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Re: Jobs and Cookies and Facts and Perceptions

Poster: Dawn Skully/HNS <Dawn_Skully@notesgw.hns.com>

Poster: David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu>

>Greetings to Cheapside from Dafydd the Prolix Geezer;
Hi, from Aurora, the also prolix.
>> I've been playing around in funny clothes for several  years now. Not a 
>> lot, only 5 or 6 compared to Dafydd's 72 Quadrillion-Zillion.

>Damn, I feel old :^)  

I am old. I have hair. I have grey hair. I'm OK, you're OK. The alternatives to 
old and grey aren't as OK.

>Fair lady, I did not mean to offend you, and I hope I have not done so.

I am not offended, I am not a Peer, but the Peerages are very important to the 
structure of our Society and I am concerned.  

The Orders must realize that all of our (Johathan Q Populace and we his 
siblings) information about the Orders comes from the members of the Orders -- 
their words and works. Perception is the general interpretation of these words 
and works. Perception is everywhere while facts are only available from actual 
Peerage Order Members. In short, perception doesn't need facts but facts do you 
no good unless they are integrated into the general perception that the 
populace holds. Facts won't even be accepted and internalized and may be 
questioned or rejected if they vary too far from the existing general 
perception. In cases like that, some explanation of why this variation exists 
must be understood and considered before a fact will be accepted. It adds up to 
a very tough problem to solve when things are out of balance. 

It's part of the responsibilities of a Peer to distribute facts about the 
Peerage, but outside of a forum such as this, I suspect that most of this 
distribution is casual and not in the presence of a multitude of non-Peers. 
It's most likely part of a normal conversation, usually with other Peers or 
Peers-to-be because birds of a feather... (WAH! Why did I say that? Please 
forgive) and because there's a secret society feel to the Peerages because 
'inside info' isn't widely broadcast. When a forum like the Merry Rose opens 
the door to discourse, it's good to start airing out facts. But, it's important 
to try to tie the facts to the general perception in order for them to be 

I believe totally all that you say, but because it varies so far from what I 
believe that I have seen, I must wonder if there are additional bits of 
information or qualifying statements that I should hear. This slows or stops 
the correction of a mistaken perception. Nor does it give me enough confidence 
to turn around and pass the facts on to others in casual conversation because I 
don't understand the gap between fact and perception enough to answer the 
questions that will/may arise. Had I not had a very real belief that Earl 
Dafydd is truthful and non-devious, I might be tempted to disbelieve or examine 
your words for spin because what you say varies so far from what I perceive to 
be the truth. 

How should the Orders fix this? The correct response from me should be 'I 
dunno' cuz that's safest, but being not-as-bright-as-I-ought-to-be sometimes, 
I'll take a shot. 

Should the Orders choose to address this issue, it's important to make sure 
that they are addressing what the populace sees as the problem. An example: The 
Chicken and the Egg point that you made (Squire and Knight, whatever) is 
absolutely true. It is most probable that those with more potential are 
recognized as such and squired and so those most likely to qualify for 
Knighthood are to be found in that fellowship. 

More rarely addressed by the Chivalry but often discussed by the populace, is 
the probability that those squired to a Knight have their exploits mentioned in 
Chivalry meetings more often because their Knights are at the meetings. The 
exploits of Squires are also mentioned at Knightly nights where Atlantia's Most 
Valiant hoist a few and tell stories. Squires are also more often in attendance 
at various functions where Knightly Knights congregate. From here you move on 
to the Squeaky Wheel thing and and the Devil That You Know thing and you end up 
with the concept that if the Chivalry has decided to make a new Knight, they 
will choose somebody that they know: and if you are a Squire, you have been 
right under their noses and have a better chance at Knighthood. This line of 
logic is very seductive and hard to argue against. It results in the general 
perception that you are at a disadvantage if you try to achieve a Peerage 
without a sponsor or without one of the flags that bring you to the attention 
of the Order, (harking back to the origin of this discussion) such as 
performing well in a recognized job (I still contend that in the SCA these are 
_usually_ warranted). 

Thus, the Chivalry, by explaining patiently over and over the concept of the 
Chicken and the Egg, tell a fine story but don't address what is bothering us. 
We understand the C & the E, we just want to know who is making sure that all 
these other guys get equal attention and opportunity. I know, "Every Knight is 
tasked with watching for potential future Knights" or some such. That isn't a 
good answer for me. If everybody is responsible for something, it usually ends 
up being done by nobody. Assign a Knight from each region, perhaps those who no 
longer take new Squires, to watch carefully those unsquired fighters who show 
promise and carry the stories of their progress to the others. It's the 
noticing and the telling that's important.


Love to you and yours,
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