>>"... it may be that the citicism is valid on its face ..."
The text I posted quitely assumes in large parts that the issued critiques more or less makes sense.
Jeff, You're right. That's not what I meant. Let me state it a different way: If I post a picture that someone criticizes, it may be that the criticism is valid on its face. In other words, the critic may point out something I overlooked. In that case, the critic's status as a critic is meaningless and his criticism obviously is valid. But if the critic brings up something obscure enough that it's not immediately obvious I'd want to know how familiar the critic is with the subject he's addressing. In other words, I'd want to know whether or not he knows what he's talking about. Looking at the critic's portfolio at that point would help me make up my mind. But I'd be stupid to ignore his criticism summarily simply because he doesn't have a portfolio. At that point, unless his suggestion were absurd on its face, I'd probably consider it and maybe try what he's suggesting to see if I agree.
It all comes back to what I said at the beginning. The person posting a picture and receiving a criticism is the one who's going to have to decide whether or not the criticism is valid. No one else can decide that for him. I think Christian said the same thing in a somewhat heated way. Julie also said it in a quite elegant way.
now I feel I am at a point where I can talk. I agree in some parts with you, and in some not. Lets start.
Im not so sure about the general necessarity of that background thing. I say, a sentence clearly can always be dealt with regardless of its origin.
Of course if someone has a site or not, and the quality of his works tells volumes. And of course I might dismiss the point of a text without a background. But then, is this my problem? I think, no. Instead it is the problem of the guy making his statement. He is in responsibility to make his assertion as foolproof as possible. Its not me being responsibe finding out about someone. And even then a background is only useful so much. For example, maybe someone makes brilliant art, but still he might talk rubbish. Or, someone says something I dont like, maybe a background INDEED helps me to understand him, but I STILL might not like it. What now? And in a talk face to face I also cannot interrupt it to make research about the other person. Ok, I might ask.
So while wanting to know a background can be perfectly reasonable at any point, it is not a requirement for anything. The one who makes an argument is instead responsible to invest some care and let his statement stand on its own. If not he runs into the risk being misunderstood. And of course I am challenged to assume good faith also in an ambiguous statements.
And that leads me to the next point, and Im sure we agree here: Of course, if I feel someone has indeed stated something very funny, its only fair to point it out, or to ask about a qualification to be able to make sense of an information, no question about that. When something doesnt make sense, it should be pointed out direct and in all honesty, but at the same time civilised and with respect. And of course then I should expect that I will be questioned the same way, and that should I have dismissed something, it will be pointed out as well, be it only the slightest point.
The problem with this I see here in this subforum (I only want to talk about HERE), that these type of discussions arent really happening. Instead they are quickly escalating, turning into weird shows where everybody seems to misunderstand each other and cant give an inch of his territory finally leading to some types of, I hate to say it, public humiliation. The arguments often heated right from the start, and I have rarely seen someone just acknowledging someone other is right.
I must confess I dont know how to solve that. I can only say generally: If I issue critique, I should also expect to swallow some, fair is fair. I have to be open to critique if I frequently critique other people or I loose credibility. I should be always open to compromises and never totally set on an issue. And if I see someone doesnt agree in the long term, its better to leave the person alone, to respect that. I have to respect everybody as he is. Ultimately, I cant change anybody, and I also can easily confess I have my problems with some of the issues too. No one is better than anyone regarding this I guess.
All the best