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Biases?

Discussion in 'News' started by dvsDave, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    I got this from the FeedBack Module on ControlBooth...

    I was struck by the thought that personal biases would interfere in a community-based learning environment that, by definition and by human nature, cannot exist without personal biases and opinions.

    After conferring with the rest of the senior team, the general consensus amongst the team is this:

    Technical theater is an art, and as such, it must be treated as an art form. For example, no painter has the exact same style, nor do painters use the same equipment as each other. Like a painter, no one lighting designer or sound designer would use the exact same equipment as each other because you need different equipment to achive the individual desired effect. As ship's mentor used to say, "theater is the temple of the arts." Being that the creators of the "art" are all unique individuals, we must respect their differences whether we agree with them or not. The best aspect of this site is that you can express your own opinion as how something should be done, look, act, etc. A community cannot survive for long if it does not allow for personal opinions or biases. A community that does allow and respect opinions can flourish from the flow of fresh ideas that many people, together, can refine.

    That being said, I am interested in what the communities thoughts are on the subject. Just hit "view comments" to view the communities comments and to add your own as well.
     
  2. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    I agree with you there, dave. This is, after all, a community. A community implies a collection of thoughts and ideas to be shared with all. If this website simply stated the known facts of Theatre Tech, it would no longer be a community. It then becomes a resource, a classroom, no longer needing input from all members, just a place that people peruse for information. I think the web has plenty of those kinds of websites. This should remain a community. Biases are perfectly acceptable as long as they dont rely on incorrect information, which is what the Mod's like dave are here to help us avoid.

    -Live long and prosper ;)
     
  3. MistressRach

    MistressRach Administrator Administrator Senior Team

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    How can a community with over 300 members present a singular biased opinion? It's simply not logistically possible. There are so many members that no matter what the issue you're bound to get a varied response, each representing the individuals opinions and knowledge. That's hardly a bad thing. It allows members to form their own thoughts and opinions based on those of the rest of the community. Diversity is really a wonderful thing, and so is the right to speak our minds.
     
  4. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    Well, we aren't here to be watchdogs for incorrect information... in fact, the great majority of the time.. I am the one being corrected by a member of the community.

    The mods job here at controlbooth is to help facilitate dialog between members of the site and help promote new topics of discussion. We are more like debate moderators than administrators most of the time.
     
  5. DMXtools

    DMXtools Active Member

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    It always seemed to me that ControlBooth.com was a set of forums for the free exchange of information and ideas. It's not the gospel according to DAVE, where everything is handed down as cold, hard, irrefutable fact, but a place where people interested in theater tech can share information, ideas, experiences and opinions.

    Should some ideas or opinions be supressed? If so, who decides which ones?

    I'm afraid Mark may be looking for an on-line textbook and found a discussion group instead. As for me, I'm happier with a discussion group.

    John
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    My question is what specifically would you like to learn about? What questions have you asked that a personal bias given did not present a solution or something to learn from, or what thing you wanted to learn about did a personal bias block? Also is it that the personal bias was in the way or more people did not express their opinion of the subject in making it up to more of a concensis? Not enough people having the guts to stand up to what's expressed, much less voicing their own opinion is what pisses me off and blocks my own learning.

    Would you like a copy of my notes in replies to questions instead or my help in understanding the notes even if presented with my opinion? Want me to acknowledge that in learning you get my opinion as a personal bias, you got it. I like Eastwing hammers.

    Lesson for the day presented without bias, or at least as copied from Structural Steel Design” with it’s editor’s own interpretations on facts or good ideas:

    Members in Tension selection of a section to be used as a member in tension, is Area Required = Load / Tensile Strength. This gives an idea of the area needed in the shape chosen. Most important to tension members, is the fastening device being able to Carry the load, or built up tension members supported every 4 - 5LF. A Tension member without holes or threads has a tensile strength equal to its yield stress times its cross sectional area. Total tensile load equals the yield stress divided by its safety factor.
    T=(Fy÷SF)Ag=Ft x Ag T=Tensile stress total load; Fy=Yield Stress; Ft=Tensile Stress; SF=safety factor; Ag=Cross Sectional Area.
    When holes are punched for rivets or bolts, the reduced area is Net Area (An) T=Ft x An. A needed = T/Ft.

    Now how boring is that with out relating to something such as my preference for 1x4 lumber on soft flats verses old school 1x3 soft flats? Or did you want it taken as a given that you don’t need to learn about members in tension and it’s effect on theater is not important. Oops, a personal bias again.



    May I point you to a book on the subject you wish to learn about that when written by some authority on the subject would much better be to learn from in presenting facts without bias? “Handbook of Electric Power Calculations” is no doubt quite the book to learn from much less the NEC. Want more theater based learning? Such things as power calculation math is not important to learn about anyway, you want to learn theater but without personal bias? How about the forum just posting quizzes as to what’s said on page 32 of "Stage Lighting Revealed"? That might work for another two or three years until it like a hundred other books it falls behind technology or new ideas. Isn't it already? How do you present such new ideas without personal bias and opinion? Jean Rosenthal's "Magic of Light" book with her own bias for design is certainly the investment today now that her theories or bias became of interest. I read the book a few years ago, have any of you? Part of my own bias for design has developed from it. My past understanding of it might be worth my own bias on what I learned.

    Ever read Stage Lighting in the Boondocks? Such dry personal biases presented in that book would lead the people following them to thinking what’s advised incorrectly to today’s standards is how it is done. I have a 1946 copy of Modern Theater Practice. Good information in it but it’s getting hard to find the materials such as glue pots or clear Idaho Pine and autotransformer control boards in it now, plus there is better ways than what was done than in many instances. Such modern stuff found in books quickly gets replaced with new technology and ways. A live forum discussing ideas such as the use of nailer plates and biscuits for soft flats is far superior in being immediate to the technology than any book that cites them 5 years from now. Live people expressing their ideas and biases on tech are much more useful given a base of book learning and on the job training necessary to all to keep up with new ideas.

    Or perhaps you like the personal biases and mistakes or generalizations presented in tutorials. There are some major errors or leaps of understanding presented out there on the internet along with some very good tutorials that if they are not kept short for short attention spans you can learn a lot from. Tutorials such as what Osram has produced about low voltage lighting and halogen lighting in general. However even from such tutorials, is it “±1% voltage over the rated amount stamped on the lamp, gives 3.1/2% more light or Lumens output but decreases the life by 13% and vise a versa.” As presented by GE or “For any particular lamp, light output varies by a factor of 3.6 times and life varies inversely by a factor of 12 times any percentage variation in supply.” as other sources would present. Given you can’t talk back to a book or tutorial to ask what’s the real facts or you even notice mistakes, how do you know what’s presented is right? I would certainly trust GE, but have to assume the 3.1/2% is a simplification the actual measurement.

    You will never find a book or tutorial recommending specific materials such as Scotch #130c, Rubberized Electrical Tape 3/4"x30' for repair of cuts in cable amongst other specific materials as posted on a specific date. That tape is new to me within the last say two months. Before that I will have said Scotch #23 is the best. Of course my system for repairing a cable while used professionally is my own bias. At what point does it become other than that? Once I write a book that quickly becomes out of date in citing it? Or is it at that point when this very ranging industry recognizes that the above product in that very specific application very few people study is the best product?

    Like with the question of using resharpened drill bits verses new ones, I would love to debate or discuss the subject so I and everyone else can learn from it. That makes it immediate and as long as it’s kept to the facts and not personal, it brings depth to a subject and interesting reading. My opinion at least.
     
  7. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with everyone, a comunity can not be biased, and i have yet to see something that has struck me as biased. Also, if you ask a question that is a simply fact question, you get a simply fact answer. If you ask "what is a leco light" you will get a stright fact answer. You won't get "it is a light which has the power to bring you closer to god and jesus and allah" you are told what it is. If you ask a more, how do I put it, intersting or imdepth questions, like how to create a certin effect, or the way to make something look, you will get 5 different ways of doing stuff. I asked about how to make a starfield, and I got at least 3 different ways of making one, one way which didn't even involve using any lights.

    I think that dosen't make much sence. Everyone will be a little biased in tehre oppnions, but that is human nature, and you can't go anywhere without seeing a biased oppnion. If someone likes to use projections, they will sugest something using a projection insteed of a real object. But they are both good ways of doing one thing.

    Just my 2 cents...

    Zac
     
  8. Reggie

    Reggie Member

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    I am still very new to this group, but I have found all of the information here useful. Even if some of it is a personal opinion, such as the "best" multitool to buy. This forum exists for the free exchange of information. Even books in print have errors and authors opinions. Very little is ever the absolute unvarnished gospel truth.

    Speaking of drill bits, Skip, let us discuss that a bit more in the proper forum.
     
  9. digitaltec

    digitaltec Active Member

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    I think this site is awesome! I wish I knew about it 5 years ago though. :) This is such a great idea to have these many minds of all backgrounds thowing out their ideas and sugestions and people benifiting from it. You got Ship, and Wolf, and a bunch of other guys know their stuff. You can really benifit greatly from their knowlege. Dave, keep the site rocking. You doing a great job providing this service to us all. :D
     
  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    We have Ship and Wolf but also Creative, Inkie and a bunch of other minds especially and don’t sell yourself short. The goal is still students and all people to communicate. Wolf and I in posting I would hope is not the cause of the rest from holding off in posting their view no matter how much you consider yourself an authority, much less in making this site a home as it were. I’m not more than someone that’s been around a few years and had time to try the options. Compare me to Bill Sapsis off stagecraft forum. No Wolf, Creative, others and I are not a god of the industry, our attempt is to help to the best of our knowledge but that knowledge is no better than yours and that of others that can and should attempt to help. More important is what everyone contributes in making this site fun and new ideas expressed. Than with lots of impute, the personal biases will not become a factor. Even if I still prefer Eastwing Hammers.

    My own personal foil was JoJo. My how I respect the guy. If possible and for more balance, drop him a personal E-Mail and express my and your own thoughts and wishes on his need given an absence. Perhaps if I had pissed him off - likely, in some way you all can benefit from his returned presence. I miss his impute just as I would miss anyone that challenges my assumptions and biases. I make at least one really good mistake a day, if not at work than here. All of you when you think something similar and especially differing to any member’s thoughts - no matter how useful or experienced they might seem should feel free to post. As long as it is not a life safety thing, we would all benefit from your thoughts. I’m still a student of theater just as you all are. In art no one opinion is best or most right. Post often, thanks for the encouragement as it were but I would rather see more members attempting to help than myself.
     
  11. DMXtools

    DMXtools Active Member

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    Ship can learn, Wolf can learn, I certainly have a lot to learn - but the one thing I think most of us know is that all of us are smarter than one of us. That's the whole point of these forums - a bunch of people sharing ideas and helping each other and learning from each other. Kudos to Dave for devoting a lot of time and energy to making Controlbooth what it is.

    John
     
  12. cruiser

    cruiser Active Member

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    Well said.... Although this thread shouldnt be here, there are a number of great comments andideas bought forward about the forum!
     
  13. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Very well said!! This site is all about sharing knowledge no matter your experience, everyone can share what they know and think...because learning is for everyone--no matter their background. I never stopped learning or being open to ideas, and never will.. When a person stops learning they stop living...

    -wolf
     
  14. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    Excellent point!! Opinions and Techniques will be as wide and varying as textbooks and professors on the subject.

    Is it a carriage heavy or arbor heavy? What’s better Gerber or leatherman? What recipe for a stress-skin do you use? Dewalt or Makita tools? Soundcraft consoles or Yamaha?

    These are all things that develop by practice, region, education, background and experiences of the educators, personal mentoring and experimentation.

    Many of you might take offense to my resident TD's style of legging platforms with only 3" Drywall screws and the cross bracing the leg from two directions with 1x4s that are about half the distance of the leg. This is for all platforms taller than 17".

    I would not be able to do this at SIUC. Lag Screw the leg, yea, but not dry wall screws over the height of 24". But that is just one thing that works for him and that he has concluded over the 100+ productions he has worked on over the last 30 years.

    Different Strokes for Different Folks.

    You should listen to two Scene Designers talk about how they mix their own Black paint. Because you know that Off Broadway stuff is not good enough, or Black enough, for some.
     

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