Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Is chess a waste of time?
From time to time you have to ask yourself if playing chess isn't a waste of time. Aren't there things in life that are more worthwhile to devote your time and energy to? If we are to believe the media, our society is running towards the abyss. Mustn't I at least try to hit the emergency breaks? Aren't there wars to prevent, or to stop? Isn't chess just too trivial to spill your time?
Everybody has to answer such questions for themselves. To me, a main consideration is if my efforts can make a difference. If not, it doesn't matter which windmill I fight. The windmill of chess improvement or the windmills of environmental polution, poverty and war.
It is not so easy to make a difference as it might look like. Matters have a momentum of their own. Changing things along the line yields unexpected results later. No matter how good your intentions are.
If there would be one person that could make a difference, it would be mr. Bush. Or mr. Putin, for that matter. I'm sure that mr. Bush had the best intentions. But every action of his brought the world closer to the abyss. Which leads to the following statement: If you have the power but you don't know what you are doing, HANDS OFF!! Good intentions or not. If you have no power, it doesn't matter what you are doing anyhow.
The road to the abyss is paved with good intentions, a lack of knowledge how to handle momentum and the arrogance to think that you have that knowledge while you have not.
How is it possible that someone who has no knowledge, can think he has? How can he ignore all the evidence that he hasn't? Even more weird: how can the people around him suffer from the same confirmation bias and vote for him? Year after year and president after president? Country after country? It must be some form of collective hypnosis.
The study of confirmation bias, collective hypnosis and blind spots is the study of the human mind. Which is exactly what I'm studying while trying to improve at chess:)
Mother Nature has her own goals. To preserve her goals she makes use of the possibility to hypnotize mankind. Looking at our zombie-like worldleaders is very reassuring: no chance that anyone of them has the power to do anything on his own. The plans of Mother Nature are not in danger at the moment! When I play chess I can be reassured that it is according Her plans. The worries about spilling my time suck away the energy that could endanger the plans of Mother Nature. If those plans are always in the best interest of mankind is another matter. . .