Friday, November 6, 2009

That hideous lie

Aptitude isn't something I'm a big fan of. It is, in fact, a concept that I'm wholly against. Also, I think I once referred to it as "that hideous lie."

And that's . . . not exactly an endorsement.

But there's a dirty little secret to this particular aspect of my world view. Even though I believe it, I have to admit that people DO take to certain skills more readily than to others.

I'll pause here to answer your question, "But Sam, how can you believe something while also acknowledging evidence that contradicts it?"

Answer: Because I am a crazy person.

And I suggest that you do everything possible to become crazy like me. How lifeless my mind would be if I dismissed every idea simply because of the clear evidence against it! I can't even imagine what that would be like. *shudder*

Without that ability, I certainly wouldn't have solved this "aptitude dilemma" one day while I was thinking about robots.

I'll pause here to answer your next question, "Why were you thinking about robots?"

Answer: I think about robots a lot, actually. See also: the answer to your first question.

Not only do I think about robots a lot, I've been thinking about them, and machines in general, my entire life. You might remember me talking about one of my favorite childhood books. You know what it's about? People building machines to solve problems.

And then there's one of the earliest Christmas presents I remember.

And then there's the piggy bank I had.

Oh, and I was also big into Lego, a toy that is about building stuff. And I didn't just like any Lego's, I liked Space Lego's.* The ones that had the most to do with technology.

So now let me ask you something. Do I have an aptitude for machines? Do I "just get" computers?

Or is it that, when the time came to start using technology seriously, all those years of thinking about and tinkering with machines came to my aid? Because if that's the case, then what the world sees as "aptitude" is really my personality, my interests, and the mark they've made on my mind.

*Yes, I had the monorail. And yes, it WAS awesome.

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