Not Poker — Chess. I Am Not Captain Kirk.

Not Chess Mr Spock


Something I have in common with the fictional Captain Kirk, from the original Star Trek series, is that I enjoy playing both poker and chess. In the scene depicted above, from the episode “The Corbomite Maneuver,” the Enterprise is facing an adversary who dramatically outpowers them — and Kirk escapes the situation with an outrageous bluff, right after making this reference to the game of poker.

Unlike Captain Kirk, however, I am not skilled at bluffing, with two consequences:  (1) I’m a terrible poker player, and (2) I do not attempt bluffing as a strategy, unless I am actually playing poker.

I’ve been an activist for a large variety of causes, for decades, and, because of this activism, have acquired a rather large number of adversaries. Many of them have figured out that I don’t bluff, but some — rather surprisingly, considering they have known me for years — have not. The amusing thing, to me, is that I’ve always been quite open about this, but some still fail to realize it, despite my candor on the subject. When engaged in any struggle, I only make statements I believe to be true, for one simple reason: I’m so terrible at bluffing, or other forms of lying, that any untrue statement I were to make would be instantly recognized as dishonest. Since I figured this out, about myself, decades ago, I deliberately choose to only employ strategies which are completely honest. It would be stupid, after all, for me to employ strategies with which I know I have weak skills.

So, unless I’m actually playing real poker, and am engaged in any sort of struggle, I’m basically playing metaphorical chess. This involves figuring out what my opponents are thinking, devising strategies to counter theirs, and remaining at least three moves ahead of my adversaries, at all times. I’m far more like Mr. Spock than I am like Captain Kirk, and always have been. This isn’t going to change.

I find it hilarious that I can post these absolutely-true statements right here,  on the Internet, where anyone can see them — and have full confidence that those who persist in their mistaken belief that I’m bluffing, about anything, will continue to make this enormous error in judgment — until it’s too late. For them, that is.