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### AuthorTopic: Eschewing Perfection  (Read 48977 times)

#### Manoli

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #80 on: June 06, 2015, 08:46:43 am »

In certain branches of science, great accuracy is required. An example would be the design and construction of a digital camera sensor.

There are degrees of accuracy, just as there are degrees of heat, or temperature.

In that context, the word you're looking for is 'precision' not accuracy.
You need to differentiate between the definition and usage of accurate , exact and precise.

You may aim a gun accurately but you would manufacture a sensor with precision.

There are no degrees of accuracy, there are degrees of error - entirely different and in turn different from degrees of heat and temperature.

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#### Bart_van_der_Wolf

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #81 on: June 06, 2015, 08:52:27 am »

There are degrees of accuracy, just as there are degrees of heat, or temperature.

Something can be accurate, or more accurate, or inaccurate (3.14 is an accurate approximation of 'pi', 3.1415 is more accurate, 3.1416 is even more accurate, 3 is less accurate, due to differing precision. Then 10 is even so much less accurate that it rather deserves the term approximate (if even that), unless you are describing the number 'ten', and not 'pi'.

BTW, degrees of heat can be expressed in Celsius, or Kelvin, or Fahrenheit, or ..., either precisely or not.

Things like Hot or Cold are relative terms, everything is hot compared to absolute zero (0 Kelvin), although there is some scientific research that suggests that under some specific circumstances it is theoretically possible to reach ever colder temperatures.

The words 'accurate' and 'precise' are different beasts.

Cheers,
Bart
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#### Slobodan Blagojevic

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #82 on: June 06, 2015, 10:27:41 am »

... If people do not feel what you intend for them to feel; if they do not see what you intend for them to see, what should one conclude?

That there is a mismatch between intention and perception. A failure, in other words. Well, at least in the same time period. You still have a chance that future generations will see it.

#### Slobodan Blagojevic

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #83 on: June 06, 2015, 10:32:29 am »

... There are dozens of threads on here alone disputing the fact that photography is mostly not an accurate representation of reality.

The prevalence of such threads does not constitute a proof that they are correct, just that people with limited mental capacities are usually more aggressive in asserting their point of view

#### ripgriffith

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #84 on: June 06, 2015, 10:33:22 am »

Ray you are now dancing on the head of a pin. Difficult for someone your age?
Foxtrot or jitterbug?
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#### ripgriffith

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #85 on: June 06, 2015, 10:37:50 am »

There was a similar discussion, so the story goes, between a photographer and Picasso, the photographer maintaining, as does Ray, that there is accuracy in photography.  Picasso asked to see a picture of the photographers wife, and doing so, declared that she was, indeed, a very small person.
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#### ripgriffith

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #86 on: June 06, 2015, 10:41:40 am »

A number may be very precise, e.g. 3.00153001, but it not very accurate if we meant it to represent the mathematical constant 'pi'
Oops,Bart, really really really not accurate if meaning to represent pi, which is, in the short version: 3.14159265xxxxxxxxxxxx ad infinitum, ad absurdum.
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#### ripgriffith

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #87 on: June 06, 2015, 10:44:08 am »

I have now reached boredom overload, precisely and accurate the point at which I leave this thread.
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#### Ray

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #88 on: June 06, 2015, 11:14:34 am »

In that context, the word you're looking for is 'precision' not accuracy.
You need to differentiate between the definition and usage of accurate , exact and precise.

You may aim a gun accurately but you would manufacture a sensor with precision.

There are no degrees of accuracy, there are degrees of error - entirely different and in turn different from degrees of heat and temperature.

The words accurate and precise are synonyms. However, I prefer the word accurate within the context of photography because the etymology of 'accurate' is from the Latin 'accuratus' which means 'done with care'. When I take photos and process them, I do so with care.

The etymology of 'precise' is from the Latin 'praecis' meaning 'to cut short'. I try to avoid cutting my photos short.

If there are no degrees of accuracy, then there is only one state of perfect accuracy, which is of course a nonsense. All degrees of error are in relation to a particular standard of accuracy, and those standards of accuracy vary according to the circumstances or the context.

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#### Ray

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #89 on: June 06, 2015, 11:33:50 am »

I have now reached boredom overload, precisely and accurate the point at which I leave this thread.

What a pity! I was hoping you could tell me the origin of the quote, 'Only boring people get bored'.
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#### Ray

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #90 on: June 06, 2015, 11:47:39 am »

Something can be accurate, or more accurate, or inaccurate (3.14 is an accurate approximation of 'pi', 3.1415 is more accurate, 3.1416 is even more accurate, 3 is less accurate, due to differing precision. Then 10 is even so much less accurate that it rather deserves the term approximate (if even that), unless you are describing the number 'ten', and not 'pi'.

Agreed!

Quote
BTW, degrees of heat can be expressed in Celsius, or Kelvin, or Fahrenheit, or ..., either precisely or not.

What might be considered as precise for one purpose could be considered imprecise for a different purpose which requires higher standards.

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#### Bart_van_der_Wolf

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #91 on: June 06, 2015, 11:55:42 am »

The words accurate and precise are synonyms.

Not in science.

What might be considered as precise for one purpose could be considered imprecise for a different purpose which requires higher standards.

Agreed.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 11:59:21 am by BartvanderWolf »
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#### Manoli

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #92 on: June 06, 2015, 12:03:34 pm »

A synonym is a word that evokes a, not necessarily identical definition, but rather a quality, idea, notion as invoked by another. I understand your preference for accurate in the context of photography, but not 'in the construction and design of a digital sensor ‘

There are degrees of accuracy as there are degrees of truth. Non scientific (or precise) measurements. A concept more often used in law courts rather than science labs. These degrees are somewhat different, both in meaning and context, to those you originally alluded to. More idiomatic than literal.

Love and affection to one and all,
I’m now off to watch the European Champions League Final, far more interesting …

The words accurate and precise are synonyms. However, I prefer the word accurate within the context of photography because the etymology of 'accurate' is from the Latin 'accuratus' which means 'done with care'. When I take photos and process them, I do so with care.

The etymology of 'precise' is from the Latin 'praecis' meaning 'to cut short'. I try to avoid cutting my photos short.

If there are no degrees of accuracy, then there is only one state of perfect accuracy, which is of course a nonsense. All degrees of error are in relation to a particular standard of accuracy, and those standards of accuracy vary according to the circumstances or the context.
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#### AreBee

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #93 on: June 06, 2015, 12:05:47 pm »

Slobodan,

Quote
...there is a mismatch between intention and perception. A failure, in other words.

A failure on whose part?
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#### AreBee

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #94 on: June 06, 2015, 01:19:03 pm »

Isaac,

Quote
Should one conclude?

How should Nancy evaluate success from the questions you suggest she asks?
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#### Isaac

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #95 on: June 06, 2015, 01:33:23 pm »

How should Nancy evaluate success from the questions you suggest she asks?

Anyway she likes ;-)

For example, if PP seems more enjoyable she may choose to consider asking those questions "a success".
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#### Slobodan Blagojevic

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #96 on: June 06, 2015, 02:23:25 pm »

... A failure on whose part?

The artist's, if his goal was to communicate with his contemporaries.

#### Ray

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #97 on: June 06, 2015, 10:16:21 pm »

Not in science.

Bart,
That's one example of the context having a significant effect on the meaning of words. This little digression about the meaning of accuracy resulted from Stamper's questioning my statement, "Photographs have the reputation of accurately portraying reality".

I believe that's a generally true statement and that the word 'accurate' is appropriate to express the meaning that the photograph has the reputation of delivering a degree of conformity, correctness and consistency when compared with the original scene.

In this context I would prefer not to use the word 'precise' because in practice there are so many aspects of the final image which, in my opinion, do not precisely match the original scene. There is often no precise match of colour, hue and contrast; no precise match of all the fine detail on a textured surface, even with the best lenses; a frequent introduction of visible effects that didn't exist in the original scene, such as noise and lens distortions; and perhaps most significant of all, no precise representation of 3-dimensionality.

Such imprecisions are often ignored, unless they are glaringly obvious, and the over all impression of most viewers, most of the time I would suggest, is that the photograph represents an 'accurate' portrayal of reality, despite the flaws that may be apparent to the more fastidious amongst us.
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#### Alan Klein

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #98 on: June 06, 2015, 11:29:06 pm »

Being in focus can't hurt.

#### jjj

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##### Re: Eschewing Perfection
« Reply #99 on: June 07, 2015, 08:49:09 am »

Being in focus can't hurt.
Not a fan of nice bokeh then Alan?
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