Wednesday, February 16

The Game of Go

Decades ago (to be more precise) the 70s, some high school friends and I would play war-games. The old fashioned hex-board strategy games (Avalon Hill) were popular in our crowd. Avalon Hill also sold a set of Go, the Chinese strategy game which was sold as the Eastern variant of Chess. Now I will freely admit that I have very little skill at strategy games and never got to play Go more than a few dozen times. But the little I did play, taught me a lesson that is well learned but easily forgotten.

Like chess, Go is a game of pure strategy (no chance) between two opponents. The game consists of dropping colored stones one per turn onto a board. The object is to build "safe" areas to avoid capture. The player with the most stones remaining on the board at the end wins. The key to winning is to identify a losing situation early, abandoning it to cut your losses and moving elsewhere. The lesson of identifying a losing situation and quietly moving on, might be better learned by our political (and business) celebrities. Peoples actions in recent history, e.g. Rathergate and Mr Howard's current actions come to mind. I'm sure we can all come up with many other examples. The point is that, perhaps we Americans should spend a little time playing Go.

Playing Go could form habits that could help our political discourse.