Timothy Casey

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If I don't say so myself, Timothy Casey is a well site geologist with commercial software and web development experience and the attitude that anything that has to be believed cannot possibly be scientific - which has nothing to do with Go. My best career advice in a "free market" is to adopt a miai strategy. There is more about me outside the goban [ext] here

Speaking for myself, the attraction of Go is not purely a matter of the depth and aesthetics of the world's oldest strategy game. There is also the fact that whether or not we agree with the rules of the game they are fixed, much like the laws of physics. This makes Go an intellectual refuge from popular pseudo-arguments which, in Go terms, could be described as claiming life based on invisible hypothetical stones placed just outside the edge of the goban. You can't run off the edge of the goban just as you can't defy the laws of physics. The fact that the goban is one of the few social venues left where people do not attempt to persuade you otherwise gives it a certain sanctity that is difficult to find elsewhere.

I began playing with Go in 1979 but stopped in 1984 when study and in later years, professional commitments, eclipsed more intellectual pastimes. In 2010, I returned to playing Go with an official rank of 21Q. I'll be sure to add details of any subsequent progress through the ranks. If I may be so blunt, Go is very much a game based in intellect, which is different from games based in intelligence such as Chess.

I would like to dwell a moment on the distinction between intelligence and intellect. Intelligence is meagrely the ability to learn, whereas intellect is the ability to understand. That is how these words are defined. Intelligence allows us to spell a word such as, verb, but it requires intellect to understand how a verb is different from a noun or why the verb is the basis of statements constructed in human languages whereas the noun is the basis of statements constructed in machine languages. If your browser did not have artificial intelligence, it could not download this web page and display it according to the standard set by the site owner in the CSS file. However, the ability of a computer program to pass the Turing Test depends on artificial intellect, and no amount of intelligence can allow a computer to pass. This is because the correct response to ambiguous statements requires an ability to understand the context. All it takes to distinguish an artificial intelligence from a natural intelligence during a Turing Test is to supply dictionally ambiguous input with clear contextual meaning and then interrogate the subject for a more specific expression. It is utterly impossible for intelligence to account for aji in the absence of intellect.

Go's basis in intellect makes it very much a game that is changed by the people playing it. In a sense, the players are very much an extension of the goban; their respective intellects adding to the otherwise mathematically dull features of the two-dimensional Cartesian single-digit triple-state integer set. This makes me a big fan of the real world realities of a game in progress. The sound of the stone striking the goban, the sound of a captured stone falling into the lid, or the sound of your opponent rooting around in the bowl for a stone to play all tell a story about the unseen intellectual terrain of the goban that are present in the game in progress. Go players have various habits and, to an equal extent, Go players have their preferences for particular styles of play.

I've a conjecture about the distribution of temperament characteristics, and I think that the need for the means of testing this conjecture is ultimately what led me back to my favourite game. A game with the depth of Go would, in theory, have a variety of playing styles that mirror temperament distribution. My interest in Go is not so much focussed on rapid progression through the ranks but on exploring differing styles of play.

Timothy Casey last edited by bugcat on August 28, 2021 - 14:29
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