Divide and Rule
In the last article we have laid the foundation for understanding what are the major factors that influence our opinion:
- Sensibility is the ground on which our judgment moves its steps.
- Experience defines how to judge. The greater our experience, the smaller the impact it will have on our sensibility.
- Knowledge (and thus study) of a phenomenon, expands our experience, allowing to reach a more complex level of understanding.
- Assume a historical point of view is fundamental, it can seriously affect our judgment, and in extreme cases, result in an overturn.
If the sensibility is the uneven terrain on which we must necessarily move, experience are the tiles on where we are standing on; knowledge cement them, holds them together. Much more accurate will be the floor, more accurate and solid will be our judgment.
Following the old maxim “divide et impera”, we can have fun to break anything in classes and sub-classes of judgment.
We can, indeed, we must be able to decompose a job into classes to be tested individually. Not by chance the word “analysis” is also a synonym for division, separation, breakdown. This type of process usually takes place at an unconscious level every day, in everything we do.
An analysis is necessarily a breaking down process, but make it accurate is not as simple as it may seem. Requires a lot of experience and training, a lot of capacity for abstraction and contextualization.
Judge a movie, a game, a song, means knowing the history of music, film, or video games; the main representatives of their genres; musical, cinematographic or development techniques employed, being able to see their complexity and effectiveness, succeeding in a good amalgamation and historical contextualization.
A two-dimensional game made when there was no 3D cards, must be judged contextualizing it at the time when came out. As well as a film made when special effects were handicraft, cannot be directly compared to a film made using the most modern digital techniques.
Similarly, a horror film cannot be directly compared to a comedy. While it’s true that they have something in common, at the same time they have different manufacturing techniques, goals and target audiences. Still, when we say that a pop album is a good pop album, this cannot be directly compared to a metal album.
A warning: become cold or distant isn’t needed. This process of analysis and decomposition allows to fully enjoy small, sometimes imperceptible gradations of an artistic work. Don’t forget: the sensitivity will always be the vital fluid that will flow between grooves of our flooring, even if solid.
Another example that I like to use is that of the navigator. Sensitivity is the sea around us, the experience is our boat, which can be as fragile as a raft or strong like a ship. The knowledge will be the driving engine; by a pair of oars to a powerful combustion engine. Just as in the previous example, knowledge and experience are closely linked: it’s impossible to think that we can rule a large merchant ship using just our strength of hands.