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View Poll Results: When you think "critic", which definition first comes to mind?
a person who is professionally engaged in the analysis and interpretation of works of art 42 32.31%
anyone who expresses a reasoned judgment of something 58 44.62%
someone who frequently finds fault or makes harsh and unfair judgments 22 16.92%
other (please describe) 8 6.15%
Voters: 130. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2009-06-20, 23:50   Link #21
Spectacular_Insanity
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I picked #2.

If you make at least an attempt to judge something with a sense of objectivity and fairness, yet enough of a discerning eye to not make everything seem either good or bad, i would say you are a fair critic.
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Old 2009-06-21, 00:00   Link #22
Tamad
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Originally Posted by CrowKenobi View Post
So, you're implying that the critics can say whatever they want, but when someone calls them on the carpet, they're the "bad guy?"

When the reply to the critic is nonsensical, then by all means, that could be true, but should a poster who uses the facts, sarcasm and wit to debunk a critic's post be labeled the same way? (especially when he wins the argument and the critic is left sputtering a reply...)

No, I'm saying those who continue to complain about a posters negative stubborness on a topic are just as faulty for "fueling the fire" when the option of ignoring it is always there... especially when the points they bring up to defend their show are just as repetitive as the critiques.

And yes, a poster who uses facts, sarcasm, and wit to debunk a critic to silence doesn't deserve to be labeled a villain... but I've yet to see such a feat occur. It's no easy task to change someone's opinions, as such we're all stuck in this little game in which we're all big fat losers.
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Old 2009-06-21, 00:24   Link #23
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I've always thought that the word "critic" merely denotes "someone who criticizes," where criticism doesn't mean just negative criticism but any discussion of something through critical methods of thinking.

Words being what they are, that's not always the case. It can be a shorthand for "professional critics;" an implication of "negative criticism;" or even an attack on someone as "not author," among other things. For example, in an introduction to his only novel, Ralph Ellison wrote something along the lines of "What can a novelist say about his novel that a critic cannot?" Here he implies a role of the critic separate from both the author and the general audience. Of course, he himself was a critic at some point (he wrote book reviews, literary articles, etc.), but he clearly did not consider himself a critic when it comes to his own work.

This is, I think an interesting distinction, one which led me to conclude that I am not a critic, at least of most anime. I watch anime for the purpose of entertainment, not to deliver critical judgment. This in no way implies that a critic is inferior in the hierarchy between the two, nor does it imply an inherent quality (positive or negative) to his or her criticisms. It simply is a different role. They are not even mutually exclusive. A blogger blogging about an anime episode is generally acting on both levels -- as an audience and a critic.

It does leads to another interesting question though: even though I made a vague distinction above, I'll admit that I do not know where the audience ends and the critic begins, I just know -- or perhaps feel -- that they are different on at least some levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamad
No, I'm saying those who continue to complain about a posters negative stubborness on a topic are just as faulty for "fueling the fire" when the option of ignoring it is always there... especially when the points they bring up to defend their show are just as repetitive as the critiques.
This is a forum. Long-winded flamewars congest the "conversational traffic" of a thread, or even a sub-forum. People have every reason to complain. I post very rarely on series forums these days for this exact reason. For some reason these areas are much more touchy than, say, the manga forum. Annoying. Inconvenient.

Of course, their complaints do not protect them. Their own inanities are also fair game, but holding these faults as an excuse to deny their criticisms (haha) of annoying posters like that is unreasonable.
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Old 2009-06-21, 00:27   Link #24
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Meh... granted Animesuki isn't going to require classes in communication, debate, critical analysis, or dissertation - but people, no matter how they post -- should try these ideas out for more interesting fruitful discussion:
1) Don't present subjective opinions as fact. Be very careful of asserting something "sucks" rather than saying "I didn't enjoy it because of these factors."
2) Realizing that other people's opinions may be arrived at with a different set of value metrics. What is important to them may not be important to you.
Good points, but I must mention that if someone says a show sucks, it is true at least for them. I think you should make it more specific by saying that it is the people who assert that the show is terrible for all those who watch it.

Anyhow... There is something I must mention in this thread...

It seems to me that many people see that if someone likes a show, it is simply because of their own value system. Well, that's fine, but what determines the greatness of a work of art then? What does it mean when someone calls a movie "A great American Classic?"

EDIT: I also would like to say that almost everything is an opinion. I could say that ingesting chemicles and not natural food is a good thing, but that could very well be what most consider to be poor judgement.
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Old 2009-06-21, 00:36   Link #25
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
It seems to me that many people see that if someone likes a show, it is simply because of their own value system. Well, that's fine, but what determines the greatness of a work of art then? What does it mean when someone calls a movie "A great American Classic?"
See the answers in the other thread where you asked the same question. It means that it has been recognized over time as a work of particular value and importance because a large amount of people (possibly experts) selected it as exemplary. In other words, because a lot of people liked it. It's not always due to simple enjoyment; sometimes a work might be educational, it may have been unique, or it have been particularly representative of its time. But a work is called a classic because it's reputation stands over time. When you're living "in the moment" experiencing a work, you can't know whether a work is "a classic" yet, because it's something for future generations to decide. So for us, the more important thing (I think) is finding works we enjoy, "great", "classic", or otherwise.

And yes, most everything is opinion. But recognizing the weight of that realization is the tough part. If most everything is opinion as a result of value judgements, and each person has their own opinions and values, then you have no reason to necessarily believe that your perspective is better than any one else's, no matter how good you perceive your reasoning to be. We live in a world of greys; very few things are actually "black" or "white". What matters about opinion is, ultimately, the consequence.
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Old 2009-06-21, 00:42   Link #26
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
This is a forum. Long-winded flamewars congest the "conversational traffic" of a thread, or even a sub-forum. People have every reason to complain. I post very rarely on series forums these days for this exact reason. For some reason these areas are much more touchy than, say, the manga forum. Annoying. Inconvenient.

Of course, their complaints do not protect them. Their own inanities are also fair game, but holding these faults as an excuse to deny their criticisms (haha) of annoying posters like that is unreasonable.
I'm not denying their criticism of "annoying" posters, they can go ahead and disagree with something negative someone said all they want (like you said, this is a forum, thus it is inevitable; however, I find most of it to be discussion more than a flamewar), but when certain members get angry at the said negative critics, and act like they're the only ones being annoying and are derailing the thread, I can't help but scoff at how hypocritical they're being about the situation.

So I'm not denying their right to point flaws in flaws... I'm denying their right for such a snarky attitude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
It seems to me that many people see that if someone likes a show, it is simply because of their own value system. Well, that's fine, but what determines the greatness of a work of art then? What does it mean when someone calls a movie "A great American Classic?"
Bringing over what I said from the thread where this came from, it's all in the majority. If the majority of the people who watch/read something believe it is "great" that it will undoubetly be labeled "great", and the remainder of the people will be stuck calling it "overrated". Greatness exists in something only if you believe it does.
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Old 2009-06-21, 00:47   Link #27
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Good points, but I must mention that if someone says a show sucks, it is true at least for them. I think you should make it more specific by saying that it is the people who assert that the show is terrible for all those who watch it.
Truth, I didn't articulate what I meant clearly enough. That drags in the apparently very human behavior we see in any sort of zealotry -- to assert one's opinion on a subjective topic as a "fact" all must see as The Truth.
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Old 2009-06-21, 00:48   Link #28
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
So, anyway, here are some possible questions for the thread (and if it sounds survey-style, it's only to help start the discussion -- you don't actually have to answer the questions if you don't want to):

When you think of the word "critic" in this context, which of the definitions above tends to spring to mind?
The second one, since the first one doesn't really apply here on these boards much.

Quote:
Based on that, do you consider yourself an "Anime Critic"?
I'd love to think so. Whether I'm good or not is subject to discussion.
Quote:
When considering which shows to watch, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to watch shows you think you'll like, or will you watch anything that seems popular or technically interesting?
I'll watch anything that catches my eye or appears interesting. But I would be more inclined to watch the shows that have more discussion.

Quote:
When considering which shows to discuss on the forum, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to discuss shows you like, or do you tend to discuss any show where you feel you have an interesting/differing argument/perspective?
I tend to discuss shows I like, because I usually know more about them.

Quote:
How do you decide when to drop shows? What factors into the decision? Does forum popularity/participation factor into your decision-making?
I drop shows when I feel like continuing on would not be enjoyable. It doesn't matter if its the first 10 minutes or the last 10 minutes. Forum popularity can influence this decison, but I usually like to see for myself.

Quote:
Which of these two problems seems more troublesome to you: that people feel unable to present contrary/opposing opinions and arguments, or that people feel unwelcome/uncomfortable posting in threads due to fear of having their personal preferences unfairly questioned?[/list]
The first one, just because discussion won't be that interesting. Everyone has different opinions, and we just have to accept that not everyone will like or hate the same things. Of course, people should be respectful and carry out thoughts in a coherent manner, but you can't have civil discussion any other way.

Last edited by Archon_Wing; 2009-06-21 at 02:40.
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Old 2009-06-21, 00:54   Link #29
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Originally Posted by Tamad View Post
I don't know if I can speak for the majority, but I sure as hell would not silence myself from criticizing something I like or even love, because it's apparently hard for people to understnad that no anime is perfecct and it's bound to have something that doesn't ticke your fancy. When it's something you don't like, you call their opinion bashing? I find that absolutely hilarious.

And yes, I tend to stick with a series I don't like because there is something that lets me enjoy the show to a certain extent despite its faults.
I understand you, and I don't think that every bad comment about something is bashing. But you aren't even part of the demographic I'm describing.

The kind of people I'm talking about are the ones who stay with a series just because of the gold mine of things they don't like about it to nitpick over. The ones who really have no proper criticism at all, just hate comments and shallow "squee!" comments.
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Old 2009-06-21, 00:58   Link #30
Tamad
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Originally Posted by Komari View Post
I understand you, and I don't think that every bad comment about something is bashing. But you aren't even part of the demographic I'm describing.

The kind of people I'm talking about are the ones who stay with a series just because of the gold mine of things they don't like about it to nitpick over. The ones who really have no proper criticism at all, just hate comments and shallow "squee!" comments.
Fair enough. I figured your comment wasn't pointed at me, but I felt like voicing my opinion on the matter anyways. Bad habit of mine.
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Old 2009-06-21, 01:29   Link #31
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Bringing over what I said from the thread where this came from, it's all in the majority. If the majority of the people who watch/read something believe it is "great" that it will undoubetly be labeled "great", and the remainder of the people will be stuck calling it "overrated". Greatness exists in something only if you believe it does.
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
See the answers in the other thread where you asked the same question. It means that it has been recognized over time as a work of particular value and importance because a large amount of people (possibly experts) selected it as exemplary. In other words, because a lot of people liked it. It's not always due to simple enjoyment; sometimes a work might be educational, it may have been unique, or it have been particularly representative of its time. But a work is called a classic because it's reputation stands over time. When you're living "in the moment" experiencing a work, you can't know whether a work is "a classic" yet, because it's something for future generations to decide. So for us, the more important thing (I think) is finding works we enjoy, "great", "classic", or otherwise.

And yes, most everything is opinion. But recognizing the weight of that realization is the tough part. If most everything is opinion as a result of value judgements, and each person has their own opinions and values, then you have no reason to necessarily believe that your perspective is better than any one else's, no matter how good you perceive your reasoning to be. We live in a world of greys; very few things are actually "black" or "white". What matters about opinion is, ultimately, the consequence.
So when people in award ceremonies such as the Grammies (And I am not going to say they choose the best movies to win) give movies the title of the best film of year _____, is it really the greatest? Lets take 2008 for example... The movie The Dark Knight obviously blew every other movie out of the park in terms of popularity and people liking it, yet the movie Slumdog Millionaire won the award which received a smaller fraction of the same amount of people who went to watch it.

Your logic implies that Batman beats it in terms of greatness, but the elitists of the movie industry considered it not worthy of being considered the best movie of the year (Once again, I'm not saying that I agree with their opinion).

Now, I think I'm about to abuse Godwin's law, but I must...

Lets take a Democracy for comparison. The majority opinion rules. Is it always the best choice? Not necessarily. Can it not be the same for entertainment?

When I'm with a group of 10 friends, and 6 of them think it's fun to get drunk, while me and the other 3 do not, should I consider their opinion to be the better one?

I'm saying this because I do not think that popularity dictates whether or not something becomes great overtime.

My defintion of great means that it is something that is to be remembered and passed down generations for its overall quality as a product of entertainment. Alfred Hitchcock is considered a great director, but a lot of people have never seen his movies and even those who do see them have mixed feelings about them. However, among the elite, these movies are usually considered brilliant. And these elitists of movies keep passing these movies down to younger generations and telling them that these movies are great.

In the end, does it really make their opinion any better because these people managed to pass down these movies as known "greats" even if it really isn't all that popular? Maybe. Maybe not. That's for others to decide.

To be honest, this post has become so convoluted that I will probably have to clean it up considerably later.
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Old 2009-06-21, 01:35   Link #32
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Originally Posted by Tamad View Post
If the problem that someone had on a series continues to make itself known in the next episode, isn't it only natural for you to include that fact in your analyzation of said episode? Like I said before, an episode thread doesn't only have to be filled with positives, and you act like only the negative ninnies are the only ones who continue to repeat their same problems, when in fact it can get equally tiresome for one of the positive series followers to continue saying how "awesome" it is or to keep picking a fight with someone who even blinked wrong at their beloved show.
This!

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Good points, but I must mention that if someone says a show sucks, it is true at least for them. I think you should make it more specific by saying that it is the people who assert that the show is terrible for all those who watch it.
And this!

As for the question... I do not see myself as an anime critic. I take a very casual approach to the shows I watch and only comment on them from time to time. I take an extra interest in comments that are different from mine (either positive or negative) and it pains me when the majority (in any thread) tries to push the other side out of the equation.
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Old 2009-06-21, 01:36   Link #33
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There is a fine line between critics and trolls/baiting, especially when alot of people only go after the first two episodes review.

As for me, it's difficult to say on my part because I haven't seen an anime I didin't watch fully and not enjoy.

Someone mentions K-on! above, the only downfall of that anime I saw is that finally after 12 episodes there was actually a concert of light music. ><
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Old 2009-06-21, 03:31   Link #34
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Well I guess I could think of myself as a critic as some of the definitions matches me too. I voted #3 though, as it's my obsession to "someone who frequently finds fault" inconsistencies, illogicalities and other possible smaller mistakes whatever I watch and/or play.
Albeit I never speak harshly about it, and I always try not to judge anything unfairly, so I guess the second part is not matching me.
I actually more like thefreedictionary's third description about that word: "One who tends to make harsh or carping judgments; a faultfinder", because faultfinder completely describes me, and at the same time it's not considered as someone generally negative IMO.

As for the answers:
  1. I personally think #3 should be the one best describing the word "critic", although I imagine that most of the people would vote #2. However I do think there's a fine line between criticizing, and making an opinion about smth, and I believe #2 is more about expressing a reasonable opinion. (It's possible I misinterpreting them though. *shrug* )
  2. Yes as I said, I could describe myself as a "faultfinder" so at least one of the many description matches me.
  3. It mainly depends on the plot and it's theme, but there are other factors like Staff, Animation, Possible Enjoyment etc. when deciding about what shows I should try out.
  4. That's a good question actually. I would say some sub-forum, where the board isn't overly active (I don't like to follow the masses), and it's generally constructive (I mean it's not about silly fanatic fandom), so the people aren't neg-repping when one expresses his honest and sometimes cruel opinion, even if it's a negative view at that like a certain Kyo-ani show which is supposed to be about "music".
    And/or I also reply on certain boards where some people are misinformed about certain things, in the hope that I can clear some things up, and be helpful. Also sometimes for the reason to advance the conversation or to try leading it into a different way, or make people realize something checking it out from a different angle. There are many various factors here I think, but generally I tend to avoid boards where people would be unfriendly about me for having a different opinion.
  5. Generally, when I :facepalm: myself for an unreasonable amount, or I'm quite bored with the story. Also when the main plot proved to be disappointing, or there are other things frustrating me. (Like I've dropped Valkyria, due to the IMO inconsistent and illogical character interactions, and the unrealistic approach regarding the war).
  6. I think it's the first one. In some cases, some people consider it kinda like walking into the lion's den and insulting the lion.
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Old 2009-06-21, 03:43   Link #35
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I find criticism a nice and well meaning activity, but some people simply do not really know how to do it. Or, at least do not acknowledge others' responses to said criticism.
Case in point: some people wear different hats in different threads. I've seen examples (and I shouldn't give names) of people actively faulting the "if you don't like the show don't watch it" shtick in a thread and actually stating the very same thing in another.
Isn't that a very flaming double-standard?

Nonetheless, I find it hard to comment about shows that irk me or that have disappointed me much. Supposedly, I don't have the stamina for it. Therefore, I would class myself as #2.
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Old 2009-06-21, 04:14   Link #36
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1. When you think of the word "critic" in this context, which of the definitions above tends to spring to mind?

I think of the first one, but the other 2 are reasonable definitions as well.

2. Based on that, do you consider yourself an "Anime Critic"?

Nope. I don't work professionally as a critic. I do write reviews and watched a whole lotsa animes, so some people see me as a critic or at least a reviewer.

3. When considering which shows to watch, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to watch shows you think you'll like, or will you watch anything that seems popular or technically interesting?

I just watch anything regardless of quality, genre, etc. I may avoid some genres like yaoi/shonen-ai.

4. When considering which shows to discuss on the forum, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to discuss shows you like, or do you tend to discuss any show where you feel you have an interesting/differing argument/perspective?

Only when I feel like I have something to add in any discussion in any anime thread (I guess this is true to everyone even the trolls).

5. How do you decide when to drop shows? What factors into the decision? Does forum popularity/participation factor into your decision-making?

I try to not drop any show. Usually I drop shows that I just can't find more episodes. I'm a little lazy, so I won't put much effort in procure the missing episodes.

6. Which of these two problems seems more troublesome to you: that people feel unable to present contrary/opposing opinions and arguments, or that people feel unwelcome/uncomfortable posting in threads due to fear of having their personal preferences unfairly questioned?

Both are troublesome to me in different ways I guess.
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Old 2009-06-21, 04:52   Link #37
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Quote:
1. When you think of the word "critic" in this context, which of the definitions above tends to spring to mind?
#2 with a twist of #1 as option. #3 is just one of those joyless frenchies in the movie industry that shoot down anything that is not french. (read: that is not SERIOUS BUSINESS Social Commentary)

Quote:
2. Based on that, do you consider yourself an "Anime Critic"?
I think it is vain and foolish. I prefer to think of myself as a casual viewer who "take it easy". I occasionally would see glimpses of what the author really wanted on a second, even third viewing. That was the case with the likes of Gungrave and Monster. However, some anime are just as they are shown as should be taken and considered as such. For those, I just take it easy.

I do think that only TWO bloggers managed to make me label them with the Anime Critic tag (one of them being the author of the blog "Cruel Angel Thesis")

Quote:
3. When considering which shows to watch, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to watch shows you think you'll like, or will you watch anything that seems popular or technically interesting?
#1. If I like the genre.

#2. If the premise is interesting enough to grab me. Combine it with #1 and you get "Pissed off kid who get his parents killed climb in his humongous mech to exact revenge." vs "Pissed off guy got his family slaughtered by the Confederates so he joins the Union army". Same story of revenge, however, you'll have more chance to grab me with the second premise than the first.

#3. The setting. I always go for fantasy first, then time period, then sci-fi (preferably Cyberpunk), then school life. However, I am very demanding so I end up picking up a few.

#4. The characters. It's no use picking up a show if I don't give a damn about the characters.

Quote:
4. When considering which shows to discuss on the forum, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to discuss shows you like, or do you tend to discuss any show where you feel you have an interesting/differing argument/perspective?
The both of them. No use talking about something I don't like or some people will take it as flamebaiting

Now for the interesting and differing argument/perspective, I prefer to think twice to make sure it matters. However, being a more casual viewer, this does not come often.

Quote:
5. How do you decide when to drop shows? What factors into the decision? Does forum popularity/participation factor into your decision-making?
The direction taken by the show or how the characters grows unlikeable are two reasons I ended up dropping a show.
Forums popularity and participation have NOTHING to do with it.
Quote:
6. Which of these two problems seems more troublesome to you: that people feel unable to present contrary/opposing opinions and arguments, or that people feel unwelcome/uncomfortable posting in threads due to fear of having their personal preferences unfairly questioned?
Second one. I know I dislike some shows to the core, but I feel that if I express it, I would be slapped with yet another "moefag" snide remark even if I tried to present my critics and concerns in a reasonable and sensible way.
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Old 2009-06-21, 05:50   Link #38
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Picked number 2 for "critic" as it was defined in my critical thinking course in University, but added a little bit of 1 as well. To me being able to think critically is to make a reasoned and logical judgement and/or argument on a potential course of action, thought, concept, work of art etc. There are however many alternate approaches to the critical method and some may find one more preferable to others or also hold a different set of standards as to what is relevant/irrelevant when critically reviewing or analyzing something.

It's all very complex and it's been interesting to read this thread so far and see what different people have to offer on the whole issue. Kind of makes me miss the course.
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Old 2009-06-21, 05:58   Link #39
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Ah, the dreaded "I'm entitled to my opinion" vs. "If you don't like it don't watch it" debate

I think as long as it's reasonable people should feel free to say whatever they like. It would be nice if people would notice when they themselves start treading into the extremes of the spectrum. That would probably nip most of this problem in the bud. Too bad it generally takes someone else to point it out for them, which tends to cause the conditions necessary for a flamewar.

I think one thing that ticks a lot of people off is repeating the same kinds of things over and over every time a new episode comes out in a series. Doing stuff like that just begs the opposite extreme to get involved in a less than constructive manner. It's generally more apparent when it's repeated bashing of a show rather than praising it, but both can be pretty disruptive to a thread.
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Old 2009-06-21, 09:46   Link #40
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
So when people in award ceremonies such as the Grammies (And I am not going to say they choose the best movies to win) give movies the title of the best film of year _____, is it really the greatest? Lets take 2008 for example... The movie The Dark Knight obviously blew every other movie out of the park in terms of popularity and people liking it, yet the movie Slumdog Millionaire won the award which received a smaller fraction of the same amount of people who went to watch it.

Your logic implies that Batman beats it in terms of greatness, but the elitists of the movie industry considered it not worthy of being considered the best movie of the year (Once again, I'm not saying that I agree with their opinion).
Is the information about how they came to their decision available? Plus, they're subject to the same flaws of judgment as others are. I'd even say their elitism could blind them.

I don't see how they are the final judgment on what is "great" or not. Unless they can provide information on how they came to that decision, their decision is just as valid as the rest of ours. Even if they do provide information, it's still debatable.
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Now, I think I'm about to abuse Godwin's law, but I must...

Lets take a Democracy for comparison. The majority opinion rules. Is it always the best choice? Not necessarily. Can it not be the same for entertainment?

When I'm with a group of 10 friends, and 6 of them think it's fun to get drunk, while me and the other 3 do not, should I consider their opinion to be the better one?

I'm saying this because I do not think that popularity dictates whether or not something becomes great overtime.
Isn't Godwin's Law the one about Nazis?
You're right. Majority opinion is not always the best choice. That being said, the opposite can apply as well.
Due to the nature of a lot of these shows, they are rated not based on how exemplary they are, but how well they achieve their aim. Actually, I have to agree with you that popularity doesn't equal greatness, because a lot of times that isn't why it's popular.

That also goes into how people criticize. I doubt a majority of critics criticize based on how great something will be down the road, but rather how well they achieved their aims [possibly compared to others in the genre/medium].
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