How About A Nice Game of Chess Instead?

There is, of course, the theory of it all. This is going to cost a lot of money and we will need to dig all around your basement. And you know that, have steeled yourself for it. It’s going to be okay.

Then the jackhammers kick in.

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The foreman talked to me on Tuesday and told me that he recommends that people don’t see what’s going on until the project is at least over half-way done. But I’d already gone downstairs, seen the carpets pulled back, the massive holes chipped into the sides of the house, the large trenches in the garage, the destruction in the bar. I didn’t even know you could pull that table in the bar out

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By the end of Thursday, they’re done and things do look better. The basement will still be a mess while the concrete cures, and I have to find somebody to re-lay the carpet. But maybe the house won’t leak anymore. And maybe the new iron bars on the foundation will stop the house from attempting to slip off it. Things won’t be quite the same again down there, but I guess that’s what you do when you own a house.

I eventually found where they’d put the bar table. As I tried to work out how I was going to put it back, I saw that previous occupants had left a mark to be discovered in times like this. I guess I’ll have to add to it before it goes back.

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To celebrate having something of a basement again, I watched the second greatest film in the world: WarGames1. I joke about how good this film is, but on this go-around, I think I was taken aback by…how WOPR uses the exact same methodology as things like AlphaGo and the OpenAI 5, even to the extent that one character talks about how it’s a ‘hallucination’ of a war., exactly the same way that PlaNet and similar techniques work for reinforcement learning.

Anyhow, you should watch WarGames again (and Sneakers from the same writers, which is actually a little better). It’s a shame however that Ally Sheedy’s character has so little to do - there’s a moment where she touches the computer screen and the film threatens to go off in a completely different direction, but 1983 and all that…


  1. The greatest film of course is the first 25 minutes of Transformers: The Movie. “Here, kids! All the characters you love die in terrible ways! Buy the new toys!” [return]