Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Teach kids to play cards

I very much like this post encouraging parents to teach their kids to gamble.
1. For younger children, it's a fun way to introduce them to basic maths.
2. Gambling is like science - a way of testing beliefs against evidence.
3. Gambling teaches kids about probabilities.
4. If we teach kids about probability, we prepare them to ask: how are estimates of probability formed?
Teaching gambling, then, is a good way to teach people how to think clearly. And this, surely, is the most important lesson a school can impart.
However, once you learn about gambling, you also figure out that the house always wins, and the smart move is not to gamble at all. I prefer games that mix chance, skill, and human interaction, like poker. Poke teaches you to put your money where your mouth is, know that doing the right thing does not always work out, and sometimes you can be saved by dumb luck.

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