If you were to be sorted into a house at Hogwarts, which would it be and why?
Well, firstly, I'd like to say that I am not a Harry Potter fan, but I have taken the trouble to see what the traits of all four houses are. My favorite is Hufflepuff and that is because that house stands for the qualities of hard work, patience, justice, and loyalty. Now please, no more questions about Harry Potter!
Unlimited moves and games at Brainking, do you think it is a blessing or a curse?
I don't see the problem with it. I have a brain rook membership, so if I get tired of waiting for everyone else to make their endless moves, I can always start a few new games of my own.
What game should be added to Brainking?
Actually, I would like to see acey deucy included. A lot of people play it around the world and, although it has a high luck component, there is some real subtlety to the game.
Do you have any goals here like rating, tournaments, achievements...?
I don't really have any personal goals. I like to win tournaments. My main goal is to provide a good fun fellowship for people to play in.
If you could change one thing at Brainking, what would it be?
That's a difficult question. I would like a better interface in the Backgammon games. For instance, drag and drop moves would be good or even the ability to move the lower of the two dice if the higher of the two is not legal (ie, without having to select the 'swap dice' option). It irritates me having to swap dice so much. Also, in games like crowded, race and cloning, where pieces can be 'off the board' (ie NOT on the bar), the could be a separate graphic to place those pieces rather than putting them up with the pieces that are actually on the bar.
What do you prefer: Fischer's clock, X days per move with vacations or X days per move without vacations & WHY?
I prefer Fischer clocks. If you read the BrainKing.com board, you will see people constantly complaining about slow play. You know, some people - who shall remain nameless - just pick off the games that come up next in their 'your move' section. It is their right to do so. It is their time. They have a 1000 or so moves, so all their moves are in the last few hours before time out. one solution would be to set the 'X days per move' to a very short time span, and then the games would be played much more quickly. However, nobody would join those games/tournaments, because they are worried the time will run out.
Fischer clocks seem to address this dilemma by giving the players plenty of time at their disposal and the slow players will be 'swept up' - if you will - as their starting time runs out. That's why I always use Fischer clocks in my tournaments.
What do you think about our BIG BOSS -> Fencer? Is it still BOSS?
Well, I think there is a good basis for some of the criticisms that are leveled against him. I'm sure he could do something to improve the site or get someone else to help him. It's still a great site though. There is do direct competition to BrainKing. Nobody else has quite the array of different games, so I suppose Fencer has a captive audience.
In your opinion - who is the best player in BK & why tenuki? :D
Well, I come from a Backgammon players perspective. I don't think Tenuki plays much Backgammon, does he?
...From a Backgammon player's perspective, I think gambler104 is a very good player. He gets involved in the tournaments a lot and doesn't chase the BKR like some players do. The best way to lose BKR is to play low rated players and this happens a lot in tournaments. I think his playing ability is not reflected in his BKR in the various tables games he plays, but I still think he is very good.
What is your favourite book & why
Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals, By Robert Persig.
It's the sequel to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I don't know. Some people may think that's an odd book to have as your favorite, but I really admire his candor. I think you could classify it as Philosophy, but it's much more intuitive than most Philosophy literature. He's got some interesting ideas about native american spirituality and why the sixties revolution failed despite having some much potential.
Do you like footbal? What is your favourite footbal club in England/World?
Well, England are my favourite team, but the are a hard team to support. Within England, I suppose I support Nottingham Forest, but I don't pay national football much attention.
What are you afraid as a child? You deal with this problem?
I really got freaked out by the Devil. When I was about 7 or 8, I kept having nightmares about the Devil. I think it started when I looked through a book about the supernatural and there was a picture of the Devil and it really scared me.
Yeah, I got over it. I just realized that there is no such thing. The Devil is the ultimate bogey man. He is just a tool to scare people into behaving in a way that other people think they ought to behave; where the fear of God has not been sufficient.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
This is a philosophical problem that I have spent a great deal of time grappling with. I can say with a great deal of confidence that it was actually the egg that came first. Unfortunately, I can't now remember how I arrived at that conclusion.
Do you think Humans have rightfully claimed dominance over all life on Earth?
The word I want to focus in on in your sentence is 'rightfully'. For humans to 'rightfully' claim dominance over life on earth, it seems to me that there needs to be some agent outside of the sphere of earthly life that has dictated that it is right for humans to do so. I seriously doubt that this is the case. If it is humans that are the arbiters of right and wrong then 'rightfully' becomes a rather redundant word in this sentence. The above question would simply read, "Do you think humans have claimed dominance over all life on Earth". To which the answer is clearly... Yes!
Define "Freedom". Do you think humans are free today?
Freedom is the ability to do exactly as you please with out restriction or punishment. Absolute freedom is an impossibility. No society will ever be completely free. I think the best kind of society would be where everyone enjoys a similar degree of freedom.
There is another very important factor when considering freedom. In my mind, freedom is inextricably linked with the idea of responsibility. The more an individual can behave in a responsible fashion, the more freedom s/he OUGHT to be able to enjoy. But here again, we encounter the concept of restriction. The responsible citizen restricts their own freedom; the irresponsible citizen has their freedom restricted by others.
The only truly free man was Robinson Crusoe and he was fictional!
Religions: What are your feelings about them?
I think that far back in our evolution - when our ancestors were first developing conceptual thought - they were faced with a great many questions to which they had no way of finding answers to. In response to this, myths began to develop: how the world began, what the stars were, what happens to our loved ones after they die. These myths were the seeds of religions. They offered a deeper connection to the universe. We have had these myths for a very long time and they have played a very important part in our psychological evolution. Now that we do have ways of answering these questions, people are very reluctant to dispense with these myths. People want to believe that their loved ones are going to a better place. People want to believe that there is some point to there existence that they do not have to provide for themselves. This is why religions are so tenacious.
As far as I can see, all religions have one thing in common; a) There is something wrong with you and, b) they provide the answer. In the case of the western religions - Islam, Christianity and Judaism - you are sinful. Without God you are damned, but by following God (ie their religion) you will be saved AFTER YOU DIE. In the case of eastern religions, you are ignorant, but through following their religion you will eventually reach a state of enlightment. This may, however, take several lifetimes!
You can see that all these religions never have to deliver salvation; only the promise of it. You give them your time, your money, let them indoctrinate your children before your children had a chance to figure things out for themselves. You give them your life. And what do they give you back? Fairy tales!
Do you think that the so called "Democratic countries" have really governments that express the will of the majority of the people?
I think in principle, democracy is a good idea and I think in practice, democratic countries do express the will of the people more effectively than non-democratic countries. Democracy does depend on the will of the people and the state to carry through the democratic process honestly and transparently. If a country does not have the ability to do this, then it is no better than a non-democratic country.
If there is a willingness to carry through the democratic process properly, then it will curb the more autocratic tendencies of a government. It puts pressure on them to keep the people happy.
I don't think that the model of democracy that we currently use is perfect. I think that the minds of the electorate are carefully conditioned by those who are in a position of power and influence through the mass media.
I don't know what the answer is. It's a very depressing world. I know that I'd rather be governed by a western democracy than I.S.
"New Word Order", "Illuminati", "Zionists", "Master plan of Earth domination" etc. What do you think about this stuff?
I think that there is always a little bit of truth in every conspiracy. There will always be some evidence somewhere to support any proposition anybody can put forward.
I think it is plainly evident that there is a small number of wealthy, powerful and influential people in the world that put a great deal of effort into making sure that they remain wealthy, powerful and influential. In doing so their task, is in part, making sure that the rest of humanity do not become wealthy, powerful and influential.
Aliens: Fact or Fiction?(In your opinion, of course)
Well, you know, with the Galaxy containing 100 billion stars, the chances of there being intelligent life elsewhere is pretty high, but not certain. Whether that intelligence - if it exists - has the time or inclination to traverse the vast distances between stars to come and see us, is not so certain. And if it did, would it stop just to sexually assault some rustic in the mid west with mental health problems and then just bugger off home? I think not... But you never know!
What is your view of women and their role in modern societies?
I suppose a woman should have the right to define her own role. If a woman wants to have a career and she is capable of performing well in that role, then why not.
I'm sure women are very capable of making a contribution to society beyond the domestic sphere and if they have the liberty to do that, it will be of benefit to society.
If a woman chooses to focus her efforts in a domestic capacity, then that's fine too.
Do you think that our "modern" way of life truly promotes the concept of "Familly"?
Possibly not. I think to some extent, modern individualism and 'family' are at odds. I think, in the west, we are managing to bring up our children as reasonably well balanced individuals despite this. I don't really know the answer to this question.
Nicola Tesla vs Thomas Edison: Your thoughts?
Not really, Both great men in their own way. I have more admiration for Tesla. He was a visionary. I think Edison was a very talented and intelligent businessman.
Federal Reserve and Banking System: The "root of all evil" or a "blessing on Earth"? What are your thoughts?
That question is a little above me Thunder. I'm sure that answer is somewhere between the two though. Maybe closer to "root of all evil". I'm not completely opposed to Capitalism. I do think there is an elegance to the way it functions. I'm open to the idea that there may be a fairer form of Capitalism; one that takes power away from the financial industry itself and places more power in the hands of the people and their elected representatives
I would be more in favour of the financial industry being regulated (not managed) externally. I don't think it is ever a good idea for an industry to regulate itself. I appreciate that the argument in favour of self regulation is that those doing the regulation have comprehensive knowledge of the industry, whilst external regulators often do not. But on the balance of things, humans are humans and they will often act in their own favour. Self regulation can quickly descend into self interest for the financial industry as a whole. Look what happened in 2008.
I hope I've answered this question appropriately. Economics is not my strong point.