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Becoming a money pump

Have you ever had the feeling that you've been manipulated into a poor financial decision? Maybe you've been 'money pumped'.

It turns out that ‘money pump’ arguments can be made to justify a lot of different national principles.

For example, rather incredibly, it turns out that if you violate the laws of probability theory (the rules that you have learned at school about the probabilities of coins falling head three times in a row or rolling two sixes) even slightly, then you can be ‘money pumped’.

That is, a devious wheeler-dealer can offer you sets of choices, which you will cheerfully accept, but which will have no other effect than leaving you with exactly what you had in the first place, but a bit less cash. This ‘Dutch Book Argument’ provides one justification for thinking that the laws of probability must be part of what is to be rational, because surely any rational being won’t allow themselves to be money pumped, will they?

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