ARTICLE #27 [First published in October 1989 Chicagoland Backgammon Newsletter]
How’s your mental vision? Is everything clear and concise? I ask that to find out if you suffer from a common backgammon disease: the distortion of logic called “deceptive rationale.”
Older players are usually the victim of this loss of perception. It is symptomatic of the cause-and-effect syndrome. Creating the link between a cause and an effect requires reasonable objectivity. However this may prove impossible considering our natural bias. About the best we can hope for is a reasonable degree of detachment.
To meet the requirements of detachment, a litmus test of plausibility must be applied. Accepting the idea that most everything is possible but very little is plausible, we have the premise to filter out misconception and half-truths that compete for our attention. The plausibility test may trash a few gems of insight, and an argument could be made that the loss is too great. But the reality of sorting through the influx of a plethora of information requires some functional sanity. My understanding of truth and perfection is that both are relative to the knowledge of the times.
Being overly concerned with details creates a myopic vision of fabrics that blinds us to the grand design of things. The ability to adapt to the next decade of knowledge requires flexibility and clear logic. Acquiring burdensome misconceptions can only interfere with that process.
Since a part is not the whole, what value should you put on a play?
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