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Why I am re-examining my admiration for Chess?


  • 14 months ago · Quote · #41

    Vo1d3mort

    "Chess ... a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time."


    Instead of "chess" you could put in any other sports or game or activity. Maybe some consider making money and spending it for futile expensive consuming goods (that commercials tell you you must have) a more "clever" occupation, but in the end it's up to you to decide. Since he doesn't give any explanation, that's just pointless bashing of things that has no personal meaning for him.

    A chess player could also say "Reading the works of  George Bernard Shaw... a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time."

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #42

    Useless_Eustace

    rimembir, this fellers names George BS. so, u bettir think real long an real hard. then go offan seta spel an think agin. 

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #43

    richie_and_oprah

    Vo1d3mort wrote:

    "Chess ... a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time."


    Instead of "chess" you could put in any other sports or game or activity. Maybe some consider making money and spending it for futile expensive consuming goods (that commercials tell you you must have) a more "clever" occupation, but in the end it's up to you to decide. Since he doesn't give any explanation, that's just pointless bashing of things that has no personal meaning for him.

    A chess player could also say "Reading the works of  George Bernard Shaw... a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time."

    the word 'life' substitutes here for 'chess' equally well

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #44

    Vease

    Its just an aphorism, I wouldn't worry about it. I am a huge football fan and spend money and time watching 22 men kick a ball round a field for 90 minutes, that is by definition 'a waste of time' but compared to what? If in the time I allocate to following football (or playing chess) I would be otherwise finding a cure for cancer or ending the Syrian civil war then it would be time spent unproductively. In reality I would just be watching TV or drinking in the pub! Most peoples lives are spent 'wasting time' on one thing or another...

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #45

    Ziryab

    Drinking in a pub OR watching football. I thought the two went together.

    We should play chess in a pub while drinking beer and watching football. That's a waste of time that supports local business.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #46

    richie_and_oprah

    football is not a waste of time, its programming for the middling minded masses to accept fascism and a perpetual war based existence


    and it works well at doing just this
     

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #47

    zborg

    Strong opinions one and all.  Complex ones too. Goes with the territory.

    Thanks for the edification.  Smile

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #48

    Phelon

    e4myfavourite wrote:

    I always have an admiration of chess right from my childhood.  Ever since started playing online a few months ago, I developed an avid fascination- almost akin to a fan’s wide-eyed wonder for Chess; I used to read the history of world chess championships and biography of chess greats.

       Accidentally I saw a chess quote by George Bernard Shaw in the web.
    Here it is:
    "Chess ... a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time."
         This quote shattered my faith in chess. I started asking myself whether Chess is really a waste of time? 

    What is your opinion about this quote?

    There've been many studies of how playing chess improves cognitive function, grades, and at the very least focusing power in many people. Besides who can really say what a waste of time is? George Bernard Shaw was a freaking playwright. I have absolutely no interest in plays and can say in return he wasted his life away making up stories that were a waste of time.

    In reality you don't waste your time when you improve yourself in some way (in my opinion). So improving your mental and chess abilities isn't a waste of your time, and writing plays and improving his creative abilities wasn't a waste of Shaw's time. Really though you might be a little too open minded, stick to your beliefs and passions more strongly ;).

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #49

    sapientdust

    It's not necessarily the case that chess isn't productive or worthwhile -- for example, strenuous mental activity of any kind probably helps stave off cognitive decline due to aging -- but suppose that were the case. It would still be true that almost nobody spends all their time doing what they consider "productive" tasks. One question then is whether chess is a poorer use of one's time than other unproductive pursuits like watching TV or doing crosswords or stamp collecting or bird watching or reading novels or reading/posting in forums, etc. I think there's no clear answer there, and it's totally a matter of subjective opinion.

    If one really wanted to free up time spent on unproductive activities for more productive activities, then presumably one would eliminate forum reading/posting, TV watching, and many other things before eliminating chess entirely. Maybe some people have already done that and chess is the sole remaining activity that isn't very productive, but I'm guessing most of us have many lower-hanging fruits to attend to first before we're faced with the question of whether chess is the least productive thing we do with our time.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #50

    btickler

    There've been many studies of how playing chess improves cognitive function, grades, and at the very least focusing power in many people.

    Yes, and they show pretty much nothing ;).  Chess is no better or worse than lots of other games in this regard.  What they have proven is that people that pursue thinking-man's games tend to be thinkers, and that people that think more tend to be smarter, all else being equal.  Stunning finds, I know.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #51

    Phelon

    Its a thinking game, but its also an intensely competitive game. Competition drives one to succeed. That drive will improve you in any walk of life.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #52

    Ziryab

    btickler wrote:

    There've been many studies of how playing chess improves cognitive function, grades, and at the very least focusing power in many people.

    Yes, and they show pretty much nothing ;).  Chess is no better or worse than lots of other games in this regard.  What they have proven is that people that pursue thinking-man's games tend to be thinkers, and that people that think more tend to be smarter, all else being equal.  Stunning finds, I know.

    They do not show nothing, but they do not show much. From a research standpoint, the studies have been too few and many lack rigor. They are suggestive and even provocative. They are a little better than anecdotal evidence--a very little. That's more than nothing, barely.

    This paper gets to the heart of what the research does and does not show: http://people.brunel.ac.uk/~hsstffg/preprints/chess_and_education.PDF.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #53

    btickler

    They are a little better than anecdotal evidence--a very little. That's more than nothing, barely.

    I would consider those statements functionally equivalent to the phrase "pretty much nothing".  I didn't add the the qualifer for pure snarkiness factor ;).

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #54

    btickler

    Phelon wrote:

    Its a thinking game, but its also an intensely competitive game. Competition drives one to succeed. That drive will improve you in any walk of life.

    Competition *can* drive one to succeed, but there are as many forms of negative and counterproductive competition as there are positive  and productive ones.  The best results are from competing against oneself and one's own expectations, not others.  

    Consider when Google came on the scene and took over the Internet search space single-handedly.  They did not leapfrog the competition, ekeing out a slightly better product to win the day...they built the best system they could conceive of and blew the competition completely into subspace ;)...

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #55

    notmuchcop

    Most things are a waste of time in some sense, maybe all things to the true cynic.  GBS was a smart guy in some ways but talked a lot of non-sense too. Who is to say how someone else should spend their time?  And why should GBS's opinion be worth any more than anyone else's on this matter?

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #56

    Ziryab

    btickler wrote:

    They are a little better than anecdotal evidence--a very little. That's more than nothing, barely.

    I would consider those statements functionally equivalent to the phrase "pretty much nothing".  I didn't add the the qualifer for pure snarkiness factor ;).

    So, we're more or less in agreement.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #57

    Useless_Eustace

    some fokes feel freeta kritisize. dont make it so. 

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #58

    btickler

    Ziryab wrote:

    btickler wrote:

    They are a little better than anecdotal evidence--a very little. That's more than nothing, barely.

    I would consider those statements functionally equivalent to the phrase "pretty much nothing".  I didn't add the the qualifer for pure snarkiness factor ;).

     

    So, we're more or less in agreement.

    Pretty much ;).

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #59

    btickler

    ManMountainMike wrote:

    some fokes feel freeta kritisize. dont make it so. 

    Moved from the mountains to Jamaica, have we?

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #60

    ivandh

    Regarding the much-quoted quote, it is true of some players. Here you don't have to wait long for somebody to come along and brag about what a genius he is because he has a 2200 bullet rating. No doubt Shaw encountered quite a few of these pretend-intellectuals, and he was probably taking a crack at them.


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