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Chess: victory to the young

27 Jun

A wonderful piece by Tom Vanderbilt in Nautilus about learning chess with his four year old daughter:

“It wasn’t long before it struck me that chess seemed to be a game for the young. When my daughter began doing scholastic tournaments, I would chat up other parents and ask whether they played—usually the reply was an apologetic shrug and a smile. I would explain that I too was learning to play, and the resulting tone was cheerily patronizing: Good luck with that! Reading about an international tournament, I was struck by a suggestion that a grandmaster had passed his peak. He was in his 30s. We are used to athletes being talked about in this way. But a mind game like chess?”

Read the whole piece, it’s a good reflection on how our brains change with age. I particularly like this sentence:

“As we get older, there is one thing at which we get worse: Being a novice.”

I always found it depressing that my phone, even set to the lowest level, can beat me at chess.

“Flame Retardant Pollutants and Child Development”

22 Jul

From NutritionFacts.org:

 

Adult memories of imaginary companions

23 May

A paper on children;s imaginary companions:

“Adults in this exploratory study usually recalled that their childhood imaginary companions faded away or were dismissed as other options for social interaction became more appealing. However, eight participants reported that their IC had died. Analysis of these deaths offers a glimpse of the child’s talent for transitional thought processes that navigate between the emerging constraints of logic and the continuing appeal of fantasy. It is suggested that young children are testing the limits and possibilities of what it means to be “real” at the same time they are trying to puzzle out “alive” and “dead.””

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