In the NYT, Mary Pilon profiles a (now defunct) ring of Christian blackjack card-counters who lead Bible-study classes and youth groups when they're not scoring millions at the casinos. One such Christian counter, Colin Jones, has branched out into running for-pay card-counting workshops for would-be sharps. One of the team has produced a documentary on the team's activities, called Holy Rollers.
But first Jones and his group had to wrestle with the apparent moral paradox: Should Christians be counting cards?
“My father-in-law flipped out about it,” Jones said. “I remember Ben and I discussing everything. Are we being dishonest to the casinos? Is money an evil thing?”
Group members believed what they were doing was consistent with their faith because they felt they were taking money away from an evil enterprise. Further, they did not believe that counting cards was inherently a bad thing; rather, it was merely using math skills in a game of chance. They treated their winnings as income from a job and used it for all manner of expenses.
(via Super Punch)
After years of missteps, blunders and disasters in which Youtube users have been censored through spurious copyright claims or had their accounts deleted altogether, Google has announced an amazing, user-friendly new initiative though which it will fund the legal defense of Youtube creators who are censored by bad-faith copyright infringement claims.
Gus writes, “November 2-6 was Media Literacy Week, that great traditional festival of questioning everything we read and talking back to the TV. OK, so it’s only ten years old… and this is the first year it’s been formally observed in the United States, which has long lagged behind other English-speaking countries in media literacy […]
The Wizard of Northampton in dialog with John Higgs, author of Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century, describing HP Lovecraft’s curious, twisted grasp of the awful anxieties of 20th century America, and how this created the racist, horror-flecked prose that resonates even today. (via m1k3y)
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