Culture | Personal Growth | Philosophy

This Audacious Tango

There was a time when I would consistently win chess games against the Apple chess application. I’d have the difficulty set to just the right place to challenge myself but not so challenging that I couldn’t win if I played well. Apple has since adjusted the settings to make it impossible to win a game unless, I imagine, you sign up for Apple Arcade or some such monthly fee. That’s a game I won’t play.

So what do you do when it’s impossible to win a chess game against a computer? Join an online chess group and play against a person somewhere else in the world? Play a [gasp!] physical game of chess on a board against real humans? Or quietly give up the game and focus on other things, like that project you’re actively avoiding with computer games?

I’ve learned to embrace the impossible coldness of computer chess against this cyber bully. Like life itself, we never get out alive, so why not dance with it? You could try to delete the app in frustration (Apple taunts you by making this nearly as hard as the game itself). You could pretend it doesn’t exist. I choose to dance, in moderation, with the futility of it all. To see how long I can play before the wave of artificial intelligence overwhelms my attempts to stem the tide. And in doing so, I’ve come to understand gallows humor a little better.

We’re all dead men walking. No matter how much we try to game the system we’re all going to pass eventually. So, like that chess game, why not play the best game of life you can? Why not see how far you can take this audacious tango before the Almighty (Be it the Grim Reaper, God, Apple…. whatever) taps you on your shoulder and sends you to the sidelines?

Life is full of moments when you realize that, dammit, things just aren’t going the way you wanted them to. We can either walk away in frustration or learn some new moves. Enjoy the moment for what it is and for all that it offers. The genetic lottery placed us here against all odds. We ought to show a bit of panache in our brief time in the game.

That ought to mean, I should think, less time in front of a computer screen playing games and more time out in the world. Doing audacious things. Like meeting vibrant people out in the wild. Ready?

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