Friday, November 7, 2014

I'm Always Wrong

Took me a couple of days, but I finally watched this video from Kathryn Schultz at TED.  It was suggested to me in connection with the post I recently wrote about being wrong . . . and it puts me in mind of the day I've had and the way my thought process works.

All day - and I mean, all day, walking from the office to get coffee, waiting for the bus, sitting on the bus, laying in the tub upon getting home - I've been thinking about an attempt I made on the wiki yesterday regarding the ability to 'read' or know conspiracies.  I won't bother linking the wiki, because I'm going to change the page in a day or two . . . because the attempt is garbage.  It's wrong. It needs to be better.  I'll post the present version here and you'll see what I mean.


Provides knowledge of conspiracies and conspiracy theories, though it must be understood that the character may be in doubt as to whether a given conspiracy is true. The secrecy with which the conspiracy occurs may leave its nature - or its goals - in doubt . . . however, the ability will give the character clues as to how the conspiracy may be validated or better understood.

Through adventuring, the character may thus gain the power to expose the conspiracy (false or real), become its victim or its master.

Speaking in game terms, it would be impractical for the DM to list every conceivable conspiracy that might have existed during a chosen period or which exists now in one of the wide reasons. For this reason, the DM and the player should agree upon a number of conspiracies to start, between two and five, related in geography or importance to the character at this point in the campaign - with the understanding that the DM should occasionally propose another conspiracy every third or fourth running (again, this time frame being agreed between the DM and the player). In this way, the player can accumulate conspiracies without overtaxing the DM's creativity.

Each conspiracy should have the following characteristics:
  • That some agreement has been made between two or more groups 
  • That the purpose of this agreement would be to conceal an important matter from the general population 
  • That the matter in question should violate either the law or the local principles of morality 
  • That knowledge is had of outsiders having suffered due to the conspiracy 
The character should have information regarding at least two of the groups involved; at minimum the conspiracy's foremost purpose (sub-purposes may not be known); what violations may have occurred (may include both true and untrue elements) and finally a general idea of what group or persons have suffered.

Even if the conspiracy should prove to be false, SOME of the details above should be correct - such as a group meaning to propose the conspiracy and not following through, persons suffering due to a reason that is not the conspiracy, etcetera.

Any deeper clarity regarding the conspiracy must be gained through adventuring.

There are people who will look at the above and think, that's kind of a dumb idea.  There are people who will look at that and think, that's fine.  Move on.  Then there are people who will recognize what I recognize - that it's weak.  It's in the neighborhood but it hasn't rented an apartment yet.  It's in the batter box but it's hitting foul grounders.

Being wrong is normal.  Normal.  There isn't a day that dawns where my thought process is not driven by A) what is wrong with what I've done up until now, and B) how do I make it better.

Just now, I'm working on a reboot of my pricing system and table.  Why?  Because France broke the old system. Why?  Because the old system was shit.  It didn't manage the mess.  The solution is to make a new, better, stronger system, which is what I'm doing.  Am I rehashing the old system for the fun of it?  No.

Is the character background generator good?  Yes.  Is it as good as it gets?  Hell no.  The same goes for the weather tables, for the write-up for the combat system, for the mass hit points system and the monsters and everything else I do.

Do I owe the people on line more videos about the trade system?  Yes.  Have I been ignoring that?  No.  I've done three videos already to try to cover the topic and all three have been complete crap.  The first video was complete crap.  Was I wrong when I did it that way?  Oh yes, yes, yes, I was wrong.

Being wrong is normal.

I would have accomplished NONE of the things I've accomplished without first understanding that everything that came before the presence incarnation was wrong.  Not good enough.  Inadequate.

This is design.  To design is to make garbage, then to make garbage that seems less like garbage, then to make garbage that comes close to making you believe that it isn't garbage . . . and then you start to make things that work.

The process demands that you look at everything you do from the point of understanding where and why the design is wrong.  The 'right' you don't have to worry about.  It's right.  It doesn't need your attention.

Only the things that are wrong are worth thinking about.  They are the only things that matters.

Those people in the world who tell you, only concentrate on the good things?  Those people have no idea how any of the good things in the world came into existence.  The good things in the world only happen because we fix the bad things in the world.

Try to keep your eye on that.  Try to understand that my saying that I'm wrong is a step forward.

1 comment:

Eric said...

"Criticism is the only known antidote to error." -David Brin