Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Jan 3, 2013

Don't Criticize if You Can't Understand?

If you've ever criticized anything, you've probably run across some high-nosed individual telling you that you aren't allowed to criticize something if you haven't made something better, yourself.  Now, this is inane--you don't have to be an all-star football player to have an opinion about a player or team.  You don't need to be a professional author with a slew of published books in order to have an opinion on the quality of a given book.

However, I think there's something worth looking at in this idea, because if you're interested in a given subject or area of expertise, criticism is most valuable to YOU if you make an effort to figure out how you would do it differently or better.  It's no use just saying something is bad or good, and while it's of some value to know why you think it's good or bad, to get the very most mileage out of it, you need to actually identify and fully articulate what specifically would be better.

That's no guarantee that your way will actually be better, particularly if you're inexperienced, but at least you're constantly taking constructive steps on refining your craft.

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