The phrase ‘what are the odds?’ is synonymous with ‘what are the chances?’. It can be used in several different ways to imply either incredulity, as in:
“damn! what are the odds of you and that deer wearing the same vest?!?” says the drunk hunter to the bleeding game warden;
or a rhetorical statement of certainty, as in:
“what are the odds.” mumbles the ingenue as she realizes she has just backed her car into that of the DMV inspector as her first act of driving after receiving her license.
It can also be a challenge to the statisticians, as in:
“what are the odds of Jamie Diamon receiving a Peoples’ Choice award for humanitarian banking?”
But all meanings hover around the central idea of the existence of ‘probability’ in universe.
Probability, as a concept, requires a couple of base components; first among them is the idea of a ‘range of potential’ for a ‘thing happening’. This range will always extend from ‘certainty’ to ‘unknown’ with the definition of ‘probability’ as being that distance between those two states. Further, there is the implication within the concept of ‘odds’, and ‘probability’ of a ‘neutral’, or ‘unbiased’ and ‘non-participatory universe’. This is to say that the whole idea of ‘odds’ or ‘probability’ requires a fundamental ‘level playing field’ in which the ‘odds’ apply equally to all the participants. This idea is based on the assumption that the universe is NOT participating in any way.
All casinos sell themselves on this principle; that is to say, that the ‘odds are even’ for all. They are premised on the idea that if you, or that strange looking guy to your left with the odd haircut were to go to the same table, the ‘odds would be even’ for both of you.
Yet, of course, we all acknowledge, especially those who live by the ‘odds’ and ‘gambling’, that the above idea is total bullshit. We even acknowledge this bullshit continually within the language that we use to define and discuss the idea of ‘odds’, and we call this refutation of the existence of ‘probability’ by the name of ‘luck’.
Note how all languages have the idea of ‘luck’ defined by numerous words and phrases. In most of these the idea of a ‘participatory’ universe is inherently stated or implied. If one has, in any language, ‘luck on their side’, or ‘lady luck smiling on them’, or ‘good joss’, or ‘jolly ancestors’, then they are somehow propelled outside of the ‘odds reality’ that we all presumably toil within most of our lives, and are magically transported to the area of ‘certainty’ where probability no longer exists. Their actions and choices are said to be ‘lucky’ as the results of those choices manifest in the reality around us.
The idea of ‘luck’ is variously refined as a ‘wave of luck’, that someone could ‘catch and ride’ (from Micronesia), to the ‘lucky winds’ of the sailing peoples globally, to ‘lucky spots’ found planet wide, and ‘rains (from heaven)’ in the dry parts of the planet, all as a ‘signal of luck bestowed’. But in all variants, the idea of ‘luck’ is accompanied by the concept of fleeting, temporary, and usually also as random, or undeserved.
We humans have even gone so far as to notice the existence of special kinds of ‘luck’, and have encoded these in our language as ‘beginners luck’ (always good), or ‘the luck of the Irish (usually bad)’, ‘a sailors luck on land (also usually bad)’, and dozens of other variants on the idea of special kinds of luck.
In some cases we note within the context of the language that the ‘luck state’ is temporary, and is due to ‘special circumstances’, such as being a novice at some skill (a beginner), rather than a state of being, such as ‘irish-ness’ with which one is stuck for all of their life.
In other ways, more subtle expressions, we note that universe is not at all random when we sarcastically state that some act of undeserved largess is the ‘luck of the rich’. This last also acknowledges within its context that the ‘system is rigged to favor the rich’. Note that ‘favor’ can be ‘curried’, or ‘cultivated’, and that this understanding lies at the heart of all the energies that the ‘ultra-rich/powerful’ put into such strange rituals as the ‘sacrifice of care’ at the Bohemian Grove, and other similar rituals practiced globally in an attempt to make themselves appear more ‘favor-able’ in the eyes of the gods of power.
So we humans, in our language, acknowledge that the universe of our experience is not one in which random ‘odds’ favor each individual equally. We may not actively contemplate the meanings of these concepts, but we usually live and act upon them, thus granting tacit supremacy to the ‘participatory universe’ model of reality. Those humans who gamble more than casually, will have, noted or not, come to the understanding of when ‘luck’ is with, or against them, and will react accordingly, even if grudgingly. These humans know they live in a participatory universe.
The casinos certainly know that ‘odds’ don’t really exist. In fact, their bottom line is built on the understanding that reality proves the house always wins. This is so, in spite of the understanding of statisticians and ‘odds makers’. It is due entirely to the nature of universe in which most people going to the casinos expect to lose. That is, the vast majority expect to have ‘bad luck’ at the gambling games, and therefore they manifest just that. casinos exist precisely to ‘harvest’ the monies associated with this expressed ‘bad luck’. We even state this premise explicitly with our nickname for Las Vegas, as ‘Lost Wages’….we expect to lose.
Note that they are also savvy enough to realize that energies are involved, and that they (the casino operators) have to provide some form of exchange in order to not be also harvesting the ‘bad luck’ itself, and so we see the ‘circus’ nature of the environment in which energetic stimulation is the actual level of what is being ‘purchased’ with the gambling loses. Thus a ‘contract’ exists, and the harvest of the monies from the ‘bad luck expressing humans’ is accomplished with the return being the ‘experience’ provided by the casinos, and not the actual loss at gambling itself.
Another expression of this same principle is found within the complexities that arise to ruin the lives of lottery winners. In these systems, the state harvests the greater portion of the gambling dollars, but astutely transfers the ‘bad luck’ of all the losers to the winning ticket, and ultimately the ‘winner’. This statement is easily understood if the lives of those winning large lottery sums is examined following their ‘wins’.
The idea of ‘luck’ is perhaps best typified by the cliche of the ‘country bumpkin’ (novice/beginner) who encounters the ‘big city’ (aka casino of chances of life), and is seemingly ‘stumbles’ into good fortune in spite of the ‘odds against’ any particular outcome. This story pre-dates all media, and is a sub plot of tales told so long that we extract our language and understanding from them. All of these stories go to the idea of a participatory universe.
In a participatory universe, ‘odds’ and ‘chance’ do not exist. In our reality, we acknowledge this is factual even at the scientific level of understanding. We can postulate a thought experiment in Las Vegas. In this experiment we have 100 slot machines, each primed to the same state. We further have our test subjects, 100 humans. Each is allowed to choose a slot machine and place a predetermined number of bets. In a random chance universe, our experiment should yield a typical bell curve spread of winnings and lose across our 100 participants. But wait you say, there are subtle differences between the machines at a quanta level, and that this is what really makes ‘gambling’ possible, and, that at a quanta level, the universe actually is not random, but entrained. Soooo…ok, our experiment does not work then.
We redesign the experiment to eliminate this issue. We place our 100 people in a random order, and then send them into a single machine, that is pre-primed to the same state prior to each person using it. Oh, no, wait again…that does not work! Well, ok the most common objection made to this form of our experiment is that there is yet another, subtle component, involved in this form of the experiment, and that is ‘time’.
Yes, time. The objection is that each person would encounter the machine at different times, and that somehow time is a component within the ‘odds’ of a thing occurring. In order to be a ‘fair’ test, the experiment would have to have each of our 100 humans at the same machine at the same state of being at the same time…..an impossibility in our current understanding. The argument here is that ‘time’ is an essential component of chance.
It is my contention, that it is the ‘time’ aspect of universe that proves it is participatory, and that the ideas promoted by statisticians, and other ‘odds makers’ are based on a false understanding of reality. It is also my contention that if it is impossible to create an experiment to test the premise of a ‘neutral’ universe, then this is due to the universe being participatory, and not neutral. As the LHC at Cern is presently demonstrating.
Our manifesting reality is continually participating in all choices presented. It is this active participation from universe that many humans attempt to cultivate in their lives with rituals. Thus the basis for superstitions of all kinds from mudras (hand rituals to ward off evil ‘luck’), to MMM (miracle money memes wherein ritual ‘documents’ are prepared superstitiously to cultivate universe favor in the form of money).
As an aside, religions would have one accept a neutral universe, but an ‘all powerful’ being within it who cares about your life. In their view, the ‘luck’ is ‘favor bestowed’ by their off-planet deity, probably using some form of digital tracking and giant remote viewing screen ala MIB movies.
So it is my conclusion, backed by nearly a decade in the ‘time, one-step removed’ business, that ‘odds’ do not exist, and that statements of numeric percentage ‘chances’ of any given outcome are usually a monkey-mind response to the uncertainties of life, universe, and everything. Things, events, happen. Or not. Demonstrably, it is a dualistic universe with two modes of expression, existence, or not. Attempts to state potentials as ‘odds’, or percentages provides complacency to monkey-mind, and has little relationship to manifesting reality. However, it is very useful when dealing with certain persons stuck in ‘monkey mind’, such as economists, or accountants, or statisticians, to pop off numerals frequently, and percentages are even better, as they quiet the excessive chatter by providing their monkey-minds something for chewing.
A story I heard a long time ago, in a country far far away, someones father would drop by occasionally. This person was a Sargent Major, and half Chinese by phenotype. Anyway, Sargent Major Bob was a committed gambler. His gambling was always on horse races. He just could not get enough of the ‘sport’. He was astute about it, and self aware, as well as being self editorial with the kids around. He would always point out touts, and other forms of mental states (aberrant?) typified in the horse racing environment. He knew who played odds, and could point out those who ‘read the track’. For all these approaches to gambling on whip driven horse flesh, Sgt. Major. Bob had but one characterization, that ‘they may chose the winner by accident’, but that ‘joss chose which horse it rides before the race starts’. So reading the track, in his view, would only tell you about what the feet of the horse would encounter; and examining ‘odds’ would only tell you about old, past races reduced to numbers for monkey-mind. For Sargent Major Bob, if you wanted to win at gambling, you would walk through your day, ‘tasting the Way (he was a taoist)’, and then examine the field of participants, and answer yourself in asking “if i were joss, which horse do i ride today (this now)?”.
Sargent Major Bob was very a ‘lucky’ gambler. He lived long,and retired with more money from gambling ‘winnings’, than he would ever see from his pension. He was a great proponent of harmonizing with universe. He typified the expression ‘chance favors the prepared mind’.
Which comes back to the ultimate question, no, not life, universe and everything, but rather this: if, in our understanding of universe, ‘chance’ is able to favor anything, then what are the odds?
With respect, a gift of a small noodle…