One-ten-hundred in study

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A theory relating to study of go topics.

Whatever it may be - joseki, go proverbs, counting of an endgame play - consider three phases of study:

  1. the first example you really understand, internalise, put to use;
  2. examples #2 to #10 of the same type of thing;
  3. examples #11 to #100.

Then there may be as much important learning going on, in each of the three phases.

For instance, the empty triangle shape. To master what the conventional wisdom is about it, one has to see that this is a kind of mistake, for reasons that can be explained - except when it isn't (and there are too many cases of that to list). That would be Phase One.

In Phase Two one seeks out further examples of shapes, good and bad, and tries to apply them; now the fact that the advice is qualified - is a heuristic not a rule - is familiar, and one can concentrate on integrating shape ideas with fighting.

Finally in Phase Three other examples will come to your attention, in games or as you study. They are useful, no doubt, but the process of acquisition of shape knowledge has become routine, and continues in the background of other processes, until some misunderstandings or conflicts with experience or explicit teaching necessitate revisions.

There is of course a process of diminishing returns that explains why, for example, a collection of 1000 go proverbs might not be so helpful. Often Phase Two is the most exciting, as one tracks down fresh applications of a novel insight.

Charles Matthews

DrStraw: This sounds like it is saying nothing more than that learning is logarithmic, which is just common sense.

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One-ten-hundred in study last edited by DrStraw on August 8, 2015 - 02:54
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