What better way to start off a blog than refer to an article in the Australian on academic boredom
the rigour that is purely defensive: the rigour of endless authorities trotted in, of obscure language, of massive amounts of information deployed to scare off inquiry.” That, he says, is rigor mortis — “it wants to bore us to death” — and has been confused with the true ideal of “living rigour … a kind of rigour that constructs things to be used, inspected, evaluated”.
This has an interesting implication. No matter how carefully scholars prepare their work they cannot be sure of its rigour in advance. To be rigorous, to be shocking, this requires an audience.
“You might think you have written the most shocking piece of literary criticism ever, yet if no one in your audience of veterinary surgeons is actually shocked, you cannot really maintain that it was shocking, absolutely. Likewise, rigour: if rigour demands that your audience can manipulate your idea, and no one cares to manipulate it, then you lose the right to boast that you have been perfectly, objectively, and in the mind of God, rigorous.”
The problem of rigor in virtual heritage and virtual environments is a case in point. When did we last say what proves our project to be a success or failure, how do we develop a pattern of personal ethics criteria and parameters? Or is there too much funding and career pride involved to admit one learnt from mistakes?