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Keith Taft strongly agrees, although he would like to gain more freedom by selling a value that does compute. Recently, tucked away in a small San Francisco financial journal called the Daily Commercial News, there was this ad:
"David is so sweet, so slick," says Taft, "that I thought some other people might be interested in it, too. Of course, on moral grounds, I won't make it available to the public, just to professional gamblers who would be playing, regardless.
"With the appearance of this article, I intend to go public, so to speak, and no longer personally involve myself in gambling on a regular basis. It will make my wife happy, and I have other projects I want to pursue. Besides, I doubt that computer gambling is all that unique anymore. Right now, I'll bet there are 17 guys out there who are wired, and they're not talking to anybody."
Surprisingly, one of the secret computer gamblers might be the once-righteous Renee. When last heard from, she was mellowing and had made an interesting conjecture: " Billy Graham says there is nothing in the Bible against gambling." Nor is there anything against a young lady helping to pay her way through college, which Renee figures she might be able to do with a little help from her friend David. Praise the Lord.
Recently, after the family gathered around the living-room piano to sing Seek Only Thy Perfect Way, Taft reflected on the future. "One thing I could do," he said, "is build the casinos a computer that could tell them the skills of a blackjack player within minutes."
Even so, he admits that it will probably take something more compelling to pique his interest these days. "Like jumping off a mountain," he suggests. "From the beginning, I knew the computer would provide the kind of challenge I was looking for. But I also realized that when it was over, most everything else would seem dull by comparison."
So what will he be up to in the next several months?
"Well, it's a secret but this much I'll tell you. I still think that blimp will go around the world."
Absurd. But what if...?