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  "No, You Can't Make Video Games"  (Read 9600 times)
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Offline Rayvolution

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« Posted 2014-05-19 05:46:28 »

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/AleksanderAdamkiewicz/20120703/173489/No_You_Cant_Make_Video_Games.php

I was curious what everyone's input it on this. The guy got slammed hard in his comments section, but I imagine most of those people have zero experience in programming, development or graphics of any kind So, I'm curious what you guys (who have these skills) think. I actually agree with a lot of his points, but I am beside myself. I've always felt I can do anything, as long as I put my mind to it and dedicate the time. I also always try to motivate other's to think the way I do. But sadly, there do seem to be some people who just will never "have it". They're those talentless people who seem to be  completely incapable of learning even the fundamental basics of computer programming, game design, or well, anything creative for that matter. No matter how hard they try, no matter how many years they work at it, no matter what they do, they're always awful and always below par.

The example I'd use is an old friend of mine from many years ago, he wanted to be a game developer. So, he went to college all wide eyed and with the rose colored glasses on. I tried to talk him out of it, because to put it simply (while I did not tell him this) he was one of "those people" who are hopelessly unable to be a good game designer of any kind. He lacked all real ambition, had no natural talent and wasn't all that smart

Now, this friend did eventually go, drop out, and now he doesn't talk about it. But even if he had graduated, I still to this day feel he never would of made anything beyond flash games that are just ripoffs of already existing concepts (Like the 50 million Flappy Bird clones, for example). My reasoning behind this was:

- Tons of ambition, zero drive to actually do anything with it.
- His "awesome ideas" were basically a ripoff of the latest hit game, with "that one cool thing he wanted" (that was a bad idea in the first place). He also thought too grand, he didn't want to make a little game, he wanted to make the next Battlefield, CoD, Halo, etc (mostly FPS games, that was his thing)
- He lacked all artistic ability what so ever. I don't mean he just couldn't work photoshop, I mean he had no creative logic problem skills what so ever (critical to be a good programmer). He was a "if a tutorial doesn't exist, I can't do it" type of guy. No ability to solve his own problems independently.
- He simply wasn't all that smart. He was the nicest guy you'll ever meet, but his light bulb was a little on the low-wattage side.

So having said all that, how do you guys feel about it? Do you think there are people out there that even if they want to learn to be programmers (or acquire any creative based skill for that matter) they just can't? For whatever reason, it's simply beyond their abilities?

TL:DR - Are some people doomed to never have any creative talent what so ever, and unable to learn?

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
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Offline ctomni231

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« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-05-19 07:03:54 »

Honestly, I know it is true. Game making isn't too different from Computer Science in terms of accessibility.

 In this world of instant gratification, people have the notion that they can do anything if they try hard enough. Fact is, many don't have the patience or tenacity to make it happen. Let's face it, making games is a very cool profession. I mean, who doesn't want to design something that everyone enjoys.

Like all things, there is a dark side to gaming many don't speak about.

Even when you can program, there are the parts in which you are implementing that you can be extremely creative and bring out the new fun mechanics. Then, the grunt work appears. The lines and lines of menu implementation, connecting graphics, lining up text. You then realize the fun is all sucked out when you have those 11 bugs you have been trying to get rid of for days.

At those times... I'm usually saying "the last 10% is 90% of the work." How many people think like that?

Unless you've worked on a game, mostly people think... "Work? Game making is a good time." It is naive, and those who go for it arms open and fearless usually get killed in the battlefield. Game making is like every profession out there. "It is not how well you do the parts you like, but how you endure the parts you hate."

So, the article is correct. Though, letting people find that out the hard way is a little process called "natural selection". If people want to make games, let them prove themselves in the wild. The ones who emerge from the jungle are the best and brightest talents. The ones who don't, will probably fare better somewhere else.  Pointing

Offline Gibbo3771
« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-05-19 09:34:21 »


TL:DR - Are some people doomed to never have any creative talent what so ever, and unable to learn?


Yes, they are.

People do not want to put in the effort to learn, they put in very little and expect so much back. They are the kind of people that sit on a computer to study and end up on Facebook for an hour, exercising the scroll wheel.

This is about 90% of the population, kids in schools are too busy playing games, arsing about with friends or just being idiots in general. Adults, people from 30-50 are just stuck in a "rut", they think because they have a job and money coming in that there is nothing else to learn, these people are lost.

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Offline Riven
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« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-05-19 09:59:27 »

Before we make grand, sweeping statements about large groups and individuals... persecutioncomplex most people are just not intelligent enough, regardless of their creativity, passion, motivation and drive. (did I miss one?)

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Offline CaptainJester

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-05-19 11:37:58 »

This is the biggest problem I have:
Quote
No, we really don't, unless you want to encourage the creation of white noise in the medium and devalue everyones work.

DeviantArt.

DeviantArt is the place where art goes to die in noise.

Just because there are lots of bad games out there does not devalue other peoples work. I went to Deviant Art and saw a lot of nice art. The only problem with a lot of bad games is if the site you are trying to find them on cannot help avoid the chaff and find the gems.

Offline seth21

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-05-19 12:07:56 »

The problem was probably the fact that your friend didn't really enjoy game programming. He just liked playing games...That's all IMO. Most people are the same way and this is perfectly fine. They just see the end product and have no idea how it got there. I don't blame them, we all have distorted perceptions about things we never got deep into and I doubt anyone started without thinking too grand. The same is true for any profession. Even if it's the standard nowadays, I still think going to college is a terrible way to start your journey. He should have just started learning and making all those little ripoff flash games you talked about. Then he would either get hooked and plan his next steps or fail faster with less investment. This is the key to personal success...lots of failures as fast as possible.
Offline princec

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-05-19 12:32:05 »

And yet still, there are more good or interesting titles being released every day than anyone can possibly have to time to play, let alone pay for. See: bundle madness, endless Steam sales and discounts, developers wringing hands over devaluation of video games, the App Store, and google for "the race to the bottom" Smiley

Cas Smiley

Offline Cero
« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-05-19 13:39:34 »

Motivation and drive is the same or at least equivalent and the ONLY thing that matters.
Every other skill can be learned with average skill/intelligence, given enough motivation and "training"

I also dont believe in talent. Or at least not in "no talent" - someone might be very good at a given task, but one can learn everything.

As a Jack of all trades, I speak from experience. Even if you are not as good at self teaching, doesnt mean it isnt possible.

Offline Riven
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« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-05-19 13:55:52 »

... someone might be very good at a given task, but one can learn everything.

As a Jack of all trades, I speak from experience.

What applies to you, doesn't therefore apply to everybody else. Stare

I know people with 'average intelligence' who couldn't learn to program to save their lifes.

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Offline Oskuro

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« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-05-19 13:57:06 »

I wholeheartedly agree with the main point of the article: Just wanting something isn't enough.

I personally subscribe to a modified version of the "you can be anything you want" motto:

You can be anything, if you work hard enough.

The key here is swapping the "wanting" with the "putting effort".
In my opinion talent helps, but hard work is what gets result, so a person without natural talent can outdo a very talented individual if the talentless person is the one making an effort to improve.

The hard realization for essentially every one of us, is finding out what amount of effort is more than what we are willing to put into something, specially as you grow older and see there are other things you might be doing (or need to do).

In my opinion, the reason why the language used is often about "wishing hard enough" is because people don't really internalize what effort means (blame society, upbringing or whatever), hence all the pep-talks like the one the article is criticizing, with their disney-esque language, setting up people to fail by giving them disproportionate expectations.


Honestly, I think this is not only about games (and the article says as much), and I think it needs to be said more often, if only to curb inflated expectations leading to the sense of entitlement we keep seeing popping up these days.


As for the white noise comment. I don't fully agree. It is true that "noise" devalues hard work, but I believe in the long run it is best to have that noise, as it means more people experiment with the tools of the medium and thus there's a greater chance of actual talented people popping up.

To make a parallel, think of music education in schools. Most music students will be crap at it, but by giving more kids a chance to try their skills at music, more actually good musicians will get a chance to discover their true calling.

The trouble with the white noise is not about it being there, but about how we parse it to look for the good stuff, but we'll get there, if only out of necessity seeing how cheap products aren't exactly going away (app stores, steam...).


Anyway, just my opinion, as a nobody.


Edit: Woah, forgot about something. Life isn't fair, and sometimes people simply cannot do certain things. For example, an astronaut requires being in top physical conditions, and many common defects (like wearing glasses) can render someone unfit for the task.
So take my comments on effort with that caveat: Sometimes life deals you a shitty hand and you must work with what you have.

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Offline theagentd

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« Reply #10 - Posted 2014-05-19 14:10:54 »

Before we make grand, sweeping statements about large groups and individuals... persecutioncomplex most people are just not intelligent enough, regardless of their creativity, passion, motivation and drive. (did I miss one?)
I call bullshit on this. Saying someone's smart is a huge insult in the first place.  No, I'm not good at programming because I'm smart and got it for free. Some of my classmates at Uni seem to fail to get this. Instead they get mad at me because they think it's unfair that I'm so lucky being smart that I don't have to put as much time into my studies as they do. No, f*ck you, I'm good at programming because I spend 2/3rd of the time I am awake either coding or thinking about how to solve coding problems, and you're not gonna guilt-trip me into feeling bad for having invested time into something productive since I was 12. That's EFFORT, not innate ability.

Myomyomyo.
Offline Rorkien
« Reply #11 - Posted 2014-05-19 14:24:38 »

Before we make grand, sweeping statements about large groups and individuals... persecutioncomplex most people are just not intelligent enough, regardless of their creativity, passion, motivation and drive. (did I miss one?)
I call bullshit on this. Saying someone's smart is a huge insult in the first place.  No, I'm not good at programming because I'm smart and got it for free. Some of my classmates at Uni seem to fail to get this. Instead they get mad at me because they think it's unfair that I'm so lucky being smart that I don't have to put as much time into my studies as they do. No, f*ck you, I'm good at programming because I spend 2/3rd of the time I am awake either coding or thinking about how to solve coding problems, and you're not gonna guilt-trip me into feeling bad for having invested time into something productive since I was 12. That's EFFORT, not innate ability.

I can second to that. I have above-average IQ compared to my friends, but the fact i get good grades and know how to code a little bit is, of course, thanks to my lucky earned intelligence. I wish they knew how much i study and work hard.

On topic, this guy might be right, but he's totally wrong. I don't get his point at all.
Offline Riven
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« Reply #12 - Posted 2014-05-19 14:28:51 »

Intelligence and experiences are two distinct things, that are easily confused in a discussion. You have intelligence and experience, that makes your *competence* very high. Your classmates don't have the experience yet, but most likely do have the intelligence. If saying somebody is smart (intelligent) is an insult, because it is 'unfair', well, yes, intelligence is unfair - it's not equally distrubuted, just like sharp vision and body length are not equally distributed. That your classmates think you have an unfair advantange is their flawed reasoning, because they ignore the time you invest in experience, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with being 'smart', as, again, they are not unlikely to be on par with your intelligence.

The combination of intelligence and experience is very important. Intelligence determines how you apply your experience, and therefore your effective competence.

Without adequate intelligence, you'll never get the experience required to do non-trivial things, as such people simply are not capable to make the correct decisions in calculations and/or code design, and eventually end up with a codebase that is deeply flawed and beyond repair... this is incompetence: failure to apply your intelligence and experience in a way that is valueable.

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Offline Cero
« Reply #13 - Posted 2014-05-19 14:38:06 »

No such thing as inborn, unchangeable, fixed intelligence
No such thing as IQ. Its a very old and flawed concept.
Everyone who is not medically handicapped is intelligent enough to do almost everything.

If a person has true motivation, focus and self discipline to attain experience - thats all a person needs.

If you get more and more experience, you inadvertently get better at something.

You may disagree.

Offline princec

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« Reply #14 - Posted 2014-05-19 14:45:54 »

Give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters...

Cas Smiley

Offline Rorkien
« Reply #15 - Posted 2014-05-19 14:51:43 »

Give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters...

Cas Smiley

You just gave an exact description of Twitch plays Pokemon
Offline theagentd

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« Reply #16 - Posted 2014-05-19 15:09:22 »

Intelligence and experiences are two distinct things, that are easily confused in a discussion. You have intelligence and experience, that makes your *competence* very high. Your classmates don't have the experience yet, but most likely do have the intelligence. If saying somebody is smart (intelligent) is an insult, because it is 'unfair', well, yes, intelligence is unfair - it's not equally distrubuted, just like sharp vision and body length are not equally distributed. That your classmates think you have an unfair advantange is their flawed reasoning, because they ignore the time you invest in experience, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with being 'smart', as, again, they are not unlikely to be on par with your intelligence.

The combination of intelligence and experience is very important. Intelligence determines how you apply your experience, and therefore your effective competence.

Without adequate intelligence, you'll never get the experience required to do non-trivial things, as such people simply are not capable to make the correct decisions in calculations and/or code design, and eventually end up with a codebase that is deeply flawed and beyond repair... this is incompetence: failure to apply your intelligence and experience in a way that is valueable.
Your last paragraph has some implications that I do not agree with. I'm interpreting what you're saying like this:
 - Experience is basically the data we've collected and stored in our memory so far in our lives.
 - Intelligence is our ability to draw conclusions, see patterns and process the data we've collected and make decisions based on that.
What you said about intelligence implies that it is purely an innate ability that cannot be improved in any way, but I don't think so. When learning to do addition, you first get to learn that 1+1=2, then that 1+2=3, etc etc etc. At first, you simply memorize that 1+1 always equals 2, but after looking at enough of these examples you start seeing a pattern, and after a while you may be able to come up with an algorithm for solving addition instead of memorizing the result of certain X+Y=Z examples. I do not think that it's impossible for someone to come to this conclusion, but that it takes a different amount of time to reach that conclusion for different people. THAT's what I think intelligence is; not a cap on our ability to learn, but rather a speed multiplier.

EDIT: I also think that this speed multiplier isn't static, but something that improves as you learn more as well. Meta-learning!

Myomyomyo.
Online Drenius
« Reply #17 - Posted 2014-05-19 15:22:45 »

This is actually what intelligence is.
Anybody can understand anything, somehow, if you spend enough time with some kind of logical concept, you will get used to, so better and better with it.
Intelligence just means how fast you can progress.
Offline Riven
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« Reply #18 - Posted 2014-05-19 15:37:01 »

What you said about intelligence implies that it is purely an innate ability that cannot be improved in any way, but I don't think so.
Intelligence is far from a constant, but that doesn't mean we can all get to Einstein's level of intelligence, not even with a lifetime of training.

THAT's what I think intelligence is; not a cap on our ability to learn, but rather a speed multiplier
A limited speed multiplier, if you will. It will get harder and harder to increase the multiplier, and for the best brains the speed multiplier is at a value that is unreachable to others.


No such thing as IQ. Its a very old and flawed concept.
Everyone who is not medically handicapped is intelligent enough to do almost everything.

...

You may disagree.
There is a world of scientific research that show how different brains actually are, how certain skills are hardwired in brains of specific people. Say you have a damaged frontal lobe, it reduces your intelligence significantly. You'd say that you ruled out damaged branis, with a reference to 'not medically handicapped', and I'll give you that, but now look at it from the other end of the scale: certain people have extraordinarily well developed frontal lobes, right from the start, because certain genes determine the development of the brain. This frontal lobe will give that brain the ability to grasp logical or emotional things much quicker than the average brain. This is what we call analytical and/or social intelligence. Others have an extraordinarily well built corpus callosum, which is, among other things, responsible for how the brain ties memories to time. They can recall every day in their life, and tell you what they did, in great detail, 754, 755 and 756 days ago, hour by hour. No training, they just can. Something the average brain simply can't, ever, regardless of training.

The base is laid right in the whome, giving these brains an unfair advantage. By the time they are born, they are physically better equiped to deal with, and adjust to their surroundings. The evidence is in the MRI scan, and the brains that scientists sliced in ultra thin slices.

If all brains had the same potential capability, we could teach great apes, monkeys, no... dogs... no... goldfish, ants! to *comprehend* programming, given enough time. I rest my case.

So, yes, I disagree to the strongest extend.

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Offline Cero
« Reply #19 - Posted 2014-05-19 16:18:07 »

extraordinarily well built corpus callosum
That also qualifies as a rare medical handicap, you may call it positive handicap.

If all brains had the same potential capability, we could teach great apes, monkeys, no... dogs... no... goldfish, ants! to *comprehend* programming, given enough time. I rest my case.
You know I was talking about human brains on average. Of course there is a difference in hardware... But the difference in brain quality, in general, within a species, is negligible.

The intelligence of most every person is absolutely enough to do most ever task, if the person applies themselves.

Proper chef level cooking is not inherently easier than doing chemistry. It's just that cooking is very practical and chemistry is "science".

Also dont get me wrong, I think the world is full of stupid people. But thats due to education and parenting leading to no focus or ambition... or manners =<

Offline matheus23

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« Reply #20 - Posted 2014-05-19 16:24:45 »

Ehh... Cero ninja'd me...
But the difference in brain quality, in general, within a species, is negligible.
This is basically exactly what I wanted to say Smiley

On a side note: I'm really amazed at all these awesome discussions popping up in this forum.

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Offline Riven
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« Reply #21 - Posted 2014-05-19 16:27:54 »

@Cero:

Your argument is in the direction that almost any deviation from the average is either a positive or negative handicap which can be excluded from the sample set. What is left is a set of average brains that are all alike, and all equally capable, given a stimulating environment. I can wholeheartedly agree with that conclusion, for the given subset.

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Offline matheus23

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« Reply #22 - Posted 2014-05-19 16:37:30 »

Your argument is in the direction that almost any deviation from the average is either a positive or negative handicap which can be excluded from the sample set. What is left is a set of average brains that are all alike, and all equally capable, given a stimulating environment. I can wholeheartedly agree with that conclusion, for the given subset.

I'd say that your example of the human that is capable of memorizing every event that happened the last 800 days is a bit of extreme. That's exactly what Cero was talking about (positive/negative handicap).

You don't need to have such a strangely 'mutated' brain to be good at programming (oh my. I always find the wrong words).

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Offline Riven
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« Reply #23 - Posted 2014-05-19 16:59:40 »

My point is that there is a huge variation in intelligence within the population we deem healthy and not mentally handcapped. As long as science backs me up - mostly regarding different ratios of *types* of braincells, where that ratio is constant throughout your life - and linked to higher measurable intelligence, I can simply discard any fairy tale view of humans being equally capable, and merely ruined or stimulated by their environment. Intelligence is mostly in the genes, just like appearance or 'beauty'. One would be ridiculed when stating all humans are equally beautiful, where they just get ruined or stimulated later in life to either remain beautiful or turn into an ugly bastard because of their upbringing. There is a huge variation in facial bone structure, without even being close to be deemed a 'handicap'. Same rules apply for the brain. No matter how unfair it is, nature doesn't care. The inequality within a species, within a population even, is what drives evolution. Or are we not so sure about that either?

Just because there are two views on the story, doesn't mean the truth lies in the middle. Intelligence is easy to lose and exceptionally hard to gain, where your brain structure determines your potential.

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Offline Rayvolution

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« Reply #24 - Posted 2014-05-19 17:03:56 »

Holy moly did this topic explode overnight. Cheesy

I'm really glad we can have this level of intellectual discussion on this forum. It's a rarity to go this deep into a topic on the internet without some idiot turning it into a flamewar. Wink

I do agree with the statement "You can have whatever you want, as long as you work hard for it." perhaps that's the key difference, is some people lack the drive to work hard.

Not to toot my own horn, but I am currently in college, going after a PhD in Psychology. I have never gotten a grade less than "A" in anything I do. My lowest final grade in any class I've ever taken was a 93. I have a rock-solid unwavering 4.0 GPA. Yes, I am quite above average intelligence (.. and I probably study about half as much as the people who get a C in everything) but the key difference isn't actually my intelligence, it's my drive to obtain knowledge. I go to every class actually wanting to know the material, completely candid and enjoying every word the professor is saying. I don't just want a piece of paper, I want the knowledge that paper represents. I believe this is a the core difference between the cans and can-nots. The can-nots don't want to try, they just want it to happen. They ave no interest in intellectual pursuits, they just want the tools needed to make more money so they can buy more material items and fast food.

The same can be said for programming, similar to something theagentd said, I am not a good programmer because I am lucky enough to have a above average brain. I am a good programmer because I spend 10+ hours a day, almost every day, programming because I love to do it. I love to solve problems, and I love to learn new tricks. To me, programming is the equivalent to putting me in front of a puzzle game like Myst (Loved that game way back when). It's problem solving at it's purist, and I crave that challenge.

As of writing this, I have 1 and a half years experience in programming, realistically, I only have about 1 because I took a 6 month break in the middle. But I am leaps and bounds ahead of about 95% of the people who have the same amount of chronological experience. It is mostly not because I'm smart, while I may of only been doing it a year and a half, I am more productive in one day than a lot of others are in an entire week. So assuming that isn't a made up number and was actual fact I work 7 times as harder as the average person trying to learn programming, within a years time I am in year 7 compared to the 95%. I know that's totally an unrealistic number, I'm just making the point that you can't compare chronological experience between someone who has been "programming for years" but only programs 2-3 hours a day, every other day, compared to someone like me who programs 10 hours a day nearly every day to the point it sometimes interferes with his studies. That's not where smarts comes in, that's where drive and dedication comes in.

Still though, even having said that, I do feel there is a break in human evolution sometimes. There seems to be a distinctive difference between the highly intelligent, and the brain-dead that seemingly only the highly intelligent can see. It's hard to explain, but I'm sure those of you who can see this distinction know exactly what I am talking about. There simply are people out there that almost seem like they quite literally have lower-evolved brain. I could get into the deep social science to back my claim up, but that would just derail the topic. But it does go into Riven's point here:
Quote
Intelligence is mostly in the genes, just like appearance or 'beauty'.

I'm not sure if Riven has read the research, but he's quoting pretty much exactly what is accepted in psychological social science. Intelligence is mostly genetic, it's not simply just acquired. Although it can be squandered. That's why there's a lot of "stupid families" out there. Does it mean you're doomed if your family is stupid? no. You could be an anomaly, but generally speaking (yes, there are always exceptions), stupid people have stupid kids. (and vice versa, generally speaking, smart people have smart kids.)

(To clarify, I consider most everyone here, even the kids who stop in, much higher on the programming-dedication food chain that the 95% in my above statement. There's a whole group of programmers none of us ever see because they don't even have the drive to register on forums and join communities, those would be like my friend I described)

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Offline Riven
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Hand over your head.


« Reply #25 - Posted 2014-05-19 17:27:15 »

I've seen family members working the '10 hours a day', passionated, driven, and sadly failing the study they worked so hard for. It's heartbreaking. It was simply due to intelligence. Just not quite smart enough for that level of education, no matter their effort. She thrived doing exactly the same study at a slightly lower level.

Now, people, get off your high horse blaming it on lack of dedication. Life's unfair, not everybody has a brain capable of their passion, even in the most stimulating, supportive environment.

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Offline Bearded Cow

Senior Devvie


Medals: 2
Projects: 1
Exp: 1 year


¬..¬


« Reply #26 - Posted 2014-05-19 17:33:33 »

I just wanted to add that I'm agreeing with everything said and that unfortunately people are not given the best odds in life but there is still a chance.

I just think though that it is important to not label people. I am an above average student at an above average school but that day when we start brain screening kids and say "ok you will be an artist" or "you'll be a great politician" I will be very sad, everyone should be given the opportunity to prove themselves. That is why I like exams it gives me the opportunity and a lot of people the same opportunity to show what they are worth they can try or not, up to them. But just because you don't do as well makes you no less of a person.

Anyway this is a good discussion.

BeardedCow
Offline Rayvolution

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 256
Projects: 2
Exp: 1 year


Resident Crazyman


« Reply #27 - Posted 2014-05-19 17:37:11 »

I've seen family members working the '10 hours a day', passionated, driven, and sadly failing the study they worked so hard for. It's heartbreaking. It was simply due to intelligence. Just not quite smart enough for that level of education, no matter their effort. She thrived doing exactly the same study at a slightly lower level.

Now, people, get off your high horse blaming it on lack of dedication. Life's unfair, not everybody has a brain capable of their passion, even in the most stimulating, supportive environment.

Don't know if you caught my post edit before writing that, but yeah, I pretty much agree with you. Some people quite literally lack the raw brainpower to accomplish the goal.

I mean, take the extreme cases like actual mental retardation. I don't think any amount of dedication is going to help someone whos IQ is below 70 get a PhD in theoretical physics. It's just not going to happen. The same can be said for the "below average" people who have IQs around 90~. Yes, they can function in life like an adult, but they simply lack the brainpower to do some higher order tasks.

There's also some interesting research in how IQ effects base primal instincts that is really fascinating. You ever notice the highest-of-the-highest intelligent people you know seem to have an inhuman ability to control their more primal instincts, like, anger, hunger, sleep and even their libido when it it's an "annoyance that is in their way"? The top-level people seem to have almost direct control over their Limbic System, where as others are controlled by it. It's very interesting stuff. Wink

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
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Offline Rorkien
« Reply #28 - Posted 2014-05-19 17:43:57 »

Now folks, we've seen our cute overlord showing off his knowledge in:

Neuroscience
Evolution theory
Psychology
Psychiatry
Philosophy
Motivational lectures
Family values

Seriously, i aim to be an all-round knowledgeable person, but why do you have to know everything?

that's why i love him, even though he's an android

Rayvolution, i guess it all comes to talent. Some tasks require less intellectual power than others. Someone with 90 IQ totally can be an international chef, or a brilliant author - no offense, i know most of them are exceptional people. I'm just saying it's totally possible.
Offline KevinWorkman

JGO Kernel


Medals: 107
Projects: 11
Exp: 12 years


klaatu barada nikto


« Reply #29 - Posted 2014-05-19 18:28:26 »

This reminds me of a post made by Jeff Atwood. Are some people just not cut out to be programmers? http://blog.codinghorror.com/separating-programming-sheep-from-non-programming-goats/

I don't know that I agree with that, as I think programming is just as much an art as it is a science or math.

But programming does seem to require a bit of stick-to-it-ness that not everybody seems willing to put forward. That can also be said of other kinds of art though: plenty of people start out with some masterpiece in mind, then get frustrated when they're stuck with stick figures. Does that mean those people are too stupid or lazy to be artists? I dunno, but I think it's pretty unfair to just dismiss programming or art as "too hard" for certain people. I think people are more nuanced than that.

It takes a LOT of practice to get past the stick figure stage. It takes a LOT of practice to get past the "printing out prime numbers" stage. I think a lot of people don't realize that, so when things are "too hard", they quit because it's taking longer than a few hours to have their masterpieces completed. I don't think that makes them too dumb or lazy, it just means their expectations didn't match reality.

So it becomes a question of what we can do to help manage those expectations. Different types of education are popping up where the focus is results and feedback rather than syntax and memorization (things like Code.org for example), and different types of languages are doing the same (Processing for example). I think these trends are overall A Good Thing, but there will still be people who think they can bang out the next facebook or Call of Duty in a weekend. Just like there will still be people who think they can buy an easel and start selling their art on etsy for hundreds of dollars.

I don't think any of this is particular to programming, and I don't think it's fair to speak in absolutes. I think this dismissive style of thinking is especially dangerous when we think about making Computer Science more accessible to people who have historically been under-represented in the field. Is programming hard? Sure. But so is pretty much every other creative endeavor.

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