This is interesting. But perhaps some professions or some subsets of them are really better understood by the general public and journalists than others.

For example in software, a lot of people seem to have a good basic idea about what a web browser is how game development looks like. However it is really funny that if you work with ERP/business software like SAP, Oracle Financials or Navision, you find that nobody outside the fairly narrow profession has any clue. Articles are full of empty platitudes like "XY implements best-practice business processs and provides transparency" and it is very clear that this all simply means absolutely no idea about what it actually does, or how, or even what it is for. Meanwhile, a huge number of people know that game development is usually about artists making 3D objects and textures, an inner core of real programmers making a 3D engine and an outer circle of less-real-programmers-but-know-more-about-fun type of people writing scripts to script the behavior of the 3D objects in the engine. At least this is what the common knowledge seems to be and IMHO fairly accurate.

It's accurate but not very precise, in the same way that the story about how there are wet streets and rain is true but misses the inner connections. Many people fail to get the distinctions between programmers, artists, and designers, because they want designers to fix bugs, just shift staff to design, etc. And testers are nowhere in that simplified model. So people have enough of an idea to get the wrong idea.

Many game developers have a shaky idea of how game development works once the team is larger than can work in one room. That becomes project manage... (read more)

Rationality Quotes Thread June 2015

by Gondolinian 1 min read31st May 2015134 comments


Another month, another rationality quotes thread. The rules are:

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be upvoted or downvoted separately. (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments. If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson. If you'd like to revive an old quote from one of those sources, please do so here.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.
  • Provide sufficient information (URL, title, date, page number, etc.) to enable a reader to find the place where you read the quote, or its original source if available. Do not quote with only a name.