Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weird Conclusions

There was an article yesterday in Swedish newspaper/site that said, and I'm translating to the best of my abilities, "Fewer Iraqis Request Aid For Returning To Homeland" and refers to Iraqi refugees in Sweden who are entitled to government aid to a value of about $4,000 to help them return home to Iraq. Now, language subtleties do not translate well but I hope my translation did the job somewhat well. From the title, it's a little bit ambiguous as to whether or not this is good news or bad news. The way the original phrased it, in Swedish, the tone was just an inkling towards it being "bad news" whereas I would say that my English translation made it sound just an inkling towards "good news."

So is it good news or bad news?

Well, before even reading the article I intuitively made the guess that the reason fewer and fewer Iraqis return to Iraq from Sweden might simply be that the majority of the Iraqis who are interested in returning home would have done so by now. Not all of them, for sure, but enough so that the number of applications for government aid would almost be expected to have gone down by now.

This explanation - to me the most obvious one - was not listed. Listed were instead two other possibilities:

1) The $4,000 isn't enough money to pay for the expenses for the refugees returning home, and
2) the violence in Baghdad, Kirkuk and Mosul continues.

They even mention that Sweden has forcibly transferred Iraqis ("mass deportations") whose claims to be granted refugee status, I presume, were rejected. And STILL the number of people who volountarily seek to return is going down. Yet, I repeat, the most obvious explanation for this was not mentioned.

Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps it's clearly not the case that we are running shorter on Iraqis who can't wait to go back home. But the way the subject matter was treated in the newspaper makes it sounds like there's an endless supply of Iraqi refugees in Sweden.


We're visiting my parents in Karlstad for a week, and going back home to Linköping on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. After that, we'll have about a week to get everything in order before we leave for Las Vegas. I'm very excited and duly nervous at the same time. Excited about playing in the ME, excited about meeting some people I haven't seen for over a year, and excited about meeting some people I've only talked to online before. Nervous about the flight and how Baby Benjamin's going to handle three take-offs and landings. Hopefully it'll be alright.


My lack of volume in terms of hands played has not increased significantly since May. I think I've plowed through about 15k hands in June so far which is obviously a disappointment. 2500 of those hands cost me almost a dollar/hand - worst day I've had for a very long time - and dug me a hole that I haven't quite managed to climb out of yet; I'm stuck maybe $800 for the month. It's not a disaster by any means, but I need to make sure to get some big days in before we leave for LV. Especially since I won't get to play much in July either. Of course, if I manage to luck myself into cashing in the Main Event, I can easily afford to take almost the rest of the year off and live solely off of my bankroll, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.


Roy, aka Four Dogs said...

Interesting to see how you think of no poker related topics Fredrick. Interesting in that it's quite clear you still think like a poker player, reading between the lines and never taking anything at face value. I wonder if poker creates refelective people or attracts them. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

GL in the ME FP. We're all excited for you.

Fredrik Paulsson: said...

I think the cause and effect are a bit unclear, actually. I think people with a knack for reflective thinking succeed at poker. I also think poker aids reflective thinking. Maybe a case of bootstrapping.

And thanks for the well wishes. I'll do my best. :)

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