Douglas Milewski (dacuteturtle) wrote,
Douglas Milewski

The Optimizer Lifestyle

I hear lots about a gulf between younger and older. I won't say that this is it, but I do believe that it is a fashion.

We currently live in an era of "optimizing" as a way of life. It works this way. In any endeavor, a person will skip learning anything about a subject or an action, and instead ask, "What's best?" That which is not best becomes terrible. If the best way consists of gaming the system, you then game the system, because why would you do otherwise? Gaming the system often involves getting the most for less work, which makes it very attractive.

I'll toss it at some modern situations and see what comes out! No promises on accuracy or correctness.

Let's say that you want to park. Where do you park? You park in the most convenient space knowing that you won't get a ticket anyway. And if you do get a ticket, you can ignore it, or talk your way out of it. All in all, you will get far fewer tickets than hassles.

What about game playing? Why, you pick the best character to play. You then look up the best builds. Bingo. Done. None of that grubbing.

For computer games, you just read the FAQ, use the cheat code, download savegames, or use a game editor. You are now in control!

What about MMORPs? The easiest way to all that power is to just pay for a charater with many reasources. Instant, powerful character without all that sub-optimal mucking about. You want to be powerful, not gimped and unable to go have fun.

What about school? It's easier to just pay someone to write your papers.

The downside of optimizing, though, is that you don't actually learn anything. Optimizing is the ILLUSION of knowledge and judgement. It may be a heuristic for decisions, but it is no replacement for critical thinking and knowing where the limits of this method can take you. When situations change, optimizers often wind up doing clearly stupid things because they fail to recognize the change in situation. They hold onto their inaccurat ideas too long.

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