Thursday, October 10, 2013

Short Holiday in Hobart - Meeting David Walsh

It has slightly more than a year since I left Hobart. I did make some very good friends, back here and I wanted to come back and catch up with them. Especially the people at MONA and fellow Salsa dancers, as well as the motley crew at the Prince of Wales. So when I was invited to visit MONA and catch up with David Walsh, I jumped at the opportunity.
While living in Hobart I used to visit the museum every Sunday. Funny how only religions are associated with regular activities, I must have signed myself upto the religion of feasting sense on the weird.

I went through the museum and noted all the changes since I was last there. Listened to the chatter from visitors and made some notes which came back to bite me when one of David's guest picked up my notebook.

David has made his made his fortune gambling. He is not the James Bond sort of poker player, rather he is a mathematician and sort of a programmer. I have some theories about why we persist in gambling in spite of the apparent losses to individuals.

Gambling exists to redistribute wealth, preventing it from accumulating over generations in one family causing resentment and decimation of the family through revolt and aggression from the rest of the society. Though decimation of powerful families does happen in spite of the gambling habits as shown by the Russian revolution or even more recently the Nepalese royal family. The best way to stave of socialism and revolts is for the wealthy to voluntarily dispense of their wealth in gambles. Just means of justifying wealth accumulated by David, under the nose of ATO. Apparently David used to work for the ATO before he declared himself dead and quit.

The conversation drifted to light rails for Hobart and the need for personal ownership of assets i.e. cars vs public infrastructure such as rails. This debate has been raging on even recently in the roads vs rails talk. A psychologist was around outlining a Jungian experiments in a Victorian mansion, people participating dreamt of fires. There were some stories about table tennis diplomacy and frame dragging, and lots of conversations with constant backup from wikipaedia.

Dinner on MONA
I was invited to dinner at David's place with take-away from his restaurant. David and his wife are pescetarian. Dinner was followed by a David Bowie variety hour on Youtube and hanging out with the MONA music co-ordinator who has encyclopaedic knowledge of the songs. I finally slunk away rather dazed by the days events.