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Gaming loopholes
April 25, 2006 10:34 AM   Subscribe

In Praise of Loopholes, simply put, is a great story and an example of fine writing you can only find online. (From our own shadowkeeper).
posted by mathowie (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
That was good.
posted by The Castle at 10:52 AM on April 25, 2006


Michael Larson is my hero. And the Harrier jet guy was robbed.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:55 AM on April 25, 2006


This longer version of the Press Your Luck story is well worth a read.
posted by reklaw at 10:57 AM on April 25, 2006


That was a great essay.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:58 AM on April 25, 2006


That was quite good. I especially liked the last part on evolution, as it mirrors some arguments I've been getting into with my colleagues lately.
posted by illovich at 11:09 AM on April 25, 2006


Great essay, not sure what being online has to do with it. It reads like a fine example of magazine feature writing, to me.
posted by empath at 11:22 AM on April 25, 2006


The ending doesn't really make a lot of sense. Humans are the only species that wants birth control. The crows could easily hack this one out too, they just have no desire to do so. Once again human folly is misidentified as a distinction.
posted by nixerman at 11:38 AM on April 25, 2006


How can you say with certainty that humans are the only species that would like birth control? Are you one of those pet psychics I've been hearing so much about on Animal Planet?
posted by JeremyT at 11:57 AM on April 25, 2006


what he means by the birth control argument is that humans are the only animal to have sex for purposes outside of reproduction. but he's wrong. dolphins also have sex for pleasure.
posted by ab3 at 12:17 PM on April 25, 2006


The Michael Larson story is very amusing.
posted by StarForce5 at 12:25 PM on April 25, 2006


I worry sometimes that we tend to reward clever people even if they are not good people. When someone gets away with murder on taxes, or law, or anything, we naturally celebrate them it seems. Worrisome, as they violate the spirit if not the letter.

As for the birth control thing, even if dolphins have sex for pleasure, they don't systematically attempt to reduce the reproduction rate from sex. That I know of anyway.

Something that differentiate us from the monkeys? Only we have control over the internets.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:33 PM on April 25, 2006


Is there an animal species that uses fiat money?
posted by drew3d at 12:56 PM on April 25, 2006


“But the defense somehow got a copy of the Spanish language card that the officer read from, and noticed that the little squiggle was missing from above an ‘n’ in the sentence: ‘¿Tiene veinteuno años?’ In English that literally translates to ‘Do you have 21 years?’—in other words, this was just a routine question to make sure the guy was an adult. But without the tilde over the ‘n’, the word ‘años’ becomes ‘anos’—Spanish for ‘anus.’

“They’re claiming that the driver thought the officer asked ‘Do you have 21 anuses’, despite the fact that the officer reading the card spoke fluent Spanish and would have pronounced it ‘años’ anyway. And the defendant said ‘si.’ We’re supposed to believe that the guy genuinely thought he was being asked if he had multiple anuses and answered with an enthusiastic ‘yes!’


I love this story, but I have to make a slight correction: anos is Spanish for 'anuses,' not 'anus.' One anus is un ano. (No quiero estar expuesto a anos!)
posted by languagehat at 1:05 PM on April 25, 2006


Something that differentiate us from the monkeys? Only we have control over the internets.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:05 PM on April 25, 2006


I've always loved eruvs. My (former) uncle was on a scandalous eruv committee in his community in Baltimore. I don't remember the specific details but I'm pretty sure it had to do with him/them keeping money that was meant to go toward the project.

Anyway! Eruvs. So weird. But being non-religious while staying with ultra-orthodox friends in Lakewood, NJ you can be sure I was glad to have an excuse to carry the crap I was planning to carry with me anyway on shabbot.
posted by birdie birdington at 1:36 PM on April 25, 2006


Is there an animal species that uses fiat money?
posted by drew3d at 3:56 PM EST on April 25


Why fiat money? Is there one that uses the gold standard?
posted by rkent at 2:54 PM on April 25, 2006


I don't know about the gold standard, but I know of at least one non-human species that uses mineral currency.
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:14 PM on April 25, 2006


ab3 wrote:
what he means by the birth control argument is that humans are the only animal to have sex for purposes outside of reproduction. but he's wrong.
No, that is not "what he means". Baldwin's own words explain the significance of birth control:
Other species are slaves to their DNA, their genes calling the shots in their selfish attempts to get replicated and passed on; we, on the other hand, have the power to thwart our masters.
The essence of the loophole lies in the thwarting. As stated in the essay, "Thank goodness for loopholes."
posted by ryanrs at 4:53 PM on April 25, 2006


I don't think abstract thinking takes place in any animal's minds except our own. I would enjoy being proved wrong, though.
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:34 PM on April 25, 2006


nixerman, ab3,
ryanrs and Citizen Premier have it right. Humans are the only ones aware that sex is connected to reproduction, and thus the only ones capable of finding a way around the intended purpose of sex to get the benefits. ab3, your Snopes article even says this. nixerman, no, the crows could not "hack it out", as they do not make this connection.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:04 PM on April 25, 2006


Wonderful
posted by Jofus at 2:56 AM on April 26, 2006


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