Creating Waves of Awareness
DYNAMICS OF CRITICISM and FEEDBACK
Dr. M. A. USMANI
CRITICISM and feedback is oxygen for a writer. Criticism whets his talents and the feedback opens up new vistas and broadens his horizon of knowledge. Good or bad, criticism must there be, or the writer feels that he has sung his song in a graveyard.
Right and to the point (I mean, context related, with right evaluation of the writer’s intent) criticism brightens the concept of the subject; and the uncouth and misplaced feedback and criticism mars and confuses the intent and drift of the subject. It is tantamount to nipping the ‘good’ in the bud. The would-be enlightening discussion is stifled at the very onset.
During the intellectual and subject related discussion the question of a superior or inferior person does not arise. The superior or inferior is not the person who takes part in the discussion, but the ‘point of view’ that he offers or adduces. It is the relevance and the cogency of the opinion put forward by a critic that is superior or valid.
Let me now talk concretely with examples. My blog on ‘Homeopathic Sociology or Socio-Therapeutics’, (published on Sept. 30, 2010), in which I applied the theory of “Chronic Miasms’ on the ills of society, and the curative measures suggested therein. A learned reader, without bothering about the subject matter and the real intent of the article, flashed a resume of the Chronic Miasms, as if he intended to educate or remind the writer about the pristine theory of Chronic Miasms. Or he perhaps thought that the writer had committed an unholy act, using a sacred piece of knowledge profanely in some other field than its wonted one. A person, who applies a nascent theory of one system of knowledge to an aspect of another system of knowledge, quite unrelated to it, must be conversant with the spirit of the theory and its true import and versatility. Otherwise, how could he apply a patent theory of one system of knowledge in the field of another system of knowledge, quite unrelated to it? But this kinky action of the critic created a prejudice about the intent of the article, and thus stifled the possible feedback at the very outset; or, as I’ve said above, ‘nipped the good in the bud’.
Similarly in response to my article: Constipation, Not a Disease, a critic from India, tried to teach the profession as to what constipation was and what remedies were related to that complaint, disregarding totally what my article was about. It was the second in my series of articles, under the title: Vision of a Physician, (few more articles may be added in future, in this series). This series of mine has a theme: ‘how not to prescribe’; and the motto of my ‘constipation’ article was: “Where foods can solve the problem, medicine should not be used”. Now, this sweet critic has detailed a long list of medicines, germane to this complaint. In all fairness, one feels that the scholarship the learned critic has shown was, in fact, not called for. Our articles are not for laymen, as they should not be, since the Homeopathy World Community is a forum of doctors and physicians. Therefore such a ‘cut-&-paste’ space filling was totally redundant. Homeopathic doctors are already conversant with these; or one can easily go to a repertory and find a long list of medicines under the rubric : ‘Constipation’, with so many sub-rubrics. If not, there are a lot of great books on homeopathic therapeutic; take, for example, Lilienthal’s Homeopathic Therapeutics; Dewey’s Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics, and Dr. Goodno’s classical magnum opus: The Practice of Medicine, in two big volumes, and many, many others.
In spite of what has been said above, one can easily appreciate and accept the leaned doctor’s detailed dissertation on constipation as labor of love; but it would have been better if he had tried to criticize the thematic article. He could have started the discussion, e.g., by saying that he had ‘cured’ many cases of constipation, by treating the constipation alone, without bothering, or instructing any change in the patient’s life-style; or something else to that effect.
We are equally erudite, equally ignorant and seekers of truth.
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