[CR]To critique or not?

(Example: Framebuilders:Bernard Carré)

Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2005 08:28:35 +0900
From: "Dennis Young" <mail@woodworkingboy.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>, <jb@velostuf.com>
In-Reply-To: <MONKEYFOODGQvnbEG1000000b21@monkeyfood.nt.phred.org>
Subject: [CR]To critique or not?

John,

In a perfect world the lion may sleep with the lamb, and in theory I would say that you are correct, but when you make something almost everyday for many years, you tend to develop a inclination to critique the product that falls within a similar definition to what you do. After all, you can generally define considerably better than the average public what level of accomplishment the other person's work has risen to. Who better knows what effort is required to accomplish something to a certain level, than a person doing similar work. When does objectivity become subjectivity, that is the difficult part. You don't have to be a maker to be a critic, there are many bike critics at this list who have never touched a torch, but they are experieced at looking, have frames* of reference. There is not only the standard of the goods, there is the vocabulary that is being used to market it, and the reputation of the maker that may or may not fit the reality of the finished product, such as was vociferously suggested with Mr. Nagasawa's frame. As you say, you can't see inside the head of the other guy and precisely know what the motivations are, though one can ask, but you can look at something to observe whether you feel there is a certain cohesiveness, confidence, spontaneity, study, whatever, or possibly the reverse of these qualities done in an inspired manner, i.e. the producer lived up to a plan or not, your "specifications". As a rule, looking at whatever is being done as that of someone doing his thing beyond reproach, it probably isn't a realistic expectation pertaining to a competative and generally needing to establish order species, we (us?) humans. That said, being offensive about it is generally not required, turning over the tables as the Hulk on a self appointed mission against injustice at the bike show or CR list, isn't going to get you many valentines or people respecting your opinion. Raising awareness and standards is probably a good thing in the long run, even if some feelings get hurt along the way, but as one member recently suggested, following "mother's law" may often have to be the best policy.

Dennis Young being subjective, I hate snow in Hotaka, Japan

snip from John Barron's post:
> I think it's HUGELY arrogant for one person to think that they get to define
> the attributes of quality/perfection for someone else's product.
>
> In other words, one bicycle builder dude might build a bike for
> affordability, another for handling, another for paint aesthetics, another
> for alignment accuracy, another for thinness of lugs, another for squareness
> of lug edges, another for lightness, another for stiffness, another for
> aerodynamics, another for lack of file marks, blah, blah, blah.
>
> If I made something by hand, (I take pride in everything I do) and some dork
> proclaimed that my product didn't meet *their* definition of perfection, I'd
> kick their fu**ing ass... or, I'd take a sip of wine, and go on to
> the next post.