Quantity


July 31st, 2009

I guess we’ve just about all heard the story about Art and Fear by now. It goes something like this:

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot—albeit a perfect one—to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work—and learning from their mistakes—the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

I thought I might do a little experiment of my own here, after all it’s my blog and I can do what I want! I’m going to publish something here every day during August. I can’t wait. I’m starting now. At least it’ll be interesting to see what emerges. And it will allow me be more average.

Hat tip to Patti Digh and David Robinson for reminding me of this.

3 Comments so far

  1. Andrew Rixon on July 31, 2009 10:53 am

    Nice one Viv.

    And thanks for stimulating me to (sigh) exercise a buy-option at Amazon, yet again.

    (Don’t tell Sash!) 🙂

    Warm regards,
    Andrew

  2. Facilitation - Evaluation - Beyond the Edge - Viv McWaters on August 6, 2009 5:09 pm

    […] in doubt what to post AND when short of time AND when I‘ve made a commitment to myself to post something every day in August AND I can’t let myself off the hook just because I made two posts yesterday, haiku is a good […]

  3. Facilitation - Evaluation - Beyond the Edge - Viv McWaters on August 7, 2009 8:31 pm

    […] A week in, and time to reflect on the one-post-a-day project. Let me refresh. Inspired by Art and Fear, I’ve given myself the challenge of posting something here on my blog… […]

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