Forum for Joseki

Changes in October 2018 [#6601]

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BobMyers: Changes in October 2018 (2018-10-16 04:24) [#11182]

It's an utter mystery to me why an anonymous author (who are you?) would make these kinds of questionable changes to a page which has been stable for four years, and has been contributed to by a number of experts over the years. The great majority of these changes are wrong, misleading, or irrelevant.

For instance, there is no meaningful difference in the nuance of the word joseki between English and Japanese. In both cases, the default assumption is that it is referring to a corner joseki. That's just one example.

I'm sort of curious as to based on what expertise, knowledge, or research this anonymous author (or the other person making changes to this page in recent months) would make such changes. If you really think you have something to add, or a change you want to propose, then add something to the talk page, or add a comment inside the page, explaining what you want to change and why.

Dieter: Re: Changes in October 2018 (2018-10-19 16:03) [#11183]

(removed uncalled for reaction - apologies)

Dieter: ((no subject)) (2018-10-18 13:27) [#11184]

I made a few changes but not to the parent page.

In any case, I think you should not discourage people from editing a page, even if it's stable for 4 years. Restore it if you are unhappy with the changes. This is normal wiki practice.

Also, it's normal that people question conventional wisdom about joseki, with the advent of new expertise.

BobMyers: new experts (2018-10-18 14:13) [#11185]

If you look at the changes, they do not reflect any "new expertise", new analysis, new insights, or new perspectives. They simply add incorrect information. For instance, the idea that the nuance of joseki, and specifically whether or not the term normally refers to corners, is different between English and Japanese is not a "new perspective". It's just wrong. It was written by someone who didn't know what they were talking about.

I'm sure a great deal has changed over the last four years as regards joseki, specifically individual joseki. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about fundamental things like the fact that joseki means, always has meant, and always will mean results which are 50/50 locally, all else being equal. If this is not the case, then it is referred to as "not joseki". That is not something that changes in the course of four years.

X Re: new experts (2018-10-18 14:58) [#11186]

Joseki are often thought to be corner sequences, probably because of books like Ishida's joseki dictionary. I understood that they were not, and that they can occur everywhere on the board.

Equally the assumption of 50/50 result is also a simplistic understanding if you ask me. It is something to tell a beginner. Nobody actually believes that its true, even if you assume the joseki is played in a vacuum.

reply I agree with Bob (2018-10-18 19:35) [#11187]

John F. I was astounded when I saw the recent changes but couldn't be bothered to keep pissing into the wind. But Bob's intervention and the rude challenge to it made me want to contribute. First, as Bob says, joseki is used virtually the same in Japanese as in English, and the meanings haven't changed in the last four years. Specifically, it usually refers to a corner sequence. The occasions when it is used of side sequences or things like standard erasures of shimaris are (in Japanese) normally flagged up as e.g. middle-game josekis, erasure josekis. If the attribute is missing, it is safe to assume corner joseki is meant. Second, both in English and Japanese there is a loose usage where the word is used for any alternating corner transaction irrespective of the outcome (i.e. it may contain mistakes - the usage is just like saying "opening" in chess). In pro books, this double standard is sometimes specifically mentioned, to obviate confusion. (I would say this loose usage is commoner in English, but it's certainly common among Japanese amateurs and far from unknown among pros). Third, an equal outcome is not expected. How can it be, when many josekis involve a different number of stones for each side? The criterion, rather, is that the sequence is commonly played (there is a now perhaps obsolescent usage in ordinary Japanese where you say "My daily joseki is to take a walk round the park" or where you use it to mean the "standard rule is to ..." or the "standard way to do something is to ..." This sort of background nuance is, of course, lacking in English but is obviously brought to bear on the Japanese go usage, and it will be noted that it includes nothing about equality of outcomes. However, what Bob said is that you can usually infer a 50/50 result in go ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL, and that is so. Fourth, there are (in Japanese) occurrences where the word is highlighted for instruction or effect. For example, in his book "Joseki no Kangaekata" (How to Think about Joseki), which in itself implies that joseki is not something to take as gospel, Go Seigen refers to "Bad josekis". Indeed, that is the title of his Chapter 2. His first example is a joseki given in joseki books and encyclopaedias and he ends the section: "This joseki is wrong." It's not really part of this topic, but what Go is doing here is re-evaluating josekis in a radical way, and so he is doing what AI bots have been doing. In other words, there is nothing new about recent re-evaluations of josekis. There is no "new expertise." His first example is not about equality (White has 6 stones to Black's 5) but he is clearly talking about a commonly played sequence, and even though it is wrong he is not saying it is not joseki. After his re-evaluation it may become uncommon, of course (but that hasn't happened yet). It remains a joseki, but a bad one. And that sort of usage would be acceptable in English, too. I have quoted true expertise (and can quote lots more). Like Bob, I read Japanese and read lots of Japanese go books, and I am a native English speaker. That might not be much but it's something. The recent change has nothing like that going for it. It's not "challenging" accepted wisdom. It's just a frivolous opinion based on nothing but whimsy.

X Re: I agree with Bob (2018-10-18 22:50) [#11188]

Indeed. The page should surely explain that corner joseki is the default, indeed the common usage, but that other joseki types exist. That would be a complete treatment. Now I should say that I still haven't seen the recent changes, and I am not sure what recent is supposed to be in our context. Is it a year or more? That would certainly be a lot of piss, or a lot of wind. Well, frivolity aside, certainly I have believed for well over a year that it is simplistic to argue that a joseki is a 50:50 result. If Bob means 50, give or take a bit, well then I might agree. Good or bad joseki, closed or open system, is realism really so unpalatable here? edit... Ah silly me, tis about changes from this month of which we speak. Well, my own thoughts.

  • Nice to see new links added
  • Page is excessively rambling, a more direct explanation should be given, followed by precisions
  • Let's have a go at improving the page
reply ((no subject)) (2018-10-19 00:43) [#11189]

I thought I had deleted that first comment. It was uncalled for. Sorry Bob.

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