Martin Koníček


The belief that computers will do everything by themselves is as naive as thinking that becoming a billionaire means you won't have any problems.

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"Now you are a billionaire, so you don't have problems," says a reporter to the billionaire during an interview, and looks surprised at the response: "you know, it's actually a lot of responsibility and a lot of work," when the wealthy man replies that some games in life simply cannot be won.

Here, you set this or that, and the computer will do everything automatically

Similarly, it's naive for many technicians to think that they can automate everything and human intervention won't be needed. Elon Musk, who almost went bankrupt because of this idea, could tell you about it. He tried to create a car factory that would operate entirely without human intervention, and even he couldn't manage it.

In life, we have something called infinite games. These are games that are constantly played, and no one ever wins them. Just as you will never become the permanently richest man on the planet (simply because you are mortal), and just as you will never gain absolute power (because you can't control everything), you will never automate everything 100% simply because machines can only solve tasks they have encountered before.

Infinite games exist in companies too

Every company's dream is to bill the customer a billion and pay employees ten cents, simply put, to maximize profits. If someone achieves this, please write to me, and I'll send my vote for a nomination for the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Of course, this vision clashes with that of the employee, who imagines charging a billion for his work and doing almost nothing, or maybe just what he enjoys. These two worlds are constantly and infinitely at odds.

No one ever wins, it's a constant battle. You can't win, the goal is the game itself.

Whenever someone comes to me saying that they have finally figured out a plan to win the infinite game (I hear these plans from my surroundings about three times a month), I always smirk and say I look forward to it, and they should send a postcard when they succeed.

People trying to get into IT don't understand that it's not a field you can just learn

IT can't be learned, simply because it's a field based on constant change and lifelong learning. The lay public harbors myths that you "don't need a college degree," which is true (I don't have one), but on the other hand, I feel like I'm studying for a third degree, given the amount of changes and innovations in the field to stay on top.

It's a constant battle to keep your information up to date.

You can't become a rich person who does nothing and just sips mojitos on an island

Likewise, if you think you'll win the lottery, and your life is solved, it doesn't work like that. You have to take care of your money, defend it, and multiply it, or you'll simply lose it. There's no such thing as wealth that you can bury and it will work.

Take gold, for example. During the 20th century, after the great depression, it was forbidden to hoard it, trade it, and its buyers were traced with the requirement to exchange it for dollars. This should be noted by those who think it's a universal protection against inflation. And I'm not even talking about workshops for counterfeit coins.

In other times in history, stocks didn't do well (the great depression), and in the seventies and eighties, mortgages on houses were 10-15%, and no one even thought of investing in real estate. Property was seen purely as a means of housing.

The game of wealth is an infinite game, just like many others, where you can't win.

Sometimes it's better to play just for the enjoyment of the game rather than trying to win

In life, it's better to play games that we enjoy because we enjoy them, and not try to win. Don't try to create a perfect computer system that doesn't require maintenance (that's often very counterproductive), or try to earn so much money that you don't have to work for the rest of your life (that's also pointless).

There are things that you simply can't do so that they will work without you. You have to move for the rest of your life, and once you stop moving, it won't be long before you're not among us. Just as you wouldn't think of brushing your teeth non-stop for a week with the idea that you're set for life, you shouldn't have the same foolish thought about finances.

Likewise, you'll never make technology so it never breaks down. Sometimes it's just nice to admit that errors will occur, and it can't be solved, and human intervention will always be needed.

Infinite games are here, and at least one of them is life itself, but probably also the birth and demise of our universe, which may also be repeating.

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