ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We made an audiobook! Steve narrated the audiobook version of Thomas A. Bass's The Eudaemonic Pie. The book tells the story of a band of physicists and computer wizards in the late 1970s and early 1980s who set out to beat roulette in Las Vegas with computers in their shoes. A story of science, art, and the birth of the hacker culture.

The episode contains a brief account of the making of the audiobook and the entire prologue of the audiobook itself.

English
United States

TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00Corsicana pee please close the canopy
00:00:10airpower Cincinnati 49er one holding sure one way to Fort like to depart VFR south west bound
00:00:21Unix update fire up for monitor goes halfway down the runway with you
00:00:26Henderson Glass. Taking a panic attack
00:00:30this is fundamentally an aviation and Aerospace podcast but you also know that we follow the Muse of science technology music and other things down lots of different pads and that those digressions resulting cool things like talking to David can I pour about the music of Apollo Saturn V center decorations into filmmaking with Will Hawkins you get the picture
00:01:08I'm diverting you temporarily down another rabbit hole but I think you're going to like it
00:01:14put yourself in Santa Cruz California in the mid to late 1970s Intel is just recently released the CMOS processor the first computer on a chip The Homebrew Computer Club just an hour up the road is putting together the early basis for what became Apple
00:01:34the air is Electric in more ways than one
00:01:37a band of physicist Artisans artist and Adventures decides that the game of roulette can be beaten not by reaching out and affecting the game but by deducing the Newtonian equations that govern the game and then playing the game in the brain of a computer at hyperspeed to predict in advance where the ball will land and of course betting on the outcome
00:02:04this story is true Thomas a bass one of the participants wrote a book called The eudaimonic Pi about Dylan farmer Norman Packard and others who came from very different backgrounds but were United in their love of physics computers art and the life of reason
00:02:24don't think hard about the challenges here you can't just go out and buy a personal computer it doesn't exist and in any case of Casino isn't going to let you drag in the Box see things that were paradigmatic I'll be even the smallest computers of the time starting with CMOS chips that you diamonds or projectors as they called themselves had to design and acid etch the printed circuit boards they had to assemble the computers chip by chip Saturday joint by solder joint they had to write the programs that predicted where the ball with land they had to come up with ways of interacting with the computer to get the data in and then get predictions out and all in a way that wouldn't arouse suspicions of the Pit Bosses
00:03:12to be sure this is a story of going to Las Vegas to do battle with the casinos but much more importantly this is the story of the democratization and personalization of computing and the Very birth of hacker culture
00:03:29I first heard about the book in 1996 while in law school my property Professor was lecturing about trespass and he asked whether a casino could inject a patron purely because the patron was winning he offered up the eudaimonic pie is a book that deals with that issue as well as other themes is a law student there's nothing quite like a stack of casebooks to get your really excited about anything that isn't a casebook so I headed to the VIN brand new a books on the brand new internet bought a copy and red
00:04:06I'm a voracious consumer of audiobooks and I decided that it might be cool to get the audiobook of Pi and experience it again that way except that there was no audiobook version that disappointed me pi is a great story and it's important that pie reach new generations so I emailed Thomas and asked whether he had any plans for an audiobook one thing led to another and we struck a deal for me to narrate the book
00:04:37although I risk going a little inside baseball here I think that you might find the process interesting enough to hear about it in any case even if you find it boring your reward will be the entire prologue to the book which I've included in this episode by special arrangement with Thomas of which more later
00:04:57it's very cool to be trusted by an author you admire to voice a story that you love it's very much like breaking the fourth wall and stepping into the story yourself think about it pretty much everybody who's in the story is still around in at least some of them are going to hear this audiobook how often do you get to take a primary signal and be the reflecting surface that sends it back to its origin it's like being called up on stage during the money python Londoner Union in being asked to do the parrot skit with John Cleese or being asked to sit in with Bela Fleck and Kristi Lee
00:05:36there's a downside to there is a reason they don't let doctors operate on their family members I had a few moments during production where I just sat there wondering whether I could do justice to the story because let's be honest remember how I raged on George Lucas on the airspeed blog for his hat movie called Red Tails a huge reason for this is that there's probably enough interest by the public for a dramatic Tuskegee Airmen movie maybe once every 15 years or so the HBO drama the Tuskegee Airmen came out in 1995 assuming that I'm right about the 15-year thing Lucas blue the only remaining opportunity before almost all of the original Tuskegee Airmen are dead
00:06:25well congrats there Steve you just put yourself in some George Lucas shoes and perhaps even worse a nonfiction book especially a nonfiction book that originally came out more than 30 years ago is going to get exactly one chance for life as an audiobook and here you are producing the only at-bat this book is ever going to have an audio better goof that up
00:06:51the other thing is the amount of work that goes into producing an audiobook although I had some technical advice from Scott cannizzaro thanks Scott I was a one-man band for the book produced narrated edited and mastered the book I never doubted going in that I could get the job done but I think I fooled myself a little okay a lot about the amount of work involved first you go through the book again not as a reader but as a narrator and I promise you those two things are different suddenly you can't gloss over things more importantly you have to get all of the pronunciations right this is certainly true the words that you don't ordinarily use for example the French and Spanish pronunciations especially place names
00:07:39and the pronunciations of the names of the people Thomas and I spent more than 4 hours on the phone going over those items
00:07:48where Thomas couldn't remember I actually called several of the people to get the pronunciations right it turns out the being the narrator of the audiobook is the same as wearing a reflective vest at an airshow you can go anywhere you want to and talk to anybody you like you can call up people you don't know tell them that you're narrating an audio book that mentions them and you're in
00:08:13I started an argument among the guys at HSC Electronic Supply in Santa Clara over the pronunciation of the original name of the store it's Hal Ted after Hal and Ted the original Proprietors I had an hour long conversation with one of the UC Santa Cruz professors who advised the projectors and I struck up an ongoing correspondence with Larry cute he's the guy that created the Death Star animation from The Briefing in Star Wars Episode 4
00:08:45second you sit down and read the book chapters varied in length wood finish times of between 34 and 55 minutes
00:08:54you want to try to narrate at least two at a sitting and in any case you don't want to stop in the middle of a chapter and then pick it up the next day when your voice and Cadence are a little different the boots sounds a little different and lots of other things are different it's jarring to the reader so you set the thermostat to keep the furnace quiet banish the family of the other end of the house and settled in for more talking during an evening than you usually do all week
00:09:23you also find out about mouth noise for some reason I had never noticed the amount of mouth noise that I produce that means chewing certain kinds of gum and at one point coating my mouth with olive oil to reduce the noise I prefer fustini is olive oils blood orange or Meyer lemon if you have to spend hours each day with a slimy mouth go for quality
00:09:47each hour of finished audio took about two and a half hours to record usually because of rereading passages or having to stop and look up and or practice or pronunciation
00:10:00third you edit I couldn't find an adequate mouth noise remover so I actually went in and killed nearly every click pop smack and plosive sometimes down to the sample level sometimes I'd be sitting in Starbucks editing here are gross and stupid mistake and sit there hoping that might be earlier self and caught it and would presently reread the passage that happened most of the time but not all of the time by the time I was done I had made easily 10,000 individual edit and I figured that it took about 8 hours per finished hour of audio
00:10:39fourth you go back to rerecord the stuff that you screwed up trying to sound as much like your earlier self is possible and then you paste those Corrections in
00:10:51V you have the author listen to it and make the author edit very similar to step for but this time it's another listener with different sensibilities usually the author or his or her designee gives you notes with text and time codes so that you can go immediately back to the audio to hear what the problem is the notes I got didn't have time code so I had to go back and find the issues in the waveform itself having an MS Word document with the text of the book was really helpful because I could search for the passage and then get an idea of how far through the chapter to find it but it was a lot like playing one-dimensional Minesweeper
00:11:35this is where you and the author disagree about some things in everyday speech I say experiment so do Neil deGrasse Tyson and others with the cred to back up that pronunciation but Thomas really wanted experiment I remember seeing a video of a presentation by one of my narrator Heroes RC Bray he's the guy who did the marsh in which you said you give the author whatever you want okay major headache but it's RC Bray talking so I went back in found Andre recorded all 24 incidence of experiment and being fair Thomas could have been a lot more precious about his material there plenty of artistic or pragmatic choices that he could have pushed back about but he didn't I hear that some authors are awful about this and Thomas was not
00:12:32sixth you take the final edit and you process it the audiobook creation exchange your ACX is the Amazon service that distributes audio books through audible Amazon and iTunes ACX has a technical standard to which you have to master blow it badly enough in your hundreds of hours of effort isn't going to make it onto Audible for example there has to be between 1/2 and 1 second of room tone at the beginning of each file and between 1 and 5 Seconds of room tone at the end
00:13:06their requirements for noise floor RMS and Headroom if you use audacity to edit audio you've probably seen the Nyquist prompt option in the effects menu Nyquist is a programming language named after swedish-born American Electronic Engineer Harry Nyquist it's like Java for sound I came up on some Nyquist code and actually used it to handle the compression in normalization for the audio then use your Brute Force limiter to squash it down and give it Headroom of 3.5 DB
00:13:43additionally if you was a consumer of the book switch back and forth between Audible and Kindle editions of the book you probably love a feature called Whispersync it's a process that tracks where you are in the book weather in the Kindle text Edition or the audible audiobook Edition and lets you switch between one in the other without losing your place I hope you enjoy that feature because it's a constant source of Terror 2 audiobook narrators under the ACs standard your narration has to tickle the voice to text recognition engine the drive is Whispersync just right so there's a minimum 97% sync and you don't find out what you got it right until ACX reviews your audiobook files against the text for publication
00:14:33ACX also listens to the audiobook for more qualitative features like uniformity of the read and whether it's pleasing to the ear
00:14:42ACX bounced pie but only for some minor technical reasons if you the files had a 48 kilohertz sample rate ACX what's 44.1 and I had combined a title with the acknowledgements in one file which ACX wanted broken into the 2 files a couple of hours after I had sat down to fix the issues I had reuploaded the project in a CX it approved the book for sale a week or two later so that's it I'm an audiobook narrator all I have to do is go back and forth to and from my mailbox and pick up the mass of royalty checks right I have no Illusions it's cool enough to have the credibility associated with having voice to Seminole story of technology in the agriculture if I end up hitting minimum wage earnings for what I put into it that'll be fine
00:15:36I guess the last thing I'll say about the process is this making an audiobook is hard and much of the time it's not fun I went in with my eyes open and I was still surprised at how much work went into it
00:15:52a friend of mine who has a much better voice than I do by the way went to a voice over seminar through a Community Education Program he was between lawyer gigs and pretty excited about the possibility of doing voice overs in audiobook narration he was asking about microphones preamps and other stuff that had everything to do with the equipment and nothing to do with the actual hunching over a microphone for hours I invited him over to see my setup and we do Lee talked about the equipment then I gave him some ad copy for my buddy Jim Carlisle's radio station then home for Wayward pilots and suggested that he read the copy
00:16:32I had him read the copy a few times walking through the editing process and master the audio the whole thing took five times as long as he thought it would and he left a little sober I'm not sure if he's pursued it since then be ideal wasn't to waive him off from a career is the voice of great books if anything it was a reality check for both him and me
00:16:57and so the book is done to paraphrase The Bard Huckleberry Finn and so there ain't nothing more to narrate and I am rotten glad of it because if I don't know what trouble it was to make a book I wouldn't have tackled it and Anna going to know more
00:17:15or perhaps it's like childbirth the memory of the experience Mellows with time if it didn't we would lose the English words brother sister Aunt Uncle and Cousin and words
00:17:29maybe I'll hang the sound curtains again and sequester myself once more in a booth will see
00:17:36so as promised here is about an hour of the book it's the prologue it gives you a pretty good idea of what the book is about and how it float I hope you enjoy it and if you want to get the whole book and support AirSpeed at the same time listen at the end for how to get the whole audiobook possibly even for free
00:18:01prologue Glitter Gulch
00:18:12as I walk along the blood to bolonia with an independent air you can hear the girls declare he must be a millionaire you're going to hear them say hi and wish to die you can see them wink the hopefully at the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo
00:18:36we drive into the parking garage behind Benny Binion's Horseshoe club and circle up the ramp to the third floor we shouldn't be seen talking to each other Dylan says not even in the street in case there any slip-ups will meet later in the Golden Nugget Punisher run through the signals again I bet on red means I take a 5-minute walk even mean sit down and play a trip on the first 12 numbers and I raised Stakes this is one of the ways we will communicate without talking for the next 2 hours the other is by computer
00:19:12we park the car and lift two pairs of shoes off the rear seat these are good leather oxfords with crepe soles only on piring inside does one noticed that the bottoms are hollowed out a channel 3 in wide and 1/2 inch deep runs from toe to InStep a second cavity is cut into the heel this is professional work uppers and souls have been separated and restitched Without a Trace
00:19:41we reach back for two more shoe boxes one of them holds are power supplies known to us as battery boats because they look like miniature dory's with screw on Lids the second box holds our computers which resemble Orthopedic insoles with toe clickers build onto the front end the missing pieces in a jigsaw puzzle computers and boats fit exactly into the cavity cut out of the shoes
00:20:08the boat slip proud backward into the heel the computers snuggle up front under the balls of our feet
00:20:16out of their shoes the components might be mistaken for foot warmers or extraterrestrial tape cassette but their beauty lies in what they do their function is the amazing part
00:20:29molded out of clear casting resin the battery bolts hold 80 turns of hair thin antenna wire embedded along their Outer Edge built into a circuit inside are a 15 volt battery in for 1.5 volt AAA batteries
00:20:46from the rear of each boat Trails or Ribbon cable attached to a model airplane connector this is a miniature plug with eight pins Each of which corresponds to a different function in the computer for which of the boats act simultaneously as radio receivers power supplies and message centers
00:21:06covered with screw on Lids made of polycarbonate jail glass the boats have two metal solenoids the sides of pencil erasers sticking out of holes cut into the plastic activated by a small current these mechanical Thumpers are position to vibrate against the heel and Arch of the foot by varying the location and frequency of these buses a computer driving the solenoids can generate dozens of discrete signals
00:21:35don't want and I unscrew the jail glass and load fresh batteries into the boats will use the carbon batteries he says are range maybe shorter but they give out less noise
00:21:47packed with batteries antenna wire a capacitor a resistor to solenoids and three diodes the boats are stuffed to the last millimeter
00:21:57what's power up and we'll do a range test in head for the street
00:22:02reinsert the model airplane connectors into the rear of the computers semi-translucent rectangles wrapped in tape for Comfort Inn walking on top of them the computers are the brains of the operation under the tape they display top and bottom the silver tracings of printed circuits
00:22:22for the elect who can read these manuscripts illuminated in Copper and solder they represent the glistening Avenues and piazza's in the great city of computation
00:22:33line barely revealed beneath the circuits are a host of capacitors resistors and diodes a crystal clock pointing the arrow of time and dark fortresses of silicon in which reside the powers of language and logic under the control of one preeminent chip endowed with memory
00:22:54inexperienced I would be surprised by the arrangement of these silicon boxes the chips governing the computers to basic functions logic and memory volition and Destiny have been loaded separately on to circuit boards which in turn have been folded over the top of each other imagine all pending Tokyo and fitting it skyscrapers upside down into the Avenues of New York you get an elegant solution to a topological problem and a tight fit
00:23:26Ben imagine running a plastic spacer around the Waterfront of Manhattan and filling the island with microcrystalline wax a petroleum derivative his hardest plastic accepted at 300 degrees Fahrenheit would it flows with the viscosity of molasses
00:23:44cool the ingredients back to room temperature and you have a Tokyo New York computer sandwich hard enough to take a blow from a hammer
00:23:52in technical terms we are slipping into our souls a CMOS 6502 microprocessor with 5 GB of Random Access Memory Apple computers are made with the same chip we carry another 4000 bytes of Memory Craft it into a program smart enough to beat roulette at a 44% advantage
00:24:15the program a set of mathematical equations similar to those used by NASA for landing spaceships on the moon tracks a ball in orbit around a Spinning Disk of numbers during the 10 to 20 seconds in which the game is played from beginning to end the computer calculates coefficients of friction and drag adjust for changes in velocity plats relative positions and projector ease and then announces we're in this heavenly Cosmos a roulette ball will likely come to rest on a steel spinning rotor
00:24:49its predictive power lies in the fact that the computer in our shoes can play out in microseconds a game that in real life takes a million times longer
00:25:01the 44% Advantage is significantly larger than any other gambling system extant the payout in roulette is 35 to one for every hundred dollars invested compounded 50 times an hour one can expect at it hourly return of $2,200
00:25:20the money you sweet but so too is the glory in beating roulette
00:25:26after loading boats and computer sandwiches into our shoes we cover the equipment with leather insoles into which holes have been punched for the solenoids
00:25:36there are three buzzers altogether to on the boat and one forward on the sandwich program to tickle our feet in three different places at three different frequencies the solenoids produce a total of nine discrete signals our socks to have meat holes cut into them
00:25:55inside is left shoe doing fits a second battery boat and a piece of Hardware the same shape but slightly smaller than a computer sandwich a polycarbonate base filled with inverter transistors and a radio transmitter this is the mode switch tapping the clicker that hangs off the front end of the switch drives the computer via radio link from Shoot issue among various modes or domains in its program
00:26:25Doan steps out of the car and stands with his big toe positioned over the micro switches in his left in the right shoes his left toe is expert in motoring the computer among subroutines and it's program his right toe is trained for tapping in data
00:26:43with Dylan's computer online and making predictions another radiolink connects it to the computer and solenoids in my right shoe this gives us a three-footed system with functions divided between data Taker and better
00:26:59since I have no micro switches under my toes my role is limited to Fielding signals radioed from Dylan's computer to mine and placing bets on the layout I am the frontman of the operate a foil Amir interpreter of signs tattooed on to the soles of my feet
00:27:18I lace up my shoes and step out of the car I'm walking on five years of Labor and several thousand dollars worth of soft and Hardware a state-of-the-art computer
00:27:30Pearl that the shoes don't do much for my posture because of their rigidity I have to walk in them at a stiff-legged Lope
00:27:38copper screws file to a point have been mounted on top of the solenoid plungers the screws allow for a custom fit under the heel and Arch of my foot that feels I imagine like the application of Vietnamese punji sticks this latest model in the Cadillac of roulette system is doing calls it is about to get its first road test
00:28:03let's try for rain she says walking to the front of the car call off the signals as you get them
00:28:09the Desert Air in November even at night is warm enough for us to stand in our shirtsleeves Dylan's long faces pinched white under its tan the skin over is cheekbones with nearly translucent thin-lipped his mouth puckers with concentration his blue eyes sunk deep give him the appearance of looking inward as if over a landscape or a wiring diagram stretch back from his forehead
00:28:38with a mop of blonde hair curling over his ears no one looks like a West Texas Farm Boy about to step out for a night on the town
00:28:47Reston Chinos in a long-sleeve cotton shirt loud with Too Many Colors he leans his 6-foot frame against the car
00:28:56only on looking closely do I see a hint of shoe leather Rippling over his toes did you get that yes headlight swing passed us on the ramp we have heard our faces is a car circles up to the next level 3 I say getting the signal a high-level buzz on the front solenoid right what was that 9 in this one five maybe six
00:29:24what's it the street we haven't driven 500 miles from the coast to stand around playing electronic footsie he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a roll of hundred dollar bills
00:29:35cash in three or four of these when I give you the sign to race takes cash in a few more
00:29:42how do you feel he ass is your lucky night for gambling his face relaxes into a cockeyed grin give me half an hour to get the parameter set stop by the table I'll flip you a signal on one of the side bets if you don't find me in the Sundance I've moved down to the Golden Gate and if for some reason I'm not there look for me in the coffee shop at the Nugget but watch out there are two of them we want the one behind the bar see you later he says loping toward the elevator with the peculiar gate of someone wearing a computer in his shoe
00:30:19I walk down stairs and turn right onto Fremont Street or Glitter Gulch as it's known the three blocks of casinos that constitute downtown Las Vegas
00:30:30unlike the strip whose pleasure palaces are surrounded by Greece would waste that have to be navigated by car from Oasis to Oasis Fremont Street can be managed on foot it is lined with the town's older gambling establishments opulent and faded like the Golden Nugget or the mint or just faded like the Golden Gate and the Horseshoe Club
00:30:53the street at night is like a river of neon Swift and beautiful as it flows down the Avenue current wines overhead along with the pop pop pop of circuit switching on and off faces in the crowd turn red white and blue boys stop and stare open-mouthed girls titter vieira's charged people are Juiced the sheer consumption of it is if the turbines out of the Hoover Dam can be heard throbbing 35 miles across the desert
00:31:25examining casinos from Binion's to the union Plaza I find them uniformly designed in concentric Rings not unlike those Dante pass through at the Hem of Virgil
00:31:37one penetrates first into a dark Forest of one arm bandit Patrol by women wearing aprons full of money
00:31:45other women throw themselves into the metal arms of these machines who's in braces made friendly to humans by means of pictures oranges lemons and church bells that spin Through the Windows on their faces blue haired grandmother's dip into Dixie cups of change to feed one two three machines at once in a frenzy parody of motherhood emitted great dinner with sirens and gonz and silver trickling down into metal bowls one hears them coaxing dadabhoy you can do it let's have another big one keep it coming
00:32:21the next Smokey circle is reserved for the keno display The Wheel of Fortune Electronic Bridge games the cashier's cage and parlors devoted to wagering on sports events
00:32:33what Scoreboard on the wall like those an airline terminals flashes track conditions at Bayview and the news of a Philly running at aqueduct
00:32:42the den lessons is the forest opens onto the main floor which is Chandelier and plush primary and color and Instinct at this point there is often a threshold across a few steps marking the final descent arranged Below in circles or squares or one great circle are the kidney shaped tables reserved for 21 leaning over what look like giant caskets men on another part of the floor shake Dyson drawer for their lucky numbers in the game of craps
00:33:15equator group faces the roulette tables they Shuffle chips onto the layout stair at the wheel and ship long at their drinks is the ball orbits around its yet to be chosen number
00:33:28further to the rear in the posher casinos Ivory dominoes click in the game of pai gow and bankers and punters in evening dress take turns dealing baccarat cards to each other
00:33:40a crowd of Spectators watches the big players finger their chips while other on Lookers Stealers Wheel Spinners and croupier is dressed in black bow ties and ruffled shirts stair with corporate severity From The Far Side of the green felt barrier the men in dark suits with six faces and eye muscles turn to grissel are the Pit Bosses dead center among elevated a little platform stands the shift boss
00:34:09the eye in the sky hidden behind one-way mirrors in the ceiling constitutes another supervisorial level made up of video cameras and tape Loops monitor data central console
00:34:22no gesture on the floor escapes the scrutiny of the eye employees below play to it like marionettes no dealer croupier or boss touches the chips or money without then clapping his hands and turning them Palm upward no Shuffle cut deal roll or spin is made without the eye recording it
00:34:45no player walks into a casino without the I remembering where and under what circumstances get last saw that face there is a gut rush and unavoidable Jag felt on to sending to the main floor of a casino
00:35:01cocktail waitresses dressed as bunnies and Harem girls Teeter through the crowd vieira's charged with sexual cues and cultivated looks of availability but the color the spectacle the Precision and formality of it are directed elsewhere toward pieces of silver gold paper plastic or whatever else is being used to represent money a lot of money piles of bills with portraits of Madison and Grant on them mountains of chips numbered in $25 hundred-dollar in $500 denominations money made liquid is it streams and Eddie's over the tables like the river of neon shooting down Fremont Street
00:35:49with half an hour to burn I stroll through the Golden Gate the Nugget the mint
00:35:56I passed the flax handing out coupons and cocktail waitresses hustling drinks I stopped in the crowd around the roulette wheels time and again I watch the ball drop in art toward its rendezvous with one fortunate number
00:36:10walking to the head of the street I turn into the Sundance a second-rate casino or sawdust joint with the usual mix of slots and craps but less action to find the really high rollers you have to look in the carpet joints out on the Strip but the Sundance tonight has a cherry roulette wheel ripe for picking the croupier keeps the rotors steady and Spins a fastball up on the track the wheel should prove no match for computer sandwiches built into magic shoes
00:36:42I scraped the floor and walk to the back of the casino from there I watch Dylan standing at one of the two wheels in play
00:36:51position did the head of the layout he Doodles in a notebook looks now and again at the wheel and then seems to screw up all his courage for the occasional bet on red or black for PhD from the University of California he looks distinctly Goofy
00:37:08don't is passing tonight under the suit Anonymous name of Clem from New Mexico this is a role he first played as a poker sharp during the card rooms of Montana and he plays it to perfection
00:37:21he appears a half with a mumbler an innocent Soul displaced from the Prairie no one around the table gives him the slightest thought
00:37:31roulette players like clam divided into two general types those of subnormal intelligence and system players
00:37:40don't could be either or both
00:37:43Las Vegas is crawling with gamblers trying to calculate a mathematical Edge over one of its games the casinos help them by providing pencils scratch pads runs of numbers and diagrams of bedding layouts and odds
00:37:58going standing next to the wheel doodling in his notebook looks like any other do-it-yourself mathematician trying to Auger a pattern of numbers where none exists
00:38:10in spite of all the books sold on the subject there is no mathematical system be the progression of betting pattern on Martingale a doll and bear doubling up or doubling down capable of predicting the outcome in roulette or improving a better zod's
00:38:28it is also true that system players especially those who think they have cracked the missing code tend to lose money faster than the ordinary stiff who relies on luck
00:38:40this explains why the casinos are so generous with their free pencils and scratch pads
00:38:46it is not by mathematical but by physical prediction that one beats the game of roulette you need to know the exact forces acting on Ball and rotor at each play of the game
00:38:59this requires a computer programmed with an algorithm a general equation for describing the physics of roulette into which you can plug the variables governing the wheel if the wheel is tilted you locate the high side and Shadow on the track you calculate the average velocity at which the ball tends to fall off you compute the rate in which the central rotor decelerate given these General parameters which differ significantly from Wheel to wheel the computer and its algorithm become productive
00:39:33but for this they need more information gathered while the game is in play this is supplied by a data taker clicking two passes of the rotor in front of a fixed reference point on the frame of the wheel and two or more passes of the ball in front of the same point it is now an easy matter for computer to calculate relative velocity and position the projected time of fall for the ball its trajectory over the sloping sides of the wheel and its final collapse onto the Spinning Disk of numbers
00:40:08as I walk into the Sundance climb from New Mexico is engaged in the process of setting parameters
00:40:15to fit the computers program to a particular wheel Dylan carries on a kind of dialogue between his big toes the micro switch in the left shoe steers the computer into subroutines and it's program while the micro switch in the right shoe clocks the ball and rotor data a tap routine combining left toe and right toe Alters the parameters themselves to get the algorithm tweaked around to the conditions at hand requires a good eye and split-second reflexes the process takes anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour
00:40:51which five years practice Dolan is an ace it driving the computer around the program he adjust variables by sight or from a sixth sense developed by now in his big toes the remaining variables are fine tune by trial-and-error does the ball travel farther than or not as far as predicted are there unusual circumstances such as atmospheric pressure affecting Its Behavior from one play of the game to the next billing notes what the computer predicts against what the ball actually does until ideally the two sets of data could we plan it on top of each other in a bell curve meetly symmetrical about the mean
00:41:36this laminar hump of data points soaring clear over the x-axis translates into our 44% advantage and lots of money $100,000 a month at our latest estimate
00:41:50once the parameters are adjusted in the computer is clicked into it's playing mode no one's left toe takes a break
00:41:58the right foot can handle the rest which involves the simple clocking of ball and rotor pasta reference point
00:42:05going at this stage can play the game out of the corner of his eye
00:42:10with his right toe become an autonomous unit bouncing over its microswitch like a frog's leg picked for a demonstration of galvanic electricity Clem from New Mexico brightens up to chat about the weather and flirt with the hostess
00:42:27I walk to the roulette table and stand behind the players I see from the croupier is marker that Dylan's green chips are valued at $0.25 the house minimum
00:42:38seated its tools along the layout are three other players in the middle is a large blonde woman with a Gullwing hairdo for red chips are pegged at 50 Cent next to her wearing a Stetson in a string tie is a gentleman playing with black $1 chips
00:42:56at the far end of the table is a Filipino in a sharkskin suit his face obscured in a cloud of cigar smoke he stands behind a pile of Blue Chips valued at $5 a piece
00:43:10the croupier gives the rotor an urge and sets the numbered Pockets spinning counterclockwise he launches the ball in the opposite direction in an ounces in a flat voice place your bets ladies and gentlemen
00:43:24like a Ouija board player hoping for Spiritual intercession the blonde slides her chips over the base with her fingertips she leans back in tutors to no one in particular oh my I sure could use some luck
00:43:39Mr string-tie Hedges his bets on Corners in columns and then flips a couple of extra chips on to his lucky number 9
00:43:47the Filipino bedding late and fast scatters dozens of chips over the layout in stacks of three and four deep he finishes by mounting a pile of chips over the five corner bet between double 0 0 1 2 & 3 the pays the worst odds on the table
00:44:07going places that ship on red the ball spins with the sound of a marble rolling over a hardwood floor it drops from the track are to meet Lee between two diamonds gives a little bounce on hitting the rotor and then falls into the green cup number double zero
00:44:25double zero calls the croupier and he covers the winning number on the layout with a glass pyramid though my says the blond some people have all the luck nice places mr. string tied to the Filipino who is sucking hard on his cigar
00:44:42using a wooden rake the croupier clears a pile of losing bets
00:44:48he sorts Andre Stacks them into a bank of chips stored on the apron behind-the-wheel he clasps his hands and the Pit Boss comes over to watch the payout a square man wearing a crew cut and brown suit he looks unhappy about the crystal marker and Blue Chips remaining on the table
00:45:08the croupier pays out 35 to 1/4 bet straight up on Double 0 and 61 for the corner bets using his rake you slides a pile of chips down the base to the Filipino
00:45:21is it my turn next ask the blonde asking of no one in particular
00:45:26on Lookers pile up behind the winner they stand is voyeurs witnessing a visitation from Lady Luck
00:45:34going places in early bed on read my signal to take a 5 minute walk I stroll the floor studying the action
00:45:433 craps players dressed in seersucker suits and button-down collars must be in town for a convention a dealer out of play at a 21 table catches my eye and fans her deck up on the Bays
00:45:57I walk to the back of the casino and sit in front of the keno board the machine that blows around ping pong balls starts up
00:46:05a pneumatic tube sucks them one at a time out of a glass jar a houseman reads the winning numbers into a microphone while another Houseman lights up the keno board
00:46:16a woman chain-smoking cools her daughter and I are the only ones watching
00:46:23I flex my toes and take a deep breath before walking back to the roulette wheel
00:46:29I find the blonde cleaned out she snatch her purse shut and he was off her stool
00:46:36mr. string tie down to his last dozen chips will soon follow her to the bar it is a terrible thing to be abandon by Lady Luck you go listless you start apologizing for yourself you finger your chips without love until in discussed in resignation you toss out the last of them without even looking the Filipino wedding his second cigar is holding his own but the spectators have wandered elsewhere
00:47:07going places a bet on even my signal to play
00:47:12I sit in the chair vacated by the blonde and hand the croupier $300 he claps his hands in the Pit Boss watches as my bills get stuffed into the cash box with what looks like a wooden meat cleaver the croupier again claps his hands and shoves across the felt three stacks of red chips value now according to the Copper disc in front of the bank at $5 a piece The Pit Boss gives me a good stare
00:47:41this is it the knock over my debut into the big game I have the way out in front of me memorize backwards and forwards I know the arrangement of all the corresponding numbers on the wheel I have them divided around the circle into octants eight groups of four or five numbers a piece that correspond in turn to one of eight different buzzes tattooed by computer onto the bottoms of my feet I've spent days Fielding buzzes and throwing bets on to the layout I train for hours to get my fingers Supple around the chips I've mastered the art of stacking them in my palm and dropping them face-up on the Bays with no movement in the wrist
00:48:29I can play by reflex thoughtlessly without even glancing at the wheel cool and fast while otherwise looking like your everyday Mark about to burn up a little discretionary income
00:48:42my hair is cut short and styled I'm dressed in twill pants nicely tailored with a sports coat hat and shirt open two buttons down the chest for small talk in case anyone ask I own a restaurant in Capitola California part owner actually French entrees around $15 Specialties of the house ranging from Boomerang here to beef bourguignon I'm in town for a to be couple of days off before the holiday season picks up the cocktail waitress Taps my shoulder a drink on the house yes
00:49:20the croupier flips the ball up on the track place your bets ladies and gentlemen he says without any ladies present
00:49:29mr. string tie pushes His Last Ship on the number 9 and stands up for a stretch the Filipino extends his pinky ring over the layout and covers the green felt with a rash of chips scattered on quarter bats, bats and numbers split 12 six and three ways it looks as if he has more money on the table than any win could recoup going places a $0.25 bet on black
00:49:58the bald world's smoothly around the track and slows for its final revolutions the cups below spins excessively red black and green I wait for Dylan to enter data and transmit a prediction from his computer to mine like time machine speeding up the present our computers are going to peer into the future and chart the trajectory of a game a crucial few seconds in advance of its being played I got a high-frequency buzz on the front solenoid A3 the third Ogden including numbers 113 24 and 36
00:50:37I stretch over the bays and cover the first three numbers with chips I skip the 36 at the bottom of the layout and substitute the double zero which lies me rat on the wheel and closer to my C
00:50:51like a basketball player watching a free-throw sale up and into the basket I leaned back on my heels and wait I turn to the cocktail waitress in order a tequila sunrise I watch the Filipino puffy cigar I smile at The Pit Boss I'm not even looking as the croupier calls out the number 13 and places his pyramid on top of my bet
00:51:17why would anyone play roulette I think to myself without wearing a computer in his shoe
00:51:29I hope that this taste of the you daimonic pie makes you want to listen to the other 11 or so hours as you can tell I love this book even though it was first published more than 30 years ago it remains astonishingly relevant you could almost change the names of the computer chips and the restaurants in the story and have it read like it came out yesterday I even recorded an interview with Thomas and included it as a bonus feature at the end so you can hear his take on the story and how it's relevant today it's all part of the audio book available through audible Amazon and iTunes
00:52:10here's how you can get your full copy of the audio book if you're not already in audible subscriber sign up for a free trial using the URL audible trial. Com / AirSpeed that's audible trial.com air speed and AirSpeed is in all caps you sign up for a free trial on Audible and pick the eudaimonic pie is your first selection the show gets a few bucks from Audible for your free trial sign up and the author and the show split a bounty when you pick our book as your first election
00:52:46if you're already in audible subscriber by the eudaimonic pie just like you by any other audiobook the show gets a little taste of audible's revenues associated with your purchase even if you're not an audible subscriber you can buy your copy through audible or iTunes on an ala carte basis
00:53:07Wesley if you like the book and the read please go to audible.com and leave a sparkling review and audio book is a real commitment for The Listener some audio books go more than 20 hours for that reason people spend a lot more time looking at reviews of audio books than they do for many other products a good review will help get those potential listeners to click the button and get to experience this story themselves remember to do the review through audible not Amazon reviewing through Amazon puts the comments on the printer ebook you have to go through audible to review the audiobook
00:53:49so that's it for this digressive episode of AirSpeed lots of stuff going on I'm working on getting people together from the 2017 edition of the Detroit River days airshow been a really active season I bought the show yet again it's our fourth year with the a box over the river near third year with a surface aerobatic waiver and. He was also our first year getting aerial combat command actual Air Force jets in the Box we got there an A-10 Heritage flight which is a P-51 OT 51d be one of the original to cockpit P-51 Mustang trainers and not one but two A-10 Thunderbolt twos in the box right down low next to skyscrapers on one side international border on the other side navigable water day with international shipping below and Detroit class Bravo above
00:54:49it is nothing short of amazing that we got to do this thing that we pulled it off and frankly that they let us do it so I'm going to try to do is get Michael Ewing and John or Matt and everybody who was involved at the control point just never get everybody on a call and talk through the air show and just have IBS session if it goes an hour couple hours I think that would be fine and appropriate for everybody can't talk about what we what we got to do otherwise I'll lots of other projects as well more to come and I promise more Aviation but I think you'll find that this was a a worthy detour and consistent with the kind of things that go along with the airspeed ethic that's it for this episode of Steven Force you can reach me on hold all over the place I email Steve at AirSpeed online.com Twitter I'm Steven Force Stephen force and using my
00:55:49my my real name mild-mannered Alter Ego on Facebook look for Steve Tupper to you p p e r and you'll see the airspeed logo and get to see all the goings-on by the way congratulations to Nicholas Tupper my son call sign 5 who just yesterday and it is September of 2017 completed his last for glider flight and at the tender age of 15 he is now completed all the requirements except for the knowledge test and the checkride for his Private Pilot certificate in the glider category so we get to wait until December when he turns 16 and then start going out and looking for a check right so congratulations fahd very well done very proud that's it for this episode of AirSpeed ground point nine

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