Yesterday, I wrote a post "Good With Money vs. Good With Resources," but I had a problem: The word resource is almost, but not quite correct to cover the space of idea I was talking about.
I meant something along the line of "factors that you can gain influence over, that once gained have some persistent quality, that you don't have complete control over, but rather there's some way the factor can provide feedback to you, that used appropriately can be useful" - and that comes pretty close to being a "resource," does it not?
Wikipedia has "resource" as thus - "A resource is any physical or virtual entity of limited availability that needs to be consumed to obtain a benefit from it. In most cases, commercial or even non-commercial factors require resource allocation through resource management. There are two types of resources; renewable and non-renewable."
Close! But not quite, as I was experiencing yesterday:
I also think the word “resource” isn’t the best particular word, since there’s a lot of things that are resource-like that aren’t really resources… obviously our relationships aren’t resources, but can also be invested in similar to a resource. You can go out of your way to do nice things for people who have done right by you, you can be thoughtful, you can go out of your way to travel to a place if someone you really admire is there.
But what is the space that contains the skills, knowledge, securities, cash, bonds, stocks, real estate, prestige, credentials, relationships, and also tools and clothing and all sorts of other things? What are those called? "Assets"? Sort of. Not quite. "Resources"? Not quite perfect.
I guess we could go more ambiguous with something like "factors" and throw an adjective in front of it - "useful factors or "beneficial factors"... but that doesn't really solve the problem, now does it? That's why you get academic papers like, "Factors promoting the usage and movement of materials with dimensions of time and space involved" - which is, like, blah.
I don't have any successful resolution to it. In one of my favorite short stories, the protagonist gains super-human intelligence and needs to create his own semi-mathematical language in order to be able to think correctly.
Consider that! In order to just think - not even to communicate - he had to create a new language!
A lot of times I need better words. The words we've got now have box us into certain kinds of thinking and limit our ability to communicate. But going ultra-general and verbose and clarifying everything isn't a great solution either.
So... life sucks, and then you die? Your input is very welcome, dear reader. This strikes me as a serious problem that most people don't even realize is a problem.
This is of great interest to me.
The author of the short story is basing his story on the "Whorfian hypothesis" or "hypothesis of linguistic relativity," which holds that one thinks in accordance with their language. This principle was the basis for Orwell's Newspeak in 1984.
According to this hypothesis, then, to improve one's thought-processes and level of understanding, one must improve their language. Such is why I find the study of language to be of paramount importance.
After first learning of linguistic relativity, I started studying a logically constructed language called Lojban (from logji (logical) + bangu (language) (1). The idea behind this language, is that learning Lojban helps one think more logically and precisely. History is littered with various attempts of people creating "ideal" philosophical languages, due to recognizing that one's language affects one's thinking, yet Lojban is the best I've come across thus far.
John Stuart Mill, begins his treatise on logic with the following statement:
Language is evidently one of the principal instruments or helps of thought; and any imperfection in the instrument, or in the mode of employing it, is confessedly liable, still more than in almost any other art, to confuse and impede the process, and destroy all ground of confidence in the result.
Ayn Rand on language:
Concepts and, therefore, language are primarily a tool of cognition—not of communication, as is usually assumed. Communication is merely the consequence, not the cause nor the primary purpose of concept-formation—a crucial consequence, of invaluable importance to men, but still only a consequence. Cognition precedes communication ; the necessary pre-condition of communication is that one have something to communicate. (This is true even of communication among animals, or of communication by grunts and growls among inarticulate men, let alone of communication by means of so complex and exacting a tool as language.) The primary purpose of concepts and of language is to provide man with a system of cognitive classification and organization, which enables him to acquire knowledge on an unlimited scale; this means: to keep order in man’s mind and enable him to think.
From the Wiki on linguistic relativity:
In their fiction, authors such as Ayn Rand and George Orwell have explored how linguistic relativity might be exploited for political purposes. In Rand's work a fictive communist society have removed the possibility of individualism by removing the word "I" from the language of their community, and in Orwell's 1984 the authoritarian state has created the language "Newspeak" to make it impossible for people to think critically about the government.
Others have been fascinated by the possibilities of creating new languages that could enable new, and perhaps better, ways of thinking. Examples of such languages designed to explore the human mind includeLoglan, explicitly designed by its inventor James Cooke Brown to test the hypothesis of linguistic relativity, by experimenting whether it would make its speakers think more logically. Speakers of Lojban, a development of Loglan, report that they feel speaking the language enhances their ability for logical thinking.
Kenneth E. Iverson, the originator of the APL programming language, believed that the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis applied to computer languages (without actually mentioning the hypothesis by name). His Turing award lecture, "Notation as a tool of thought", was devoted to this theme, arguing that more powerful notations aided thinking about computer algorithms.
The essays of Paul Graham explore similar themes, such as a conceptual hierarchy of computer languages, with more expressive and succinct languages at the top. Thus, the so-called blub paradox (after a hypothetical programming language of average complexity called Blub) says that anyone preferentially using some particular programming language will know that it is more powerful than some, but not that it is less powerful than others. The reason is that writing in some language means thinking in that language. Hence the paradox, because typically programmers are "satisfied with whatever language they happen to use, because it dictates the way they think about programs".
In a 2003 presentation at an open source convention, Yukihiro Matsumoto, creator of the programming language Ruby, said that one of his inspirations for developing the language was the science fiction novelBabel-17, based on the Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis.[83
As for your particular concern (even though this is from four years ago, so it's likely a non-issue now), I think "resource" is a fine word, if one considers its full definition (the following is from the Oxford English Dictionary- the most thorough and precise dictionary I have come across):
1) A stock or supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization in order to function effectively:
1.1 A country’s collective means of supporting itself or becoming wealthier, as represented by its reserves of minerals, land, and other asset
1.2 North American Available assets
2) An action or strategy that may be adopted in adverse circumstances:.
2.1 One’s personal attributes and capabilities regarded as able to help or sustain one in adverse circumstances:
2.2 The ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties:
2.3 archaic The possibility of aid or assistance:
.I would call relationships, skills, clothing, etc., resources, for they are something one can draw upon in order to function effectively.
(1) To show Lojban in action, here are the full, logically structured definitions for logji + bangu:
*logji: logic; x1 [rules/methods] is a logic for deducing/concluding/inferring/reasoning to/about x2
This is the second time this week that I've been strongly reminded of Muted Group Theory, in the context of people being unable to express themselves without sounding ridiculously vague and long-winded. Although I'm not sure I would go so far as to say that strategists even exist as a coherent group such that it would make sense to talk about whether they're muted or not.
New words => new meaning =>new "world". It is difficult but not impossible, I think there must be a hack using existing symbol languages but will be very difficult. Have you thought how different are Japanese or Chinese writtent "words" and how this affects their perception. Their foundation is very different than the other languages.
By the way I also like "Understand" and everything from Ted Chiang.
This is related, but probably not quiet the definition you are looking for: terminal value. A 'terminal value' is something you value for its own sake. Like happiness, life, experiences, etc... A relationship can be a terminal value, but most likely, if you think about it, you'll break it down into: happiness, comfort, physical affection, friendship, and other values that are more obviously terminal.
So then what does that make a relationship? It makes it simply one of the ways you can fulfill you terminal values. You could, potentially, fulfill all those values by other separate means (friends and prostitutes?). So, and this is tangential to your main point, being good with resources also means knowing how to best fulfill your terminal values (often using limited resources).
There are only 2 hard problems in Computer Science:
Naming things, Cache invalidation, and off by one errors.
If you were going to build an empire, how would you do it?
I've been thinking on this lately. I want to choose the imperial path first, last, and always. Every decision I make ought to be to the end of building. We can get into the "why" of it and philosophy another time, but I think pretty much the meaning of life is to expand, the mid-term goal of humanity ought to be to spread outside of Planet Earth and diversity our habitats a little bit, and I'd like to participate in doing that.
That's a really long discussion though, so we'll save that for another time. Yesterday I was in a really nice cafe and I was thinking, "You know, I want to always be choosing the empire-building way. When choosing between options, when prioritizing, when picking activities, when picking projects - I want to choose expansion and empire."
I thought about that and I don't have any really good heuristics for what's conducive to expansion and what isn't. So today I went to a cool little Vietnamese restaurant where the owner is friendly, got some coffee and tea and bread, and started brainstorming a little bit.
Now that I have gone a good bit in to how EVE functions, I believe that the time has come to actually tell you how I feel about the game. This is all my opinion on the game of EVE of course, and I’m sure some people will strongly disagree with me on several points. I should first note that I played the game over the course of a month-long free trial. One of the biggest complaints I have seen about the game (and ones I share on some levels) are that the game requires you to commit a lot of time to it in order to get something out of it. For some people this could be a huge draw, and for other people this could be a severe deterrent. EVE is not a game where you often get instant gratification. EVE is not a game where you can just jump in and expect to be successful with little effort. This is a game where I would recommend finding a veteran player or a Corporation to show you the ropes (and even then you still might be scratching your head quite a bit). Now, you can certainly make many aspects of the game easier by looking up guides and tools to help you with tasks such as choosing skills, fitting your ship, or figuring out what to do next. I would highly recommend that any new players at least download external programs that allow for designing ship fits and skill acquisition plans. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that these sort of programs are almost required to be successful in the universe of EVE.
I have seen some people suggest that your first week of playing EVE Online should be devoted to reading about the game rather than playing (though I personally feel like this is going a bit overboard). I think you can jump in and not feel overwhelmed in EVE if you keep your focus narrow and take things one step at a time. Also, you could just do your thing and not even worry about more complex parts of the game, but ultimately your experience might be more successful and more rewarding if you understand most of the game concepts though. I’m not sure that I would call the learning curve in EVE too steep. I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information and all the things you can do in the game. I personally had my friend to help me, who is an EVE veteran, and I still found myself getting frustrated with some things in the game.
To CCP’s credit, they seem to offer many resources to help new players. The launcher prominently displays a link for helpful resources for new players, there is an in-game tutorial that provides advice on what do, there is a rookie channel where people answer new player questions, and I even got an e-mail from a CCP employee to ask if I had any questions. Some Corporations will also take in new players and show them how the game works. So there are certainly resources for new players to look up and learn the game for the first time.
This leads to one of my first criticisms of the game. I enjoy games with some complexity such as strategy or RTS games, but the planning and problem solving takes place entirely within the confines of the game. In EVE I often felt like I was being taken out of the game in order to figure things out such as ship builds, character builds, or what the best equipment to buy was. For example, I need to fit my ship with some weapons. So, I determine what size of weapons fit on my ship, the type of damage I want to inflict, and my desired weapon range. Then I go on the market to purchase that type of weapon and find out that it comes in several different options. Each option offers different amounts of damage, power requirements (the power required to turn the weapon on), and price point. I’m sure that some people can run all the numbers required through their head to figure out the best option, but I think it’s not that difficult to see how an external fitting program can be very helpful in this situation, if not required.