Tag Archives: quality

What is Equality in Chess?

Someone posed a question on my blog asking, “What is equality anyway?”  On one hand, it’s an easy question: if the game is equal, then that’s equality.  If both sides have the same material, the same pieces, no weaknesses, same development, then that’s equality.  That’s obvious, but chess is a deep game, and many positions are far from simple … and yet GMs will still claim that the game is equal.

In this post, I want to discuss some ideas behind equality.  There are quite theoretical, so I don’t expect it to radically change your play, but you might understand chess better afterwards.  First, though, I want to discuss the basic strategic ideas behind the chess game. Continue reading

The Problem With Quality

This post has what might what be a controversial title. The problem with quality? How is quality a problem? If anything, the problem is usually a lack of quality. So many things are overpriced and under-deliver. I can go to the dollar store and find a thousand things that will break within five minutes of use. The problem with quality? No, the problem is no quality!

Oh Dilbert.

Yes, yes, I agree. Obviously quality is superior to a lack of quality … but that’s exactly the problem. Imagine driving a top-of-the-line sportscar, something by Ferrari. Maybe you get it for a month, all expenses paid. Rides like an absolute dream. Afterwards, though, you have to go back to driving your used economy model. It will feel terrible, clunky, awful, everything negative you can think about.

You had a taste of superb quality, and now it’s so much harder to accept mediocrity. Continue reading

The Trade-off Between Quality, Time and Money

In videogames, it’s common to face certain trade-offs. For instance, you’ll have to chose between having a strong physical character or a magical character. Strength or magic, you can’t have both. More accurately, you can’t excel at both. You are either mediocre at both or you master one at the expense of the other. Some game have a ‘right’ answer, an optimal playstyle, but often it’s just a matter of choice. Which do you prefer, muscles or mana?

In life, there is a similar trade-off in most things we do, though instead of strength or magic it involves quality, time and money. You can define two of these. That is, you can chose a thing’s quality, or how good it is, you can chose the time, or how fast it is, and you can chose money, how much you want to spend … but you can’t pick all three at once. That’s the trade-off.

It even has its own little graphic! The title says graphic design, but it applies to most of life.

Some examples will make it clear. Continue reading

Kettles and Quality

I’m not saying I’m cheap, but I’m really good at saving money. It’s basically intuitive at this point, an instinct. In most situations involving money, I automatically, without thought, find the least expensive way to do things. On the whole, this is a good thing; certainly better than wasting money needlessly. However, it also has a rather serious downside.

Perhaps the best example happened back at high school. I drank a lot of pop, at least one a day. If I didn’t bring one from home, I’d have to buy one. There were several vending machines, offering a bottle for $1.50-$2.00, depending on what you wanted. Alternatively, I could walk downtown to Dollarama and pick up a bottle for only $1.00. It’s literally half the cost, so it’s a no-brainer, right?

No brain required, or so I and this image suggests.

Yes, I saved money, but what about time? It took roughly 15min to walk there, plus 15min back. That’s half an hour. To save one dollar, I am spending 30min of my own time. Which is more valuable, do you think? It gets worst, as one time I walked from the library to Dollarama, taking an hour total to make my purchase. I spent an hour to save a dollar. That’s ridiculous. Continue reading