Saturday December 27, 2014
Return of The Hedgehog: “The French movie ‘The Hedgehog’ has a mention of go and a scene showing the game,” writes Bart Lipofsky. “It’s based on the book ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’ by Muriel Barbery, which mentions the game at a dinner table discussion. The adult is corrected by the young girl concerning rules.”
Previous EJ reports include Go Art: “The Hedgehog” Now Available Online (11/28/2012 EJ) and Your Move/Readers Write: The Elegant Hedgehog Pops Up Again (9/1/2012).
’42 Ozu Film: In the 1942 movie There Was a Father (“Chichi ariki”), directed by Ozu Yasujiro, “There are views of a go parlor at minute 35, then further mention of the game later,” reports Bob Barber.
For more about go on film, check out the European Go Federation’s Go Filmography.
Thursday December 25, 2014
Former AGA Board Chair David Weimer tipped us off about a forthcoming book with a go-themed cover. International Relations Theory, The Game-Theoretic Approach is by Andrew H. Kydd, a colleague of Weimer’s in the Political Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI. “Written for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this is the first textbook on international relations theory to take a specifically game theoretic approach to the subject,” according to the book’s description on the Cambridge University Press website. “International relations theory is presented and analysed using simple games, which allow students to grasp the concepts and mechanisms involved with the rationalist approach without the distraction of complicated math.” The book is due out in March.
Monday December 15, 2014
Go makes an appearance in the Netflix series “Borgia,” which is not to be confused with the similar series “The Borgias.” In the 29th minute of the third episode (“1497″) of the third season, Cesare Borgia , the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI (r. 1492-1503), uses “the game of strategy from the Orient, go,” to give a plan for his conquest of northern Italian states. He uses a thick go board with legs and colored glass beads to demonstrate his point. “The goal is to add as few men as possible; out-thinking your opponent rather than out-fighting him.” The winner does not eradicate his opponent, but rather entices him to surrender.
- Ted Terpstra, based on a tip from Mark Gilston
Wednesday November 26, 2014
In his 2013 “A New Equation For Intelligence” TED Talk, Alex Wissner-Gross uses go to demonstrate his thesis that there is a single equation for intelligence. Drawing on the fact that computer game playing has improved to the point that in 1997 the computer beat the world chess champion and in the last decade computers have made significant progress in playing go, Wissner-Gross postulates that intelligence is a “physical force that resists future confinement.”
- Ted Terpstra, with thanks to Arnold Eudell and Joshua Guarino. We also covered this in a February 8, 2014 post.
Wednesday November 19, 2014
San Diego Go Club President Ted Terpstra has been seeing go everywhere lately. On senet, an Egyptian board game that’s older than go by 3,000 years, but lost for millennia before being reborn, “‘GO’ can be seen in a couple of places on the side of the board,” he writes. A recent New Yorker cover “that at first glance seemed to have many white go stones scattered in it,” turned out to be raindrops on a taxi window as it approaches the Empire State Building, which Terpstra points out “is near the 2014 Go Congress site.” The UCSD Go Club combined with the San Diego Go Club to sponsor Go Night at UCSD on Saturday, November 8. Japanese language students turned out to learn go at a Study Abroad event. Twenty student showed up for the beginners class and although it was supposed to end at 8:30 p.m., “the students kept playing until they were thrown out at 10 p.m.,” says Terpstra.
Tuesday November 18, 2014
The Internet is filled with cats, so Steve Colburn wasn’t too surprised to come across this piece by Tango that combines cats and go. “The tumblr this came off of has a lot of fun images for simple perspective and jokes,” Colburn adds.
Tuesday November 4, 2014
This oil painting depicting a go game between a young Korean girl and an older western man is featured in an October 31 ArtNet News report about North Korea’s Mansudae Art Studio. Perhaps the world’s biggest art factory, “It employs around 4,000 laborers of which under a quarter are artists who mostly graduated from the Pyongyang University of Fine Arts. The studio churns out propaganda for the Kim family leadership, producing everything from trinkets to murals and gigantic Soviet-style monuments.” This piece, entitled “Confrontation” is by Kim Hyon Myong.
Thanks to David Fruchtenicht for passing this along.
Monday November 3, 2014
In the game Destiny once you hit Level 5 you can buy “Snakeline 4.5 gauntlets,” which are “tough, menacing, and I swear- make you unbeatable at Go.” Thanks to Michael Albert for passing this along, though he doesn’t say whether the gauntlets have actually made his go invincible.
Sunday November 2, 2014
Once again, go is providing insights into US/China diplomacy. In the recent US policy of “rebalancing toward Asia,” Michael Spangler, writing in the Summer 2014 issue of Parameters, the US Army War College quarterly, suggests that “Another way to look at this is to imagine a Chinese game of weiqi, the popular Asian game of black-and-white pieces in which two opposing players strive to surround the other. China’s July 2012 establishment of Sansha City on Paracel Island seized by force from Vietnam in 1974 was the precursor of its new weiqi games with the Philippines and Japan.” In “Rebalancing the Rebalance,” Spangler, a visiting fellow at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, adds that “It is key that Manila’s talks not give Beijing any preponderant advantage by isolating or leveraging the Philippines against other disputants. In other words, this weiqi-like diplomatic negotiation can be completed as China’s future negotiation partners consult with each other.”
Thanks to Don Travis, a historian at the War College, and a new go player at the Carlisle Go Club.
Saturday November 1, 2014
Cartography is a new map-making, territory claiming, strategy game based on the game of go. Developed by Jon Adams, the game’s map is made up of interlocking triangular tiles, with walls that divide the map, allowing territory to be defended or captured. Players create and claim territory, and capture opponents, in an effort to control the map, which, like go, changes as you play. “Strategy is key and chance doesn’t determine the winner,” says Adams. Like go, “Cartography is easy to learn and challenging to master!” Adams has already raised over $14,000 of his $15,000 Kickstarter campaign to launch the game.
Thanks to Jeff Diamond for passing this along.