Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

Build it, and they will game it. It is possible to calculate to a sufficient degree of accuracy where a roulette ball will land, and walk away from the casino with 1.3 million pounds.

Also note the story further down on Signal+Noise about a bunch of kids who were observed surfing the net... on an ATM. The ATM ran Windows as an OS, and the kids had managed to hack through the interface, bring up the desktop, and run Explorer. Sheesh.

There's a general principle here. Whenever you hold out a reward, and force people to jump through hoops to get it, people will bend heaven and earth to find some way to skip the damned hoops and go straight for the reward.

Like aimbots in FPS games. Or crack. Pleasure is our 'reward' for doing things nature likes. Eating. Reproducing. Psychoactive drugs bypass the stuff we're 'supposed' to be doing, and get us the reward directly. We're gaming our own hypothalamuses. Insider trading is another example. The stock markets are supposed to be a level playing field, like that roulette wheel is supposed to be a level playing field. Using insider information is a way of gaming the system.

I don't think there's any general solution to this problem. Nor would we want there to be. Finding better, less arduous ways of doing things is human nature, and drives human civilization. But people trying to find shortcuts to things for which shortcuts are inappropriate, criminal, unfair to others, or dangerous to themselves is something that will go on forever, and countering it will be a constant struggle between the gamers and everyone else for as long as there are humans.

As Chris at Signal+Noise says:

"If the casinos think security is tough now, with stopwatches and lasers, just wait a while. Sign at the casino entrance: By state law, brain implants and nanotechnology devices are forbidden from this casino. Please submit to scanning upon entrance. Of course, by then, we'll all have other problems, and other diversions."

Meanwhile, my image hosting is still hosed. Not good service. Which is surprising, because they've been pretty responsive up to now. Best guess is it'll be back in action by early this coming week, and kanji will resume then.
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