!?

Zwichenzug

an in-between move

Cool kids read The Bellman.

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Don't read this blog!

I mean, thanks for dropping by my little corner of the blogospheric backwaters, but the blog you should be reading is The Bellman. The stuff I post there is much, much less likely to be imbued with dormitive powers.

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Zwischenzug
[German, from zwischen, intermediate + zug, move

n.
Literally an "in-between move". A move in a tactical sequence is called a zwischenzug* when it does not relate directly to the tactical motif in operation. |source|


image copyright TWIC

From this position, black played a zwischenzug: 19…d5
Adams-Kasparov
(Linares 2002, 1-0)

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about your blogger

David Rowland studies philosophy at the University of Illinois - Urbana / Champaign, where he's an active member of the Graduate Employees Organization. He used to play a lot of chess, but wasn't all that good. He has a blog. And email.

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recent

And the blog was without form, and void; and darkn...

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error log


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$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone

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syndication

Atom!



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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under
a Creative Commons License.

Union Label


Direct Action
Gets the Goods!


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some folks I know

Mark Dilley
a daily dose of architecture
dailysoy
Hannah
funferal
Safety Neal
eripsa
January Girl
mimi jingcha
bleen
Rambleman
Washburn
Hop, Skip, Jump
E
ambivalent imbroglio
Brooke & Lian

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some blogs I read

strip mining for whimsy
It's Matt's World
School of Blog
Saheli
Fall of the State
Dru Blood
Echidne of the Snakes
Colossal Waste of Bandwidth
Running from the Thought Police
Bionic Octopus

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some philosoblogs

E.G.
Philosoraptor
Left2Right
Fake Barn Country
Freiheit und Wissen

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some labor blogs

Confined Space
Unions-Firms-Markets
Working Life
CGEU
Dispatches From the Trenches
Labor Blog
LaborProf
Eric Lee

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some A-list blogs

This Modern World
Discourse.net
Matthew Yglesias
pandagon
Andrew Sullivan
Political Animal
Majikthise
DeLong
The Volokh Conspiracy

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some other links

Rule 33
Dictionary.com
This Week in Chess
Baseball-Reference.com
War Nerd
National Priorities Project
Bible Gateway
Internet Archive
maxdesign
A Weekly Dose of Architecture
Orsinal: Morning Sunshine
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
NegativWorldWideWebland
Safety Sign Builder
Get Your War On

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some philosoblogging

Six views about reasons
Seidman on reflection and rationality
And another thing
Aspirin
Tiffany's argument for strong internalism
Internalism v. Externalism
What do internalists believe anyway?
Rationalism and internalism
The experimental method in philosophy
Advertising to children
On moral skepticism
A linguistic argument
Whorf
More on Williams
Williams on reasons
General and particular
Normativity and morality
Political intuitions
What it is, what it was, and what it shall be
Objectivity and morality
Thinking revolution
Factoid
Abortion and coercion
Moore on torture
On the phenomenology of deliberation
Even more Deliberation Day
more Deliberation Day
Deliberation Day run-down
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge, cont.
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge
Every shepherd is an abomination
Droppin' H-bombs
ad hominem

Monday, January 05, 2004

 

Powerball!

Here in the ivory tower, folks think that rationality is somehow valuable. This leads to all sorts of disagreeable conduct, including a tendency to seek explanations for behavior which portray one's actions as emanating from cold reason rather than, say, the interplay of viscous humours.

So:

Is it rational to play PowerBall?

On the assumption that the only relevant values are monetary, then it will be rational to play PowerBall whenever the expected utility of the ticket is higher than the price. It turns out that it becomes rational to play PowerBall whenever the jackpot is over $100 million.

Like all lotteries, PowerBall pays out for a number of prizes other than the jackpot. For example, PowerBall pays $3 if you match just the powerball, and the odds of doing so are 1 in 70.39. That chance of winning adds to the value of the ticket. In this case, the added value is about four cents. [ (1/70.39)*3 ]

The total value of the chance to win all prizes short of the jackpot is a little over 17 cents (to be exact, it's $0.17331097110494888).

Once we know this, it's easy to determine how large the jackpot must be to make buying a ticket rational. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 120,526,770. When we multiply the jackpot by these odds, we get the value of the chance of winning the jackpot. Since we've already got over 17 cents in our pocket from the subsidiary payouts, it will be rational to buy a lottery ticket if this number is above 83 cents. When we crunch the numbers, we find that this occurs whenever the jackpot rises to at least $99,638,158.45.

Last week, the PowerBall jackpot was $210,000,000.00. This meant that a ticket was worth nearly $1.92. Since tickets sold for only a dollar, a lottery ticket was a good value. Investors who took advantage of this opportunity would, briefly, have shown a very healthy return.

A caveat: The preceding analysis assumes that the value of the jackpot can be known. In fact, this assumption is false. There is a non-negligible chance that more than one winning ticket will be sold. In such cases the jackpot is split equally among all winners. Thus, the expected utility of a ticket is significantly lower than one would expect given the published value of the jackpot.


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