Some misguided notions about personal attacks

Smoke

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The personal attack.

It rears it's ugly head here often. In fact it happens all over the dicussion superhiway.

What is a personal attack?

Your mommy wears army boots.
I consider that a personal attack.

How about;


Bullhockey.

If we went by your own rules, even you would not be qualified to post.
We all come to dicussion forums for the same purpose. We come here to discuss little trees and hopefully learn a thing or two in the process. The pecking order exists in life as well as the bonsai forum. There will be those that have great trees and those that are just beginning. There will be those that study with great masters and those that do not. As the years go by and an archive of trees is built so does one's credibility in the art. If someone continues to show promise and grow so does their credibility. If someone works for many years and still does not get it do they hold the same credibility. Who's fault is this? The tree or the artist?

If we attack the tree, are we attacking the tree or are we actually attacking the artist? You can't seperate the two. We "personally" post work to be reviewed. It is looked at and disected by the masses and critiqued. If it is good we accept the critique because we have been validated. If it is bad some challange those that critque and ask to attack the tree not the artist. I can't attack the tree because the artist screwed up.

The tree can't speak to me and tell me " hey, I told this jackass not to cut that branch but he wouldn't listen".

I have no one else to speak to except the artist. If I disagree with ones assesment of anothers work I have attacked that person on a personal level. There are degrees of attack. For instance I feel it goes beyond personal to start out with the words "BULLHOCKY" I feel at that point there is no respect for that person and they are in a mode of proving you know nothing of what you speak. Since we are all for the most part all learning the art of bonsai we can't treat each other with that sort of disrepect.

In a recent post on display it was brought to my attention that a representation That I had posted was an improvement but was still substandard. Hey I'm a big guy and I can take criticism. Step up to the plate and take some time to "show" me what your idea of an improvement would look like. The only thing you have to base your answer on is experience. If we are talking about display, then one should have some experience in the realm of display to have any kind of credibility.

Recently in the Toko-Kazari in Hanford California, Kenji Miyata put together a personal display with two trees and a scroll. Kenji studied 14 years in Japan with a world renowned teacher. Kenji may be a world class tree maker but has not fully mastered all there is to know about display. Maybe he does not care so much about display? Maybe he didn't care so much about what we were trying to accomplish with our contest? Maybe he will try harder next year. He beat me, but only by two places. I know I will place much higher next year. I am armed with so much more about the nuances of display. If I wish to gain a better understanding in the art of display who am I going to ask for help? Those that placed below me or those that placed above me? I think this is a rhetorical question.

In a recent thread Will Heath posted this quote from Walter Pall;
"What a strange concept to ask that someone who writes about bonsai and one who does critiques MUST be able to show his own art. While this is repeated every week on all the bonsai forums it is still total nonsense.

How about every sports commentator on tv or radio MUST show how he himself does the sport and excel at it. How about everyone who writes about theater of movies MUST be a very good actor. Of course, these and numerous similar statements are abolute nonsense. So why should bonsai be different?
Most sports shows have a host which will usually have a communications background or broadcasting background and is there to keep the show together and moving in the right direction as well as moving the show in and out of commercials. The real meat of the show will be the ex-football, ex-baseball, ex-NASCAR driver commentators that talk about the complexities of the sport involved. Networks pay big salaries to gain the best retired people from the sport to add credibility to their broadcast. Who would watch a Bonsai TV show with host, Al Keppler..Or host Walter Pall. I think you see what I mean.

What confounds the heck out of me about this quote from Walter is that he is guilty of being a little concieted about his credentials. In the infancy of bonsaiTALK I asked Walter to host "Ask the Master". The idea was supposed to be that a person could post some pictures of a tree they were working on and ask for professional assesment of the tree. The first words were supposed to be by Walter Pall and after his critique it would be opened up for forum discussion. At first it worked well. Walter became slow to respond due to personal engagements and newbies would begin to attack the trees. The newbies without respect began attacking Walter. It was not long before Walter had enough of not getting the respect he thought he deserved and packed up critique and went home.

The irony....Walter was challanged by critics that he felt had no business even making remarks. This flies against everything the quote above says.

So in closing what we have to say about anything on the internet is personal. If you want to swim with the big sharks put on your floaties and post some work. We will asses at that time is we wish to swallow you up.

Al
 
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Emil Brannstrom

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Well, just because someone thinks he/she knows something that they haven't personally had the pleasure of practicing doesn't mean they are wrong by default IMO and vice versa. I'm happy to get anyones opinion on something, then it's up to me to do what I want with that information.


If we are talking about display, then one should have some experience in the realm of display to have any kind of credibility.
Lack of credibility and being wrong are two different things.

If I wish to gain a better understanding in the art of display who am I going to ask for help? Those that placed below me or those that placed above me? I think this is a rhetorical question.
Why not both?

It was not long before Walter had enough of not getting the respect he thought he deserved and packed up critique and went home.
Disrespect or boredom? I'd be pretty bored trying to explain every concept over and over again, week after week. Then again, I don't know why he quit.

Best regards
Emil
 

Smoke

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Well, just because someone thinks he/she knows something that they haven't personally had the pleasure of practicing doesn't mean they are wrong by default IMO and vice versa. I'm happy to get anyones opinion on something, then it's up to me to do what I want with that information.
I don't think I spoke of anyone being wrong. Misinformed maybe, lack of personal experience in the subject maybe. But your last line says it all. It's up to you to do what you want to with the information. How are you going to assess that information. Are you going to to do it based on the work of those that post? Are you going to assess it based on a portfolio of work that is easily accessable and seen by their peers? You will make an assessment of the information gleaned over a number of posts and make a determiniation if what is being said about your tree is a consensus of needing work based on your idea of whether or not those passing information are deemed worthy to do so.

What if you post a tree and 20 people tell you that a certain branch needs to be removed because it causes some kind of imbalance? Walter comes along and says hell no, that branch needs to stay and this is why. Do you go against the consensus becasue we do not have a portfolio of trees that have won awards, or do you trust in the one guy that has the awards to his credit to make what he says credible?

You tell me. I might be inclined to trust the guy who has great trees and has shown plenty of them to his credit over 20 hacks that have never even posted a tree ever or have never particpated in building a credible display.





Lack of credibility and being wrong are two different things.
I don't think anyone here has the credentials to consider someone wrong. Lack of experience, maybe.


Why not both?
I have no idea how education is taught in Sweeden but when I was going to school the teacher always asked the more advanced students if they could buddy up and mentor those falling behind. I'm not sure why you asked the question. I have no idea why I would want to ask someone that placed behind me how I could improve my skills!




Disrespect or boredom? I'd be pretty bored trying to explain every concept over and over again, week after week. Then again, I don't know why he quit.

Best regards
Emil
Thats just it. You weren't there so how you can you make an intelligent opinion on it. So by vitrtue of you not knowing anything about it you have no business making asumptions about something you know nothing about. Putting it bluntly, with no disrepect.
 

greerhw

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Gosh, gee whizz, Kinda makes me a little leary of posting anything but politics, not that I have anything constructive to say anyway......

keep it green,
Harry
 

RyanFrye

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Walter became slow to respond due to personal engagements and newbies would begin to attack the trees. The newbies without respect began attacking Walter. It was not long before Walter had enough of not getting the respect he thought he deserved and packed up critique and went home.

The irony....Walter was challanged by critics that he felt had no business even making remarks. This flies against everything the quote above says.

I was there and remember this very well. I went by a different screen name then, but I do remember the fuss that was made.
 

Smoke

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I was there and remember this very well. I went by a different screen name then, but I do remember the fuss that was made.
oh....do tell Ryan. What was the name!
 

Smoke

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Must be the heat..everyone seems hostile. Didn't someone just ask you to stand in the corner with gum on your nose for three days for being a putz? I see you havn't learned anything.
 

Rick Moquin

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As I stated, same old s... different day, different site. It's the flavour of the millennium I guess.
 

Smoke

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You must be right...
 

grouper52

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Why, this really IS a rivalry of scholars, isn't it Smoke? I can just feel that wisdom advancing with each post! :D
 
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No misguided notions at all, when one veers from the subject matter and throws out the old cop out "show me your trees" they are attacking the person, not the subject matter. Inferring that someone does not know what they are talking about based on what they have or have not shown makes no sense at all.

Debate the topic, not the person.

May I suggest reading over this?


Will
 
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