Forum

Garry Kasparov Interview  

  RSS

Gary Fletcher
(@gary)
Member Moderator
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 161
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


ReplyQuote
ventboys
 ventboys
(@ventboys)
Guest
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 1
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


ReplyQuote
ventboys
(@ventboy)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 166
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.


ReplyQuote
Gary Fletcher
(@gary)
Member Moderator
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 161
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


ReplyQuote
ventboys
(@ventboy)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 166
19/12/2018 10:35 am  

Responding to just one of the many interesting points made in Kasparov's interview, I take some exception to Kasparov's characterization of Vladimir Putin as insane.

Kasparov tosses it out dismissively, as if it's just a fact everybody knows. Which tells you a lot about how Kasparov thinks, but little about Putin's actual mental state.

Putin shows every indication of high intelligence. He has a highly developed sense of humor, a strong sense of self-awareness, and the ability to reach past the obvious and grab the balls of the truth.

This makes him both frightening and comforting. It’s frightening that the most dangerous country in the world is run by a man intelligent enough to mate the dumbass in charge over here in four moves, missing both bishops and half his pawns. Conversely, if he were as stupid and base as Donald Trump, we’d already be embroiled in World War III or post-apocalyptic by now.

Kasparov believes Putin is insane, which I find silly. I understand why he thinks that, though, and I think I understand how he got to that conclusion. The path to conclusions is itself a fascinating process.

  • To Kasparov, a liberal dissident, totalitarian, authoritarian rule itself seems insane. But to Putin, who grew up inside the USSR system, Kasparov’s liberal dogma seems equally insane.
  • Kasparov sees Putin’s need to dominate as a sign of mental illness. To Putin, the need to dominate is as natural as Kasparov’s need to protest. His developed sense of authoritarian dominance is actually a healthy response to the environment he was faced with. He survived, succeeded and overcame every obstacle.
  • Kasparov, the chess master, spent his life in a world with no luck, no inadvertency, no accidents or coincidences. To Kasparov, every move a man makes has to be deliberate and motivated. Putin, of course, works in a sloppy mess of a world where no man can survive without the occasional educated gamble, and frequent stacking of the deck. Even in hindsight, Putin cannot be sure he made all the correct moves. Kasparov, of course, sees the world in perfect 20/20 hindsight, as a chess master as well as a moral bluenose.
  • Moral bluenose? Of course. The weakness of racism is that racists come to believe that they are better than everyone else, even when it’s obvious that they aren’t. The same goes for extreme social progressives. Kasparov is a genuinely admirable man, of course. But his morality is not why he is admirable. Nobody’s morality, in and of itself, is admirable. But everybody thinks it is.
  • This might be the crux: Putin sees Kasparov’s morality as a weakness. Kasparov sees Putin’s lack of morality as a weakness. Guess what? It’s flippin’ 2016 America, in a nutshell. One side is evil, selfish, narcissistic and opportunistic. The other side is stiff, snooty, superior, narcissistic and relentlessly moralistic.

 

So, after that all that rot and rumination masturbation … Kasparov is Hillary, Putin is Trump in each other’s minds. But in real life, Kasparov is far more complex. As is Putin. Unfortunately, for us over here Trump and Hillary are depressingly simple and obvious.

But nobody is nuts. Even Trump, who shows the occasional sign of dementia, is still basically a guy who likes people and wants to be liked.

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


ReplyQuote
Gary Fletcher
(@gary)
Member Moderator
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 161
19/12/2018 1:29 pm  

Insane is a little harsh, or extreme, to be sure. However, I think it is fair to to see that all authoritarian, megalomaniacal, selfish mindsets as ultimately insane. I've noticed that Putin's moves are sharp, even brilliant in the short run, but self destructive in the long run.

Of course, I may be wrong. But Putin's support will wither away at the same rate as support for the aims of the Magnitsky Act grow. Predictions are fun; I predict that Putin will be done before we see 2030.

He walks without purpose to an uncertain fate


ReplyQuote
ventboys
(@ventboy)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 166
19/12/2018 3:21 pm  

Well, that would be a 30-year run, so you ain't exactly out on a limb there.

Respecting and understanding both sides is far more sane than demonizing your opponents. Keep in mind that the guy on the other side of the chessboard is using the same pieces that you are. 

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


ReplyQuote
ventboys
(@ventboy)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 166
19/12/2018 3:22 pm  

See how I brought it around there? Huh? HUH?

Aw, nuts to ya.  😀 

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


ReplyQuote
Gary Fletcher
(@gary)
Member Moderator
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 161
19/12/2018 4:36 pm  

Ah, but I wasn't talking about a 30 year run; I was just predicting his political and probably corporal demise within the next 12 years. Seriously, Putin only holds power because of the support of other Oligarchs that are economically raping the Russian people. They will abandon Putin if he is unable to reverse the Magnitsky wave.

By the way, Kasparov was supportive of Putin early on. Later he realized that Russia's democratic institutions were too immature, too weak to support a truly democratic state, and that Putin was at heart a selfish authoritarian, not a true patriotic statesman.

I don't change my mind all that easily, but my self respect notes that I am willing to do so. I respect that part of Kasparov, just as I respected the personal evolution on race that characterized Mark Twain.

Anyway, we're all of us good people, right? I'm feeling there's reason to be optimistic, and so to laugh again. Goin' out now, Terry.

He walks without purpose to an uncertain fate


ReplyQuote
ventboys
(@ventboy)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 166
20/12/2018 12:32 pm  

It's always better -- more fun -- to be optimistic. It's a complicated world; we can try to understand it all, fail and get depressed, or take on one thing at a time, have fun and drop that crap when it gets depressing.

It sounds easy, doesn't it? It ain't, of course, not in the age of constant, 24/7 tidal waves of information. But I'm like you, I think, in that I always bounce from the depths of depression whenever it gets to be too much, go say hi to the sun and renew myself.

Until the next wave of news, anyway. Remember when we watched CNN, maybe 25-30 years ago, and wished the news would happen faster? During Desert Shield/Desert Storm, on the Mercy, our Executive Officer took to walking the decks wearing a sandwich board that said "Don't ask me" on the front and  "Ask CNN" on the back.

It was possible to get the latest, and get a grasp of what was happening. Today, that's pretty much a laughable waste of time, effort and optimism. There is just too much being reported. The same amount of stuff is going on, though. We just hear about way more of it, too much of it. 

We used to need to dig for information. Now we need to sift for information. The ability to sift is what will separate the men from the monkeys. 

Monkeys, unable to sift news out of the flow of bullshit ... if they could fly, Trump would be the Wicked Witch of the West.

Maybe? Hell, just to be sure, can somebody throw a glass of water on him? We know gin won't work from all the drinks thrown in his face, and we know pee won't work from the dossier. 

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


ReplyQuote
Gary Fletcher
(@gary)
Member Moderator
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 161
20/12/2018 1:17 pm  
Posted by: ventboys

We used to need to dig for information. Now we need to sift for information. 

That part is worthy of inclusion in the proposed book of quotations.

He walks without purpose to an uncertain fate


ReplyQuote
ventboys
(@ventboy)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 166
20/12/2018 2:15 pm  

I'll think of a more snappy version.

 

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


ReplyQuote
Gary Fletcher
(@gary)
Member Moderator
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 161
20/12/2018 2:58 pm  

It's 2018; time to stop digging and start sifting.

 

Whaddya think?

He walks without purpose to an uncertain fate


ReplyQuote
ventboys
(@ventboy)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 166
20/12/2018 10:17 pm  

Nah ... I mean that's good, but it's a different sentiment. 

I came up with another one, I'll go post it.

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


ReplyQuote

Leave a reply


  
Share: