gambling : putting a wager on fate

…The gambler becomes the rules by abiding by them, by allowing his actions to be transformed by the rules as he observes them, by allowing the structure to direct the flows of his movements….Is chance a divine game played cosmically between the exalted gaming tables of heaven and earth ? Unimpeded by the games of mere mortals which are guided by the laws of probability of winning and losing. Is manipulation of chance necessary? Or futile since it impossible to calculate all possibilities. And finally, is chance the paradoxical nature of truth? ….

Pieter de Hooch. ---Following this logic out to its limits on the streets and gaming tables of Las Vegas, one might argue that contemporary Vegas doesn’t primarily produce either goods or services; rather, it produces what Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari call ‘actual’ and ‘virtual’ intensities – the thrills of winning, the aches of losing, the awe of the spectacle, weddings and divorces. Like the booming speculation markets in stocks, futures and options that fueled its reinvention, Vegas’s primary products are two: winners and losers. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, capital of all kinds – phantasmatic, symbolic, monetary – is staked in the hope of producing more.--- Read More: image:

…“The wager is a means of conferring shock value on events, of loosing them from the contexts of experience” One’s wager may vary in personal significance—though it must be significant to some degree, lest it not be a wager at all: a small stack of jettons, a week’s pay, or perhaps the cataclysmic cost of self-undoing and irreconcilable debt. Regardless of the player’s intentions, whether he “steers toward absolute ruin” “causes the dice to fall back” (Deleuze) so that the singularity of the dice throw can start all over again] or aspires to “money—in other words, immediate infinite possibility” , the winner’s prize is always the same: delight as it is defined by Edmund Burke: “the sensation which accompanies the removal of pain or danger” (On the Sublime and Beautiful)….

Deleuze:On the contrary, the basely sensual appetite, it is not because it is sensual that it is bad. It is because, fundamentally, it never stops gambling on the decomposition of relations. It is really this sort of thing: Come on, hurt me, sadden me so that I can sadden you. The spat, etc. Ha, like we are okay with the spat. Ho. Like it is long after, that is, the small joys of compensation... Read More: image:

…Delight in this sense is in many ways comparable to the satisfaction of lust, in so far as lust may be regarded as the painful sensation brought forth by an extended and unrequited pursuit of a desired object—the objective of the game, which Benjamin notes in his chapter on Gambling and Prostitution: compares the elation of the winner “with the expression of love by a woman who has been truly satisfied by a man” . It is no coincidence that he couples the type of the gambler with the type of the prostitute. For Benjamin, and for those he choses to include in his collection, The Arcades Project, gambling is erotic in nature: “‘The passion for gambling thus serves an autoerotic satisfaction, wherein betting is foreplay, winning is orgasm, and losing is ejaculation, defecation, and castration.’ Read More:

Jan Steen. Argument over a card game.---Nealon:Risk constitutes a "ow that can’t be overcome, but one that can be aVected only by being intensified – being made greater or smaller, faster or slower. This intensification, to take only the most obvious example, is what’s on display when gamblers ‘chase’ losses: increasing their bets, and their risk, in the hopes of getting even. Such is the logic of intensity, then, on both the global and the subjective level: in a world that contains no ‘new’ territory – no new experiences, no new markets – any system that seeks to expand must by definition intensify its existing resources, modulate them in some way(s). This, in a nutshell, is the homology between the cultural logic of globalization and the economic logic of finance capital, neither of which is dedicated to discovering wholly new sources of human or economic capital: neither is set on Cold War goals like seeking out raw materials or new territory to bring into the Empire. Rather, the challenge for the globalized logic of finance capital is to find new mechanisms to work on money itself – new modes of risk intensification like derivatives, swaps, futures, currency trading, arbitrage. Read More:


In other words, the future of capital seems like it rests not so much on the innovation of products or manufacturing processes (a Fordist
model), nor on the colonization of new services or clients (the post-Fordist model), but in a futures market on capital itself, on a kind of gambling on the future worth of stocks and other speculation devices. As Fredric Jameson argues in Culture and Finance Capital, the future of capitalism resides no longer in the factories and the spaces of extraction and production, but on the “floor of the stock market, jostling for more intense
profitability. But it won’t be as one industry competing with another branch, nor even one productive technology against another more advanced one in the same line of manufacturing, but rather in the form of speculation itself.

The future of capitalism, in other words, rests not on the extraction of profit from commodities or services, but on the production of money directly from money – making profit by wagering on an anticipated future outcome. And the future, it seems, is now. Because it’s a sector of the economy where capital is staked directly in order to generate more capital, rather than investment creating tangible goods or services (which are then bought or sold to produce capital), the regime of !nance capital has often been nicknamed ‘casino capitalism’. As Marx himself wrote, stock markets and futures markets work according to the logic of gambling – where no commodity is directly produced or consumed. According to Marx, it is precisely this gambling logic that gives bankers and other speculators ‘their nicely mixed character of swindler and prophet’.Read More:

---CHARDIN Jean-Baptiste-Simeon The House of Cards1--- Read More:

Benjamin in his essay “Notes of a Theory of Gambling” equates the gambler’s mindset

unadulterated innervation, unmediated by the sense of sight. It is the body that knows, not the intellect or the eye and the body is without limits when the superficial limits it is trained to perceive are discarded and it extends itself, the “prosthetizing” the world like a spider in its web. The reading that goes on at a gambling table is commensurate with telekinesis as opposed to telepathy:

Certain matters are clear. What is decisive is the level of motor innervation, and the more emancipated it is from optical perception, the more decisive it is. From this stems a principal commandment for gamblers: they must use their hands sparingly, in order to respond to the slightest innervations. The gambler’s basic approach must, so to speak, adumbrate the subtlest network of inhibitions, which lets only the most minute and unassuming innervations pass through its meshes. (From: Walter Benjamin’s “Notes of a Theory of Gambling” (Walter Benjamin Selected Writings Vol 2 1927-1934 297) Read More:

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