Monday, March 02, 2009

In praise of ridiculous alternatives

"Why does one chess player play better than another?
The answer is not that the one who plays better makes fewer mistakes. The one who plays better makes more mistakes, by which I mean more imaginative mistakes. He sees more ridiculous alternatives. The mark of a great player is exactly that he thinks of something which by all known norms of the game is an error."

Jacob Bronowski

Bronowsi was a British mathematician and biologist of Polish-Jewish origin. He is best remembered as the presenter and writer of the 1973 BBC television documentary series, The Ascent of Man.

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