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All comments by Josh Sher
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Nice article. I remember 20 years ago when I was still an inexperienced player, I played a hand in 3N after a 1N 3N auction, with a 9 Card fit missing the Q, lefty led a 4 card minor so I hooked him for the Q in the 9 card fit (I had read your article!) My expert partner was Impressed and a partnership was born. :) Thanks, Phillip!
May 6
Josh Sher edited this comment May 6
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Well, actually the Nobel lie was done in Asia. They convinced everyone that they should wear masks for their own safety, in order to achieve the socially optimal outcome of slowing the spread….
March 31
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I am pretty willing to make the following bet: consider being somewhere with 9 other people

A. I wear a mask and the 9 don’t
B. The 9 wear a mask and I don’t

Your likelihood of getting the virus in A >> in B

Your wearing a mask helps others, not yourself (Well maybe a little but.Even that is unclear) Everyone is better off if everyone wears a mask, but it’s not because your mask protects you.
March 31
Josh Sher edited this comment March 31
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A. Doug, Thank god you got better
B. Can you teach me the Jedi mind trick? Somehow, Eugene didn’t think this post was about the coronavirus and instead of moving this to the side coronavirus forum where it would get less visibility it got promoted to a feature article.
C. These are not the droids you are looking for…. Oops, didn’t work for me.
D. I didn’t like the idea of separating discussions related to covid-19 ….This topic effects bridge players lives and livelihoods (as well as everyone else’s…)
March 29
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March 26
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I did not think that’s established … there are definitely many cases in Florida. There have been a surprisingly low number of casss in SE Asia and Africa, but perhaps that’s because that are not not identified….anyway, let’s hope it slows.
March 20
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I am glad you came to your senses. Stay safe, and help others stay safe and make it through this crisis. We all love you. :)
March 16
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Avon, I like that Bertrand Russel quote! This doesn’t mean the expert’s are right, but. It take s a great deal of hubris to think you definitely know better….
March 16
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The Dali museum in St. Pete is great. And the beaches are really nice….
March 13
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Canceled! I pray everyone stays safe.
March 12
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This is almost comical given my professional expertise in probabilistic risk analysis…. I am more likely to be accused of a Clinical Spock like attitude toward weighing risks and benefits.

This reminds me of the story of planes coming back from world war 2, with a pattern of bullet holes, and various areas with no bullet holes, and the unthinking people wanted to put extra shielding where the most holes were, but the great statistician Abraham Wald realized, that the critical areas where precisely where no holes were found. The planes that didn’t come back were the ones hit there, and thus that is wear extra shielding was needed. Perhaps, rich, you are not interpreting the data, and the expert advice, properly?
March 11
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Eric, currently their are 31 deaths in the US. There has not been much testing so we do not have an exact count of the cases, but we can estimate it. If we assume the death rate of 0.6-0.7%, and that it takes about 3 weeks to die after being infected, that means for every death there was about 150 infections 3 weeks ago. The number of cases more than doubles each week (transmission is about every 5-7 days), so the 150 cases would have become 1500 cases today/per death. This gives us an estimate of around 45000 cases today. that's about 1/7000 people in the US. So if we have 1000 people come, there is a 1/7 chance that someone has it, and can spread it. Of course the odds are less than that since the serious cases will know they are sick, but still its significant….

But the real point is that it appears that the death rate is 0.6% when hospitals are not overwhelmed, but over 4% when they are. That's the current, best interpretation of the difference between the death rate in Wuhan and everywhere else (initially it was thought that it might be because only the serious cases in Wuhan were getting tested, but testing was greatly expanded and the death rate stayed super high…). That is why the need to slow the spread, even if everyone ultimately gets it. Having cases trickle in, will result in many fewer deaths, than if they are concentrated over the next two months. This is called flattening the curve, and is the main public health goal to mitigate the risks from this disease.
March 11
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Dead on arrival? 3NT is in fact almost 50%. The challenge is to bid to the correct game….
Aug. 9, 2019
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Two shows ,Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. Folks, we will have a triple bill
June 24, 2019
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I do not know what is in someone else’s heart. I do not know, what influences there choices, I am not in their shoes. I refuse to condem someone for taking a different action than what I think is morally just. That will not stop me from praising an action that clearly is done for the greater good. Here Roy and Sabine could choose to write letters, to not show up, to silently protest, to act rudely to an individual or many other costless actions. Instead they choose to spend money to attend an event, with intended actions that they expect will get them thrown out of the event and perhaps others in the future. You might not agree with their tactics , but certainly acting contrary to their self interest in order to help us all must be praised. I do note that this sort of action will be much more effective if a significant number of people do it….

Thank you Sabine. Thank you Roy. I hope you are not a single stone but the start of an avalanche.

Josh


Rarer by far than orginality in science or art is orginality in political action.
And rarer still is original political action that enlarges,
rather than blights or destroys, human possibilities.
-Jonathan Schell, Introduction to Adam Michnik's Letters from Prison

But you do know, as you stand alone, handcuffed, with your eyes filled with tear gas,
in front of policemen who are shaking their guns at you -
you can see it clearly in the dark and starless night,
thanks to your favorite poet -
that the course of the avalanche depends on the
stones over which it rolls.

And you want to be the stone that will reverse the course of events.

-Adam Michnik
May 9, 2019
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Yeah , or in some cases fly. In the regions I played in the GNT the games were within an hour of where I lived. In Florida , it’s 5 hours away. When I lived in Albuquerque, they alternated between Denver and Vegas, and let’s just say the GNTs were pro teams, or locals from the host city. Many districts are just physically too large for these events to be appealing….
May 8, 2019
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I can give you my statistics:

When I lived in DC, I played in the GNTs every year
When I lived n Albuquerque , I never played in them
When I lived in LA , I played in them every year
When I lived in NY, I played in them my one year (I was technically in the NJ district)
Since I have been in Miami, I never played in them

See if you can work out the pattern. And it has nothing to do with the quality of the opposition…
May 8, 2019
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I too am in the vacation conscious group, if that means
A. I have a limited amount of vacation
B. I can’t use all of it on bridge for numerous reasons

Hence I am very selective n the events I go to, mostly go to places that I can get to without burning a vacation day on travel, have a preference for events where a significant part of the event is on the weekend, and hate blowing a day of vacation because the event started with 66 teams and had to Eliminate 2 to get to 64….

I am also sensitive to the fact that if I am away for a limited number of days it’s important to know when I am flying home, so events of unknown length are tricky…
May 2, 2019
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I am in favor of allowing drop ins, although I think their carryover should be minimal. The carryover will be deflated by the finals, but they should at least require one good day in the event to make the finals.
April 25, 2019
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This is very well written. I hope you continue to pursue writing as well as bridge!
April 24, 2019
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