META: The Problem of Subjectivity

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Wed Mar 12 17:50:57 PDT 2008

On Mar 13, 2:50 am, Andrew Burton <tuglyrai... at> wrote:
> Martin Phipps wrote:
> > The question then is "What _does_ constitute objective / constructive
> > criticism?"
> No criticism is objective;

I wouldn't go that far because that would mean that all criticism is
subjective.  If we eliminate value judgements from our reviews and
just make factual statements then those factual statements are, by
definition, objective.

> even the criticism of spelling errors is
> subjective, given that some people criticize them and others do not.

True.  But that's because spelling errors don't bother everybody
equally.  It doesn't mean that people don't notice when somethimng is
spelt rong. :)

> That said, I think the better question is, "What does it take for
> something to be considered objective criticism?"  And my answer to that,
> "A complete disconnect from reality."

I forgot to make the point that a story can be riddled with errors and
still be enjoyable.  So pointing out errors is not the same as making
a value judgement.  That being said, I've noticed that when I point
out errors that people make, they also want me to say if I liked it.
If I can't find anything I liked in a story then I won't bother
writing a review then because I wouldn't want to upset anybody.

Thanks for the feedback.


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