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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal - Some struggling
Post #201 Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 5:37 am 
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Ian Butler wrote:
Anyway, all I want to do with the remaining 10 games of the Yunguseng season is to re-capture the joy of playing Go. That's all I'm interested in now.

Today, more by accident than it being planned, I found myself on OGS for some reason and I had about 40 minutes before I had to leave, so I played a game. For the first time in a while, without any stress.
I played quite okay, I think. It was against a 7 kyu.

Has anyone suggested 'The Inner Game of Tennis' by Tim Gallwey to you yet? Because I'm sure you should read it ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal - Some struggling
Post #202 Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 12:46 pm 
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Thanks, yakcyll, for the suggestions. I might try to get my hands on the book, it does look promising.

Anyhow, a decision has been made.
I quit playing/studying Go.
It doesn't really bring me pleasure anymore.
I think it's time to let it go, instead of clinging to it needlessly.

There is much I could say about it, a lot of thinking that's gone into it, but this is not the place for such private insights and thoughts. Suffice it to say that it'll be very good for me, and that I've learned everything I needed to learn from Go. I don't quit go out of frustration, anger or with sadness. Instead letting it go follows a very natural flow I'm on that will only make me a better me.
So thank you all for sharing this journey with me, for the many helping hands, and I'm sure we'll see each other again. Because quitting doesn't mean never playing another game in my life. Most definitely not.

The only thing I haven't figured out yet is the Yunguseng. I'd like to finish the season, but like I said, playing is not giving me any pleasure at the moment, so I don't know yet. Usually I try to finish what I start, but then again, maybe there are people who'd like to be in that would get much more out of it than me, so I'll have to sleep on it.

Ciao ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #203 Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 11:10 pm 
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Ian, what about that go club you were running?

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #204 Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 11:47 pm 
Honinbo

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Bon voyage! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #205 Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 3:54 am 
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Uberdude wrote:
Ian, what about that go club you were running?


If I can answer in his stead, I believe it survived for a couple of weeks/months but then slowly died. Ian has been running a Go class in his school though, which is still alive and kicking!

Taking the matter away from his particular case, I think we can all relate to the stress Go can bring, if you decide to invest in improving at it. It can be quite overwhelming to see hundreds of online players on different servers who are considerably stronger than you and know they vanish in comparison with top pros, who themselves are no match for AI bots. To find your own place in that realm of strength is not an easy psychological feat. Myself I'm rather at ease with my level these days and enjoy playing (online), reviewing my games with Lizzie and writing about my findings. I think that's objectively easier at 2-4 dan than at 7 kyu.

Ian and I agreed that (winning at) Go doesn't have a very long lasting effect, definitely not of the magnitude physical activity, be it sports or walking in nature, can have, or playing music with a band, which we both enjoy (much more). Go can be quite ambiguous in the sense that it has a very rich intellectual and cultural aspect on one hand, but on the other hand often happens in social isolation and even when teaming up with other go players, there's an inherent nerdiness about it which can be off-putting. I for one never really enjoyed tournaments all that much and the experience has discouraged me to ever participate in a congress.

Still, I have never quit the activity and it's unlikely I ever will.

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #206 Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 4:40 am 
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What do you mean by nerdiness? That go players think/behave in a strange way so you don't want to interact with them?

(Personally I don't think that go players have anything special, but maybe I am special myself so can't judge objectively.)

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #207 Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 4:55 am 
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jlt wrote:
What do you mean by nerdiness? That go players think/behave in a strange way so you don't want to interact with them?

(Personally I don't think that go players have anything special, but maybe I am special myself so can't judge objectively.)


Rather that most of them were uncomfortable interacting beyond collectively staring at a board position. Which wasn't so much of a problem during the games as at the dinner party. If I managed to squeeze a conversation out of my fellow table guests, it would mostly be of the kin "I had a winning position after the opening, but then I screwed up". There were exceptions, for whom Go was not a barely manageable escape out of social isolation, but yet another intellectual discovery. But as they were rare, they were often at the other end of the table.

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #208 Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 5:08 am 
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During a dinner with go players, it is quite inevitable that go is one of main topics of conversation. I imagine that if you have dinner with table tennis players, then part of your conversation will be about table tennis.

Anyway I didn't notice they particularly lack social skills (but maybe the sample of go players I interacted with is too small, or maybe I lack these skills myself).

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #209 Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 5:48 am 
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I'm lucky enough that the Go players I know in my area are quite a sociable bunch in general (in fact, this is one reason that I've stuck with it so long this time around instead of moving onto something else after a year like I usually do when I come back to it). But I'm sure it's true that the average Go player is less sociable in person than the average person. Then again, so am I. :)

The whole competition thing drives me nuts, and still does after decades of participating in it in both chess and Go. On the one hand, these games are incredibly beautiful, and I want to just understand them and appreciate them, the way that I appreciate the mathematics of quantum mechanics after taking a few courses even though I will never apply it in real life. On the other hand, for me there is no getting around the fact that the way that you demonstrate (even to yourself) mastery of these games is to actually play them well, by which I mean complete games with other people, from beginning to end. Otherwise it is like learning all about cooking by reading lots of cookbooks without actually making any food. The play of the game itself is the whole subject.

Even friendly games give me a little stress, online ranked games a little more so, and tournaments are the worst. For me, I've felt that the way forward is to learn to derive less stress from competition, rather than compete less, because in the end, competition is what a game fundamentally is. But it's still not easy!

For me the Yunguseng Dojang has been a very nice steady influence inducing me to take the game seriously but not obsess about individual wins and losses. But I can see how it might not work that way for everyone. In the end everyone has to do what's best for their own happiness.

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #210 Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 6:44 am 
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Knotwilg wrote:
jlt wrote:
What do you mean by nerdiness? That go players think/behave in a strange way so you don't want to interact with them?

(Personally I don't think that go players have anything special, but maybe I am special myself so can't judge objectively.)


Rather that most of them were uncomfortable interacting beyond collectively staring at a board position. Which wasn't so much of a problem during the games as at the dinner party. If I managed to squeeze a conversation out of my fellow table guests, it would mostly be of the kin "I had a winning position after the opening, but then I screwed up". There were exceptions, for whom Go was not a barely manageable escape out of social isolation, but yet another intellectual discovery. But as they were rare, they were often at the other end of the table.


jlt wrote:
During a dinner with go players, it is quite inevitable that go is one of main topics of conversation. I imagine that if you have dinner with table tennis players, then part of your conversation will be about table tennis.

Anyway I didn't notice they particularly lack social skills (but maybe the sample of go players I interacted with is too small, or maybe I lack these skills myself).


My experience in the US has been quite the opposite. Here I have found that go players are in general quite highly cultured, with dinner conversations covering a wide range of topics, usually not including go. (OC, being relatively cultured may be a low bar in the US. :lol: )

_________________
The Adkins Principle:

At some point, doesn't thinking have to go on?

— Winona Adkins

I think it's a great idea to talk during sex, as long as it's about snooker.

— Steve Davis

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #211 Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:43 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:
Bon voyage! :D


Cheers ;)

Uberdude wrote:
Ian, what about that go club you were running?


School Go Club I'll of course continue. But I'll be moving to a new school next year. If all goes well, I'll probably start a Go club there, too. Still a wonderful game to teach children!


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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #212 Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 8:55 am 
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Knotwilg wrote:
Go can be quite ambiguous in the sense that it has a very rich intellectual and cultural aspect on one hand, but on the other hand often happens in social isolation and even when teaming up with other go players, there's an inherent nerdiness about it which can be off-putting. I for one never really enjoyed tournaments all that much and the experience has discouraged me to ever participate in a congress.

I agree -- where playing Go is concerned. I, too, found the tournament part of Go congress to be kind of stressful, and less appealing than the learning/lecture events. And that underscores what I like about the group I play Go with every week: while we are all competitive, most of us are learning together, thanks in no small part to the stronger players who take the time to review games, teach beginners, etc. That's a more social side, and it does temper the isolating aspect of staring at a board for 2 hours :)

(Thanks EdLee!)

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #213 Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:43 am 
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Well, a few months (weeks? something in between) after deciding to quit Go, I can look back at it and say it was a very wise decision, for me.

Why Go was/is for me
Go is still an incredibly entrancing game. Even now, having stopped playing, I watch a (pro or high amateur) game every now and then and it fascinates me to no end. It's brilliant in its simplicity and complexity both at the same time.

The approach to the game, rather than the game itself, is very valuable for many a different thing. It improves concentration, some amount of problem solving, patience (in some cases),...
That's why I will always try to keep playing Go with children in my work environment. As a teacher I find Go to be a unique tool, suitable as a single activity for all children, a good alternative to chess for some of them and as a true discovery for a few of them.

Why Go wasn't/isn't/ for me
Too much computer. Too few opportunities (for me) to play in real life.
Too competitive. I've always thought I didn't mind losing. I was wrong. In many, many cases I don't mind losing. In Go, apparently, I do. I'm also not a very competitive spirit. My favorite boardgames are cooperative ones, and when playing table tennis / badmintion / football / ... with people, I'm usually the one saying: let's not count score and just give it our all and have fun. Competitiveness takes the joy out of many things and I think it sucks a bit out of the joy of Go for me. Unfortunately, unlike with sports or whatever, it's kind of hard to say: let's not score. The game is so abstract it's basically about winning or losing. Not who played the nicest move or something :D (though that is a Go variant I would love)


That's basically all.
I mostly miss the people I met through Go.
I miss the thrill of studying and understanding the game better.

But I'm far better off with more time for reading (novels),music (my home studio just got a little bigger with drum recording mics), and simply enjoy the outdoors and life in general.


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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #214 Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:36 am 
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Great to hear you are doing good! Maybe someday you will find the inspiration again to play Go again (the Ian Butler way ;), and we can play a game again. And if not, i wish you all the best.

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