an in-between move

Cool kids read The Bellman.


Don't read this blog!

I mean, thanks for dropping by my little corner of the blogospheric backwaters, but the blog you should be reading is The Bellman. The stuff I post there is much, much less likely to be imbued with dormitive powers.


[German, from zwischen, intermediate + zug, move

Literally an "in-between move". A move in a tactical sequence is called a zwischenzug* when it does not relate directly to the tactical motif in operation. |source|

image copyright TWIC

From this position, black played a zwischenzug: 19…d5
(Linares 2002, 1-0)


about your blogger

David Rowland studies philosophy at the University of Illinois - Urbana / Champaign, where he's an active member of the Graduate Employees Organization. He used to play a lot of chess, but wasn't all that good. He has a blog. And email.



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Sunday, January 30, 2005



Back when I was a kid my sisters and I went knocking on doors in our apartment complex begging for loose change so that we could take it downtown to the local broadcast headquarters of Jerry Lewis' Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. For myself, I didn't care much about curing the disease. I just wanted to be on TV and to meet Uncle Zeb, who was Tulsa's low rent version of Bozo the Clown.

Back then I thought telethons were entertaining. Partly I was a sucker for variety shows, but mostly I think I got off on the suspense of the tote board.

So today my local ABC affiliate is showing the United Cerebral Palsy Telethon. In more civilized markets, ABC's viewers are watching Shaquille O'Neal match up against Yao Ming. I've decided not to send in a donation.

Just yesterday I read a mediocre philosophy paper which set out to explain why it was that people are more likely to stop to help an injured stranger than to do things like send donations to telethons, even when the costs and benefits are the same in both cases. The author, who could have made the paper much better by taking account of the work of David Hume, argued that the injured stranger's presence engages our moral emotions directly, whereas we are able to think dispassionately about those helped by organizations like the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

Well, I don't know. Maybe the claim about moral emotions is true, but the discussion is hampered by the fact that the two cases are disanalagous in any number of relevant ways. Personally, I'd like money to be spent on palsy research and treatment. It doesn't follow, however, that I should feel in any way obligated to send a donation. Nor need this lack of feeling evidence a hard heart on my part. As it happens, my view is that more state resources should go to medical research and medical care, and that fewer resources should go to, say, missile defense shields.

There are two points here, so let me close by making each explicit. First, the appeal to differential emotional responses is unhelpful, since differences in our reactions to the cases are adequately explained by differences between the cases. Second, the local ABC affiliate really ought to be showing the basketball game.

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