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Less Than Nothing

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Less Than Nothing

Unread postby icycalm » 15 Oct 2018 03:20

Lots of people writing and talking about videogames today know nothing about them. But there are some people who know even less; these people know less than nothing.

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And my question to you is, what exactly does it mean to know less than nothing? And how is that even possible?

See if you can figure it out and explain it to everyone else here before I do.
Last edited by icycalm on 15 Oct 2018 07:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby ExiledOne » 15 Oct 2018 04:26

I guess I'll take a stab at it. I feel like this ties back to another essay written here in which you quoted Karl Popper, where he said something along the lines of 'not only is it not right, it's not even wrong'. Many people writing about games nowadays know nothing but there case can still be helped because it's possible for them to be guided/instructed in the right direction like how you guided all of us into getting the maximum amount of enjoyment out of our games with your essays for example. But someone who knows even less than nothing is completely hopeless because not only would you have to guide them in the right direction, but their mind is filled with prejudices and misunderstandings that you'd have to clear up as well. It's like triple the amount of work of as opposed to someone who is just ignorant and doesn't know any better. Even when you try to instruct these people, they can't grasp even the simplest of things because their perception is just so warped. That's where all these absurd essays about 'representation' or 'sexism' and the like in gaming come from. It reminds me of another quote from Lichtenberg that was posted here as well:

Notebook E, aphorism 49
A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out. We have no words for speaking of wisdom to the stupid. He who understands the wise is wise already.


That's the same reason why people can't grasp your gameplay essay even after all these years (I use that one as the example because I consider that one to be one of the easier ones to grasp as opposed to the later stuff). You could post it in GameFAQs right now and cause an uproar even though once you understand it, it almost feels like you should have known it the entire time. The funny thing is you could take the responses from someone posting that essay years ago and make a new thread right now, and compare the responses. And were it not for the different usernames and dates, you'd swear they were the same person. It's like they're being manufactured somewhere or something. Now that I think about it, I guess that's why you started cataloguing the responses to Insomnia articles back in the day.
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Unread postby James W. » 15 Oct 2018 05:04

ExiledOne wrote:Many people writing about games nowadays know nothing but their case can still be helped because it's possible for them to be guided/instructed in the right direction like how you guided all of us into getting the maximum amount of enjoyment out of our games with your essays for example. But someone who knows even less than nothing is completely hopeless because not only would you have to guide them in the right direction, but their mind is filled with prejudices and misunderstandings that you'd have to clear up as well. It's like triple the amount of work of as opposed to someone who is just ignorant and doesn't know any better.


I'm getting behind this part. People that know "less than nothing" need to unlearn things that prevent them from knowing more than nothing. You could call these things anti-knowledge.

It seems like Popper is talking about something different because I assume anti-knowledge would be by definition wrong. It depends on if nonsensical things that are neither right nor wrong are also something that need to be unlearned before one can learn the right stuff. I'm not sure how the Lichtenberg quote is connected to this topic.
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Unread postby jeffrobot494 » 15 Oct 2018 05:17

Yeah, if your knowledge is less than zero, it's negative. So you hold beliefs that are keeping you further from the truth than if you simply had no thoughts at all about videogames. Either that, or knowing less than nothing is lacking the capability to know.
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