Not at all. The group will not always be in agreement. There are a lot of disagreements among art critics.
So the art of defining bonsai contains some subjectivity. I agree.
In the first quote (from your last post), what I was saying is that IF (and this is a big IF) the group reaches an agreement, THEN we (the rest of the masses) need to accept that. The larger the group of experts that agree with each other, the more compelling is their conclusion.
No I don't, And these are my reasons why....(for instance)
My second quote had a totally different focus. It was talking about the frequency of agreement vs. disagreement between the three judges.
Still supporting subjectivity in the question of what is bonsai.
So, there could be no contradiction between the first and the second quotes, because they were dealing with different subjects.
I thought the subject was the same in each case. Defining the best bonsai. Art or otherwise.
My contention is that when a human being is gradeing anything, be that a term paper, a bonsai article for submission, coins or antiques, they are open to subjectivity. Bonsai is no different. I agree there is art in bonsai, but I don't always agree with those that have said any particular piece is art. If I don't feel its to "my" standards whether a million people tell me so, then I can disagree. Just because its art doesn't make it good.
I get to hob knob with the industry giants in the music business once each year at my Wifes annual convention and awards banquet. There are expensive wines flowing by the magnum each year. My favorite part of the banquet is to find a good location and watch the expressions of those that drink their 200 dollar a bottle wine and wrinkle their face on those first sips. They are not enjoying themselves and it is clearly evident that they do not like the taste of the wine. They drink it and pretend they like it because it is the "in" thing to do. Peer pressure has placed them into a position of influence and this level has said that if your not drinking this vile vintage of cab, you are not in the group.
I suspect a nice bottle of Beringer White Zin would be much better to the pallete, but hey, commoners drink that stuff. I have seen it on the forums. I showed a tree last week with a bottle of Mike's Hard Lemonade in the picture for size comparison. I took some flack for it, like "is that your wifes drink", "were they out of Zima"? Hey I like Mike's lemonade. It is good and I enjoy its flavor. Sure I can afford expensive beers and things like that, but why would I go along with the masses of so called beer experts to dring something I do not enjoy, just to be within the crowd. It's what we do as a society. We class everything, and leave no room for subjectivity anymore.
Take a stand and and stick to it. Be bold, be in opposition. Question everything. All is not as it seems. In emails, Will has referred to bonsai TALK as Babytalk before. Sure they have their share of newbie posts and stick in pot threads. I think the distinction that Will is trying to make is that if your not at AofB talking like we do, then your nobody. There is very good discussion on all the forums and I find good information all over the net.
I find the direction of bonsai within these limits to be on a very dangerous path. In some regards it is trying to elevate the art from the small and thrifty to the rich and famous. Not always the smartest direction. Like the Oenophile, don't push aside your subjectivity for the sake of the group.
Take it from a guy who lives in the largest wine grape growing region in the world. When you open that 200 dollar bottle of Cabetnet Savigion tonight, be assured it was made with 60 percent cheap Cabernet Frank and Muskat grapes from Fresno California.
Best Regards, Al Keppler