Tag Archives: other

Searching for Bobby Fischer’s playing partner

My brother-in-law came over with the family for New Years as usual. And everytime he comes we play “a friendly game” of chess. But really it is all very serious. It is about pride.

This year he bought a chess set and a book for beginners for his elder daughter. But I suspect the book was for himself more than anything. But there is nothing wrong with that. You need to study chess, like anything else, to improve. I have a dozen books on chess myself and I still do not consider myself strong at all. But, at least, I am stronger than I would have been if I didn’t read them.

Flicking through the book I found it surprisingly good. It included all the basics and a little bit more to get you started. The book was by Miyoko Watai. The name caught me by surprise. Not because she is the head of the Japan Chess Association, but rather she was the one Bobby Fischer was living with when he returned to our consciousness from hiding in 2004.

Using Amazon Japan I discovered there are only 87 books on chess in Japanese. Whereas Amazon US lists 65,700 titles for chess books in English. This just goes to show how little interest there is in chess in Japan. Anyway, I recommend the book to any Japanese interested in chess. It is as good as any beginner’s guide to chess written in English. I can safely say Ms. Watai does knows her chess.

I am really looking forward to the next match with my brother-in-law.


I haven’t gotten personal on my blog in a while. I had kind of lost my way in the wilderness so to speak.

For sometime now I have been fretting over the name and the purpose of the blog. I was trying to create a website instead of a blog. While content is important I had forgotten about how to live with the medium. So let’s get back to the basics.

This blog started with my interest in the environment and its problems and so I will return to them. It’s a blog so let’s get personal again. I have an interest in postmodern theory and the Buddha so don’t hide it but don’t let it obsess me.

A name change, a new header image, a clean up of the design and we’re back on track.

And one more thing: this blogger is going back to university to get more educated about sustainability so he can write a better blog about it (I lied. I am going back to school but it isn’t about the blog).

SDB News – May 2006

This month has been another very slow month. Finding the time to keep up with the news and write about it has been a struggle. The main goal is then to focus on “pillar” posts, which I see as my strength when taking time into consideration.

There have also been some aesthetic and practical changes to the appearance of SDB. The calendar function is now gone. Its function only seemed to be to highlight blogging infrequency. The lesson here is that calendars are only good if you are a prolific poster. So it seemed logical to remove it and concentrate on content – quality over quantity – instead.

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Why this blog was aimed at the wrong audience

Peter Gibson in this article argued a very good point – that people in poorer areas are simply too busy with life to worry about ozone depletion. He points out that the majority of people in green groups (in developed Western nations, at least) are mostly white middle class. In other words their message and concerns are for areas already well established and rich, or rather environmentalism is for those who afford to be concerned about the environment.

Most of the world’s population today still do not have internet access. So I am really talking preaching to other like-minded people who do not need to hear the message. What I do need to do then is not work for my already nice clean area, but help those in other areas in need of help.

Often I have talked about leaving human concerns out of the equation – calling this “strong sustainability” – but really leaving economics and government out is not the same thing as working for human rights. So I must reassess my line of thinking.

The work ahead then is both for the environment and for humankind. While the environment is most definitely a victim of politics and capitalism, I now must reconsider that the underprivileged and the need-not-be lower class are also part of the same systematic victimization.

Thank you, Mr Gibson.