[MUD-Dev] Re: Administrative notes

Adam Wiggins nightfall at inficad.com
Sat May 31 05:04:01 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

> > Again, implying that it's impossible to learn anything without having a
> > teacher seems a bit strange to me.  How, pray tell, did we (humanity, that
> > is) ever manage to learn anything since we didn't know anything to
> > begin with? :)
> Somebody who is really, -really- good can elaborate on existing knowledge.
> And somebody who is really stupid, but lucky, can stumble on something
> by accident. The price that has to be paid for being that good is high,
> often too high for the community who has to pay to support this person
> (so she can devote all her time to study her chosen subject)

Okay, this is a bit different.  What you were saying before was that
you can never be any better than mediocre without very specific instruction.
The above says that you can't advance yourself any higher if you're already
the best person in the world at what you do, unless you devote a whole
hell of a lot of time and resources to it, which I can agree with.
For instance, I consider myself a vastly-better-than-mediocre programmer,
despite zilcho formal instruction.  On the other hand, I don't necessarily
invent new and exciting programming techniques every day or anything.
Frequently I 'learn' a new techinque by seeing something done (ie, some
rendering technique or whatever) - staring it for a bit and thinking, 'how
did they do that?'  Eventually my brain puts it together and I figure out
how I can do it myself.  So I've just advanced my own knowledge past 'maximum',
but I can hardly credit myself - someone else came up with the invention,
I just reverse-engineered it.
By the same token, if I witness Bubba practising his Foo Stance, can't I
try to imitate that despite my own Foo knowledge being less than Bubbas?
Or how about if I read it in a book?  Granted, it would be about ten times
easier if I just got Bubba to show me...but it is still possible.

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