The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Links for Early March

The New Yorker has a nice article on the bridge cheating scandals. And there’s a youtube video explanation. But not to worry, there’s a plagiarism scandal in crossword puzzles, as well.

An article about the Polgar sisters, the 10,000 hour rule, nature vs nurture in the role of genius, and chess. You know, important stuff.

The Military Maxims of Napoleon.

Rick and Morty will be back this year! Time for a new catchphrase! And more songs!

Some links that are already too old: Can AlphaGo defeat Lee Sedol? Commentary on one of Alpha Go’s previous games (against Fan Hui). Why are they too old? Because the first game of the match was played today … and AlphaGo won.

“I was very surprised because I did not think that I would lose the game. A mistake I made at the very beginning lasted until the very last,” said Lee, who has won 18 world championships since becoming a professional Go player at the age of 12.

Lee said AlphaGo’s early strategy was “excellent” and that he was stunned by one unconventional move it made that a human never would have played.

Some commentary on the game:

Everything was fairly standard until Lee played Black 7, which was quite unusual. It appeared that Lee had prepared a strange move to test AlphaGo’s strength in the opening.

Perhaps he also wanted to play an opening that AlphaGo was unlikely to have seen before, while crunching millions of positions as part of its training process.

Regardless, it wasn’t a good idea, because it didn’t lead to a good result for Black.

Simple Answers to Complex Questions discusses how complex systems can be navigated by simple rules, and recommends the book “The Index Card” for retirement planning. I haven’t read the book, but I’ve basically been using the advice for most of my life. I see a lot of people (in CS and engineering) spending a lot of time trying to beat the market. Which is fine if you find that fun, but (IMO) a huge waste if you don’t. Mrs. Tao wonders how I can play games and be so uninterested in the minutiae of finance, but one of the first games I played was Stocks and Bonds (and I wrote a moderator in Basic on my Apple ][e, represent!) and I took away the following facts:

  1. There seemed (to 14yo me) a best strategy,
  2. In the real world, I could not model stocks nearly so perfectly, and it seemed pointless to try.

I haven’t been able to bring myself to live up to the simple rule for dieting — “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” But I do have the first part down.

I personally figured that the Lakers beating Golden State was the seventh seal, but it turns out to only be the 23rd biggest upset in NBA history.

Update — AlphaGo won game two.

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Written by taogaming

March 9, 2016 at 7:22 pm

Posted in Artificial Opponents, Linky Love

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