RE: Chess and Go study

From: James Rogers (
Date: Sat Dec 14 2002 - 21:19:41 MST

On Sat, 2002-12-14 at 19:16, Ben Goertzel wrote:
> The most remarkable thing, I think, is the loss of the ordinary distinction
> between voluntary & involuntary...

For me, I think it only happens when my whole brain becomes really
absorbed in and focused on a single task i.e. absent the usual external
distractions that normally plague us but which we don't normally
notice. It is definitely an odd and altered brain state, because while
I can guide and control it, I feel more like an observer than a
participant. When I used to be a night owl hacking code into the wee
hours of the morning with everything dark and dead quiet it would happen
relatively reliably after I had spent an hour or two working on some
particularly interesting hard problem. The essence of an entire complex
design problem would just sort of emerge from the morass of half-baked
ideas with incredible clarity to the extent that the detailed nature of
the problem and solution would be unavoidably obvious. Kind of like it
just coalesced from parts of the brain I don't normally think with. Not
trivial problems either, and I'd be at a loss to explain the precise
thought process that led to the solution, but the solutions would
invariably be excellent.

Not that I'm a raving nutter (of course, all the raving nutters say
this), but in a way it is kind of like the movie "A Beautiful Mind"
where Nash sees the essence of pure mathematical ideas super-imposed on

-James Rogers

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