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Zubon2 comments on Living By Your Own Strength - Less Wrong

23 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 December 2008 12:37AM

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Comment author: Zubon2 23 December 2008 02:22:09AM 0 points [-]

Michael Vassar has a good point that I will take in a different direction: inventors and exploiters are often quite different people. Great explorers are rarely great settlers.

The first person to develop an idea or technology rarely has the best idea of what to do with it. Perhaps s/he is too tied to that development process. Perhaps it takes a different part of the mind to optimize than to discover, and few people have strong modules for both. Sometimes the first mover wins, but the biggest winner is often the later mover who releases a better version.

Citing games again, I look to different sources for ideas and for finished optimizations. Some people can do both, and the more limited the search space the more likely it is that optimizers can find their own ideas. Several people will suggest that X and Y could work well together. They will experiment with things in-game. They will often have the best qualitative grasp of things. Then you bring in the spreadsheet masters to squeeze the last drop of optimization from it. These are the people who calculate the most efficient build for feats, talents, weapons, whatever your game has. Then you can pass that back to the community for people to use.

It takes a certain personality type to explore a new land. It takes a different personality type to start homesteading newly explored territory. It takes yet another to devise regular trade routes back to the mother country.