Saturday, May 29, 2010

I am willing to be wrong... long as it doesn't matter and I can keep going.

I realize that people sometimes get the wrong idea about me because I can get in a mode where I have to do something my way. It's not because I think that there's only one way to do it. Usually I get to a point where I come up with a solution that I know will work even if something were to go wrong while I'm trying to do it, and I can adjust and keep going. This is probably more important in real life than in any sort of game space - in a game situation I'm OK with trying something a bunch of different ways because the consequences are usually pretty minimal. I only get locked into a specific method later after I have had time to refine a technique.

If there are any consequences, I get spooked - especially if I've never had to face the specific consequences in question. My best example of this in real life is the express lane at the store. If the express cashier tells me to come to their lane having seen the contents of my cart, I will. But if the person behind me in line suggests that I should go over to express and I know I have more than the requisite number of items, I won't.

"You could go to express... You don't look like you have that much."

They're all small items, and I know I have at least 16 items. I don't even turn to look at my antagonist - all I know from her voice is that she is female and older than me. My younger child is crying on the store floor because I won't let him tackle his older brother while we're in line.

"I'm not going over there. The last thing I want is some blue-hair complaining to me that I have more than ten items. You can break the rules if you want to, but I'm not going to."

Clearly, my motivation is to not be hassled by strangers (yet ironically, it has happened anyway).

So the other part besides the consequences, is the ability to keep going. I was typing a response to a youtube comment that the studious among you can find yourselves, but when I hit the 'enter' key, it said "Error - please try again." Since there's no accounting for dropped packets and network topology I restarted my browser and went directly to youtube instead of replying from the notification. Since I had remembered to hit Control-C before I restarted the browser, I didn't have to retype my comment. "Error" again. No helpful message, like

"Don't use a special character in a filename, knucklehead"

or a blue screen with

"Windows is totally sick of your crap and will be restarting in 5 seconds if it can close all of the spyware processes you started by clicking on that Megan Fox link."

As it turns out, my well-researched comment was failed by youtube because I included a web address in it. Would it have been so hard for it to tell me why it didn't want my comment? The error was so generic so as to make me wonder if my internet connection was even working, so it resulted in me doing the same thing over and over again, expecting something different to happen.

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