RE: OT: Go (Was Respect)

Subject: RE: OT: Go (Was Respect)
From: "Glenn Maxey" <glenn -dot- maxey -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 10:20:53 -0600

> -----Original Message-----
> From: bounce-techwr-l-58477 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
> [mailto:bounce-techwr-l-58477 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Peter
> Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2001 8:03 AM
> Subject: Re: OT: Go (Was Respect)
> Dia Blankenship wrote:
> >
> > What's the * -at- #$@#* IS Go?
> GO is an ancient Oriental game that makes chess look simple.

Actually, the rules of Chess are far more complex than the rules of Go. The
strategies of Go, on the other hand, are far more complex, because they
involve seeing and recognizing patterns not all of which are evident on the

> The object
> is to place stones on a board in such a manner as to surround your
> opponents stones and thus capture them. For further details do a Goggle
> search on GO or try .

Actually the object is NOT to surround your opponent's stones. The object is
have life, and that more abundantly than your opponent. Life is defined as
surrounded territory. Now if your opponent's stones happen to get trapped
without life in the territory that you've managed to surround, that is
another story. "Collateral damage."

Go -- a millennium older than Christ -- is much too Zen and Ying-and-Yang to
sum up as being a game where you try to capture your opponents stones. In
fact, some of the best games that I have played had few prisoners on either
side. It's even considered bad practice to always be on the attack and
capturing your opponents stones. If you try this strategy and if your
opponent is any good, they'll willingly sacrifice a few stones here or there
to appease your bloodlust while they "tenuki" for much bigger territorial
gain elsewhere on the board. Because Go can be handicapped, even games
between players of differing abilities can strive for balance and life and
end scores of near equal sizes.

Because the analogy was made between Go and Technical Writing, my goal is
NOT to wipe out the opinions and efforts of those I may come in contact with
at work. If anything, it is to re-direct and influence them so that we both
come out with maximum life (stock options and profit-sharing) -- although I
naturally want my life to be a little bigger.

My own motivation for going into Technical Writing in the first place was
that I saw where everybody else was strong. I decided to play (and work)
where everybody else was weak which created harmony "on the board".

Again, the goal is to surround territory. If I have the misfortunate of
wiping them out completely making the board all mine, then any further move
I make is a move inside of my territory and decreases my life. In other
words, if I manage to irk my SME's and other co-workers to get "my way", I
might be left doing everything by myself which wouldn't be much of a life at

As a final plug for Go and the business world, if your company happens to be
doing business with oriental countries -- in particular Japan or China --,
understanding Go is paramount to understanding their modes of business.

The American/European modes of business are very much Chess-like. All of our
pieces are on the board. We can see which pieces support other pieces on
both sides... by contract (until we decide to break the contract). We're all
going for the one big move, the one big sale, the one killer-app, the one
start-up venture that puts us greedily over the top. Beyond this we cannot
see. We see no problems in attacking and wiping out our opponent and getting
our monopoly.

Cultures where Go is in the mindset are not so blatent (or foolishly
short-sighted) -- at least not in the early game. There is more emphasis
early on in planting seemingly unrelated seeds in various sectors and
establishing small spheres of influence. Both of which connect and turn into
very powerful relationships that hold as the game progresses. If you ignore
them dabbling here and dabbling there, before you know it, you'll be walled
out. You cannot gain entry and cannot compete.

Japan has done this again and again. They planted seeds in the form of Honda
motorcycles. They turned this into cheap, inexpensive cars. The reliability
and quality steadily improved until ... well, every car I have ever owned
has been a Honda and my oldest brother still drives my 1979 Honda Civic.

Of course, you can't build cars without electronics. From the simple wiring
harnesses that go in an automobile assembly and transistor radios, they
leveraged themselves into semiconductors. Every hear of Hitachi? It's not
just a company; it's a city, literally, built on relationships from very
humble beginnings.

I wish that I could apply more Zen-like Go moves at work.

Glenn Maxey
Voyant Technologies, Inc.
Tel. +1 303.223.5164
Fax. +1 303.223.5275
glenn -dot- maxey -at- voyanttech -dot- com


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Re: OT: Go (Was Respect): From: Peter

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