Saturday Superstar: Understanding

| Saturday, January 16, 2010
This will be in the context of noobs.

This has become somewhat of a pussified word. Somehow understanding has become mixed up with justifying or accepting or even sympathizing. It's time for understand to mean understand, to mean knowing why and how. Drop all this nonsense of thinking that understanding means agreeing.

Do we seek to understand earthquakes and tornadoes? Of course we do. We'd be pretty stupid to not. Do we try to sympathize with them and say "oh well it's a tornado it doesn't know any better"? Of course not. We seek to fix the problem. Someday we may be able to entirely eliminate violent weather, at which point we will destroy tornadoes, turning them into just more air. And air is good.

Why do we treat human behavior any differently? It's is a natural event. Even better, is it an event which we can control much more easily than the weather. You can't talk to a volcano, but you can talk to a person, and it often works. The trick is knowing what to say and when.

Understanding is useful. Wouldn't it be good to understand noobs? Then we could fix them. This seems far more useful than simply labeling them noobs and rejecting them. The only person you hurt by being a jackass is yourself, as you only ensure the existence of a noob.

Understand the noob; end the noob; make the noob into just another person.

It is easy to see how understanding has been corrupted. Understanding is the first step towards sympathy or agreement; a person who does not understand cannot do either except as blind action. But this is beside the point: understanding is to see how and why something does what it does, regardless of agreement.

This should not be mixed up with labeling either. It is easy, and often useless or even harmful, to label actions or events without bothering to understand them. For example: stupid is a common label as explanation; but it offers to meaning. Can you predict or manipulate stupid? Of course not. Stupid is not as simple as a car which tends to turn right or has touchy brakes; it is actually complex, and more often than not, not actually stupid. Instead what appears to be stupidity is a different perspective, different values, different available information. but now I am rambling, so I shall declare myself finished for now.


G-Rebel said...

In order to understand, as you so nicely put it, you need to have the rare skill that is listening.

Listening takes time, it demands paitence, something many wow players lack in abundance.

But if you can understand, that noob will appreciate and respect your opinion and be a lot more willing to accept correction and throw off that noob label. Now that noob has become a clone, but at least he/she isn't stupid anymore.

Klepsacovic said...

You might be a assuming a bit much there; we are talking about noobs after all. :)

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