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The Great Game

by Antifa Wed Jan 17th, 2007 at 12:39:21 PM EST

As in the Japanese game of Go, all efforts in the Middle East by both Israel and America are to 'surround' and thus control someone else's territory.  The goal behind seizing territory varies -- lebensraum for Jewish families, or sovereignty over sweet crude still in the ground. No matter the goal. Capture the turf and you get whatever is of value there. You win by putting region after region under your control.

Seize control of the State, and then tell that State to control its populace.

In real world terms you establish hegemony. You establish puppet states, protectorates, trade partners, client countries who will not wander from your wish list on pain of punishment.


Israel and America are both pursuing enormous attempts to float unsinkable life rafts in an ocean of Muslims. These are high maintenance projects that could capsize if left to survive on their own merits.  If it weren't for the Holy Land, the Israeli people would have been better advised to establish their own nation in Utah, Paraguay, or Mongolia. But they never will; they wanted Israel and now they want Greater Israel.

If it weren't for America's need for Middle Eastern oil, and America's need for the world's oil to continue being sold in dollars predominantly, we wouldn't know or care any more about the Middle East than the Tales of Sinbad. Even after four years of war, America is still not interested in the Middle East, just the oil. We've only put six people in the Green Zone who speak Arabic, for Chrissake. Nope, we just want the oil turf, and control of the market. That lets us print mountains of money that other nations have to have, and hold. That lets us run a ruinous annual trade deficit, and ignore a national debt that should have sunk us in the mid 1980's.

America's core goal in the Middle East is to carve out our "Syriana" over there, a crescent of docile client states stretching from Lebanon right on through Persia to Pakistan. After that, we want Greater Syriana, which means creating client states up into the Caucasus and Caspian region, so that Russia does not default to being the sole energy superpower in the coming century. After that, we want to dominate the whole planet, and outer space as well. That's America in the new century, plain and simple.

You score points in the game of Go by taking, by taking territory and by making the population within it your prisoners.  It is a game of clever theft, and clever theft in return. You can invest your all in surrounding a territory only to have your opponent -- at the very last moment, with one small move -- surround your effort and take your all. You ended up carving out a superb territory, only to gift it to your enemy intact and entire.

The Great Game in the Middle East, and in this world at large, is a game of Go, a game of clever theft by turns. It can only be played across the entire board, carving out multiple territories at once, regularly risking everything on the tiniest corners and intersections of interests. None of it is in your control even when it is. What has been carved out can become part of a greater slice of ground later, and then a greater slice again at a later stage.

All ownership is temporary, and all control is relative.

In real world terms, the Great Game is inherently incapable of being over, of ending with this or that result. Victory? Victory is a temporary edge, nothing more. If victory in any area is not exploited, risked, and put into the immediate service of seizing even more ground, then it is effectively surrendered at that point, awaiting only the enemy's leisure to pluck it from your hand.

Who sees the world this way?  Who seizes states and nations and regions as if they were squares on a board?  Who lives and breathes in this Extreme Game mode? Who has access to the military and monetary wherewithal to make these kinds of moves? Who takes thrones from kings, and who denies democracies their elected leaders?

Is it the housewives in their kitchens?  The farmers in their fields? The cubicle rats in every major metropolis on Earth? Do they launch great offensives upon the cubicles across the way? Who is carving up the planet and denying it to the other carvers for however long they can?

It is the power behind all thrones, all democracies. Capital. Hugely concentrated, massive capital as it seeks to jockey and position itself to advantage. Capital is not money. Money is something you spend, money is a medium of exchange, something to replace the bartering of chickens. Capital is not about dollars, rials, rubles, euros or pesos.  It is about parity. It is about not losing ground.

Fitzgerald said it well, "The very rich are not like you and I." No, they are not. Money is not real to the ultra rich. There is no concept of money to the mega wealthy lords of our planet. There is only the ranking of one fortune compared to another fortune.  There is only influence, standing, power. There is only relative wealth to measure at that level of mind boggling affluence. All great fortunes are as far removed from the working man's concept of money as the moon is from a street lamp.

You can graph fabulous, massive capital. You can show yourself that you are worth more than the GDP of 83 nations and all their inhabitants.  But no human mind can actually conceive of that kind of capital in terms of money. It is as meaningless as putting an aircraft carrier in your shirt pocket.

In the capitalist system, a nation's capital and governance gradually flows upward into the hands of a very few people, usually those who monopolize the Central Banks, which are present in every developed nation in the form of privately held, for-profit investment corporations. The control of each nation's economy, through the control of its money, allots a daily percentage of profit from every single money transaction within that economy unto those capital investors at the very top.

Like the House Rules at every casino in the world, the odds are stacked in favor of the casino. Just a bit. Just a little bit. That's all it takes. Let the games be played for an hour or for a century, the outcome is a mathematical certainty -- the House wins.

In the globalized capitalist economy we currently enjoy, a little bit of interest on every bit of currency in circulation goes to the Central Bank of your country with every venture of capital into the system. The loan brings back interest on top of the loan, and this little bit of interest accrues to the ultra wealthy who made the loan. At the top of the lending pyramid is your national banking system's top bank. The Bank of England. The Federal Reserve. The Bank of Nigeria. Your nation's highest bank.

That bank does not belong to your nation, or to your government. It belongs to fabulously wealthy, private, individual investors, hailing from every country of the world, through their stock holdings in banks and corporations and investment funds which own the actual Central Bank stock in your nation. These individuals were born into these mega fortunes, and trained to manage them (or hire competent management) through their lifetimes. These individuals are of no importance; they are just placeholders for their fourscore years on Earth. When they die, they turn to dust like the rest of us, and their fortune turns over to the next in line.

This is how capital is amassed, into mountains of money a million miles high, and then passed on to the next generation. It has been accruing for centuries, but with the emergence of the global economy in the most recent few decades it has come into its own as the true power behind all thrones.

These vast, vast private fortunes drive economies, which drive politics and statecraft, which ostensibly govern the world for the benefit of the inhabitants. These capital mountains are intertwined in all their activities and goals, and they seek the one thing all capital seeks which is growth. What, truly, is a sovereign nation state to this network of one percent of humanity who control well over 51% of all wealth? Nations are squares on a board, and their control is up for grabs.

When does a Go game end?  Well, the game pieces are unlimited, but the game board is usually 19 by 19 squares.  There is a physical limit of space, and so the game ends with either that limit being reached, or the exhaustion of the players. Unlike the real world, the game of clever theft is not carried to absurd lengths.

In real world terms, the physical world is limited in resources and territory. The planet Earth is a spaceship, after all, tumbling along through space.  When someday a single corporation owns every accessible atom of the planet, and rules the lives of every creature upon it, the Great Game will have ended. That is the logical result of globalized capitalism. The House wins, in the end, everything.

Long before that occurs, most likely during the lifetimes of people walking around today, the world will turn from this course by existential necessity. You cannot let clever people have everything, to run as they feel will benefit themselves and their fortune. It is only during this transitional period we call the Post Industrial Age that such an absurdly unbalanced and ungovernable power center is permitted to exist, or to hide in plain sight.

Toward the middle of this century, the tiny thefts performed upon our daily human transactions by the usury of capitalists will be recognized as the debt slavery that it is.  Usury is a parasitic practice for the benefit of the parasite.

Massive capital is a marvelous tool of civilization.  It has always been the power of kings, and the power behind kings. Amassed capital comes from everyone alive and working and buying and selling and existing.  It does not need to flow into a few private hands; it can just as easily flow from everyone to a centrally managed national or even world fund.  Pyramids were built with it in the past. Wars were fought with it. Men went to the moon with it. We will colonize other planets with it.

We will save ourselves, and this planet with it.

Massed capital is perhaps the greatest tool humankind ever invented.

But it will be restricted to power games between the ultra wealthy few human beings who claim to own it, and own nations, until such time as it is recognized as the common lifeblood of every terrestrial creature, and not the property of fortunate vampires who guard an immortal treasure taken drop by drop from us all.

That day is coming as inevitably as the end of a Go game. One fine morning, everyone will recognize that there is no point in continuing a game of clever theft to absurd lengths. As massive capital pushes human lives further and further from their own space, and their own resources, everyone will realize that there finally is nowhere left to move.

Game over.

It is at that point that human civilization will begin.

Display:
Just imagine the results if humanity had misused fire, or the wheel, or gunpowder the way we misuse massed capital.

Oh, wait . . .

Frames exist within larger frames. Draw a larger frame around your opponent's frame; he will appear wrong or insufficient. This is how wizards play.

by Antifa (antifa@bellsouth.net) on Wed Jan 17th, 2007 at 12:40:34 PM EST
When you are talking about "Capital" you are essentially referring to "Property" - the legal claim to Absolute ("Divine Right of Capital") "Ownership" of productive assets and the revenues that flow from them.

Above all, we are talking about the concentration in fewer and fewer hands of "Property" in "Commons" such as Land, and, increasingly, Knowledge. We have simply accepted that privatisation of such Commons is acceptable, when in fact it is arguable - with Henry George - that those who have exclusive rights of use over such Commons should compensate those they exclude.

"Usury" is a term I detest since it immediately labels the user as some sort of medieval fundamentalist. I refer instead to "Deficit-based" finance, and the fact that Banks create interest-bearing Credit as Money at a multiple of their Capital base IMHO constitutes - with Absolute ownership of Commons - the two principal causes of the fix we are in.

It is the "gearing" to which this worthless credit gives rise that leads to a transfer of "Commons" wealth to the creditworthy (the "haves") from the rest of us.

We have reached a tipping point IMHO when the Irresistible Force of Economic Growth mandated by the mathematics of compound interest on a deficit-based money supply is running up against the Immovable Object of the lack of availability of energy, and particularly liquid fuels, to sustain that growth.

Something has to give, or something has to change, and as an optimist I believe that the emergence of new forms of property rights and monetary systems that will provide the solution.

Deficit-based Money has run its course, I believe, and the only sustainable alternative is an "asset-based" alternative.


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Jan 17th, 2007 at 01:27:21 PM EST
A very clear explanation, Chris. It is the "gearing" of fractional reserve banking that fixes the game in the lender's favor. Owning a thousand bucks lets the lender loan out ten grand, at interest, and away we go. Perhaps deficit-based finance WAS the closest thing to a perpetual motion machine ever invented.

But it has its limits, and as you say it is meeting its limits in the shortage of limitless, cheap energy.

I often muse about what will be owned in future? What will be ownable by any individual person?

Perhaps the very notion of "owning" a million acres of rainforest as personal property will one day be considered outright insanity, on the basis that those million acres are vital machinery in a thousand human lives. It will be considered as crazy as saying you own two percent of those thousand people's noses.

Thank you for spelling out what I was writing in watercolors.

Frames exist within larger frames. Draw a larger frame around your opponent's frame; he will appear wrong or insufficient. This is how wizards play.

by Antifa (antifa@bellsouth.net) on Wed Jan 17th, 2007 at 02:27:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Owning a thousand bucks lets the lender loan out ten grand, at interest, and away we go.

no regulated bank can have a ratio anything like 10X. they have to maintain a liquidity reserve and also have assets on the books equal to most of the rest.  Ordinary banks cannot print money.  

If you hold to the gold bug theory that fractional reserve bank are somehow a fraud on the world, just how would you propose to have a 100% reserve bank work?  Just a vault service charging you fees to sit on your gold or other specie for you?  There isn't enough gold in the world to replace fiat money with.  Barter?

by HiD on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 07:21:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no regulated bank can have a ratio anything like 10X. they have to maintain a liquidity reserve and also have assets on the books equal to most of the rest.  Ordinary banks cannot print money.  

True--it is the Federal Reserve that does the printing.  As a bank, all I can do is borrow money from the Fed to loan out on an overpriced McMansion, which would show up as collateral to balance my books (hopelessly overvalued collateral, it is true) and actually, I would be in a tight spot for doing something so insanely stupid, except that I bundle the loan with others like it and sell it to a security company, which will resell it to some (sucker of an) investor,  and the money supply is now larger to the amount of one absurdly overpriced box of chip-board and chicken-wire.  

Which is what is meant by flooding, and yes it is a form of inflation, far more byzantine but essentially equivalent to firing up the printing presses.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 08:51:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what you describe may well be a terrible banking practice and will lead to a recession when the bubble in real estate pops.  But we still have 55% equity in our homes.  Far cry from 10X gold buggy hysteria.
by HiD on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 05:48:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but it makes more sense if we are thinking in terms of the multiplier effect (a standard concept of classical macroeconomics).  

The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 10:35:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We have reached a tipping point IMHO when the Irresistible Force of Economic Growth mandated by the mathematics of compound interest on a deficit-based money supply is running up against the Immovable Object of the lack of availability of energy, and particularly liquid fuels, to sustain that growth.

I don't think anyone who believes in monetist capitalism has ever to my satisfaction countered this very obvious and simple proof of the inherent absurdity of compound interest.  Chris?

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu Jan 18th, 2007 at 05:07:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Any system that maximizes a single variable will either crash or explode.  

Crash means collapse to zero.  

Explode means to grow at an accelerating rate without limit, which in physical systems is always impossible.  

So the two come to the same thing:  The system will self-destruct.  

Which surely is what our civilization is doing.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Jan 18th, 2007 at 09:31:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I joined ET after that discussion, but you are absolutely spot on.

No disrespect to Jerome, but for an environment conscious Banker, deficit-based money is the Elephant in the Room.

It's why I am spreading the word on:
(a) "asset-based" alternatives to secured debt, involving revenue-sharing through "Co-ownership"; and
(b) mutual guarantees of bilateral credit through the Guarantee Society/Clearing Union concept.

The former essentially allows "Money's worth" in property rentals, energy and so on to be created free of debt: the latter gets rid of interest for credit and replaces it with a provision which covers shared system admin costs and defaults.

These partnership-based mechanisms are I believe, optimal through the way they share risk and reward. If I am right, then they are capable of spreading "virally" and will eventually extinguish the ludicrous Bank-centric National Debts at the heart of our problem by replacing them for the most part with a "National Equity".


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 04:38:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the fractional reserve system is already asset based.

I've yet to understand any major difference between our current system where governments guarantee our money (via the power to tax) and where banks issue debt secured by assets to your new paradigm.  

Lots of fancy words but no hard examples.  

by HiD on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 07:25:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is "asset-based" to as minute a degree as Banks can get away with.

My thesis is that any Interest charged by Banks over and above their operating costs and default costs is de facto inflationary: and if it is not inflationary, then I would be interested to know why it is not.

But that is a side issue: IMHO Banks as credit intermdiaries are simply no longer necessary.

There are two elements to the financial system I advocate: not one.

The first is the "Capital Partnership" - and this is capable of replacing all secured loans.

A hard example? I point to a £350m property development deal about three years ago involving Hilton Group and a consortium of financier and developers. No debt, no rental from a sale and leaseback, but instead, a 27 year revenue-sharing agreement.

The difference - and it is a colossal difference - is that instead of a fixed return on capital, we are looking at one which varies with the performance of the asset.

I believe that introduction of the Capital Partnership will come about through its capability of providing a better Equity Release mousetrap than anything else out there.

The second element is the "Clearing Union" / Guarantee Society, and this essentially is capable of replacing un-secured Bank credit.

Businesses and individuals operating within a Guarantee Society extend each other interest-free credit.

But it is not COST free. A provision is made into a Default Fund and this covers the system admin costs and the costs of defaults.

In the paradigm I am describing Banks are no longer intermediaries but service providers:
(a) as investment banks - bringing together investors in "Capital Partnerships" with investments;
(b) as managers of the bilateral creation of trade credit (with settlement in "Money" or "Money's Worth of barter) within the Clearing Union/ Guarantee Society.

Credit intermediaries - like Central Counterparty Clearing Houses - are obsolete, as are all intermediaries in the age of the Internet.

Central Banks aren't necessary either - they never were - as Hong Kong demonstrates by doing without one, and having a Monetary Authority instead.

www.zopa.com is merely an early illustration of what's coming. There, lenders connect peer to peer with borrowers and Zopa takes a commission as service provider.

With "Open" Corporate legal protocols like the LLP or LLC we simply take that process of "Napsterisation" to its ultimate conclusion.

And by the way, Governments need have nothing whatever to do with it, since the "Clearing Union" I see coming (unlike the one proposed by Keynes at Bretton Woods) may evolve simply through linking local initiatives together in a network.

Which is what I'm out there doing,on a small scale, starting locally to bring in local investment in local productive assets on the one hand, and local mutualised interest-free credit on the other.  

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 09:53:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
first, if banking profit is inflationary isn't all profit inflationary?  If I sell a widget for anything beyond my cost of goods and labor aren't I in the same position?  Isn't the fee charged by ZOPA also inflationary?

Secondly, I have no problem with your thesis that banks are no longer necessary.  I suspect you are wrong, but that is not important.  However, "not necessary" is very different from "dangerous and leading to the collapse of the world as we know it" (to risk putting words in your mouth".

Third, thanks for the Hilton example.  However, I question how that structure really differs from setting up a corporation or trust, issuing shares and then divvying up the proceeds based on performance like any other REIT or corporation.  I don't have any problem with the structures you describe.  I just don't see any substantial difference (other than the eruv style  window dressing to please religious types).  

As for Hong Kong and central banking.  They have taken a candy ass approach and just linked themselves to the US Dollar like a limpet.  No real need for monetary policy when you use someone else's.  

The rest of your description all sounds very nice.  But I can't pierce the marketing to detect anything beyond a trust based network with no powerful regulator or risk guarantor that would protect my investment.  no bid.  I don't have time to vet every loan in the syndicate to decide if I wish to participate.  That's what I pay a bank to do by accepting a lower return.

by HiD on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 06:04:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I missed that thread back then... We should brng it back as a recommended diary... those of you that did not recommend it then, can you do it now?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 05:53:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh? It is already in the archive and it was frontpaged in its time...

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 06:24:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the inherent absurdity is that in order for your example to work, there must always be a borrower willing to pay interest.  there isn't.  As japan has proved, if you have more savings than needed for investing, you can have zero interest rates for a long, long time.

it's not like adding yeast to dough and standing back in a universe with an infinite supply of oxygen and flour.

by HiD on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 07:32:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
a great  Game of GO.
Good for the chinese.
Are you saying they will win, then?

La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.
by lacordaire on Wed Jan 17th, 2007 at 02:19:42 PM EST
A game of clever theft is won by the last thief to be clever.

It appears that the winners in the end will be the common owners of planet Earth, when they stop letting the vanishingly few among them wield this kind of power privately, for personal gain alone.

There's a whole 'nuther level of games to play beyond clever theft. I hope we get there.

Frames exist within larger frames. Draw a larger frame around your opponent's frame; he will appear wrong or insufficient. This is how wizards play.

by Antifa (antifa@bellsouth.net) on Wed Jan 17th, 2007 at 02:35:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

That bank does not belong to your nation, or to your government. It belongs to fabulously wealthy, private, individual investors, hailing from every country of the world, through their stock holdings in banks and corporations and investment funds which own the actual Central Bank stock in your nation.

Where is this still true?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 05:47:36 AM EST
In the US the Federal Reserve is in private hands.  Government regulation is quite indirect.  

The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 08:55:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the printing presses do not belong to the Fed.  If the Fed gets sideways with Congress, poof, they go away.  Not to mention the Govt appoints many of the directors.
by HiD on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 06:06:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
just who controls this cabal of capital?  All that is missing from this "analysis" is an instruction on who to burn once we gather with torches in the town square....

The purpose of inheritance taxes is to steadily shave down big piles of capital.  Notice any Vanderbuilts with much money left? nope.  You think Paris Hilton will end up with more or less than she starts with?  Michael Jackson is turning $500 Meg into dust.  Gates and Buffet are giving it away.

While time lets the rich pile up more and more within their lifetime, they tend to produce kids that piss it away.  Clogs to clogs in 3 generations is the Dutch expression I believe.  Is there anyone on the world's top 10 richest list from money older than 50 years?  not that I see.  The Mars heirs are still loaded but are also ready to croak.  Ka ching for Uncle Sam.

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2006/54/biz_06rich400_The-400-Richest-Americans_Rank.html?boxes=custom

Buffet, Gates, Walton heirs (big funder of the anti inheritance tax as they are getting old), Dell, Ellison (Oracle).   I don't see any ancient money dating to the Knights Templar or Rothschilds.  

Last time I looked we had this thing called central governments that take in a fairly large portion of the national/world's earnings in order to fund the things you desire.  The percentage is what we argue over in the political arena.  

by HiD on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 07:49:31 AM EST
Just to note, the top ten people on that list are worth an estimated $250 billion dollars.  While that is an obscene amount of money, it pales in comparison to the US budget of 2.5 Trillion annually.  

I don't think the national interests are being starved of cash by these guys controlling all the money....

by HiD on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 06:11:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only little people pay taxes...

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 06:23:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Business: The £40m banker (17/01/2007)
How one man at Barclays Capital was paid more in one year than the total earned by the bank's executive board

...

Jenkins, 51, is not a member of Barclays' executive board; he is believed to receive a percentage of the profits generated by his division, which is the most profitable part of the investment bank by a considerable margin.

Indeed, such is the importance of his division that, in an unprecedented agreement, each time it completes a deal that saves money for Barclays, the bank pays a fee to its investment banking subsidiary.

...

Jenkins, nicknamed Dodger, joined Barclays as a graduate trainee in 1978, five years after representing Scotland in the 400 metres at the British International Games at Crystal Palace. He came third. Alan Pascoe came first.

...

Jenkins' division devises complex structures that are designed to improve the profitability of transaction carried out by other parts of the bank.

While the transactions can take many forms, their structures have one common aim - to reduce the tax liability of clients.

There is tax dodging, and then there is legal tax dodging. Reminds me of a diary on Acceptable market Manipulation.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 06:31:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup. Familiar with that.

But this

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/92f7ee6a-a765-11db-83e4-0000779e2340.html

is more worrying. Probably worth a Diary on its own.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 06:58:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
only little people pay ALL their taxes.  or as much as you and I think fair.  

the rich work hard for tax dodges, no question.  but that's a matter for better government.

by HiD on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 08:22:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bollocks is my pet phrase - I should trade mark it.

The tax system is as unfair as the rest of the system: it's two sides of the same coin, and rooted in a culture of selfishness and greed.

But that, as they say, is another story.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jan 20th, 2007 at 05:46:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that is to say, conflict.  Any situation of conflict will have its strategic aspects.  

But the strategies of go are very much at the discretion of the players.  

One of the most interesting aspects of the game is how the choices of strategy will interact to create a game with a particular feel, perhaps different from what either player originally intended.  

It is possible to fight vigorously over every point on the board, and some games are like that.  No territory is decided until almost the very end.  

However, a game of that much uncertainty requires both players to be simultaneously very good, and very aggressive--for a mis-step will result in decisive disaster early in the game.  

Sometimes players are more cautious--building some strength before engaging in open challenges.  There may be less intensity, with only a few real battles.  There may be more subtlety, as players make the deepest possible shifts in influence.  Finally the game will end in a win for one, and a loss for the other, but perhaps only by a few points.  

The world as you describe it more resembles a game in which a player, overcome by pride and over-rating his ability, finds himself driven to try to take every point he can--at great risk.  Groups which should be strengthened are left open as he moves on to even more audacious attacks.  It seems to work, every attack ties down a response from his opponent, and he moves on to a further attack.  

Unless he misses:  His opponents sees the new attack, but does not reply.  This is indeed a very bad moment:  He has lost the initiative, and his opponent takes it.  A board with many undefended structures is very vulnerable, and with the loss of the initiative, the opponent is free to counter-attack the weakest of them.  A skilled opponent can reverse an overplayed game completely, setting loose an expanding cascade of failure that cannot be reversed.  

The folk you are describing want excitment and blood.  

Success, not so much.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 at 09:36:42 AM EST


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