A&S judging

dennis grace amazing at mail.utexas.edu
Thu Oct 31 21:34:21 PST 1996

Hi there. Aquilanne here.

Diarmuit wrote:

>I think a 0 should be reserved for something that is completely lacking.
>For example, a 0 in "documentation" means that there is NO documentation
>at ALL.

Yes, I didn't think to mention that, but you're right.

>I am perfectly happy to accept criticism, just not in a "competition".
>*Losing* is criticism enough. That you have assumed I don't understand 
>the meaning of the terms "criticism" and "critique" when my complaint
>was, I thought, clearly with the misuse of the term "compete" is 

Diarmuit, I never assumed that *you* (or anyone else for that matter)
*misunderstood* the definition of "criticism" or "critique." I merely stated
that some folk have trouble getting by presumed negative implications
associated with the terms.  I still stand by that, it's pretty
par-for-the-course knowlege. It's unfortunate that you may have misread my
words as condescension of your intellectual facility. That is not the case.

>>>Of course, this DOES run smack into the SCA cultural value that "if you
>>>don't get a goodie for it, what's the point?"...
>>That's not exactly fair...And exactly what is wrong with wanting 
>Did I say that there WAS anything wrong with wanting recognition?  My
>statement was that there was a mindset prevalent in the Society that
>there is no point in doing anything unless there is a prize.  

First, the ellipses that represent the snip in the middle of my sentence
above also represent an altering of context.  What I was objecting to when I
said "that's not exactly fair," was your implying that the "goodie want"
value is particular to the SCA.  If you re-read my letter, especially the
portion you left out here, I think it's pretty obvious just what I was
referring to.  Second, just the word choice of "if you don't get a goodie,
what's the point?" is devaluative, thereby strongly implying that, yes, you
believe something is wrong with wanting recognition.  I also concurred with
you on the point of being annoyed with those folk (who I still believe are
the exception) whose sole purpose in doing *anything* seems to be for the

>As can be
>inferred from my feelings about *competition*, some things DO boil down
>to simple "Victory" or "Failure", "Win" or "Lose", and with "winning"
>come the laurels of glory.

With having competed and exposed one's self to input from others come
laurels of a different, but no less valid, kind.  It may surprise you how
many earnest artisans open themselves to critique, evaluation, suggestions,
advice, whathaveyou, regardless of the arena, for the same reason they read
books, look at other examples of their craft, and practice lone hours at
their craft.  It's another opportunity to learn and grow.  If you find it
difficult to remain open to opportunities for enlightenment because you're
in a competitive arena, it will just make it more difficult for you to reach
those laurels of victory.  Of course, that's just my opinion.  You may even
be a laurel for all I know.  I just like to encourage folk to be open to any
opportunity for growth, regardless of context.  It's just another thing I'm
idealistic about.

>However, if you feel that *everything* is a competition, then, I believe,
>you've missed the point. 

I beg to differ; I believe it is _you_ who have missed _my_ point. I neither
said nor claimed that "*everything* is a competition".  You're assigning
unwarranted meanings to my words.  I said "we are born with a need to
compete; in some way, at some level everyone competes.   It's a biological
imperative that's just more marked in some individuals than in other."
That's a far cry from "*everything* is a competition."

>If that's unfair, that's too bad, since it's a simple paraphrase.

Once again, when you loosely paraphrase, original meaning is lost.

>I don't believe that you can have "kind and nurturing" in a competative

I'm sorry you feel that way.  Do you feel that way?  I thought you agreed
that we should give supportive feedback.  I would consider such an attitude
kind and nurturing.


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