Bill Gates,
on Ambition
“When I was young… I wanted to be the world’s best Go player.”

(excerpted from Shibumi, by Trevanian)

“…Shibumi has to do with great refinement underlying commonplace appearances. It is a statement so correct that it does not have to be bold, so poignant it does not have to be pretty, so true that it does not have to be real. Shibumi is understanding, rather than knowledge…Authority without domination. Something like that…One does not achieve it, one discovers it.”


Playing Go masterfully — that would be Shibumi. 


Here’s an excellent video, from a couple years ago, that provides an overview of the game. It’s about an early match that saw a new AI program beat the European Go champion.

AI Beats European Go Champion


And here’s a summary, along with reviews, of AlphaGo, a 90-minute documentary about the same AI program that in 2017 beat the overall world champ, in 4 out of 5 games — in a match that 100 million-plus people watched (more than the Super Bowl). For those unfamiliar with Go, here is an accessible, interesting and reasonably entertaining introduction to that world, which has implications for our world.

About Alpha Go (with trailer)


“Beyond being merely a game, Go can take on other meanings to its devotees: an analogy for life, an intense meditation, a mirror of one’s personality, an exercise in abstract reasoning, a mental ‘workout’ or, when played well, a beautiful art in which black and white dance in delicate balance…” American Go Assn.



Go originated in China more than 3,000 years ago. It’s easy to learn, difficult to master. From the preface of the book Way to Go, by Karl Baker: “The game of GO is the essence of simplicity and the ultimate in complexity all at the same time. It is taught earnestly at military officer training schools in the Orient, as an exercise in military strategy. It is also taught in the West at schools of philosophy as a means of understanding the interplay of intellect and intuition.” Download The Way to Go for free, if you want to know more. Find it under “Learn to Play” at:


images  “Shibumi”