Rubbing Shoulders

Constructive Fallacy of the Secondary Activity – or, perhaps, The Delusion of Mastery through Proximity.

Whilst making breakfast this morning, I had BBC Radio 4 burbling away in the background, as is my wont. There is a lovely 10 minute programme called, “A Point of View” which has a variety of presenters putting across, well, a variety of points of view.

Today’s episode was called “The Football Fallacy” and was presented by an American, Adam Gopnik . To quote directly from the BBC website, he “explains why the English are better at watching football than they are playing it and why the Americans are better at talking about democracy than they are at practising it.”

He also went on to explain why the French, a great literary nation, currently produce no readable great literature, and so on.

The extension of this to our hobby, particularly on the various web forums where there are a lot more posts about talking than doing (and yes, I can and do include myself in this criticism) is a simple matter, but it does occur to me that most blogs are about doing.

Web forums: The Delusion of Mastery through Proximity.

Addendum: My thanks to Michael L for emailing me with a link to the programmes’s transcript.

3 thoughts on “Rubbing Shoulders

  1. bawdsey

    love the forum vs blogger piece, hits the spot for me! Regardless of forum genre it is apparent that as a rule ‘content’ rather than comment is also provided by a relatively small percentage of members, be it toy trains or flying heavier than air machines!

    1. Dunks Post author

      The other problem with forums (fora?) is the amount of false humility. I am all for people posting to get constructive feedback, and to share their successful techniques, but I am sick and tired of people who post identically on multiple forums, with the fairly transparent aim of garnering praise.

  2. bawdsey

    That’s part of the problem of being a member of multiple fora. I had similar thoughts as I contributed to my blog and other forums. I tried to rewrite stuff a bit differently for each forum, and then I thought ‘bollox to that’, I’m not being paid for this, and have largely cut back to just my blogs and more recently to concentrating just on Albion Yard’s blog. Some forums are more grown up about ‘external’ sources than others though, one recently contained a wonderfully insular piece in essence saying, I only use this forum, other forums and web pages are out there …

    Well good for you, thanks for letting us know that. The more enlightened of us will use whatever source is valuable, and for me many of the on-line sources appear on blog links like there are on the right hand side of the page. If I click on one I know there’s a high percentage rate that’ll it’ll be interesting, and shock horror, useful ….

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