Discussion:
OT - The present and future of war
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a***@gmail.com
2019-06-04 01:30:40 UTC
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They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins before using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you people and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.

I am sure that there are many problems to this approach, otherwise it would have been implemented already. Which nation makes the simulator - a neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your offensive capabilities in detail?

Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been explored in SF?

Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor

"Are you beast, or man?"
Robert Carnegie
2019-06-04 06:50:36 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins before using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you people and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.
I am sure that there are many problems to this approach, otherwise it would have been implemented already. Which nation makes the simulator - a neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your offensive capabilities in detail?
Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been explored in SF?
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Are you beast, or man?"
Of course Ben Bova
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/397658.The_Dueling_Machine>

And Star Trek
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Taste_of_Armageddon>
David Johnston
2019-06-04 18:30:54 UTC
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Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins before using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you people and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.
I am sure that there are many problems to this approach, otherwise it would have been implemented already. Which nation makes the simulator - a neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your offensive capabilities in detail?
Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been explored in SF?
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Are you beast, or man?"
Of course Ben Bova
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/397658.The_Dueling_Machine>
The Dueling Machine isn't the same thing since it isn't simulating
warfare between the sides. I think Silverberg once wrote a novel where
where there was going to be a big battle and the guys in charge of the
vast galactic alliance invited one human to take part. He's assigned to
the smallest class of ship and discovers to his dismay that the ship
crewed with other representatives of the most minor and primitive
species in the alliance will not actually be fighting, but are just
there to provide a tiny bit of extra psychic energy for the ones
actually doing the fighting.

He's even more distressed when he discovers not even that will happen
because the leading races ran the simulations and determined that they
were going to lose, so they were surrendering without a fight ala Sun
Tzu, so he and his fellow primitives pull a Leeroy Jenkins and charge
the enemy fleet, so confusing the enemy that all the calculations were
thrown off, and an actual fight breaks out, leading to victory over the
invaders.

And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
Post by Robert Carnegie
And Star Trek
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Taste_of_Armageddon>
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-06-04 18:46:33 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins
before using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you
people and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
I am sure that there are many problems to this approach, otherwise it
would have been implemented already. Which nation makes the simulator -
a neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your offensive
capabilities in detail?
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been
explored in SF?
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Are you beast, or man?"
Of course Ben Bova
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/397658.The_Dueling_Machine>
The Dueling Machine isn't the same thing since it isn't simulating
warfare between the sides. I think Silverberg once wrote a novel where
where there was going to be a big battle and the guys in charge of the
vast galactic alliance invited one human to take part. He's assigned to
the smallest class of ship and discovers to his dismay that the ship
crewed with other representatives of the most minor and primitive
species in the alliance will not actually be fighting, but are just
there to provide a tiny bit of extra psychic energy for the ones
actually doing the fighting.
He's even more distressed when he discovers not even that will happen
because the leading races ran the simulations and determined that they
were going to lose, so they were surrendering without a fight ala Sun
Tzu, so he and his fellow primitives pull a Leeroy Jenkins and charge
the enemy fleet, so confusing the enemy that all the calculations were
thrown off, and an actual fight breaks out, leading to victory over the
invaders.
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
"No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy."
-- Helmut von Moltke the Elder
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2019-06-04 19:13:52 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins
before using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you
people and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
I am sure that there are many problems to this approach, otherwise it
would have been implemented already. Which nation makes the simulator -
a neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your offensive
capabilities in detail?
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been
explored in SF?
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Are you beast, or man?"
Of course Ben Bova
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/397658.The_Dueling_Machine>
The Dueling Machine isn't the same thing since it isn't simulating
warfare between the sides. I think Silverberg once wrote a novel where
where there was going to be a big battle and the guys in charge of the
vast galactic alliance invited one human to take part. He's assigned to
the smallest class of ship and discovers to his dismay that the ship
crewed with other representatives of the most minor and primitive
species in the alliance will not actually be fighting, but are just
there to provide a tiny bit of extra psychic energy for the ones
actually doing the fighting.
Gordon R. Dickson _Hour of the Horde_
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Jack Bohn
2019-06-04 21:18:09 UTC
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And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using 
any weapon.  Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all 
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
"That's why they play the game." -- unknown correspondent.
--
-Jack
a***@gmail.com
2019-06-04 21:32:09 UTC
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Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins before using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you people and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.
I am sure that there are many problems to this approach, otherwise it would have been implemented already. Which nation makes the simulator - a neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your offensive capabilities in detail?
Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been explored in SF?
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Are you beast, or man?"
Of course Ben Bova
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/397658.The_Dueling_Machine>
The Dueling Machine isn't the same thing since it isn't simulating
warfare between the sides. I think Silverberg once wrote a novel where
where there was going to be a big battle and the guys in charge of the
vast galactic alliance invited one human to take part. He's assigned to
the smallest class of ship and discovers to his dismay that the ship
crewed with other representatives of the most minor and primitive
species in the alliance will not actually be fighting, but are just
there to provide a tiny bit of extra psychic energy for the ones
actually doing the fighting.
He's even more distressed when he discovers not even that will happen
because the leading races ran the simulations and determined that they
were going to lose, so they were surrendering without a fight ala Sun
Tzu, so he and his fellow primitives pull a Leeroy Jenkins and charge
the enemy fleet, so confusing the enemy that all the calculations were
thrown off, and an actual fight breaks out, leading to victory over the
invaders.
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.

Of course a simulation is only a model of reality, and not reality itself. It can help in the decision making process, and even help you prepare for war.

A duel between champions is an ancient way of resolving war without large scale casualties.

I believe I heard the term "war of assassins" in a SF book. Perhaps a method of limiting the casualties to important people who are targeted for assassination?

Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor

"Man is by nature a political animal"
Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
And Star Trek
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Taste_of_Armageddon>
Robert Carnegie
2019-06-04 22:41:14 UTC
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Permalink
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins before using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you people and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.
I am sure that there are many problems to this approach, otherwise it would have been implemented already. Which nation makes the simulator - a neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your offensive capabilities in detail?
Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been explored in SF?
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Are you beast, or man?"
Of course Ben Bova
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/397658.The_Dueling_Machine>
The Dueling Machine isn't the same thing since it isn't simulating
warfare between the sides. I think Silverberg once wrote a novel where
where there was going to be a big battle and the guys in charge of the
vast galactic alliance invited one human to take part. He's assigned to
the smallest class of ship and discovers to his dismay that the ship
crewed with other representatives of the most minor and primitive
species in the alliance will not actually be fighting, but are just
there to provide a tiny bit of extra psychic energy for the ones
actually doing the fighting.
He's even more distressed when he discovers not even that will happen
because the leading races ran the simulations and determined that they
were going to lose, so they were surrendering without a fight ala Sun
Tzu, so he and his fellow primitives pull a Leeroy Jenkins and charge
the enemy fleet, so confusing the enemy that all the calculations were
thrown off, and an actual fight breaks out, leading to victory over the
invaders.
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
Of course a simulation is only a model of reality, and not reality itself. It can help in the decision making process, and even help you prepare for war.
A duel between champions is an ancient way of resolving war without large scale casualties.
I believe I heard the term "war of assassins" in a SF book. Perhaps a method of limiting the casualties to important people who are targeted for assassination?
Unsurprisingly, the important people prefer the current
system where other people are casualties. So that's that.
David Johnston
2019-06-04 22:46:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins before using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you people and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.
I am sure that there are many problems to this approach, otherwise it would have been implemented already. Which nation makes the simulator - a neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your offensive capabilities in detail?
Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been explored in SF?
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Are you beast, or man?"
Of course Ben Bova
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/397658.The_Dueling_Machine>
The Dueling Machine isn't the same thing since it isn't simulating
warfare between the sides. I think Silverberg once wrote a novel where
where there was going to be a big battle and the guys in charge of the
vast galactic alliance invited one human to take part. He's assigned to
the smallest class of ship and discovers to his dismay that the ship
crewed with other representatives of the most minor and primitive
species in the alliance will not actually be fighting, but are just
there to provide a tiny bit of extra psychic energy for the ones
actually doing the fighting.
He's even more distressed when he discovers not even that will happen
because the leading races ran the simulations and determined that they
were going to lose, so they were surrendering without a fight ala Sun
Tzu, so he and his fellow primitives pull a Leeroy Jenkins and charge
the enemy fleet, so confusing the enemy that all the calculations were
thrown off, and an actual fight breaks out, leading to victory over the
invaders.
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
Of course a simulation is only a model of reality, and not reality itself. It can help in the decision making process, and even help you prepare for war.
A duel between champions is an ancient way of resolving war without large scale casualties.
I believe I heard the term "war of assassins" in a SF book. Perhaps a method of limiting the casualties to important people who are targeted for assassination?
Unsurprisingly, the important people prefer the current
system where other people are casualties. So that's that.
It's also not that difficult to protect the "important people" and to
replace them if their protections fail, making them not so important as
all that.
a***@gmail.com
2019-06-05 00:14:10 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins before using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you people and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.
I am sure that there are many problems to this approach, otherwise it would have been implemented already. Which nation makes the simulator - a neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your offensive capabilities in detail?
Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been explored in SF?
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Are you beast, or man?"
Of course Ben Bova
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/397658.The_Dueling_Machine>
The Dueling Machine isn't the same thing since it isn't simulating
warfare between the sides. I think Silverberg once wrote a novel where
where there was going to be a big battle and the guys in charge of the
vast galactic alliance invited one human to take part. He's assigned to
the smallest class of ship and discovers to his dismay that the ship
crewed with other representatives of the most minor and primitive
species in the alliance will not actually be fighting, but are just
there to provide a tiny bit of extra psychic energy for the ones
actually doing the fighting.
He's even more distressed when he discovers not even that will happen
because the leading races ran the simulations and determined that they
were going to lose, so they were surrendering without a fight ala Sun
Tzu, so he and his fellow primitives pull a Leeroy Jenkins and charge
the enemy fleet, so confusing the enemy that all the calculations were
thrown off, and an actual fight breaks out, leading to victory over the
invaders.
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
Of course a simulation is only a model of reality, and not reality itself. It can help in the decision making process, and even help you prepare for war.
A duel between champions is an ancient way of resolving war without large scale casualties.
I believe I heard the term "war of assassins" in a SF book. Perhaps a method of limiting the casualties to important people who are targeted for assassination?
Unsurprisingly, the important people prefer the current
system where other people are casualties. So that's that.
It's also not that difficult to protect the "important people" and to
replace them if their protections fail, making them not so important as
all that.
In the strategic game of chess, once your king is killed the battle is over.

Instead of using open violence, people may use information and psychological warfare, cyberwar, and covert operations.

States may try to use influence to control other states, rather than use expensive, unpredictable, possibly illegal open warfare to gain control over people and territory.

Also, people in sensitive positions can be turned, or hypnotised to follow the instructions of other states.

Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor

"Man is by nature a political animal"
m***@sky.com
2019-06-05 04:26:50 UTC
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Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins before using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you people and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.
I am sure that there are many problems to this approach, otherwise it would have been implemented already. Which nation makes the simulator - a neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your offensive capabilities in detail?
Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been explored in SF?
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Are you beast, or man?"
Of course Ben Bova
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/397658.The_Dueling_Machine>
The Dueling Machine isn't the same thing since it isn't simulating
warfare between the sides. I think Silverberg once wrote a novel where
where there was going to be a big battle and the guys in charge of the
vast galactic alliance invited one human to take part. He's assigned to
the smallest class of ship and discovers to his dismay that the ship
crewed with other representatives of the most minor and primitive
species in the alliance will not actually be fighting, but are just
there to provide a tiny bit of extra psychic energy for the ones
actually doing the fighting.
He's even more distressed when he discovers not even that will happen
because the leading races ran the simulations and determined that they
were going to lose, so they were surrendering without a fight ala Sun
Tzu, so he and his fellow primitives pull a Leeroy Jenkins and charge
the enemy fleet, so confusing the enemy that all the calculations were
thrown off, and an actual fight breaks out, leading to victory over the
invaders.
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
Of course a simulation is only a model of reality, and not reality itself. It can help in the decision making process, and even help you prepare for war.
A duel between champions is an ancient way of resolving war without large scale casualties.
I believe I heard the term "war of assassins" in a SF book. Perhaps a method of limiting the casualties to important people who are targeted for assassination?
Unsurprisingly, the important people prefer the current
system where other people are casualties. So that's that.
It's also not that difficult to protect the "important people" and to
replace them if their protections fail, making them not so important as
all that.
This is a feature of one of Ringo's "Troy Rising" books. The Rangora go out of their way to target leaders of democracies with missiles (Kinetic Energy Weapons of city-busting size). Said leaders are in helicopters going as fast as they can - not so much for their own lives as to not be in a city when the missile strikes. The Rangora get most of western leadership and about the top four in the US line of succession, and are convinced that they have condemned western democracies to a sustained period of civil war while a new leadership emerges, because that is what would happen to them. Western democracies hardly miss a beat, with pre-determined succession plans working smoothly. Meanwhile missiles that might have laid waste to cities dig holes in countryside killing politicians.

As for alternatives to war - as far back as Thucydides you can see smaller states talk up the uncertainties of war - you might be bigger than us, and you might expect to win without trouble, but is it really worth the risk of you starting a war? I don't see anybody accepting and abiding by a substitute in a process so uncertain and so likely to reveal surprising outcomes.
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-06-04 23:39:36 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins
before using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you
people and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
I am sure that there are many problems to this approach,
otherwise it would have been implemented already. Which nation makes
the simulator - a neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your
offensive capabilities in detail?
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been
explored in SF?
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Are you beast, or man?"
Of course Ben Bova
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/397658.The_Dueling_Machine>
The Dueling Machine isn't the same thing since it isn't simulating
warfare between the sides. I think Silverberg once wrote a novel where
where there was going to be a big battle and the guys in charge of the
vast galactic alliance invited one human to take part. He's assigned to
the smallest class of ship and discovers to his dismay that the ship
crewed with other representatives of the most minor and primitive
species in the alliance will not actually be fighting, but are just
there to provide a tiny bit of extra psychic energy for the ones
actually doing the fighting.
He's even more distressed when he discovers not even that will happen
because the leading races ran the simulations and determined that they
were going to lose, so they were surrendering without a fight ala Sun
Tzu, so he and his fellow primitives pull a Leeroy Jenkins and charge
the enemy fleet, so confusing the enemy that all the calculations were
thrown off, and an actual fight breaks out, leading to victory over the
invaders.
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms
of lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Of course a simulation is only a model of reality, and not reality
itself. It can help in the decision making process, and even help you
prepare for war.
Post by a***@gmail.com
A duel between champions is an ancient way of resolving war without
large scale casualties.
Post by a***@gmail.com
I believe I heard the term "war of assassins" in a SF book. Perhaps a
method of limiting the casualties to important people who are targeted
for assassination?
Unsurprisingly, the important people prefer the current
system where other people are casualties. So that's that.
Unless the system is Ancient and Codified by Custom and it's a
Matter of Honour for the important people to be the ones at risk.

Cf. the ancient custom of the King leading his troops in battle.
(Last Sunday the classical radio station played Handel's
Dettingen Anthem, celebrating the last occasion when the King of
England led his own troops into battle (1743, War of Austrian
Succession).

Cf. also Piper's _A Planet for Texans,_ in which any citizen has
the right to assassinate any public official he feels like doing
in. This is supposed to keep said public officials from getting
uppity.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Mike Van Pelt
2019-06-04 22:47:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of
lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
--
Mike Van Pelt | "I don't advise it unless you're nuts."
mvp at calweb.com | -- Ray Wilkinson, after riding out Hurricane
KE6BVH | Ike on Surfside Beach in Galveston
Moriarty
2019-06-04 23:54:20 UTC
Reply
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Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of
lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
ObSF: "Surface Detail" by Iain M. Banks.

-Moriarty
David DeLaney
2019-06-06 15:40:17 UTC
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Post by Moriarty
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of
lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
ObSF: "Surface Detail" by Iain M. Banks.
And at least the start of Tepper's True Game nonalogy, though it pretty quickly
goes off in several other directions at once.

Dave, also see portions of Homestuck
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Kevrob
2019-06-06 16:15:36 UTC
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Post by David DeLaney
Post by Moriarty
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of
lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
Or, they will cheat.

I'm remembering a story {Analog? Amazing? 1970s?}
Corporations fight "wars" to settle disputes, with
tech limited to the Napoleanic era. Anything introduced
after the Congress of Vienna is verbotten.

One side figures out how to cheat:
Pbzznaqre "purngrq" ol hfvat tyvqref sbe sbejneq bofreingvba.
Ur nccneragyl sbhaq fbzr vafgnapr bs fhpprffshy tyvqvat cevbe gb gru phg-bss qngr.

I'm thinking Mack Reynolds, as his "everybody owns a block
of stock as a guaranteed minimum income" idea for an alternative
to state socialism and market capitalism is at the back of my brain.
Post by David DeLaney
Post by Moriarty
ObSF: "Surface Detail" by Iain M. Banks.
And at least the start of Tepper's True Game nonalogy, though it pretty quickly
goes off in several other directions at once.
Dave, also see portions of Homestuck
--
Kevin R
a.a #2310
Robert Woodward
2019-06-06 17:59:28 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of
lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
Or, they will cheat.
I'm remembering a story {Analog? Amazing? 1970s?}
Corporations fight "wars" to settle disputes, with
tech limited to the Napoleanic era. Anything introduced
after the Congress of Vienna is verbotten.
The cut off was 1900 (I checked).
Post by Kevrob
Pbzznaqre "purngrq" ol hfvat tyvqref sbe sbejneq bofreingvba.
Ur nccneragyl sbhaq fbzr vafgnapr bs fhpprffshy tyvqvat cevbe gb gru phg-bss qngr.
In a later story, they outlawed the gimmick, retroactively.
Post by Kevrob
I'm thinking Mack Reynolds, as his "everybody owns a block
of stock as a guaranteed minimum income" idea for an alternative
to state socialism and market capitalism is at the back of my brain.
It is Mack Reynolds's, "The Mercenary", April 1962 issue of Analog.
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Kevrob
2019-06-06 21:54:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Kevrob
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before
using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of
lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
Or, they will cheat.
I'm remembering a story {Analog? Amazing? 1970s?}
Corporations fight "wars" to settle disputes, with
tech limited to the Napoleanic era. Anything introduced
after the Congress of Vienna is verbotten.
The cut off was 1900 (I checked).
Post by Kevrob
Pbzznaqre "purngrq" ol hfvat tyvqref sbe sbejneq bofreingvba.
Ur nccneragyl sbhaq fbzr vafgnapr bs fhpprffshy tyvqvat cevbe gb gru phg-bss qngr.
In a later story, they outlawed the gimmick, retroactively.
Post by Kevrob
I'm thinking Mack Reynolds, as his "everybody owns a block
of stock as a guaranteed minimum income" idea for an alternative
to state socialism and market capitalism is at the back of my brain.
It is Mack Reynolds's, "The Mercenary", April 1962 issue of Analog.
That old?! I must have read it in an anthology in the 70s, then.

Ah! Gutenberg has it!

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24370

Much obliged!

Kevin R
Moriarty
2019-06-06 21:32:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Moriarty
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of
lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
Or, they will cheat.
Post by Moriarty
ObSF: "Surface Detail" by Iain M. Banks.
Again, "Surface Detail". It's the Culture. It's Special Circumstances. Of COURSE they cheat.

-Moriarty
Titus G
2019-06-07 03:43:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Moriarty
Post by Kevrob
Post by Moriarty
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of
lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
Or, they will cheat.
Post by Moriarty
ObSF: "Surface Detail" by Iain M. Banks.
Again, "Surface Detail". It's the Culture. It's Special Circumstances. Of COURSE they cheat.
-Moriarty
Getting close to spoilers?

On the surface, the Culture were not involved till one of the warring
parties cheated. I don't remember being directly told that the Culture
cheated by ensuring that event but that was suggested below the surface.
David Johnston
2019-06-05 01:15:42 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of
lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
The No Game No Life series of light novels gets around it by having
divinely enforced binding stakes for everything wagered in any game.
a***@gmail.com
2019-06-05 23:54:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of
lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
Perhaps there can be international, or interplanetary as may be the case, agreements in place. For example, economic sanctions against those nations who fail to honour the simulation agreement.

Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor

"Who benefits?"
Post by Mike Van Pelt
--
Mike Van Pelt | "I don't advise it unless you're nuts."
mvp at calweb.com | -- Ray Wilkinson, after riding out Hurricane
KE6BVH | Ike on Surfside Beach in Galveston
Peter Trei
2019-06-06 02:34:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of
lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
Perhaps there can be international, or interplanetary as may be the case, agreements in place. For example, economic sanctions against those nations who fail to honour the simulation agreement.
'Economic sanctions' don't work well against a group willing to use military
force to obtain what they want.

cf: Oil Embargo vs Japan and Peal Harbor.

'Don't bring a knife to a gun fight.'

pt
Mike Van Pelt
2019-06-06 18:01:46 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Mike Van Pelt
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
Perhaps there can be international, or interplanetary as may be the case, agreements in
place. For example, economic sanctions against those nations who fail to honour the
simulation agreement.
'Economic sanctions' don't work well against a group willing to use military
force to obtain what they want.
Unless there's a semi-neutral third party who's vastly more advanced.

"If you think it would be bad if you lost this contest, if you
cheat, we solemnly promise that it will be ever so much worse.
You've seen the fraction of our capabilities that we've allowed
you to see. Your decision."
--
Mike Van Pelt | "I don't advise it unless you're nuts."
mvp at calweb.com | -- Ray Wilkinson, after riding out Hurricane
KE6BVH | Ike on Surfside Beach in Galveston
Peter Trei
2019-06-06 20:10:07 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Mike Van Pelt
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
Perhaps there can be international, or interplanetary as may be the
case, agreements in
Post by a***@gmail.com
place. For example, economic sanctions against those nations who fail
to honour the
Post by a***@gmail.com
simulation agreement.
'Economic sanctions' don't work well against a group willing to use military
force to obtain what they want.
Unless there's a semi-neutral third party who's vastly more advanced.
"If you think it would be bad if you lost this contest, if you
cheat, we solemnly promise that it will be ever so much worse.
You've seen the fraction of our capabilities that we've allowed
you to see. Your decision."
Sounds like something either Klaatu or Spookybot would say.
Except, no, Spookybot would just take your weaponry away from you
and let the belligerents shout at each other.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

pt
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-06-06 20:53:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Mike Van Pelt
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
Perhaps there can be international, or interplanetary as may be the
case, agreements in
Post by a***@gmail.com
place. For example, economic sanctions against those nations who fail
to honour the
Post by a***@gmail.com
simulation agreement.
'Economic sanctions' don't work well against a group willing to use military
force to obtain what they want.
Unless there's a semi-neutral third party who's vastly more advanced.
"If you think it would be bad if you lost this contest, if you
cheat, we solemnly promise that it will be ever so much worse.
You've seen the fraction of our capabilities that we've allowed
you to see. Your decision."
Sounds like something either Klaatu or Spookybot would say.
Except, no, Spookybot would just take your weaponry away from you
and let the belligerents shout at each other.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Nescio.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Mike Van Pelt
2019-06-06 20:21:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by Peter Trei
'Economic sanctions' don't work well against a group willing to use military
force to obtain what they want.
Unless there's a semi-neutral third party who's vastly more advanced.
"If you think it would be bad if you lost this contest, if you
cheat, we solemnly promise that it will be ever so much worse.
You've seen the fraction of our capabilities that we've allowed
you to see. Your decision."
Sounds like something either Klaatu or Spookybot would say.
Petey... He'd zap you to the Andromeda Galaxy and draft you
to fight the Pa'anuri (sp?). "Oh, sorry, they don't make
deals with anything made of baryonic matter, and they don't
consider anything made of baryonic matter to be a neutral."

Or the more militant sorts of Organians from Blish's "Spock
Must Die" after the Klingons got them severely ticked off.
--
Mike Van Pelt | "I don't advise it unless you're nuts."
mvp at calweb.com | -- Ray Wilkinson, after riding out Hurricane
KE6BVH | Ike on Surfside Beach in Galveston
David DeLaney
2019-06-07 02:08:19 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Unless there's a semi-neutral third party who's vastly more advanced.
"If you think it would be bad if you lost this contest, if you
cheat, we solemnly promise that it will be ever so much worse.
You've seen the fraction of our capabilities that we've allowed
you to see. Your decision."
Sounds like something either Klaatu or Spookybot would say.
Petey... He'd zap you to the Andromeda Galaxy and draft you
to fight the Pa'anuri (sp?). "Oh, sorry, they don't make
deals with anything made of baryonic matter, and they don't
consider anything made of baryonic matter to be a neutral."
Or the more militant sorts of Organians from Blish's "Spock
Must Die" after the Klingons got them severely ticked off.
Or Halt.

The Commonweal's entire raison d'etre is half made up of "no rule by
sorcerers here", and another half "no conquest", with a third half of "nobody
gets to think they're special, or they don't pass the test of the Shape of
Peace" involved.

But.

The sorcerers are there. And so is the Line, which practices, recruits, and
trains very hard to have the multiple nasty forms of force they can use and
war they can wage NOT end up as conquest, either outside or inside the
Commonweal.

So it ends up as "Don't plot anything that would force the Line or the
Twelve to get involved, or you might just find out what OTHER resources the
state has".

Dave, it helps that in the Bad Old Days outside, pretty much the standard of
interaction between neighboring hegemonies is "try very hard to conquer and
absorb them before they can do the same to you"; actual diplomacy hasn't been
very useful for the last quarter-million years
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-06-07 03:10:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David DeLaney
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Unless there's a semi-neutral third party who's vastly more advanced.
"If you think it would be bad if you lost this contest, if you
cheat, we solemnly promise that it will be ever so much worse.
You've seen the fraction of our capabilities that we've allowed
you to see. Your decision."
Sounds like something either Klaatu or Spookybot would say.
Petey... He'd zap you to the Andromeda Galaxy and draft you
to fight the Pa'anuri (sp?). "Oh, sorry, they don't make
deals with anything made of baryonic matter, and they don't
consider anything made of baryonic matter to be a neutral."
Or the more militant sorts of Organians from Blish's "Spock
Must Die" after the Klingons got them severely ticked off.
Or Halt.
The Commonweal's entire raison d'etre is half made up of "no rule by
sorcerers here", and another half "no conquest", with a third half of "nobody
gets to think they're special, or they don't pass the test of the Shape of
Peace" involved.
But.
The sorcerers are there. And so is the Line, which practices, recruits, and
trains very hard to have the multiple nasty forms of force they can use and
war they can wage NOT end up as conquest, either outside or inside the
Commonweal.
So it ends up as "Don't plot anything that would force the Line or the
Twelve to get involved, or you might just find out what OTHER resources the
state has".
Dave, it helps that in the Bad Old Days outside, pretty much the standard of
interaction between neighboring hegemonies is "try very hard to conquer and
absorb them before they can do the same to you"; actual diplomacy hasn't been
very useful for the last quarter-million years
Everything you say is true.

Nonetheless, I *like* Halt. I'd trust Halt anywhere, which might
get me killed, but that would be preferable to the alternative.
Halt appears on the second page of _A Succession of Bad Days_,
without any name being named, and my immediate reaction was, "Oh,
Halt's here; everything's going to be all right."
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
a***@gmail.com
2019-06-07 10:29:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
I am just trying to think of ways to reduce the cost of war, in terms of
lives, military equipment, damage to infrastructure etc.
A simulated contest might work if the stakes aren't too high.
If not, the loser of the simulation is likely to decide they
might as well make it real.
Perhaps there can be international, or interplanetary as may be the case, agreements in place. For example, economic sanctions against those nations who fail to honour the simulation agreement.
'Economic sanctions' don't work well against a group willing to use military
force to obtain what they want.
If the motive for the military action is economic, a cost benefit analysis might show that they have more to loose by going to war, even if they were lucky enough to win the war.

But I am actually against economic sanctions in general because they hurt much of the common people. Perhaps more targeted actions on the military and political decision makers, like freezing of funds or accounts, and limited travel rights. This will require global or universal cooperation.

Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor

"The earth belongs to all of us"
Post by Peter Trei
cf: Oil Embargo vs Japan and Peal Harbor.
'Don't bring a knife to a gun fight.'
pt
David DeLaney
2019-06-07 18:56:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Peter Trei
'Economic sanctions' don't work well against a group willing to use military
force to obtain what they want.
If the motive for the military action is economic, a cost benefit analysis
might show that they have more to loose by going to war, even if they were
lucky enough to win the war.
Post by a***@gmail.com
But I am actually against economic sanctions in general because they hurt
much of the common people. Perhaps more targeted actions on the military and
political decision makers, like freezing of funds or accounts, and limited
travel rights. This will require global or universal cooperation.

And I am JUST now realizing that ALal desperately wants to read Ada Palmer's
Terra Ignota series, starting with _Too Like the Lightning_.

Dave, book four is not yet out. alas.
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Robert Woodward
2019-06-05 04:43:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins before
using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you people
and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.
I am sure that there are many problems to this approach, otherwise it
would have been implemented already. Which nation makes the simulator - a
neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your offensive
capabilities in detail?
Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been explored in SF?
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Are you beast, or man?"
Of course Ben Bova
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/397658.The_Dueling_Machine>
The Dueling Machine isn't the same thing since it isn't simulating
warfare between the sides. I think Silverberg once wrote a novel where
where there was going to be a big battle and the guys in charge of the
vast galactic alliance invited one human to take part. He's assigned to
the smallest class of ship and discovers to his dismay that the ship
crewed with other representatives of the most minor and primitive
species in the alliance will not actually be fighting, but are just
there to provide a tiny bit of extra psychic energy for the ones
actually doing the fighting.
I think that is Gordon R. Dickson's _The Hour of the Horde_.
Post by David Johnston
He's even more distressed when he discovers not even that will happen
because the leading races ran the simulations and determined that they
were going to lose, so they were surrendering without a fight ala Sun
Tzu, so he and his fellow primitives pull a Leeroy Jenkins and charge
the enemy fleet, so confusing the enemy that all the calculations were
thrown off, and an actual fight breaks out, leading to victory over the
invaders.
I don't believe any of the stories where random attacks baffles military
computers. Or in this particular case, changes the situation from
automatic defeat to a victory.
Post by David Johnston
And that of course is the crucial flaw in deciding who wins before using
any weapon. Simulations are inherently limited in accounting for all
the variables, especially the intangible ones.
They are limited to what their designers can think of, that is true.
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
William Hyde
2019-06-07 19:11:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by David Johnston
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by a***@gmail.com
They can run realistic simulations of combat, and decide who wins before
using any weapon. War is usually over territory, which gives you people
and natural resources. Therefore this will be spoils of war.
I am sure that there are many problems to this approach, otherwise it
would have been implemented already. Which nation makes the simulator - a
neutral nation? What are the risks in declaring your offensive
capabilities in detail?
Still it can save lives and money. Has anything like this been explored in SF?
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Are you beast, or man?"
Of course Ben Bova
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/397658.The_Dueling_Machine>
The Dueling Machine isn't the same thing since it isn't simulating
warfare between the sides. I think Silverberg once wrote a novel where
where there was going to be a big battle and the guys in charge of the
vast galactic alliance invited one human to take part. He's assigned to
the smallest class of ship and discovers to his dismay that the ship
crewed with other representatives of the most minor and primitive
species in the alliance will not actually be fighting, but are just
there to provide a tiny bit of extra psychic energy for the ones
actually doing the fighting.
I think that is Gordon R. Dickson's _The Hour of the Horde_.
Post by David Johnston
He's even more distressed when he discovers not even that will happen
because the leading races ran the simulations and determined that they
were going to lose, so they were surrendering without a fight ala Sun
Tzu, so he and his fellow primitives pull a Leeroy Jenkins and charge
the enemy fleet, so confusing the enemy that all the calculations were
thrown off, and an actual fight breaks out, leading to victory over the
invaders.
It's been a long time since I read the book, but I thought it was their magical "overdrive" powers, not included in the calculation because the senior races had long lost these, that tipped the balance. Once the horde had been weakened, the computers said it was time to attack.
Post by Robert Woodward
I don't believe any of the stories where random attacks baffles military
computers. Or in this particular case, changes the situation from
automatic defeat to a victory.
Reminds me of a question I often get from non-chessplayers:

"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"

Which leaves me torn between two answers:

"I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."

and

"I am indebted to you for demonstrating that there is no such thing as unutterable nonsense".

What would I do without the Victorians?

William Hyde
Robert Woodward
2019-06-08 05:04:19 UTC
Reply
Permalink
(let's cut this down a bit - was _Hour of the Horde_)
Post by William Hyde
Post by Robert Woodward
I don't believe any of the stories where random attacks baffles military
computers. Or in this particular case, changes the situation from
automatic defeat to a victory.
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
"I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could
provoke such a question."
Charles Baggage? (IIRC, he had already grasped GIGO).
Post by William Hyde
and
"I am indebted to you for demonstrating that there is no such thing as
unutterable nonsense".
Don't recognize this one; Google wasn't much help as well. It did cough
up claims that this is quote from a House of Lords debate. Thus, is this
the 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (aka Benjamin Disraeli)?
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Kevrob
2019-06-08 14:42:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Robert Woodward
Charles Baggage? (IIRC, he had already grasped GIGO).
That's either a typo, or a quintessentially English
insult as a nickname. :)

Since "g" is so close to "b" on my keyboard, I'm
going to guess "typo."

Kevin R
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-06-08 14:59:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Robert Woodward
Charles Baggage? (IIRC, he had already grasped GIGO).
That's either a typo, or a quintessentially English
insult as a nickname. :)
Since "g" is so close to "b" on my keyboard, I'm
going to guess "typo."
Yes, just one key down on a diagonal. I'll go with that.

I've just been rereading an old post on typos, including a
reminiscence about one of Poul Anderson's stories in which he had
van Rijn talking about "this news that's got eggbeaters going in
everybody's guts." Somehow, the typesetter morphed that into
"nuts." Poul decided that was an acceptable van Rijnism and left
it in.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
J. Clarke
2019-06-08 15:37:34 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Kevrob
Post by Robert Woodward
Charles Baggage? (IIRC, he had already grasped GIGO).
That's either a typo, or a quintessentially English
insult as a nickname. :)
Since "g" is so close to "b" on my keyboard, I'm
going to guess "typo."
Yes, just one key down on a diagonal. I'll go with that.
I've just been rereading an old post on typos, including a
reminiscence about one of Poul Anderson's stories in which he had
van Rijn talking about "this news that's got eggbeaters going in
everybody's guts." Somehow, the typesetter morphed that into
"nuts." Poul decided that was an acceptable van Rijnism and left
it in.
"nuts" sounds more like van Rijn anyway.

Maybe it was a Monotype typesetter--that has QWERTY keyboard but with
the keys on a nearly rectangluar grid so G and N are diagonally
adjacent.
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-06-08 18:11:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Kevrob
Post by Robert Woodward
Charles Baggage? (IIRC, he had already grasped GIGO).
That's either a typo, or a quintessentially English
insult as a nickname. :)
Since "g" is so close to "b" on my keyboard, I'm
going to guess "typo."
Yes, just one key down on a diagonal. I'll go with that.
I've just been rereading an old post on typos, including a
reminiscence about one of Poul Anderson's stories in which he had
van Rijn talking about "this news that's got eggbeaters going in
everybody's guts." Somehow, the typesetter morphed that into
"nuts." Poul decided that was an acceptable van Rijnism and left
it in.
"nuts" sounds more like van Rijn anyway.
Yup.
Post by J. Clarke
Maybe it was a Monotype typesetter--that has QWERTY keyboard but with
the keys on a nearly rectangluar grid so G and N are diagonally
adjacent.
Could be. On my standard QWERTY keyboard the N is one line down
and *two" spaces over, but I've never seen the Monotype keyboard
and will take your word for it.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Robert Woodward
2019-06-09 04:50:31 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Post by Robert Woodward
Charles Baggage? (IIRC, he had already grasped GIGO).
That's either a typo, or a quintessentially English
insult as a nickname. :)
Since "g" is so close to "b" on my keyboard, I'm
going to guess "typo."
Kevin R
Yes, it is a typo (and what's worse is that I reviewed the post twice
and didn't see it)
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
William Hyde
2019-06-08 20:06:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Robert Woodward
(let's cut this down a bit - was _Hour of the Horde_)
Post by William Hyde
Post by Robert Woodward
I don't believe any of the stories where random attacks baffles military
computers. Or in this particular case, changes the situation from
automatic defeat to a victory.
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
"I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could
provoke such a question."
Charles Baggage? (IIRC, he had already grasped GIGO).
Typo aside, yes, in response to a parliamentarian who did not understand GIGO. But give the MP credit, at least he took an interest and asked a question. Neither my provincial representative nor my city councilor could do as much.
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by William Hyde
and
"I am indebted to you for demonstrating that there is no such thing as
unutterable nonsense".
Don't recognize this one; Google wasn't much help as well.
I read it first in one of Clarke's essays. Which one, I no longer recall, but I think he attributed it to someone in the House of Lords.

It did cough
Post by Robert Woodward
up claims that this is quote from a House of Lords debate. Thus, is this
the 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (aka Benjamin Disraeli)?
Dizzy gets the credit for most unattributed wit from that era. But it might well have been him. If he said it in the H of L, then by that time he would have been Beaconsfield.

William Hyde
Robert Carnegie
2019-06-08 23:43:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by William Hyde
Post by Robert Woodward
(let's cut this down a bit - was _Hour of the Horde_)
Post by William Hyde
Post by Robert Woodward
I don't believe any of the stories where random attacks baffles military
computers. Or in this particular case, changes the situation from
automatic defeat to a victory.
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
"I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could
provoke such a question."
Charles Baggage? (IIRC, he had already grasped GIGO).
Typo aside, yes, in response to a parliamentarian who did not understand GIGO. But give the MP credit, at least he took an interest and asked a question. Neither my provincial representative nor my city councilor could do as much.
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by William Hyde
and
"I am indebted to you for demonstrating that there is no such thing as
unutterable nonsense".
Don't recognize this one; Google wasn't much help as well.
I read it first in one of Clarke's essays. Which one, I no longer recall, but I think he attributed it to someone in the House of Lords.
"Dear Sir", which discusses Clarke's unsolicited
correspondents, but no name is given.

For "Unutterable nonsense" one dictionary cites
Parliament's record Hansard several times, but I'm
not aware of how to search Hansard itself.
My own guess is that it's the phrase "utter nonsense"
fancied up; if it has a real meaning, it will be more
like "unrepeatable nonsense", which was uttered /to/ me
but which I should not or will not trouble you with.

Then again, you may consider "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" as unutterable nonsense.
Post by William Hyde
It did cough
Post by Robert Woodward
up claims that this is quote from a House of Lords debate. Thus, is this
the 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (aka Benjamin Disraeli)?
Dizzy gets the credit for most unattributed wit from that era. But it might well have been him. If he said it in the H of L, then by that time he would have been Beaconsfield.
William Hyde
J. Clarke
2019-06-09 00:03:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sat, 8 Jun 2019 16:43:39 -0700 (PDT), Robert Carnegie
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by William Hyde
Post by Robert Woodward
(let's cut this down a bit - was _Hour of the Horde_)
Post by William Hyde
Post by Robert Woodward
I don't believe any of the stories where random attacks baffles military
computers. Or in this particular case, changes the situation from
automatic defeat to a victory.
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
"I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could
provoke such a question."
Charles Baggage? (IIRC, he had already grasped GIGO).
Typo aside, yes, in response to a parliamentarian who did not understand GIGO. But give the MP credit, at least he took an interest and asked a question. Neither my provincial representative nor my city councilor could do as much.
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by William Hyde
and
"I am indebted to you for demonstrating that there is no such thing as
unutterable nonsense".
Don't recognize this one; Google wasn't much help as well.
I read it first in one of Clarke's essays. Which one, I no longer recall, but I think he attributed it to someone in the House of Lords.
"Dear Sir", which discusses Clarke's unsolicited
correspondents, but no name is given.
For "Unutterable nonsense" one dictionary cites
Parliament's record Hansard several times, but I'm
not aware of how to search Hansard itself.
<https://hansard.parliament.uk>

3 Nov 1909 appears to be the earliest appearance (note--Hansard is
searchable back to 1/1/1800) "If hon. and right hon. Gentlemen
opposite have given their assent and approval, reluctant or otherwise,
to the purposes and objects to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer
proposes to devote this money, then I say that to talk of Socialism in
the Budget seems to me nothing more or less than unutterable
nonsense."

Note, it is worthwhile doing this search just to see the interface in
operation--it's quite nice.
Post by Robert Carnegie
My own guess is that it's the phrase "utter nonsense"
fancied up; if it has a real meaning, it will be more
like "unrepeatable nonsense", which was uttered /to/ me
but which I should not or will not trouble you with.
Then again, you may consider "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" as unutterable nonsense.
Post by William Hyde
It did cough
Post by Robert Woodward
up claims that this is quote from a House of Lords debate. Thus, is this
the 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (aka Benjamin Disraeli)?
Dizzy gets the credit for most unattributed wit from that era. But it might well have been him. If he said it in the H of L, then by that time he would have been Beaconsfield.
William Hyde
Gene Wirchenko
2019-06-11 03:09:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
<***@gmail.com> wrote:

[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.

[snip]

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Dimensional Traveler
2019-06-11 05:29:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
Reminds me of something I learned many years ago. Those demonstrations
where a chess master simultaneously plays a number of people, the master
doesn't remember the history or strategies of each game. When its there
move, he (or she) simply looks at the situation and makes the best move
based on where the pieces are on the board at that time. So he/she
likely wouldn't even realize you were trying to confuse them by making a
senseless move.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
J. Clarke
2019-06-11 10:12:10 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Mon, 10 Jun 2019 22:29:13 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
Reminds me of something I learned many years ago. Those demonstrations
where a chess master simultaneously plays a number of people, the master
doesn't remember the history or strategies of each game. When its there
move, he (or she) simply looks at the situation and makes the best move
based on where the pieces are on the board at that time. So he/she
likely wouldn't even realize you were trying to confuse them by making a
senseless move.
I have been told that in such matches the master sometimes plays one
opponent against another.
Dimensional Traveler
2019-06-11 15:25:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Mon, 10 Jun 2019 22:29:13 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
Reminds me of something I learned many years ago. Those demonstrations
where a chess master simultaneously plays a number of people, the master
doesn't remember the history or strategies of each game. When its there
move, he (or she) simply looks at the situation and makes the best move
based on where the pieces are on the board at that time. So he/she
likely wouldn't even realize you were trying to confuse them by making a
senseless move.
I have been told that in such matches the master sometimes plays one
opponent against another.
How are they supposed to do that?
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
Gene Wirchenko
2019-06-11 19:35:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 08:25:24 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by J. Clarke
On Mon, 10 Jun 2019 22:29:13 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
Reminds me of something I learned many years ago. Those demonstrations
where a chess master simultaneously plays a number of people, the master
doesn't remember the history or strategies of each game. When its there
move, he (or she) simply looks at the situation and makes the best move
based on where the pieces are on the board at that time. So he/she
likely wouldn't even realize you were trying to confuse them by making a
senseless move.
I have been told that in such matches the master sometimes plays one
opponent against another.
How are they supposed to do that?
If he plays white in one game and black in the other, he can
simply echo the moves.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Dimensional Traveler
2019-06-11 21:05:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 08:25:24 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by J. Clarke
On Mon, 10 Jun 2019 22:29:13 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
Reminds me of something I learned many years ago. Those demonstrations
where a chess master simultaneously plays a number of people, the master
doesn't remember the history or strategies of each game. When its there
move, he (or she) simply looks at the situation and makes the best move
based on where the pieces are on the board at that time. So he/she
likely wouldn't even realize you were trying to confuse them by making a
senseless move.
I have been told that in such matches the master sometimes plays one
opponent against another.
How are they supposed to do that?
If he plays white in one game and black in the other, he can
simply echo the moves.
That doesn't strike me as very smart. What if you are echoing player
A's move against a much better player B? It also seems that player A's
moves would soon be senseless against player B even if they aren't
better than A simply because A and B aren't playing the same chess game.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
J. Clarke
2019-06-11 22:41:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 14:05:36 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 08:25:24 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by J. Clarke
On Mon, 10 Jun 2019 22:29:13 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
Reminds me of something I learned many years ago. Those demonstrations
where a chess master simultaneously plays a number of people, the master
doesn't remember the history or strategies of each game. When its there
move, he (or she) simply looks at the situation and makes the best move
based on where the pieces are on the board at that time. So he/she
likely wouldn't even realize you were trying to confuse them by making a
senseless move.
I have been told that in such matches the master sometimes plays one
opponent against another.
How are they supposed to do that?
If he plays white in one game and black in the other, he can
simply echo the moves.
That doesn't strike me as very smart. What if you are echoing player
A's move against a much better player B? It also seems that player A's
moves would soon be senseless against player B even if they aren't
better than A simply because A and B aren't playing the same chess game.
Of course they are, they just don't realize it.
Gene Wirchenko
2019-06-12 19:58:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 18:41:37 -0400, J. Clarke
Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 14:05:36 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 08:25:24 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by J. Clarke
On Mon, 10 Jun 2019 22:29:13 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
Reminds me of something I learned many years ago. Those demonstrations
where a chess master simultaneously plays a number of people, the master
doesn't remember the history or strategies of each game. When its there
move, he (or she) simply looks at the situation and makes the best move
based on where the pieces are on the board at that time. So he/she
likely wouldn't even realize you were trying to confuse them by making a
senseless move.
I have been told that in such matches the master sometimes plays one
opponent against another.
How are they supposed to do that?
If he plays white in one game and black in the other, he can
simply echo the moves.
That doesn't strike me as very smart. What if you are echoing player
A's move against a much better player B? It also seems that player A's
moves would soon be senseless against player B even if they aren't
better than A simply because A and B aren't playing the same chess game.
Of course they are, they just don't realize it.
And the echoing player either wins one game and loses one game or
ties both.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
J. Clarke
2019-06-11 22:41:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 08:25:24 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by J. Clarke
On Mon, 10 Jun 2019 22:29:13 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
Reminds me of something I learned many years ago. Those demonstrations
where a chess master simultaneously plays a number of people, the master
doesn't remember the history or strategies of each game. When its there
move, he (or she) simply looks at the situation and makes the best move
based on where the pieces are on the board at that time. So he/she
likely wouldn't even realize you were trying to confuse them by making a
senseless move.
I have been told that in such matches the master sometimes plays one
opponent against another.
How are they supposed to do that?
Joe makes a move, master makes same move on Fred's board. Fred makes
a move, master makes same move on Joe's board.
William Hyde
2019-06-11 19:51:46 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Mon, 10 Jun 2019 22:29:13 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
Reminds me of something I learned many years ago. Those demonstrations
where a chess master simultaneously plays a number of people, the master
doesn't remember the history or strategies of each game. When its there
move, he (or she) simply looks at the situation and makes the best move
based on where the pieces are on the board at that time. So he/she
likely wouldn't even realize you were trying to confuse them by making a
senseless move.
One's opponents in simultaneous exhibitions make senseless moves all the time. It's about as confusing as night following day.
Post by J. Clarke
I have been told that in such matches the master sometimes plays one
opponent against another.
This would tend to result in a 50% score, whereas most simul givers feel bad if they score less than 80%. I have never scored less than 90 (and I wasn't even a master). Generally, though, the simul giver has the same colour on all boards (almost always white).

There exist a couple of stories in which a non-master gives a two board simul to two masters, invoking that trick. IIRC Kreskin tried such a trick with the incredibly credulous grandmaster Kortchnoi and some other strong player. Google tells me it was American GM Robert Byrne, who was, I speculate, in on it.
David Goldfarb
2019-06-13 06:18:58 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by William Hyde
There exist a couple of stories in which a non-master gives a two board
simul to two masters, invoking that trick. IIRC Kreskin tried such a
trick with the incredibly credulous grandmaster Kortchnoi and some other
strong player. Google tells me it was American GM Robert Byrne, who
was, I speculate, in on it.
I read a story about Alekhine in which he accepted two offers to
play a postal game with a money bet. Naturally since he was a famous
player he accepted odds that were against him. And he had White in
one game and Black in the other...and wound up playing himself.
And then in the endgame, he made a move that looked horrible and
senseless, and the greedy amateurs decided to vary in the hopes
of winning both games -- but what looked like a blunder was actually
a brilliant resource, and it was Alekhine who pocketed all the money.
--
David Goldfarb |"You realize you're insane, don't you?"
***@gmail.com | "*hahahaha*. Don't change the subject."
***@ocf.berkeley.edu | -- _Zot!_ #3
William Hyde
2019-06-13 20:07:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Goldfarb
Post by William Hyde
There exist a couple of stories in which a non-master gives a two board
simul to two masters, invoking that trick. IIRC Kreskin tried such a
trick with the incredibly credulous grandmaster Kortchnoi and some other
strong player. Google tells me it was American GM Robert Byrne, who
was, I speculate, in on it.
I read a story about Alekhine in which he accepted two offers to
play a postal game with a money bet. Naturally since he was a famous
player he accepted odds that were against him. And he had White in
one game and Black in the other...and wound up playing himself.
And then in the endgame, he made a move that looked horrible and
senseless, and the greedy amateurs decided to vary in the hopes
of winning both games -- but what looked like a blunder was actually
a brilliant resource, and it was Alekhine who pocketed all the money.
Alekhine told a lot of stories about himself that were not true, but that one sounds like it might be.

William Hyde
William Hyde
2019-06-11 19:38:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
If you play so badly that all moves baffle you, then perhaps. But then your attempt is superfluous. Better to baffle with a move that actually accomplishes something.

In my earlier years I played many moves that made no sense at all - though not intentionally. I don't recall any of my opponents being baffled. I recall them being happy.


William Hyde
Lynn McGuire
2019-06-11 20:15:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
If you play so badly that all moves baffle you, then perhaps. But then your attempt is superfluous. Better to baffle with a move that actually accomplishes something.
In my earlier years I played many moves that made no sense at all - though not intentionally. I don't recall any of my opponents being baffled. I recall them being happy.
William Hyde
Ah ! We played the same people. Happy to trounce us.

Lynn
Kevrob
2019-06-12 01:45:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
If you play so badly that all moves baffle you, then perhaps. But then your attempt is superfluous. Better to baffle with a move that actually accomplishes something.
In my earlier years I played many moves that made no sense at all - though not intentionally. I don't recall any of my opponents being baffled. I recall them being happy.
William Hyde
Ah ! We played the same people. Happy to trounce us.
I can remember 15-year-old me, at a summer program at Georgetown
University for high school debaters, playing chess with someone
I'd just met, just one of the fellow debaters. We were all
hanging around in one of the dorm rooms, somebody had a board,
and I took my turn at pushing the wood around. Aside from a period
when I was 12-13 years old, when some of my 7th and 8th grade class-
mates and I brought pocket sets to school and played while eating lunch,
I did not play often. Neither did I read chess books. I would look
at the chess problem in the newspaper sometimes, and I followed the
Spassky-Fisher matches that were going on in Iceland while we were
in DC. Chess was a bit of a fad that year, but a dorm full of
debaters, original orators and ex temp speakers would naturally have
its subsets of chess nerds, sf fen, comics fans, politics junkies,
military tabletop gamers, Latin students, etc.

I was "developing" my position when some kibbitzer announced that
my ..defense...?...was "trash." I was surprised. I knew that there
were probably guys in the room who could kick my butt in 10 moves,
and, so far as I could tell, I hadn't made any blunders, that I
could see, yet.

It turned out that Joe Expert thought I was playing a defense
associated with Siegbert Tarrasch, a great player from the late
19th, early 20th century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarrasch_Defense

I have no idea where I absorbed whatever principles that led
me to try doing this, or some lousy version of it. I got in
trouble in the midgame, a not unusual occurrence for me, and,
IMS, resigned, with some of the other kids declaiming, "ah,
you could have salvaged a draw, at least!" They'd never seen
my pitiful endgame, or they would have agreed my giving up
the chair to someone who might do better was wise!

I don't think I've played chess in 35-40 years.

Kevin R
William Hyde
2019-06-12 20:29:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
If you play so badly that all moves baffle you, then perhaps. But then your attempt is superfluous. Better to baffle with a move that actually accomplishes something.
In my earlier years I played many moves that made no sense at all - though not intentionally. I don't recall any of my opponents being baffled. I recall them being happy.
William Hyde
Ah ! We played the same people. Happy to trounce us.
I can remember 15-year-old me, at a summer program at Georgetown
University for high school debaters, playing chess with someone
I'd just met, just one of the fellow debaters. We were all
hanging around in one of the dorm rooms, somebody had a board,
and I took my turn at pushing the wood around. Aside from a period
when I was 12-13 years old, when some of my 7th and 8th grade class-
mates and I brought pocket sets to school and played while eating lunch,
I did not play often. Neither did I read chess books. I would look
at the chess problem in the newspaper sometimes, and I followed the
Spassky-Fisher matches that were going on in Iceland while we were
in DC. Chess was a bit of a fad that year, but a dorm full of
debaters, original orators and ex temp speakers would naturally have
its subsets of chess nerds, sf fen, comics fans, politics junkies,
military tabletop gamers, Latin students, etc.
I was "developing" my position when some kibbitzer announced that
my ..defense...?...was "trash."
I am familiar with this kind of "expert". One who has learned the names and the received wisdom about various openings, and confuses this with an understanding.

A weakish player I met in a tournament long ago never ceased to criticize his opponent's openings. "Look at this", he would say, "look how badly he played the Leningrad Dutch".

But they guy who played the Leningrad Dutch so badly nevertheless beat him. As did most of his opponents, though they mostly played the opening badly.

I was being placed in the role of arbiter because I was much, much, stronger than either and it was assumed that a player of my level absolutely must know the openings well. But I barely knew what the Leningrad Dutch was.

I never knew the openings well. Below master level, I never found that to be a handicap. Far better to invest your time in actually understanding the game itself. But this is a minority opinion.

I was surprised. I knew that there
Post by Kevrob
were probably guys in the room who could kick my butt in 10 moves,
and, so far as I could tell, I hadn't made any blunders, that I
could see, yet.
It turned out that Joe Expert thought I was playing a defense
associated with Siegbert Tarrasch, a great player from the late
19th, early 20th century.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarrasch_Defense
It's probably a received wisdom case. The Tarrash has been mostly out of favour since about 1910. But there's really nothing wrong with it and ultra-strong players like Spassky have brought it back from time to time, even in world championship play.

Such openings are especially good to play against people like your commentator who "know" it's a poor opening, and play overconfidently against it.

On a far more refined level, the young Fischer seems to have thought there was something wrong with the Caro Kann defense. In ultra-strong events people who never played the Caro were playing it against him. Of course, it didn't take him long to wise up.
Post by Kevrob
I have no idea where I absorbed whatever principles that led
me to try doing this, or some lousy version of it.
It's a sensible set of moves, played by many people before Dr. Tarrasch, who worked it out in greater detail, popularized it, and fit it into his theoretical scheme. That you played it shows that you were thinking reasonably.

In playing this defense black accepts a permanent weakness, his queen pawn, in return for more active pieces. So it's a question of style, really. Tarrasch always thought that a little extra mobility could compensate for a fixed weakness - it's one of his major contributions to chess theory. Rubenstein and Schlechter devised a system to minimize the freedom and emphasize the weakness, which more or less drove the Tarrasch out of tournament play for a generation.


William Hyde
Kevrob
2019-06-13 01:07:18 UTC
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Post by William Hyde
Post by Kevrob
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
If you play so badly that all moves baffle you, then perhaps. But then your attempt is superfluous. Better to baffle with a move that actually accomplishes something.
In my earlier years I played many moves that made no sense at all - though not intentionally. I don't recall any of my opponents being baffled. I recall them being happy.
William Hyde
Ah ! We played the same people. Happy to trounce us.
I can remember 15-year-old me, at a summer program at Georgetown
University for high school debaters, playing chess with someone
I'd just met, just one of the fellow debaters. We were all
hanging around in one of the dorm rooms, somebody had a board,
and I took my turn at pushing the wood around. Aside from a period
when I was 12-13 years old, when some of my 7th and 8th grade class-
mates and I brought pocket sets to school and played while eating lunch,
I did not play often. Neither did I read chess books. I would look
at the chess problem in the newspaper sometimes, and I followed the
Spassky-Fisher matches that were going on in Iceland while we were
in DC. Chess was a bit of a fad that year, but a dorm full of
debaters, original orators and ex temp speakers would naturally have
its subsets of chess nerds, sf fen, comics fans, politics junkies,
military tabletop gamers, Latin students, etc.
I was "developing" my position when some kibbitzer announced that
my ..defense...?...was "trash."
I am familiar with this kind of "expert". One who has learned the names and the received wisdom about various openings, and confuses this with an understanding.
A weakish player I met in a tournament long ago never ceased to criticize his opponent's openings. "Look at this", he would say, "look how badly he played the Leningrad Dutch".
But they guy who played the Leningrad Dutch so badly nevertheless beat him. As did most of his opponents, though they mostly played the opening badly.
I was being placed in the role of arbiter because I was much, much, stronger than either and it was assumed that a player of my level absolutely must know the openings well. But I barely knew what the Leningrad Dutch was.
I never knew the openings well. Below master level, I never found that to be a handicap. Far better to invest your time in actually understanding the game itself. But this is a minority opinion.
I was surprised. I knew that there
Post by Kevrob
were probably guys in the room who could kick my butt in 10 moves,
and, so far as I could tell, I hadn't made any blunders, that I
could see, yet.
It turned out that Joe Expert thought I was playing a defense
associated with Siegbert Tarrasch, a great player from the late
19th, early 20th century.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarrasch_Defense
It's probably a received wisdom case. The Tarrash has been mostly out of favour since about 1910. But there's really nothing wrong with it and ultra-strong players like Spassky have brought it back from time to time, even in world championship play.
Such openings are especially good to play against people like your commentator who "know" it's a poor opening, and play overconfidently against it.
On a far more refined level, the young Fischer seems to have thought there was something wrong with the Caro Kann defense. In ultra-strong events people who never played the Caro were playing it against him. Of course, it didn't take him long to wise up.
Post by Kevrob
I have no idea where I absorbed whatever principles that led
me to try doing this, or some lousy version of it.
It's a sensible set of moves, played by many people before Dr. Tarrasch, who worked it out in greater detail, popularized it, and fit it into his theoretical scheme. That you played it shows that you were thinking reasonably.
In playing this defense black accepts a permanent weakness, his queen pawn, in return for more active pieces. So it's a question of style, really. Tarrasch always thought that a little extra mobility could compensate for a fixed weakness - it's one of his major contributions to chess theory. Rubenstein and Schlechter devised a system to minimize the freedom and emphasize the weakness, which more or less drove the Tarrasch out of tournament play for a generation.
Thanks, William, for giving me what is probably more credit than I deserved.
What peeved me about the "trash" fellow is that he was NOT my opponent, and
that since all in the room were new acquaintances. I was a pretty
inexperienced player, and if I had done something clever, I didn't need this
supposed maven tipping off my actual opponent, who might have a practiced
counter to the defense filed away in his brain, that he would then deploy,
the possibility that I was following a master's advice being pointed out
to him.

The way I was acculturated to chess playing, you never assumed kibitzing
was to be tolerated. If I was playing my best friend Dave at lunch before
we went out for recess in 8th grade, and my buddy Owen wanted to kibitz,
we might let him. We also might suggest he challenge one of the other guys
who played, and worry about his own game!

Heck, some of my uncles played a pretty mean game of checkers/draughts,
and I learned pretty early from them to mind my tongue watching them play.


*****

The summer months were when our related families would gather to populate
small, unheated bungalows near the beach in a Long Island North Shore
village, on a harbor on the Sound, and board games were a major
after dark activity, as we sat on the screened-in porches, catching
the breeze off the water. No air conditioning in those little houses.
A radio playing the baseball game or some music in the background?
Sure. It was years before we bothered to bring a portable TV with us.
Also required: the daily newspapers my Dad brought back from town
on his way back from his job, and stacks of library books. Any bad
weather that kept us off the beach, or from "running through the
woods like a pack of hooligans" [/Mom] or other such outdoorsy pursuits
like playing ball were to be dealt with by reading and playing games.

At our "year-round house" on the South Shore, when I was high school
boy, I actually read most of "Dune" sitting on the front porch while
torrential rains battered our village for several days. When called
inside, for a meal or some other reason, I actually was surprised at
how wet everything smelled and felt, once I was mentally disconnected
from the sands of Arrakis!

There's no front porch where I live, now, but there's a large
covered landing for the back stairs, big enough for a chair,
a barbecue grill and a radio. There's a lot of shade from the
leaves of many trees. It can serve.

Kevin R
William Hyde
2019-06-13 20:26:30 UTC
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On Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 9:07:21 PM UTC-4, Kevrob wrote:

I actually read most of "Dune" sitting on the front porch while
Post by Kevrob
torrential rains battered our village for several days. When called
inside, for a meal or some other reason, I actually was surprised at
how wet everything smelled and felt, once I was mentally disconnected
from the sands of Arrakis!
I had the opposite experience. I read "Dune" on a dune. Sandbanks provincial part, to be specific, on the north coast of lake Ontario. From some parts of the park you could see only sand dunes, free of vegetation (mostly, I think, because it had until recently been used by the military. My cousin and I sifted the sand for odd little (nonexplosive) leftovers from this period.)

We camped on a dune that had acquired some tree cover as a little shade was required that summer - by now it may simply look like a hill.

To add to the illusion, I don't think it rained the whole time we were there. We returned the next year, and I brought Dune for a reread.


William Hyde
Gene Wirchenko
2019-06-12 20:02:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 12:38:35 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
If you play so badly that all moves baffle you, then perhaps. But then your attempt is superfluous. Better to baffle with a move that actually accomplishes something.
No, just moves that do not fit the patterns the player knows.
This can happen when someone has learned the game and knows some
useful sequences but is not that good yet at analysing positions.
Something outside of the patterns one knows can be confusing.
Post by William Hyde
In my earlier years I played many moves that made no sense at all - though not intentionally. I don't recall any of my opponents being baffled. I recall them being happy.
Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
William Hyde
2019-06-12 21:01:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 12:38:35 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
If you play so badly that all moves baffle you, then perhaps. But then your attempt is superfluous. Better to baffle with a move that actually accomplishes something.
No, just moves that do not fit the patterns the player knows.
This can happen when someone has learned the game and knows some
useful sequences but is not that good yet at analysing positions.
The closest match to that description is the type of person I referred to in another post - one who prioritizes the memorization of openings (patterns in this case) over understanding the game. this is fairly rare, as memorizing openings is tedious work.

Such people play very strongly as long as the game stays within their memorized repertoire. Once in a very long while they win without leaving it. But usually the opponent varies from the pattern, or the pattern itself ends. This does not shock or confuse, as it happens nearly every game.

When you exit their "pattern", better to exit with a good move. A senseless one even they might be able to exploit.
Post by Gene Wirchenko
Something outside of the patterns one knows can be confusing.
My opponent plays a move that makes no sense. I look at it for a while, trying to see what I have missed. Not seeing it, I assume that it's simply a bad move and get on with my plans.

Bad moves are so very common that another bad move simply cannot baffle.

Well, Ok, if a grandmaster plays a bad move against me I might just be baffled. But on a pragmatic basis even there I would have to assume it is bad, and play to exploit it, as I have no chance against a GM unless he or she errs badly.

William Hyde
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2019-06-12 21:13:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 12:38:35 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't
you be baffled?"
Post by Gene Wirchenko
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
If you play so badly that all moves baffle you, then perhaps. But
then your attempt is superfluous. Better to baffle with a move that
actually accomplishes something.
Post by Gene Wirchenko
No, just moves that do not fit the patterns the player knows.
This can happen when someone has learned the game and knows some
useful sequences but is not that good yet at analysing positions.
The closest match to that description is the type of person I referred
to in another post - one who prioritizes the memorization of openings
(patterns in this case) over understanding the game. this is fairly
rare, as memorizing openings is tedious work.
This figured in a Fritz Leiber(?) story as I recall (not "Midnight By
The Morphy Watch"). Someone was programming a chess playing AI with
all the classic opening moves, and the protag noticed that they were
using a book with a famously known (in the chess community) typo in
that section..
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Peter Trei
2019-06-12 21:52:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 12:38:35 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't
you be baffled?"
Post by Gene Wirchenko
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
If you play so badly that all moves baffle you, then perhaps. But
then your attempt is superfluous. Better to baffle with a move that
actually accomplishes something.
Post by Gene Wirchenko
No, just moves that do not fit the patterns the player knows.
This can happen when someone has learned the game and knows some
useful sequences but is not that good yet at analysing positions.
The closest match to that description is the type of person I referred
to in another post - one who prioritizes the memorization of openings
(patterns in this case) over understanding the game. this is fairly
rare, as memorizing openings is tedious work.
This figured in a Fritz Leiber(?) story as I recall (not "Midnight By
The Morphy Watch"). Someone was programming a chess playing AI with
all the classic opening moves, and the protag noticed that they were
using a book with a famously known (in the chess community) typo in
that section..
I don't know about modern chess programs, but back in the day, many had an
'opening book' which shortcut playing most well known openings. There were
cases where a human player would deliberately do a weird move in timed games
to get out of the book, forcing the computer to spend more time to consider
a countermove.

pt
Torbjorn Lindgren
2019-06-14 10:21:21 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
I don't know about modern chess programs, but back in the day, many had an
'opening book' which shortcut playing most well known openings. There were
cases where a human player would deliberately do a weird move in timed games
to get out of the book, forcing the computer to spend more time to consider
a countermove.
This is still a thing even with the top chess-playing/analyzing
programs of today. They essentially have multiple ratings even given a
specific amount of CPU/memory/time, one without any preloaded data and
then one or more with "opening book" and "endgame tablebase".

The problem with doing this is two-fold, even running on fairly modest
computers (by todays standard) these programs will crush most players
even without any pre-loaded data and if they do have their "opening
book" getting out of that early often means accepting a worse
disadvantage than just keep on playing enough moves to run out of the
book the normal way.

The main exception is self-play AI programs like AlphaZero where
there's no separate parts, it's all in the Neural Network and there's
no way to even verify if it is separate or not.

It's not limited to just computers either, chess players are better or
worse at various stages of the game and may sometimes try to use that
to their advantage.

For example the current World Chess Champion (Magnus Carlsen) is
extremely good at analyzing on the fly and is known to sometimes
accept small theoretical disadvantages to get the opponent out of
their likely opening book even against opponents on his own level in
international tournaments.

Humans simply can't have opening books the size used in modern
computer chess programs memorized so while it still has risks they can
sometimes be managed.

Robert Woodward
2019-06-13 04:56:36 UTC
Reply
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 12:38:35 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't
you be baffled?"
Post by Gene Wirchenko
Post by William Hyde
Post by Gene Wirchenko
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
If you play so badly that all moves baffle you, then perhaps. But
then your attempt is superfluous. Better to baffle with a move that
actually accomplishes something.
Post by Gene Wirchenko
No, just moves that do not fit the patterns the player knows.
This can happen when someone has learned the game and knows some
useful sequences but is not that good yet at analysing positions.
The closest match to that description is the type of person I referred
to in another post - one who prioritizes the memorization of openings
(patterns in this case) over understanding the game. this is fairly
rare, as memorizing openings is tedious work.
This figured in a Fritz Leiber(?) story as I recall (not "Midnight By
The Morphy Watch"). Someone was programming a chess playing AI with
all the classic opening moves, and the protag noticed that they were
using a book with a famously known (in the chess community) typo in
that section..
"The 64-Square Madhouse" (found in the collections _A Pail of Air_ and
the more recent _Day Dark, Night Bright_). IIRC, about all the chess
masters in the story had names that were takeoffs of early 1960s
Grandmasters (e.g., an American player by the name of Angler - we know
who he is supposed to be, don't we).
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
‹-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
David Goldfarb
2019-06-13 06:24:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Robert Woodward
"The 64-Square Madhouse" (found in the collections _A Pail of Air_ and
the more recent _Day Dark, Night Bright_). IIRC, about all the chess
masters in the story had names that were takeoffs of early 1960s
Grandmasters (e.g., an American player by the name of Angler - we know
who he is supposed to be, don't we).
In fact, someone who knows a little about the history of the
World Chess Championship can pin down the date of composition
of the story to within a year or two, based on that: in the story,
Votbinnik has just won his championship title back from Jahl.
So therefore it was written when Botvinnik had just won his
championship title back from Tal.

And yes, all the alterations are at that level. "Angler" for
"Fischer" is a masterpiece of subtlety by comparison.
--
David Goldfarb |"'Shut up, shut up, shut up,' says the stranger
***@gmail.com | from the stars!"
***@ocf.berkeley.edu | -- _Norstrilia_
William Hyde
2019-06-13 20:15:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Goldfarb
Post by Robert Woodward
"The 64-Square Madhouse" (found in the collections _A Pail of Air_ and
the more recent _Day Dark, Night Bright_). IIRC, about all the chess
masters in the story had names that were takeoffs of early 1960s
Grandmasters (e.g., an American player by the name of Angler - we know
who he is supposed to be, don't we).
In fact, someone who knows a little about the history of the
World Chess Championship can pin down the date of composition
of the story to within a year or two, based on that: in the story,
Votbinnik has just won his championship title back from Jahl.
So therefore it was written when Botvinnik had just won his
championship title back from Tal.
And yes, all the alterations are at that level. "Angler" for
"Fischer" is a masterpiece of subtlety by comparison.
It's difficult to make a witty alteration of Tartakower, and the problem with making Tal Short, is that then he wouldn't sound Soviet. It would have added a bit of amusement though, given the later career of Nigel Short.

Leiber also used the "Simon Great" (Ruben Fine" in other stories.

William Hyde
Robert Carnegie
2019-06-11 22:06:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gene Wirchenko
On Fri, 7 Jun 2019 12:11:18 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
[snip]
Post by William Hyde
"What if I just make a move that makes no sense at all, wouldn't you be baffled?"
It depends on how well you play chess. If not well, such a move
might baffle.
One of the Star Trek novels, I forget which,
described Spock's elegant, broadly cautious style
of play, which Kirk usually lost to but often
battered through, since Spock spent a lot of time,
or chose to, anticipating a more cerebral game
than he got. But that's the three or four
dimensional game. And there's an episode where
Spock winning a game against the computer proves
the computer has been tampered with. No one should
be able to beat it; Spock programmed it.
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