Archive for the 'poker' Category

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knowledge beyond power

Information Technologies and government transparency—the role of (U.S.) law

the Project Statement
One of the most respected U.S. Supreme Court Justices, Louis Brandeis, wrote in 1914: “publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants”. It holds particularly true for publicity of government actions. Transparency makes government more accountable and therefore propels its modernization. For the last 20 years more than 50 nations (including the Polish one) have established the right to access public information. Apparently, therefore, government transparency gains importance.

i am reading darek adamski’s fulbright proposalm, hoping he will be able to join us at Berkman Center next year.

i want public access to the government action of prosecuting internet poker.

i care about this because poker is a powerful and entertaining way to learn skills of self-evident value in life.
i am a teacher wanting to express teaching power to address the problems of humanity and the planet. i love poker as form and thinking. i see poker’s reach on the net stiffled by an arbitrary act of government propounded in congressional form in a midnight act, compounded by the reach of prosecutorial discretion directed against the founders of internet gaming. i feel freedom curtailed, my freedom, internet freedom. i feel my citizenship impugned.


Suppose avatars come to me, eon, d of c, lawyer and teacher, in my Second Life office on Berkman Island – the founders of cyber poker, under threat of prosecution by agents of U.S. Govt.

i can quote for you the bunch of bullshit the prosecutor will give us about how the wire act and the midnight bill they snuck past without a single moment of committee deliberation gives them the right to prosecute poker. cyber poker. poker as a beautiful idea recreated in a game that’s not a game projecting out to a global citizenry through integrated media, multi media reintegrated by net.

prosecutor’ll try to tell you that they can indict you on what they’ve got, give you the choice of going to trial against rico counts in a federal court of the united states of america or you can plead guilty to one felony count under the wire act and we’ll let you go, no jail time. think RICO, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, think prison time, think twenty years.

let’s go down the road of rico prosecution in the court of public opinion, like a version of fred friendly seminars on the cybernet. playing poker in the game of negotiating guilty pleas. help from alan dershowitz waiting in the wings.

eon to the founders of internet poker channelling billion dollar charlie
you are at the point in the legal process of being threatened but not yet indicted, being told you have two choices, plead guilty and take the no-jail time deal we offer, or duke it out in court against RICO with long prison time based on how a federal court jury decides with a federal judge presiding and determining your sentence. they are playing poker with you.

could an american jury be brought to see the importance to democracy of honoring rather than prosecuting the founders of internet poker.
could an american jury be brought to see the value of poker to american society and the value of its expression in cyberspace.
could an american jury be brought to see poker as a quintessential american game beloved and played by presidents and business leaders, generals and soldiers, judges and lawyers, teachers and students.
could an american jury be brought to see internet poker as a training school and means of global outreach for this wonderful american game.

what will be the make-up of the jury asked to pass unanimous judgment condemning the founders of global internet poker as criminals. how will jury selection go. will the prosecution succeed in striking all jurors who love and play the game. in the rhetorical space of a real american courtroom before a real american jury will prosecution be arguments ranting children and terror be backed by convincing evidence.

whom will we call as our witnesses. who speaks for the money losers in the game; have they gained enough in the experience to feel their monetary loss offset. who speaks for the mothers who have seen their sons invest in learning the game. who speaks for children. what data will we show. what questions will we have opportunity to rebut.

let us play it out in Second Life, Law in the Court of Public Opinion, even as we play it out for real.

i’ve been working on another case, dred scott — who is citizen of the united states of america. is a black man citizen of the united states of america. can a black man be citizen of the united states of america. or is the core of WE the PEOPLE of the United States of America white supremacy. yes, i am talking to you.

charles ogletree and i think of creating of creating a new kind of teaching instrument for our cyber environment. credit gene koo and co for bringing our dred scott video statement of the issue together, credit to bernhard drax, a cyber friend, for recording and editing and original music, credit to for voice and framing. we have a production team. we are evolving our format. we hope to carry on to ever more interesting and useful cyber production. this is new casebook, early edition. reed elsivier meet

this fall i am offering Trials in Second Life as an educational offering with entertainment value. Dred Scott v. White Supremacy will be trial#1, RICO v. Internet Poker will be trial #2. as related activity i will teach poker in the form of one card war, and lead an internet class in tournament poker, with tables set on full tilt to play tournaments of one-card war. howard lederer, professor, will lay out the basics the game, i&i the meta game, chips, ante , button, blind, fold, bet, raise, call, with help from sister annie, like my ivy, annie duke, and annie’s friends, and mine.
RIAA v. the PEOPLE, will be cybertrial #3

i would like our cyber trials in Second Life to speak to and appeal to every constituency out in every language, which, with internet tools and people we can do.


at this moment i am speaking with you as my complement, all who attended is2k7 thank you as audience and agent, medium and message, all to whom this message comes and goes. we are in rhetorical space mediated by an open net but up to us to keep it open with truth flowing. the net allows goodness in human beings to aggregate. together we create amazing things of inestimable value, we give open access to our art and common knowledge. have faith that in open access to the rhetoric of the past and to our collective intelligence in the present, truth and justice is trump and still the game we play, even as we play games of deception.


i cheated in mr. hatch’s latin class. i used a trot. had i to chose a point in my life where i lost it that was it. instead of doing the job myself i copped someone else’s work. that’s when i stopped learning latin.

on my fiftieth birthday i drove back to exeter to pay george&co for the pair of grey flannel pants i stole. this cheat with hatch is even deeper back. i could forgive myself i suppose. it was latin got me in with high honors on the admissions test but i didn’t love it. around the harkness table translating latin, hatch roamed in back of you with a yard stick he would at times crack on the table. Yet even if i forgive myself, still, i learned to cheat. i explored its path. i have ever since felt the weakness it built into me. i retreated from expressing myself to a slightly scared being who lost the opportunity to build his confidence with the knowledge that he could do it for real. i have been in quest of a personal truth ever since that i let slip away from me. i feel more focused on the quest than if i’d been a natural.

is it better never to learn how to cheat or to learn how and then learn knot to?


All warfare is based on deception.

synonyms DECEPTION, FRAUD, DOUBLE-DEALING, SUBTERFUGE, TRICKERY mean the acts or practices of one who deliberately deceives. DECEPTION may or may not imply blameworthiness, since it may suggest cheating or merely tactical resource . FRAUD always implies guilt and often criminality in act or practice . DOUBLE-DEALING suggests treachery or at least action contrary to a professed attitude . SUBTERFUGE suggests the adoption of a stratagem or the telling of a lie in order to escape guilt or to gain an end . TRICKERY implies ingenious acts intended to dupe or cheat .

On Wednesday, with the Yankees leading, 7-5, in the top of the ninth inning, Jorge Posada hit a two-out high pop that third baseman Howie Clark settled under. But as Rodriguez casually ran behind him toward third, he shouted something — “Ha!” according to Rodriguez; “Mine!” according to Clark.
Clark scooted away. The ball dropped.
It was ruled a hit for Posada, not an error on Clark. Hideki Matsui scored and Rodriguez was safe at third. Jason Giambi singled to drive in Rodriguez and Posada, and the Yankees went on to win, 10-5.

i like poker because it offers opportunity for deep study of deception. i want sun tzu to be my general. i want a president of my country who is a good poker player. i want my leader to have an instinct for sizing up a game.

i cheated john dimitri negroponte at bridge in the butt-room of wentworth hall, me and my partner, lee lescaze, when we were sixteen.

in poker as in baseball deception within rules and norms of play is accepted and respected. mastering deception means not only mastering skill at its accomplishment but also mastering wisdom in using it. now i’m sixty-eight.

tawfiq, are you a poker player? which translation of the koran do you prefer? what do you take its meaning to be?

    Yusuf Ali

They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: “In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.”


They question thee about strong drink and games of chance. Say: In both is great sin, and (some) utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness.

i am curious about “gambling” in the first and “games of chance” in the second, thinking that poker is certainly a form of gambling but is surely to be distinguished from the casting of lots. i know neither mohammed nor jesus would cast lots with me, but would Mohammed play poker with me? would Jesus play poker with me?

win or lose you pay your dues

we are all playing poker
are you scared

in tawfiq’s paper which i now cringe at having graded B+ in which he taught me that writing a blog is like praying, speaking to god, your audience your complement in rhetorical space

for clarity like that straight A

we feel divinity in the net, feel it in the unity of complement, the elegance of something whole made from the threads of rhetoric

epiei the moniker with which today we bought a low power fm transmitter perfect as they advertize for pirate radio bound for kingston where we are perfectly legit

88.9 fm radio bound for jamaica coming out of kingston
let’s see what you got
dred scott asking if he is a citizen
dred scott telling you he is

so sorry that i have not seen jeremy or y.s or juan carlos and all of is2k
a conference is a format
this was fred friendly framed by keynote to conversation
let us think of it as just that
a menu of attraction that could be replicated and improved upon and served by every university
charles ogletree tomorrow at Brown University on what we do with our understanding of our human genome
every school an issue with passion at its core played out in civil discouse as the framework for the form

university lies in the civility of the discourse coupled with a spirit of mischief probing for the deeper truth

suppose tawfiq that instead of coming from an environment of openness in which poker is played as a national game and democracy is our government’s core
you are of a fundamental society from the perspective of which open democracy each man each woman judging truth seems chaos


lederer logic
on the phone last night excited that his thought over the last year has come together on how poker skill dominates chance
what is skill
what is chance
first howard imagines a form of poker with skill stripped out of it
holdem but without bet bluff fold
best poker hand wins

he names the winning hand in this game the luckiest hand
this is a game of pure chance

compare the role of the luckiest hand in no limit hold’em poker

for pots won without a showdown (which howard estimates to be 60-70% of hands – data will peg the percentage more precisely) the luckiest hand is irrelevant. for these hands skill dominates chance.

for pots won by other than luckiest hand (i’ll be interested to see what the percentage of such hands), skill dominates.

for pots won by the luckiest hand the win itself may be attributable in some measure to luck, but how much the player with the luckiest hand wins depends upon the player’s skill in keeping other players in.


amar did i hear you say we have two deans coming
one from divinity one from public health
we want them on the panel

who should have an avatar at the table of university
who should come sit down to talk with us
about the copyright cocoon surrounding us as we burst to create in cyberspace


bel air

jeremy to share the audio of our meeting here with you upon my blog i cannot do
the avatar of the movie industry sits down with university
each has an ordered list of top ten want from the other
jeremy suppose we could only get to each other here open on the net
how could we share our common mp3 with each other without sharing it with all

industry come play poker with university
pull up your avatar to the meta table
hey john schulman you don’t have to come in person to be a player in the game

poker university

wsj yay hay!

“>thank you neil
tall like cary grant
voice deep and resonant


The Online Etymology Dictionary
poker (2) Look up poker at
“card game,” 1834, Amer.Eng., perhaps from the first element of Ger. Pochspiel, name of a card game similar to poker, from pochen “to brag as a bluff,” lit. “to knock, rap” (see poke (v.)). Another version traces the word to Fr. poque, also said to have been a card game resembling poker. The earlier version of the game in Eng. was called brag. Slang poker face “deadpan” is from 1885.

bluff comes closer than bet to the essence of the game


poker is quintescentially an american game, american invention, universal in its appeal, open as the frontier to anyone to learn the skill of bid and call and bluff and raise and fold. no better game to learn how to win and lose and how to feel about it. no finer way to come to terms with your personal relationship to risk and resource, finding balance in the flow of signals in the brain for defense, for aggression, for neutrality, women, men, old, young, every race, every religion, a moment to learn a lifetime to master, understanding that the ante and the blinds buy you the privilege of neutrality in the choice you have to fold, but every time you fold you pay a little. you need a little aggression to offset this leak in the assets you have to live with. you start to feel and see that this is how you play not just this game but the game of life.

here’s email from amwoods at hlcentral

“Andrew M. Woods”
to me

show details
7:25 pm (7 hours ago)


I happened upon this the other day, and have been meaning to forward it to you:

While the article isn’t exactly a stirring defense of the importance of skill in poker – a first time player won the tournament, you may be interested to notice at the bottom of paragraph 2 the article describes the faculty participation in the public interest charity tournament. That faculty included one Professor Charles Nesson, “who hung in for several rounds before being knocked out by 1L Andrew Woods”. 🙂

(While I may have put you out, you do look better in the photo – they only got the side of me…)



Andrew M. Woods
Director of Events
HL Central
(310) 254-5218
 amwoods at

as we spoke last night poker university took shape
enquiry into the genius of the game top down
professor and professor with sister annie
andy bloch producer
full tilt on a table of ten
avatars driven by students of all ages in classrooms round the globe
global classrooms to engage our poker curriculum in which the culmination course is tournaments
open to developing nations as an expression of american democracy

eon here
the crazy guy of lessig’s dedication
let poker be the message that goes out through libraries and classrooms
it’s the spirit of america we are fighting for

assume you are playing poker with a fundamentalist
schelling’s madman at the door
are you bargaining with him or is he bargaining with you

this is a better game than the game with bombs and guns
people who make bombs and guns are the enemy
why prefer their game to ours

we make the bombs and guns and the markets into which to sell them
we are on a road to blowing ourselves apart if we can’t figure out how to find our norms

one thing you can say about a fundamentalist
their action is grounded in deep spirit
twisted we may think to evil ends yet spirit nonetheless

suppose a poker game between the avatar of our spirit and the avatar of his
what would be our conversation
what have i got that he wants that i can give him
what is he looking for
he says he’s looking for one thing but you know he is looking for another

suppose the chips in the game are the minds of people
the question in each individual mind which spirit speaks truth in its understanding of the world
the stick
youre right

so okay let’s get to it
teresa and librarians of the world consortium of consortia of libraries
communia thematic network
where better to assemble to play a global online poker game than is community libraries and schools starting with solar power electricity, hardware to structure and control the flow of electric bits, connection to the net and thus to UNIVERSITY

the berkman center has a grant from the state department of the united states of america to teach democracy. american democracy is spirit in US to express.

as i type into this blog i am listening to the recording of our poker meeting before the formal meeting began, low murmers and talk of separate conversations with lovely jokes. annie tells the story of a man addicted to water, was drinking eight gallons a day, he died, and me telling the story of last year’s public service poker tournament pictured above in which andrew m woods knocked me out, how we couldn’t do it this year because of government regulation.

uploading it to z share
hope it works
i’ll bet there are some folks out there deep enough into the game to listen to poker pros talking poker to each other
yes it does! here it is:

last night another berkman book party, david weinberger, everything is miscellaneous, a gift to all librarians as we come to see internet as library. david, a poker question. i have written to game theorists asking them how they classify texas hold’em poker in the taxonomy of their rigorous systematic way of understanding our reality. in answer to the conceptual question of relationship of one think to another miscellaneous doesn’t tell us much. are you speaking to scientists as well as to librarians?

off to a2k today

salubrious recording with fern this morning after soliloquy about fear in my heart, then clippinger telling me of a study comparing ability to detect deceit among harvard undergraduates and the shiwiar, an isolated amazonian tribe of hunter-horticulturalists. the shiwiar were just as adept at identifying a con as the harvard grads.

yesterday at northeastern after merley evars spoke i bought a book by bob moses urging algebra as answer to race transcendence. in the night i woke fern with a vision of classrooms of kids deciding on the move its avatar would make in a game of online poker and felt bob moses idea up a dimension.

we are here to teach

through the net we can teach kids to transcend

i teach law students. many law students come to harvard law school risk averse. they have thrived in sheltered institutions. they are not yet ready for the world. learn to play poker i tell them, starting with one-card war.

i am proposing a collaboration among all of us who gathered and all who would have liked to be there at our poker meeting to create poker university with its classrooms linked on line.

think of a massive multiplayer game of games in which the software of the game is architecture for gatherings of people who learn the game together and play for fun and moderate money within an environment of understanding for addiction.

imagine an online poker table with each avatar a classroom in a different school, let’s try law schools out to start, maybe each in a different state, maybe each in a different country. may we do this? from whom do we seek a declaratory judgment?

we say poker is a more genuine expression of the AMERICA we want to be than slavery and white supremacy. together we can mobilize to make our future.

how to play a hand

at the noir bar after our poker meeting howard lederer told me about an interesting hand of poker he played with gabe kaplan. i asked him to send me the link.

the hand occurs about 1/3rd of the way through, and here’s my blog of the experience of watching and listening to the leadup and the segment.

glitz for a full minute at the beginning
how the people who talk the game play the game
howard says he’s an analyst
mike sexton pushes it doing his thing
conversation going at the table
this is not a good idea because conversation at the poker table is desultory
blind 200 400
gabe in the big blind with 24000
lederer on the button 10s 7s with 15000
raises to 1200
kaplan qs js
flop 2d Ah 8s
gabe checks
howard bets 1300
gabe calls

turn 2h
kaplan bets 3000
howard calls

river Ad
gabe checks
howard bets 3000
gabe folds

in this hand there is a script expressed in the calls and raises
as judith donath observes this is communicative betting
howard, i’d love you to tell the story in words play by play
at each move pause and let clippinger and halperin have their say
this is pure poker

what did gabe think howard had
how did howard lead gabe to think that

here’s my morning audio walk transcribed:

april 27, 2007, i fell off my bike last night, skidded in the rain when i put on the brakes, not too bad considering, felt my helmet hit the pavement, felt the cushion of it, felt my shoulder hit, no cushion. i feel it now. it happened after charles ogletree’s conference salute to john doar

knowledge above authority -if knowledge is above authority and wants authority to respond to knowledge wisely how would one best proceed? is it a prisoner’s dilemma in which we are always required to tat? or can we give a little tit without getting carried away.

what are the ways in which issues press your buttons. what are the issues on which you could loosen up.

play with digital media that’s the name of our game -michael yap writes back delighted to collaborate in playing with digital media -back to singapore this summer comes state of play -i began this play with you when last i was there walking along that lovely esplanade out in front of the ritz hotel enjoying a weed in the land of lee quan yu and then offering that information to the crew i was teaching cyberlaw to, eight faces from the office of the attorney general at full attention, intelligence engaged -how could singaporeans learn to loosen up, how about coming to jamaica, how could jamaicans learn to tighten up just enough to get the place running right, visit singapore -suppose each were to create the other in virtual reality what would the other look like -could we meet in second life to learn to play poker together

on the thursday night of the is2k7 conference there is an open slot, a time for people who have had food for thought to sit down and play some poker -suppose we were to play in a newly structured way, suppose we were to record it, make it an asset, fill the airwaves -would we enjoy would we learn.

my shoulder stiff and aching last night i was up in the middle wathcing tv, watched poker after dark on nbc, saw little new in form over world poker tour but could see a more interesting way of using the talents there on display, wrote to howard this morning to see what he would say.


i read andrew’s blog with excitement, read response on 2+2
snag on This is wrong. The only reason it [poker] is unpopular with the very religious is because it specifically says in the Bible that gambling is wrong and you shouldn’t do it. It’s as simple as that to them. It would be a tall order to try to convince an elderly religious grandmother that poker was, in fact, not like gambling at all.

That is our challenge. We take it on. Poker is not gambling. Poker is learning life. Poker is freedom to play a game we love online. Poker is a way we can agree on internet democracy.

you of the christian right who honor the word of the bible, we ask you to consider that americans had not invented the game of poker when the bible word gambling was written. gambling meant betting on a chance outcome like the roll of dice.

seek the spirit you are looking for in the game and you will find it. approach the mystery in your brain. let it beguile you please you teach you lead you on. come on grandma, play poker, it’s not gambling, it’s pricing, it’s bluffing, your kids can teach you how.

saw the poster for is2k7 yesterday leaping out with light and clear message
civil rights with ogletree and terry lenzner and pictures from selma
a2k tomorrow at yale

invitation to barney frank to come and keynote
play the hand of government
how would you work things out

back to 2+2 snag again on a comment on foucault’s blog

It flat doesn’t matter if poker is a game of skill. That’s not the point.
big point to me
the reason to single it out
that distinguishes it from gambling
transcends gambling to a higher plane of logic mathematics and human understanding

foucault is the avatar who speaks the words and sets the tone
describes the meeting like a roman a clef

foucault writes:
It wasn’t really a panel or a public event, it was about a dozen people in a room strategizing and sharing ideas. In addition to the people I mentioned there were a few HLS students who also played poker, a guy who did AI research, an Israeli lawyer who I think represented some poker sites (he didn’t seem to speak English that well and didn’t say much), a reporter from the Wall Street Journal, and a woman who was studying lying or something. Not all of these people were there at the same time. As I said, it was pretty random that I ended up being there at all, and I was mostly just listening, though I occasionally tried to steer the conversation in a more productive direction when I felt we were getting bogged down in a pointless disagreement or dead-end strategy.

who were these people
can we connect foucault’s description with the info on the wiki


here’s from yinglan off my gmail

Yinglan Tan
to me, Michael_YAP

1:23 am (5 hours ago)

I trust your visit to the West Coast was productive. Drawing your attention to the East Coast, I had interesting chats today with two distinguished faculty at the Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.

Professor Charles Nesson, William F. Weld Professor of Law and Founder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, is enthusiastic about “Poker University”, a vehicle for game theory to be accessible to every youth, played in the digital space with links with internet democracy.


Prof Nesson has expressed an interest to visit to Singapore in the summer and continue the dialogue with you, I shall leave it on your end to connect with him.


Michael Yap runs the Interactive Digital Media Initiative and is also Deputy CEO of the Media Development Agency.