[...] why ever wouldn't one imagine respondents to have some interest and understanding of the topic at hand?
While "some interest" is obvously valid. that is not what wmchauncey
mentioned and not what I commented on.
There is no requirement and should be no expectation of "understanding of the topic", and indeed one might expect many with an interest to post questions simply because they are well aware that they lack understanding.
[...] your own reply has achieved the same. Some tiny volume of photography might be viewed as having attained some level of art
Absurd statements, no matter how often repeated, are not facts.
The fact is that photography is by definition art. That has been recognized for many decades now. The fact is that every Fine Art museum of signficance in the country includes the collection and exhibition of photography as a Fine Art.
That is not "Some tiny volume of photography" any more than it would only be true of some tiny volume of music, painting, sculpture or other form of art. You want to define "art" as "good art" (and probably define "good" as what you happen to like).
Personal definitions are fun, but not in a "serious" discussion where people expect to learn about photography and style.
3. Again, that seems to be a perfectly valid point of view - for you, but clearly not a universally held one.
There are no universally held opinions, and the distinciton is a Non Sequitur. What matters is if it is a valid and reasonable opinion. That would be, for example, as opposed to the idea that photography is not art, that style does not exist in photography, and a number of other "Drama Queen" opinions being stated here.
All of these arguments/discussions come and go, and only lack of much else to do allows them to run their course. I, for one, would far prefer to have something real and creative actually awaiting my attention, but I do not presently have the luxury. I sort of hope the boredom ain’t quite terminal - just yet.
Since you are clearly stating that you aren't treating this discussion realistically, I do hope you don't mind that I've brought that up.
I'm not bored with photography, or with the philosophy of photography. Assisting young people with understanding the philosophy as well as the technical parts of photography is quite real, and requires creativity to accomplish well. The older I get the finer my understanding becomes. I don't see that as a reason to inject confusion into discussions with younger people. In the world where I live the purpose of being an elder is to provide guidance and assistance to those with less experience.
But it might become so: the BBC is changing its satellite signal focus/footprint…