Professional / Discussion

Sub-page of Professional

Charles Most people would (still) take 'professional' to be an accredited player of one of the pro organisations (e.g. the Nihon Ki-in). I don't think that just being strong, or just making a living as a go teacher, counts. For example Kikuchi is not counted as a pro.

Blake: Yes, I agree. I will address this in the upcoming edit :)

Blake (later): I have added the notable professionals of various eras and nationalities to the page. I'd appreciate it if anyone who wants to could flesh out the list, though, as my knowledge is limited. In particular, I know very little about the Chinese go scene

Charles There are pros in Taiwan, and a pro organisation in the USA (though it doesn't grant diplomas, as far as I know). 'Inactive' is odd as a classification : Otake isn't retired for example, while some of those people are dead. I think there is a problem with trying to make this page a survey of the whole history of high-level play. It is probably misleading to imply there were pros in China before 1982, for example.

Blake: If you see errors, please feel free to fix them. And, as I said, I know next to nothing about Chinese go. Regarding "inactive;" I considered "retired," but obviously, as you say, some are dead. "Inactive" seems much more acceptable than saying "Notable Dead Modern Pros..."

Charles Suggest 'notable 20th century pros' as an interesting heading, avoiding all that.

Blake: Ah, good idea. Thanks.

Rafael Caetano: I agree with Charles. And when he says that just being strong is not enough, I believe he means that even playing at professional level (like Kikuchi) is not enough. As for teaching, in China there are many "semi-professionals" who make a living teaching go. Some of them are very strong, like former WAGC champion Li Daichun, but they are not called pros.

Bob McGuigan: In Japan there is a designation chihou kishi which refers to what we would call teaching professionals. They have some status in the Nihon Ki-in and used to have their photographs and brief biogaphies listed at the end of the Kido Nenkan but they are not full fledged professional players. Most of them are based in the countryside(hence the name) where regular pros would not be available. Many if not all of them were inseis who could not qualify as pros through the tournament system. In China professional status means much more than professional playing strength. A player can lose professional status if a prescribed list of tournament and teaching activities is not maintained.

See also Difference between Pros and Amateurs

unkx80: Any page on SL that relates between the dan ratings of amateur and professional players?

Neil: Not to my knowledge, but there is one alleged relation: On IGS, a rating of 9d* is said to be equivalent to a rank of 9p in Japan.

Bob McGuigan: Most of the time when pros play handicap games with amateurs the handicap is not strict. Usually the pros give fewer stones than the amateur would need if it were a "serious" game. I've heard from some pros that from a mid-level pro, in a non-teaching game, the number of stones should be 9 minus the amateur's dan rank. Thus an amateur 5d would need four stones. Of course amateur dan ranks are not consistent from country to country, but this might give some ideas.

Charles With European grades, should be one stone fewer than that. But such games are rarely played 'for blood': they are teaching games, and it would be unusual to use a clock.

Rafael Caetano: You're probably underestimating the difference between Japanese and European grades.

RobertJasiek: For the parent page's text "Some amateur go players make their income from teaching and writing about go. Unless they are affiliated with one of the Go associations, they are still considered 'amateurs', i.e. not pros.", I have added the footnote "For the sake of tax declarations, they are considered professionals, because what matters is income rather than membership in an organization." HermanHiddema has removed my footnote and commented "remove pointless footnote". Let me explain why the footnote is not pointless but essential: E.g., in Germany, if some amateur go player makes his income from teaching and writing about go but pretends to the tax bureaucracy that he would not do so as a professional, he would be violating the German law and cheating the German state.

Bob McGuigan: It seems simple enough that someone could be a professional go writer or professional go teacher and not be a professional go player. Just add the extra words "writer" or "teacher" and there should be no problem with the tax bureaucracy and the go community.

Kyle Blocher: There is absolutely no ambiguity on what "Go professional" means with respect to the Go community. The first sentence on the parent page is accurate. Even though I am a "professional" in the literal meaning of the word "professional" (as I have made and currently make some income through the game of Go in various capacities), I would never call myself a "Go professional" in the community. I have never had the same kind of training professionals have had, regardless of my rank, teaching skills, consulting skills, organizational skills, or how much research I have done on the subject. Robert's point on tax is misleading, because I can imagine very few individuals that would come to Sensei's Library to read an article about Go professionals and care about this kind of disambiguation. Robert, I would guess Herman is simply tired of arguing with you.

Anon: SL is certainly not intended as a reference point for German tax law. I think that it would be acceptable to enter a second meaning for Professional, as we have for a page such as Reading. There we can state the alternative, definition, and mark it as such. Thaat is, mark that it is not what 99% of us mean by pro, but it can be used.

RobertJasiek: Fine.

Herman: The article in fact already mentions, in the opening paragraph, the generic English meaning of the word professional as meaning someone who has made something their profession. That meaning is not used in go, but is used when filing your taxes.

RobertJasiek: I disagree. That you are not aware of such use among go players does not prevent (a few) others (especially such for whom it is relevant) from being aware. (Needless to say, this use of "go professional" does not imply "having a professional go player status issued by some go entity".)

Slarty: "go professional" or "go...professional" implies having the playing strength of professional players. Bob McGuigan is entirely right, simply declare your profession accurately and do not borrow the playing strength of the world's elite. Except you should use the words "employed as" in place of "professional" which less commonly used in English anyway.

RobertJasiek: Nobody "borrows" playing strength. (Why is this frequently suggested? Nobody pretends to have a higher playing strength just because he is a professional prize-money collector (in go tournaments in that he may participate), go teacher, go writer etc.)? I see only people that are not such professionals claim that such professionals would pretend to have a higher playing strength. Really, this is off-topic. The discussion is not about whether anybody pretends a higher playing strength, but is about whether the following independent kinds of income-generating jobs exist also for players of amateur playing rank status: professional prize-money collector, go teacher, go writer etc.) "Employment" does not apply to "independent / self-employed professionals".

Slarty: Whether you think you are trying to borrow credentials or not, "Employment does not apply to the self-employed," is a clear admittance of poor judgement.

RobertJasiek: I suspect this is a weakness of the English language. In German, it is clearer: Angestellter versus Selbständiger.

tapir: Nobody stops you from writing Go player / teacher / author or whatever on your tax form, but you do not need to bother the whole Go world with it. You are as well aware as everyone that the term Go professional is commonly used for certified professionals. And you would do well to contemplate, whether semantical clowneries like this do harm your income as teacher / author / publisher.

RobertJasiek: This wiki is not for hiding (or here even: denying. Citation from the parent page: "The more general English usage of the word professional, denoting that a person has made something their profession and earns money from it, is not used in go." This wrongly denies existence of a dual meaning.) information (here about dual meaning of "professional"), but for providing information. It is unnecessary to start meta-discussions about "clowneries" or to suggest that the contents of the discussion would be about only one particular person (there are several or, maybe in Asia, even many go income-professionals that are amateur players). I have spoken about German tax law as an example because I am sure about it, while I am not sure if every other country uses the same kind of distinction between income-amateur and income-professional (or hobby versus financial profession).

Herman: This wiki is not for misleading people. Please stop repeating things that are false.

RobertJasiek: You think that something is right, I think that it is wrong (or vice versa). This discussion page serves at least as a reference that there are these different opinions on what is right. It would be nicer though if already the parent page, or a broader page on professional activities, could convey the variation of opinions.

Herman: Obviously, the statement "there exist people that use the term professional in a go context to refer to income status" is correct, because you yourself are an example. But the main page should reflect consensus on terminology. From discussions here and elsewhere, it is quite obvious that your usage is a fringe opinion, and the consensus is that it is incorrect.

RobertJasiek: So you think that only majority consensus should be conveyed? I prefer pluralism in the wiki contents, because then the reader learns more.

Herman: I think correct and accurate information should be conveyed. In language, correctness is determined by consensus. The consensus determines that the current definition on the page of the word "professional" is correct. It also determines that the alternate use you wish to use is incorrect. These two facts are conveyed in the opening paragraph. I see no reason to add "There exist a few people who, due to poor grasp of the terminology, incorrectly use the alternate meaning". That is accurate, but it is also just clutter of the article. Any term can be used incorrectly, there is no need to add a disclaimer to every page.

Anon: Maybe we can add an Incorrect Definition at the bottom of the page, listing examples of what are not go Professionals (Somebody who takes money for teaching, somebody who takes money for writing a book, somebody who makes money for editing a magazine, somebody who takes money from the cash register at the tournament, somebody who takes money by winning the tournament)

RobertJasiek: Herman, instead of even considering something like "due to poor grasp of the terminology, incorrectly use", it is possible to solve matters by creating a second page "Professional Status or Activities" with a broader view, which can list persons of these types: with professional status and income from go activities; with professional status but without income from go activities; without professional status but with income from go activities; etc. (I think that the missing consensus is only about the phrase "professional", not about the fact these types of persons exist in the world of go. Presumably consensus about the phrase "professional" is missing, because entities issuing professional ranks have done an efficient job in convincing (too) many that they would have a monopol on the phrase. But it is not like "doctor", where (in many countries) law regulates the title. What the entities (for most of the time) have had a monopol on is issuing professional ranks and associated privileges, such as membership in a "professional association".)

Herman: What "missing consensus"? There is an obvious and broad consensus on the meaning of the word "professional" in a go context. That is not an opinion, it is an observable fact. If you wish to deny facts, there is no point in continuing the discussion. Creating another page is unnecessary, as the parent page is entirely correct and comprehensive.

unkx80: I think I see where Robert is going. He wants one or more pages containing lists of go players, categorized into the following:

  • Professionals with income from go activities
  • Professionals without income from go activities
  • Non-professionals (i.e., amateurs) with income from go activities
  • etc.

As long as accepted terminology is used, I don't see why such lists can't exist on SL. Perhaps, a better name might be "Notable Go Players".

Anon: I don't believe that you are correct. Robert appears to question the consensus that a Professional describes a Go player who holds a certification from a professional organisation. I would suggest he creates a poll to prove his opinion on that subject. This wiki already holds a list of Teachers, I believe the list even details which Teachers charge for their courses, I don't believe that we need another page there. Nor do I believe we need a page to list Amateur players who use tournament prize money as their income (etc)

RobertJasiek: I do not question the basics of the consensus, but IMO it co-exists with another use.

Dieter: A poll will not help, because Robert believes that being right is not about being a majority. I'd agree with that for scientific issues but he stretches the idea to the usage of words, where the majority is almost per definition right. Robert is expecting something else to be convinced about usage of words, especially when it collides with his interest, and we will have a hard time finding that golden argument.

unkx80: Yes, I am aware that he is disputing the meaning of "professional", and I don't agree to his second use of "professional" in the go context. But I think he also wants to add content on go players and their activities, so I tried to suggest how it can be done. Do note that go-related activities is much wider than teaching alone, and can include promotion, writing, and other things.

RobertJasiek: The go world consists of more than go entities (go associations, organizations, federations) and their members; it consists also (or probably even mainly) of other go players or of members that do not agree to everything that the entities say. Among the entities and those players that accept what they say on the topic, there is a consensus close to what you describe. Among the other go players, I do not see this consensus; what I see among other go players is the awareness of two uses of "professional": a) the aforementioned consensus, b) the professional by income and amateur by playing rank (or rating).

Concerning the parent page: I am just curious: is the status professional always associated with a diploma, or do not all professional associations issue diplomas for the purpose of identifying a professional rank or status? I disagree that the page would be comprehesive; currently, it does not even explain that there are professionals by status but living from a different job or in a different country, or retired professionals by status.

Herman: So what you are saying is: The more knowledgeable a person is about go, the more likely they are to know the correct usage of terms.

RobertJasiek: There is no strict order of being more knowledgeable. Different people know different sets of things. Persons with much specific knowledge still do have knowledge gaps.

Kyle Blocher: Give it up everyone, don't you know Robert is always right? Have you seen a single "discussion" that he doesn't have to have the last word, no matter how many people disagree with him?

Kyle Blocher: Robert, You are not a Go professional. You are a Go teacher, researcher, and writer. Secondly, your compulsive pride does not allow for anyone's validity of opinion to be valid if it disagrees with your own. It is completely obvious. Thirdly, you have turned off other past contributors like myself, not wishing to continue because of the pallor you cast over all of us with your arrogant behavior. I fully expect a post where you dissect this post with your own opinion, defending it, and disproving my own. How about starting by respecting the fact that others disagree with you?

In other discussions, we your dissenting opinion have put up with your antics. This goes too far. You are insulting an entire class of people who have gone through grueling training to become a professional Go player and have earned their badge of honor. I wish you could see how you are perceived by others. It is truly conduct unbecoming, misrepresentation, and fraud, similar to calling yourself a lawyer without passing the bar exam or earning a Ph. D. without a thesis and defense.

We defend the wiki's position vigorously because most of your posts, no matter how technically valid, dilute or detract from the purposes of the wiki and give a bad name to everyone else who contributes. If you tried the same thing on Wikipedia, you would be banned (honestly I am surprised SL's maintainers haven't banned you).

I will lodge a complaint with the maintainers of this wiki for each and every single one of your self-aggrandizing "contributions". I hope I never have the displeasure of meeting you in person.

tapir: Just for context: Every librarian has the ability/duty to ban users/ips, several librarians are aware and involved in this thread. Whatever your intention, spamming Arno or Morten with complaints about every post Robert does, will hardly do SL any good. Practically, banning is almost exclusively done for spam accounts. We even responded to the most vile personal attacks with educational comments instead of banning (incl. stuff like: "And yes this time it's a threat to your life. And no i'm not whining, i'm making a statement."). SL hasn't much of a practice/policy on banning people to be honest and even if it were to be developed now, I doubt it would encompass the polite obstructionism practiced by Robert. It is obvious from the course of discussion, that Robert's definition will not be the one on the page. In my opinion the discussion only lingers on, because everyone but Robert seeks consensus and would feel better, if he would concede and agree. But buttressing consent by banning people, who obnoxiously keep disagreeing (on the discussion page!), would be the most unenlightened policy.

Kyle: Of course I won't spam. The responses from three libraries from my comment above is enough reaction.

unkx80: Hi Kyle, just to add on to tapir - Herman, tapir, and I are all librarians. I do not agree with Robert's proposed addition too. However, Herman and tapir did not ban Robert, neither am I in favour for banning for the reasons already stated by tapir. On the other hand, from my reading of the current discussion, your last comment is very close to a personal attack on Robert, even though he did not really make any such attacks. I would like you to refrain from doing so, thank you.

RobertJasiek: Thx.

Kyle: unkx80, call it a personal attack because it clearly is (you don't have to be political about it). I am just sick and tired of no one else having the balls to stop a bully, including the librarians who have a responsibility to invoke authority when necessary. The only way to stop one is to fight back. I was unaware that personal attacks were against policy. If this is the case, please feel free to censor or remove my comments.

tapir: I can virtually sign your previous comment. I also do much prefer your answer to the whole genre of counter-obstructionism, nasty little pages or discussion answers making fun of Robert and his pet issues and provoking him with a few well placed quips to endless replies, while remaining all polite on the outside. I also feel, that less combustible consensus and a bit more unresolved disagreement may be healthy. However, there simply is neither precedent nor policy to ban people for being obnoxious, complicated or insistent on SL. For me this always was refreshing compared to Wikipedia, where I saw scores of good people banned, when conflict about contents was fought against the person and ended only with one side banned. Regardless of preferences, I always felt the western Go community is too small to support Wikipedia style administration (burning through hundreds of volunteers in short time) of projects.

unkx80: Both Dieter and Hyperpape reminded me that continuing this discussion will not be fruitful, but I will respond to you for your message. The problem of name calling and other forms of personal attacks on online forums is that it can agitate the other party, and then the discussions quickly degenerate into a flame fest. The parties involved get angry, more problems appear while no problems ever get solved in this state.

I think the best way to handle this issue is just to keep cool and simply enforce the consensus on the main pages, like what Herman has done (and what triggered this round of discussions). He can express his views on the discussion pages, but if everybody else expresses their disapproval, then if he continues to insist on his viewpoints then we can consider simply ignoring him. Just that this time round I tried to distil what else he wanted to contribute other than his disagreement over "professional".

Dieter: I agree with both Tapir and unkx80 but I also feel compassion with Kyle, because me too I've been Jasieked and lost my temper on many occasions. Personally, I'd prefer to see more of Kyle at SL, because he has shown marvelous displays of go education and that for being a non-professional! BTW, I think everybody partaking in this discussion is essentially wasting their time which is something few professionals aspire for.

Kyle: Dieter, I have appreciated your kind support over the years where I have contributed, especially your comments on the endgame presentation. I must disagree with you that this is not a time-waster, nor is it unprofessional (but I certainly could have been unprofessional in the method). Communication problems are the number one killer of projects, including this one. Robert's dismissal of this kind of disagreement has honestly all but killed my willingness to participate in this project (SL). No one else in the Go community, ever, has even made me come even close to losing my temper.

Kyle Blocher: It appears my complaint has been lodged. Thanks for your responses.

Hyperpape: Convincing Robert (or any other editor who insists on a particular change) is not the real goal of a discussion, and may not always be possible. The goal of a discussion is to clarify issues, reach consensus, or improve the contents of the wiki. In this case, only one person insists on this issue, against many who take the view that "professional" refers to accreditation by one of the guild like associations, and it is unlikely that pursuing the issue will do any good.

There is no need for further dispute, unless novel reasons come up. Robert is free to create a second page "other ways of understanding professional", or "professionals in tax law" or "Robert Jasiek/What Is A professional" or whatever else.

In short, I recommend that this discussion be over, though Robert or others are free to continue elaborating their points of view. If so, it will be up to everyone else to decide if they are moved.

Professional / Discussion last edited by tapir on January 15, 2014 - 21:41
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