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Is Criticism Expired Like Yesterday's Log-In?

  • Unknown
    Unknown User

    The internet may or may not be reality, but it seems as though criticism is considered unacceptable socially, or perhaps for any reason. I was raised to value criticism and consider it necessary, especially for artistic process. Certainly, the absence of critical thinking is noticable. How about critical speech? What's the difference?

     

    Feel free to have at it:

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    replies to "Is Criticism Expired Like Yesterday's Log-In?"
    • Tony
      Tony Morosco

      Honestly, I think that not only is criticism not considered acceptable, any disagreement is, unless you cloak it in such heavy disguise that it is almost unrecognizable as such.

      If you say you disagree you can get away with it so long as you wimp out and say something like "we will have to agree to disagree". 

      But if you strongly defend a position  you get accused of all sorts of things. It happens here, it happens on many other forums I visit. There is only one I go to where it generally is not just accepted but expected. Everyplace else people treat you like some kind of monster if you criticise something or strongly defend a position for more than one post.

      Rhetoric, debate and critical thinking are all skills that today seem to be not only lacking but also not appreciated. I wish we would go back to the system of classical education. What ever it's failings at least by the end you know how to analyze information and you know how to express and defend a position.

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    • Briggsie B.
    • Kay
      Kay Lister

      I feel there is a very definate difference between criticism and difference of opinion.  I grew up with my father being very critical of most things I ever did or wanted to do or even thought of doing.  There are different kinds of criticism ofcourse, constructive and distructive.  It should me made to help someone improve, not to belittle.  Yes, I agree that we all need to hear the constructive kind.  But the the ones dishing it out should do a bit of self searching as well.  Should that rock REALLY be thrown?  The opinions are something we ALL have that are truly our own and cannot be taken from us.  I find those who  have  OPINIONS, weather I agree with them or not, are ones that I enjoy being around.  It's always a learning experience one way or the other. People that tend to criticise, I avoid.  I feel those folks have some inner issues that they should deal with themselves.  Hmmmm - but that's just MY OPINION:-)

      Kay

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    • Jerusha
      Jerusha Amado

      Kay,

      What you've described concerning your father reminds me of the Bible verse, "Speak the truth in love".  I can understand why you are repelled by people who criticize in a destructive manner, and I think that you're stating more here than just an opinion.  I suspect that most people don't respond well to criticism couched in sarcasm, rudeness, anger and therefore shut down.  What's the point of taking the time to voice an opinion about something if no one ultimately listens?

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    • Jerusha
      Jerusha Amado

      >>If you say you disagree you can get away with it so long as you wimp out and say something like "we will have to agree to disagree". 

      Tony, this is so true.  I see this time and again, especially in politics.  But I'm guilty of it as well.  I'll say things like, "But that's just my opinion", too, because if I don't, people tune me out.  There's a chance that they'll listen to my argument if I diffuse the tension by throwing in a disclaimer.

      >>Rhetoric, debate and critical thinking are all skills that today seem to be not only lacking but also not appreciated. I wish we would go back to the system of classical education.

      This is a very wise statement.  You strike me as a pretty sharp (intelligent) person.  Although this is none of my business, I sometimes wonder what your age/generation is. 

      Jerusha

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    • Tony
      Tony Morosco

      I will turn 40 in a few months.

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    • Catherine
      Catherine Rogers

      Seems like the only place one sees criticism anymore is reviews of movies, concerts and other performances.


      If we are really open to constructive criticism for the sake of education/enlightenment, could I please (without any intent to offend) mention something I have noticed in many posts on this website (and other places, too)?


      I love you all and want you to know for your own sake: "it's" is a contraction of "it is," "it was" or "it has." "It's" is never possessive. Think of "its" as part of a set along with "his" and "hers." Example: This post is almost finished. It's on its last sentence.

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    • Tony
      Tony Morosco

      Why, How dare you!!!!

      Just kidding

      ;^)

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    • Jerusha
      Jerusha Amado

      You're just a young pup!  I'll be 50 this year.  That's the half century mark!

      Jerusha

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    • Jerusha
      Jerusha Amado

      >>I love you all

      This is off-topic, but I can relate to this part of your comment!  I feel as though the harpcolumn regulars are like extended family.  Just like blood relations, we get mad at each other on occasion but always come back and talk to each other.  Also harpists in general seem to be a close-knit group.  The harpists in my city know what each other is doing in the professional realm, and most are willing to help each other, especially the lever harpists.  I don't know if it's like this with other musicians, but I really appreciate it.

      Jerusha

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    • Catherine
      Catherine Rogers

      It's that way here, too. We may not agree with each other but we all get along and help each other when there's a need (like a broken pedal rod or missing orchestra part or more personal problems).


      Getting back to criticism (not an easy word to type), one fine example of helpful criticism is the master class. Perhaps that falls more into the realm of critique than criticism, but most participants find it just as crucial to know what they need to work on as what they are doing well. (Notice I didn't say what they're doing wrong or right!) Good criticism can be the best incentive to spur one to greater achievement.

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    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      I don't love you all. I don't even know any of you. But I appreciate many of you. <s>

       

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    • Diane
      Diane Michaels

      I've been stewing over this one, and realized that this thread may have stemmed from a heated discussion on another thread.  Which got me thinking that there needs to be a differentiation between what is critical thought and what is a strongly asserted opinion expressed as fact.  "I bought a harp from Mercedes and it was a piece of @%*# and they were mean to me, and I told all of my friends to never buy anything made by Mercedes, but to only buy harps from K-Tel" is not critical thought.  So any disagreement with that statement (and such disagreements tend to take on a peevish tone) should not be seen as an inability to take criticism, but rather a defensive response to a harshly worded complaint. 

      I think that discussions regarding brands and models of harps, as well as schools of technique tend to attract the later type of criticism and defensiveness in response.   For example, I love my concert grand to pieces, and my relationship to its manufacturer has been fine.  I have not loved every harp they've built, nor do I discount anyone's negative experience with them.  Unless you come and play my harp, and you are all invited to do so, by the way, no one has the information necessary to form an opinion about it specifically.  Without the personal experience, critical thought rings hollow.

      Topics where subjective experience independently gained by all participants lend themselves to true critical thought.  "Amateurs should charge less than a professional." "The beauty of the Hindemith Sonata." "Teachers who do/don't accept adult beginners or non-music readers into their studios." Discuss.

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    • Carl
      Carl Swanson

      Diane- I've been holding off posting to this thread to see what some of the responses would be. There are many things I agree with in the previous posts, but also feel that maybe some things are still to be mentioned. What follows is put down in haste(I have to deliver an instrument and I'm already late!) and not at all organized, but I didn't want to forget what I was thinking about now.


      There's a difference between critical thinking and personal criticism. The latter is at best a cheap shot, demeaning, snide, needlessly negative, and unproductive. The former is an assessment of an idea, a product(like a work of art), a performance, an effort, etc. It may be very critical of any of the above, but the criticism is based on reason, fact, and perhaps comparison to similar things being discussed. It is not a personal attack and is not based on emotion. So a scientific theory presented at a conference for example may be torn to shreds, but the blithering criticism is based on sound judgement and facts that accurately portray an opposing theory.


      In the context of the Harp Column forum, I think the forum has been at it's most interesting when topics are fervently discussed with strong opinions expressed, PROVIDED there are no personal attacks, no nasty or demeaning opinions that are either not true or needlessly hurtful, and no sweeping generalizations that cannot be substantiated. That's why I cringe when someone starts a thread titled WHICH IS BETTER? L & H, VENUS, OR SALVI? Or WHICH IS BETTER? SALZEDO METHOD OR GRANDJANY? UGH!!!


      A comparison of methods for example is enlightening and informative, especially to those new to the harp. If the discussion and posts are dispassionate and objective, then the reader can draw his/her own conclusions. A comparison of makes of instruments for example should clearly state that the writer is expressing his/her experience with one instrument from a particular company.

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Carl, I have really had it with you. How dare you write something I agree with? Or rather, probably will when I go back and read it all the way through. I was also talking about social situations, not just forums, and definitely not only these forums, Diane. YouTube comments would be a great example.

      I am "afraid" that as heartfelt as Kay's comment is, and having grown up with plenty of criticism, translating that experience into expecting others to somehow work around it is what ultimately leads to an atmosphere of censorship. Not you in particular, necessarily, but the broad idea of accomodating every individual's hurts, sore spots, allergies, food sensitivities, diet peculiarities, amounts to exerting social control over others that is undesirable to many or most people. It reminds me of the totalitarian aspect of the extreme left-wing politics, where they expect everyone to think and act the same, rather than individually.

      I would therefore turn around your last statement, and kindly say that the need for therapy is in the person feeling wounded or dealing with their past, and not the one making criticisms, or rather, it's not up to anyone to project onto anyone else that they need therapy. And I'm not saying you need therapy yourself, but we all need to maintain a boundary to our issues, in order to interact with people we aren't close to. We are all a work in progress, hopefully making progress in our lives.

      It's hard to say in its itness, but it's not as hard as one might think it is. (That was hard to come up with.) When I used to typeset at a food magazine, its was always a problem, as was finely shopped parsely/finely chopped parsley. We all need to spend less time telling each other how to behave, and more time speaking freely with good manners, in my view and other people I know. We are all struggling with how far individuality goes and how one then relates to society, I think that is part of the problem. It is one with long historical roots, and there may even be a gender difference in its definition or perception, according to a discussion I had last night. However, I would not say men are more critical than women. When it comes to personal dress or behavior, men are much less likely to say anything, it seems to me. But that leads into another controversial topic, which I will start off. 

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    • Carl
      Carl Swanson

      I wanted to add one comment to my previous post, and that is that critical thinking and the discussion that goes with it, heated or not, should, in the end, leave everybody participating or just observing with an added understanding of the subject at hand. For that reason, when I'm around other people over diner for example, I relish animated and heated explorations of a given subject, but I'm ready to walk out if it is simply arguing.

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      That points out the importance of having some familiarity with rules or techniques of argument, rather than, for example, simply exaggerating the other person's statement in attempt to demolish it.

      I also relish diners.

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    • Evangeline
      Evangeline Williams

      I'd love to come play your harp! 

      And I want to know more about this Mercedes harp.  :)  Does it come with a harp cart with 4WD drive? 

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