Friday, March 2, 2012

"Sorry" in Poker : A focus example on insincere cultural practices

Tradition and culture are important lessons from the past that in general allows one to improve one's life through tried and tested methods of those that came before. The author grants that point of view but it is when these traditions and practices are followed blindly and not logically for social acceptance that the author starts to show outward disapproval of such traditions. The best summary of today's post is in this link from the movie on Confucius's life (start at minute 3:43)*. The linked clip on the issue of ritual sacrificial burials.

The same lesson gleamed from the link above can be readily applied to today's focus example of saying 'Sorry' after winning a hand (usually in a mathematically underdog position) in Poker but first, two main points of defense from the point of view of those who do say 'Sorry' and it's direct rebuttals:

Truly feeling sorry in getting lucky in the hand of Poker:  There is no doubt that one of normal character would feel embarrassed by getting lucky and winning the hand but if said person was asked if they wanted to get lucky to win. The answer in most cases would still be a resounding 'Yes'. Thus the act itself is insincere and defeats the meaning of the act of being sorry. I liken this same insincerity to a murderer lying in a court trial saying he is sorry for killing the victim. In this case, the murderer actually having more of a reason to lie as if he is able to pull the lie off, he gets a lighter sentence. While the 'Sorry' poker player usually getting nothing but a insincere smile back from the person one just got lucky on due to the fact that he knows of the insincerity in the 'Sorry' said too.

Wanting to avoid offending the other party by saying 'Sorry': This reason being trouble in itself due to the fact that if the person that has been beat is the type that is unreasonable and gets angry, then he would, regardless of whether one says sorry of not. In fact, in saying sorry, one might take spark offence. As in Poker everyone wants to win and thus unless one is willing to return the money won in the pot, saying sorry and raking in the winning chips/money is not only insincere but in doing so, might imply insult to the point that the person's intelligence can't recognize insincerity when it is shown.

Thus, in explaining the above, it would be lacking if one does not give a solution to the above problem. The Problem being having gotten lucky and then what to do. The best solution the author practices being doing nothing. Just accept you have won and collect the chips in silence, allowing the moment of tension to pass by and avoid saying anything to offend. A second solution if one is inclined, offering something to the other party, if not a little money back, then maybe helping him get a drink or such. The act itself showing no hard feelings and breaks the moment of tension too but in general, one still thinks the best act is just to let the moment pass quietly. 

In conclusion, all acts of tradition or even certain religious practices have their reasons on inception but the continuation of such practices have to be constantly reviewed logically and if outdated or a better practice having been discovered, abandon said traditional practice. As one would feel it would not only be illogcal but a injustice to a thinking species to avoid a good solution over the reasoning of : "It has always been this way." 

Till Next word...

*In case, the link above gets taken down. The clip is as follows. General Gong is arguing with Confucius that a runaway slave should be buried alive with his dead master due to the traditions of the time. The reason being the master needing the slave for his afterlife. This being said, Confucius states that if that is so, then General Gong should be buried alive with the slave too as there were many cases before the master's death of him saying he could not live without General Gong too. 

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