From: Nate Nossal

Hello Doctor Korn,

In the course of my research, I had the good fortune of coming across your webpage Responsible Thinking.
I was skeptical at first, judging from the title. Hahaahhhahhh--

I am an American-born doctoral student researching games in Japan.  My personal interest is in hockey, but I am working on theoretical games and general game information theory.  I was just looking for some general information on zero-sum games for my entertainment and self interest when I saw a page from your site.

So, how are you doing on the site?  Are you still working on it?  It looks like it might be one of those projects...!  Anyway, I just wanted to tell you I am a BIG fan of yours now, and I would like to encourage you for whatever you may be doing.  Please take heart, keep up the hard work, and feel free to drop me a line here anytime.

Warm Regards,

Nate Nossal
Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology


It's great to hear from you!

I think you have a good understanding of my problem.  Clearly I haven't been adding much to the site for a while.  I doubt many people find it unless they stumble on it looking for something else, and so it's hard to get motivated to add material if few people are paying attention.  Apparently search engines look for lot of links to give a high ranking, and I hate trying to promote my stuff to others on the web.  Your encouragement is very helpful, however!  It's a lot easier to work on this when you know some people are interested!

I took a course in game theory in college which I enjoyed a lot.  It seems like it would be hard to apply to hockey where the situation is very fluid, but would be good for football and baseball where there are lots of break points with well-defined properties.  I'm a big fan of video games and board games, which make it all the harder to spend time writing.

Please let me know if there are areas on the Responsible Thinking site that you'd like to see expanded or improved.  Feedback is a great motivator!

Thanks for writing!


Hello Bob!

Likewise, I am delighted to have heard back from you.

I stumbled on your website because of the section on zero-sum games, but it was actually your mission statement of sorts, the essay on responsible thinking that got my attention.  Everything you say is DEAD ON!!  It doesn't matter what specialty, nook or cranny of the internet, medicine, administrative canonical historical legalities (you get it) one is working on--there is a serious lack of meaning, understanding, and in other words critical thinking in people's work, and lives.  It's really bad in the States, I think.  The culture is as oppressive as it is toxic and stressful, full of people telling each other how to think... but I digress.  I really respond to what you wrote, because it is exactly the same things my professor Dr. Kawanishi, myself, and the more enlightened and philosophical of my colleagues and friends RAIL about to our students and each other.

It is fitting that you have worked in AI, like my professor Dr. Iida, the boss of my laboratory.  You correctly addressed my demon of 2014--trying to apply discrete mathematical measures in a continuous game situation with many human factors.  We are taking a greatly simplified approach.  Dr. Iida was involved with many of the Deep Blue people, and the formation of the ICGA.  He has done a lot of work on discrete, mostly board games like chess and shogi (Japanese chess). Recreational games might be considered at one of the furthest extremes of meaninglessness, contrivance, and human dillydallying, just left of socratic philosophy...

I was actually trying to answer your question about what part of the site should be expanded or improved, but seem to have taken myself on another digression.  I don't see any need as being greater or less than another.  I want you to do more of everything.  I see nowhere that improvements are necessary, and I would like ALL of it to be expanded, and your book put together and published for millions to read, or your website to get 2 Billion hits.  Your website's not the problem--It's just that people are more interested in venal things.  Venal things aren't all bad--I just mean, to the exclusion of many important ideas and questions WHY, Americans and other "proletarian elite" of the world are lost in consumerist materialism, and enslaved to their "entertainment" brainwashing systems.  I don't know how that can be helped, Bob.  People seem to like it this way for now.

Peace be with you!
-Nate in Japan


Your encouragement has been very helpful.  I think it will get me moving for at least a while and I should be able to add some useful things.  A friend had suggested an "executive summary" to get readers off to a quick start, so that should be my next item.

I'm happy to hear you're promoting responsible thinking in Japan.  It would be great if this could catch on!

Good luck in all your work!