The “got it” rule for passing and AI chess.

My friend Matisse E. taught me a great trick: when you’re carrying something heavy and you are going to hand it over to someone else, you don’t let go until you hear the recipient say “got it.”

Like other great techniques, it seems like an obvious thing to do but isn’t. (Groups of people drop things all the time.)

It reminds me of the difference between technique and technology. I was recently reading an entry by Ben Wheeler about the late 90’s when master chess players not only played against computers but also with them, in “cyborg doubles” matches against other human-computer pairs.

It turns out the team with decent players but the best human-computer relationship (i.e., the best teamwork) beat the teams with the best individual human and computer players. Technology requires technique. Or, relationships matter.