META: The Problem of Subjectivity

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Thu Mar 13 19:01:44 PDT 2008

On Mar 14, 9:34 am, Andrew Burton <tuglyrai... at> wrote:
> Martin Phipps wrote:
> > As you calling me "deluded" is a subjective statement and the argument
> > is that nobody should be offended by subjective statements I should
> > just let that go.
> My plan proceeds apace.  Bwahaha!
> > You should go back and reread what I've written up to now.  Statements
> > like "This is good" and "This is bad" are subjective, I agree.  They
> > are also completely useless in and of themselves.
> You've said two things in various posts that directly contradict each
> other.  First you said, "Somebody says they don't like my story.  So?
> They go on and on about not liking it.  Okay.  Does the person have
> anything constructive to say?  Apparently not."  And now you just said,
> "Statements like 'This is good' and 'This is bad' are subjective, I
> agree.  They are also completely useless in and of themselves."
> So if I make a long post to explain why I dislike something, it's not
> constructive.  If I make a quick statement about whether or not I liked
> something, it's useless.  So how do you feel about long posts that
> describe how they enjoyed your work?  Are those equally as useless?

Yep.  They make me feel good but they are otherwise useless.  Reviews
that go on and on about how much the reviewer didn't like a particular
story are equally useless.  And they make me feel bad to boot.
Although it does help if the reviewer makes it clear that the review
is 100% subjective.  Perhaps somebody reading the review will go and
check the story out and decide for himself.  I think that's more
likely to happen though in the case of a positive review though.  I
take it back then: one good thing about a long post that goes on about
how good something is is that it will encourage other people to read
the story.  As far as getting an author to write better stories is
concerned though, the best possible review is one that objectively
identifies mistakes that the author made (including spelling mistakes,
grammatical errors, scientific impossiblities, historical
inaccuracies, internal inconsistancies, faulty logic and logical


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