[MUD-Dev] Learning

Travis S Casey casey at nu.cs.fsu.edu
Thu Jun 5 09:35:57 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Wed, 4 Jun 1997, Jamie Norrish wrote:

> > If I locked a fully developed person with reasonable coordination in
> > a room with three balls, they will not be able to juggle those balls
> > with any amount proficiency without any outside intervention. In
> > fact, a clean subject--someone who knows nothing of juggling at
> > all--could probably spend a lifetime in that room without figuring
> > it out.
> Hmm, you're on shaky ground there, because you've introduced the
> concept of knowledge of *ideas*. If someone knew that juggling
> existed, they would most likely learn to juggle in a very finite time.
> I think it can be assumed in most cases that the characters know much
> of what is done in the world around them - a position from which they
> are able to learn from doing.

Most definitely.  I taught myself to juggle with no help from any 
teacher or book -- merely by throwing balls in the air until I got
fairly good at it.  As it turned out, I learned to juggle three
balls the hard way first; it wasn't until I met someone who juggled
with a circus that I found out that most people start by learning
the cascade rather than the shower (throwing the balls so they 
cross instead of keeping them going in an oval.)

Further, the idea that it's impossible to learn something without
a teacher, a book, or having seen/heard of it being done makes no
sense.  How did the first touch-typists learn?  There weren't
any teachers or books, and no one else had ever touch-typed before,
so they couldn't have seen someone else do it...  Similarly, how
did the inventors of the sword learn swordplay?  How did the 
makers of the first automobiles learn to drive?  

IMHO, there should be at least three learning speeds:

 - self-teaching, without any aids
 - self-teaching, with aids (e.g., books)
 - learning from a teacher

Of course, in a realistic model, each of these would be overlapping
ranges of speed -- it's possible for a bad book or teacher to actually
slow you down.
       |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <casey at cs.fsu.edu>
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