You develop apps, design tangible UIs (which I love BTW, Reactable FTW) and write libraries.
Did you get good / better at these endeavours merely by pure observation? Sure you may have acquired the jargon and general idea of process by observation alone. But it was by consistant, relentless practical experimentation within a feedback loop of your peers and clients which actually got you to where you are today.
The same goes for Occupy. You more or less are approaching the asymptote of occupational knowledge by mere observation. And, thankfully, you're still interested. You can imagine the practical applications. You just need to see it for yourself first.
So go ahead and type "occupy [your nearest city]" into your favourite search engine and see what they're up to.