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A erudition forum
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posted 08-03-2018 03:13 PM
The Silver Salon Forums started 25 years ago and for many years our membership was mostly serious collectors, true or emerging scholars, and newbies on the subject of antique silver.
It is great that for 25 years the Silver Salon Forums has been a repository for scholarly research, exploration and introduction.
As time has passed, many of the scholars have slipped away. Some have passed on to that great silver vault in the sky. Others have just quietly gone away. Why? There are a variety of reasons...some known and other reasons suspected.
I believe the Internet was a core reason for initial scholarship and exploration at the forums. In our early days, the Internet was mostly a communications medium which allowed like minded parties to congregant, explore, share and challenge the subject.
No one is expert or knows everything on the subject of antique silver. And because of this the Internet has been a good repository for knowledge. But just because someone presents info on the Internet or at the Silver Salon Forums it doesn't make it truly accurate or a fact.
Facts are important. Scholarship that supports facts is even more important. Good reasoning and understanding of the pathways to what is reasonable and maybe true, takes time, personal discipline, logic and often the possibility of not getting to a desired conclusion.
I've been encouraged by the Silver Salon Forums as I have had to opportunity to expand my limited knowledge base. I also have been encouraged by the few new members who persevere and expanded their understanding of the subject.
In recent years, the Internet has greatly expanded and now has gargantuan numbers of participants, web sites and players. Just because somethings on the Internet, can be seen, pointed to, copied, restated, etc., doesn't make the info true, accurate or a fact.
What I have been witness to is how the volumes of info on the Internet, especially info without supportive scholarship, has become "popular" fact. And this is unfortunate. Just because a bunch of people/web sites say something doesn't make the info reasonably accurate, logical, true or supportable by scholarship. It just means it is a bunch of info which is only supported by poplar repetition.
There has always been those who would gladly believe what they want to believe without supportable logic and scholarship. And these persons have generally been the few. The Internet has changed all this. The Internet allows those who don't want to make the effort to think to then find the like minded unthinking and for these individuals to feel supported.
I realize as a public forum we have to invite those who just want answers. And as long as the answer is popularly supported then the answer gets by. But this doesn't make it correct. We used to be able to count on members to challenge and add scholarship...... And I am grateful when this happens. And I am also encouraged by those who newly embrace the subject and begin to find their way.
I miss the days of scholarly dialog. I have to admit, I, like many of our members who have gone quiet, find the Volumes of Internet info too tiresome. The noise on the Internet has become a norm. It may serve some.
I hope those who do scholarly thinking will continue to find their way to the Silver Salon Forums.
I expect, from time to time, there will still be new scholarship added to the SSF posts/threads.
I am also afraid the SSF no longer invites scholarly types to participate. It no longer seems like a public forum supports exploration in a scholarly way without bumping into all those who only want to believe and put forward the all the Internet noise. And pushing back is too much of a distraction.
This is going sound snobby and elitist... and its not intended to be.
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