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Re: Who is the APD?
"Adam N." <adam at xhaos_org> wrote:
> <snip>, From time to time I have suggested that
> new plant keepers sign onto the list to learn
> a thing or two. Generally I warn them that 'the
> list is the list and the list believes what the
> list believes' take it with a grain of salt.
> <snip>... Often times, I feel, that dissenting
> opinion from non-daily posters is met with
> skepticism at best or total dismissiveness more
> <snip, miss mavericks like Dan Quackenbush>
> [...] I guess that what I am saying is that
> sometimes there is a certain smugness pervasive on
> the list. <snip> There is a problem with thinking
> you know the answer and that is that you may not be
> open to other solutions.
> <snip> The APD does have a personality and a mood,
> it's a great resource but it is not going to provide
> any kind of definitive answer, because there aren't
Very well said. I think there are important points
At the risk of offending, IMHO, we walk a delicate
line between art and science. Any field that walks
that line risks being bogged down in voodoo and
taboo and other religeon, where unsupported assertions
(faith) may rule over reason and true understanding.
I'll not dispute we have the makings of science;
concrete domains like sealed systems, interaction of
complex chemical reactions that we understand and
can quantify but among which interactions are very
difficult to measure, a myriad of approaches
and technologies to result in similar and somewhat
predictable and stable systems, etc.
However, to call it a "science", I really need to
see more. I want real metrics resulting from
reproducible methods. That is horribly lacking
in the aquarium hobby, IMHO. There have been
individuals over time taking good stabs at it, but
in general, methinks we drive on tradition, folklore,
and "rules of thumb".
Those aren't bad... they are just hard to understand
in depth. Somebody explain to me how great the
"one inch of fish per gallon of water" happens to
be with short-intestinal tracked fish like those
in the carp family in a tall 45g Hex with low
surface area running a UGF and no plants. It's not
a bad rule, it just doesn't always apply, and the
problem with oversimplification is that even veterans
can forget why it doesn't always work (you remember
fifty things to check that ensure you're doing it
right, but then you forget the one thing that blows
the system out of whack).
I think your criticisms of list discussion are fair
and reasonable. If you're stating that our
satisfaction with rules of thumb provide a
complacency (and possible hubris) for thinking we've
got these issues licked, then I agree our community
The list is a community, so it is not mine to define
appropriate response to the maverick thought that
questions all. But, I'm generally in agreement
with you: The burden of proof is on the
traditionalist defenders should someone stand up
to say, "the emperor has no clothes" or "the Earth
is round, not flat". I'd prefer those comments *not*
be met with "We shall kill thee, for thou aren't with
us", but rather, metrics or sound reasoning to
disprove/discount the assertion, or an open mindedness
that we missed a dimension that we are now
(thankfully) able to consider.
Then we can kill him for making us think more.
> Adam, who will bake bread today.
Homemade bread? <Mmmm.> You are obviously someone
I'd like to get to know.
charleyb123 at yahoo_com
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