Art, creative judgement & shared human drives

Elitists put up barriers to entry to art.  They use alienating jargon to send outsiders a message that they’re not clever or worthy enough to get it. “Get it?”

But there are those who diminish art and people who love it because they don’t get it. They crumple it underfoot. Or say that it is purely subjective. “I like what I like.”

That part, about personal preference, can’t be refuted; but you can make creative judgements.

I may like blues and you pop but we can both hear when the singer is out of tune.

There is unaccomplished art. There is skilled composition & technique, intention. There is also great art that we neither like nor comprehend.

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Value expertise but don’t defer

I was at a workshop where a man introduced himself like this: when I did my doctorate at Insert Ivy League University Here.

Now there’s nothing wrong with establishing credentials in particular when they are relevant to the discussion, which in this case they were not.

What he had done was to anchor the rest of the group around his primacy as an intellect, which he certainly was. Without needing to say it directly, he had sent a signal that his views were ipso facto going to be better and to disagree with him if you dared .

Many subsequently and unconsciously looked to him to lead. Those who dared speak cast glances in his direction, tacitly seeking his approval.

This is how individually and collectively we agree to defer and give away power.

People anchor others in many ways, sometimes overtly (which makes it easier to detect) but often subtly.

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