Here's a completely random thought. Is a ladder in Go an instance of Irrational Escalation? They are considered to be easily read out, so what is gained by even playing one more stone? I wonder if experienced players quickly recognize the development of a ladder before it gets past even a couple stones.
And then, what implications are there, if any, for a strong Go program? I mean, as far as dispensing with the play-out, if that's what good players do?