In that case, you should consider yourself a very lucky person indeed. I'm not that lucky. All I need to mess it all up is a billiards hall, with the reflected green light from the cloth on a player's face, and there goes the "natural" look down the drain.
I was talking about my
experience of using digital and film. I take photos in some complex lighting situations, and usually get good results. The point I was making is that I get much much better colours using digital than when I used slide film. I take photos in a wide range of outdoor situations, where slide film was a nightmare. I happen to use Nikon, and that colours (sic) my experience. I cannot comment on other brands, though I doubt that Nikon cameras are any worse, or better. I also made no comment on other peoples experiences. Clearly when there are very complex lighting situations, such as multiple light sources, each with quite distinct spectral distributions, life gets complex.
I strongly disagree that what I wrote was "academic" in nature. It's elementary digital photography. Erik was going a bit deeper into the reasons for why "correct"/"accurate"/"right" colours are difficult to achieve, but even that can hardly be called "academic".
Saying something is 'academic' is an English idiomatic phrase. It means something like 'true, but not of direct relevance'. There was nothing at all complex in your posts. Obviously the spectral distribution of the ambient light need not be anything like that at noon outdoors on a sunny day.
I am interested in what works, rather than an academic discussion of the underlying principles, which risks not seeing the wood for the trees. As I am sure you and others know well, decent white balance can be obtained using a gray/white card.
I also worked out a simple trick to good auto-white balance most of the time. It involves using fill flash, which allows the camera to work out the colour temperature of the ambient light. At least that is my assumption. Nikon do not document their algorithms.
Perhaps my perspective is different from yours; I have a background from academia, and I think I have a fairly good clue about what that's about.
Quite why you need to be so condescending is beyond me.
I have a degree in physics (a first) from a major university and a Ph.D. in physics (theory of condensed matter) from another major university. And I have a string of publications in major academic journals with my name as first or sole author. However, I do not usually mention those facts. I suppose that is because a substantial amount of innovative work is done outside universities, so I see it as pointless to mention. I also note that most of the photographers whose work I admire are self taught, and do not have an academic background. You do not have to understand the processes of thermonuclear fusion in order to appreciate the warmth of the sun.
Of course if you or anyone else has 'academic' knowledge about white balance which allows achieving better white balance, then do share. But then it would not be 'academic' knowledge, at least not in the idiomatic sense of the term.