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In 1964 the script on the Great War could have been written a hundred years before … especially the ‘gay hussars’.
But a male script for a male audience.
Her and her .. sides against each other.
Interviews anything but … without exception they appear to have learnt set lines or be reading from a script, so lacking authenticity.
Removed from the front line, so much so that we could be describing an international chess tournament. IN 1964 tens of thousands of veterans were still alive. In 2013 there are of course none.
Machine guns that ‘devour’
So the very choice of words grossly conditions the feelings we are supposed to have.
Better then to have the celebrity historian to take us through.
Then a female ‘interview’ and in 45 seconds she rambles through lines that have so clearly been pre-written, or learned because they are so word perfect.
What is the point in playing chess if you let a computer give you the answers and all you do is move the pieces?
The act of playing chess, and the process of thinking it through is the joy and the learning.
- What will be the point as or once all the answers are online?
- Where we let algorithms and the Web provide the answers?
Does this mean that anyone can be a doctor so long as they have a smartphone in their pocket and a good connection?
Knowledge acquired is how learning occurs.
- The learning process is necessary in order for the brain to make sense of it (or not)
- And we do so, each of us, in an utterly unique way.
- Less so because of when or where we were born,
- But because we were made this way.
‘Je suis comme je suis, je suis faite comme ca’.
Our DNA is unique and the brain it constructs also.
Not hard considering considering:
- There are some 98 billion neurons in there.
- And every neuron has some 10,000 connections.
It is this mass of interconnections that makes us both ridiculous and smart,
Able to think in metaphors, provide insight, solve problems, conform, deform and inform.
And fall in and out of love.
Enthusiasms bubble up like farts in the wind.
Life is like a game of chess
We are its players and pieces whether we like it or not.
It is the sense of participation and control that makes life worth living.
Which suggests that absolute machine power – Google-eyed algorithms could be no better than prison.
Life is not a game though
And we are more than merely players.
There is no need to strut and fret our hour upon the stage.
It is a story we tell, defined by our actions and responses
A rollercoaster of our own making.
There is no need for noise and tension,
where we can be cool in war and love.
- 5 Star iPhone & iPad game, Chess Pro w/ Coach, temporarily free (Reg. $10) (9to5toys.com)
- Do Adult Brains Generate New Neurons? Nuclear Testing From The 1960s Helps Scientist Decide (medicalnewstoday.com)
In this BBC Radio 4 broadcast Grayson Perry explored the myths and misconceptions of creativity.
What does it take?
Like all things, hard work and single-mindedness.
From my point of view I see myself as a Catherine Wheel that has been lit and fallen of its stand – I spit and twist, sending out ideas all over the place. Not the best way forward.
The Myths and Misconceptions were:
- The Eureka Moment (Spoke to Terry Pratchet)
- Anyone can do it (Spoke to Rose Tremain)
- Drugs are good for you. (But not for Satre)
- A bid mad
- Britain’s got talent (Spoke to Hussein Shelian)
- Creative Genius
- Need to have suffered an early trauma (Ray Talis)
We are reminded the ‘creativity’ is a central part of the UK economy.
For 17 years I actively contributed to this. My wilderness years, the last eight, have resulted in very little output (if that means getting it out of the front door). I stack it. I’d prefer to see these ideas compost and die than give my ideas to the world.
It is essential that creativity has institutional underpinning.
How will this manifest itself with the cuts to arts funding now being proposed by the coalition government in the UK.
or is it necessary. Whilst education in the UK has its faults it nonetheless appears to favour and permit the individual so that talent can develop. This must be the state system, private schools are a sausage machine for exam results, they have to be given what parents are forking out.
‘Creativity is mistakes.’
Says Grayson Perry, he has this carved into concrete across the mezzanine floor of his studio. You try, you fail, you try again. I would like to suppose I haven’t tried hard enough to fix my failures (or what I perceive as failures). At time though I feel if I keep on trying I would eventually strip back a 90,000 novel to a few words.
Imaginative power is ‘looking, looking, looking’ to which Rose Tremain added, it is ‘listening, listening, listening.’
I’m a looker, so I don’t know how I’ve ended up writing.
You can never be fully relaxed on holiday.
I do, but sailing and skiing do occupy your head if you fall off cliffs and like to race dinghies. Moments of near-death are exhilarating, as those times the elements sweep you along.
I hate the computer as a writing tool, this facility to edit does me no favours. yet a writer Grayson interviews said the computer allowed him to write, that until then he had no way to start straight in with a few thoughts, some scenes (like episodes in a film), and assemble it all in a non-linear way.
I’ve worked so hard with programmes like Power Structure and Final Draft but somehow always tie myself in knots trying to add or remove a character or scene or changing the ending or beginning.
‘Letting go at the end – that’s as good as it will get.’ Says Rose Tremain.
A year of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and my last session was driving me to ‘finish something.’ I can, but there needs to be someone with a stick harrying me along, a reward at the end would help, reassuring words along the way too …
My notes here (a month or so after the broadcast) say something about ‘investigating in a way that is new and aiding their creativity by giving them love and boundaries.’
I would run with a lover, with the intensity of an unfulfilled affair. Something to make the heart race. I once spent a day drawing a girl I lusted for … she was happy to be naked for me. I compelled myself into a state of denial without able to control my arousal. It all went into the drawing, the excited, confident marks across the page.
What about the University of East Anglia Creative Writing Course?
I’ve locked at the details and would be applying for 2011. Don’t have the money. Anyone want to sponsor me? In return for a percentage of the royalties that would of course come about a year or two later?
Or the MA in Fine Art at Sussex University?
‘A life’s work without any expectation of reward.’
My wife caught this line and said that was me. She should know, she’s not had much out of me these last eight years. The novels I promised to write were written, but are considerably short of an edit I would send out. I would need to shut myself away from everything for 12 weeks.
Do you have somewhere I could hide?
Exam conditions six to nine hours a day, seven days a week. Not any man made disturbance – nature I can tolerate, nature I love. A hermitage on Farnes island would do, a ski lodge up a mountain pre-Season. somewhere. An empty barn, drained swimming pool, decommissioned nuclear power station.
Impulsive ideas that I run with:
- A chess set made out of branded bottles of water.
- Every ski run in the Ski Resorts of Val d’Isere and Tignes reconstructed as transects showing their true length and fall.
- A short film about watersprites living in a public swimming pool
- Story ideas galore for TV series or film.
- A 6ft canvass of Lewes Castle in the snow from a series of photographs that could have been taken 800 years ago.
‘When you are creating something you are drawing on so many parts of the brain.’
This was in response to someone with an MRI scan who claims to have identified creativity. It doesn’t work like that, indeed, the creative mind goes more slowly … it takes it times over these connections. It thinks, how else could it ever deliver anything original?
So when yo relax, you let go, that is when you have your great ideas. I resolved the ending to a story I haven’t touched for three years on a dog walk so long I found worried messages on the mobile phone I had left in the car. My mobile is rarely on.
‘The distressful bread of the day to day.’ Said Rose Tremain.
Did I get that right?
Grayson Perry talked about his Inner Shed.
I have my inner shed, what I need is a ‘room of my own.’ It’s hard to be creative perched on the end of the marital bed in a tiny room that is stacked to the ceiling with possessions that call for occupancy of a house twice the size.