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December 30th, 2008

Spiritual Exercises

 And today, it being a vacation and thus feeding into my general laziness (though I do have stuff I am supposed to be working on, really), let me write an ode to the Moral Lessons Learned while working on the computer... or, "Everything I Needed to Know In Life I Learned By Playing Solitaire"

Well, maybe not everything. 

But what other activity makes it so clear how deceptively seductive it is to attribute to one's own cleverness and skill, that which is actually the product of random chance?

Or how having just one more pass at the cards can be the difference between mostly losing, and mostly winning? (Not to mention how wonderful it would be if life had an "undo" button.)

Or the fact that whether it is a better strategy to plan for the future, or to take the points now, depends on the game you are playing?

Believe me, it has taken hundreds of hours meditating before the computer screen to come to these deep insights!

(This, of course, is but a branch of Advanced Pinball Theory which I spent so much time studying while at MIT, which gave me that lesson of life I have never forgotten: "Life is like a pinball game: some times you don't even get to use the flippers...")


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