Monday, 3 February 2014

Back to the Academy: Ritual vs. Principled Behaviour

Well, an easy first day back in the student chair again. Today was mostly focusing on teaching practices and beliefs at a personal level, and what you do or don't do in a classroom.

A number of teaching topics related to capsuleer activity spring to mind, but perhaps the easiest concept to understand (and easiest to see the relevance) is the difference between ritual and principled behavior.

In true student-centered style, I'll give you a minute to think about the difference between the two.


Let see how you did.

Ritual behavior: Classroom practices that are done without thinking, with no understanding of the reasons for doing such a thing in a classroom. A good example of this is when a manager asks a teacher to drill their students after every class. The teacher complies without asking why.

Principled behavior: Classroom practices based on knowledge. This is when you drill based on a book you read highlighting the importance of repetition for pronunciation.

Again, take a minute to decide which one is better.


Most likely took you less than a minute right? Of course, understanding what you do and why you do it is always better. You'll know when to break or adapt your tasks in a lesson to suit what's going on in the classroom.

On the other hand, ritual behavior does give you an arsenal of activities to use in a lesson that you don't need to think about. It can save you time during planning. It lets you spend more effort on the more interesting stuff in a class, or the more relevant things.

Rituals can also creep in if you do the same task repeatedly, and simply forget why you were doing it in the first place. If you've ever wondered why your teacher asked you to copy things into your work book when the text book spells things out clearly, that will be the reason why. In the past, they might not have had such a good or clear text book, and they want you to have some good study notes.

All things in life are connected, and we can use this to critically examine what we do in New Eden.

Think of some activities you do in your pod, or in dock. This can be updating market orders, ship fitting, orbiting a button, mining an asteroid... choose what you do most often.

Once you've done that, decide what they are for you: are they a ritual you perform because someone told you to, or because you've always done it, or do you consciously think about why you're doing it.


I thought of a couple of examples: Thou shalt fit a briefcase (damage control unit).

It's a a reflex for anyone starting to fit a ship. Usually the DCU2 goes on first. The reasoning is sound. It gives you a nice chunk of resistance across the board, and can substantially toughen your ships. But be careful. It's not always the right choice. Sometimes the CPU used for the DCU2 can be saved for other modules.

The common market strategy is the undercut prices by 0.01 ISK. Yes it's effective, and you won't risk too much. But, you might be able to make more ISK by cutting more substantially, or even leaving the market all together.

A null-sec example is the alliance doctrine fleet. Members will be told to fit certain ships a certain way, but many will have next to no idea why they are fit in such a way. In some fleets, only the fleet commander will know why... which means when he's primaried off the field, the fleet collapses.

So now is a good time to reflect a bit more critically about what you're doing in New Eden. Are you operating based on principle, or based on ritual? That's a question only you can decide, and only you can decide whether it's worth your time to think about it.

For me, it's made me think about the ships I'm currently flying. A lot of my skills are in projectiles and lasers, so I mostly fly Minmtar or Amarr ships. The thing is, I don't know if I'd actually have better results in a Gallente or Caldari ship. I've never tried. I simply go for Amarr/Minmatar and fit ships to suit my piloting style. It might be better to find ships to compliment my piloting style instead.

I'd like to see some of the ritual behaviors other pilots have, so, if you'd be so kind, please write them in the comments below. The first step to development is working out where to start!

No comments:

Post a Comment