META: The Problem of Subjectivity

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Fri Mar 14 11:30:54 PDT 2008

On Mar 14, 11:42 pm, Andrew Burton <tuglyrai... at> wrote:
> Martin Phipps wrote:
> > If you say so.  At least you were able to admit that a negative review
> > can make the writer feel bad AND that it can cause other people to
> > decide not to read the story.  It's hard to see how a 100% subjective
> > negative review couldn't be seen as an attack, especially on this open
> > forum where we all supposed to be friends.
> Because if a 100% subjective negative review is an attack, then a 100%
> subjective positive review is a blow job, and if that's the case then
> reviews stop having any value whatsoever.  At that point reviews become
> as meaningless as a used car pitch.  If you want your reviews to be
> hollow praise, that is your right.  Frankly I'm much more happy even by
> an attack, because it means I'm getting an authentic, emotional response
> from someone who's read my work.

Not necessarily.  A 100% subjective negative review is
indistinguishable from someone venting personal frustration.

> But then I am a forum troll, and we're all about the visceral responses, yo!
> [snipping over where the FAQ says people like getting negative reviews,
> because commenting on that would be redundant...]

That's not what the FAQ said.

> > Isn't this exactly what I've been saying?  I know I posted a negative
> > review of ASH once: I said that I found it depressing, what with the
> > worldwide calamity that killed billions, separatist terrorists in
> > Quebec and a nuclear detonation in Beijing.  But it was negative in
> > the sense that I was finally explaining why I didn't read ASH
> So, again, we're back to "it's wrong, unless it's not."  I utterly,
> completely fail to see how that's not a 100% subjective world-view.
> Please tell me how "it's a terrible thing to do, but I can totally
> justify doing myself it" is not a 100% subjective argument.

I explained my point of view already.  You apparently didn't get it.
There's nothing more to be said.


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