[Clayart] bad pots 2/story

Robert Harris robertgharris at gmail.com
Tue Oct 25 12:28:56 EDT 2016

On Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 8:09 AM, mel jacobson <melpots2 at visi.com> wrote:

> of course you mostly know a japanese master potter does not do `atta boy`
> stuff.  in fact, if you did a really good job you did `not` get `daaami`
> or, bad.  i knew it was going to be different, but it took time to realize
> i was never going to be praised.  `good enough pig` was all i got.

I'm not exactly sure that's the right way to go about it either. It's the
other extreme. That's their culture (which results in twice as many
suicides as in the US) and really can't be used in the West where we're
just not used to it.

When you train a dog, modern science say that positive reinforcement is
absolutely the best way to train them. Kids are no different.

I am absolutely with you though that there is too much praising of crap. We
should definitely use positive reinforcement judiciously and only when it
truly means something (Mentioning your "sama" stamp is an excellent
example), but to have nothing in between is also problematic.

I was reading an excellent book about Nan and Jim McKinnell (now I'm in
Colorado I better know who these people are!), and it said that Michael
Leach almost completely robbed them of energy and desire and creativity by
treating them as you are describing.

As a scientist I will say the Japanese are renowned for their detailed and
complex experiments, but (and this may be changing a little) they have very
little creativity, it is all building on ideas that others (in the West)
have had. And then there is the problem that the culture of not arguing
with the boss leads to falsification of data (China and Korea have this
problem too). Of course the US/Europe has its own problems with data
manipulation so I'm not trying to say one is better than the other. But
there are certain endemic problems in each culture.


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