Third Eye: WéiQí, Medicine and Conversation

As I teach my son WéiQí, I am trying to teach him to develop a third-eye — a way to seeing (usually outside of the normal temptations of his mental habits).  The third-eye allows him to understand these two important guides to the game:

  1. Do not follow your opponent:  You don’t have to respond to each of your opponent’s moves.  Look for and create opportunities where your moves demand attention (“SenTe“).
  2. Do not follow your own moves:  Don’t get so absorbed in your own plan that you forget to realize that your opponent’s actions also demand responses and that the whole game may have changed requiring new plans by everyone.

So if you are not following your moves/plan, or your opponent’s moves, what are you following?  The game!  To learn this skill the player must learn to not be hypnotized by the momentum of their own mind nor the momentum of the opponent’s mind.

Likewise in conversation:  The generic ‘listener’ nods, and pretends to listen while merely waiting to get in their story.  While the sentimental listener listens so intently that they are undiscerning and lost in the speakers story.  In medicine, we emphasize the need to listen to the patient.  This is important, but it is equally important to not be swallowed by the patient’s own logic and story but to see behind it.  So, like WéiQí, you should not be blindly following the patient’s self-deception (their moves), nor should you ignore important signals that your patient shares that contradict your suspected diagnosis (your plan).   Following your own mind or following the mind of your patient may stop you from making the correct diagnosis. See this Eisenhower’s quote on planning.

In WéiQí, conversation and medicine, developing this third-eye is extremely helpful.



Filed under Philosophy & Religion

5 responses to “Third Eye: WéiQí, Medicine and Conversation

  1. Wow! Wisdom at its best. I wish I had a third eye. But I usually do either of the two you mention: believe everything and get wrapped in the story or can’t wait to put a word in.

    Your son is lucky to be learning that stuff in childhood. It will save him so much trouble! Since, well, in my opinion the most difficult thing in life is getting along with others.

  2. Thanx Lorena. You are probably underestimating your skill — evangelical scaring and all ! 🙂 That was a kind comment.

  3. i’ll have to check this game out. i found one that i can’t ever seem to get a handle on, but it’s very fun. made me think of this post, check it out and let me know what you think!

  4. Hey thanx for the game link. My son is doing it now. I also turned on a buddy to it as a model for him to start programming similar models as a money maker. So thanks. I played the game: it is pretty, fun and interesting.

    But here are the differences with WeiQi:
    — Entanglement has much more luck
    — Entanglement, as far as I can tell, depends on a rather focused strategy and not as broad and multifactored as WeiQi (which thus resembles life better)
    — Entanglement takes time to spin the tiles, keep checking different swaps etc.
    — Entanglement does not take a partner
    — Entanglement only takes a very short time to fully understand the goals and principles, WeiQi can take years (it is deep).

    Draw back to WeiQi:
    It takes time, discipline, perseverance and a subtle balance of mental skills. It is not a game that can be undertaken lightly. And I can’t teach it to my 8 year-old with any ease like I can Entanglement.

    But thanks for the intro. Tell me when you get an account on KGS (a WeiQi server) and I can play you a game. The cool thing about WeiQi is that it is a handicap game so that people of widely different skill levels can play together and both be very challenged and have a 50/50 chance of winning.

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