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Wierdo Award Ideas Debunked

Poster: David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu>

Good afternoon all,

Jonathan wrote about the idea of some complicated multiple-rank
advancement system with points for various actions, etcetera, etcetera.

Without meaning to offend anyone, GAHKKK!!!!

We are not involved in playing D&D here.  I am not a 13th-level
Fighter/15th-level Artisan/12th-level Drudge multiclass character, with
134,392 experience points.  I'm in the SCA.

If Ansteorra (as JB reports) has some "rank" for the number of weapons you
are authorized in, fine for them.  To my eyes, the only reason someone
should authorize in a weapons form is because they want to fight with that
form.  Not because they want to gain "rank".  And if they don't enjoy it,
they should fight with forms they do enjoy.

> ... excelling at something and screwing up at other things means that
> you generally get a reputation that isn't that good.  And a good
> reputation isn't something everybody CAN get, no matter how good they
> get at something, or several somethings. 

I disagree completely.

Reputation is one of the few things in the world that is entirely fair. 
Everyone starts out the same -- nobody knows you.  Everyone modifies the
opinions of others with their behaviour and their actions.  Although the
system isn't perfect (you may get blame for actions you do not take), it
is entirely fair (you may get credit for good you have not done also, and
everyone takes their chances the same).

The ONLY person who is responsible for my reputation is me.  Other people
may attempt to besmirch me, but whether or not they succeed depends upon
how well I have behaved before -- if I have never been drunk at an event,
nobody will believe any accusation of that sort without evidence.

A good reputation is something ANYONE can get.  It might take enormous
work, if a person has accumulated a lot of karmic debt in the past.  It
might take years of exemplary behaviour to overcome past damage.  But
anyone can do it.  All it really requires is to behave well, all the time.
Arrogance, disdain for others, discourtesy -- these are choices, not
congenital faults.

> If I don't show up at all the right events and hobnob with all the right
> people and say all the right things and do all the right stuff, that's
> about all I can expect under the current system.

That is a sad attitude, Jonathan.  I'm sorry you think the world works
that way.

Sucking up to the "right people" has very little to do with getting an
award or other recognition in my world-view.  The real world is probably
somewhere between my world and yours, but I'd rather have my rosy view
than your cynical one.  In my world, when someone gets an award for having
their nose firmly imbedded between royal cheeks that is an aberration and
a pity; in yours it seems that you expect that as the normal way things

> [True.  But a danglie system would give a useful MEASUREMENT of that
> skill.  Why else do you think they have different colored belts in
> just about every other art, martial or otherwise, that exists?]

There are no coloured belts in Theatre or any performance art.  There are
no coloured belts in painting -- was Leonardo da Vinci a 7th-dan Black
Belt in Painting, or an 8th?

And the system of coloured belts common in the martial arts world right
now is a merchandizing system as much as anything else.  When the martial
arts were active and vital and used in real life, belts held up your
pants, and you were a teacher if you were good enough that people paid you
money to teach, not regarding the colour of your belt.  What colour belt
did William the Marshal wear?

I think coloured belts are largely a product of post-WWII commercial
expansion of oriental martial arts into the US market.


Dafydd ap Gwystl, 7th Dan Pedant

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