Sunday, April 09, 2006

Coffee and Chess

So now I know why so many chess clubs meet in coffeehouses:

Coffee stimulates conscious mental associations, whereas alcohol, for instance, provokes instinctual responses. In other words, alcohol typically makes us want to eat, fight, make love, dance, and sleep, whereas coffee encourages us to think, talk, read, write, or work.... For the Moslems, the world's first coffee drinkers, coffee was the "wine of Apollo," the beverage of thought, dream, and dialectic, "the milk of thinkers and chess players."

....From the inception of the coffeehouse in Mecca to the present, customers in cafes tend to talk and read rather than dance, play chess rather than gamble, and listen contemplatively to music rather than sing.

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