Part of a response to my father, when he asserted that there is a hard cap on everyone's innate ability to do something as a reason for why he doesn't feel like working on improving his go playing in order to keep up with me:

I think you will never know how good you are capable of getting if you stop working on it, though. If you don't really know what 10k even feels like, how can you say that you don't think you'd be any better? The way I see it, I know what 7k is right now, and I know what I have to work on to get to 6k. When I reach 6k, I might know what I need to get to 5k. I can keep inching forward until I get to a point where I no longer know how to proceed. I reached this point a few years ago, around 14k, and thought I was basically done improving, but after some time to back off and start with a fresh approach, I've started improving again. I think I can keep doing this basically indefinitely; the only limiting factor for your skill is where you choose to stop improving. So, if you think you've reached that point, then you really will never get better. But there's no harm in staying at that level and working on it anyway, right?

Sometimes I underestimate my own capability for nauseating optimism and resisting fatalism.

18 March 2014 12:27

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