A philosophical discussion about sports betting and gambling, based on my e-book Sports Betting Pure: The Educated Bet, which is now published here for free download.
The Dolphins score a touchdown and Homer celebrates (spilling his Duff beer in the process) while Lisa copies his cheering. Homer lets it slip that he bet $50 on the game, but Lisa doesn’t understand why. Homer: [Gambling is] a little thing daddies do… to make football more exciting. Lisa: What could be more exciting than the savage ballet that is pro football? Homer: You like ice cream, don’t you? Lisa: Uh huh. Homer: And don’t you like ice cream better when it’s covered with hot fudge? And mounds of whipped cream? (getting carried away) And chopped nuts? And, ooh, those crumbled-up cookie things they mash up? Mmm, crumbled-up cookie things. Lisa: So gambling makes a good thing even better?
The Simpsons, ‘Lisa the Greek’
Sports and Gambling: An Inevitable Match
The lures of both sports and gambling are apparent and ancient: throughout history, sports has served multiple functions considered essential to society; while gambling has had rising and falling prominence in societies of every place and age*. Given the excitement and the stakes common to both, it’s inevitable that the combination of sports and gambling would appear to many as a perfect match (as Homer explains simplistically), particularly during an age in which both are prominent.
A compilation of my notes from the book: Plagues and Peoples, by William H. McNeill (1976); complimented by my summarizing sub-headings.
As quoted by the Lancet behind the front cover of this book,
Professor McNeill is an American historian with a sound grasp of epidemiological principles.
As McNeill points out himself in this book (which can be seen immediately in the notes to follow), historians systematically gloss-over the significance of epidemic disease.
In choosing to read Plagues and Peoples third in my sequence of pandemic-themed books, I identified it as the one most complimentary to Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year: for while the latter is “the prototype of all accounts of great cities in times of epidemic”, the former has to be one of, if not the most substantial attempts at a historicalinterpretation of epidemics (—which is quite distinct from an epidemiological interpretation of history, I would add).
An arranged compilation of my notes from the book: A Journal of the Plague Year, by Daniel Defoe (1722).
Following the establishment of a global pandemic a few weeks ago, I went through my personal library of books to select those which have direct relevance to the nature and effects of pandemics: as since these things have suddenly become of utmost significance to all, I think it now appropriate to gain some perspective on the subject.
Of the books I selected for this study of pandemics, Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year* stood out as the best one to begin with, for it thoroughly depicts The Great Plague of London that occurred 1665-1666.
*The full text is in the public domain, and can be accessed for free at Gutenberg.org)
This article features an introduction to the concept of ‘Allegory’; followed by a preface to four important ones (two parables, a fable, and a fairy tale), leading to commentary on each one, along with references to films and related media; and concluding with a list of the relevant links.
Allegory is a technique used by authors to embed a deeper meaning into the surface of a story, which produces two main effects. The primary effect is that it conceals the very fact that it contains an inner meaning at all, from all but those whose mind is critical in observing fictional works; and this makes it an esoteric mode of communication.