1-1.01^31)/(1-1.01) * K = about 10,000$ in current dollars.

Taking a real lottery (Lotto 6/49 in Ontario), it appears that on the order of 10% of the incoming funds are spent on non-jackpots. So ignoring one-in-a-million or worse odd disbursements, you will end up with about 9000$ in total savings.

And that is for a very moderate lottery player.

The reason why I consider lotteries evil is that kind of moderate player is not who they are trying to produce.

Secondly, while you aren't JBJ, JBJ pointed out a problem: One imagines the scene of "oh my god, I picked the numbers but didn't play", and that imagination is something you might take seriously. Except, as noted, if you really believe that the game isn't going to make you money...
And yes, addiction to anything is bad - but playing the lotto doesn't mean you're addicted any more than drinking some alcohol makes you an alcoholic. Yes, playing the lottery and expecting to win is stupid, but that's not the only reason to play the lottery. It's completely possible to waste a little money now and then, fully expecting to lose, for fun, without being blind or stupid.

Sure. Now, imagine there are two different ways to play football.

One requires you to pay 10$ to a third party, who then agrees to spend 1$ on a prize. 4$ of the remainder goes to a professional football player (ie, someone you'll never meet, and you will never be), and 5$ he spends on sprucing up his house.

The other has you toss 1$ into a pool, and at the end of the game the winner keeps the entire pool.

The lottery is the first game. The second game is what you could play if you didn't actually buy a lottery ticket.

Remember, your chances of winning the jackpot are practically no different if you wait for a ticket to blow into your face. I don't think you quite grasp this -- I believe it, and I have trouble really grasping it.
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Re: Does the Lotto make people blind and stupid?

Postby Tomo » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:32 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:Yep.
You find playing the lotto fun. You don't think you are addicted, you can quit whenever you want.


To be fair, I don't actually play the lotto. I think I've played about 4 times in my life. It was quite fun though. I still stand by everything I've said.

Yakk wrote:Remember, your chances of winning the jackpot are practically no different if you wait for a ticket to blow into your face. I don't think you quite grasp this -- I believe it, and I have trouble really grasping it.


I can grasp statistics quite well, thank you. It's you who doesn't seem to grasp my argument at all. Hell, the lottery could have absolutely zero prize money, and give you a slightly different colored car. That's how the least likely MMO drops work, and the knowledge that the chance of gaining something, even something useless, is absolutely miniscule is what produces that slight spike of adrenaline just before the Baron of Stratholme dies for the 1,000th time. Sometimes experiencing random occurrences happen is a beauty by itself. I definitely remember laughing at a time when we had the rarest item in a game drop from 8 consecutive mobs with a 1/1000 chance per mob. Completely useless because we all had one, but funny as hell at the time - purely due to the absolutely astronomical odds of such a thing happening.

That's also why your football analogy is flawed, by the way. You can't just equate a >0 chance of winning with a 0 chance of return, no matter how small the chance is.

And yes, for hopefully the last time - You can buy something for enjoyment without expecting a monetary return. I'm not really sure why people don't seem to grasp this with respect to the lotto, it's really not any different from any other pleasure consumable.
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