Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Three of a kind

So far this week I've proved a fucking good theorem (it's what I'm paid for, don't bother congratulating me), I've had an outstanding night at coastal poker and Mrs Pouncer has, graciously, acknowledged the accuracy of my insight into her dress supplier.  Weeks don't come much better, short of falling in requited love. The high of each will last for days (weeks for the theorem, sometimes it's months).

Possibly the poker bears further comment. I was in the zone, where you know what's going right and what's going wrong, where things happen without your pushing, where you feel afterwards that you could have done even better if you'd made just a slightly bigger effort, where you know when to be hard and when to be soft. And my opponents were forming a disorderly queue in their enthusiasm to give me all their money; I had them mesmerized. If this sounds smug then I've failed to make my point, which is that these times don't happen often, but they must be recognized and seized when they do.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Global warning

Today's NY Times has an article describing disintegration of the Antarctic ice shelf. Which reminds me: I spent Friday night playing in a poker tournament in a social club near the coast. The legal situation is hazy, meaning that either we're a bunch of respectable gentlemen doing nobody any harm and the police aren't bothered, or we're a bunch of crims doing nobody else any harm and the police are glad we're not out and about doing crimmy things to others.  I've no idea what anybody does for a living; it might be above board. Anyway, work is only referred to as something that's difficult to do when you've been up all night. 

I'm older than most of the players; young people are impatient, and think the game is all about winning. That's how it should be; a 20-year-old acting like a 40-year-old is a grim sight. But they are wrong; to get into the prize money you should aim to lose more slowly. As with the coastline: what is managed decline if not losing more slowly? Too bad there's no prize.