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SubjectRE: [OT] Re: Troll Tech [was Re: Sco vs. IBM]
Actually the below analogy is so pathologically flawed it is laughable.  I
was just going to let it slip buy because I, wrongly it seems, thought that
its flaws were too egregious and fallacious to be worth responding to.

The idea that you "don't learn anything from (playing a less skilled
opponent)" and by extension you also can not learn anything from a
non-player is so flawed as to be laughable.

The natural follow on both in the sports arena and in the business arena are
as follows:

1) The only way you can learn in business is to have your ass handed to you
by a better businessman.

2) There is nothing to be learned from your own mistakes.
2a) Any mistakes you make playing an equal or lesser opponent don't count
because you would not have made them "if it mattered".

3) There is nothing to be learned from practice.

4) There is no value to having a coach unless that coach can out perform
every member of his team (or at least used to be able, in his heyday).

5) Third party analysis has no instructive value.

6) No person can gain knowledge or insight about a sport/task unless they
have taken up that task first-person to a level in excess of their
non-tasking knowledge of the task... 8-)

Is this actually your stance? Stephan? Larry?

Sticking to "competitive sports", lets see the most obvious examples that
directly illuminate this position as "double plus un-smart."

Golfers (professional and armature alike) ask their caddies for advice.
Why? Are the caddies the better Golfers? No, or at least not usually, but
they live with their courses day in and day out and they have the chance to
observe a wide range of skills and approaches. They can do this and proffer
up a distillation of their knowledge precisely because they are not mired in
playing the game.

Every professional team, and most armature teams, of the common organized
sports (Baseball, Football, Soccer, Rugby (sp?), Lacrosse (again sp?), etc,
od nausium) have coaches, special teams coaches, base coaches, etc. If
there was nothing to be learned from a non-player, they'd just have their
team captain and they'd just go out and have at it.

...and at this point my brain locks up in apoplexy at picking any one of the
many such examples that are clamoring to be number three...

Everybody who thinks that there is nothing to be learned from anybody except
the "better player" who you can only observe as they are beating you, and
thinks that is a directly useful analogy to apply to business, please tell
me your stock-ticker symbols so I can rush right out today and *not* invest
in your companies.


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephan von Krawczynski []
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2003 3:51 AM
To: Larry McVoy
Subject: Re: [OT] Re: Troll Tech [was Re: Sco vs. IBM]

On Wed, 25 Jun 2003 14:09:44 -0700
Larry McVoy <> wrote:

> On Wed, Jun 25, 2003 at 01:35:09PM -0700, Robert White wrote:
> > That is very sad. The fact that I know that I am not the kind of
> > one needs to be to run a business does not magically disqualify me from
> > business knowledge.
> I'm a pool player, or used to be. In pool, as with many competitive
> you get better by playing against people who are better than you. You
> from their actions, etc. It's perhaps more short term fun to play someone
> less skilled but you don't learn anything doing so.

You may expand this point of view to almost any type of sports and even way
beyond that.

> I've also started and grown a business and that has taught me an enormous
> amount that I do not believe you understand. Why? Because I used to
> just like you and running the business changed my mind. What are the
> chances that running a business would change yours? In my opinion, very
> close to 100%.

It is very likely almost everbody who runs a business will agree with you in

that point - me, too :-)
Indeed business has become even more unbelievable, irritating and absurd
the internet hype and the dotcom bubble started...


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