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Lessons we didn't learn from the Big Looser

Published:

I posted this on one of the threads, but I think it's worth posting here, as well.

 

Arthur C. Clarke explained how there were four stages in the way scientists react to the development of anything of a revolutionary nature.

a) "It's nonsense,"
b) "It is not important,"
c) "I always said it was a good idea," and
d) "I thought of it first."

BobP

Clarke was correct, but it's the institutional, the human personality side of science he's describing.  The pure scientific approach would be to

observe a phenomenon, gather as much evidence as possible to explain the phenomenon,

formulate a theory based on the evidence, and

test the theory in as many ways as possible to prove, or to disprove the theory. 

Afterward, to massage or alter the theory as needed based on whatever new evidence emerges.

Frequently, that's not the way it works.  But that's the ideal method.

But if the intent is understanding lottery numbers and devise a method for predicting them, you're talking about an engineering problem that might utilize a scientific approach, but if there's a clear intent to accomplish an end, it's engineering, not science.  The approach overlaps and is sometimes confused, even by scientists losing touch with their identities, but the two are fundamentally different.

But the engineering problem for understanding and predicting lottery numbers only applies at a personal level.  Not on LP, as you'd expect.  The expectation would be that everyone on LP would have a clearly defined intent of an engineering nature.  That every person who visits the site would come with the objective of understanding the numbers and finding a method for predicting them. 

That goal would involve open-mindedness and preparedness to abandon predispositions whenever those predispositions are antithetical to the intent.

Instead,  the reverse is true. 

The example that comes readily to mind was BL.  Guy came to LP and announced on a thread or two that he'd 'broken the lottery code'.  Offered up some morsels and trickled out a bit of info, but nothing substantive. 

Over the next several days he was insulted, vilified, and generally smiten from every direction by the LP posters.  So he announced several hours before the draw that 18-20 numbers would hit one night on MM. 

Here's where the difference between LP users and any open-mindedness and intent to find an approach to understand number behavior is profoundly illustrated.  The members posting on the thread ran foot-races to get in ahead of the draw to insult the guy, to proclaim him a failure.  They wanted to be down on record as having recognized him for a fraud.

So, that night when his prediction hit 4+1, it had been demonstrated to him in as many ways as possible that he wasn't among friends with a common purpose.  He was surrounded by antagonists, whom he'd have no reason to assist.

Nevertheless, he hung around for a few draws, swamped by demands that he explain whatever system he had. 

The approach of a group with hopes of understanding would have been entirely different. 

You say you've broken it?  Tell us all about it that you're willing to tell.  You predict these numbers for tonight?  Okay.  Let's see what happens.  Hey, wow!  Sounds as though you're onto something.  Can you give us any more directions to further our own searches on this goal?  We don't expect you to give it all away.  Just give us a few pieces of guidance to help us discover where to find what you've found.

Doing what he did one time didn't prove his system.  None of us know whether it was just luck.  And we did our best to make sure that remained so.

The intent of the bulk of LP users isn't to conquer a problem.  It's to reinforce and reiterate all our preconcieved notions about how things are and what brilliant folks we are as individuals for already understanding it all.

It's worth revisiting that thread occasionally as an opportunity to learn something about ourselves:

http://www.lotterypost.com/threads.asp?tp=108827&sp=1&sq=biglooooser&sm=p&si=a&sf=0&sd=9999&ss=dd&rp=Search&p=10

It might be we could have all learned a lot if we'd taken a different approach to BL. 

As it is, we can learn only about ourselves and try to forget the big one that got away.  Or maybe it was just a tree stump or old tire we hooked into.  We'll never know, and we have ourselves to thank.

Jack

"Opinion governs all mankind

Like the blind's leading of the blind." 

Samuel Butler

Entry #361

Comments

1.
TenajComment by Tenaj - October 11, 2005, 6:38 pm
How many times how you hit in the last three days Jack?
2.
Comment by Rip Snorter - October 11, 2005, 7:07 pm
My game won't play until tomorrow night. Saturday and Wednesday are the Powerball nights.

I'm not certain why you'd ask. But if I were playing New Mexico Pick 3, I wouldn't have hit unless I'd gone in up to my neck. Three nights ago there was a lead number from the list from the previous list, but it wasn't on the October 7th. That's the reason I'm not a big fan of Pick 3. I'm no good at it.

Hope that answers your question.

Jack
3.
Comment by Rip Snorter - October 11, 2005, 9:53 pm
One of the bottom-lines for a system worth spending time learning probably ought to be whether the user can ultimately understand it well enough to continue using it should the providers prove to be of uneven temperment. Dependency relationships have a way of collapsing soonest. Which is probably as it should be. But the dependees ought to keep that firmly imbedded in their thinking and weigh the effort and energy of learning against the inevitability of having it dry up.
Jack

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