Archive for April, 2011

two for april




some propositions on the game of go

I’ve been meaning to learn the game of “Go” (weiqi) for quite a while now, and finally got around to it now that there are some people at Harvard at beginner’s levels to play with.

The usual adage is that the rules of “Go” are simple, but the strategies are difficult. Sometimes they cite the fact that computers can’t play “Go” very well (compared to, say, chess). I’m not in a position to defend or refute this sentiment yet, but I think this stuff is easier than it first appeared to me years ago, if you think about it the right way. “Go” seems a very mathematical game, almost a counting and topological reasoning game. And all the difficulties arise out of the fact that the counting and reasoning is done in 2D (rather than 1D, which would be simple).

So there is this list of terminology like “liberties,” “eyes,” “false eyes,” “alive and dead regions,” etc., but sometimes they greatly confuse the matter, so I found it easier to recast these basic concepts in more general terms.

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dot-com bubble 2.0

There is some rumbling (here, here) regarding the formation of another tech bubble, this time riding on the so-called “Web 2.0,” i.e. social media. To that, I’ll attest that over the past year, there has been a steady stream of stealth startups of this sort arriving seemingly out of nowhere and hiring all comers.

What to make of this? Is social media any more viable than e-commerce of the first dot-com bubble?
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