[MUD-Dev] DGN: Reasons for play [was: Emergent Behaviorsspawnedfrom...]

Sean Howard squidi at squidi.net
Thu Oct 27 15:07:03 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005


"Amanda Walker" <amanda at alfar.com> wrote:

> You're reading an assumption in here that I haven't been making,
> namely "subjective == worthless".

> This isn't at all what I've been arguing, which is that
> "subjective != objective."

Maybe not worthless, but you are certainly suggesting that if
something were subjective then it's interpretations and conclusions
can be nothing but subjective as well. But it's not the answer we
are looking for, but how we can use that answer. If we create an
answer which accurately predicts (in the cases we care to predict) a
BETTER solution than the alternatives, then subjective or not, it's
a better answer.

> If I say that the question "is yellow better than blue?" doesn't
> have an objective answer,

It doesn't because both yellow and blue have merit for different
things, thus any answer as definitive as better would instantly be
proven wrong in different situations. If you were to ask, "is yellow
a better indicator of caution than blue" the answer is yet. Does
yellow convey the feeling of warmth (the temperature kind) better
than blue? Yes. Would you color the ocean yellow or blue? WHAT is
yellow better than blue at? And at no point do any of these answers
have a definitive version. It's possible that you would color an
ocean yellow if it were an ocean of... well, I'm not going
there. These are subjective answers, but for the things we want to
use them for, they are better answers.

> because "better" is a subjective criterion,

Only when it is left up to the imagination what something is better
at.

> I am, rather, saying that claiming that "is yellow better than
> blue?"  has an objective answer is making a category error.

I'm not claiming that yellow is better than blue - I'm claiming that
if "yes" were more useful than "no", then the subjectivity of the
answer is unimportant.

- Sean
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