Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] [Zendo] Another Spock Rule question

  • FromJoshua Kronengold <mneme@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 01 Aug 2011 15:44:55 -0400
On 08/01/2011 03:34 PM, Buddha Buck wrote:
I can see a long, frustrating, game where the rule is "A koan has the
Buddha Nature if it consists in it's entirety of a single upright large
red pyramid".  I would see it ending when, after the field is littered
by black-marked koans, a student, desperate for another white example,
guesses "A koan has the BN if it is that (pointing at the sole, initial,
white-marked koan) koan" and being shocked when told he is correct.

Since this is a traditional move when the table is berift of one color of koan, this isn't actually that hard a rule -- probably medium difficulty at most.

I've played (Marc Drexler ran; not that surprising, as he's the best Zendo master I can think of who likes running hard rules) a somewhat harder variant of it, though -- of the pattern of "the koan has the buddha nature IFF it's identical to the arbitrary opening koan I started with -- or a single upright small red." That was frustrating, but amusing -- and did indeed end once a student (not me) made the "guess: only the existing white koans are possible" guess.

In theory, this rule is almost as hard as the "only one white koan" rule, but in fact I think it's a step or two harder, as it's going to take longer to give up on finding a pattern (and if you only have one white koan or one black koan, the ennumerative guess obviously provides -substantial- utility, as you go from no basis for a pattern to substantially more of one; plus you can't make trivial differences between one-piece koans, so the master has to give you a real new koan without extra generalization.