Security & Counter-Surveillance - Warrior Publications

Do you really like your beer, or are you just a victim of Capitalist Propaganda? How you can learn how the free market works while you guzzle some suds, and how beer can help you to understand the vast conspiracy that is slowly degrading America.

TL;DR - I use the craft beer industry as a way to understand Capitalist Propaganda, how Capitalism and Socialism are inextricably linked to each other, and how through the use of propaganda, companies use the "illusion of choice" to coerce you into believing that you prefer the products that are most favorable to them. In order to change this into the consumer's favor, you need to be an informed consumer in the free market, and raise class consciousness to overthrow the tyranny of Capitalist Propaganda, that is called "Marketing".
You can't understand Capitalist Propaganda unless you have a solid understanding of what Capitalism is beyond the literal definition of the word, which is just an abstract ideal. Propaganda plays off of the discrepancies between the ideals of Capitalism, like the free market, which is another abstract ideal, and the reality of Capitalism in practice in America, which can be characterized as Trickle Down Economics. Capitalism sought to be a pragmatic alternative to its economic predecessors, a fact which drives Capitalist Propaganda. However, through layers of abstraction throughout the years, it has become more of a religion, as critics refer to the increasingly ideological concept as "Supply Side Jesus", meaning you give all the money to the rich, it'll trickle down to the poor, and they can "vote" on the actions of the capitalists through monetary interactions in the free market.
Capitalist Propaganda is engrained in America, because at the time of our founding, Adam Smith wrote "Wealth of Nations", which is considered the Bible of the Free Market. This groundbreaking work utilized Newton's Laws of Physics, which were en vogue at the time, to describe how interactions in the marketplace would balance each other out, just as the laws of Newtonian Physics do.
The very noble purpose of Wealth of Nations was not create the oligarchy we have today, but to do the opposite. He wanted to describe a system that would protect individual freedoms and be truly democratic. Just as Lenin and Stalin bastardized the works of Marx, so too have capitalists in America bastardized the intentions of Adam Smith.
Capitalism and Socialism are best learned side by side, in my opinion, to avoid falling into the trappings of either ideology that our brains like to do. Which one is better? It depends on the market, but the answer is almost always somewhere in between.
Through learning how Socialist concepts can be applied to problems in Capitalism, you can cut through the propaganda and will see for yourself that these problems can be solved if we just drop the labels and do what's best for society and the individual. The problem is always finding the proper balance.
Yep. You can never live in a pure economic system. Purity is always an illusion. If you want something to be pure, you have to put a lot of energy into making it that way. Nature likes to mix stuff up. This is why ideologies around racial purity and fascism always fail. There are people who want a "pure" economic system, but they are usually the people at the top and would only get richer from more purity while the rest of society loses freedom and slowly starves.
In a nutshell, Capitalism promotes laws that benefit those with money, while Socialism promotes a safety net that benefits everyone. Every single human is born into Socialism. As a baby, you need food, someone else works for it and gives it to you, but then at some point, you are expected to exchange labor for capital, and buy your own food. See? The two are forever bound as the yin and yang. You can also grow your own food, but for that you need land, which is capital.
These interactions are very tricky. I only want to tell you enough so that you can start to see Capitalist Propaganda, because right now, you're like a fish in water that can't see water. I often use this line to describe a person who can't see their own homegrown propaganda. The best way I found to study Capitalism is by relating it Socialism, the "air" above the "water" of Capitalism, if that makes sense.
I always find it best to look at a microcosm to understand these concepts. And today, that microcosm is beer.
Before I poison your mind with my own propaganda, picture you're on vacation and you walk into a bar and want to order a beer. If you really want to understand the power of propaganda in your own life, really think of this before we break this all down. Really think, what makes you decide which beer to order? Do you like to look at the labels on the tap or bottle? That's obvious propaganda. It has absolutely nothing to do with the taste or quality of the beer itself, but sways your opinion toward logos you've seen before, which is why you see so many beer advertisements, which means that money that could've gone into quality is instead going into propaganda, and you're already biased towards an inferior product. Interesting. You really can't help being swayed by marketing, but at least you can be conscious of that fact, and that's important in order to be an informed consumer.
Do you ask the bartender for a recommendation? Why would you do that? You don't know the bartender any better than the beers in front of you. How do you know they aren't paid more to offer you a beer that sucks and is 12 years old and the owner wants to get rid of it? Do you ask for a certain style of beer? Do you ask for a local beer? And once you finally narrow it down to a few choices, do you ask for samples so you can make up your own mind? You should always do this. Then we get into "flavor propaganda", which we'll discuss later. Jeez. Did you every realize there was so much complexity behind being an informed consumer and just ordering a simple beer? Maybe you'll give in and just tell the bartender to pour whatever. Choice is difficult sometimes.
If you really visualize this and take a minute to let this sink in, you'll start to understand how external forces hijack the processor in your mind to manufacture desire through the illusion of choice. However, your health and enjoyment of the beer is not the goal for these external forces, they only want you to purchase. The perfect example is fast food. They know their product sucks, but they know you'll keep buying it, but that doesn't keep them from lying about how delicious it is in their ads. There is far more at play behind the curtain. There is a science behind addicting you to things, this is reinforced by a corporate tax and subsidy system that contorts the free market pushing centralization of production through homogenization and use of chemicals to hide the homogenization, and simply because there is more than one option, they make you feel like you have choice. This, in a nutshell, is how the illusion of choice works in the free market. It's not about what YOU want. The producer manipulates you to think you want what they have. Through this, they deceive Americans into buying products with a list of ingredients that a person would never freely choose to consume. So if you want to order a beer with no shit in it, then you're shit out of luck in America. You could in Germany, but we'll discuss that later.
While you're standing at that bar, you aren't conscious of the fact that your interests are in direct opposition to those of the bar owner's. Capitalists hide this fact with their perfect smiles, but Marx described this in detail. You want the best beer for the cheapest price, and the bar owner wants to sell you the cheapest beer at the highest price you'll pay. It doesn't stop there. The bar owner flips roles in the same situation with the beer distributor, who does the same with maybe another level of distribution, and continues to the brewer, then goes to the brewer versus supplier, supplier to farmer, and even though you'd think it stops there, the farmer has to deal with suppliers of equipment and seeds, and on and on.
Add to this list their auxiliary staff of HR, drivers, managers, brewers, bottle/keg makers, and of course owners, none of them care whether you actually like the beer you're drinking as long as you keep buying more. That's the big driver here.
Did you ever realize that every time you buy a beer, your own capital is partially responsible for creating and sustaining all of these jobs involved? You, my dear beer drinker, are the true job creator. Budweiser can brew all they want, it means nothing without buyers, who are the true engines of capitalism. Instead, you're treated as a rube by suits in a boardroom somewhere.
Capitalist Propaganda tells us the billionaires are job creators, but this is a lie. Jeff Bezos can't drink enough beer to sustain all these jobs. So why do we let him hoard all the money? Wouldn't the economy do better if we spread out Jeff's money so more people could buy more beers and more jobs would be created? According to Socialist Economics, yes. That's actually, quite simply, a Socialist Free Market. Did you even know that existed? The power hungry greedy people who are too lazy for manual labor go to such great lengths to make sure you don't learn it. They want you to think that only Capitalism allows you choice in the market. I'm sure you can guess why they say that.
Capitalism maintains itself by exulting the wealthy who use their economic power to punch down. The only way this system won't fall into fascism and fail is if the consumers start to punch back. Where Marx envisioned the Dictatorship of the Proletariat as they usurped power from the Bourgeoisie, a modern alternative is just teaching people to understand the system we live in, so that we can just start making changes in the way we live and to whom we give our money.
See that? Capitalism and Socialism can get along nicely, so long as the consumers are informed.
What I described within the previous section is what Marx called "Alienation of Labor". Each step in the process of making your beer is isolated from the others, so no one feels ownership over the end product or a true connection to the consumer, or job creator. Even the bartender selling it is alienated from the profit of their labor in serving the beer, so they only focus on the service aspect of giving you the beer, because that is where they earn their tip. They can't really fix anything about a shitty beer other than to offer you a different brand. The capitalist owner is usually not there. Their only interaction is setting the rules for everyone in the bar to follow, and pay themselves more than everyone who has to follow those rules. This is part of the conflict between the classes. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I'm just pointing it out. The bar owner themself has to spend money on propaganda to attract customers that could be spent in other places, so has to find ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, they buy cheaper beer...and this is why you end up with IPAs. No one is connected to the products, so they only look at prices and find the cheapest, passable product. This is the race to the bottom of Capitalism.
Compare this to when brewpubs were a new thing. The brewer would come out and talk to you about the beer, you would give feedback that could effect future batches and it connected everyone to each other through commerce. It makes business "social" and I think nearly everyone enjoys that, but it is losing out in competition with chain breweries that enforce isolation and make cookie cutter propaganda and cookie cutter business models so they can turn owners into managers and suck all the profit back their corporate headquarters and offshore accounts. They kill the experience and make everything transactional. And all the kitsch they hang around their cookie cutter chain bar is just to hide the fact that no one in that place cares about anything other than not getting fired. Everyone is effectually alienated from everyone else. It's worth a read to check out this page on Marx's Theory of Alienation.
This alienation is the root of a lot of misery in society. Humans are communal animals forced to live in a society of individuality and alienation. As they mope around, they seek an escape. And that is why advertising is so nefarious. It seeks to manipulate you in that state. Imagine driving home from your alienating job to you empty home, but looking up and see a billboard with bunch of actors laughing and drinking beer. They take pictures that make these actors look like friends. It's just for show. They aren't selling beer to those laughing people in the picture. They're tempting lonely people to drown their sorrows. Capitalist Propaganda is used so your brain doesn't understand what it wants. It wants friends, then sees the words Bud Light. So when the bartenders asks...Make it a Bud Light. Look at how much money they spend to manipulate and capitalize on people's suffering.
Propaganda in Communist countries is controlled by the government, so it's clear who the enemy of your freedom is. Capitalist Propaganda hides behind the layers of complexity of the same economy you rely on to survive, so you never know what's propaganda or where it's coming from. Marketers find every way imaginable to get their disinformation in front of your eyes, even enlisting your friends on Facebook in annoying MLM schemes. Propaganda invaded everything that can be legally monetized. It's in the media, and not just commercials anymore. There's product placement, stories injected into the news, and even movies and social media created an entire industry of "lifestyle propaganda", telling you how to live your life and indulge in overconsumption. It's REALLY hard to get away from Capitalist Propaganda. There is so much money and research behind it and so much depth, even this long post is only barely scratching the surface. I just want to open your eyes to it.
I can't make you see all this. No one can. I can only describe it as best as I can. What you will experience when you understand this is what I call "Economic Enlightenment", similar to what Marx called "Class Consciousness". Once it happened to me, the world looked amazing, and the shitty propagandists selling us false hope all look like clowns in a very odd circus of vanity, despair and mediocrity.
Once I understood this, I saw clearly how we are increasingly trapped in a form of Corporate Slavery, led by seriously ridiculous oligarchs like Mark Zuckerberg, who thinks he's the reincarnation of Augustus Caesar or something. That's why he has that haircut! This is a guy who stole a company and hired "screen psychologists" from Las Vegas to get you hooked on Facebook the same as casinos do with slot machines. He wants to be the funnel for propaganda throughout the world. He wants to be the kingmaker, decide what people buy, who they like, what views they hold. He can only do this because so many companies spend so much money to put their propaganda on that platform. They can only have this much money because the free market is not actually free. It's bought and paid for on platforms like Facebook and Amazon. The money that was supposed to "trickle down" is instead being spent on Capitalist Propaganda on these platforms, to get the proletariate to trickle their money up through endless, nonsensical online purchasing and local businesses who send the town's money to people who can't do anything with it but buy up properties that increase your rent and cost of living.
When people get drunk on the power of propaganda, they forget the lessons of the past. Propagandists always fall prey to their own delusions over time. In reality, your life is better without Facebook. There isn't anything on there that is healthy. Even if you just want to talk to a few friends, you are going to fall for the propaganda there. You can't help it. And if your bar advertises on Facebook, just think, that money could've gone into purchasing higher quality beer then sold at the same price, instead of going to Mark Zuckerberg so he can drop $30 million to buy the houses around him so no one can spy on him while he spies on you. You really gotta watch out for a guy who combines spying and propaganda all into a single app and thinks he's going to bring 200 years of peace to America. History is littered with knuckleheads like that. It's best to get off Facebook and encourage everyone else to do the same. Zuck only wants to lead himself to the Promised Land, and he's using your ignorance to fuel his own delusions by deluding you into thinking you want what he has to offer.
Let's get back to beer.
I like beer. When I worked in Germany, it was easy to walk into a bar and, like Farva, just order a liter o' beer. Often, there would only be two choices, light color or dark. As a matter of fact, even at the most famous beer festival in the world, Oktoberfest, people mostly drink the same standard type of beer, and no one complains about the lack of choice. It's quite easy. You can order with one finger. No need to see a menu or ask what's in it. It's simply beer. This worked for centuries. Consumers are fine with it. Prost! Have you ever shared a story like this and people say, "Oh, that would never work in America. Americans want choice." Yeah. Because we are flooded with Capitalist Propaganda.
So if consumer choice isn't pushing for a selection, why would a free market call for it? Imagine there are two bars and one of those bars says "30 beers on tap" and the other doesn't. You're more likely to choose it, and the other bar will have to compete in some way, often by copying. This forms trends, and people mistake this for something customers wanted. Trends are always marketing. Don't believe me? What happened to fidget spinners? So now you have a bunch of beers that no one asked for, yet will now demand. Competition creates more Capitalist Propaganda to create demand for something you never even wanted, but makes you think you do. And that's the best propaganda. You think you are thinking for yourself. This is the fallacy of consumer choice.
If you want to understand just how important that last paragraph is, consider this, "consumer choice" is the same propaganda they used to get you to carry around a device that spies on you 24/7 and sends that data to people you don't know, and you can't stop it, can you? You chose that. You wanted it. Not only that, but you paid $1,000 for the device to opt into their spying program, for the privilege of being mind controlled by the propaganda their AI selects for you. Did you read the Terms of Service? As bad as you may have thought Communist Propaganda was, Capitalist Propaganda is far better, and far stealthier. You believe you have freedom of choice. But your only choice is usually take it, or leave it. Oh, you need it for work? Maybe find a different job. Or just succumb to mass surveillance, and next year, you can drop another grand on a device with a marginally better camera.
There is a way to free yourself. You just have to understand the nature of propaganda. It took me a while, but I eventually broke free. Under Socialism, there would be laws against the exploitation of consumers. Capitalist Propaganda tells you that this takes away your freedom. This is a lie. Regulations give you the freedom to not have to worry whether the beer you're drinking has poison in it.
Germany has a lot of regulations on beer. It has the Reinheitsgebot (purity order), a law passed in 1516 that states that beer can only consist of water, hops and barley. Note, this is a different use of the word "purity" from earlier, as beer is itself a mixture of things. Historically there have also been regulations where beer could only be sold regionally, so no matter what part of Germany you were in, you only got a certain brand of beer at the bar, but it didn't matter because they all had the same ingredients. They could make wheat beers or unfiltered, but they were generally variations of pilsners and lagers. One meaning of the word "Lager" in German is "storage", meaning the beer was brewed in a way that it could be stored, allowing them to brew in bigger batches and store it.
Lagers use a more complex brewing process, so only larger breweries would make them, but this worked because of protected territories. America has a similar system, because each state has its own regulations on alcohol, but this is changing as corporate lawyers fight to homogenize the rules favorable to them, but the consumer loses control. Big brands tend to be lagers as they have general appeal to a wide audience. Did you notice this is the second time I pointed out that corporations create homogeneity? Without regulations, corporations create Fascism. That is why I tell people that we already live in the NWO but corporations rule the world instead of governments. Why do you think so few conspiracy theorists make this connection? Propagandists are paid a lot of money to keep even our small community confused about the reality of what's happening. Now, check out conspiracy and you'll see what I mean. They are spreading propaganda for the NWO over there and don't even know it. I tried to point that out and they finally banned me. Oh well. They'll figure it out in their own time.
In America, in 1978 it became legal to brew beer at home. This is what led to the explosion of new beers in the US decades later. Americans don't have purity laws, so could test new recipes. But people didn't generally like IPAs before, so how did they become so popular that they control 30% of the market? Marketing, of course. Create the market and tell people what they want.
IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It was invented by the British as an easy way to make a beer that they could drink in India. People only drank it out of necessity, as the other beers couldn't make the trip. IPAs are very easy to make and very forgiving, because if you mess it up, it already tasted bad anyway. As people started trying to get into microbrews, they often didn't have the capital to make lagers at small scale, and also wanted a simpler process so they didn't have to hire or train expert brewers, IPAs are cheap and easy to make at smaller scale.
In order to make it drinkable, brewers experimented with many different flavorings. This created a cult following of craft IPAs, where people would drive hours to stand in line for hours to try the newest concoction. The trendy nature of the craft beer world kept people training their palate to adapt to the taste of an IPA, making people start to actually like them. The flavorings made people think they were different, so even if they didn't like it, marketing tactics kept people coming back to try the latest blend. Your palate can adapt A LOT. Swedish people love Surströmming, but watch this video of Americans trying it for the first time. They tried to get me to eat it several times, but I would rather sit in a sauna until Tuesday to avoid smelling it while watching them eat it. It really smells that bad.
IPAs enticed people with popular, aromatic ingredients like bananas and pineapple. This is what I call "flavor propaganda". It's not bad in and of itself, but it can be easily misused to cover issues with quality or hide the taste of preservatives. Since we don'e have laws like Germany, you're left to rely on the knowledge and honesty of the bartender to find out. They don't make this info readily available, which is another form of Disinformation.
So if you think you actually like IPAs, just remember, you are just like a Swede eating rotten fish. A lot of propaganda went in to making IPAs popular, but it's the cheapest, easiest product to make that can be sold at the highest price, so they become popular. This is what business students call a business plan. To overcome the bad taste, IPAs were marketed as "classy" to shame you if you choose the more expensive to produce and more appealing pilsners and lagers, which were given a bad name due to being associated with major brands like Bud Light. This makes it harder to market microbrew lagers, which can only fetch a certain price due to association. And this is what is referred to as the "race to the bottom" in Capitalism.
Instead of trying to innovate ways to produce the beers you want, they just figure out how to get you to pay more for an inferior product, just like they do with BBQ. They make you think you want it. From this you can understand why "food" is full of junk that you wouldn't feed your dog. Whatever legal poison helps cheapen the product is considered "smart business", another propaganda term designed to hide the reality of doing immoral and harmful things to other humans for profit. If you make money on it, it's good. As if there aren't better choices we could come up with if there truly were a free market with an informed consumer.
We don't need a Communist Revolution to make positive changes, so take off your ski masks and put your Antifa flags down. I like microbrew culture and still enjoy IPAs, but understanding the marketplace is how I do my part as an informed consumer and job creator to help create the world that I want to live in. I encourage you to do the same. Vote with your dollars. Don't let the Zuck-type sociopathic, corporate people in a distant land decide what you consume by looking at ads on his platform. Visit local breweries and talk to the brewmaster. Don't reinforce alienation from labor. Connect with the people who make the things you buy. Support independent entrepreneurship. These are the paths to a brighter future where we share in the abundance of wealth.
Discover Economic Enlightenment for yourself and realize that We The People are ultimately in control. Wealth inequality is greater than it was in France before the French Revolution. Don't let this train take us into the depths where another Lenin will arise and spend the night shooting people.
How you choose to spend your money today is what decides what will become the society of tomorrow. And remember, you always have the choice to buy nothing at all. I never saw a billboard that said that.
I hope this gave you a glimpse behind the curtain of Capitalist Propaganda. Propaganda isn't just political, it has invaded everything and it's at full blast right now. I hope you can piece together how Capitalist Propaganda is actually designed to make you subservient by controlling what you want so they can maximize their own profit and teach you to accept whatever they offer, the homogenization of choice. However, your life is your own and you should remain in control of all aspects of it, including your desires.
Richard Wolff is an economist who studied at three elite universities in America and discusses how he was not able to even learn about Socialist Economics in the ivory tower, even though Capitalist Propaganda calls universities leftist. He found no department in America that is even willing to teach it or study it. Capitalist Propaganda censors these ideas, especially at the university. People in power don't want the serfs to learn about themselves. Check him out on YouTube. You'll realize that unchecked Capitalism leads to Fascism and Slavery, which is why they want to get rid of the minimum wage, so that we can return to sharecropping which is already increasingly happening in America under different names, like "student debt", "mortgages" and "insurance". Don't you think it's odd that a person has to go into debt so they can generate profits for corporations who really ought to be paying for this education themselves? If you have to go into debt before they'll hire you, it's much easier to negotiate against you.
If you want to see other examples of propaganda, check out this random tweet from one of America's Top Capitalist Propagandists. These are very odd pictures, and the only thing I can see in them is that they must be promoting those outfits, likely the blue dress, maybe those men's outfits as well. One thing you know is that she didn't become a billionaire by letting any single opportunity to enrich herself at the expense of others pass her by. I didn't look it up, but I am certain they sell that blue dress, or whoever does paid her to post this.
That's the main reason celebrities use social media. It's marketing. Their whole schtick is to sell garments made in a sweatshop in a foreign country by people who can't even afford a beer to Americans who are facing bankruptcy and homelessness themselves.
Read the replies of the tweet. These people have influence that vastly outsizes their understanding of their impact on the world. There are guillotines in the comments. There usually are. I'm seeing them a lot lately.
This type of propaganda is everywhere. And it's destroying America. Just like propaganda led to the demise of Nazi Germany, we could be looking at the same thing, but worse. It could start off as famine.
If you're having trouble deciding between the beers you are being offered, it's probably because you don't want anything at all, in which case the proper choice is: nothing. Or, try tap water. Maybe you're just thirsty. Now ask yourself, when you envisioned yourself at a bar, did you ever think to order water instead? Did you entertain the idea that you didn't even want a beer. That's the power of suggestion.
What if the rest of the world just cut America off from the means of production outsourced to areas with cheap labor? We would have our own famine and likely war. And if we have a revolution here, with the masses in the country being so disinformed about everything and not having any sort of class consciousness at the moment and instead stuck in alienation, the leader that rises here will likely lead to something horrifying. And we censor ourselves from pointing out the simple fact, that the only way America will survive is to tax the deluded royalty like Kim and Mark back to reality, so they can't indulge their reckless, childish delusions by selling off the very fabric of our nation to the highest bidder.
That doesn't make me a Socialist, that just makes me honest.
Enjoy your beer!
Thanks for reading and I hope I helped you understand how you can empower yourself. I'm excited about the one I wrote for Election Day tomorrow to keep our NOPOL spirits up while all the politics clouds the airwaves. Cheers!
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May I post a story here? Spoilers abound. Apologies to any toes I step on.

A Brief History of Pelican Town


The Stardew Valley

 In the year of 1688 c.e, the first Wizarding Family built a tower west of the deep bay in the Stardew Valley. Madame LaCrimp and her seven children moved in, only being able to stay in the tower because of ‘expansion magic’ or as her son, Harry, said on looking at the tiny tower and when entering found a vast spacious and elegant abode “I love Magic.” As the centuries passed the LaCrimps became lonely and a bit bored and also tired of doing all the manual labor themselves. Who could they get entice to live in this back water? Hmmm. I nviting an enterprising fisherman to take up residence on the beach, the LaCrimps supplied him and his wife with wood and metals to create the fishing docks. They also taught the fisherman how to keep the docks from ever decaying or needing repair. Unfortunately, they forgot about the bridges and within a century the small wooden foot bridge to the far eastern peninsula was destroyed by floods. The fisherman and his wife stuck it out and raised a family in a tiny hut on the beach. However, the fishing was good and pelicans on the barbie weren’t too bad either. Word spread of the small hamlet and in 1889 c.e. Mr and Ms. Charles and Lucy Brown moved in, immediately enticing some of their old friends from Zuzu City, George and Eleanor Smith and their two sons and daughter to join them. George and his sons began to work the mines and the quarry but after a tragic accident in which George was seriously injured, the boys left home leaving only their sister to care for a querulous father and a rather simple minded mother. Lonely, the girl reached out to old friends in the city. She was introduced to a young man, who flirted with her, slept with her and got her pregnant and then, as expected, abandoned her to raise their son alone. All she had left of the doomed relationship was a small music box and the baby. She never recovered and when the boy, Alexander, was quite young, she died. The LaCrimps are not satisfied with their small village: they needed people, culture, things to buy, places to go. The eldest son, Marlon, went off to the far western desert to find fame and fortune joining up with a taciturn drifter name Gilmore. Together they fought serious monsters, discovered a bottomless dungeon filled with treasures and dangers. And got hurt on a regular basis. The LaCrimps opened a medical clinic and warned Marlon to be more careful next time. A warning that became his motto. The middle son, Rasmodius, decided to attend Zuzu University where he met Victoria Ran, a demi-goddess with lovely green hair. They could not marry - neither family would approve - but they swore undying love and since both demi-goddesses and wizards are immortal, theirs would be a long long long love affair. But Madame LaCrimp demanded that Rasmodius return home after his brother Marlon was severely injured and lost an eye. Swearing to remain faithful although separated, Rasmodius left Victoria, who, trying to be kind and loving, as was the wont of demi-goddesses, did not tell him that she was carrying his child, retired to a sea-side grotto. She named the baby, when it finally made a delayed appearance, Caroline. Demi-goddesses tend to have what seemed like never ending pregnancies Meanwhile, back in Pelican Bay, which had become legally known as Pelican town, the Browns (remember the Browns??) raised two sons, Lewis and Linus. Lewis was in charge of the family business since his father had become a bit dotty after chasing one too many footballs, and Linus became entranced with the natural beauty of the valley. After their father died and Lucy retired to a seniors’ center in Zuzu, Lewis and Linus had a severe falling out or several severe falling outs. They disagreed on everything, from the running of the village to the problems of pollution. Linus devised the sewer system which allowed indoor sanitation and he also built a hot springs bathhouse near the railroad station, hoping to attract tourists who will value the pristine beauty of the Valley. Lewis began to build a community center in an attempt to attract more townspeople and thus, more taxes. In the year 1909 c.e. the community center was finished and it did attract more people. Robert and Wren Hawke took up residence in the mountains north of the village where Robert became the local carpenter and Wren designed comfortable although not elegant furniture. Their business prospered and a cousin from Wuwu Town, Craig Stone and his son Clint, relocated their blacksmithing business to Pelican town, mainly to supply Robert with nails and Wren with door knobs and cabinet pulls. The Hawkes had one child, a girl predictably named Robin and when her father perished in the mines and her mother grieved herself to death, Robin took over the carpentry shop. Life was not easy for Robin Hawke; she married one of the LaCrimp men, a fellow named Rasmodius. (Remember Rasmodius???) Together they had a son but Rasmodius had other commitments in other places, it seemed that he had already married into another Wizarding Family and rather than be an out and out bigamist, he disowned not only Robin but his son Sebastian. T hat action however did not mollify his wife Minne (short for Hermione) and she flew into a rage - a green rage which is much worse than a black rage - Minnie left Rasmodius, going to sulk in a slimy swamp with her minion Troll from which she continues to the present day to make occasional forays to deposit foul substances in unsuspecting chicken coops. V. Ran decided to interfere and sent her now grown daughter Caroline and her husband, a well-mannered northerner named Pierre, to open up a mercantile shop and to keep an eye on her old love Rasmodius. To do that V, Ran trained her granddaughter to spy on Rasmodius on alternate Fridays. The mines in the eastern hills beyond Pelican town became infested with chthonic creatures, including dark Shamans and spirits of undead creatures, and mining became not only difficult but dangerous. Lewis and Linus had their final argument in which Linus avowed he would tell everyone of Lewis’s shady dealings with a casino owner in the western Calico Desert and in revenge Lewis threw Linus to the figurative wolves - casting him into the wilds to live in a tent and scrounge food from garbage cans at night. People moved in and people moved out. A young soldier located his family in Pelican town, hoping they would be safe while he was serving in what seemed to be an unending conflict between the Ferngill Republic and the Gotoro Empire. A young woman, Marnie Connery, who wanted to be a vet but found out it was more difficult to become a vet than a doctor, opened a animal ranch and she immediately fell for Lewis’s devilish charm. Something of a prude but also a hopeless romantic, Marnie claimed that the little girl is her niece although the pictures people found proved otherwise. For some unknown reason Marnie also provided housing for her brother’s son - a depressed anti-social boy named Shane. A wealthy world-roaming couple installed their dope addicted eldest daughter and a vain, rude and mercenary youngest daughter in a waterfront property and took off, never to be heard from again. They just could not take anymore parrot guano on the bedroom floor. In the desert the casino owner, who was only know by a nickname, Mr. Qi, induced a young woman - Rose Handy - to run the front shop for him while he leased her back rooms for a gambling den as well as surveillance system that spied on everyone. And I do mean EVERYONE. Rose immediately changed her name to Sandy since her family would not approve of where she was located or what she was doing. She was, after all, a good girl and not a second hand rose or what ever. Pelican Town is now bustling with people; dances are performed in woody glades, luaus are held on the beach, ancestor worship occurs in a twisting maze, artists and writers are attracted to the town for their own esoteric reasons. A few of the kids have become musicians. The population diversifies. A scientist who is also the token black person marries Robin and trains their daughter to be researcher and a nurse. But as the town grows a problem develops. Food shortages become worrisome and some people just don’t like eating only fish. Some residents have back yard gardens, other do not. The local tavern owner has to import food. The unemployed bus driver exists on beer and parsnips. Something must be done. Rasmodius recalls that his love, Victoria Ran, is a Harvest Goddess and asks her for advice. “Get a farmer, my dear. Get a farmer and work them to the bone. Farmers work best under pressure.” V. Ran replies. Far away in the Gotoro Empire, a young customer service representative working for a soulless mega-corporation becomes despondent with their flat, stale and meaningless existence. They recall that their grandfather once lived on a tiny farm in a small valley in the Ferngill Republic and that he left the farm to them in his will. In a magically inspired dream, the young person is visited by the specter of their grandfather who encourages them to abandon the city and go. Buying a ticket on the last train into Pelican town, (sort of like the 3:10 to Yuma) the young person takes the bus (also the last bus) to the town, is met by Lewis Brown, who escorts them to the dilapidated cabin in the middle of an over-grown, weed infested, rock strewn wilderness. The poor young farmer has only five hundred gold pennies, some cheap shoddy tools and packet of parsnip seeds. How ever shall they survive? That dear reader, is for you to decide. 
submitted by BarbKatz1973 to StardewValley [link] [comments]

Someone has made it an annual tradition to amputate a part of my body.

I know this might sound hard to believe, but it’s exactly as the title suggests.
No more, no less.
I think the most sensible thing to do is to start from the beginning, so I’ll do just that.
Back in 2012, I went to Las Vegas for a couple of weeks to blow off some steam, along with my severance package after I was laid off.
It wasn’t an absurd amount of money, but it was enough to have fun for a few days which was all I wanted.
I was staying at a casino hotel, and one morning I woke up with what I initially assumed was just another hangover. I felt nauseous and slightly dazed, and it took a couple of minutes for my legs and arms to regain their normal levels of sensation.
It’s almost as if my body had slept for a really long time.
Didn’t take long before I realized I was missing a finger.
My left index finger, to be more precise.
I started freaking out and panicking as my vision gradually turned to black, threatening to make me pass out at any given second.
I didn’t lose consciousness, but I still struggled as I looked all over the room for my missing finger.
Something I was quick to notice was that there wasn’t any blood at all. None that I could see, at least.
Of course it could’ve just been my drunken, drugged up and panicked self that couldn’t see or think straight, but the investigation confirmed it later on: no traces of blood were found, and the weapon/object responsible for the deed was also missing.
It appeared to be a clean cut, and the wound had somehow been cauterized.
To me it looked like the finger had simply fallen off.
I know this makes no sense at all, but that was my train of thought. I mean, if you woke up one day missing a finger, you’d certainly look around first, right? So that’s what I did.
I mean it’s a part of you, part of your body, something that’s just not supposed to disappear like that.
I eventually called for help, and to say it was a total shit show doesn’t even come close.
So many cops, casino security and nosy patrons trying to understand what the hell was going on.
I didn’t know what to say, or even what to think.
I was missing a fucking finger and had no idea how or why that happened.
The cops didn’t seem to care all that much. One of them implied something along the lines of me borrowing money from a loan shark or the mob or something like that.
Another one said “it’s just a finger, you should be grateful.”
I was disgusted beyond words, but before I got to defend myself from those accusations, everyone seemed to accept it as the truth.
“When in Vegas-“, someone said.
I still filled a ton of paperwork but it was worthless in the end. No clues came up and I could tell it was pointless to bother them about it.
It was fucking Vegas after all, right?
“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, and my finger sure as hell stayed there for all I know.
I threatened to sue the hotel, and the guys in charge ended up giving me some hush money.
I guess having your patrons lose body parts without a good enough reason would be bad for business.
Who would’ve thought?
I think this goes without saying, but the whole ordeal and its aftermath fucking sucked.
Of course things are much different now in hindsight, with me not knowing at the time that it would become a regular thing, but even then it was enough to nearly ruin my life.
I know it was “just” one finger, but how do you come to terms with something like that?
It’s one thing to be involved in a freak accident or even a fight.
But not only did I not know how I had lost it, I also didn’t know why, or even who would want to do something like that to me.
How do you explain that to friends and family?
How do you even begin to wrap your head around something like that?
Imagine waking up every single morning and being reminded almost instantly that a part of your body has gone missing.
If you think you could’ve easily moved past it, then good for you. You’re a better, stronger person than I could ever hope to be, but in my case?
It nearly destroyed me.
I didn’t leave my apartment for months.
I couldn’t think or function normally because the thought of my lost finger was always on my mind. I mean, it USED to be attached to me, and then it disappeared overnight, so it was only natural to be reminded of its absence constantly.
Whenever I reached to grab something, whenever I used or looked at my hands… it would mess me up for the rest of the day.
I hadn’t become fully used to it yet, but thanks to therapy I was on the verge of making peace with it and finally moving on with my life.
And then I lost something else, exactly one year later.
I woke up with a very familiar sensation, one that had plagued my nightmares as well as my sleep paralysis incidents for the past year.
I felt sick and numb, my whole body struggling to move and wake up.
Sensation slowly came back to me, followed by pain.
I screamed for my life, as I had done hundreds of times right before waking up in a puddle of sweat, but it was no nightmare.
My right ear had gone missing, in the exact same circumstances as my finger.
No blood, no tools, nothing left behind.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that both incidents had happened on the exact same day of the exact same month.
There was a pattern.
There was, in all likelihood, a reason for this madness, and someone had to be behind it.
And yet absolutely nothing came from it once again.
“Absolutely nothing”… that’s what the cops had to work with, and I was left exactly the same as the year before, except that now I was missing an ear as well.
The cops suspected my then girlfriend at the time. She was a nurse – I think you can guess in under which circumstances we first met – but everything checked out; she had been working all night and dozens of hospital staff accounted for her, as did video surveillance.
While she provided some emotional support at first, she bailed after a few days.
I couldn’t blame her.
Not only was there still no logical explanation to the who, how or why, but someone had managed to make their way into our home, hack a piece of me and leave without seemingly breaking in or even leaving any evidence behind.
That would just about scare anyone into moving away to another state, maybe even another country – which I actually attempted to do at some point, but more on that in a bit – and not only that, but this wasn’t the first time that it had happened, and now all the signs pointed to this becoming an annual event.
And it sure did.
Probably the hardest year I had to live through, knowing that someone was actively trying to ruin my life by slowly amputating my body, piece by piece.
I invested a lot in security and would change the locks every other week, but I was never satisfied.
It wasn’t enough.
I barely slept, knowing that each passing day brought me closer to that terrible date.
But what if it didn’t?
What if they decided to come that very night, or the next? Maybe next week, or two months later?
They had done with me as they pleased twice on the exact same day of the year, and the message was clear: they could do what they wanted with me, whenever they wanted, and get away with it.
It probably would’ve been smart to just move to a different place, but my anxiety dictated most of my decisions.
I nearly didn’t talk to anyone that whole year. That on top of my seclusion didn’t do me any good, although it did provide a bare-bones source of comfort.
I lived in constant fear for the first 2/3rds of 2014.
I thought it would get a lot worse as the inevitable date drew closer, but the opposite happened.
I became angrier, with a newfound bloodlust building up inside of me.
Someone was doing this to me, and if they wanted to keep on doing it, they would have to come for me again.
Only this time I would be ready.
I would be expecting them.
They couldn’t possibly get away a third time, and more importantly, I just couldn’t afford to lose anything else.
I couldn’t allow it, as I feared my mind and spirit would simply break apart.
I got myself a gun through some gangbangers, and made sure I’d know how to use it when the time came.
I was ready to take a life, and considering all that had happened to me, I knew I could probably get away with it.
In fact, if anyone had knocked on my door on that day, I would’ve likely unloaded a full clip through the door without thinking twice.
I just needed an excuse, the smallest hint of a threat… anything.
I know I took some pills to make sure that I’d remain awake and aware throughout the night, but my recollection of that evening just fizzles past a certain point.
I thought I’d taken enough steps to guarantee that I’d make it to the next day in one piece (or rather, without losing any more pieces) but I was wrong.
That year they took my right hand, but that’s not all they did.
The weapon I had bought for my protection?
It was left on my desk completely disassembled, with every single part and component neatly, perfectly arranged like it was something straight out of a fucking manual.
They had left a message, perhaps even a warning of things to come, the meaning of which I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you at this stage.
All I knew then is that it was all far from over.
Living as a shut-in had done me no good, so I had to radically change my approach if I hoped to change anything.
I spent most of 2015 traveling the country, staying at motels and all kinds of sketchy places.
I never knew where I was headed next whenever I got on a cab or hitched a ride. Ditched my phone and made sure to never make reservations of any kind.
That sort of thing, you know, “not leaving a trail behind” and just get off the grid, or at least try to.
Figured that might be enough to lose whoever was after me, even though I had no idea what kind of resources they had available to them.
For a while, I think I really felt confident about it. I believed I could survive the year without losing any more pieces of me.
But as the dreaded date loomed closer, doubts and anxiety found a way to cripple me all over again. In doing so, it gave way for all that mental and physical fatigue to set in, accumulated from nearly a whole year’s worth of traveling around.
What if everything I had done wasn’t enough? Or what if it had all been pointless to begin with?
There was less than a week left at that point, and that’s when I decided to do something very stupid that probably undid all the “work” I’d done so far:
I bought a laptop and used the dark web to hire someone to protect me.
They took my money, but they never showed up.
I lost my tongue that year.
I didn’t do much of anything in 2016. I moved into a new apartment every couple of months or so, but more out of necessity than anything else.
There was no point for me to move around as I had done the year before, considering how it turned out in the end.
Instead I tried my best to live a normal life as much as possible, despite everything I had lost and with my speech now severely impaired as well.
I kept mostly to myself. On the outside, I appeared to be coping and living with my disabilities as best as I could, but I hadn’t given up.
Every day I kept thinking of a way to stop something that, for all intents and purposes, seemed to be unavoidable no matter what I did.
I kept everything related to this issue bottled up inside my head. That was the only place I was sure they couldn’t look into to see what I was planning.
Even though I spent most of the year thinking of a way to keep it from happening again, I want to make it clear that I didn’t have a grand scheme going on.
I wish I had, but as you would surely understand, I wasn’t exactly in the best of places. Losing body part after body part every single year will do that to you.
All of this just to say that the best thing I came up with was getting on the longest flight available on that particular day. The destination didn’t matter to me.
I figured there was no way someone could get a piece of me while up in the air and with nowhere to run off to. It was impossible, no matter how many scenarios I tried to recreate in my mind.
And if I could spend enough hours up in the air, maybe I could make it, maybe for once I could go through one year without losing a part of me… and maybe the whole thing would finally stop.
I didn’t even make it inside the plane.
Airport security found me passed out in a bathroom, missing my left foot.
I gave up entirely after that. How could I not?
When I asked for help, they took my tongue.
When I tried to fly away, they took my foot, as if to say that I wasn’t going anywhere.
I didn’t see the point to try and fight it any further, and even if I wanted to pursue some form of resistance, what could I ever attempt to achieve by myself?
What could I ever hope to accomplish in the condition I was in, which only worsened year after year?
There was nothing left for me to do but accept it.
Accept the fact that it was going to happen again, and that I couldn’t do anything about it.
So last year I didn’t do anything extraordinary.
Went to the movie theater in the afternoon, had dinner at the fanciest restaurant I could find without a reservation, and then went straight home.
I didn’t stay up pointing a gun at the door.
I didn’t bother with any last minute thinking that I knew wouldn’t get me anywhere.
I just went to bed and fell asleep, knowing that I’d wake up the following morning less of a man than I was the day before.
I didn’t do anything, except leaving a handwritten note by my bedside.
“Why?” was all it said.
“Why?” was all I needed to know.
I figured since I had accepted and stopped trying to fight it, that they would at least humor my request and just tell me why they were doing this to me.
Why me.
An answer was all I wanted, and it wasn’t much to ask for considering everything that had been taken from me already.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect even if they were to leave me an answer, since nothing could possibly justify what had been done to me.
I never did anything to anyone that could warrant this kind of vengeance. No crazy people in my life or insane ex-girlfriends, none at all. And if this had been a case of mistaken identity, or misdirected revenge? I could never get any of it back.
What’s done is done, but I still had to know.
I needed something to go on, no matter how fucking insane or deluded it might me.
I needed to know the reasoning behind this slow process that was progressively erasing my existence from this world.
I woke up missing an eye and all I got was the following response, left on the same sheet of paper:
Why not?
That brings us to now.
I know that there might’ve been other things I could’ve done, other actions I could’ve taken.
Back when they left my gun completely disassembled, or even when they answered my note, I could’ve asked the cops to look for fingerprints or some kind of evidence, but did I think something would come from it?
No. They wouldn’t be so methodical and relentless unless they had no reason to believe they would be caught. I know it’s dumb to think like this, but I knew in my gut that it was pointless to dwell on it.
I understand that I likely committed some very dumb mistakes early on, but please try and see it from my perspective: I was alone through most of it all in these last 6 years, and every time it happened again, I started functioning less and less like a normal person.
I had no one to ask for help, and even if I did, my heightened paranoia would’ve made me believe otherwise.
I lived in constant fear and apprehension, afraid that whoever is responsible for this could literally be any person I come across if I were to step outside.
Please understand that things went down the only way they could because of the bad place I was put into, both physically as well as mentally, and please understand that I’m not here to ask for your help.
As I said, I’ve already made my peace with it, and I don’t mean to trouble any of you in trying to come up with a scheme or a plan to make this stop once and for all.
If you’ve read everything up until now, then that’s more than enough and I don’t wish to take any more of your time.
Thank you. Truly.
With this, I just want someone to know that I existed. I just want someone to remember that I, too, was someone at some point. I was complete.
I was a person.
I could share my name, even my mangled face, but even what’s left of it can be taken away if they want to.
But not these words.
You can’t take this away from me, and you won’t be able to erase me from people’s memories. I know it isn’t much, and I know I might not live on for long in this capacity, but for now it’s more than enough.
I know that whoever’s been collecting my body parts over the years will see this.
I know you’ll be reading this. Perhaps you’ll even leave a comment of sorts, wishing me luck or even offering your help and insight.
I know you will.
There’s only two days left until our next date.
Maybe you’ll finally show yourself to me?
Maybe you’ll put me out of my misery, once and for all? I considered doing it myself plenty of times, but since you’ve been through all this trouble already I figured I might as well wait for you to wrap it up.
Wouldn’t want to ruin your fun, and I, too, get some form of twisted satisfaction out of it by knowing that you will always have to come back for more.
You’re not done yet, are you?
And to tell you the truth, I’m actually quite excited for once. This is pretty much the only thing I have left to look forward to at this point.
And who knows, I might also have a surprise in store for you.
Or maybe I don’t.
See you soon.
submitted by Eigengraulogy to nosleep [link] [comments]

Casino California

So I used to (years and years ago) worked for a video surveillance company. This is after the age of VCR's, we installed dell servers, and our own software, to handle the video streams from the cameras, store, display, you get the idea.
I was one of the lead techs, troubleshooting on the phone, going on site where needed, installing, designing systems, whatever got tagged as "weird", got "Call Quadling!!!". Yay!
So one time I was sent to an Indian casino to do an upgrade of their entire system. Software only, from one version of our software to another. I get told to install the software on the directory server first, then each server thereafter. There will be some downtime, but only until each server is upgraded. Important note: The Directory server is the brains of the whole operation. It stays down, the system is down.
I did what I was told. I copied over and ran the executable file I was given. The directory server installed, and then went to reboot. Ok. This is the main downtime.
It reboots. The software doesn't start. Hmmm. That's weird. Let's manually start it. It won't start. Ohhhh-k. Let's reboot again. Nope, won't start. Let's call the development team and ask if this happened with the other places that have installed this version.
"What do you mean, this is the first site? How did the test sites at the office do?" "Yes, the one in the training room!!" ..."Nobody tested this version?" ...."At all?"
Screw this, time to rollback!!! "What's the rollback procedure?" ..."What do you mean there is none?"
Screw that, I copied the directory database, and I have the old version of the software with me!! LEt's reinstall!!!
Yeeeaahhhhhh. No joy.
It's now 6 hours later, and the casino boss is starting to ask questions. My answers don't seem to please him. (No idea why, it's not like the Indian Gaming Commission rules state that if you turn off video surveillance for more than a few hours, you have to shut the casino down!) (Oh wait, they do!!)
Armed men show up at the surveillance room door. I ask them if everything's ok. They tell me the casino boss has decreed I don't leave till it's fixed. Oh dear. "Can I use the bathroom, or get some food?" Sure! You just can't leave casino grounds.
And I'm on the rez. No laws, other than tribal. And the casino was practically a religion to them.
So, long story short, one database migration later, a complete, server for server reinstall, and 4 hours of re-setting up all the camera configs, I was allowed to go to my hotel and sleep... for 45 minutes before my flight.
36 hours in the server room.
Test your damn upgrades and patches, people. Trust me. No, really. Trust me.

submitted by Quadling to talesfromtechsupport [link] [comments]

[Table] IamA former Slot Tech Manager, current slot technician, and usually late to all Casino-related threads. Almost every casino related AMA is wrong or speculative. I want to clarify and clear the air, so feel free to AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2015-03-21
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
So what is the latest on how people are cheating slot machines? I'm not too aware of any recent developments in cheating. I do know however that a few years ago the way to do this was by bypassing third party devices. What are these devices? I'm talking about bill acceptors, printers, or top box bonus devices. A few years ago, a couple in Tahoe found that JCM's bill acceptor had a huge flaw where they accepted photocopied ten dollar bills. That's right - PHOTOCOPIED bills. But only in ten. All the couple had to do was put a bunch in, immediately cash out, then take the ticket to a cash dispensing kiosk or the cage. After all was said and done, they took home $400,000 and multiple felonies. They got caught and convicted.
Are there any casinos that still have old fashioned mechanical or electro-mechanical slots in use? Another way is to trigger the bonus controller that controls the bonus games but this is tougher to do and requires timing. IGT's Indiana Jones cabinet runs a controller that controls all the games on a bank. Once the in house progressive reached a certain amount (say, $9,999), all the players had to do was figure out the threshold which was usually a round number like $10,000. They knew that the closer this prog amount was to $10,000, the likelihood of the machine hitting the bonus was greater. So at a bank of 4 machines, they'd observe and wait for the bonus amount to get close to that threshold. Once there, the 4 would only play one penny a pull until someone hit the bonus (which was community at the time). Though fair, IGT's only recourse was to require "committed betting." No longer would you be able to play one credit (one cent) at a time. I believe the minimum came out to 40 cents a pull, and required that you bet a certain amount to qualify for the bonus. During training at IGT's facility in Reno, we programmed the amount on the controller to get as close as possible to the threshold and sure enough, we got the bonus plus wins every time.
To answer your other questions -
Not that I know of. At downtown vegas off Fremont st., I see IGT S+ machines from the late 90s still, but these aren't elecro-mechanical. The only old style 'Liberty Bells' invented by Charles Fey (invento of the slot machine), and other electro mechanical style machines I ever saw was at the 'Liberty Belle' resautaurant in Reno. This was run by Charles Fey's grandson who was in his 80s when I met him almost ten years ago. Grandson Fey was an awesome guy and always excited to see IGT techs. Also, the best prime rib and in house cola I ever had. They were in an odd location right in front of the convention center. Eventually, Grandson Fey got bought out by the convention center and retired. I imagine he is no longer present in this life.
It's very easy to adjust payouts on most machines. However that range is pre set by the manufacturer. For example, on an IGT AVP cabinet, you have various payouts that range from 85% up to 99%. Same with WMS, Bally, Aristocrat, etc. If you want to set up the cabinet for tournament mode, you need to order the tournament chips from a sales associate. The machines in various lobbies of manufacturers are all set to 'demo mode' with respective demo mode chips.
That being said, as a slot tech manager, I got reports every month from auditing and revenue of machines that were 'exceptions.' These exceptions indicated that the payback percentage (we called them PAR in the industry) were either too high or too low (usually outside of a 3% threshold). What I mean is, if I set a machine to 90% theoretical payback, but it was only actually paying back 86%, I would have to investigate why. Furthermore, if it was paying back too much and was at 94% payback, same deal. I usually would send a tech to check it out, have him reboot the machine and tell me "Nothing wrong boss." Any machine that had 3 months of exceptions were usually taken off the floor, converted to another theme, or memory cleared. That's assuming it didnt hit a huge jackpot that fudged the numbers.
Can the casinos control how well certain slots pay out? It seems sometimes the new machines pay well for a while and they get people hooked and then after a while they go to shit. Yes. Newer machines always pay out better because they don't have a history the machine can fall back on. All PAR sheets that are released by the manufacturers (these are like the instruction setup manuals for slot machines that show payouts and percentages) will show a chart detailing the percentage changes. The closer you get to a million pulls, the lower the percentage fluctuation. It'll say 1-1000 pulls: +/-6%, 1001-10,000 pulls: +-3%...etc. At 10,000,000 pulls the number becomes fairly consistent with the actual payback that is set by the slot manager. So yes based on your statement and observation, as the games go on and have a history, they begin to 'correct' and function closer to the percentage set by the casino.
Do they have control over other aspects of the game? I've played one machine and one casino will give 8 free spins in a bonus where another casino only gives 5. This is theme specific. Some themes award you 8 spins on a bonus. Others it will depend on some bullshit number you picked three in a row. Or like on Gilligan's Island, you pick one of 5 characters and based on that character you'll get any number of spins. The casino doesn't control this - it's programmed into the software by the slot manufacturer.
Also, are the games in a bank all connected to one another and payout according to how busy that bank is? No. Well...maybe. It differs. (examples below)
All machines in a casino are connected via the player tracking system. Also called the "Online Accounting System." Techs call it "Back of House." (yeah, confusing I know...) All this system does is log and monitor how much money is coming in (called COIN IN) and how much money is going out (COIN OUT). These tools help accounting stay within regulation and compliance, and also eases up on paperwork. Companies began incorporating interactive menus into these systems, offering promotions and free play based on the player's history. For the most part, this doesn't affect whether or not a machine will play out. And contrary to public opinion, free play credits on a machine won't "tighten" up its percentage.
Machines connected to "one another" are only so with a progressive controller. And this is where it gets technical. The public perception of the 99% payout banks are completely wrong. They are also completely wrong when described by so called "Casino Pros" on television. The classic explanation is that "Only one machine at that bank is set at 99%. But you gotta find which one!" This isn't true at all. When you see a sign that claims 99% payback, it's a twist, but not like the one I just described.
This is a clearer example: At the particular bank, all machines are set at 90%. Not one of them is set to 99%. Where does the 9% come from? Isn't this illegal? No. You'll notice that every single bank claiming the 99% looseness is always usually at a progressive bank. What happens is that the progressive controller that links all of the machines also takes a 1% rake of the earnings and throws it into an imaginary 'pot.' If there are 9 machines at a bank, and you are taking 1% from each machine to throw into the progressive 'pot,' you are drawing 9% payback to the customer, on top of the 90% that the machine is set to. Hence 99% payback. Hope this makes sense and clears this up for everyone.
The perception that machines win more when it is busy is simple mathematics - the more people in a casino, the more likely the machines are being paid, and the more chances of these machines hitting a jackpot. Your chances of hitting a jackpot are essentially the same whether it's busy or not.
So, after looking at your comments regarding slots and best odds, am I to assume then that the best odds of winning at slots would come from a new poker machine that I have not yet won at? The only issue with that is that poker machines are rarely ever new. They are so great at what they do, built so well and tough, that it's very, very rare to see a new poker machine. Many casinos I've seen on the strip or in Reno are older generation machines. They last forever, and pay off well, but it's very rare to see new ones. Also keep in mind that these machines are usually distractions. As a slot manager, it's ideal to leave these in a high traffic area where you are diverted to spend your money on something else - the gift shop, the buffet, a bar. You can place the machines almost anywhere else on the casino floor and they will most likely do poorly. The more you move them towards a high traffic area with a diversion, the more you'll make off of them. It's just science (and a bit hype and marketing as well).
Also, if I were to ask a floor employee about which machine I should play, how would I go about that, and do they really know ? How? This is a tricky one. The floor employees are usually slot attendants, also called change-persons. Many times the only two types of machines they tend to are a) broken ones, and b) jackpot machines. So as a tech when I ask them which machines are paying out, they'll say one that they paid multiple jackpots on. But this is a very bad statistic or information to fall back on. It's possible that the machine wins many jackpots, but pay poorly for the casual player who just wants to have fun and make a buck or two. Furthermore, many casinos are fairly lax and many times allow their own employees to play after or before their shift. If not, they can easily go across the street (or in CA, another Indian casino across the county) and play the same machine. I'll tell you this - slot attendants are some of the most broke people I've known. Take that for what it's worth.
Just like slot people, dealers are the second most broke people I know. And keep in mind, slot attendants and dealers live off their 'toke' (what we call tips in our industry). They seriously make way more than anybody after all is said and done. Many make much more than their salaried supervisors/manager, but it's never a guaranteed thing, and it's shitty to have to work holidays and weekends, on odd shifts. That being said, since dealers DO work toward that tip, they want you to win just like you want to! The mind of a dealer operates on safe plays, so if you ask them for advice, they will always suggest playing it safe. Better to go with what's in your hand, then lose it all to a bet that is in the casino's favor. So it's completely up to you. Based on all of the footage I've watched in the surveillance room and countless hours if not years on the floor, my advice would be to play it safe. Let that luck hit you on the first hand/roll instead of getting killed on that second chance.
What's really rigged? Player's Clubs. 5000 points for a complimentary toaster? $1 is considered 100 points at the last couple casinos I worked at. So $50 and you'll work your way up to the free toaster. 25,000 points for a free buffet.
Last updated: 2015-03-26 06:59 UTC
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