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Re: Awards & etc.

Poster: "David H Ritterskamp" <dhritter@dpcmail.dukepower.com>

 On Mon, 14 Apr 1997, David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.UMD.EDU> wrote:
 >Poster: David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu>
 >In response to Anarra, Jonathan wrote (excerpted):
 >>      [...] I'm NOT trying to say that in order to be worth 
 >>      knowing, you have to have Officially Recognized Awards; I'm saying 
 >>      that if you don't have Officially Recognized Awards, your CHANCES of 
 >>      being a Recognized Authority or Talent are much lower.
 >And later,
 >>> If the Barony of Clay Feet gave their Order of the Iron Oxide to any 
 >>> damned fool, and the Shire of Serene Sisters gave their non-official
 >>> award only to those truely deserving, which do you think people would
 >>> come to value more?
 >>      It's already been pretty much shown, IMO, that if nobody knew about 
 >>      the Shire of Serene Sisters' unofficial award, people would value the 
 >>      Order of the Iron Oxide more by default.
 >Jonathan, you are glossing over an important issue here.  There are far
 >more factors, and more important ones, than whether an award is Officially
 >Recognized by the Grand Potentate of Poobah, or the Heralds, or the King,
 >or the Baron, or the Seneschal.
 >If the Iron Oxide Order is a collection of damned fools, nobody would
 >value the Order.
 [Incorrect.  The Damned Fools themselves would value the order, and there may 
 be a hell of a lot of Damned Fools.  And if there ARE that many DF, then the 
 award itself may have no intrinsic value, but be quite valuable to the DF 
 because without it, they're just a rabble; with it, they're an Organization 
 That May Carry Weight Somewhere.]
 [This is all >purely< hypothetical, BTW. ;>]
 >In the following I am going to use the phrase "an award" to represent ANY
 >TYPE OF RECOGNITION.  Calling someone into court to say thank you, putting
 >a thankyou letter in the Acorn, giving a private token of esteem, giving a
 >public token of esteem, or anything else.  I do not intend to refer just
 >to official SCA awards.
 >--If you give an award too often, or too cheaply, it becomes dross.  You
 >dilute the accumulated social regard for it. 
 >--If you give an award too infrequently, people forget about it, which
 >dilutes the accumulated social regard for it.  You can reduce this effect
 >by giving it very publically, maximizing the attention on those rare
 >--If the qualifications for the award are unclear, its impact is reduced.
 >--Praise from the Praiseworthy is the highest accolade.  The value of an
 >award, gift, or approval is related to the regard in which the recipient
 >holds the _giver_, as well as the perceived value of the gift.
 >Let me end this with a story.  Some very long time ago I taught a class at
 >University on the way I fought Polearm.  I was not yet a knight, I think.
 >Or if I was, I was a young punk knight.  Duke Gyrth had just written his
 >treatise on the Fundamentals of Fighting Oldcastle Sword and Shield, and
 >he sat in on my class.  After the class he came up to me and praised my
 >class.  Now I respect Gyrth as one of the pre-eminent fighting teachers in
 >this Kingdom or any, so it meant a lot to me that he said that.
 [It doesn't even have to be an award even in the broad definition you stated.  
 Sometimes (quite a lot of the time, actually) it may just be that people whose 
 opinion you respect think enough of you to associate with you, defend your 
 actions, and generally watch your back.  Speaking from experience.  This is one 
 of the reasons why I don't necessarily care FOR MYSELF if I ever get many 
 awards; the awards I consider worthwhile are the ones I already have.  Giving 
 me OP awards would just publicize this concept.  
 As I've previously stated, publicity helps.  Good publicity, anyway...]
 >Dafydd, Companion of the Order of the Nimrod
 >By which I mean to imply, Official Orders are not the solution you think
 >they are.  The situation is much more complex.
     [Sorry if I left that impression; I didn't mean to imply that they're 
     the be-all and end-all (I hope).  Let me try a counterexample.  If I 
     run into a guy that I've never met who introduces himself as Dafydd ap 
     Gwystl and that's it, and he's not dressed too well or has spent a 
     long night out on the town, I don't necessarily know that there are 
     quite a few people who think highly enough of him to allow him into 
     their rather exclusive clubs.  On the other hand, one day I get his 
     business card, and it reads "Ph.D., CEO of Microsoft, etc. etc. etc. 
     etc. Alphabet Soup etc., and general all-around Buckaroo Banzai-type 
     person", THEN I have some idea that he might be the person to ask 
     about Subjects A, B, C, and D, where I didn't even know who to ask 
     before.  THAT's exposure/publicity/marketing/effect of awards.]
     Maybe the point behind Official Orders is just that:  they're official 
     orders, and not something somebody cooked up.  If I run into Dafydd's 
     evil twin Skippy [Guido?] who's dressed really spiff, and he has a 
     business card that reads "Head Dude, Order of This, That, and the 
     Other thing that You've Never Heard of but that Sounds Pretty 
     Impressive", then his titles/rank/etc. are either imported from 
     another area, or fake.  OTOH, if it reads all that and "Member, Order 
     of the Iron Oxide", I might be able to figure out that he's a wannabe 
     because he belongs to that wacko order of Damned Fools.
     Actually, I hope for the day when SCA-wide Abatements of Honor are 
     standardized.  They're basically "black marks" that were put on 
     devices to indicate that the wearer had been convicted (accused?) of 
     thievery, rape, etc.  I can just see an abatement of honor depicted as 
     a weeble...
     Pushing back from the table (URP!)
     Ld. Jonathan Blackbow
     House O'Shannon

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