Imagine, if you can, a world, a society, much as the one you live in. There is just one difference. In case of a dispute, that can not be resolved for this or that reason - being monetary or private or whatever - it is a common practice to resort to a game of chess. It is believed that via this royal game of logic and strategy, the one that prevails would also have better understanding of the case in dispute - for the victorious player would have had higher developed intellect and logic. Therefore she would be better judge of the right or wrong in the case in dispute. The one that wins the game, wins the dispute.
One can easily imagine that once this practice (also known as a ChessRule) was adopted by the state; as the means of solving disputes, chess has become the “must play and excel in it” game. Everybody played. Of course not everyone was gifted enough to be really good Chess player. So they opted to be on support teams. Anywhere from cooking the coffee for the Chess Master to being adviser, or … Well, a lot of supporting roles were invented. Soon, the best chess players on this planet were also the richest people.
As civilisation became ever more complex, inhabitants on that planet realised that game of chess could be utilised also as a way to generate wealth. Soon ChessGameXchanges (CGX) were created and people bet on next moves of the players in different games. The whole new “ecosystem”, or should we say “chessystem” developed based on these CGX’s.
As the thing go with societies and civilisations, people were fruitful with the new ideas how to incorporate chess into much about everything. The derivatives were invented, where people would bet against the bets of the others. Futures were developed where people would bet on an result of a future game of chess with the same players. Even bundles of different games were generated and bets in these bundles traded. It was not unheard of, that instead of debating about pro and cons of certain possible solutions, for a problem, people would rather resort to a game of chess and let the game decide. This has had an added benefit, that one could bet even in these very local and private games. One just had to connect the game to CGX.
Then the government had a bright idea to tax this CGX income. And soon after the GCP or Gross Chess Product was born as a measure of prosperity of a certain country. The logic behind it was that more games you play, more problems you have solved - ergo better run society and richer and happier people in the country. Simple and efficient equation and measure. And people were indeed happy and prosperous. Some of them anyway.
As people were so enthralled by the game it, over millennia evolved into something resembling a religion. Not that it was perceived as such. The common understanding among people was that the ChessRule is a proper, almost sacred, science. But unfortunately by playing the game they have missed the big, deadly even, problem. While the problem solving via chess game was a great and easy way to deal with any problem (even profitable for some) it was far from being efficient in any other real terms. It was efficient only in one way. It was measured as an “efficiency of the ChessRule” or ECR. The faster the game ended, higher efficiency. It was simple way to measure efficiency, compared to other things that one would have to take into consideration in the real world. These other things were simply dismissed as externalities without any real impact on an ECR. Which is of course true. But this utter simplification had, as you might have guessed, grave consequences.
The industry and just about everything that developed after the ChessRule was adopted, become totally inefficient and disruptive vis a vis the Nature of the planet. Production lines were optimised for an ECR and as a result the production was emanating humongous amounts of thrash and waste products. Even very poisonous ones. For everything was subordinate to ECR. Nature was polluted, destroyed en masse, animals going extinct, climate was affected and due to increasing CO2 levels the planet started to heat up. Which promptly enabled devastating fires and heat waves, that destroyed the crops and natural habitats. But still ChessRule reign supreme. Everything was really ChessRule efficient.
Some scientists started to warn the population, but they were not heard or were dismissed by the ChessRule, even ridiculed. They were simply not good at chess for they did not have time to practice it. Long ago they had to decide either to excel in science or in chess. This went on for years. Some activists stupid enough to stand against the ECR of corporations were simply eliminated. These stupid activists were not even able to comprehend the wisdom of ECR. It was a favour to them to be eliminated. Or so thought the big bosses of corporations. But as a planet started to warm up, and dirty consequences of inefficient industry started to accumulate, also other people started to notice that something is wrong.
So eventually the big debate started. Do we have to do something about this pollution and global warming and if yes, what is that something? It was a heated debate with a lot of games of chess played. The governments and big industries, did not want anything to change. The system was running smoothly. If you change anything it would not be ChessRule efficient. Voila. No need to do anything. And hey, also the income of a current system was just too lucrative. And after all, everybody (CEO’S and politicians and bankers) excelled in chess. They knew the game. They knew nothing else. Why change now? Everything works so nicely. Ok, the planet is heating up, the environmental disaster is almost imminent. But this will be in a generation or two. Who cares! We will be dead by then.
Ah, I forget to mention that as the game of chess does not require any moral or ethical considerations, let alone emphatic people to play and excel in it, this fact had a dirty consequence. The upper echelons of the ruling class, the avid ChessMasters, evolved after several millennia of the ChessRule into a totally psychopathic entities. They had zero empathy and were not capable of any moral or ethical considerations. The only thing that they did really understand was the game of chess. And they were really proud of that.
So as the last resort, to ease the tensions in a public, the Ultimate game of chess was proposed by the government. The best chess player from the upper echelons of the ruling class would play a chess game with randomly allocated scientist. If scientist wins the game, the ChessRule would be abandoned. Otherwise nothing changes. (I am not going to delve into the morality of this proposal. It is obviously a set up. What would you expect from psychopathic governmental entities?)
To complicate further, imagine now, that by a miracle you (Yes, you reading this!) are selected to play this game. If you win, the planet, Nature and the civilisation will be saved by abandoning the efficiencies of ChessRule, resulting in a proper real world streamlining of the production lines, optimising production facilities by considering the environmental impacts and well being of Natural world, etc.
No stress, whatsoever...?
So, reluctantly you start to play. And then by some miracle, several moves into the game one of your aides realised something. All you have to do, to win the game, is to move your knight from g1 to h1. By doing this, everything changes. The spell of the ChessRule would be broken. People would realise how ludicrous the idea was.
Unfortunately there is a big problem. There always is, right?
And the problem is this - the move is forbidden. It is against the rules of chess. It is impossible by the rules of chess that knight moves in this way. The only possible moves for the knight on this position are e2, h3 and f3. No way knight can move to h1.
You know that this move will go against every rule of the chess, every rule and custom of the society, every belief of the civilisation you live in. It is against everything you know, you trust and believe in. And yet, this move solves the problem!
Would you make it? Would you move the knight just one square to the right?
That is all you have to do. Problem solved. Would you?