Sunday, August 20, 2006

What do you value?

When thinking, musing or pondering, it helps sometimes to consider what we value, and why. Sometimes if there's a mental stalemate or stuckness, if one looks at it in terms of what's most valuable in the long run, or even in the moment, that can help.

Which people's opinions do you value most? Why?

What kinds of discussions or information exchanges are most useful to you? Some like in-person, some love books, or e-mail. For some, the phone is fine; for others it's torture.

In a hobby, do you value group-participation activities over singular pursuits?

In re-creation, do you value utility over beauty? Historical appearance over modern? Period methods of construction over expediency?

Thinking about it all at once might be too much work, but once you begin to evaluate such things, you'll start to know what your values are.

"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

1 comment:

Justin du Coeur said...

Deserves further thought, but some initial gut reactions:

In practice, the opinions I value most are those of the people I *care* about most. Exclusive of that personal bond, I tend to view opinions pretty coolly -- a small number of people might get extra credit because they are known to be area experts, but generally I listen to the argument, not the person.

I am *very* fond of online discussions (whether email, blog, newsgroup or wiki), at least when they're well-managed. For all their well-known flaws, they tend to strike a good balance of immediacy vs. consideration, better than other media I've encountered.

For the general hobby question: theory collides with practice here. I think that group projects are more valuable in many respects -- besides usually being better-rounded and more thought out, they can promote social bonding that is valuable in and of itself. That said, I'm prone to being too solitary in my projects. (The danger of being among The Loudly Shy.)

As for re-creation values -- honestly, my highest priority is, quite explicitly, fun. That said, "fun" is a very nuanced word. I take a lot of enjoyment from seeing something done authentically, and more from doing so myself: the pride of a job well-done is a great pleasure. But the value does not come from the authenticity per se, it comes from that pride.

This is why I've always considered the "fun maven" / "authenticity maven" thing to be a false dichotomy. Most everyone's here to have fun -- frankly, the people who tend to cause the most trouble are the ones who don't get that, and who can therefore miss the point of the whole endeavor. But the history is the focus of that fun: without the history, you don't really have a club. The balance of how much accuracy is fun varies legitimately from person to person. I would say that I'm pretty middle-of-the-road there (probably on the low end as Laurels go), always seeking balance between accuracy and utility (especially social utility)...