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View Poll Results: Would you like a new forum section for historical speculations?
Yes, a 6th section for speculation in history and philosophy 47 64.38%
No. Historical Research should relax its standards and welcome all ideas. 3 4.11%
No. Keep standards in His Res; speculation can be addressed in Talking Tarot 12 16.44%
I either don't know or don't care. 11 15.07%
Voters: 73. You may not vote on this poll

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closrapexa 
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I am not in favor of a new section. That being said, I am not against it, and if it is important enough for people I am willing to help, so I voted for the first option.



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Old 28-03-2012 Need help fast? Chat with a live Tarot reader now!     Top   #21
Ross G Caldwell 
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I voted "don't know, don't care". I'm a laissez faire kind of guy; I've never been good on committees. Let's just establish the rules, and start playing!

I thought the rules were either clearly stated or could be quickly picked up by most people (old internet rule - read a lot of the threads before posting in order to know the standards of the place you are in), but of course I was being optimistic and perhaps too generous.

It's not the rules most people object to anyway, it's "tone" (not nice enough, not enough sugar-coating) and the results (the esoteric Tarot does not exist before 1781) that bother so many who come to Tarot History to present their theories. It's actually rare that someone comes on with a sincere question, rather than false questions posed in provocative language, sarcasm or snide remarks (or frequently worse, actual insults).



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Old 28-03-2012 Need help fast? Chat with a live Tarot reader now!     Top   #22
Melanchollic 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post

Well...

...Speculation is - my humble opinion - a necessary tool inside Historical Research...
Yes, I'm in full agreement. I wouldn't even mind it in the Historical Research section if it weren't for certain 'yahoos' who show up suddenly, gettin' all zen & jiggy widdit right from their first posting, baiting the reader with cryptic drivel and plenty of "Keep searching brother... All will be revealed" condescension.
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Teheuti 
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I don't think it is the presence of speculation itself that is the real problem in Historical Research. Many ideas have been willingly explored based on speculation. (Could Pletho have influenced the creation of Tarot and might Sigismundo Malatesta have been involved?) Rather it is the failure of some speculators to understand that once a speculation is made then it is examined to see if any facts support it. Furthermore, if the facts don't then it is taken as a personal affront (and sometimes the personal gets mixed into it on both sides). An even bigger issue, to my mind, is the unwillingness to accept or learn about historical research methods and standards that are used to evaluate the likelihood of a speculation. True historical research cannot operate without them. To not use them fails the field of historical knowledge.

The Speculation section could examine possibilities for which there are no facts but persuasive reasons, with a lot of latitude given to the soundness of the reasons. Some things will seem more fictional or fanciful and some might becoming the basis for solid historical research. I hope we can also speculate on why certain ideas take hold and others don't.



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The crowned one 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
Rather it is the failure of some speculators to understand that once a speculation is made then it is examined to see if any facts support it. Furthermore, if the facts don't then it is taken as a personal affront (and sometimes the personal gets mixed into it on both sides). An even bigger issue, to my mind, is the unwillingness to accept or learn about historical research methods and standards that are used to evaluate the likelihood of a speculation. True historical research cannot operate without them. To not use them fails the field of historical knowledge.
Yes, this says pretty much what I think. First reaction to a pet idea being shot down is defensive, not gratefulness for being shown the true path.



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As someone who has a budding interest in tarot history, I confess that my role with the Historical section has merely been lurking. This is due in part to the high level of information presented and needing a certain amount of background to even begin to understand most of the conversations that are already in existence there. Please bear this in mind with the rest of my reply.

I appreciate the hardcore historians who are looking for empirical evidence regarding the history of tarot. While I may not be able to participate, as a viewer I need a clear view of what can be proved via documentation rather than pure speculation. Without clear definition, theory can be passed off as truth rather than conjecture and for my own personal studies it would behoove me to know where one begins and one ends- even if I have to follow a lengthy document and backtrack some of it as much as possible.

That being said, I am also a tarot reader and have to suspend some of my own disbelief to work with the cards. I appreciate and value free thought. We had our own explanations for how the world worked until we came up with scientific research to explain it. That being said, I *do* want to see a place where ideas are encouraged, speculated about, and possibly checked against, to be proven or thrown out as the community provides reasons why or why not something would be valid.

I don't see this happening under a HISTORICAL title. If you called it Scholarly Pursuits or something to that effect, theory and conjecture could still be welcomed. I can't see the historical section sacrificing their standards (and no, they shouldn't, it's what keeps it pristine) but at the same time I don't think there needs to be this mentality of "You can't prove it, it's useless" either. Some things about tarot may never be proven in our lifetimes but we can't just disregard it based off the premise that it can't be proven right this second.

Please keep the Historical section as is, but make a kiddie pool for those who want to see what ideas the rest of the community has to offer in speculation. Historians don't NEED to go out of their way to visit that other section and thereby won't be annoyed at items lacking proof stuffed on their nicely crafted lawn



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Having hung out here for a long time, I have to say that most speculations are not treated harshly. If it's an old idea then someone usually directs them to earlier discussions and may summarise what was previously discovered, so we don't have to go over the same territory again and again and again. The person is asked if they have anything new to offer. Unfortunately, what they often offer is simply a line of reasoning with no supporting evidence.

If the material is outside the purview of anyone reading Historical Research at that time, then no discussion may ensue. That may seem rude, but it simply shows a lack of time or interest by others.

As I said before, most of the 'attitude' arises when someone is not satisfied by statements like, "If you don't have new evidence to present, then there is nothing to evaluate or explore." This is not a rude statement. It is a true one.

If someone insists that their reasoning is proof enough, then they are really pretty lucky that people here rarely demonstrate item-by-item how faulty their 'reasoning' is. In philosophy and science there are formal rules of logic that help demonstrate common errors in thinking that most people aren't aware of. Unless you sit down to really learn these rules (and I am not an expert) they don't make much sense at first. It can be pretty devastating when someone shows you these errors in thinking (if you are willing to get what they are saying).

I used to get furious when a woman in a study group I belong to would point out these errors, but, then we asked her to explain and teach us. She was a former university philosophy professor, lawyer and is now CEO of a scientific company with large government contracts. She kept her explanations light, but it made a huge difference, even if it was, at times, painful to our pet theories.

One of the problems is that some of the people here have so thoroughly accepted these rules of logic that anything else is, by formal definition, illogical or absurd. That is sometimes what is meant by use of the term 'absurd.' It may be more of a description than a nastily meant pejorative (or, to be fair, it's a little of both).

When you relax these rules of logic then the standards by which Historical Research functions disintegrate.



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Last edited by Teheuti; 30-03-2012 at 03:09.
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Old 30-03-2012 Need help fast? Chat with a live Tarot reader now!     Top   #27
Teheuti 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosjitov View Post
I *do* want to see a place where ideas are encouraged, speculated about, and possibly checked against, to be proven or thrown out as the community provides reasons why or why not something would be valid.

I don't see this happening under a HISTORICAL title. If you called it Scholarly Pursuits or something to that effect, theory and conjecture could still be welcomed.
Several of the sections under "History and Iconography" - like the Rider-Waite and Thoth sections - don't hold to absolute historical standards. I think they make good examples - with RWS a little more relaxed than Thoth. People speculate freely about the meaning of various symbols, etc., although, Crowley, Waite, Smith and Harris (among others) are invoked as primary resources and final arbiters, if applicable.



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Alta 
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Moderator note:


Solandia is preparing to make changes, more or less along the lines suggested.

I am not sure sure how long this will take, but reasonably soon.


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Abrac 
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I wouldn't mind seeing a subforum in Historical Research called "Theory and Speculation," with one criterion being that theories should at least be based on some kind of logic, even if there's no direct evidence. To me, a thread that's nothing but speculative flights of fancy would get boring very fast and I'm sure I wouldn't participate.
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