D&D General Understanding History: Why Serious Scholarship of D&D Matters

Whose scholarship are you calling into question? Specifically?
Everyone's.

A big problem with the "Scholars" is they are part of the One Side that is obsessed with "documents" as a way to "prove" things. And it does sound sort of great to the people that turn their brains off: "Wow...you found a random document that says exactly what you think and believe! That proves that it is 100% pure, unquestionable FACT!"
 

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darjr

I crit!
Everyone's.

A big problem with the "Scholars" is they are part of the One Side that is obsessed with "documents" as a way to "prove" things. And it does sound sort of great to the people that turn their brains off: "Wow...you found a random document that says exactly what you think and believe! That proves that it is 100% pure, unquestionable FACT!"
How would you define a fact?
 

Hussar

Legend
I would call into question the "serious scholarship".

/snip.

I have to admit, this sort of thing flies right up my left nostril. This idea that you can discount research and expertise so blithely.

Yes, all interpretations are biased. But that does not mean that all opinions are equal. Being biased does not make something wrong. It’s simply part of the process.

If nothing else, we’ve learned how ingrained anti intellectualism has become. The past three years have highlighted that so clearly.

If you want to counter someone’s argument, you have to provide evidence that is at least as strong as the evidence presented with an argument. Just waving your hands and claiming that the “system” makes anything a person happens to disagree with a lie or mistake is nearly everything wrong with pretty much any public discourse on any topic.

When did being an expert become a bad thing?
 

If you want to counter someone’s argument, you have to provide evidence that is at least as strong as the evidence presented with an argument. Just waving your hands and claiming that the “system” makes anything a person happens to disagree with a lie or mistake is nearly everything wrong with pretty much any public discourse on any topic.

When did being an expert become a bad thing?
This is a big problem though. The Big Collective makes all the rules. They get to say what is what. The scholar is approved by them and is one of them. The scholar does what they are told...and if they don't walk the line exactly, well it will be edited by "them" anyway.

Someone goes and finds what "they" say is "evidence" of whatever "they" want to say....then say it's "100% fact". Then they says they will only accept an argument that only uses what "they" say is "ok evidence" . So when you find anything they don't like "oh, it just does not count".

There is nothing wrong with an expert, though that is often not a "scholar" type. The "scholar" is just paid to promote one side of a point of view with what they say are "facts".

How would you define a fact?
Easy enough: a bit of data that is an absolute truth.

For example your birthday is a fact: you were born in a set place at a set time. A book was published on a set date or a company when out of business on a set date.

But too many people add all sorts of details to facts, that make them untrue.....unless you accept the One Way View.

For example: lets take sales.

Book X comes out and is sold. They keep track of how many are sold. Then you will get this:

"Book X is popular because it sold x amount of copies". See what they did there..."they" added popular. To "them" and the One Way View, sales numbers equal popularity.

Well....except they DON"T and that is not true and not a fact. Sales numbers ONLY tell you how many copies were sold. It's a PURE and UTTER fabrication to AUTOMATICALLY say that EVERY single copy sold was ONLY bought by someone who thought the book was "popular".

This alone ignores things like:

Well....a good chunk of folks, say 20% or so, are Pure New Stuff Zombies. As soon as a "new book" comes out, they will automatically buy it(or pre order it). But this has NOTHING to do with "popularity": these people MUST buy the new thing......because it's new.

Another chunk of people buy the new book out of peer presure....they don't want to be left out. But, again, they are not buying it because it's popular.

And another group will hate buy....buy it to read it and be able to talk about it. But, again, this is not because it's popular.

And, a very big one is.....well, this does NOT account for real popularity. There are often a huge number of people that like and WANT to buy the book....but they can't. They simply Can Not afford it. And this is a lot of people. BUT "they" UTTERLY DON'T CARE ABOUT THEM as they are not good consumers buying things. It's ONLY popular to "them" if you give "them" your money. But see THEY don't measure popularity by counting the number of people that walk by the book....give it a glance...and keep walking as they can't afford it. Because THEY set the rules.

Stretching "popular" to mean "whatever they want it to mean toady" does not help anyone.
 

mamba

Legend
There is nothing wrong with an expert, though that is often not a "scholar" type. The "scholar" is just paid to promote one side of a point of view with what they say are "facts".
A scholar is just another word for expert

  • 'a specialist in a particular branch of study'
  • 'a person who is highly educated'

As to the rest, I am not going down that rabbit hole. If experts mostly agree on something, then that things is probably true. Just saying you don't like it or it isn't true is meaningless, you will have to do the work to show it, and that includes convincing experts / scholars. Delusions and/or ignorance does not make something a fact (I am talking in general here, this was not meant to refer to your post specifically).
 
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grankless

Adventurer
For anyone curious for an accessible-to-laypeople overview of some books mentioned here and others, check out the podcast Game Studies Study Buddies, a podcast about reading academic works and giving digestible overviews and comprehensive discussions of the texts therein. They've got episodes on Peterson's The Elusive Shift, White's book on The Forge, and Fine's Shared Fantasy. Definitely made me want to pick up the Peterson and Fine books, which I had not already read.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
For example: lets take sales.

Book X comes out and is sold. They keep track of how many are sold. Then you will get this:

"Book X is popular because it sold x amount of copies". See what they did there..."they" added popular. To "them" and the One Way View, sales numbers equal popularity.

Well....except they DON"T and that is not true and not a fact. Sales numbers ONLY tell you how many copies were sold. It's a PURE and UTTER fabrication to AUTOMATICALLY say that EVERY single copy sold was ONLY bought by someone who thought the book was "popular".
The part I bolded of what you’ve described isn’t scholarly. At best, it’s marketing language, and lazy marketing at that. A scholarly approach to that data would contextualize those sales in exactly the way you suggest in the next paragraph.

Conflating the two is not going to convince anyone your critique of scholarship. Nor does your using rhetoric that couches your critique in conspirational terms.
 
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Outside of this hobby of ours, historians often come into conflict on the presentation of historical events. Sometimes it is a matter of interpreting of the events themselves or, the repackaging of events for conveying a specific interpretation that is important to the historian.
 

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