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today's [virtual] fortune cookie message to me:

you've got what it takes, but it will take everything you've got!
daily numbers (pick3): 477
i'm so glad no-posts may is over!
now i may finally post again!

full to the broad, unsounded sea

by rls, because i haven't been writing

hail! childish slaves of social rules
you had yourselves a hand in making!
how i could shake your faith, ye fools,
if but i thought it worth the shaking.
i see, and pity you; and then
go, casting off the idle pity,
in search of better, braver men,
my own way freely through the city.

my own way freely, and not yours;
and, careless of a town's abusing,
seek real friendship that endures
among the friends of my own choosing.
i'll choose my friends myself, do you hear?
and won't let mrs. grundy do it,
tho' all i honour and hold dear
and all i hope should move me to it.

i take my old coat from the shelf -
i am a man of little breeding.
and only dress to please myself -
i own, a very strange proceeding.
i smoke a pipe abroad, because
to all cigars i much prefer it,
and as i scorn your social laws
my choice has nothing to deter it.

gladly i trudge the footpath way,
while you and yours roll by in coaches
in all the pride of fine array,
through all the city's thronged approaches.
o fine religious, decent folk,
in virtue's flaunting gold and scarlet,
i sneer between two puffs of smoke, -
give me the publican and harlot.

ye dainty-spoken, stiff, severe
seed of the migrated philistian,
one whispered question in your ear -
pray, what was christ, if you be christian?
if christ were only here just now,
among the city's wynds and gables
teaching the life he taught us, how
would he be welcome to your tables?

i go and leave your logic-straws,
your former-friends with face averted,
your petty ways and narrow laws,
your grundy and your god, deserted.
from your frail ark of lies, i flee
i know not where, like noah's raven.
full to the broad, unsounded sea
i swim from your dishonest haven.

alone on that unsounded deep,
poor waif, it may be i shall perish,
far from the course i thought to keep,
far from the friends i hoped to cherish.
it may be that i shall sink, and yet
hear, thro' all taunt and scornful laughter,
through all defeat and all regret,
the stronger swimmers coming after.

the music is in you

years and years ago i held a poll about what the superior form of art was between things like paintings, books, movies, songs, etc. superior in which regard i don't recall if i specified. i think no one agreed with me, which is terrific. my answer was lyric songs. i still believe it. [obviously no form is truly 'superior' -- all are virtuous and necessary.]

as long as life is, the shards of life are short, and lyric songs, while limited in some ways in what they can impart and the effect they can have on one, inherently do their work with a brevity that is magical in relation to the outsized effect they have. poetry is a close second and the brevity of most poetry is an element i always treasured. but the best lyric songs fuse poetry with music and the combination of two great artforms elevates the whole past either individually.

music videos perhaps then would be the posited superior as combining three great artforms. and while i would grant the validity of the positing my further criteria is the manner of distribution. lyric songs are far easier to convey to many people in many settings (including the great outdoors). as for example, it is much more common and easier for a movie to incorporate a song than a music video into its own art.

and a lyric song is easier for just about anyone to imitate and duplicate. anyone with a voice can sing a lyric song and convey a large portion of the experience; any individual or group of someones with an instrument or two or three can convey a version of the song which is its own unique experience and work of art even in its derivation of the original work of art.

i also find that music stays with me in my recollection far more often than most any other kind of art. possibly in large part because of its brevity and ease of triggering recollection with just a fraction being heard, but i think there's a lot more to it.

what never happened may have

so it is funny to me that i last wrote about 'the determination of when to offer a draw versus playing through the moves for some length of time' without any foreknowledge of the game 12 outcome.

my main takeaway that i feel the need to address is that the game i analyzed in depth where caruana had built himself a substantial advantage which only one misstep prevented him from capitalizing upon takes on unsurpassable significance. he may never look at with this perspective but for the rest of his life (or until he succeeds in a future opportunity) he should live with the knowledge that he should very likely be the world champion right now. and i say very likely because no one can say how game 12 would have gone, or any game after a caruana win actually, but especially game 12, if carlsen were truly desperate to win. and that element of the unknown may actually be an unintended gift from carlsen, eliminating an awful certainty a drawn out draw in that game would have cemented. i'm irrationality disappointed because as an american he was my champion, as silly as it is to think that 'americans' are a unified whole that a person could align with. but such it is nonetheless.

i know a great bar where they never run out of bottles of regret. if fabiano ever stops in, the drinks are on me.

behind the times

so the theme of my life anymore is lack of time and also the qualitative measurement of the uses of time, touching on such timeless (time-honored ?) words and phrases as quality time, waste of time, wasted time, downtime, time crunch, et cetera.

so it's no surprise to me that i'm just now reading about game 9 in the chess duel, a game which occurred six or so days ago. all due to the thanksgiving holiday and how i spent or misspent my time during it.

fortunately for me the reporting on said game addressed both appropriate uses of time and an issue that was touched upon briefly during the discussion appended to my prior chess-related entries, and which i had still been chewing over in my mind, namely at what point in an endgame does a human player (or even a computer player) decide that a draw is the only eventual outcome [clearly a player who realizes they do not have a winning outcome available but that there is, in fact, a losing outcome available, will be all too happy to participate in the persuasion of their opponent that a draw is inevitable.]

from the guardian:

'an impassioned carlsen bristled when asked by a reporter from norwegian broadcaster nrk why he continued to persist for so long in the endgame despite the high likelihood of a peaceful result. when did he understand it was a draw?

“i understood it immediately,” carlsen said, voice rising. “it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play. i’m trying to entice him to play h5 and if he does play h5 then i at least have a target. but obviously if he just keeps still and keeps his fortress just waiting for my king to enter then there’s nothing, but there’s no harm in playing. i really don’t understand the point (of the question).”'

so i would think that the only possible harm in playing through an endgame that seems destined to draw is the use of a possibly limited store of mental stamina and focus, the disuse of which might lead to a lapse and loss. the ends (an infinitesimal chance at victory) not justifying the means (the limited store). clearly not a problem for computers. i wonder how far they are programmed to play before admitting a draw (especially since, as nightspore pointed out, they can 'see' routes to mate that human players essentially cannot).

so i am curious how often an omniscient narrator would tell us that championship games which could have had a winner were instead agreed draws (could have had a winner in actuality, not in alternate realities where a computer player was allowed to substitute in during the endgame, et cetera).

when is playing on a waste of time (and other resources) and when is it not? few could say.

anything else is not progress

so i had to (sort of) see for myself, putting all faith in the artificial-intelligence chess software stockfish that is ubiquitous, faith that it virtually always knows the optimal move, because i had to rely on it to play the role of optimal carlsen just as much as it promised to fulfill the part of optimal caruana. and while i'm still not totally convinced that the computer in considering its lines of play for both sides might not be discounting or disregarding a move that a human could uncover to foil one of its optimal lines of play it does seem apparent that even though this software is universally available for free to all takers, it is fully capable of proffering the closest thing to the most optimal moves, proffers them more often than human grandmasters.

so i set up the board with their game 8 at move 24 to avoid fabiano's (mis)play and take the alternate play suggested by ai, and then put it through its many many paces all the way to mate. and while the paths not taken (of worse probability) on either side were numerous, and certainly an infinitesimal amount of doubt remains as to what could have occurred down those roads, i was able to see for myself even with my limited grasp of complex strategy, that caruana, after his first 23 moves, had created a certain win for himself, if only he could recognize it.

it's probably the most intriguing thing for me about this championship match, that we're simultaneously seeing a demonstration of the peak of human skill at a particular endeavor while also being shown the limitations of humans in certain endeavors amenable to machines. obviously i'm aware of deep blue and such but i never took a deep dive (ha! (groan...)) to have it demonstrated to me rather than just told to me.

nothing ventured

to follow up on my last post about the chess, one thing that really stands out for me is how many times both players, in the analysis of computer-assisted observers, have failed to make midgame or lategame moves that would have set them up for a near certain victory. i would not be surprised if it is the case that players who've reached this level are fairly risk-averse overall and all too willing to accept a draw rather than lose (and perhaps look foolish) and although i don't know this to be true it is quite possible those moves were unorthodox and risky. still, it says a lot to me that our greatest human players can fail to glimpse all of the possibilities once they've been substantially narrowed, even as they clearly see so many of them; that even they are quite fallible. i wonder how much of the admixture each contributes to these failings, between risk-averse play, failing of ability, and over-reliance on known lines of play causing unorthodox unprepared-for lines of play to be dismissed out of hand (out of mind...). have our best players perhaps become more 'robotic' than actual (with figurative license) robots?
toa: joke chess puzzle, chess puzzle joke, chess joke puzzle


are you following this world chess championship with our american duelist?

reading coverage such as this, or perhaps even superior coverage?

i was never any good at it but it's certainly fascinating to spectate.

another new one!

in your spiritual life...
words that embody your presence are "linguistics".

true story.


blue legacy
cleaning up so well

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