Growing up in the 1970′s, I was sure flying was a bad idea.
I remember watching the “Airport” movies, each of which featured innocent passengers and plenty of potential death and destruction. And if Hollywood drama wasn’t enough, the evening news was peppered with regular air disasters.
In 1978, a Boeing 727 collided with a small plane near San Diego, just 3 years after the first airport disaster flick starring Charlton Heston movie featured a 747 colliding with a private plane. No wonder my family seemed to drive everywhere.
So, what happened? Hollywood has stopped making airline crash movies, even in this age of remakes. More importantly, the news doesn’t have much to report in the way of airliner downings either. Why are the skies seemingly safer today and in the 1970′s?
Answer: The National Transportation Safety Board and other similar organizations world-wide. It seems they figured out that studying the causes of crashes yielded information about how to improve safety. Go figure . . . (no comment on the pun).
Over the past 30-40 years, the United States and other countries have actually reached the rank of transportation shodan, reducing fatal crashes by some 5,000 percent. They studied what went wrong and followed through on improvements. What does this mean for me besides the fact that my fear of flying is serenely parked on the tarmac? It means that I need my very own Goban Safety Board.
Well, okay, a government agency probably won’t help my game, but I do need to study what goes wrong, especially in the games I lose, and then do something about the weaknesses I find.
A go player called Vultur writes a blog titled “Lose 100 Games.” He advocates embracing your mistakes to learn from them. I like that idea.
“The idea of being patiently mindful of our errors is encouraging, unlike the feeling of frustration that comes from erroneously thinking that losing is necessarily a bad thing.”
The idea of being patiently mindful of our errors is encouraging, unlike the feeling of frustration that comes from erroneously thinking that losing is necessarily a bad thing. Playing should be a learning processes. Perhaps we teach others when they make mistakes in games that we win. Are we then too proud to learn from our mistakes when we lose? We do this I think when we pout about losing. If we’re playing at the right level, winning and losing is a 50/50 thing anyway. I know I’ll enjoy go more when I start to enjoy the losing efforts more. (Ha, maybe I don’t want to enjoy them too much, eh?)
Anyway, I’m going to follow Vultur’s lead and not only lose 100 games (I’ve actually lost many times this already) but I’m also going to review as many as possible when I lose and ask, “Why did this plane crash?” Unlike with aviation, where at least some of the crashes can be blamed on mechanical failure, in go it is always pilot error. Granted there may be opponent induced ice and fog, but . . . well, no excuses, right?
To start off my safety board investigations, here’s a game I lost recently to a player named ‘loot’ on DGS. I played white. The result was Black + 7.5.
I didn’t put hours into the review. Instead I quickly ran through the game to look for any obvious mistakes that cost me the 8 precious points that brought about my crash. I found one at move 128. Check it out and see if you agree with me that it was a simple case of carelessness with perhaps a little greed tossed in for good measure.
Also, I’d love to hear from you about your experiences with improving your safety record on the goban through your own ‘after-crash’ reviews.