There are three kinds of critics. Compassionate, frustrated, and snide.
- Compassionate critic: Someone who is assured of his own position and empathizes with yours. He knows your position is wrong and he can prove it. But he's been wrong himself before so he won't hurt you for it. The best way to respond is to listen attentively to what he has to say. You lose no face in doing so.
- The "compassionate" critic is therefore the one who first and foremost takes care of your ego, so that you lose no face in the process. Who cares about your face, really? How delusional can you be to elevate your precious face into something of any importance? The best critics you'll ever get are those and only those that put the truth bluntly in your face, so that you do not have recourse to your ego, therefore helping you to get rid the poisonuous attachment to your ego. If your ego desire any kind of greatness and "recognition", your precious ego should learn that truly great minds and great spirits that got the recognition they deserved were humble rather than assertive, and their egos were not a factor. The more you know, the more you realize how much you don't know. To equate the exposition of your mistakes, errors in judgement or lack of knowledge -- all entirely and profoundly human attributes -- with some kind of damage done to "your face" that is in dire need of salvation is to elevate your ego to some kind of demi-god status, for whom the denial of mistakes and the saving of appearances are the narcissistic center of his universe. A truly and profoundly stupid attitude.
- If you have a cancer the good doctor is the one who helps you get rid of it (if at all possible), not the one who sweetens your pain while letting the cancer grow. Egos are to the spirit what cancer is to the body. And cultivating egos is what you want your "compassionate" critics to do. It is not the "compassionate" critics that are your friends, but the dispassionate critics.
- Frustrated critic: Someone who is deeply convinced of his own position but is frustrated by his inability to prove it. His inability may stem from several reasons, including but not limited to: lack of time and resources, an exhaustive proof being unreasonable, his lack of experience, his lack of intelligence, or YOUR lack of intelligence. Due to their frustration, the critic may even be very angry with you. The best way to respond is to end the discussion. Fortunately, the frustrated critic will agree.
- Snide critic: Someone who is coolly superior, convinced of the unworthiness of your position. He doesn't care whether your position is wrong, let alone bother to prove it. He's simply out to abuse you. He may be motivated by a personal hatred towards you (eg., MutuallyVenomousHatred?) or might simply be purposefully confronational. The best way to respond is to heed DeleteInsults and DoNotFeedTheTrolls?. Expect resistance.
??? Puzzling. I can only assume that the source of the above classification is some sort of popular wisdom, haunting WikiMind as of lately. Over some centuries of discussing CriticalSpirit, nobody had thought of such important distinctions until wiki came about. Oh, well. As the guy who started making some waves around wiki about CriticalSpirit, I'll take the liberty of trying to criticize this very page to the point where's nothing left of this very bad idea. --CostinCozianu
To establish classifications is far from the CriticalSpirit
When somebody undertakes a classification of anything, he/she usually picks on one or two important aspects of the concept under study. It would be pointless to classify, say, the mammals, by the quantity of milk they produce (unless you're studying milk production in mammals). If we look at the above (and below classification), one can't be but stupefied to realize that the "important" aspect taken into consideration is the humors involved in the process. But nothing can be further from the spirit of CriticalSpirit.
The very point of the true CriticalSpirit is that egos should be left at the door, at least as a matter of principle. That in practice many people, even very good and bright people, make the fundamental mistake of involving their egos in the process, is no reason to elevate egos into the defining characteristics of critics, criticism, etc. Egos are at best a very counter-productive distraction in the process of debating and refining ideas.
- Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Teresa and Lowest Common Denominator
- All true, I think, and good principles to hold. Nonetheless, people are people, and egos do intrude -- I've never yet had the pleasure of meeting someone who could consistently banish hubris at will. Such folks are likely few and far between, perhaps so rare that their uniqueness leads (perhaps paradoxically) to fame, as in the case of Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Teresa.
- If people are people, and we all agree to that, does that mean that everybody should align to the lowest common denominator ? That, in principle, would be a bad choice. Should we change lcd with some kind of aurea mediocritas ? Well, that may be a slightly better choice but doesn't quite cut it. The only way that humans and humanity excel and overcome their limits is by setting themselves ambitious goals, trying as hard as possible, learning from mistakes, and continuing.
- Would you call Ghandi or Mother Teresa examples of a lowest common denominator for mankind? You refute a different argument, a straw man -- it's neither what I wrote, nor what I meant. If you read more carefully rather than complain that others do not read or respond carefully you'd realize that I never implied that Mother Teresa or Ghandi are the lowest common denominator, and this rhetorical question of yours is out of place. What I meant to say, and it's rather trivial to see it should you set aside the emotional involvement that clutters your judgement, is that we'd better strive for such qualities, rather than be complacent in the idea that we can't be like Mother Theresa anyways.
- I assumed that your reply was a response to mine, and tried to understand it in that light. I did not advocate a "least common denominator" approach, nor complacency. In fact, I fully agree that we should strive to meet ideals -- it's at the heart of what I wrote. So I'm confused. I have read more carefully, and I'm afraid I still don't see why you bring this up -- it seems either a non-sequitor, or perhaps an oblique agreement? Or are you merely re-emphasizing your original point, to which I already agreed -- that egoless debate is an ideal to strive for? AnswerMe.
- The question regarding Ghandi et al was a rhetorical device; obviously I don't think you were calling them lcds.
- Invalid Criticism
- There is the case of invalid criticism. Critics are at their turn targets for the clumsiness of their argumentation, lack of rigor, and countless other problems everybody may suffer from once in a while. And if critics expect the discussion to be impersonal and dispassionate, they ought to follow suit as well. These observations no bearing on the obvious fact that ThreeKindsOfCritics has a fatal fault in classifying critics (and implicitly criticism) on the most irrelevant aspect of CriticalSpirit. And that the objective to strive for in the critical process is to set all these irrelevant considerations aside.
- Oblivious critic: Someone who is oblivious to the context of a statement.
- Recursive critic: Someone who criticizes his own criticisms.
- Inclusive critic: Someone who specializes in criticizing critics.
- Metacritic: Someone who criticizes the concept of criticism.
- Verbose critic: Someone who criticizes one thought, expression or sentence with a plethora of comparisons, distinctions and definitions which leave much doubt as to whether the criticism has anything to do with the original thought, expression or sentence.
- Perverse critic: Someone who doesn't want to abuse you, but enjoys finding flaws in any statement, especially if he can include a reference to MontyPython.
- The perverse critic is someone who doesn't want to abuse you, but enjoys finding flaws in any statement, especially if he can include a reference to MontyPython.'''
- NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.
- ACTUALLY that's merely an abbreviated version of the TRUE skit; only an UpperclassTwitOfTheYear would make such a cheese-headed mistake. Are you looking for an argument? Is that a ten-minute argument? Or the full half-hour? Where's your sense of humor? Where's your sense of MontyPython? It was another joke; you just didn't get it. Read again: "enjoys finding flaws in any statement"... oh, never mind.
- Uhhh, that would be humour. And this page should be titled AmongstTheTypesOfCritics?, clearly, presently if not initially.
What does cheese-headed mean with regard to mistakes? It must be a cultural assumption of sorts.
Well, obviously it's not meant to be taken literally; it refers to a head full of any sort of dairy product.
Rather unnatural, don't you think, old boy? Just how should it be taken? Most certainly not as a compliment, wouldn't you say?
- You're still going on about that? What part of the above comment, "It was another joke; you just didn't get it" do you continue to fail to understand?
I thought "cheese head" referred to someone from Wisconsin?
- Indeed. And get your T-shirt here!
However, "cheese-headed" is quite, quite different than "cheese-head". The latter refers to a literal head of the cheese variety (albeit typically in a metonymic fashion) -- not to be confused with a head of cheese, note, which is a group name ("herd" or "pride" of cheese is preferred) or unit of measure (equal to 5 fingers and an elbow of cheese) whereas the former refers to the resultative state of a head after an act of cheesing.
Do we now have a new way of thinking? The CheeseHat. (See SixThinkingHats.)
A CheeseHat is one you put on when you subtract, criticize and oppose any process of thinking or any new idea, just for the sport of it. In a meeting this is not a career enhancement, but who cares?
There are 3 kinds of people: those who can count and those who can't :-)
Amongst those are those who count(amount to something).