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Garry Kasparov Interview  

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Gary Fletcher
(@gary)
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04/12/2018 11:39 am  

Always interesting. Kasparov has an ability to summarize and clarify, even within the form of an interview:

Kasparov Interview in New Yorker

He walks without purpose to an uncertain fate


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ventboys
 ventboys
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04/12/2018 8:25 pm  

Interesting interview. I don't know if I buy his explanations 100 percent, but I respect his intellect, his research and his ability to perceive his surroundings.

The 64 dollar question he raises is, "how dangerous is Putin?" Kasparov may have a bit of an outsized fear of Putin, overly honed by personal experience -- or we may underestimate Putin's potential for treachery. 

I'd like to say I know Putin isn't insane, but I don't. His characterizations regarding Trump ring true to me, and his characterization of the 2016 election cycle parallels a lot of my own observations.

The one thing I am most skeptical about -- the most on the watch for -- is the element of 20/20 hindsight. His view of the Flynn phone call strikes me as fact-Tetris; Occam's Razor says Flynn was what he appeared to be, a fool in way over his head, rather than a co-conspirator with a group of lifelong spies and spooks.

Kasparov may be a bit too quick to assume conspiracy where bullheaded hubris is a more obvious explanation, possibly because of his own background as a chess master. In chess, there is no such thing as luck, no such thing as inadvertancy. In life, though, inadvertancy is usually the more likely cause than conspiracy.

What does "inadvertancy" mean? Pretty simple:

Shit happens. 

Elmore Leonard was a master at writing about inadvertancy; John Grisham mixes inadvertancy in with conspiracy, often damaging his own narratives by killing a good conspiracy with inadvertancy.

An example ... it would be sort of like having the janitor come by and lock the door after the conspirators spent weeks planning to get it unlocked at just the right moment. Grisham did something similar in his book, "A Time to Kill," by having the malevolent forces against the good guys leave the narrative before the climax, effectively ending the drama 100 pages before it was supposed to come to a head.

I'm just wandering now, so I'll stop typing and go do someth


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ventboys
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05/12/2018 9:28 am  

After some thought, my take is a little bit more nuanced, I think. The value of this interview is that it's one of the few I've seen that aren't ideologically based. Kasparov is a dissident of sorts, but he's more of a detached analyst than an active advocate.

Bob and I used to discuss the difference all the time; he tended toward advocacy, while I tended toward analysis. The difference is profound in some ways, even though they appear to be almost to be the same thing if you aren't paying close attention.

Kasparov may or may not have the most insightful view, but even if his view is slightly biased by his own history, it's an honest attempt to see the Trump/Putin connection accurately. Kasparov's unique perspective -- again, based on his own history -- is juiced up by his extensive strategic and political experience -- and his formidable intellect.

I need to re-read it first, but I'm looking for insight into the collusion angle. I began the Mueller investigation believing that Trump was just a stupid dupe, like the bad guy in a western movie, and Putin was the brains. I suspect, after the investigation shakes out, that I'll return to that.

There were connections, but were they made from the Trump side with Trump's interest and knowledgeable consent? Or was it all just a grotesque case of inadvertancy? Did Trump stumble into the White House? He may well have.

Curmudgeon would be a great name for a newly discovered species of crab.


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Gary Fletcher
(@gary)
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05/12/2018 11:00 am  

You and I have both remarked on how what is being revealed about Trump/Russia seems like an almost ridiculous conspiracy theory. But Kasparov's political experience, rooted in communist and then kleptocratic Russia, then in the west, has given him a global perspective.

He is not astonished at the Trump phenomenon. He has a historical perspective. He sees weaknesses, observes trends, recognizes possibilities...including things failing, getting worse, possibilities for improvement, safeguards. I always enjoy his observations. 

He can be devastatingly funny, too. When Boris Johnson headed to Moscow to meet with Putin post Brexit vote and then becoming Secretary of State, he tweeted something like this:

"Cow goes to butchers; asks for job at McDonalds."

He walks without purpose to an uncertain fate


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