[Retros] Building a complete and friendly retro library

Pastmaker at aol.com Pastmaker at aol.com
Sun May 18 10:08:46 EDT 2008

Dear colleagues,

I would strongly advise against any "best of" listings in a database. It is
entirely subjective no matter what we may like to think, and therefore
pointless. But it is also harmful to a discipline.

Even the "records" we keep (not subjective - - except, of course, as to which
records are worth maintaining) are often problematic, the interest in those
statistics causing compositions to be misinterpreted as task efforts. For
example, I have frequently had comments about the number of retroscreens in a
composition, which had nothing to do with the point of the composition (the
number, per se, never having been of any interest to this composer). I know that
this proclivity to develop statistics has also disturbed other composers.

Imagine a central database of online literature with a list of the N best
books ever written, or a database of art with a list of the K best paintings.
But perhaps I am a hopeless antique, and such things already exist.

Please don't do it with chess compositions.

Thomas Volet

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