Posted by Alan Nagel on March 01, 1999 at 09:19:57:
Would it help to see whether we have significant agreement on sorting out 1) an underlying Kuhnian consensus of beliefs from 2) specific shifts in the market conditions of available rugs, related items like rug-books, and information about them?
I'll be agnostic for the moment about whether there is a single underlying paradigm: IF there is it would surely involve such matters as
1) the status and meaning of rug structure, design, and dyes
2) informed community discriminations between collectible and decorative rugs and interests in them
3) and lots of grounds for agreeing to disagree so that Turkomaniacs can hold true to their preferences while conversing intelligibly with Persian nuts and for that matter indiscriminate rug-bug admirers.
A challenge then on Jerry's basic questions:
I opine that we all already agree that the market in rugs is being deeply affected by the internet, in the very least because it's easier to get more acute information on
1) the range of prices per foot and various qualities of more-or-less comparable rugs
2) availability of more-or-less similar rugs
3) distinctions among buyers on e-auctions, e.g. sometimes at least we can see or ferret out that X is a dealer, Y a rug-bug, and Z a collector
4) explicit clarifications that help nuts like me at the caveat emptor level of market choices
5) frank clarity about decorative-market new rugs (I think of Jacobsen here)in contrast to, say, Hazara's offerings.
6) add your own observations here….
Will a change in market conditions ever develop to a complexity and fundamental set of changes such that we could invoke Kuhn as Jerry proposes? Surely it's possible, provided we agree there's anything philosophically coherent in what we're talking about.-
I'll bet however that some of us reading these messages would suggest that at that point--where market change has become paradigm shift--the collectors and connoisseurs will have absented themselves from the public e-world entirely, and thereby demonstrate that something like an absolute rupture between 'Science and Technology' has occurred between 'rug Collecting and rug Commerce.'
And that observation might just prove the truly Kuhnian point, that a paradigm shift had indeed occurred, and the "scientists" had retreated into their laboratories (and publicly incomprehensible discussions) to see what new they can learn and how it might ever impact the larger public differently.
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