It always amazes me to see brewers making beer without the proper amount of healthy yeast. It's a no brainer IMO.
I would qualify that as its amazing to see experienced brewers making beer without the proper amount of healthy yeast.
It's a learning curve, and it doesn't amaze me at all to see people starting out pitching a smack pack. I did it. You did it. Admit it. You know you did.
Yes, but when I started it was all dry yeast. I learned just as most brewers do...my first liquid yeast pitch was without a starter, but I quickly learned from others that starters are critical to cleaner tasting beer.
You learned more quickly than I did. I probably brewed for around 10 years before making a starter.
Though, once I first read about them in BYO I went ahead and made one up in a growler. Haven't looked back since.
I'm not suggesting its not a good practice, just saying that it doesn't surprise me to see people starting out learning the same way we all did. Except there weren't great forums back when I was learning as I don't think Al Gore had invented the internet yet.