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The Dangers Of Advice Without Experience


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#21 Tyler Miller

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 01:39 PM

I think Jed's provided us with an excellent object lesson as to how word of mouth stories, without critical input, can be a dangerous thing--the very point of my original post.  You see, all three of these anecdotes about the success of the untrained are, in fact, false in their most common form.

 

1.  Blue lasers were invented by a Japanese man, Shuji Nakamura, with a master's degree in electronic engineering, while working for Nichia corporation, an engineering firm.  He was certainly no hobbyist.

 

2.  The stories regarding Columbus are greatly exaggerated.  The usual story goes that the scholars at the time believed the world was flat etc.  The real story is that navigation of ships at the time relied on a spherical earth theory and scholars at the time believed that the journey was simply too far and that supplies wouldn't last the trip.  This was almost true--Columbus greatly underestimated the length of the journey relying on wrong data, and if it weren't for the Americas in the way of his trip to Japan/China Columbus would have died at sea.

 

3. Proctor and Gamble archives show that the discovery of floating soap was the work of the founder's son, a chemist, not an accidental employee mishap.

 

So, you see, things taken at face value are indeed dangerous, especially when given with authority.  Vet your sources and please don't pass on information you haven't verified yourself.



#22 jrgpots

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 01:49 PM

I understand what you are saying..Yet it is my job and responsibility to vet my sources. One thing that defines the internet is that it is predominantely a collection of opinions with scattered referenced articles.

As you suggest, it would be easy to vet people's comments if they gave their level of expertise on the subject at hand.

Yet one thing I have enjoyed from this forum is the invitation for ALL to contribute. This tread tends to go contrary to that invitation.

I appreciate what Pres said earlier. He told his class that he didn't know much about the course material. Yet by the end of the course, all the students knew to whom to go for advise....him. It is the same here. Most can name the 20-25 experts on this forum. I appeciate when one of these makes comments on my thead.

In post garduate courses I had to site ideas and reference content. It was as if I had not earned the right to have an original idea until after I had letters behind my name. Please don't do the same thing to this forum...

Jed

#23 jrgpots

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 01:58 PM

Tyler, your point is well taken. I will limit my comments on this forum to asking questions....posting my progress in my clay endevors,...and praising other's knowledge and successes.

Jed

#24 Tyler Miller

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:07 PM

Jed,

 

I think there's a difference between the oppressive academic environment and asking "wait a minute, is that actually true?" before passing a piece of information along or disclaiming "I haven't actually done anything in X area, but I think Y could be a good idea."  I'm certainly not demanding people post credentials.  Good ideas can come from anywhere or anyone and to discount a good idea based on a lack of credentials is a classical logical fallacy--ad hominem.  But what I'm talking about is intellectual dishonesty.

 

I don't want to limit anyone's voice on this forum.  That wasn't the point of my post.  My point was about misrepresenting oneself and passing along unchecked information.  As I said, good ideas can come from anywhere or anyone, just don't misrepresent yourself or the information you pass along.  Viking potter had a very cool idea about suspending glazed flutes for firing, and it was presented in a great way.  Saying "I've never tried this, but" rather than just "try suspending  your flutes by wire, we do it for car doors," means that the questions of it working are still there, but a new idea is on the table for testing.  Once tested and proven, it could be a wonderful idea, born of a brilliantly creative impulse.

 

So please don't think of this as me trying to stifle voices, that's the last thing I wanted.  I just want people to be honest about their skills, experience, and sources of information.  Does that make sense?



#25 jrgpots

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:33 PM

Yes it does.
For all to know my level: I have one electric kiln and am converting one to a gas fired kiln. I have made my burners using a pattern I used when I built my first forge. I have created 2-3 glazes from scratch. I am stuggling with John's wheel throwing excercises. I struggle to throw a cylinder taller than 16 inches. And most of my clay ideas fail. I have made 10-12 ceramic flutes and am still struggling to perfect them. I have collected and processed raw material and have made my own ball mill. That about sums
Up my experience.

Jed

#26 Pres

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:36 PM

Heaven forbid that anything should happen to limit the participation of all in our forum. After all, this is a place to actually vet ideas. We as potters work in isolation, often far from another in the same field. To have a place to bat around ideas such as here is healthy for all of us, and those of us that know so little, we get to pick the brains of those that are experts in the field. I love it!


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#27 Roberta12

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:57 PM

I do appreciate what Tyler is saying.   I started clay in a community studio.   While I was given a good start there....questions were not encouraged and I found that misinformation was being thrown about.   I began doing my own research and reading and exploration and realized that I loved clay/glaze more and more because there was so much to learn about it!   But there seems to be a great deal of opinion not based in fact.   I haven't noticed that on this forum, but amongst gatherings of potters.   John Baymore, Pres, Neil, Marsha, Mea, Tyler, Big Lou, have been instrumental in strongly encouraging people who ask questions on this forum, to do more research.   Spend time reading.  Attend workshops.  Know your stuff.  That makes this forum stronger and makes us all better at our craft.  But questions are very important.   That is how we learn. Even when people have had different experiences with the same glaze/kiln/clay/etc.   It is important that we share.   Once again, Thank you to all who have weighed in!!   I learn from you all!

 

Roberta 



#28 Min

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:10 PM

Perhaps critical thinking in regards to the interpretation of posts is the issue here. In Tyler’s original post he brought up an example of a previous member of this forum who had a penchant for cut and paste information that he then appeared to endorse, whether with personal experience or not. In his case he admitted to being more interested in the theoretical rather than practical applications of the info he was disseminating.

 

The intent of this forum as far as I see it is to share information, thoughts and experiences. In order to validate some opinions using credible sources for backing up ones argument is no different from listing citations in a thesis. In both situations, vetting sources is necessary.

 

We all benefit when the more experienced members help us along but the ideas and suggestions from all are most welcome with me.



#29 Babs

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:35 PM

This is a healthy forum.

Questions asked from any level of practice are treated with the same regard. No put downs. The answers are given at the level of understanding of the questioned, where this is possible. And in a friendly supportive manner.

Let's keep it this way.

ideas and info. are just that , pick it up from the table or leave it there, no coercion, or ramming down the throat, your choice!

Writing longest and most often , in a dictatorial abusive manner to prove, "I'm the best" doesn't  make it here.

Lets keep it up.

Happy Easter when it comes.

Chocolate is good for you, trust me.



#30 Stephen

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 04:26 PM

been working in this medium for going on 20 years (started right after Al Gore invented it) and in the beginning I think the average person was more inclined to believe too much of what was posted, viewing it like one did a book back in those days, than they are now. Although there are always gullible people, for the most part, I think people these days get it. 

 

Great rant though as we all need a reality check every once in a while on this subject. When you are new to anything you tend to listen to those who seem to know what they are talking about and without knowledge yourself it can be hard to discern BS or separate fact from theory.

 

and its great to know that chocolate is good for me, learn something new every day on this forum.



#31 Stellaria

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 04:37 PM

But Baaaabs, chocolate makes my hands huuuurt!

#32 Matt Oz

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 05:02 PM

Chocolate is good for you, trust me.

Chocolate is not good for dogs and dog avatars though.



#33 Chris Campbell

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 05:30 PM

Even when we don't mean to do it ... we do it.
Chocolate is good for you .... Misc. articles in papers which changes every few years.
Chocolate makes me hands hurt .... Statistically insignificant result of uncontrolled experiment. Real or fake chocolate?
Chocolate is bad for dogs ... Random and unattributed. Whose dog? How much chocolate?
And ... I have a friend, who has a friend who owns an avatar dog and she loves bacon fried chocolate.
Oops! Wrong again ... It's the owner that loves the chocolate! : - )

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#34 Babs

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 06:06 PM

But Baaaabs, chocolate makes my hands huuuurt!

 

 

Chocolate is good for you, trust me.

Chocolate is not good for dogs and dog avatars though.

 

 

Even when we don't mean to do it ... we do it.
Chocolate is good for you .... Misc. articles in papers which changes every few years.
Chocolate makes me hands hurt .... Statistically insignificant result of uncontrolled experiment. Real or fake chocolate?
Chocolate is bad for dogs ... Random and unattributed. Whose dog? How much chocolate?
And ... I have a friend, who has a friend who owns an avatar dog and she loves bacon fried chocolate.
Oops! Wrong again ... It's the owner that loves the chocolate! : - )

There is NEVER any gain, aside from weight, without pain.

So be tough and just eat the choc.

OR send it to ME!!

I will do the tests, for you!!

I will carry the load and do the suffering, as will my pooches

As a person with high cholesterol, AND scrawny to the bone, I take the risk on occasions. If sending choc this way, really dark, 99% choc, will do the trick everytime!.



#35 Pres

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 06:33 PM

I have one piece of Dark(86%)Chocolate every day, and I am diabetic T2.


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#36 Wyndham

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 07:08 PM

We might need to define "Shortcut" as either a better method based  on  validation and experience of a technique or a shortcut based on an  assumption.without validation.

The shortcut "leave to the expert" can be a two edged sword. My personal experience of experts on the issue of reduction methods for gas kilns leaves a wide path for many different methods and opinions , some good, some not so good.

Education comes at a cost, whether academic and/or sweat equity. It sometimes takes a long time and a lot of clay to find the shortcut.

Wyndham



#37 Babs

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 11:10 PM

 

Chocolate is good for you, trust me.

Chocolate is not good for dogs and dog avatars though.

 

I show great discipline and application in my practice of restraint re. feeding dogs choc.  I  just have to eat it all myself, and explain fully why theyhave chicken treats and I have to have.. the choc. All but one is happy with this, Missy who is also the boss/trade unionist and manipulator of all humans.

But tough love is essential some times, even in the world away from clay.

Hate glazing today, a clumsy day, no shortcuts, anyone got advice on hands all thumbs days??



#38 Mudslinger Ceramics

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 01:33 AM

I guess some of this also comes down to when do some people on the forum ask a question........before or after they have tried to find their own answers?

 

Some people seem to 'ask first' before looking up much of anything on Google, Wiki (ALWAYS a dubious source), the forum's Search, an .edu weblink or God-forbid, a book on the subject......

Others seem to have looked around for their own answers before asking a question to fill in or expand on some knowlege they already have.....

......and this can make a big difference to the information being sought and how a poster approaches an answer to that question

 

A real newbie to the sport may get something from a Wiki etc.  but most will not and it is valueless to them and the accumulated wisdom on this site to rehash vague or unsubstantiated information and guesses ......and sometimes some answers are completely innane.  

I have wondered sometimes if some people want to seem more knowlegable than they yet are to compete, or if they feel 'left out' if they don't say something.....either way I agree with Tyler that it can be at best useless or at worst dangerous to launch into advice without some substantiated experience. 

(My idea of substantiated = personal, real world experience or significant study into the issue and/or informed guesses from similar experience.)

 

Don't ever want to stop forum questions or answers but maybe think 'quality not quantity' before a reply. 

 

Irene

 

PS Babs, no chocolate, Orthodox Easter = real eggs coloured red!


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#39 Stellaria

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 06:10 AM

I often ask extra-simple questions just for that reason - I haven't a clue where to look to get an answer that I can even begin to trust. The answers I get guide my further searches.

#40 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 06:15 AM

I think that is why the moderators have started listing the most frequently asked questions. There are certain things that come up often. 

Dialogue on topics can develop into deeper aspects of subjects with many takes from many sources. There are so many ways to reach the same goal in ceramics...it is fun to see how many ways people can get there.

 

Marcia






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