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Old 02-28-2015, 06:14 AM   #26
MRoh
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post

The enjoyment does not need any knowledge of the rose.
dps
And the rose does not need any knowledge of your enjoyment...
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Old 02-28-2015, 09:54 AM   #27
kewms
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
No, at times it is a distraction from enjoying the beauty of the experience.

When I stop to smell the roses I enjoy the beauty and fragrance of the rose, not think " is this a
William Lobb, a Zephirine Drouhin, or a Bailey Red.

The enjoyment does not need any knowledge of the rose.
dps
Yet the most knowledgeable gardeners seem to have the healthiest, most beautiful gardens. And seem to spend every minute that they can enjoying and/or tending them. I wonder why that is?

Maybe the way to look at it is that the enjoyment of the gardener is different from the enjoyment of the person walking by on the sidewalk. Both are valid, but they are not the same.

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 02-28-2015 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:50 PM   #28
Keith Larman
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
No, at times it is a distraction from enjoying the beauty of the experience.

When I stop to smell the roses I enjoy the beauty and fragrance of the rose, not think " is this a
William Lobb, a Zephirine Drouhin, or a Bailey Red.

The enjoyment does not need any knowledge of the rose.
dps
But sometimes a deeper, more nuanced enjoyment is possible only if one knows and is able to appreciate what the hell they're looking at.

I can't count the number of times I've had people ask me why a nearly priceless antique Japanese sword is any better than a Chinese made knockoff for cutting stuff up. For them, the difference is irrelevant. And for their needs and purposes it is also probably a distinction without a difference. But for those who know the difference there is a lifetime of appreciation and joy to be found in the antique. The lack of a (apparent) functional difference does not imply there are no differences. Nor does the fact things can be appreciated on different levels mean that all levels are equal in value.

Forest for the trees...

In other words, it all just depends. And adopting a "know nothing" approach is no better than insisting that everyone must "know everything" to begin to enjoy something.

But spend a little time learning something about antique Japanese swords and, lo and behold, one learns to see what was before obscured. And suddenly one can't help but see the difference. And the appreciation changes profoundly.

Then again the world is full of folk who like to believe that a position of ignorance is somehow a more pure point of view. There may be some merit to that position in some very limited cases, but more often than not it is ultimately an excuse to avoid the work (and discomfort) of dealing with a world of vast subtlety.

It's not like having knowledge somehow prevents you from simply enjoying the rose... But not having the knowledge leaves you ill equipped to "see" that you may be looking at a variety that is somehow different and/or unique.

Just rambling on...

Last edited by Keith Larman : 02-28-2015 at 02:52 PM.

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Old 03-01-2015, 09:20 AM   #29
dps
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Yet the most knowledgeable gardeners seem to have the healthiest, most beautiful gardens. And seem to spend every minute that they can enjoying and/or tending them. I wonder why that is?

Maybe the way to look at it is that the enjoyment of the gardener is different from the enjoyment of the person walking by on the sidewalk. Both are valid, but they are not the same.

Katherine
Since both are valid and one is not knowledgeable, then the knowledge is not

relevant

Last edited by dps : 03-01-2015 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:42 AM   #30
dps
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Re: The relevance of origin.

"just rambling on..."

Rambling Rose?

If left, rambling roses can become a tangled mess of branches with very few flowers."

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=169

dps

Last edited by dps : 03-01-2015 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 03-01-2015, 02:32 PM   #31
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Since both are valid and one is not knowledgeable, then the knowledge is not relevant
"Valid"? Non sequitur.

"Relevant"? Relevant to what? To the enjoyment? It is in one case, it isn't in another. More to the point, these two things labeled "enjoyment" are not the same. That's the point here.
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Old 03-01-2015, 03:25 PM   #32
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
The enjoyment does not need any knowledge of the rose.
dps
I'm probably splitting hairs a bit, but I disagree here. To enjoy it requires knowledge about it. The more we know about it, the more we can potentially enjoy about it. That isn't to say that worrying about the names or other aspects can't get in the way of enjoying the thing itself, I would agree. Although, it can also add to the enjoyment, too, if you like to try and remember how things are classified or whatever other aspects you might take enjoyment from in the experience.
In aikido I enjoy the history, the terminology, even the arguments over correctness (to varying degrees ), and consider them to be part of my practice. They all have their utility and they all have their required discipline, and they all have their own kind of beauty. So the question to my mind is of what one wants to know. If history or nomenclature aren't part of it, then so be it.
Any number of things can detract from a sense of fulfillment/enjoyment, but I view each piece of understanding as adding to it, generally speaking.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSZNsIFID28

Last edited by mathewjgano : 03-01-2015 at 03:29 PM.

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Old 03-01-2015, 05:16 PM   #33
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Re: The relevance of origin.

But knowing origin and history of Aikido doesn't make your Ikkyo better.

dps
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:26 PM   #34
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Re: The relevance of origin.

It can.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:08 PM   #35
kewms
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
But knowing origin and history of Aikido doesn't make your Ikkyo better.
Maybe it doesn't make *your* ikkyo better...

Katherine
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:50 PM   #36
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Re: The relevance of origin.

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
It can.
How?
dps
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:13 PM   #37
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
How?
dps
Morihei Ueshiba described his technical method, the basic theory behind everything that he did, repetitively and in detail. Without knowledge of the history and origin of Aikido in order to place what he said in context he was, unfortunately, almost impossible to understand.

There are a couple of issues here. One is that this is a primary factor in the argument that there was a problem in the transmission of Aikido.

Many people have argued that there was a problem in transmission.

Minoru Mochizuki said it.

Tadashi Abe said it.

Michio Hikitsuchi said it.

Stan Pranin presented a detailed argument saying just that, providing reams of background supporting evidence.

Not everybody agrees, of course, but it's difficult, at this point, to dismiss the argument out of hand.

A second issue is whether or not knowledge of theory is of any practical use in actual day to day training.

This is a common argument in music, where folks often debate the value of studying music theory (for example, here is one discussion, a second one, and a third one). Again, not everybody agrees, but it's certainly difficult to dismiss the argument that learning music theory is of some value out of hand.

"You must know the fundamental principles well. There is an exponential difference in effectiveness between doing something when you know what is happening and doing something when you don't know anything."

- Hiroshi Tada, Aikikai 9th Dan

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-01-2015, 09:57 PM   #38
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Their seems to be some debate but also genuine interest in this thread I started. May I recommend a book titled ;The Voice of Knowledge by Don Miguel Ruiz. Not an Aikido book, but then again, as we see from the above posts, this concept can be applied to anything.
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:14 PM   #39
dps
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Thank You Chris.

dps
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:37 PM   #40
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The relevance of origin.

As another example, knowing the history can help improve some people's ikkyo simply by articulating the whos and whens of training, adding to an awareness of the options for experiencing different perspectives on it. The transmission of whatever it exactly was O Sensei did might be difficult for all I know, but at the very least we can glean some idea from the different schools of practice which spun off the arc of his own training.
History can be described as a description of past behaviors and things; as Chris said, to whatever extent we can glean the history of O Sensei's study, through the historical compilation of the various axioms and images and the people who have gone before us to offer their subsequent interpretations, we can apply it to our own practice. Reading the most detailed and accurate history possible will not, of course, give anyone any direct skills at ikkyo or any other movement. They can only be applied to the strategy of shaping one's training...which must take place with people who are sincerely refining their understanding, too.
Not knowing your history doesn't mean you can't have a better ikkyo; it's not required for the physical practice, but it can help inform the overall process.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 03-01-2015 at 10:41 PM.

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Old 03-01-2015, 11:26 PM   #41
dps
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
Brian Sutton wrote: View Post
Not my sensei's Aikido, Japanese arts came from China, not my fathers Oldsmobile, who invented the pyramid, who discovered the wheel, the chef isn't Italian. Does any of those statements/questions matter? One of the things noticed early on about Aikido, is it's attachment to history and origin. How relevant is history and origin in understanding and practicing an art. What does it mean to thrive, and does that involve change, adaption, growth?
With regards to Aikido , how relevant is origin?Thoughts?
The OP's question is about origin and history.
I agree that knowledge of theory is important to your practice.
Stan's article is about origin of Aikido.
He says;
"I can't say necessarily that these comments will help practitioners in their training or bring them closer to their goals, but I do sincerely hope that by shining the light of truth on an important subject, those committed to aikido will have a deeper understanding on which to base their judgments."

dps
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:52 AM   #42
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Stan's article is about origin of Aikido. ...
He says:
Quote:
Stanley Pranin wrote:
What does all of this mean?
...
It means further that O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba was not seriously involved in the instruction or administration of aikido in the postwar years.
Aren't the statements or discoveries that are presented in this article actually a very good example for how new insights about historical facts may have an impact on our actual practice?
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:55 AM   #43
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
Brian Sutton wrote: View Post
May I recommend a book titled ;The Voice of Knowledge by Don Miguel Ruiz. Not an Aikido book, but then again, as we see from the above posts, this concept can be applied to anything.
Wondering how the platitudes of this fake native american shaman, new age guru, Castaneda 2.0 can help anyone's aikido.

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Old 03-02-2015, 07:50 AM   #44
dps
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Aren't the statements or discoveries that are presented in this article actually a very good example for how new insights about historical facts may have an impact on our actual practice?
How will knowing historical facts about the origins of Aikido make me change the way I do ikkyo?

dps
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:14 AM   #45
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
How will knowing historical facts about the origins of Aikido make me change the way I do ikkyo?

dps
Well, knowing the fact that O sensei strived all his life to become a shaman, kind of intermediary being between gods and human race, a god's messenger, you will never pretend that ikkyo is a self-defense technique. You understand that ikkyo is a simple tool to achieve his goal. So the way you practice is directly influenced by such knowledge.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:12 AM   #46
Cliff Judge
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Well, knowing the fact that O sensei strived all his life to become a shaman, kind of intermediary being between gods and human race, a god's messenger, you will never pretend that ikkyo is a self-defense technique. You understand that ikkyo is a simple tool to achieve his goal. So the way you practice is directly influenced by such knowledge.
The conclusion that you "will never pretend to that ikkyo is a self-defense technique" in this instance relies upon you not attaining an understanding of what it meant for Osensei striving all his life to become an intermediary between gods and people. In fact, choosing to never understand.

That's the same problem as a lot of people seem to have here. Ignorance is never good, and when it is ignorance by choice, its the worst. Understanding Osensei's context helps you understand your context, and if you don't care of want that, you are simply not practicing Aikido.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:29 AM   #47
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Re: The relevance of origin.

I understand the argument that knowing about the origin of a technique, and specifically the intention of its creator, is important to understanding the technique, its significance, its applications, etc. It's like the Buddhist story of "why typing up a cat is helpful to meditation practice". At the same time, I wonder if it's always necessary. Intention leads to form which results in function; if we observe the form, with time we can understand the function, and maybe we can infer the intention. You don't have to be one of the monks who was present when the abbot tied up the cat, to look at a present practice and say, "Hmmmyeah, I can guess where this came from, and I don't think y'all are right about what it's for."

Understanding origin is great, but maybe not the only way to understanding aikido. More to the point, I wonder if it's truly even possible. O-Sensei is dead, People disagree about what he meant. That's not to say it's not worth trying to understand about origin and intent...but to rely on it exclusively may be a vain effort.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:33 AM   #48
Erick Mead
 
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Morihei Ueshiba described his technical method, the basic theory behind everything that he did, repetitively and in detail. Without knowledge of the history and origin of Aikido in order to place what he said in context he was, unfortunately, almost impossible to understand.
Too right. It may not require a degree in East Asian studies and command of mythological image -- but it does help. That there is richness in the sources, there is no doubt... but the richness is beside the point if it is inaccessible in such a form. The efforts to translate into western teaching have not dealt with the difficulties and peculiarities of the idiom in which he put the information -- which is and was largely inaccesible in its native situation. There has been resistance to analyze and observe and to place these things in purely Western terms from the ground up.... but IMO that is the only way to fully access and develop the knowledge of the operations of the art.

Quote:
A second issue is whether or not knowledge of theory is of any practical use in actual day to day training.

This is a common argument in music, where folks often debate the value of studying music theory (for example, here is one discussion, a second one, and a third one). Again, not everybody agrees, but it's certainly difficult to dismiss the argument that learning music theory is of some value out of hand.
I am a musician -- and I can barely read music -- it isn't really necessary other than in gross relative terms of following the melodic and/or harmonic lines, once you hear reference key to track. To sing and play don't really need any theory whatsoever -- I need an ear, and facility with the bodily actions that created the sound. Theory is really immaterial to good performance.

In the arts of aiki, to take the broader view, theory aids compositional skill, but that kind of skill is also is necessary to begin to describe that theory -- which does not now really exist in accessible form. To your credit, your writing evidences something toward that in attempting the difficult interpretation of the sources to the modern ear. But I contend that a theoretical grasp will not ever be framed in the idiom of the sources. The very concept of theory itself is a wholly Western concept -- and theory necessarily must take Western forms and idioms to operate correctly.

As I have noted in discussions here recently on the nature of budo, Japanese budo -- like Chinese music -- rests on a Confucian foundation. Music -- like armed conflict -- was an extremely important aspect of Confucian thought -- but not in the systemic way of western music theory. Confucian thought (even the later, more syncretic Neo-Confucian forms that informed Japanese budo) does not have a really theoretical basis for music or anything else as we understand it. Confucian understanding of how we know what we know, and how we learn it, frames itself in moral, psychological and ritual terms. Confucianism -- like budo -- understands that a person becomes what his rituals and habits make of him, together with his mental preparation and attitudes in concert with performing them -- IOW -- his dedication to practice. This is the stuff that leads to virtuoso grasp and exemplary performance -- without question. But it knows nothing of theory, or anything like it.

Even virtuoso players, though, are not necessarily good composers. In fact, there is a good deal that separates them in their approaches to music. There are some few who possess both facilities -- but they are as rare among the composers and virtuosi as those are rare among people generally. And in my estimation, no such person, inside or outside of Aikido circles proper, has yet evidenced substantial skill in a compositional level of theory for the arts of aiki. There are virtuosi players aplenty -- in and outside of aikido -- but no real composers. And the theorists are few and far between -- and they have no common idiom.

Theory is not always indispensable to composition -- but do so repeatably and reliably -- requires good theory. To make people weep, to make them smile, to lift them into a sense of awe, to entice them into mystery, to excite and enrage, to thrill in romance, ... in each of these effects, and many, many others, there are well-understood and catalogued musical theories about how musical sounds affect the human body-mind that are profound, demonstrable and reliable. Without theory, the one-off composition may be beautiful -- a unique flower -- but the cultivation needed for arts of war is not flowers. Budo requires the cultivational approach of agronomy -- simple grains, well-ordered and predictable for planting and harvest. The inspired surprise flower kind of compositional approach will be highly contingent and unpredictable and cannot nourish strong budo.

I contend that a valid theory for aiki exists in purely Western terms and which is consistent with the sources. It is however not taught or discussed by most practitioners in this manner. This idiom in fact seems to provoke almost visceral resistance among those who consider themselves (and validly so) as proficient, even virtuoso performers. I think that resistance is deeply misplaced. It seems to me to be a product of the category error you have identified here -- performance versus theory -- and their respective roles in understanding and in training

Alleluia. Amen.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:24 AM   #49
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
How will knowing historical facts about the origins of Aikido make me change the way I do ikkyo?
To be honest, I'm not sure whether this is just a catchy question or whether you mean it for real?
To me this seems so obvious and this issue was so often debated not only on aikiweb, but in the aikidō community at large.

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
... if we observe the form, with time we can understand the function, and maybe we can infer the intention.
It is my experience by now that this simply does not work. No way. If you are not explicetly taught what to do and how to become able to do "it", you will never ever find "it". You may repeat the forms over and over, for your whole life. You won't get "it".
On the other hand, if a teacher reveals "it" to you, you will produce first results within minutes. Literally.

The certain forms are not the necessary and distinct result of what they contain:
My aikidō and my qi gong look different, one is done with a partner, one without. My nei gong "doesn't look" at all. It's completely still. The daitō ryū of a friend is also done with a partner, but again looks different from aikido. The ko(ryū)budō of another friend is done with a sword, or naginata, or even without any movement at all and all the forms look completely different.
But all these forms contain and use the same content. Which you will never get until you are taught it by someone who knows it.

It's sad to say, but in my world most of the people practice aikidō with a cat tied on their back ...

Quote:
Understanding origin is great, but maybe not the only way to understanding aikido. More to the point, I wonder if it's truly even possible. O-Sensei is dead, People disagree about what he meant.
Are you sure? Isn't it interesting, that there are so many people who agree about what Ueshiba meant? Isn't it interesting that this pertains to those who delved deeply into the origins and into the context of Ueshiba's thinking?

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 03-03-2015 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:20 AM   #50
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Re: The relevance of origin.

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
It is my experience by now that this simply does not work. No way. If you are not explicetly taught what to do and how to become able to do "it", you will never ever find "it". You may repeat the forms over and over, for your whole life. You won't get "it".
On the other hand, if a teacher reveals "it" to you, you will produce first results within minutes. Literally.
Hey, I didn't say it's the most efficient or effective way to learn. But not everyone has a teacher (obviously I'm talking in the general case here, not aikido instruction). And for that matter, people watch videos -- do you believe that you, yourself, can learn nothing from observing a video? Can you only learn "if a teacher reveals 'it' to you", whatever this mysterious "it" is?

(god, I hate secret-handshake crap!)

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Are you sure? Isn't it interesting, that there are so many people who agree about what Ueshiba meant? Isn't it interesting that this pertains to those who delved deeply into the origins and into the context of Ueshiba's thinking?
We must be reading a different forum. Are you familiar with the term "credentialism"?
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