I’ve been enjoying the reviews of the iPad 2, which seems a fine piece of work. Also smiling at the homilies on the irrelevance and hopelessness of competing products; a particularly good example is The iPad 2 Rant.
I’m reminded of an old Go proverb.
Go is a game in which the players take turns placing “stones”, white and black and rounded and finely finished, on a beautifully-crafted wooden board. It’s not uncommon, when passions are high and the combat is hot, to slap your stone down so that the echoing wood rings out. It’s not uncommon, when your opponent has played, to take a stone from your bowl and toy with it idly while you consider your response.
It’s a long game, often extending to two or three hundred moves.
The proverb I’m thinking of applies to play at the highest levels, where the contestants are matched very evenly. These players find moves that astonish mere mortals like me, leveraging the strengths of their position, exposing the opponent’s weaknesses, and apparently tilting the balance of the whole game; for move after move after move. I sit up late some evenings enjoying matches between high-ranked professionals, broadcast live over the Internet from Asia.
The proverb says: The player with the stone in his hand always seems to be in big trouble.
And I also love, just love, the great playing board of the mobile market, resounding with echoes as the top players slap down their gleaming rounded black and white objects of desire.