Friday, June 26, 2015

Why Chess Will Destroy Your Mind - from SciAm in 1859

Via The Message

Interesting reading of how people write about the video game of the time. The Scientific American essay is mostly right about chess, some of the complaints also easily fit into the debate about video games.

  • [C]hess is too sedentary a pasttime for people who were living increasingly industrialized and sedentary lives.
  • [C]hess-playing prowess doesn’t necessarily transfer to other domains.
  • [C]hess ensorcels its disciples into an addictive loop

However, the gem is here:

 Go too far in that direction and you wind up like Ahab in Moby Dick: Focused, sure, but also a total obsessive. This is precisely the perspective from which this Scientific American author denounces chess. Too much focus, too much devotion and sitting down, can be bad for you. Who’s to say that’s not a healthier balance?
Huh ... how about all the Meditation for Children books?