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Old 2013-01-16, 15:10   Link #101
Reckoner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
But you were a participant in a recent situation where you, and I, among other people, were in fact arguing against the truthfulness of someone else's interpretation of the major elements of a story. You may recall the conversation about the significance of the two concurrent plot lines in SAO's second arc (and questions about who the "main characters" were). If someone makes a statement about a show's themes and plot points, there is certainly direct evidence in the work that can be used to support or negate that sort of "opinion". In this sense, someone's interpretation can be judged by the majority to be either sufficiently or insufficiently supported by the work based on objective evidence from the text. An interpretation that is not sufficiently supported by the text can be judged to be "wrong" (particularly if there is compelling evidence to contradict that view). This is, in fact, your "persuasive essay" model. It is still interpretation, but based firmly on objective evidence. (You can still use the same objective evidence to arrive at multiple conclusions, but not all conclusions are equally justified by the text.)
Well thinking back to that conversation you could see how "our" interpretation of certain pieces of evidence were different from theirs. Although what you are saying is getting at the heart of the matter here. Not all opinions are equal. Some are backed up by more epistemological objective evidence than others and as a result will be more convincing. However, the problem is that in art, it is not often clear what can be determined as epistemologically objective.

A lot of what I was arguing that Sword Art Online thread was that they were ignoring things that I thought were epistemologically objective and making false assertions about the material as a result, but at the end of the day there were other interpretations of this evidence that were suitable even if to me they sounded less credible.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
This is quite different from points that revolve primarily about someone's emotional reaction or judgement of the work's "goodness". One of the key reasons for this difference is the lack of clear objective criteria. For example, consider the "thesis" of the argument that spawned the original thread: that sexual fanservice is unavoidably distracting in action scenes. The foundation for this thesis cannot be derived directly from the "text", because it's about one's reaction to the work -- the actual viewing experience itself. And the thesis itself can be easily attacked on at least two vectors: first, what it is the viewer wants to be able to focus on in said scenes (a presumption), and second, whether the sexual fanservice distracts in that context (a personal reaction). So the whole thing is not about the work, it's about someone's personal expectation of a scene (based on their nature/nurture/training/habits/etc.), and the show's ability to meet that expectation. "Wanted x, got y." By the time you work through all that, you end up with a thesis that's more like this: "If you are watching action scenes and are trying to focus on the technical qualities of the fight, you may find it more difficult to follow said action when the scene also contains sexual fanservice." That's quite different in nature from the original thesis, and entirely different from the earlier statement that is proposing "The work is about z".
Here is what I will acknowledge: the latter statement is easier to prove with epistemological objective evidence. However, this does not imply the first statement is unprovable in the same manner. I'm going to quote something to help my point here:

Quote:
What about aesthetic judgments (like "Mozart's music is better than Copland's" or "Amadeus is a better movie than Austin Powers")? Are aesthetic judgments mere matters of opinion? Again, most philosophers would say no, though aesthetic disagreements might seem tougher to settle. But think of it this way. Suppose someone says "I think store-bought tomatoes taste better than home-grown tomatoes." Now, anyone who's eaten home-grown tomatoes would be incredulous: how could anyone with experience of both decide the store-bought tomatoes taste better? As a tomato grower, my first impulse would be to wonder if the speaker simply didn't understand which tomato was which; I would want to bring the speaker one of my home-grown tomatoes and ask again! Which is better? It's just obvious if you've experienced both. Something like that may be true for works of art as well. Maybe people who think Austin Powers is an excellent film simply have no idea what a good film is, and they'll change their minds gradually as they acquire more experience of life and art. All I'm proposing is that with aesthetic judgments, some people have relevant expertise.
If you want to take the stance that there is such thing as epistemological objective evidence out there, then I believe such a view follows naturally. Then maybe the original thesis you took issue with is not as unprovable as you might have initially thought.
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Old 2013-01-16, 15:22   Link #102
Akito Kinomoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
This is the nature of "objectivity" vs. "subjectivity". That doesn't mean that both sorts of arguments aren't subject to the perspective of the author -- of course they are. But with the former, you can potentially convince people to change their minds with a convincing argument, because all the needed evidence is in the text itself (being exposed by the person presenting the argument). With the latter, at best you can convince people that your perspective has a logic to it, because no amount of logic can necessarily change the person's own emotional reaction, particularly if they had different expectations in the first place.
But if the majority of people head into works with similar expectations and one of the series is seen as literary excellence and other is thought to suck, doesn't that mean there's some objective criteria separating them? There shouldn't be a disparity between similar shows if the subjective reactions they aim for and the means to that end are very similar if not the same.
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
(This is why, if you wrote essays in literature class, you (presumably?) never wrote about whether the work was "good" or "bad", since that is too subjective. Instead, you had to pick an argument about the text and defend that argument. This is why you were trained to remove the subjectivity from the writing in this context; because you were arguing about objective, defensible points in the work itself. You were (again, presumably) graded in said essays based on whether or not you properly supported your arguments with evidence from the text, and not subjective judgement. But if you try to apply the same writing principles when making a fundamentally subjective argument, it all falls apart. In those cases, denying the "self" could be seen by some as fundamentally dishonest; your "objective essay" would be graded "poor" because the thesis is not sufficiently objective in nature. Subjective thesis + objective argumentation = Frequent Failures to communicate tone and intent. I would argue that's poor writing, even if it's "well-written".)
Writing for a formal literature class isn't the best comparison because the focus is on the themes and not the quality. A show is examined like infrastructure; we need to determine its purpose and how well it fulfills its intentions. Of course, how well the author performed his or her story purpose or even what the perceived writer's intent is will vary; it's how each person gets to their conclusion/opinion that matters. And sure, there's evidence in works that can make enough people see a show as good or bad but--and this is probably an adventurous statement--most shows don't fall so neatly into either or.

People should be ready to see flaws in what they like and see strengths from what they don't. Kind of like the way I see this topic actually. I'm not an advocate for using a ****ing IMO tag but tone can be a Goddamn problem.
See what I mean?
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Old 2013-01-16, 16:28   Link #103
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Well thinking back to that conversation you could see how "our" interpretation of certain pieces of evidence were different from theirs. Although what you are saying is getting at the heart of the matter here. Not all opinions are equal. Some are backed up by more epistemological objective evidence than others and as a result will be more convincing. However, the problem is that in art, it is not often clear what can be determined as epistemologically objective.

A lot of what I was arguing that Sword Art Online thread was that they were ignoring things that I thought were epistemologically objective and making false assertions about the material as a result, but at the end of the day there were other interpretations of this evidence that were suitable even if to me they sounded less credible.
"Interpretation" is an act of conjecture. It involves objective statements measured by probabilities. You begin with direct objective evidence in the form of the work itself, then you build up from those objective observations successively with further and further less certain probabilities. With each step in that chain, people have a chance to step in and say "wait, I disagree; I don't feel that is true universally" -- the further you get from that state, the less true your conclusion becomes objectively.

The entire thing remains an objective process, simply measured in probabilities rather than certainties. The arguments never make a switch from "objective" into "not objective", rather they remain completely objective, provable or disprovable, by the measure of some probability.

It's not "this may be true for him, but false for me" (if we're talking about objectively stated claims); it's "this might be true with 20% probability, and should be treated accordingly".

Quote:
Here is what I will acknowledge: the latter statement is easier to prove with epistemological objective evidence. However, this does not imply the first statement is unprovable in the same manner. I'm going to quote something to help my point here:
Oh, if you are talking about the "sexual fanservice is unavoidably distracting in action scenes" claim, I agree completely; it is 100% objectively, provably false (:P). It's precisely because that statement is objectively false that it has to be modified into the latter argument, which, establishing more specific grounds of context and judgement, becomes acceptable.

For the same reason, comparative aesthetic judgements like you mention are fairly often easier to assess (and thereby, unfortunately commonly, disprove) objectively, because the juxtaposition itself gives rise to natural standards of comparison implicitly. However, purely qualitative assertions such as "this is good", "this is bad", "this is perfect", "this is funny" will almost always fail to be objective because the establishment of the standard (what is "good", "bad", "perfect", "funny"?) fundamentally requires such a tremendous leap into the conjectural (i.e. "this is an objective definition of what should be meant by "good" because of this and this and that.") that it cannot be considered universal to any degree.
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Old 2013-01-16, 17:58   Link #104
Reckoner
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
"Interpretation" is an act of conjecture. It involves objective statements measured by probabilities. You begin with direct objective evidence in the form of the work itself, then you build up from those objective observations successively with further and further less certain probabilities. With each step in that chain, people have a chance to step in and say "wait, I disagree; I don't feel that is true universally" -- the further you get from that state, the less true your conclusion becomes objectively.

The entire thing remains an objective process, simply measured in probabilities rather than certainties. The arguments never make a switch from "objective" into "not objective", rather they remain completely objective, provable or disprovable, by the measure of some probability.

It's not "this may be true for him, but false for me" (if we're talking about objectively stated claims); it's "this might be true with 20% probability, and should be treated accordingly".
Disagreements aside, what is the criteria you are using to determine the "truth" here? For example if were measuring the height of the empire state building, we have the metric system for this. For interpretations of stories in art though does there exist such a thing? It may not necessarily have to explicitly quantify it, but what's the criteria?

Anyways, lets back to what I was originally saying for clarification purposes. I personally think that the subjectivity of posts here is self-evident considering the context of the forum. Moreover, the use of qualifying phrases such as "IMO" are redundant because of this. I tried to point out how we relate to art is a subjective experience. When I state something qualitative, it should be obvious that this is my opinion. So why are we asking for a distinction? At least from what I am getting from you guys, correct me if I am wrong, is that there are epistemological objective truths in conversations and that we should take great care to distinguish between these and epistemological subjective truths.

I was personally operating under a more simplified view of objectivity/subjectivity (And why I was getting a little confused earlier), but even if I adopt your view it still leaves questions in this discussion. First is what I asked to you above, where's the criteria? Second, why can't qualitative statements be epistemologically objective? We somehow have worshiped great composers like Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart over the years... There are few who would dare say they were not great, so it would be pretty much considered objective.

Can't anime be the same? We have built a good history of titles by this point for which to compare any new title to. We have established critical standards of what's good and great as measure sticks. Can't a qualitative assessment acheive this so called objectivity? And if so, then how the hell does it matter to point out that it's simply an opinion?

Of course to be convincing with a qualitative statement it has to have good reasoning behind it, otherwise there is zero reason to believe in that.

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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Oh, if you are talking about the "sexual fanservice is unavoidably distracting in action scenes" claim, I agree completely; it is 100% objectively, provably false (:P). It's precisely because that statement is objectively false that it has to be modified into the latter argument, which, establishing more specific grounds of context and judgement, becomes acceptable.

For the same reason, comparative aesthetic judgements like you mention are fairly often easier to assess (and thereby, unfortunately commonly, disprove) objectively, because the juxtaposition itself gives rise to natural standards of comparison implicitly. However, purely qualitative assertions such as "this is good", "this is bad", "this is perfect", "this is funny" will almost always fail to be objective because the establishment of the standard (what is "good", "bad", "perfect", "funny"?) fundamentally requires such a tremendous leap into the conjectural (i.e. "this is an objective definition of what should be meant by "good" because of this and this and that.") that it cannot be considered universal to any degree.
Have to understand the context of the previous thread. But one statement was discussing the themes of the show, and the other was discussing a qualitative feature of it. I do not think the qualitative feature can simply be dismissed like I think you're implying. Akito Kinomoto talked about this in his post so I'll just reference what he was talking about as a good point about this as it pertains to anime.

Anyhow, qualitative assertions backed up with epistemological objective evidence cannot be simply dismissed. Qualifying phrases do not really help in this process, it is better to simply ask people to support their claims.
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Old 2013-01-16, 19:47   Link #105
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
If you want to take the stance that there is such thing as epistemological objective evidence out there, then I believe such a view follows naturally. Then maybe the original thesis you took issue with is not as unprovable as you might have initially thought.
Well, what you're asking me to believe, then, is that you have more basis for making a reasonable comparative judgement than others; that you have "relevant expertise", as it were. And frankly, I don't see any evidence to support that "appeal to authority".

The example you quoted is a generalization based on a limited sample. And so, of course, it's quite possible that other people who experienced a different sample will come to a different conclusion. (If all the store-bought tomatoes you ever had were great, and all the home-grown ones you had were awful, you might believe that too.) But also, of course, that example truly is a matter of taste. It's quite possible that, even when provided with the same sample in a blind taste test, that one person may *still* prefer the store-bought product. Are you going to tell that person, even then, that their sense of taste is deficient just because they don't agree with "everyone else"? Because "it's just obvious if you've experienced both"?

Honestly, that whole quote is just a not-so-thinly-veiled attempt to diminish people whose opinions do not conform with those of "the more enlightened". Note the suggestion at the end: maybe people with "Bad Taste" (?) are just lacking in experience? Or, just maybe, there's nothing wrong with them after all, and they just like different things. And really, so what? So what if someone thought Austin Powers was an excellent film? There's no need to rush to "oh, those poor dears; perhaps they're lacking in culture". Perhaps it's true in some cases, but I don't think that should usually be a starting assumption. If you enter a discussion with that sort of perspective as a starting point ("if you were as experienced and cultured as me, you'd know better"), then I think people would be justifiably annoyed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post
But if the majority of people head into works with similar expectations and one of the series is seen as literary excellence and other is thought to suck, doesn't that mean there's some objective criteria separating them? There shouldn't be a disparity between similar shows if the subjective reactions they aim for and the means to that end are very similar if not the same.
Well, first, I am curious about what two shows you might propose for this sort of experiment. It's hard for me to think of shows that are really so similar that the reaction can be attributed to objective criteria.

But even that aside, there may very well be objective criteria that separate them; I'm not trying to say that nothing about the anime experience is objective. But I also think opinion is heavily influenced by bias and external factors as well. Sometimes it's timing. Sometimes it's who's keeping them company (whether in person or online). Sometimes it's some seemingly minor thing that just trumps everything else without realizing it (like not liking a certain character design, or one character having a voice you don't like). All these things (and more) can influence the reception a show gets, and can significantly influence the weighting people give to "flaws" they see.

As I've said before, when it comes to someone's personal viewing experience, "weighing the flaw" is more important than just recognizing it. And if someone can look at a "flaw" and say "I understand, but that really didn't negatively impact my enjoyment at all" (which may be perfectly legitimate), what can we really conclude? That sort of ties back to the point above.


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Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post
Writing for a formal literature class isn't the best comparison because the focus is on the themes and not the quality. A show is examined like infrastructure; we need to determine its purpose and how well it fulfills its intentions. Of course, how well the author performed his or her story purpose or even what the perceived writer's intent is will vary; it's how each person gets to their conclusion/opinion that matters. And sure, there's evidence in works that can make enough people see a show as good or bad but--and this is probably an adventurous statement--most shows don't fall so neatly into either or.
I only used the "literature class" example because this is the model of "persuasive writing" that some tend to use when offering their critiques.

But, really, what should we be talking about? Why aren't we talking more about themes? Why this focus on judging the "quality" of a work? (This ties into some of the points Sol Falling made earlier.)

How each person gets to their conclusion/opinion is important, but I think you have to back up a little bit further and dwell on the first part a bit more: defining the perceived intent. I dare say that many people's attitudes imply that "the intention of anime should always be to please me", and then go on to explain how the work did or did not meet that objective without presuming the need for any further qualification. But the key difference between us isn't the show, it's our own expectations and tastes. So the point to convey first isn't "why the show succeeded/failed", but what you were looking for in the first place. If everyone acknowledges that what they were seeking may have been different from what others were seeking, then there's no reason to get defensive when a show fails to live up to that person's personal standard or expectation (that may not be shared by others). (And one hopes that people can define their expectations a bit more clearly than "I just expected the anime to be good". Yes, thanks for that...)

Again, there are certainly aspects of anime viewing that can be discussed objectively, but I see little value in trying to force all opinion to be discussed through an objective lens.


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Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post
People should be ready to see flaws in what they like and see strengths from what they don't. Kind of like the way I see this topic actually. I'm not an advocate for using a ****ing IMO tag but tone can be a Goddamn problem.
See what I mean?
I think the ability to "see flaws and strengths" (to see things from other perspectives without sacrificing your own) only generally happens when someone doesn't feel that they have to be defensive about everything. When you create a culture where people are constantly battling over their own superiority, people rarely seem interested in considering that the other side has a point. A lack of attention to tone can help escalate the "war of words" and polarize everything into two camps: for and against. It becomes like American politics, to use a colloquial example. As you alluded to above, things really aren't so simple in fact. Because so much of this is in fact subjective, each perspective has the potential to bring something unique to the table. To that end, I think it helps if we try to restrict the "objective talk" to things that are more obviously objective, and allow the subjective to be presented with more clear and specific acknowledgement of its inherent bias so that no one is perceived to be making an unwarranted claim of authority.


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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Second, why can't qualitative statements be epistemologically objective? We somehow have worshiped great composers like Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart over the years... There are few who would dare say they were not great, so it would be pretty much considered objective.

Can't anime be the same? We have built a good history of titles by this point for which to compare any new title to. We have established critical standards of what's good and great as measure sticks. Can't a qualitative assessment acheive this so called objectivity? And if so, then how the hell does it matter to point out that it's simply an opinion?
To close the loop here, are you really trying to claim that your "qualitative assessments" are really based on studied comparative judgements based on the "greats" of anime? That you are using these historically-recognized "greats" as "critical standards"?

Even among studied experts in any artistic field, people still have their favourites. Some may think Beethoven is overrated and prefer Liszt. Some think Liszt is too pretentious, and prefer Bach. And on and on. This doesn't even begin to touch on how these same experts feel about the "musical value" of the various modern genres of music. These "debates" continue to happen today. So even if you are a studied expert in your field, that doesn't mean that your qualitative assessments achieve "objectivity". You may, however, give their justifications more heed than you would someone who has never performed such deep study, because you might assume that their analysis is more rooted in relevant, structured thought and learning.

But I don't think the average forum goer can claim to be a studied expert on anime.
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Old 2013-01-16, 22:22   Link #106
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Disagreements aside, what is the criteria you are using to determine the "truth" here? For example if were measuring the height of the empire state building, we have the metric system for this. For interpretations of stories in art though does there exist such a thing? It may not necessarily have to explicitly quantify it, but what's the criteria?
First of all, not all discussion about 'art' by necessity requires a metric. For example, my earlier example "Strike Witches communicates etc. etc." operates on a purely descriptive, if necessary analytical, level. For those types of discussions the only epistemological points of concern are probabilistic estimates of self-evident truth. 'Metrics' are completely irrelevant.

The point where metrics come into play regards only those matters you mentioned, discussions of qualitative or comparative truth. Is something good or bad; is something better than another. In cases such as those, metrics have to be defined for objective discussion to be possible. And therein lies the catch. Occasionally, metrics implicit to the subjects might be found which are universally agreeable thus making objective discussion straightforward and possible, resulting in generally agreed upon results. However, most of the time the selection of the metrics themselves represents the most difficult obstacle, and while conclusions are perfectly provable or disprovable objectively within a context which has been well-defined, it is precisely due to the lack of universal metrics that the most general, unqualified statements ("this is bad", "this is good") can be hardly called objective.

Quote:
Anyways, lets back to what I was originally saying for clarification purposes. I personally think that the subjectivity of posts here is self-evident considering the context of the forum. Moreover, the use of qualifying phrases such as "IMO" are redundant because of this. I tried to point out how we relate to art is a subjective experience. When I state something qualitative, it should be obvious that this is my opinion. So why are we asking for a distinction? At least from what I am getting from you guys, correct me if I am wrong, is that there are epistemological objective truths in conversations and that we should take great care to distinguish between these and epistemological subjective truths.
Not quite, really. My own position is that there's no such thing as 'epistemological subjectivity' in the first place. Everything can be judged as a matter of objective truth; uncertain things are not a question of (at the very least, "unique") perspectives, but rather proportion and probability. Explained another way, 'perspectives' themselves can be defined objectively.

To put an example to it: "Strike Witches is trash" is not a subjective opinion. It's an objectively provable/disprovable fact, with some likelihood to be true or false. Without context, my own inclination would be to label that fact as false ("more likely to be false"); in fact, within specific contexts, I know that that fact could be provable as false. And so as such, as someone who participates in forum discussions to discover things which are both true and interesting (to me), such blanket, tediously unprovable, blatantly false statements such as those would be useless.

On the other hand, if someone really, really wanted to discuss the contexts within which the statement "Strike Witches is trash" could be justified accurate, then they might as well have the decency to present their metrics/standards of objectivity up front from the beginning. I.e. in what areas, under which terms, making it clear that there is an arena to be engaged in. Not necessarily through some long outside paragraph; something brief even in the same sentence could work perfectly. Such qualifying information would at least give me a sense of the real meaning behind the statement; a proper estimate of if engaging it would really be worth my time.

So for those purposes, I have no problem agreeing with that the use of 'IMO', etc. would not add much of anything to a statement (though it would admittedly be somewhat less offensive). However, qualifying information which actually adds substance, defining the claim's context or making it objectively more accurate from the get-go would do heaps for making it more palatable. The truth is, statements of subjectivity are not the only type of "qualifying phrases". If you would say that using phrases like 'IMO' is pointless simply by principle, then I would request a corresponding increase in careful wording or tone. People should not have to ask others to support their claims before they get shown any respect. Though qualitative/comparative judgements will always be inherently contextual, not everyone wants to fight all the time; and I don't think it's too much to ask that if people already know their opinions are subjective in the first place, they try to word them in a way which would be fair objectively.
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Kill la Kill 75/5 :: Sakura Trick 100/5 :: Saki Zenkoku-hen 100/5 :: HappinessCharge Precure 100/5 :: Mushishi OVA 100/5
Spring:
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God-tier yuri oneshot mangaka: Minase Ruruu
Yuri Precure otaku manga: Shinozaki-san ki wo ota shika ni
Great shoujo manga: Last Game

Last edited by Sol Falling; 2013-01-16 at 22:39.
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Old 2013-01-16, 23:13   Link #107
Akito Kinomoto
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Well, first, I am curious about what two shows you might propose for this sort of experiment.
Uta Kata and Puella Magi Madoka Magica come to mind. Nisemonogatari and Bakemonogatari can also work as examples (mind you I haven't seen Nisemono; I'm using these four titles based on the widespread reaction instead of my own).
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
How each person gets to their conclusion/opinion is important, but I think you have to back up a little bit further and dwell on the first part a bit more: defining the perceived intent. I dare say that many people's attitudes imply that "the intention of anime should always be to please me", and then go on to explain how the work did or did not meet that objective without presuming the need for any further qualification. But the key difference between us isn't the show, it's our own expectations and tastes. So the point to convey first isn't "why the show succeeded/failed", but what you were looking for in the first place. If everyone acknowledges that what they were seeking may have been different from what others were seeking, then there's no reason to get defensive when a show fails to live up to that person's personal standard or expectation (that may not be shared by others). (And one hopes that people can define their expectations a bit more clearly than "I just expected the anime to be good". Yes, thanks for that...)
Of course the primary goal of the author should be to entertain but when we say intent it's a matter of the means they're using to entertain and how well they're using it; how well is it making us think? or how well is it making us relax? or how well does it get our adrenaline going? If the perceived intent is a drastic content (not execution) change from what the anime offered, then yeah, I would question if/why the person was trying to "get blood from a turnip," so to speak.
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I think the ability to "see flaws and strengths" (to see things from other perspectives without sacrificing your own) only generally happens when someone doesn't feel that they have to be defensive about everything. When you create a culture where people are constantly battling over their own superiority, people rarely seem interested in considering that the other side has a point. A lack of attention to tone can help escalate the "war of words" and polarize everything into two camps: for and against. It becomes like American politics, to use a colloquial example. As you alluded to above, things really aren't so simple in fact. Because so much of this is in fact subjective, each perspective has the potential to bring something unique to the table. To that end, I think it helps if we try to restrict the "objective talk" to things that are more obviously objective, and allow the subjective to be presented with more clear and specific acknowledgement of its inherent bias so that no one is perceived to be making an unwarranted claim of authority.
But we already know most of what's discussed about a work isn't objective else there wouldn't be arguments about its quality in the first place. And if there's an inherent bias being suspected from a statement, the "blood from a turnip" example can call it out; why does the argument, carefully constructed as it might be, seem to miss one of the anime's main points? I do agree about tone though and to that end an abrasive comment is an abrasive comment regardless of adding an IMO or not. Tone itself can make a difference in how a message is received with or without acknowledging bias.
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Haruka Saigusa, Ace AttorneyJump high, high into the sky
Kick high and be loud
until you get beyond the days when you were discouraged
I won't forget your voice, nor will I forget the tears
and the future known as 'hope' that starts from now

My MAL||A tract on my rewatch of Sword Art Online
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Old 2013-01-20, 00:05   Link #108
Reckoner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
So for those purposes, I have no problem agreeing with that the use of 'IMO', etc. would not add much of anything to a statement (though it would admittedly be somewhat less offensive). However, qualifying information which actually adds substance, defining the claim's context or making it objectively more accurate from the get-go would do heaps for making it more palatable. The truth is, statements of subjectivity are not the only type of "qualifying phrases". If you would say that using phrases like 'IMO' is pointless simply by principle, then I would request a corresponding increase in careful wording or tone. People should not have to ask others to support their claims before they get shown any respect. Though qualitative/comparative judgements will always be inherently contextual, not everyone wants to fight all the time; and I don't think it's too much to ask that if people already know their opinions are subjective in the first place, they try to word them in a way which would be fair objectively.
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
To close the loop here, are you really trying to claim that your "qualitative assessments" are really based on studied comparative judgements based on the "greats" of anime? That you are using these historically-recognized "greats" as "critical standards"?

Even among studied experts in any artistic field, people still have their favourites. Some may think Beethoven is overrated and prefer Liszt. Some think Liszt is too pretentious, and prefer Bach. And on and on. This doesn't even begin to touch on how these same experts feel about the "musical value" of the various modern genres of music. These "debates" continue to happen today. So even if you are a studied expert in your field, that doesn't mean that your qualitative assessments achieve "objectivity". You may, however, give their justifications more heed than you would someone who has never performed such deep study, because you might assume that their analysis is more rooted in relevant, structured thought and learning.

But I don't think the average forum goer can claim to be a studied expert on anime.
Sorry for not responding earlier, unfortunately I do not have the time I once had in my life to engage in these conversations like I used to . That said, this will be my last post on the matter and I apologize again if I do not adequately address all your points here. I'll read whatever else you have to say, but this will be my last statements on the discussion.

----

This whole matter of subjectivity vs objectivity is a deep philosophical discussion, which I doubt can be resolved . My only point in this whole discussion was to illustrate the inherent uncertainty in any conversation regarding art. There are things that are obviously going to seem more logical and common sense than others, and then there are other things that will seem entirely too related to a specific person's viewpoint.

When we discuss something qualitative, I would hope that people would understand that my statements do not have to be considered true for them. Most of us should be mature enough to realize and distinguish these things. I am not claiming to be the ultimate authority on the matter, nor should anyone unless they want to be considered a fool. However, I think there is merit to the qualitative discussions of art, or at least I would like to believe so considering the vast history of debate between human beings on such matters.

Again I am not making this a discussion about tone, and if you think that's the issue here, well that's another topic. But when I omit a phrase like "IMO" in a discussion, I think it is entirely too silly for someone to come up to me and say "that's just your opinion" as if somehow this resolved anything of importance. We're free to disagree and some viewpoints are going to be seem better than others. I am not saying people have to agree with me, but if they think that just because something is my opinion that this invalidates my whole position on certain piece of art, then how can I take that seriously?

If you disagree fundamentally with the role of a critic in art (Kind of what I think this boils down to again), well we already have a thread about that stuff and I believe at least in your case relentless, we know full well what each other thinks on that matter.
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Old 2013-01-20, 03:43   Link #109
relentlessflame
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Again I am not making this a discussion about tone, and if you think that's the issue here, well that's another topic.
I honestly have no idea what this discussion was about if it was not entirely about tone. From the start, I said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
So how am I supposed to tell the difference between you asserting an opinion and you asserting a fact if the way you make the statement uses the very same language and tone in both cases?

Or I guess another way to put it would be: there are ways of stating opinions that are inclusive and understanding, and there are ways of stating opinions that are exclusive and judgemental. If you say that a show is "conceptually flawed", it immediately puts others who feel differently on the defensive (because your stated opinion is inherently at odds with the existence of other points of view). If you just say that you don't like something, you can still offer your opinion to make your point of view understood. You don't need to justify it or prove that it's valid.
So yes, this thread was about tone. I think that creating another thread about tone would be redundant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
unfortunately I do not have the time I once had in my life to engage in these conversations like I used to
I honestly don't care about the "late response". But just so you know, I actually don't "have time to engage in these conversations" myself either. But I made the time, neglecting work, staying up late, and delaying other pretty important obligations, because I thought it was important to have this conversation. My hope was that being more aware of the issues with a post's emotional tone would help everyone make better, more productive use of their time spent on the forum. Was it a waste of my time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
If you disagree fundamentally with the role of a critic in art (Kind of what I think this boils down to again), well we already have a thread about that stuff and I believe at least in your case relentless, we know full well what each other thinks on that matter.
I think that it should be quite possible to be a "critic in art" without also coming across as arrogant, stuck-up, or self-important due to the writer's tone. Unfortunately, I don't see many amateur self-proclaimed critics who achieve this balance, perhaps in part because they think subjectivity (the nature of opinion) should be "self-evident", which allows them to make whatever objective claims they want if they can "justify it", and we should all just "move on". But when this same tone carries through to the other things they say that aren't related to being a "critic in art", you realize that no, that's not just their "critic's voice" talking, that's just the way they are -- or at the very least, just the way they write. And, in the end, if one of the objectives of this thread was for people to better understand each other, everyone will have to arrive at their own conclusions.
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Old 2013-01-20, 03:53   Link #110
aohige
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Let's just set the ruling in stone to make things easier.

My opinion = fact = law of the universe > pansy-ass objective opinion > your opinion

Problem solved! See, no misunderstandings.


As far as "meeting expectations" goes, *shrug*, that's a can of worms that's never been solved in history.
Hell I've seen a so-called "film critic" bitch about a Jet Li action flick having terrible dialogs and plotlines and dissapointed him, which to the other critic replied "I don't know what you go to see a Jet Li flick for, but I go to see him kicking butts with kung-fu. This was delivered. I'm happy with it".
Was the first critic wrong? No, but he may be an idiot.
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