Monday, November 2, 2009

Cat Disassembly

 Here's an article you should read (via munin).

As fascinated as I am with the richer depths of go that I'm beginning to reach at my level (13kish), I am increasingly fascinated with the difficult problem of teaching go to new players.

This problem seems harder to me now that it ever has. Is this possibly because I'm losing touch with what it is like to be 30k? Is it because I'm so focused on learning what I need to make it to my next level that I only think about tactics and strategy at that level, not the issues of super early beginner play?

I mentioned before my concept of the beginner's hump (heh), the idea that there is this difficult, frustrating hurdle of initial concepts one must struggle through before getting to a more enjoyable, steady incline of learning.

How to get through it?

Dunno. Here's a quote from the article though:

She compared it to a child learning a language. Toddlers do not learn grammar and spelling and memorize words, they imitate and vocalize and learn through immersion and exposure and trial and error. They don't appear to have goals or embarrassment about how well they speak. They simply talk as best they can.
Toddlers really have no idea how talking works. They don't know that there are different languages, or that there are parts of speech, or even that there are words. They don't have any idea but yet they learn!

It does feel like learning a language. It seems much more natural than, say, learning chess. Maybe it's the increased visual element, pattern recognition.

Sometimes when the alarm goes off in the morning, I am not fully awake. Sometimes I am in a strange confusion, where I hold strong beliefs that some nonsense is true. One classic example is when I was spending too much time at work, and in the morning when a cat jumped up on me, I petted him but my brain thought it was disassembling (as in reversing computer machine code to assembly language, not the mechanical disassembling) the cat.

Anyway, this time I had worked too much AND played too much go before bed. So, in the morning, I was convinced that I could not get up until I solved some bizarre abstract problem that seemed (upon later waking reflection) to be composed a bizarre hybrid of program call stacks and go... like, CPU registers spread across two dimensions... it was weird. But I was convinced it was not weird, and was wondering what my wife would have to say about this obvious obstacle to our waking.

But... I digress.

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