Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Prolegema to Any Future Chess Blogger Community, or Kant Help it

What follows is part One of a four part Essay:

Peter Norvig, The Renaissance Man, Director of Research, Google: Essay Four
Friday 22 June, 2007
For every fourth entry, we start with our wildcard feature.

We have transitioned from the enormous physical organization of Pax Roma of ancient times towards a more dematerialized power, as exemplified by one of the most powerful, innovative, and mighty companies in technology today. It is often said that ‘content is king’, and while capital markets have the largest impact on global outcomes today, control of access to information in a world of near instant mobility of capital in distributing risk and monetizing opportunities is most controlled by those who distribute content. And who better exemplifies this drive to win than Google’s Director of Research, [if you must view one single link on this entire page, then this is the one, please:] Peter Norvig?

A quick glance at his webpage reveals a paramount example of tremendously compressed but clear information and a career that, it would seem, can do no wrong. Also note his most amusing PowerPoint rendition of American President Abraham Lincolns famous Gettysburg address. He is of course not a chess player that we know, but can do much towards showing us another way of smartly integrating massive information on one page, perfect for colossal endeavors such as he touches! Take a look at this bio! Or this vitae! He says specifically that he is not looking for a job:

"Note to recruiters: Please don't offer me a job. I already have the best job in the world at the best company in the world. Note to engineers and researchers: see why you should apply to help."

We will return to our chess bloggers tomorrow but, for now, note the progressive raise of Microsoft, Intel, then Cisco Systems, supplanted by Apple and Google as major influences in content parallels the shift in our world in the last ten years. Whether this will last is not our discussion, but note it as typifying the cross currents in our world today.

Temposchlucker and Wormwood are definitely Europeans, and to Blue Devil Knight, we add another American touchstone. Out of all this ‘creative destruction’ that is the modus operendae of my country comes--along with loss, failure, and bullying--the occasional major innovator and change agent.

Evolve or perish as they say. How can chess bloggers change, we might ask?

Wormwood The Mysterious Janus: Essay Three
Thursday 21 June, 2007, Summer Solstice


Wormwood is perhaps our single most preturnaturally major talent and, since we seem to know the least about him, while he has notes and comments all over the web all the while proclaiming—and I believe sincerely by him—that he only blogs for himself, amidst the wide and deep tentacles broadcast amply by temposchlucker, blue devil knight, and even yours truly, this makes him a particularly querulously if not most intractably difficult subject for our discussion here!

Even so simple a thing as his user name is fraught with complications, overtones: nuances. The Greek word “absinthos” means “wormwood,” and the Ukranian word for wormwood is “chernobyl:”

"Artemisia absinthium (Absinthe Wormwood...) is a species of wormwood, native to temperate regions of Europe, Asia and northern Africa...It is a herbaceous perennial plant, with a hard, woody rhizome... It grows naturally on uncultivated, arid ground, on rocky slopes, and at the edge of footpaths and fields." To continue (it keeps getting more interesting):

"Therapeutic uses: The leaves and flowering tops are gathered when the plant is in full bloom, and dried naturally or with artificial heat. Its active substances include silica, two bitter elements (absinthine and anabsinthine), thujone, tannic and resinous substances, malic acid, and succinic acid. Its use has been claimed to remedy indigestion and gastric pain, it acts as an antiseptic, and as a febrifuge. For medicinal use, the herb is used to make a tea for helping pregnant women during pain of labor. A wine can also be made by macerating the herb. It is also available in powder form and as a tincture. The oil of the plant can be used as a cardiac stimulant to improve blood circulation. Pure wormwood oil is very poisonous, but with proper dosage poses little or no danger. Wormwood is mostly a stomach medicine." My goodness, and we have only just started!

The word Wormwood is also connected to deep and uncanny mysteries:

"In Revelation 8:10-11, it states 'When the third angel blew his trumpet, a large star burning like a torch fell from the sky. It fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The star was called "'Wormwood" and a third of all the water turned to Wormwood. Many people died from this water, because it was made bitter.'

"These verses talk about something named Wormwood destroying one third of the worlds drinking water during the tribulation. Wormwood is a bitter plant found in Israel, and is often mentioned in the scriptures to denote something offensive and nauseous. Now you wonder how does Wormwood poison drinking water that will kill many people.

"While watching Jack Van Impe one night on TV, he read the above two verses from a Russian Bible. When the verse came to the word Wormwood, it was spelt CHERNOBYL. It seems the Russian word for Wormwood is Chernobyl. Do you remember the nuclear power plant in Russia that had a meltdown a few years ago, was called Chernobyl? Do you think this is a coincidence?

"Now why would any one in Russia name a power plant, or anything else for that matter, after a bitter plant found in Israel, and named in the Bible as something connected to poisonous water? (see Jeremiah 9:15 and Jeremiah 23:15). They could have named the plant after a famous scientist, a famous general, an inventor, a politician etc. But they gave it the most unlikely name for a power plant 'Wormwood'. "In Revelation 8:10-11, it states:

"Well my opinion is, they had no choice, they were inspired by God Himself, as He knew what was coming in the future with the meltdown. People evacuating the area around Chernobyl, because the area is unlivable with the radiation poisoning everything. I believe He is warning all of us, that when the third angel blows his trumpet, one third of the worlds drinking water will be destroyed by radiation from nuclear bombs, nuclear power plants, or nuclear waste."

We have not even gotten to Homer, or Dante or correspondence chess, and I have only just begun...


Since we are speaking of major talent, it is only fair that we not fail to quickly mention so close to our blogger Wormwood juggernaut Ludwig Wittgenstein, secretive Leonardo Da Vinci, and mythopoetic HDSG (short for quad-partite Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Goethe et. al.).

If I were to have a dinner party, I would surely invite Da Vinci, Wittgenstein, and two of the greatest of the greats among HDSG (probably Dante and Homer). I don’t even know if I LIKE Wittgenstein, but he sure seems to think he has it all figured out, cum Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus which I read assiduously line by line in my photographic mind days... but since neither the likes of Dante or Homer seem to be available right now, I would invite temposchlucker and Blue Devil Knight, that part is easy enough. But you know what?

When I make this Knights and Friends of the Knights wish list for a Hunter S. Thompson like dinner party, for a dinner of such august significance as this,

wormwood is ALWAYS THE ONE THAT EASILY COMES TO MY MIND'S EYE FIRST! Can you imagine it? And, yes, if it must be four, then I leave it to the kind readers imagination who the forth is here. And things being what they are now, it would be most remiss for chessDog not to be included as a most necessary fifth to represent all sides of the spices of the human bandwidth of human dimensionality.

My oldest friend Tom, otherwise known as ThinFins, is from Finland and is the single most creative human I have ever known on earth (I've known many!), as is Kanza of ICC (HAD had one of the most cleverly funny single set of finger notes among GM's there; ok, Estonian, sorry), and with Wormwood as the third, am absolutely convinced that all Fins are brilliant. Bahus (aka as Patzers Mind) at blogger is the most copiously assiduous in measuring his chess improvement , and he is smarter than smart, so from a data set of four, it is a certainty. The Finish language is an offshoot of an Indo-Aryan proto archaic structure (subject-object-verb languages: or SOV) only found vestigially in Hungary, Tibet, Korean, and Japan. Go figure.

Body Text:
Wormwood is 'easily' (if this can at all be said!) the hardest working person here, and in addition to 86,824 tries at CTS (chess tactical server), whereby the brute force method has bootstrapped himself as far as 1659 elo through massive and unrelenting iteration, fashioned from aparent raw beginner to two years of correspondence chess at RHP (redhotpawn.com) into 252 games, sporting a 1900+ elo rating. He comments widely at CTS, RHP, and is prolix in wide repartees as distinct from his much more reticent post here, at blogger.

As is plain to see, of course, he writes English better than I ever will and absolutely spells it better than me, while indicating English is ONLY, maybe, his forth best language. He is accomplished in graphic design, an able beer drinker, and despite my previous leadership in employing such words as "complex adaptive systems", "narcissist introjections", has completely gone beyond my pedigree in recently referring to "Gaussian Noise", signaling who is boss, to my complete fluxsome.

The probability of making friends who return or routinely acknowledge our emails or messages is like one in ten or twenty. And the probability of making friends with those who are of similar vein is the same. But the probability of such a two meeting is more like one in one hundred (and fits tempo and BDK and GM Seirawan alike on many occasions, thanks to all), and this really touches wormwood...

...who, if I can make one gentle comment, is fully capable of asking me in public to expound, or as he in characteristic blunt form says: "I know you're the kind of guy who thinks about these things, so spill", yet despite my writing a prompt, ample and characteristically considered robust DK-esque response, and had not heard a single word of acknowledgement except in mention, ten days latter, the most cryptic reference to "the method DK suggested" at his blog for one breathing second?!

It is telling that while (and as he has reiterated to me many times) he and I can contact one another at no less than four external locales at RHP, ICC messages, CTS message board, and even write each other notes at blogger, he tells me, that "sorry, but as a matter of principle I never give anyone my email on the web", nor, as I also chide him, can obtain so simple a thing as even a name or initial to a first name! Yet we have even instant messaged at ICC, so we find this Janus faced god of being very available, and not being available at all. Fascinating!

He admits to being headstrong, and being half German myself can relate. :) We both also share, *ahem* how shall we say, an eye for beauty, and chatted many a time about the physical properties of various objects. Since Blue and tempo, likeforests and chess pawnography are all seem to be quite married, I am glad I am not the only one around who can admit to having a wandering eye here?

No one gets off scott free here. So in the one instance, I need to jibe him gently, and despite all his explanations to the contrary, it makes no sense to me at all how an unaided individual can be 1900 elo at correspondence (35 games in progress), yet be 1051 blitz and 1091 5/0 at ICC. Of course, this is most topical here right now, and many will rush to defend this, but somewhere the truth must be between? Yes, a 1600 at CTS, but so many learned by brute memorization, so what does this fast timed CTS rating say to so fast a live chess, a "real chess"? Is this one person or two? A Janus indeed! I feel a need to write this more diplomatically, but it is late and I am done... for today...

If I may say, it is just like The Blind Watch Maker, by, is it evolutionist Richard Dawkins?--we cannot see others, just ourselves, just as Einstein said we were looking up at heaven like a watch cover, hiding the innards from our view or even understanding. We cannot judge what we do not know, and it is a mystery, this thing called another person.

Wormwood rounds out our big three, and as--again--our most gifted member is one of the ones I really watch for, and I hope you do too.

Blue Devil Knight, the Patrone: Essay Two
Wednesday 20 June, 2007

Blue Devil Knight is to evenhandedness what water is to fish. He is one of the most efficient persons here, and, if not, sure looks like one!

As briefly intimated above, Blue was very quick to become fully engaged in a back and forth email discussion with me on diverse subjects including but limited to Buddhism, Taoism, cognitive sciences, and rich personal biographic exchange. I think the very first really juicy question I asked him seemed to ‘hit the nail on the head’, and was more or less along the lines of: ‘Question: you seem to have a lot of anecdotal knowledge of chess, yet seem to say that you are new to the game. How is that?’ So I had by then found temposchlucker, who of course exhibited his broad and deep and most passionately engaged intellect, but then there is this GUY WHO IS NEW TO CHESS, and already has the lingo down. Himmm? Thereby I become hooked at blogger, and started to post my own stuff. I was wowed by how rich and smart this community of knowledge was….

Of course, it is not appropriate for me to be specific in the known details, but I think it is more than fair to say that if most of you knew the impeccable advanced academic credentials of Blue, in navigating a formidable command of scientific and education accomplishments, with deft access to the nuances of both philosophy, pure and natural science and higher mathematics alike, both in teaching, research, in undergoing rigorous standards of self expression in publishing and peer review along the way, you would all fall over in your chairs. I saw all these before, but today, in preparing to finish what I wrote here, went back to review and found it to be even more impressive. I am starting to think that I aught never again to say one word about philosophy or psychology again and hereafter sit way in the back row behind him now out of public view.

That he has done so much beyond our view and barely ever speaking of it bespeaks of profoundly modesty, far beyond what I can imagine sustaining.

We all know folks like this in our personal lives. Folks who get a masters degree while coaching girls softball all the while building their own treated lumber decks off the side of their house or re-sanding their classic hardwood floors on holidays and weekends, entirely free of neurosis, rancor, hurry, or anxiety. Is this you Blue Devil Knight or am I idealizing you too much? We all know people like this, but some are more amazing and interesting than others. For example, if I can divert for the briefest moment because this is directly germane to my perception of Blue Devil Knight:

Devil in a Blue Dress

My older brother earned two engineering degrees--an BE, and ME--then went on to earn a third degree (an MBA in finance from Stamford), managed to consult along the way to Citigroup in mortgages, daily preparing many gourmet meals, wrote articles for craft brewing trade magazines, always seemed to be able to run a MAC at home, next to an IBM compatible at home also, a work desktop, never confusing his files with everything in its place and a place for everything, reading ten magazines a month, latter joined the board of a financial application software company, then ran a campaign to join a school board with a $300M dollar budget then got re-elected pushing for higher wages for teachers!, speak at Oracle conferences in Orlando Florida, raised two daughters, and, of course married, and always had a database with everyone’s correct address, containing appropriate anniversary dates, birthdates, and belt and shoes sizes of all beloveds for future retrieval? The Fieldmarshal type is conveniently explicated in the well known and most usefully cogent Please Understand Me, by Keirsey and Bates, using the now classic Meyers-Briggs psychological indicator test, according to tags such as ENTJ, or ISFP according to extroversion-introversion, intuition-sensation, thinking-feeling, and judging perceiving.

I suspect and say without the slightest hint of malice, but as simple intuition, that I am not sure that if Blue and I ever met in person that we would necessarily really like each other that much, more at my fault, perhaps resorting to interpersonal combat were we forced to work on the same floor, or amid the natural clustering of social factions that occurs physically whereby inevitably the folks who don’t like you always seem to become best friends with your other nemesis? How many alpha males can every group contain? At the same time, I think that there is genuine healthy respect between us here, with healthy mutual admiration and, at times, necessary distance. I am absolutely sure that I need to become more the unflappable Apollonian [see note here, at link to his post, about half way down:], and perhaps he instead seeks the completion of the cosmic yearning if not troubling doubts of the Dionysian [cf. Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy]?

"That extra life sure is tempting, but heaven forfend the next animal unleashed be a rabid Tasmanian devil!"

I once saw a native Japanese shichi-dan or 7th Degree black belt try to break a seriously round igneous rock in two at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden in New York. He had one of those unflinching impassive roundish faces Japanese men sported by no nonsense Yakuza (Japanese Gangsters) and Japanese mountain truck drivers. He tried and failed. Without revealing any pain, he sat in Seiza (or martial arts pre-battle or courtly meditation posture) motionless and expressionless in front of a thousand watchers for what seemed like ten minutes, then, focusing his chi, brought his hand to prevail upon the rock, and with one mindful sweep, split it cleanly in two. Clearly he must have felt terrible pain. But his On (his honor) required it. I saw him after and shock his hand. And you know what? His handshake was soft like a girls. I never forgot that moment and it make an impression on me that has lasted for 25 years now like it was just yesterday.

When temposchlucker handed over the scepter to Blue Devil, he was not only serving himself, but serving the knights, and knew full and well what he was doing. Blue Devil, I am willing to bet good money on--if he wanted--could kick all our asses on paper or with words or elsewhere. For this, I have the greatest empathy for him, if not affinity. That he has this edge yet chooses not to push it on anyone is the unmistakable mark of him as a true gentleman, and indicates his great strength and capacity for which, I have the greatest respect and hope you do too

Temposclucker The Mighty: Essay One
Tuesday 19 June, 2007

Temposchlucker, aka Tempo, is as close to being the “grand puba” at blogger chess improvement. A real father figure and major talent!

Many of us are highly ambitious, unusually motivated, hard working, canny in exhausting all means and provisions for getting better, and (at least for some of us!) at times self involved, but he is by far the most poignant example of what it is to be a chess improvement blogger. He makes this a great place, and never ceases to entertain and to educate and, yes, endlessly poke fun at us windmill chasers.

When I first showed up here almost 12 months ago, it was after my first real trip east to see my father in sixteen years, having long ago said (and truly meaning it: ) “You’ll never see me again!” That trip had been recently preceded by proud completion of my first 10,000 problems at chess tactical server--and so then naturally all the more motivated to “chomp on the bit” there--only to find a complete outage for, was it, eight entire days, and had nowhere and no one to turn to!

I went to Google needing to know if it was me alone or system wide (my at the time notebook was old!), and there he was, in all his glory, temposchlucker! I simply typed in chess blog, and there he was--this same mighty 50,000 tries CTS user, whose obviously unmistakable name I recognized immediately. The joy! He quickly confirmed this outage, and when the system came back on, I immediately alerted him, as he was not yet aware (eight days of log-ins had failed, but yes, I was resolute!) then he forthwith sent me a warm thank you note. Most interesting of all—for me—early on I had my email posted, and we quickly exchanged warm emails, which I also did with Blue Devil Knight, but to establish this same type of trust with other ANY other subsequent and secondary contacts would take another half year before I started to get more direct—and trusted access—to anyone else but these two, enduring to this day and greatly treasured by me.

Temposchlucker is someone that I trust. He is the most helpful of persons, which can be attested to by many, BDK not least among them I am sure. He is someone that I can write almost any time and will hear back--often promptly despite his doubtless many many cares. I don't always hear back from every email from these fellows but, I honestly know that if I let him (or them) know that it is important to me, surely will. Outstanding persons all the way.

In America, we have this deep sense of (well deserved!) nascent inferiority to Europeans, and like wormwood (our 'big three'), exhibits this persistent practical intelligence on all matters, and we in America who always seem to be in such a breathless hurry like Former President Reagan or President Bush (ready to stand at a podium to deliver a missive to reform the world on a moments notice), what, with running from the many bulldozers behind our homes chased in turn by mortgage bankers, realtors, gangsta rappers, and cognitive therapists on relationship, family, addiction, and workplace issues, never seem to construct much of value, and have our far more sensible European ancestors to look at.

The Dutch, whom GM Seirawan tells me are “the most imperialist of all nations in this world”, that is to say, the ability to own, control, and make the most practical measures such as holding back no less a body as the North Sea, coordinating massive foreign trade, or conducting efficient railways using the greatest engineering know how ever known to man, are the smartest of societies, like the Japanese or Germans without the toxic patriarchal rigidity!--and tempo exemplifies this.

So Tempo as such, has this inherency as part of this cleaver society, but also has this preternatural yearning to plan in spades. And if I were to suggest any one thing, it would be that at a certain point we cannot make any more plans, and need to work with what we have, hunkered down in singularity or primacy, as it were, and eat our own cooking. We cannot breathlessly, every day, like Nietzsche proclaim a new transvaluation of all values, supplanting all previous efforts, in revisionist form. I cannot disclose my informant, but HE said to me (hint, the smartest blogger!): “tempo has a problem with planning’. I am not sure what this means, but it instantly seemed brilliantly right—not meanspirited, but rings too cleanly not to have more than a grain of truth?

Lastly, I remind the kind reader, that I more or less said the same thing in my October post, "Saying What is NOT being said: simple, middle, or complex" more or less the same thing already, that is to say more ideas, more plans, more schemes does not necessarily get us more, but can add noise, overhead, or distraction.

But let us not fall too far, and recall, that for someone so intelligent, and truly gifted, that to be so brilliant while having a heart of gold is a very dear thing. What I treasure most of all, after he poked fun at me, and upset me, is that now we can joke with each other, and he DOES have this Dutch sense of humor as he explains it. There are many brilliant bloggers, so many—yes--that he is ‘just one of them’, but a great leader and participant among us for sure nevertheless. He was here if not first, near the start, and carried the Knights Errants forward unselfishly, but was bigger, more frequent, deeper.

I can assure you, nearly any plan you can conceive or execute, he has either tried it or thought of. Temposchlucker is if not our most erudite chess scholar then among our smallest handfull since there is virtually no chess opening or tactical or strategy book he either has not read or heard of or thought of doing something with.

Very lastly, and I hope that he is not offended, and while he may not agree, I feel more like him than anyone here, not the same, but there is this affinity, perhaps exemplified by not only his raw emotions, and boxing background (Karate here), but readings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, whom I of course read assiduously through my mid thirties, and led to my first true spiritual teachers, that is to say, those who will kick your ass. To me, the single most attractive thing in a friend, or in a woman, or a coworker is vulnerability--the ability to report or say it like it is authentically. And among such inteligent persons is a great rarety. Tempo has this childlike ever lasting self renewing quality, that I truly love and hope you do too, and he is naturally enough our first essay.


Anonymous dutchdefence said...

Don't waste your time on me. I am not worth the effort.

Tue Jun 19, 09:09:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

i beg to differ!

nevertheless--for the most part--each essay will get shorter and shorter... again, order subject to mood and energy and patterning, and WILL change.

Tue Jun 19, 09:42:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

blue wrote me a moment ago, minutes before i clipped his already writen and formatted post into html from my saved drafts, and said that i was tireless, and was ready to read the tempo post.

the day before yesterday, i went on the interview with the architect. it went well. they do work in japan, new york, oregon, and california. one of the partners owns the building in downtown seattle, they have an art gallery, and a furniture commercial gallery they operate next door. they fit my profile of winners. while they are not hiring, they have a good backlog, and are always preparing a docia of talent. whether i go into future rounds is to me, not highly significant. but thereby i got to consecrate myself to the future, after extended meditation and prayer.

how do you work in a giant home improvement hardware store, and next you know, are wearing your stored suites with the aligator suspenders and silk tie, and two color collar shirt, and find yourself walking downtown? creation, the source of.

then, when i got home, i wrote a letter to the recruiter to ImperiumRenewables, which i now find, is raising 250 to $300M from Morgan and Smith Barney. they need a bio-diesel trader. and more. where did i meet him? this same store. how, just like the architect: his buying an inexpensive circular saw not in stock! mygoodness. i need to stand next to corded and cordless saws only, never leaving.

why do i say all this?

life is no joke.

this left me exhausted--one interview, one letter, then writing my bluedevil piece.

to metabolize such content takes juice.

the next day, what did i do? i took a man, whom i hardly knew, to surgery for skin cancer. in washington state as well as oregon, here we have the highest rate of skin cancer nationwide, because of cloudy weather, then, when the sun is out, we all tend to go 'whole hog'.

i was glad to do it. he is my tool vender. i offered, upon hearing he lacked a ride. this man has no money. he is underpaid, and more than middleaged.

did i really have time for this? no, but i had to do it.

and so much has been done for me by strangers and aquaintences, that i pay back whenever i can.

moments before leaving, i posted tempo. when i got back, after my requisite nap, revised and finished blue.

as i write this, the phone rings, its vic, he needs a ride back, and had a bad bleading episode. he asked me when i start work--in two hours--and if i could take him back (i cannot, not now). life is no joke.

late last night my korean teriyaki resturant owner friend, the man who taught buddhist sutras called. very old. very poor. sleeps four hours or three per day. needed advise. due to the enormous hospitality i recieved in korea, at little or no cost, i cannot say no to a korean. jason (and where Yasser and i always go, he and his wife took me there two months ago) bought his business under the sellers false pretenses. he cannot pay his rent. they want to take his equipment. i only wish i could have he and his wife move in with me, but i cannot.

life is sorrow. life is no joke. a flood of tears. and god loves his children. and we do all we can on earth. these sacks of proteans and RNA and DNA running on software progs, in a round of birth and death, and love and yearning.

so how can i care if i am tired or tireless. this is not significant.

wormwood. wormwood alert.

Wed Jun 20, 11:38:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

DK--nice entry on Tempo. He really is a fun blog-force, just charging into things like a rocket tearing things apart and trying to put them back together.

As for the bit on me that you wrote: it is very strange to read about myself like that, though admittedly I felt quite flattered. I should say that you are a bit too kind in your assessment. In all honesty, intelligence isn't my strong suit as much as my willingness to look stupid, to keep working at something, and to not let my ego stop me from learning (otherwise I would have quit chess before I even started).

One thing I've learned after quite a while in academia is that the "smartest" people are almost always the hardest workers, the most diligent, those willing to put in the time. When I was a first-year graduate student, I thought all the 5th year students were brilliant. Then, five years later, with all the crazy knowledge I had gained (the basis of creativity, largely as in chess, is a base of experience that can be drawn on to find solutions to new problems), I was the one who was "brilliant" and could see possibilities that others couldn't. This was a skill I acquired through a ridiculous amount of hard work. I am applying this to my chess training, hoping to improve by this crazy tactical training, getting a coach, etc (though my goal is basically to reach the equivalent of a High School diploma in chess: a rating of 1500 USCF; I'd say an 1800 rating is like getting a college degree, becoming an IM is getting a PhD (most, but not all, could do it with proper application of effort), becoming a GM getting into the National Academy of Sciences, while the Nobel prize is reserved for the super-GMs).

My danger as an academic entering chess late in life is that I will eschew gaining experience and take the easy way out, becoming a chess "scholar", gaining abstract knowledge, historical information, general principles (e.g., the correct definition of 'piece activity') but remain a patzer.

Frankly, I think in person we would probably get along pretty well. I am a pretty mellow guy, much more mellow than my writings might make me sound. Especially in chess, I tend to defer to pretty much everyone, as almost everyone in the blogosphere would kick my ass in a game. (And while I may arguably come off as gentlemanly, my recent posts to funky fantom might suggest otherwise :).

Incidentally, if I looked like that female in the picture, I think I'd never leave the front of the mirror.

Wed Jun 20, 01:54:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Wahrheit said...

My Word, your essays are fascinating, your photos to accompany them are beautiful--and then you write a comment that is an essay in itself, beautiful, tragic, sad, hopeful, happy, loving, detached...thank you for giving these things to us, your readers.

Thu Jun 21, 08:51:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Grandpatzer said...

"On the internet, no one knows that you're a dog"...famous New Yorker cartoon.

The great thing about blogs in general is that you're judged on the content of your writing, not some index of real-world status such as education level, job, age, sex, race. Some of the superstars on the political blogs I frequent are very ordinary people with amazing insight.

I have a Ph.D. in a physical science, but that doesn't translate to chess excellence. Actually, since my Myers-Briggs is INTP ("absent-minded professor archetype"), that probably hurts me in some regards.

Thu Jun 21, 12:15:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

thank you Blue. i like your description of temposchlucker as charging into things like a rocket. i think that we all know each other here, in an odd way that others near us on earth cannot.

i will link intra post again to this nice article by a colorodo master about ratings, and the comparitive scale of difficulty. your analogy is fabulous.

after fifty chess books, but good chess books--that i ACTUALLY READ--i try very hard NOT to buy much now. enough is enough, or as Schopenhauer apty says: "The ownership of books is not to be confused with the appropriation of their contents". But when on one of my recent trips to see my holistic doctor (the master homeopath, MD, osteopath, and nutrional councilor), stopping by Tacoma books, saw the Lou Hays rendition of Fischers entire games. i already had the Soltis version... not to mention Agur's very eligently cogent and complete Bobby Fischer: His approach to Chess (ref. in the topical Tisdahl Aashargard tandem discussed at temposchlucker, recently) but so sweet, so i grabed it.

what he says, in his intro, is that a carefull review and study of all of Fischers games was the equivalent of a "college degree in chess".

Wahrheit: when i told my vender that i would take him to surgery, i said to him: "vic, i will take you under one condition: that this doesnt mean that you feel that you have to stop being mean on occassion to me when you come in to service us!"

grandpatzer, i am an ENFJ, with a lot of N and J, surprise surprise? im what is called a pedagogue in their typology.

of course, the more arcane parts of the enneagrahm way beyond Helen Palmer is far better a typology, such as found in Arica and Oscar Ichazo!

i dated a "Questor" once, the enchanted fairy princess of the typology: INFP, and she defaulted on all her credit, but she could cook well and give a good backrub. but she was to dreams what fish is to water, absent limits or practicality, and is represented by about 1% of the population.

Thu Jun 21, 12:48:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

I agree with Grandpatzer. I like the relative anonymity of the blogosphere, and the fact that you rise or fall based only on the merits of what you are saying. Appeals to credentials or to authority pull no weight.

Fri Jun 22, 05:44:00 AM PDT  
Blogger wormwood said...

disclaimer: hugely drunk. it's the midsummer's eve festival, the most important holiday for finNs. and as the pagans we are, we stick religiously to the old ways. my dad just fell asleep on my floor, we've been drinking beer, barbequeing and revealing family secrets all night. as usual, I found out some crazy things about his youth/parents/relatives/me that no one ever talks about.

blitz. you got me there dk. I have no answer. if I had, I wouldn't be struggling at 1100's. neither do I see a reason to hide the fact. I suck at blitz. it's as simple as that. no excuses.

nice to see you picked up pretty much everything about the handle. I used four or five days coming up with it. suitably pompous.

you wouldn't believe how much time it took to proofread this.

Fri Jun 22, 06:06:00 PM PDT  
Blogger BlunderProne said...


I'd like to exchange emails. If you feel the same, you can forward your email address to:

george dot duval at comcast dot net

Sat Jun 23, 06:04:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous chessdog said...

hey bro, i would be remiss if i did not accept your invitation...hey wait, just what the hell spectrum of the bandwidth of human dimensionality are you implying that i represent???

Sun Jun 24, 04:05:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...


i cannot speak for all of humanity, but for me you represent the volatile fully charged element of higher rarer isotopes which need a special environment and unique handling, and all the more glad you exist, and that i know you.

warmest, dk

Sun Jun 24, 04:27:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

From: peter.norvig@gmail.com [mailto:peter.norvig@gmail.com]

On Behalf Of Peter Norvig
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 1:49 PM

To: David's Personal

Subject: Re: Peter, I am sure you are burried in unsolicited emails, but my short essay with you as center, I am sure will amuse:



On 6/22/07, David's Personal <______.com> wrote:

Thu Jun 28, 01:58:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous chessdog said...

I think the schoolyard fisticuffs is a very applicable analogy...its cool how things have turned out...although, what i am i going to do without an "arch nemisis"??? you were like the he-man to my skeletor, or mayby the agua teens to my mooninites! oh well, i guess i'll just keep practicing. later bro

Sun Jul 01, 07:45:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous chessloser said...

as for being quite married and having a roaming eye, i follow the rule of....it doesn't matter where you get your appetite, as long as you eat at home...

Thu Jul 05, 06:10:00 AM PDT  

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