I will further explain by posing among the commentary some fictitious (though not tongue-in-cheek) examples; for this "Build a Better GM"challenge is certainly beginning to look like a group of older artists, say from the late 1800's to early 1900's, who upon gathering at Paris or Brussels find themselves sipping tea or coffee whilst discussing among themselves their various techniques.
Back drop: A notable art gallery. Seated in one of the viewing rooms are several artists who have a number of their pieces on display and within view. They openly discuss the merits of these and the techniques used in crafting them...
Seurat (to Gaugin): Your paintings jump before the eyes, Guagin! They illuminate even this dull parlor.
(looking sidelong at Van Gogh): Unlike poor Vincent's, which are too dark, I fear.
Gaugin (absently): Ah, but the hand minds the eye's choice in such matters, does it not? True, the shades are darker, and in Paris his works do not sell as well, mostly for lack of appreciation of them I'd say, but they do voice his intent.
Van Gogh (to both): I paint what I feel. I express. And I do not want for others; it is not that I detest light so much as I can appreciate the darker shades, as well. Life is my palette and no other.
Seurat: Yes, indeed, but you miss the greater import of which Gaugin has exposed in part. Impressionism, Vincent, is now upon us. The galleries, the institutes which you despise, they are alive with it! The students, the public and the art sellers, they all clamor for more. You are not adapting to the times; even your brother thinks so.
Van Gogh: Times change as do moods. There have been masters before us and there will be many that follow. I am not concerned with the past or the future, but only with that moment when I apply my brush.
Gaugin: Well said, Vincent; and in that you remain you, Seurat remains himself and I remain Gaugin. Time for some more refreshments. Absinthe anyone?
Note: The 3rd highest priced painting to sell in the world was VVG's last self-portrait: 72+ million dollars. He is notable for being one of the few to resist institutional learning (i.e., conformist views of the time), though he had some institutional training in anatomy/human proportion. Though having great respect for the artists of his time and their methods he stayed to his own course. He did not start painting until he was 20 years of age.
Moral Questions1 (grouped): How best will we as neophyte instructors of RPG teach newcomers who seek learning, and in the broadest possible sense of that term, when we just could be, just may be, be teaching another M. A. R. Barker to be without even knowing it? And who is to say that all players or DMs could not be up and coming geniuses? For as Picasso said:
All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
My commentary from the second response in that thread:
Let me conclude this part by saying that the bolded sentence--If they exist at all it is within the specific confines of an individual who has implemented these according to their creative thrust;--refers in fact to what all of those responding to the challenge have indeed emulated! Each and every one of you has discovered over time, by learning, by challenge, by reading, by thinking, and by many other methods distinct to each and every one of you, you have discovered and brought into being from your experiences 3 creative particles. There was value in that learning, that discovery for you, wasn't there? That is why you can feel assured now in presenting these points. And now you want to pass yours along to "Build" (I suppose that means create) those in an image of it as you faintly understand it. In so doing you hope to help those who supposedly can not help themselves (even though each of you have done so in each and every case, that is, over time you have learned and progressed).
Moral Questions2 (grouped): Doesn't this very combined process expose all too clearly a dichotomy? In implementing this to "indoctrinate" newcomers and thus steer them among the choices presented, is this not channeling them along different paths that each of you took for arriving at your own individual viewpoints? How does this fit within the description and exercise of individuality for newcomers as each and every one of you have experienced for yourselves? If your past experiences and processes have produced for yourselves a heightened degree of knowledge, what are the consequences of not allowing (or foreshortening) that same learning and growth path to occur in others? Do you agree or disagree that only value-added experiences spur growth (if you believe that these two mix, then please refer to the preceding question which I reiterate as my last)?
Continuing Upon the Event Stream...
A short conversation between Socrates and a student, Ancient Greece
Student: Socrates. As you have instructed me, I have a question.
Socrates (nods): Continue.
Student (smiling): Who taught the first teacher?
Socrates (unshaken): Life.
Student (puzzled): If that is true then I need only to learn life; and if that is true, then why am I here and why do you teach?
Socrates: In answer to the first: You have not acquired that path due to indolence, a common human failing. In that lies the answer to the second.
Moral Questions3 (grouped): Are we to assume that every newcomer who is drawn to our creative hobby is doing so only for base reasons, such as: Boredom? Companionship? Lack of anything else better to do? Game-play fun? Or might they have been attracted for some of the same reasons that many of us were? Such as artistic inclination? Creative freedom? Related intellectual pursuits? Broadening of knowledge? The list is endless, of course, in both extremes, so how do we best serve the whole without limiting its parts?
Conclusion: We are dealing with unique individuals; they are not plug-and-play objects easily fitted one after the other into categories no matter what we think is true, or is the "norm," amongst ourselves. We owe it to newcomers and ourselves to be cautious and concerned in the matter of teaching and its methods.
These are the "3" I feel most strongly promote that balanced goal:
1. Each person is different, thus you have an obligation to identify that difference and nurture it in the best way that you can for their benefit. This specific tact will benefit the whole group.
2. That this course is best served by specific approaches rather than inundating each individual with a shot-gun blast of information and choices. This will allow each person the time to grow, understand and communicate their needs and interests, which thereafter can be honed by your participation in a mentoring situation.
3. Through this course you as the DM and your players will grow and excel, not just in the game, but in life as well. It will prepare your players for DMing with a courage they have won, a knowledge they have gained, and all through your patience, perseverance and subtle guidance.
Ending event stream, Master Owl and the Grasshopper
Master Owl: What is best? To serve or to be served?
Grasshopper: They are one in the same, Master Owl.
Master Owl (pausing): How so?
Grasshopper: In either I do my best and appreciate the contentment displayed in the acts
Master Owl: You are wise, grasshopper...