Greedy Goblin

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What you've read, you'll forget

What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand

Lao Tse, Chinese philosopher wrote this line thousands of years ago. Some people try to defy him. "Philosophers", "thinkers", "intellectuels", "publicists", "columnists" they call themselves. I call them nothingdoers living on our tax money or university payments.

They think they can change the world for better by chatting. When the world actually changes for better, they claim it was their doing, as justification for receiving more tax money or tenure positions. Bullshit. The "only white" places did not disappear because because (mostly white) liberals littered some papers with words. It changed because people like Rosa Parks acted against it.

Like Ayn Rand and several others I believe that people can support themselves by working, and taxing them to use this money to support M&S is harmful to the society. However their papers were no less ineffective than any other publication. No people sat down as socialist and stood up as capitalist because he read such books. Well, some students may sat down calling themselves socialists and stood up calling themselves as neoliberals, but they did not start working. They started to talk about capitalism while kept on living on their parents money. Some progress they made!

I did not want to be just another philosopher, so I never wasted my time littering political forums that were Godwin at the first comment. When I was first shocked by the fact that human beings spend their fun time grinding pixel elementals, I saw an opportunity. A chance to let these people not just hear and see, but also to do capitalism. They can start trading in this game, saving themselves lot of time from the terribly annoying "work" of grinding. They can see with their own eyes that the "innocent people locked in poorness" are actually too lazy to do a daily quest and too stupid to use their tradeskills.

This game is a perfect example as it lacks the uneven field of real life. No one starts as Kirin Tor exalted just because his dad was a mage. While I strongly believe that one can overcome any challenges if he tries hard enough, it's much better to start practicing on an even field.

In the real world I could support great achievements with my money, if I'm skilled enough to oversee them. I could fund scientific research or spacecraft design. And I could even be a tourist on a spacecraft for my support. In WoW, I could join a HC guild, support their effort to clear more and more content.

Reading won't help you, since what you read, you'll forget. Start practicing! Set up a little business and watch how you reach more and more in less and less time.


Stabs said...

Erm, when did Ayn Rand ever support herself by working?

Anonymous said...

Also, slavery has a history of success much longer then you seem to imagine.

Rosa Parks acting against slavery would have meant nothing it *whites* weren't in the economic and cultural context in which they accepted her stand (in the medium run).

Not to reduce Rosa's contribution to civil liberties movement, but did you hear of a guy named Spartacus? Do you really think he was less heroic and that's why he didn't change anything?

How about countless other slave revolts that were crushed effectively and made irrelevant in history? You really think slaves can emancipate themselves if they and their former master do not overcome (first intellectually) the rationale that underpins slavery?

Pangoria Fallstar said...

The rational the makes slavery ok, is that a bull gores anothers slave, you pay the owner 20 silver sheckles.

The bible supports slavery.

Too bad what I've read is not what I've forgotten, but what is shaping me for what I'll do.

The idea is to read, think and act.

You can't just act without reading or thinking, or else you'll just be M&S going by what feels right.

But the biggest point you're making is still true. If you don't do anything, then all your thinking is pointless.

But those who spread words and ideas WERE doing something, so in that part I think you're wrong.

Ideas can grow and evolve, and by saying a few words, a person can plant ideas into other's heads.

Anonymous said...

Rosa Parks did not bring about emancipation. She did not fight against slavery. She used civil disobedience to fight for civil equality for blacks.

Lincoln brought about emancipation (an end of slavery) just before the civil war ended. Slavery wasn't around (in an officially condoned sense, anyway) when Rosa Parks sat in the front of the bus.

Aside from a poor example, I agree with your line of logic.

Jormundgard said...

You might want to brush up on your American civil rights history before using Rosa Parks to justify your free market utopia ideas.

Yzy said...

Nice from someone who writes a blog :)

Yaggle said...

We have a saying that I love that goes: "Talk is cheap". Or as King Uther Pendragon said in the movie 'Excalibur', "Talk is for lovers! I need the sword to be king". There are many others, "Less talk, more action", "Money talks and bullshit walks", but I think my favorite is "Idle hands are the devil's workshop", which has a second meaning other than that doing is better than talking(or writing), which I think is that bad ideas are less likely when you stay busy. But certainly when there are so many proverbs that advise taking action, there is a truth behind them, a wisdom learned throughout history that this world should(and does) belong to the doers, rather than the do-nothings.

Mallehoney said...

"No one starts as Kirin Tor exalted just because his dad was a mage."


Anonymous said...

"No one starts as Kirin Tor exalted just because his dad was a mage."

But humans get there faster...

Sven said...

It's a basic error of logic to say that, because outcome A requires prerequisite B, that B is the sole cause of A. A may also require C, D and E; not everything has a simple single cause and effect.

So, it does not follow from the fact that action was needed to end segregation that the talk was wasted. Both were necessary, neither was sufficient on its own.

Likewise, starting a business without reading may not be the best way to learn. A combination of learning and practice may be the optimum.

Sven said...

Almost forgot!

"No one starts as Kirin Tor exalted just because his dad was a mage."

No, but a twink would get there faster than a non-twink. Also, you get a different starting faction status in other cases depending on your race.

Choosing one in-game example where advantages aren't inherited doesn't prove anything, as there are many other cases where they are.

Wiggin said...

Once again I suggest you check out Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers - The Story of Success.

From "Malcolm Gladwell poses a more provocative question in Outliers: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the "self-made man," he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: 'they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.' Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, 'some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky'."

Anonymous said...

OK, just some a couple of notes about the differences between the WoW economy and the real one.

1) In WoW, resources are practically infinite. You can go kill every last rhino in Sholazar for the leather, and a couple of minutes later, you have a fresh batch of full-grown rhinos ready to go again. You can circle Icecrown grabbing every ore node there is, and, when you come back around, there's more automagically! In the real world, with the same practices, you'd have made an extinct species and no more ore ever.

2) WoW has no regulated money supply. The amount of gold in the economy is entirely dependent on players, even quest reward money, because questing isn't mandatory. That's why Blizzard has 'gold sinks' in the form of very expensive items, rep grinds, etc., as well as a money level cap -- to give gold some relative value. In the real world, the supply of money, which is mostly fiat money, is highly regulated by national or cooperative international entities and the worker/consumer can't control jack about it.

The notion of 'working' for gold in WoW is itself somewhat erroneous, because even that 'work' is still just playing a video game. I'm happy for all you who get enjoyment from that aspect of the game and wish you the best of fortune! However, the majority of people are enjoying different aspects of the game. They aren't going to have as much gold as you, but they aren't moron and slackers for it.

Anonymous said...

off topic/ noob question - what is M&S.

Gevlon, I enjoy your posts. Don't always agree, but I always find it interesting.

Gevlon said...

@Stabs: she wrote novels and people payed for it. Everything is a "work" what get payment.

@Sven: I'm not questioning that making ideas are useful. But today the "ideamaking" is way oversupplied. Practically everyone wants to tell others what to do and no one does it. The short supply is in people who do it. So "ideamaking" and publishing is just like air. Theoretically it's necessary, but since obviously available, no one cares to mention it among the "requirements of successful life".

Anonymous said...

I was unaware of Rosa Parks role in emancipation... Perhaps you should straighten out your understanding of african american history.

Ferathyi said...

Is it possible you are merely frustrated that you haven't managed to make a living off selling thoughts to a world willing to buy them? =P

Seems these thinkers, intellectuals and columnists really have a good deal. They get to sit around, sip coffee and have people give them money for thinking. Sounds like they're doing very well for themselves.

Why do people pay for their thoughts? Good question. It depends on the example.

Philosophers and intellectuals get paid primarily to teach other people how to think, with their contributions to academic journals almost always unpaid. Their payment in this sense is recognition, which translates to better-paying jobs teaching richer people to think.

Publicists get paid to promote the image of a company or idea. The two people I know who have worked in that field hold no illusions about changing the world for the better. They know they are paid to convince someone else to buy product A from its usually identical substitute product B.

And columnists are there for entertainment.

Anonymous said...

I found this blog, read what you wrote all the way back hundreds of posts, picked up inscription on my DK twink, leveled it to 400+ (cost me 1k gold or so), and made roughly two thousand gold in a single day after one week of learning how to do it. I was shocked at how easy it was.

Anonymous said...

Really the only thing useful out of this blog is the advice on AH stuff. All the other posts are mostly nonsensical and provoke little interest in the average reader. Those that get outraged at his opinions are merely feeding the fire. The guy is probably an egotistical jerk in real life. And I bet this comment will be deleted pretty quickly.

Anonymous said...

You quote a philosopher to criticize philosophers. GG.