Give it up, or the Anatomy of aTroll

The thing about trolls is they are accomplished at finding what will rile people to get a response. Cant is mighty accomplished at riling the mathematically interested segment of blackjack boards in at least three ways. In this post I will discuss Cant's mathematical troll tactics in relation to my recent posting of a proof stated in the contional on the floating advantage because that is most recent and accessable along with his continuing rants about Don Schlesinger which have been most prevalent and, therefore, accessable.

First, math is simple. It may be explained in very simple terms. Even when specific steps of mathematical reasoning may require technical calculational steps beyond many of us, conclusions are not beyond any of us. The expected value of a true count as cards are exhausted is the value of the instant true count. The square of the hypotenuse in a right triangle equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides. Or whatever. It riles the mathematically interested to see someone debase and misrepresent mathematics as a discipline too complex to grasp or understand when the dignity and truth and beauty of mathematics is simplicity. Implying math is overly complex is denigrating math and misrepresenting math to the public which tends to diminish it and people interested in not having misapprehensions of math magnified get riled and feed the troll.

A prime example of this is Cant posting thousands of words, making numbers of unproved assertions not relevant to the proof posted, when any person with a minimal knowledge of mathematics knows the only way a mathematical proof can be criticised is in terms of the internal calculations contained in the proof and the external concepts, the definitions, the Theorems, and in this situation, the expressed postulate which made the conclusion of the proof a conditional one. A mathematical proof is a self contained world and if the world is defined correctly and the mathematical steps of the proof are allowable and computed accurately, the proof is accurate. And that is why math is simple. You can quarrel with the definitions and/or the steps but that is all. Cant's quarrel is clearly with the postulate. At another place Cant has posted, "____(b)ML may say: Well how many times will the true count you see be so high that the bow effects are negative?" The postulate says at no times so Cant just plain misrepresented.

So he has mislead the board as to the complexity of math and the proper way to criticise a mathematical proof as well as misleading the board as to what I said. This riles me and I have the expected Pavlovian response. His criticisms of Schlesinger have similar dishonesties and irrelevancies which mislead as to simplicity and that riles people like you who understand what Schlesinger has said. Samuelson's writings do not have a thing to do with what Schlesinger has published on a game containing perfectly defined mathematical and statistical outcomes unlike markets where most everything about future performance is, at best, educated guesses. I know that. You know that. Most mathematically literate people know that. Perhaps Cant knows that but he knows it riles people who respect the power and simplicity of mathematics to see it misrepresented and debased.

I think it instructive to think about the reasons Cant refused to criticise the proof in terms of the proof when that is the only terms in which a proof can be discussed. From the quote above, clearly he believes the mathematical statement as to the bow effect was inaccurate but he never said that in response. In fact when I posted I understood that to be his objection, he said I had lied about his position. What could be the motivation for not responding to a proof in the terms of the proof when that is simply the way things are done in mathematics? The motivation is clear. Responding in that way would not lead to riling a person like me and I would not be feeding the troll.

A second tactic to get others riled and get responses is to accuse others who have an interest in math of stealing ideas. That is an accusation up with which few of us will put. According to Cant and this is all documented in his posts for years, Schlesinger stole the entire contents of Blackjack Attack from others with the majority being stolen from Cant himself. Cant has claimed that whatever was not stolen was incorrect. Those of us who know some of the development of the ideas and mathematics contained in Blackjack Attack know the claims are absurd and get riled, respond, and feed the troll.

The recklessness of these troll claims is well documented in the discussion of my proof. It is documented Cant posted his assertions there is a weak floating advantage and a strong floating advantage on Yahoo and T-Hopper responded with a criticism of Cant's post and referred him to a bjmath article by Brett Harris (who has posted under Brh also) which originally appeared here on Green Theory which published the results of sims which provided strong sim evidence a floating advantage does, in fact, exist. Hopper at the same time said his own studies had confirmed the effect. Hopper, at the time of the original publication here was very active on the Theory Board and he remarked there were responses. I was very active there then and I remembered some responses as had Hopper.

This helps us get to the crux of what a troll, a Cant, does. It is totally clear Cant did not even look at the Hopper reference. Instead, because he knew it would rile a response to say I had stolen the proof from Brett. That is what he said. I fed the troll and pointed out sim results have no intersection with a mathematical proof. If I stole the proof, clearly I did not steal it from Brett's post of sim results but I now realize accuracy was irrelevant to Cant. A charge of stealing is bound to draw a response, is bound to feed the troll. And the first post discussing the matter said I stole the proof from Brett.

And it went even further. Cant posted the "(responses) are there now." I immediately went to bjmath and nothing was there except the Harris sim post. The responses had disappeared, according to Cant because Richard Reid had changed his message boards recently and responses from DS and Brh (more about that later) had gone with the wind in the two hour differential between Cant's post and my looking at bjmath. And another mighty suspicious thing occured to me when I looked at bjmath researching this post. In every article in every section of that section of bjmath, Richard Reid referenced in every caption of articles where responses were included, all participants in the thread. I found one where I posted one small response while others had posted many and ML was in the caption like the others. ML appeared last as well it should because my contribution was minor but it appeared. Richard Reid is amazingly thorough and methodical.

Further, the changes Richard made on his message boards were all made before the Cant post where he said "they are now there" and my posting the response and no responses were there. That can be established by Richard's timeline. Then Cant backtracked in saying I stole the proof from Brett and said I stole it from Brh or Schlesinger. Schlesinger and I have been at odds on the mechanics of the FA for years and that is documented. To the best of my knowledge I have been the only one who criticised his balloon analogy. If Brett responded to himself (and that is not his style, Cant is one who responds to himself) he would have hardly switched the discussion to one of a mathematical proof based on the bow effect. Nor would Schlesinger.

So. Cant said I stole my proof from the Harris post on bjmath or from remarks by Brh or Schlesinger responding to the Harris post which disappeared from bjmath in hours when Richard Reid had not touced the site.

Again it is instructive to think about why Cant would have accused me of stealing the proof from Brett when clearly the post had nothing to do with my proof and then switching to saying I stole the post from responses to the Brett post which were not even on the site and had never been on the site. Clearly what Cant did was to accuse me of stealing from Brett without even checking out the post I supposedly stole from. That does not seem to make sense but it makes an abundance of sense if one thinks about the motivation of saying I stole from Brett or others; the motivation to get a response. And it worked. I fed the troll.

For some time it worked with Schlesinger. Cant's claims everything in Blackjack Attack was stolen understandably pissed Don off. I understand because Cant's claim I stole the proof pissed me off. But now that I understand the motivation behind the unsupported claim, I can recognize better what was going on.

Third, a consistent Cant claim similar but slightly different from the second is Don did not attribute the stolen ideas in Blackjack Attack, another charge which is bound to rile people of some academic bent. A similar accusation was made against me, the accusation I had not correctly attributed the idea of the proof to Brett's post. Well, I did not attribute anything to Brett's post because it had nothing to do with my proof which dealt with the idea a portion of the floating advantage possibly occurs because of the bow effect of basic strategy plays at different true counts. But the charge was made, apparently without Cant even looking at the Brett post but, if looked at not understood (or more likely, if accessed at all, perfectly understood but claimed similar to my proof because that would get me riled and I would feed the troll.

Again the claims of lack of attribution can only be understood in terms of riling someone to a response because it was the response which was important, nothing else.

Also, instructive, I think were the Cant and Puiu responses to my post on the value of mathematical proofs, again indicative of trolls. Some conciliation by both were attempted because Puiu has lost and Cant has lost a person who might respond to their posts, who might feed the troll. Of course what Cant says I proved in the post was not proven at all. I only defined certain things and took some valid mathematical steps to show one thing: If the bow effect is universal, then a floating advantage of some magnitude exists.

This realization of the Cant troll devices has been too long coming for me. I should have been smarter and picked up on the pattern Cant uses to get responses much more quickly but I have always been too trusting. I thought him a crank like one finds in most disciplines. I guess I was reminded of a law professor I had once who had been the dean of a major law school and was brilliant and a fine teacher who had written a law review article some time ago discerning a thread of law in USSC decisions which called for some reformulation. I forget the point but it was strained and a nonflyer and had not met with academic acceptance but he kept trying. He was highly respected and highly successful and a hell of a good guy but he was a crank on one topic. Such traits can and should be overlooked.

But Cant is not a crank. He is simply an accomplished troll who knows what will rile people to response and does rile people to response. All the evidence is there. Rather than discussing mathematics he filibusters mathematics. Eveyone else steals all their ideas and do not correctly attribute the ideas. The troll pattern is consistent and clear and I, for one, will not be riled again because the pattern is consistent and clear and unmistakable.

Third, Cant says things