We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Ah, freedom


Encountered at a truck stop near the Armenia/Georgia border (on the Armenian side) yesterday.

6 comments to Ah, freedom

  • Hmm. If I was still addicted to nicotine (thankfully now in remission), I’d have to be either pretty desperate or pretty bored (and cheap to play) for me to fight with one of these notoriously difficult machines on the off-chance of ‘winning’ a pack of smokes.

  • Paul Marks

    Agreed Michael.

    Perhaps it is folly – but freedom means allowing people to engage in such folly.

  • dave

    Note that they still have the government mandated warning messages plastered on the sides of the smokes.

  • Tedd

    One of my fondest memories is encountering a young Artful Dodger type at the London fall fair (our London, not your London) who was an expert at snagging cigarettes from such a machine. He could get a pack on almost every try, which he would then sell at an impressive profit. I have no idea what laws, if any, applied to that situation at the time, but I imagine paroxysms of outrage in the media today if such a thing were discovered to be going on. How did we get here from there in such a short period of time? (I’m not all that old.)

  • Michael Jennings (London)

    It costs 100 Armenian dram to play the machine. A packet of cigarettes costs 500 dram or so. There are about 650 dram to the British pound. Thus one needs to win better than one time in five in order to make it worthwhile. Thus I think the machine exists mainly to relieve boredom for people with a few coins in their pockets.

  • lucklucky

    I remember a video of the French troops in Mali where some people were showing cigarettes as symbol of freedom from Al Qaeda…