Re: BOOKS (all kinds): Mostly Accurate Now or Frequently in Error Yet?

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Posted by Marla Mallett on May 12, 1999 at 16:52:53:

In Reply to: Re: BOOKS (all kinds): Mostly Accurate Now or Frequently in Error Yet? posted by Steve Price on May 12, 1999 at 15:01:56:

Dear Steve,

Of course it would be silly to insist that every publication is accurate (or erroneous) to the same degree. I certainly didn't mean to imply that. I'm sure Jon Thompson didn't either. The difficulty lies in determining where to place one's confidence. But misinformation in this field becomes so self-perpetuating! You understand this when a merchant in Turkey pulls a Western book or magazine off his shelf to prove to you where his rug is from!

We are all grateful, of course, for the piles of books with wonderful plates, and I keep buying them just like everyone else. But how many times are the texts significant? I'm not sure about knowing less the more one reads, but it certainly is difficult to dispell notions that are implanted in our brains by constant repetition--even when we are faced with evidence that discredits them.

As for self-perpetuating technical misinformation, I can point to one erroneous brocade diagram that has been copied and re-copied. I should count sometime, but the same faulty diagram has appeared in well over a dozen books spanning several years--nearly all by well-respected authors. It's a construction which is IMPOSSIBLE to weave! Plenty of other misinformation--of all sorts--is parroted in the same manner.

The pertinent question: Out of the thousands of attributions in the hundreds of rug books currently available, how many have been based on actual original research by the authors?


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