Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Oddities

405 words

TV exhaustion
Isn’t it a bit sad to hear your flatmates say they won’t go out on a Friday night because they’re so exhausted from watching television? Admittedly we were watching a few episodes of Stromberg which is exhausting for the sheer pain it induces, but that’s still a bit sad. Actually we just had to watch this because the guys were too lazy to watch a film with subtitles. Sad World.
Reason
Seeing people wear Tocotronic T-shirts is nice. But I’m not a big fan of the Pure Vernunft darf niemals siegen one. Firstly, the album itself isn’t exactly good. Secondly, its title is tricky to translate into English: Intuitively I’d go for something like ‘Pure reason must not prevail’, but that’s a bit of a problem because ‘Pure reason’ is usually the translation for ‘Reine Vernunft’ which is quite a bit different. So perhaps we could go for ‘Reason alone must not …’, which again sounds funny. Eeek. Next I’ll put up the exercise to discuss whether or not that album title’s statement is true.
Lottery
We are currently seeing a run on lottery tickets in Germany because they have a jackpot of 35 million Euro or so. Of course this sparked a number of discussions about the lottery. And going further than the usual ‘gambling is a tax on being bad at maths’ attitude, I started wondering about the following: In principle it doesn’t matter which numbers you choose as all combinations appear with the same probability – there’s a fun scene in The man who copied dealing with this issue. But that’s only true in principle because people aren’t ticking their numbers randomly so some numbers are more popular than others (e.g. birth dates) and picking the same numbers as everybody else does means you’ll have to split the money among more winners. Of course this has been turned into a business long ago, people did the stats and came up with schemes that pick the less popular numbers and combinations to give higher wins if they happen. (Essentially people then pay those extra companies who submit things with carefully picked numbers for loads of people and if they win the split the high payout minus some fee between everyone. Allegedly everybody participating in such a scheme wins in comparison to the people who don’t). But somehow those schemes seem to ruin the ‘fun’ of gambling in my opinion… ah well.

October 7, 2006, 11:23

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