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(Some Physics Guy)   In 1986, 4000 physicists descended on Las Vegas for a conference. That week, the MGM Grand had its lowest take ever and the entire city asked the American Physical Society to never return   ( physicsbuzz.physicscentral.com) divider line
    More: Amusing, Hotel, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Strip, Casino, Gambling, mgm grand, Las Vegas metropolitan area, American Physical Society  
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4180 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Mar 2018 at 7:23 AM (32 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-03-03 12:11:22 AM  
Christ, physicists.  They can even sit around doing nothing and they'll still write ego-stroking blog posts about how it demonstrates their unique and brilliant minds.

Next we'll hear about how they got food poisoning from the buffet, and how they ingeniously solved the problem with their physicist brains by simply deciding to have terrible diarrhea.
 
2018-03-03 12:16:14 AM  

Xcott: Christ, physicists.  They can even sit around doing nothing and they'll still write ego-stroking blog posts about how it demonstrates their unique and brilliant minds.

Next we'll hear about how they got food poisoning from the buffet, and how they ingeniously solved the problem with their physicist brains by simply deciding to have terrible diarrhea.


TFA said it was because they were mostly broke-ass graduate students.

Show us on the doll where the college graduate touched you.
 
2018-03-03 12:22:19 AM  
You know who else lost money running a hotel/casino in the 1980s?
 
2018-03-03 01:30:12 AM  
The Vegas joke about COMDEX attendees was that they came to Vegas with a T-shirt and a $20 bill and didn't change either all week.
 
2018-03-03 07:26:07 AM  
Only because the hotels told the statisticians' conference to fark right off the moment they tried to book.
 
2018-03-03 07:42:33 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-03-03 07:48:18 AM  
Came here to reference the "Joshua Strategy", and see that it's covered.
 
2018-03-03 07:54:58 AM  
I'll bet the hookers had a good week, though.
 
2018-03-03 08:04:33 AM  
Lemme guess, dearth of grant leftovers left the casinos empty.
 
2018-03-03 08:06:26 AM  
Physics students: obnoxious.

Physicists who've been in the field a long time: fun to drink with if you like learning things but knew the physics factory wasn't hiring in your town.
 
2018-03-03 08:06:57 AM  
Always bet on black.
 
2018-03-03 08:34:42 AM  
Many respectable physicists said that they weren't going to stand for this -- partly because it was a debasement of science, but mostly because they didn't get invited to those sort of parties
 
2018-03-03 08:44:40 AM  
Never understood the allure of casino gambling. You're going to loose. The math doesn't support you winning. Look around you. Those hotels don't build themselves.
 
2018-03-03 08:52:37 AM  

King Something: You know who else lost money running a hotel/casino in the 1980s?


Ha! Queue up the oh snap and burn gifs.
 
2018-03-03 08:58:04 AM  

foo monkey: Never understood the allure of casino gambling. You're going to loose. The math doesn't support you winning. Look around you. Those hotels don't build themselves.


Same here. My company had 3 day conference at a casino and I hated it. After the day's meetings were over there was fark-all for me to do. Gambling at a casino has 0 appeal to me whatsoever, for the very reason you articulated, and the casino was not in Vegas so there was nothing else to walk to. I also refuse to have more than 2 drinks when at a work event or with coworkers - I'm still essentially at work, and every goddamned year some idiots drink too much, do something stupid and get fired. I refuse to put myself in that position.

So I just brought a book and spent most of my free time reading in my room.

Bonus irony points for the theme of the conference being "financial responsibility" and lecturing us on it 50 feet away from the slot machines.
 
2018-03-03 08:58:33 AM  
A few years before this conference the old MGM burned to the ground, killing 85 people.  I doubt the physicists' story about their visit being the worst weekend MGM has ever had.
 
2018-03-03 09:00:34 AM  

foo monkey: Never understood the allure of casino gambling. You're going to loose. The math doesn't support you winning. Look around you. Those hotels don't build themselves.


Just because you don't like something doesn't mean itis terribly dull.

Those hotels don't build themselves. Let people like things.
 
2018-03-03 09:03:07 AM  
Take a close look at the photo of the hotel. See that low section in the front? That is the original hotel before MGM built an "addition". It was interesting to watch the process.
 
2018-03-03 09:41:21 AM  

foo monkey: Never understood the allure of casino gambling. You're going to loose. The math doesn't support you winning. Look around you. Those hotels don't build themselves.


"There's a sucker born every minute."
   The man who said that was living in a time when less people were being born per minute, and had vastly higher infant mortality rates.
  He was also a raging optimist.
 
2018-03-03 09:42:55 AM  

dv-ous: Xcott: Christ, physicists.  They can even sit around doing nothing and they'll still write ego-stroking blog posts about how it demonstrates their unique and brilliant minds.

Next we'll hear about how they got food poisoning from the buffet, and how they ingeniously solved the problem with their physicist brains by simply deciding to have terrible diarrhea.

TFA said it was because they were mostly broke-ass graduate students.

Show us on the doll where the college graduate touched you.


I my wallet, and on my couch where he slept for 4 weeks.
 
2018-03-03 09:46:34 AM  

mongbiohazard: y company had 3 day conference at a casino and I hated it. After the day's meetings were over there was fark-all for me to do. Gambling at a casino has 0 appeal to me whatsoever, for the very reason you articulated, and the casino was not in Vegas so there was nothing else to walk to.


I guess you were at a casino that did not have shows?  Never been to Vegas (other than to change planes), but I've been told by those who go that there is lots to do in unrelated to gambling.
 
2018-03-03 09:50:47 AM  

TheMysteriousStranger: mongbiohazard: y company had 3 day conference at a casino and I hated it. After the day's meetings were over there was fark-all for me to do. Gambling at a casino has 0 appeal to me whatsoever, for the very reason you articulated, and the casino was not in Vegas so there was nothing else to walk to.

I guess you were at a casino that did not have shows?  Never been to Vegas (other than to change planes), but I've been told by those who go that there is lots to do in unrelated to gambling.

 
2018-03-03 09:51:39 AM  
They didn't bring their casino pants.
 
2018-03-03 09:52:49 AM  

dv-ous: Xcott: Christ, physicists.  They can even sit around doing nothing and they'll still write ego-stroking blog posts about how it demonstrates their unique and brilliant minds.

Next we'll hear about how they got food poisoning from the buffet, and how they ingeniously solved the problem with their physicist brains by simply deciding to have terrible diarrhea.

TFA said it was because they were mostly broke-ass graduate students.

Show us on the doll where the college graduate touched you.


I marked them in black:

image.freepik.comView Full Size


And that was just the first night.

/it was a good weekend
 
2018-03-03 09:56:31 AM  
I wonder if they visited the National Atomic Testing Museum. Most interesting thing in Vegas.
 
2018-03-03 10:01:02 AM  

Xcott: Christ, physicists.  They can even sit around doing nothing and they'll still write ego-stroking blog posts about how it demonstrates their unique and brilliant minds.

Next we'll hear about how they got food poisoning from the buffet, and how they ingeniously solved the problem with their physicist brains by simply deciding to have terrible diarrhea.


Jealousy is an ugly thing.

Reading comprehension is moderately difficult.
 
2018-03-03 10:11:17 AM  
When I was involved in laser crystal growth and optic we had a couple of meetings in Atlantic City.  One year I made money on the trip, 2 years later I lost the 20.00 I planned on using.

/really depressing seeing the old folks they bussed in who lost what ever the brought quickly and had to sit around till the bus left later in the day.
 
2018-03-03 10:18:05 AM  
The penny slots were down over two percent that week.
 
2018-03-03 10:18:40 AM  
It's probably because they were smart enough to simply not play rather than all these theories about beating the house.
 
2018-03-03 10:25:23 AM  

foo monkey: Never understood the allure of casino gambling. You're going to loose. The math doesn't support you winning. Look around you. Those hotels don't build themselves.


You know who else apparently understands that?

Physics students.
 
2018-03-03 10:26:25 AM  
Just wanted to be the pedant and point out the the pic in TFA is of the wrong MGM Grand.  That one wasn't even on the drawing board in 1986.
 
2018-03-03 10:26:33 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-03-03 10:32:34 AM  

Xcott: Christ, physicists.  They can even sit around doing nothing and they'll still write ego-stroking blog posts about how it demonstrates their unique and brilliant minds.

Next we'll hear about how they got food poisoning from the buffet, and how they ingeniously solved the problem with their physicist brains by simply deciding to have terrible diarrhea.


 Apparently I "decided" to have explosive diarrhea this morning. Bouncing around on a motorcycle didn't belp matters at all. Am afraid to stray more than 20 yards from a restroom. Need help soonish.
 
2018-03-03 10:33:04 AM  

midigod: Just wanted to be the pedant and point out the the pic in TFA is of the wrong MGM Grand.  That one wasn't even on the drawing board in 1986.


upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
 
2018-03-03 10:34:57 AM  

TheMysteriousStranger: Never been to Vegas (other than to change planes), but I've been told by those who go that there is lots to do in unrelated to gambling.


"If you just sit down at the quarter slots, they'll bring you free drinks all night long!"

"Prime rib on The Strip only costs a nickel!"

These are two great bits of completely inaccurate advice I've been given by rubes who never actually visited Vegas, but had "heard all about it" from friends.

If you like gambling, Vegas is probably for you. Otherwise, it's in the business of selling fantasy edginess to small town people who want to feel dangerous when they go home and tell exaggerated stories to their friends.

F*ck Las Vegas, is what I'm getting at here.
 
2018-03-03 10:37:05 AM  

dv-ous: Show us on the doll where the college graduate touched you.


Ha ha, no.  I work in the academic world, and we're all PhDs.  We enjoy each other's company and we learn lots of stuff about lots of subjects from one another.

But xkcd is absolutely spot-on about physicists.  Some of them are infected with this weird religion that they are the true geniuses, and that every decision they make demonstrates their very different minds.   Many of my colleagues have a "physicist story" more or less like that xkcd comic.  A physicist gives a colloquium talk in the biology department called "the physics of cancer" explaining that biologists haven't cured cancer because they didn't let a physicist treat it like a physics problem and think like a physicist.   Or a physicist decides to apply his physics background to political polls or cryptography, gets all the math wrong, and can't be told that he got the math wrong because it came from the pen of a physicist.

I think this attitude stems from the twin misconceptions that "everything is physics" and "physics is uniquely hard."  The first misconception comes from a misunderstanding of scientific theories---people mistakenly think if they understand how particles work, then they've mastered the science behind everything made out of particles.  The other misconception comes from the popular notion of relativity and QM as being insanely mind-bending and counterintuitive, when in fact they are no more mind-bending than random subjects in mathematics or philosophy.

Of course, they're not the only subject with this problem.  I've noticed that economists behave much the same way.  You chat with an economist at a faculty mixer about a random subject and they'll offer to tell how an economist sees it with their unique understanding of the world, and how their decision to to go to the doctor when they were sick demonstrates the enlightened worldview of an economist.  They're like the physicists of the humanities world.
 
2018-03-03 10:49:26 AM  
Plus time travel.
 
2018-03-03 10:53:38 AM  

Xcott: dv-ous: Show us on the doll where the college graduate touched you.

Ha ha, no.  I work in the academic world, and we're all PhDs.  We enjoy each other's company and we learn lots of stuff about lots of subjects from one another.

But xkcd is absolutely spot-on about physicists.  Some of them are infected with this weird religion that they are the true geniuses, and that every decision they make demonstrates their very different minds.   Many of my colleagues have a "physicist story" more or less like that xkcd comic.  A physicist gives a colloquium talk in the biology department called "the physics of cancer" explaining that biologists haven't cured cancer because they didn't let a physicist treat it like a physics problem and think like a physicist.   Or a physicist decides to apply his physics background to political polls or cryptography, gets all the math wrong, and can't be told that he got the math wrong because it came from the pen of a physicist.

I think this attitude stems from the twin misconceptions that "everything is physics" and "physics is uniquely hard."  The first misconception comes from a misunderstanding of scientific theories---people mistakenly think if they understand how particles work, then they've mastered the science behind everything made out of particles.  The other misconception comes from the popular notion of relativity and QM as being insanely mind-bending and counterintuitive, when in fact they are no more mind-bending than random subjects in mathematics or philosophy.

Of course, they're not the only subject with this problem.  I've noticed that economists behave much the same way.  You chat with an economist at a faculty mixer about a random subject and they'll offer to tell how an economist sees it with their unique understanding of the world, and how their decision to to go to the doctor when they were sick demonstrates the enlightened worldview of an economist.  They're like the physicists of the humanities world.


Seems to be a pretty common sociological theme in many workplaces too. I work for a federal government agency which is undergoing a massive pivot to hire a large number of STEM applicants in order to become more data-driven and efficient. However, an implicit assumption contained in leadership messaging about this shift is that the humanities-trained employees who make up a fair amount of the workforce do not have the skills to think like software engineers or mathematicians and are therefore less valuable. Which is a foul.
 
2018-03-03 11:02:53 AM  

TheMysteriousStranger: mongbiohazard: y company had 3 day conference at a casino and I hated it. After the day's meetings were over there was fark-all for me to do. Gambling at a casino has 0 appeal to me whatsoever, for the very reason you articulated, and the casino was not in Vegas so there was nothing else to walk to.

I guess you were at a casino that did not have shows?  Never been to Vegas (other than to change planes), but I've been told by those who go that there is lots to do in unrelated to gambling.


The wife and I plan a trip to Vegas. Just to see all the fish tanks. Ok, and the Cirque show. But mostly the fish tanks.
 
2018-03-03 11:06:28 AM  

xtalman: When I was involved in laser crystal growth and optic we had a couple of meetings in Atlantic City.  One year I made money on the trip, 2 years later I lost the 20.00 I planned on using.

/really depressing seeing the old folks they bussed in who lost what ever the brought quickly and had to sit around till the bus left later in the day.


When I turned 21 my mom took my out to Atlantic City. There were some tryouts for Jeopardy, but there were also the slots. I started with $60 in quarters and a plastic cup. Within half an hour I was down to the plastic cup. I was headed to the ATM to top off when I realized "dude... you have a problem".

Never stepped foot in one of those places again.
 
2018-03-03 11:16:53 AM  

Barricaded Gunman: If you like gambling, Vegas is probably for you. Otherwise, it's in the business of selling fantasy edginess to small town people who want to feel dangerous when they go home and tell exaggerated stories to their friends.


Yeah - people who still want to pretend it's run by the mob and full of hookers and that you might bump into James Bond, as if casinos still look like they do in Goldfinger rather than full of sad farkers with MAGA hats.

A ton of travel is bullshiat bragging today. People who went to places and tell you how amazing they are, when really they're kidding themselves just to make you jealous.
 
2018-03-03 11:22:45 AM  
"They each brought one shirt and a ten-dollar bill, and changed neither."

So, they have an expected value of zero?
 
2018-03-03 11:33:56 AM  

Xcott: dv-ous: Show us on the doll where the college graduate touched you.

Ha ha, no.  I work in the academic world, and we're all PhDs.  We enjoy each other's company and we learn lots of stuff about lots of subjects from one another.

But xkcd is absolutely spot-on about physicists.  Some of them are infected with this weird religion that they are the true geniuses, and that every decision they make demonstrates their very different minds.   Many of my colleagues have a "physicist story" more or less like that xkcd comic.  A physicist gives a colloquium talk in the biology department called "the physics of cancer" explaining that biologists haven't cured cancer because they didn't let a physicist treat it like a physics problem and think like a physicist.   Or a physicist decides to apply his physics background to political polls or cryptography, gets all the math wrong, and can't be told that he got the math wrong because it came from the pen of a physicist.

I think this attitude stems from the twin misconceptions that "everything is physics" and "physics is uniquely hard."  The first misconception comes from a misunderstanding of scientific theories---people mistakenly think if they understand how particles work, then they've mastered the science behind everything made out of particles.  The other misconception comes from the popular notion of relativity and QM as being insanely mind-bending and counterintuitive, when in fact they are no more mind-bending than random subjects in mathematics or philosophy.

Of course, they're not the only subject with this problem.  I've noticed that economists behave much the same way.  You chat with an economist at a faculty mixer about a random subject and they'll offer to tell how an economist sees it with their unique understanding of the world, and how their decision to to go to the doctor when they were sick demonstrates the enlightened worldview of an economist.  They're like the physicists of the humanities world.


Not to mention that these people just often don't have anything to do. Basic physics has been pretty well worked out for a couple thousand years or so. Single experiments in new physics now take decades and cost billions of dollars. There are probably 20 people on earth that are genuinely in a position to influence the field and drive it forward. The only people who make it to the top of the game have huge egos and huge personalities, because the hard part about modern physics isn't doing the physics work, it's being one of those few people who get funding to do a meaningful study.

And then if you happen to be one of those 20 people you suddenly develop a messiah complex because so many other people failed.
 
2018-03-03 11:37:18 AM  

The 13th Jurist: Seems to be a pretty common sociological theme in many workplaces too. I work for a federal government agency which is undergoing a massive pivot to hire a large number of STEM applicants in order to become more data-driven and efficient. However, an implicit assumption contained in leadership messaging about this shift is that the humanities-trained employees who make up a fair amount of the workforce do not have the skills to think like software engineers or mathematicians and are therefore less valuable. Which is a foul.


I've noticed this too.  There is an implicit belief that subjects have a clear scale of difficulty, and that the people ones on the far end will just be general geniuses about everything.  Thus we should hire chemists and mathematicians to do policy, because we had nightmares about chemistry and math classes in high school and those guys must be way above everyone else.

Sometimes the result is insanely backwards.  One example is the renaming of statistics as "data science," and the mad rush to hire non-statisticians to do it.  Now we have people with PhDs in statistics and applied mathematics who can't get jobs exactly suited to their expertise, because employers are hiring CS people to do it.
 
2018-03-03 11:42:25 AM  
The problem was the lack of gambling on D&D. Figure out how to turn that into a wagering system and you would have the geeks committing grant fraud to pay for their habits.
 
2018-03-03 11:50:25 AM  

Xcott: The 13th Jurist: Seems to be a pretty common sociological theme in many workplaces too. I work for a federal government agency which is undergoing a massive pivot to hire a large number of STEM applicants in order to become more data-driven and efficient. However, an implicit assumption contained in leadership messaging about this shift is that the humanities-trained employees who make up a fair amount of the workforce do not have the skills to think like software engineers or mathematicians and are therefore less valuable. Which is a foul.

I've noticed this too.  There is an implicit belief that subjects have a clear scale of difficulty, and that the people ones on the far end will just be general geniuses about everything.  Thus we should hire chemists and mathematicians to do policy, because we had nightmares about chemistry and math classes in high school and those guys must be way above everyone else.

Sometimes the result is insanely backwards.  One example is the renaming of statistics as "data science," and the mad rush to hire non-statisticians to do it.  Now we have people with PhDs in statistics and applied mathematics who can't get jobs exactly suited to their expertise, because employers are hiring CS people to do it.


Chemists are above everyone else. It's simple phys ... damnit. Honestly, speaking as a scientist, I see this, too. There are many (many many) things that I don't know and that I'm not particularly good at. Because of the same personality traits that make me a decent scientist. I'd love to get a few people with good management skills or talent at PR-like stuff in the office. We could really use them. Instead, people look down on the admin assistant even though everything grinds to a massive halt if she's out for more than two or three days.
 
2018-03-03 11:55:43 AM  

foo monkey: Never understood the allure of casino gambling. You're going to loose. The math doesn't support you winning. Look around you. Those hotels don't build themselves.


Eh. I enjoy a little gambling. Back in my early-mid twenties my brother and I would go to Vegas all the time. Sometimes as much as once or twice a month. I was young, lived at home, had a good paying job and my mother worked for an airline so we flew on buddy passes.

We'd leave on Friday afternoon and come home Sunday night and only get a room for Saturday. I'd bring a certain amount of cash and when that was gone, that was it. i'd usually lose it but a few times I'd come home even or even up a few times. Those were fun times.

Then I got married and bought a house and well...
 
2018-03-03 11:55:49 AM  
I only went to physics conferences when I was in grad school, and I didn't have time to do anything other than attend sessions and attempt to network, which I totally sucked at. Those things were scheduled all to heck, and I about died.

But one time, we had to leave the conference center to walk to the nearby restaurants, and when dinner was over, the guys weren't sure how to get back to the hotel without going back to the conference center first. Since I was a broke grad student and my cheap entertainment was going wandering with my dog, I had somehow developed an absolutely spot-on sense of direction, and I had no interest that night in going out of my way to get back to the hotel. I pointed and said the hotel was right over there, about a ten minute walk, and I was going that way. They weren't sure what to do since most of them didn't know me, but they decided to chance it. On the way, I heard one mumble about how they were a bunch of physicists, and they had to follow a girl to figure out how to get home.
 
2018-03-03 12:08:18 PM  

dickfreckle: Xcott: Christ, physicists.  They can even sit around doing nothing and they'll still write ego-stroking blog posts about how it demonstrates their unique and brilliant minds.

Next we'll hear about how they got food poisoning from the buffet, and how they ingeniously solved the problem with their physicist brains by simply deciding to have terrible diarrhea.

 Apparently I "decided" to have explosive diarrhea this morning. Bouncing around on a motorcycle didn't belp matters at all. Am afraid to stray more than 20 yards from a restroom. Need help soonish.


Just don't sit in a chair with wooden slats...
 
2018-03-03 12:13:07 PM  

foo monkey: Never understood the allure of casino gambling. You're going to loose. The math doesn't support you winning. Look around you. Those hotels don't build themselves.


Enh, you're not gambling to win. You're paying money to have that sense that you might win. And you might! That's why the most successful casino games tend to have pretty tight odds- you're only playing for yourself, but the house is playing the law of averages. They let you win a little, but rarely as much as you put in.

That said, I get that, but I played some blackjack in Vegas and was just bored. And slots are the dullest thing, especially these days. I can't even understand the payout mechanisms. It's literally just a flashing box that tells me that I have a certain amount of money on my card. I'm not good at gambling.
 
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