The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » A Plea for Objectivity (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
Amirá
View Profile
Inner circle
MentalismCenter.com
5114 Posts

Profile of Amirá
I have great respect for you Doug ( I bought your CT and I think that is great) but creating a "Billet Tear Evaluation Criteria" that is trying to be "objective" is for me just another marketing technique, just as creating expectation for a product.

Quote:
On 2012-11-28 14:13, ddyment wrote:
Don't tell me it's best; teach me why it's best.


Because I just feel that the product is an addition to the improvement of the art.
I don't think that is a matter of objectivity, just styles.


Best
Pablo
Performer and Author

Mentalism Center: The best online space to get quality Mentalism
www.mentalismcenter.com

Arkanosophy: The Boutique for Mystery Performers
www.arkanosophy.com
Simon (Ted) Edwards
View Profile
Inner circle
London
1523 Posts

Profile of Simon (Ted) Edwards
I respect people's rights to post what they want, but I also respect the rights of others to criticise their opinions or motives. And also the rights of the moderators to edit or remove anyone's posts.

The most vulnerable to misleading adverts and biased or incomplete reviews are the newcomers. (You are experienced, Brehaut, so you can see through the BS.) Someone with less experience could well fall for the 'reviews' that claim, "anything by Fred Bloggs is gold" etc. etc. The Scryer threads seem to evolve into a parody of this kind of thing on a regular basis. I think that's a shame, because it does denigrate the products.

I really don't mean to be rude to anyone, and I'm not singling anyone out here, but when I first started looking around mentalism forums (not that long ago) it was clear that there were groups of people who knew each other and recommended each other's products. I assumed that they were all experts, although I'd never heard of them until I visited forums. By default I gave credence to their reviews. And then, over a relatively short period of time, I realised that their opinions were so different to mine, regarding what makes a strong and useful product, that actually their recommendations turned into warnings! Just like Davit's Curse of the Brown Nose! Smile

While some may think it is a right of passage to buy a few lemons, I don't. When very much younger I spent a lot of money on rubbish from mail order magic suppliers. Eventually I learned how to read the adverts. There were no online forums and no accessible clubs. All my information came from dealers, who were adept at the art of the misleading advert. I wish someone had told me to buy a few good books, a few solid props and avoid the gimmicky trash.

Just my opinion and it is anyone's right to disagree or, preferably, to agree 100%!

T.
Simon (Ted) Edwards
View Profile
Inner circle
London
1523 Posts

Profile of Simon (Ted) Edwards
Quote:
On 2012-11-29 11:09, Amirá wrote:
I have great respect for you Doug ( I bought your CT and I think that is great) but creating a "Billet Tear Evaluation Criteria" that is trying to be "objective" is for me just another marketing technique, just as creating expectation for a product.

Quote:
On 2012-11-28 14:13, ddyment wrote:
Don't tell me it's best; teach me why it's best.


Because I just feel that the product is an addition to the improvement of the art.
I don't think that is a matter of objectivity, just styles.


Best



But you can break things down to explain why it suits you style, surely? Most decisions have at least some objectivity, bar falling in love etc (which is arguably not a 'decision' anyway).

If you are impatient and have a reckless, ultra-bold flair then you can explain that the Super-Bold Mark II tear ("learn in 15 seconds, perform in one minute!") is perfect for you because it suits your risky approach. And if you are a very careful person who hates all risk, and is prepared to put lots of time into mitigating risk, then the Ultra-Safe tear, which requires a few hours practice to even get slightly right suits your style.

T.
ddyment
View Profile
Inner circle
Gibsons, BC, Canada
2116 Posts

Profile of ddyment
Some of these posts have rather missed the point of my original statement. I am not anti-hype, and have not at any time suggested that it be prohibited. What I am is anti-non-informative-hype. Round up all your (real and invented) friends to put in their two cents if you must (though that particular gambit doesn't work for me, I must say), but encourage them to say something substantial, something actually informative.

And I agree with Ted that this can usually (though admittedly not universally) be done without exposing anything of consequence.

[ A small aside here. The Deceptionary lists, in addition to my own offerings to the community, a page devoted to Richard Webster's material (because I believe that his writings are uniformly valuable). I receive no compensation for the latter. And I can attest to the fact that neither Richard nor I have had anything to do with the "enthusiastic" marketing of the Scryer books, other than occasionally to provide factual input, such as their price and availability. ]

Again, I don't think I can say it more clearly than I did the first time: Don't tell me it's best; teach me why it's best.
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
ddyment
View Profile
Inner circle
Gibsons, BC, Canada
2116 Posts

Profile of ddyment
Pablo claimed:
Quote:
... creating a "Billet Tear Evaluation Criteria" that is trying to be "objective" is for me just another marketing technique...

Checklists are broadly used in science and engineering practice to ensure complete coverage, and that nothing is overlooked. The list in question was used for the development of the R2-D2 tear, and I think makes a good beginning for such a set of evaluation criteria. In fact, the original version contained fewer entries: I added a couple at the suggestions of others after the list was made public.

Of course one could argue that specific criteria on the list are not objective (in which case they should be criticized, and an alternative proposed) or that the list is incomplete (in which case additional criteria should be proposed). But to make the broad claim that such an approach is "just marketing" is to refute generations of engineering practice. (Not to mention the efforts of the pilot of your commercial plane, who uses a checklist every single time the aircraft is prepared for flight operations.)
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
IAIN
View Profile
Eternal Order
england
18346 Posts

Profile of IAIN
On a magic site I used to visit, we all agreed on a template to use for review...

Why not here? Ask for it to be made a sticky in here as storage...

Come up with the guidelines, see how it goes down with others?
Simon (Ted) Edwards
View Profile
Inner circle
London
1523 Posts

Profile of Simon (Ted) Edwards
I believe that this is the information to which IAIN refers.
It does make sense and would be very useful, IMHO.
T.
David Numen
View Profile
Inner circle
1769 Posts

Profile of David Numen
Crikey, this is getting a bit nanny-ish isn't it?

People will still hype, people will still make outlandish or unquantifiable comments - can't we all just use our brains when reading reviews?
Simon (Ted) Edwards
View Profile
Inner circle
London
1523 Posts

Profile of Simon (Ted) Edwards
Quote:
On 2012-11-29 12:41, David Numen wrote:
Crikey, this is getting a bit nanny-ish isn't it?


Which bit(s)? The review template idea or something from earlier?

If the template - it's just something people can choose to use or not, the end result being possibly more helpful than odd comments about how something is just great, but with no useful detail. It's an (optional) aid to the reviewer and the readers, and not a (compulsory) restriction.

T.
ddyment
View Profile
Inner circle
Gibsons, BC, Canada
2116 Posts

Profile of ddyment
The review template suggested by IAIN appears very oriented toward single effects, rather than books and other publications. And its goal seems to be more one of consistency than objectivity. Even then, I would find it a considerable improvement over what I often see here.

But I've never proposed anything so formal (and certainly not mandatory: where is all that concern coming from?), just a simple request that people not be vague in their praise, but substantive. If that's too difficult/constraining/confusing for some (and apparently it is), then they should just continue to "contribute" in whatever way they think others might find useful.

But some of us would appreciate more objective commentary.
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
David Numen
View Profile
Inner circle
1769 Posts

Profile of David Numen
Quote:
On 2012-11-29 13:02, Simon (Ted) Edwards wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-11-29 12:41, David Numen wrote:
Crikey, this is getting a bit nanny-ish isn't it?


Which bit(s)? The review template idea or something from earlier?

If the template - it's just something people can choose to use or not, the end result being possibly more helpful than odd comments about how something is just great, but with no useful detail. It's an (optional) aid to the reviewer and the readers, and not a (compulsory) restriction.

T.


I think the whole thing - the initial suggestion and the idea of a template - is a bit petty to be honest. Folk have been hyping things, describing stuff as "the best ever", saying that a given utility move is their chosen one without the need for criteria or further explanation for years. There's also always been a clique of people who can't be criticised without dozens jumping to their defense. All that's changed over the years is the names.

I would rather encourage people educate themselves to be better judges of new products than have a template or demand people back up their claims with a set of criteria.
Davit Sicseek
View Profile
Inner circle
1818 Posts

Profile of Davit Sicseek
Quote:
Some of these posts have rather missed the point of my original statement. I am not anti-hype, and have not at any time suggested that it be prohibited. What I am is anti-non-informative-hype. Round up all your (real and invented) friends to put in their two cents if you must (though that particular gambit doesn't work for me, I must say), but encourage them to say something substantial, something actually informative.


I tend to find 90% of what I consider hype (and that in itself is another argument for another thread) is of the substanceless, non-informative variety. The lack of objectivity in a review is actually a pretty good barometer as to whether a review is authentic and obviously this is even more difficult when the creator of a product doesn't want any element of the "procedure" of an effect mentioned. Difficult, harder to verify - but not impossible all the same.

I'm not so keen on the template idea, but I think its wise to give people a gentle (but regular) nudge towards the green and pleasant land of objectivity. I tried that in this thread:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......um=15&23

It would be nice to see what this thread, that thread (and no doubt a few others) come up with and present a reasonably comprehensive list of suggested elements to aid those in writing reviews. I'd be far from suggesting these should be mandatory, but if even a few of them were kept in mind by those writing reviews; the quality of this section would be vastly improved.

I happen to think that quality reviews; written by experienced people; that tick many of the boxes discussed; often make some of the most valuable posts on the Café.
Send me the truth: davitsicseek@gmail.com
bremen79
View Profile
Regular user
NYC
111 Posts

Profile of bremen79
I totally agree with the message that Doug is trying to pass to the community. Unfortunately, I think, nothing will change.
Francesco

"I'm not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance" Jon Stewart
David Numen
View Profile
Inner circle
1769 Posts

Profile of David Numen
Well nothing has changed over the last 10 years so why should it start now? It's basically the same arguments and discussions but with different names attached.
Simon (Ted) Edwards
View Profile
Inner circle
London
1523 Posts

Profile of Simon (Ted) Edwards
David,

The way I see it, things are far from ideal (as you've just attested to) and Doug has come up with an idea that could help improve them.

Will discussions of objectivity and honest reporting stop dishonest hyping? No, obviously not. Not unless the mods crack down, and that's unlikely and probably undesirable too.

Is it worth some people paying attention to Doug's idea? I'd say it has to help. It can't hurt, at the very least!

The alternative is just to give up trying and to accept the dishonesty, which is how I read your last post. That doesn't seem very sensible to me. Forums are really handy for getting an idea about a product's worth (and, *gasp*, share ideas). It would be a shame to let things deteriorate any further, and a positive thing to try to improve the content.

T.
IAIN
View Profile
Eternal Order
england
18346 Posts

Profile of IAIN
…something else to consider, is that just because someone perceives a comment to be 'hype', doesn't mean it is… (this is a general comment, and not aimed at any specific threads)…

if a person decides that a comment is hype - then it is in their world, but it doesn't make it true…there could be many reasons as to why that person posted what they did:
1) they genuinely like it
2) they've not owned stuff that the person reading the post has so they may not be aware or have experience of it, so therefore it might be the 'best' they've seen
3) something I've not thought of
4) they like it so much they've gotten a little carried away
5) hyped because they like it and know its better than something recently released that they feel is tripe

just some examples… one person's perception is not necessarily the last word on someone else's post…while we are discussing this kinda thing, I'd like to raise another point…endorsements/quotes that go hand in hand with posts made during a review of a product…and I can only speak from my own little world here, I don't send out stuff to be reviewed, though before I have released anything, I have sent them onto 2-6 people who's knowledge on the subject I admire/respect/envy and I always ask for honest feedback if they want to give it (they also don't have to give anything back - as they are also sent as gifts)… I would hope that any of those people know me well enough to know that I wouldn't cry if they didn't like some/a bit/any of it…if they wrote back just saying "this stinks…you're an idiot" - I would probably find it quite funny, but I would genuinely listen (and have done, and dropped a few things in the past) - its also good for crediting people too. Now, when I started to send out stuff, it was to strangers who I respected within this community. I have been lucky enough, through chance and whatever it is that makes friendship to start, start with some of them. Again, what some people can label as a bias, I can say that because they have become friends I trust their feedback even more. I don't do the "hey! first five to email me gets a free copy" thing, because I want to at least know something about the person I'm sending it to. Its also why I always send stuff off for independent review to Jheff at marketplaceofthemind.com… a) cos I know he'll be honest with me in his feedback b) he's not going to review it if he thinks its dogs**t…

so sometimes its a little annoying when people pipe up at the back "hey! its all hype and friends freebies!" and in their mind its a murky back-slapping world where everyone is bathing in gold coins, being fed grapes from naked maidens and large hookah pipes constantly on the go…I WISH IT WAS…

but in my world, its not…its about trust, honesty, and yes defending your friends when you know what's really going on, and those that have decided on how something is without the facts…i don't want to know people who don't defend their friends, and who don't approach their friends in an open and honest manner and sit down and chat about things first before making accusations and all the rest of it…

hype does happen…sometimes it deliberate, sometimes its accidental…just like some people have agendas, others try to just get along, and I'm sure a whole lot inbetween those things too…
Simon (Ted) Edwards
View Profile
Inner circle
London
1523 Posts

Profile of Simon (Ted) Edwards
I think though, Iain, that the worst kind of hype occurs with products that have not been released. It's not then a case of "1) they genuinely like it" and so on.

I completely understand how people can become excited by their latest purchases. I myself was bowled over by Doug's DAO stack. It's included in a booklet that has loads of other material and I can genuinely say that the DAO stack was worth the price of the book. A completely awful cliché but, for me, it's true. I can say why I felt like that at the time, objectively:

a) It solved a (small) issue I experienced with the Si Stebbins stack I used to use. This was to do with the inevitable pattern that can be visible with this old stack. The DAO stack looks completely disordered. Only once has anyone picked me up on the red/black/red-ness of Si Stebbins, so it was just a small problem.
b) The system was easy *for me* to learn, so although the problem mentioned in (a) was small, the pay-off in solving it was worthwhile.
c) The booklet's cost was relatively low. *For me* it was worth spending the money to solve the small problem with the minimum of effort.

In contrast, we've all seen comments like, "I've heard Fred is working on a new book. Anything Fred produces is worth its weight in gold. I've begged him not to release this material [which I've not yet seen]. I can't wait [to see this material that I've not yet seen]."

I accept that this is an extreme example, but it's not uncommon. Hopefully normal people will see straight through it and won't be fooled.

I know that 'hype' means different things to different people but to me it means generating interest in a product by overstating its value. So if 100 well-meaning but ignorant people write that my dreadful effect is brilliant, that still counts as hype in my book.

T.
IAIN
View Profile
Eternal Order
england
18346 Posts

Profile of IAIN
I agree that some hype can be painful to read and can hurt a review... Sometimes its done purely out of hype for hypes sake, other times it comes from a well meaning perspective... Whether that comes across, I dunno...

It will always boil down to perspective and preference...
David Numen
View Profile
Inner circle
1769 Posts

Profile of David Numen
Things aren't ideal but then it's a forum open to just about anyone that's opened a deck of cards - hyped up reviews and favouritism are every bit as much a part of the Café as indignation at anyone claiming to be psychic and someone asking "How'd Derren do that trick last week?". It's the way of it.

Anyone with half a brain can cut through the hype and the buddyism. Anyone without half a brain should be looking at other hobbies. It's easy enough to get into mentalism, let's not make it even easier. As far as I am concerned the more people that buy crud and either perform it badly or get put off through disappointment, the better it is for the rest of us.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » A Plea for Objectivity (0 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.24 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL