On Wed, Dec 05, 2001 at 11:41:05PM -0800, Tom Holub wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 05, 2001 at 11:22:53PM -0500, Mark Mielke wrote:
> > Tom: Do you see the potential, even if you don't believe it would ever
> > amount to anything in your life time?
> I see that you have absolutely no clue what you're talking about.  If you
> increase robot phaserlocking to be 100% accurate, ROBOTS WILL STILL SUCK AT
> NETREK.  You're talking about the wrong problem.

I see that you don't like me.

I see Netrek as a very fine art, with a larger problem space, but not
one beyond other games I have played. The "art" in this case, is not
the ability to obtain Admiral in 48 hours. The "art" is the ability to
formally define the strategies *on paper*, in a form that can be
followed by another team if executed perfectly. A robot team does this
very effectively.

If it's all in your head, it is useless. So you get to be Netrek
champion of the world... so what? Can you accurately explain what you
do? Or do you just trust your mind to do the figuring for you?

It is my belief that all true arts are only more beautiful once their
intricacies are exposed to critique. As an example that I am sure you
will again try to hold against me, the game Tic-Tac-Toe used to be
widely admired, and is still admired by children. However, once one
realizes that the person who goes first always wins or ties if done
properly, the game of Tic-Tac-Toe is exposed as not being a horribly
interesting art at all. Rather, it is a cross of 4 lines with a very
biased set of rules that ensures that only the ignorant can have fun
playing it.

Netrek is far different. The ignorant (not in terms of ability... in
terms of knowledge and experience) have a great amount of difficulty
picking up the strategies and skills. Games between the ignorant may
end up with *no planets* being taken, or few planets being taken.
Games between the clued start with the planets being bombed away, and
often at least one take in the first five minutes. There are so many
ways to play the game. This is the art. The ability to adapt to the
strategies utilized by the other team, and properly reflect their
strategy into something that is more beneficial to the us. If the
other team is confused, it may be time to take the lead, and cause
them to be on the defense. Adapting does not require creativity or
independent thought, although creativity can be an effective edge.

Don't assume that because others have failed, or that because you suspect
you would fail, that it is not possible.

People have always laughed at other people for pursuing little
understood arts. I suggest to you, that if you are not able to make
a robot to do what you do, then it is you yourself who does not
understand the art. Perhaps your mind does, but if you can't
accurately put it to paper, you don't understand it yourself.

It is the same as a math teacher who cannot explain how he simplified
one expression into another using proper mathematic rules. Would you
trust him to teach your children?

The art of Netrek, is the ability to come up with a set of truths,
patterns, strategies, and how each item interacts with other items.

If such does not exist, how can one be certain that one is playing
the best Netrek possible? One has simple not met an appropriate
challenger yet.


mark at mielke.cc/markm at ncf.ca/markm at nortelnetworks.com __________________________
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