Hi! My name is Nathan Austin.
I play as NathanA on KGS (roughly 12k)
and IGS (ranked about 25k)
I have a Go Blog here called Journal of an American Go Player
I am also a member of the Sabaki Go Club
I am interested in philosophy and go.
Philosophers Stones is an ongoing game here trying to relate the two worlds. Anyone is welcome to play. It's been a little slow. :)
Some of the topics I am most interested in:
Logic and Go: Is it possible to construct a logic unique to go? I am thinking in analogy to mathematics and metalogic where one can define logics based on particular properties or entities that one wants to study. If it would be possible to do this for go the question becomes would this be useful or meaningful.
Aesthetics and Go: Aside from the beauty of the actual board or the culture surrounding the game there is the question of aesthetics of play. This is simialar to my mind to the way that physicists talk about the beauty of certain theories or that solutions to big dilemmas in theory can be expected to have beauty.
Topics that this seems to relate to are the concepts of style of play, suji or technique, and shape. Sakata Eio in his book Tesuji and Anti-Suji of Go gives the best description and explanation of suji, tesuji, and shape that I have found. I would like to develop a better sense of the relationship between these and overall playing style.
Epistemology and Go: I like to see analogies between go and other aspects of human experience. How can go relate as an analogy to other areas of knowledge? What could an analogy like this reveal about methods of organizing and using knowledge? It seems to me the question of Computers and Go is closely related to this line of inquiry.Some Philosophical Questions about Computers and Go
The analogy between go and language is one that strikes me strongly though I know there are those who are opposed to this idea. The primary argument against it seems to be you can't say "Help!" in go.
On the other hand I just found a short article in an old Go Review that discussed this same idea. I will try to post the cite when I can. The idea appeals to me because though limited it seems to me that at the very least a game of go is a discussion about the game itself. Each move is a statement about the position that preceded it. At high enough levels I think that a game can be a discussion of go in general. My personal opinion as can be seen below is that go is metaphorically a way of discussing many things.
Another relationship I have been thinking about recently is one between go and jazz. The ideas of theme and variation, and the interplay between large scale and local development seem important to both. An example of this might be to compare Takemiya's style of play on the go board to Coltrane's on the saxaphone.
The analogy with life experience is another relationship I am very interested in. Life is complex it seems to me in a very similar way to a game of go in that one encounters a great variety of situations in both and the way one chooses to handle any of them can have repercussions both to the future and on the results of previous encounters. It seems to me that developing a style of play in go is similar to developing an outlook on life. One cannot be too rigid about one's principles or completely undisciplined. To me this is the essence of spirituality. The quest to become a better person and better at living life.
Here are some of my favorite Go websites:
I think because you're interested in this stuff you should definitely read some ancient military histories -- Ceasar's and Thucydides. They're another way of looking at strategy that has deep implications for looking at go. Drawing is another one that I use frequently as a way of looking at go.