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Andrew2 comments on Lotteries: A Waste of Hope - Less Wrong

28 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 13 April 2007 05:36AM

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Comment author: Andrew2 14 April 2007 12:15:03AM 0 points [-]

Robin,

You ask, "would potatoes chips be a 'waste of taste', if some people eat too much of them? Is TV a "waste of time", if some people watch too much? Can we say that there is more of a tendency to buy too many lottery tickets than to do too much of any other thing one can do too much of?"

I think much of your question is better addressed to the Eliezer, who wrote the original entry with the "waste of hope" phrase. In any case, if someone buys so many lottery tickets that it interferes with other aspects of life (e.g., not being able to pay the rent or whatever), then, yeah, that seems like a problem. Maybe it's not a problem for such a person, but if it was someone I was close to, I'd be worried. Certainly there are people who have problems with food, drugs, maybe TV too, so I wouldn't single out gambling as being uniquely troublesome. I was just distinguishing your vision of the occasional lottery ticket (a small part of one's "portfolio of dreams") from something that's habitual, maybe harmful to one's other goals in life, and maybe not even so much fun.