Wednesday, March 22, 2023

#81 / Wanna Bet?


Commercial-gambling revenue last year broke the previous record of $53 billion set in 2021, increasing about 14% year-over-year, according to an American Gaming Association report. The figures don’t include tens of billions of dollars in revenue generated by tribal-owned casinos. 
Previously, I have expressed significant skepticism, here in this blog, about our infatuation with "advertising." Let me express similar skepticism about "gambling," and point out that gambling has been one of the major "new frontiers" in the advertising world. Well, in the "economic" world, too, when we admit to ourselves that cryptocurrency "investments" are just a form of placing a bet.

I continue to believe that there is such a thing as "real life" (as differentiated from the life which is advertised as real), and I am distressed that we seem more and more willing to spend our time (and money) trying to avoid a confrontation with what that "real life" is telling us. We are, for example, and without a doubt, facing major, life-threatening challenges, many of these challenges the result of our unwillingness to appreciate that our human world is totally dependent on the World of Nature.  
The New York Times reports, for instance, that "When the Horseshoe Crabs Are Gone, We’ll Be in Trouble." This article somewhat understates the problem, since the  article indicates that those horseshoe crabs are already close to extinction. See if you can get by the paywall to learn in detail how the fate of horseshoe crabs is so relevant to our own. The short summary is this: The blue blood of the horseshoe crab is what is used, in modern medicine, to protect us from endotoxins. As it turns out, that blue blood of the horseshoe crab is, currently, pretty much the only thing that can do the job - at least according to that article in The Times. Still, the horseshoe crab extinction threat is what I would call a "minor example" of the social, political, economic and environmental troubles from which we mostly try to escape by spending our time on various diversionary activities, including online gaming.

Gambling is an escape, pure and simple, and the poor people who are disproportionately attracted to gambling have the most to lose. If we could genuinely change our politics, they would have the most to win. 
Considering where we are, in "real life," our best bet is to put our scarce resources - including specifically our time and energy - into political involvement and political action!
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