I'll try and think more deeply for a second. If you'll humour me.
Originally Posted by Kevin Kehler
Sometimes I wish we had a master photographer or two to weigh in on these discussions (or a committee of such people to refer to), because I feel our judgement can become warped, working in obscurity - as the OP alludes to. I suspect many great contemporary photographers, who depend on their critical facility, would consider this, like you mention, as vital as fantasy football. This is coming from someone who has spent more money and time on photography literature and monographs, over the last year and a half, than making photographs.
Is there a philosophical question to be asked, as self-taught photographers and perhaps thinkers; where should we look for wisdom? It's a question I often ask and one that makes me wonder if I'm doing photography for the right reasons. We have philosophers (or ex-philosophers) here and political science students, but what about people with photography educations - those who have received guidance in tangential areas like this? This kind of discipline, after all, is why education and mentoring is so valuable. We're taught, not to indulge, but to remain clear headed in the way we assimilate. You'll notice the language the OP uses referring to the text (not to make a psychological assessment) - his attachment to it and his need, in making the thread, to find validation for his attachment to it. What I've taken from this thread is how dangerous it is to aesthetisize ideas and especially, rewarding others for doing so.
Some intelligent people have responded to this thread with dismissive comments, as Kevin did initially, perhaps with brief clarity of judgement.