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Amassus
01-21-2010, 01:22 AM
I thought I would start this new thread even though another thread has sparked this thought (My own thoughts on Aikido - Phil Ingram).

Jun - if this is in the wrong place, I apologise in advance. I'm sure you will move it to the appropriate place.

When I first joined Aikiweb, I had been studying aikido for about half a year. I found this site to be the best place to ask questions and seek advise.

After being away from the site for a few years I come back to find it to be quite a different beast. It seems that newbies are treated very harshly now. The below quote sums it up for me.

Cherie Cornmesser wrote:
This forum is often hard on new people. It was rough on me too at first. But lately I've been noticing a lot more frequently lower kyu's getting beat on for trying to share their thoughts.



Now I stepped back from the threads I had been reading and had a think about this (as I do) and I want to throw some ideas out to people. Don't worry, I'm a High School teacher so I'm used to harsh critique. Your comments will not be taken personally.

So what's the deal?

Is it due to a slow change of the types of people tapping away at the keyboard? Obviously this must be true to some degree.

Is it the nature of today's aikidoka that we rain down on the beginners? When I started out on the mat I can remember being called an "orange belt shihan" and told to shut up and train. That's fine, that's the mat. We ARE on a forum here. People come here to express opinions and see what's what in aikido. It is a public place and although people are being polite, the undercurrents are often bordering on outright arrogance and rudeness. Aikidoka have been called arrogant by other martial arts groups and this sort of thing seems to reinforce that.

The philosophy of aikido can be about conflict resolution, starting at the verbal level. I'm not seeing a lot of this here these days. I see a lot of escalation.

Many of the threads fall back to the physical aspects of the aikido training. I hear the term "aiki-bunnies" being thrown around (excuse the pun) and that aikido is not in good shape because people are training with enough martial intent etc, etc. Ok, that may or may not be the case. I live in NZ and I'm not up with the play overseas. Things look pretty tight here in that regard but so what? If a beginner is truely enjoying this art for the first time, let them enjoy it.

Many posters seem intent on picking a part other posts, on things that seem trivial or miss the point.

I just reread my own post and I think it's one of the longest posts to date for me. This stuff really bothers me.
Walk the talk people! Where the hell is the unconditional love and understanding the Founder spoke of.

Rant off.

Dean.:disgust:

Nicholas Eschenbruch
01-21-2010, 02:10 AM
Hi Dean,

I usually just lurk here. I found it interesting you should post this, I myself have recently added a lot of people to my ignore list as "opinionated newbies" and noted I had rarely done so before, so I was starting to ask myself what had changed,and whether it was them or me.

In some sense, I think you are right. On the other hand, I have rarely seen attacks as personal as the ones on Mr. Ghbeish recently, by people who apeared to be newbies to me. He handled it with great equanimity.

I guess it comes down how one frames their opinions. To me, some opinions seemed to be very confidently framed with not such a lot (experience, knowledge) to back them up by recent newcomers. I guess the question is, would people be as confident as they are here in aikido class, and if not, why should it be different here? I have no real answer, but agree with your initial observation.

Then I suppose some of what you notice is just the internet. There are people on every forum who just love to take things apart. Also, the heated discussions about "aiki" seems to have ended, maybe the aggression now needs another outlet? Dont know about some of your other points.

Have a nice day!

piyush.kumar
01-21-2010, 02:15 AM
:D i was actually smiling by the time i came to the end of the post. It reminded me a lot of me when i was in shihan mode too with just a yellow belt. But i have grown up as i have gone along. And the only thing that made me smile was your cynicism :). Should you not expect better from aikidoka's now that they have heard you and understood the point you are trying to make. Think that is the thing about aikidoka's, we are receptive and open to new information. Are we not? Is that not why we are practicing the art of peace in the age of MMA??

Carl Thompson
01-21-2010, 02:58 AM
It could be worse...

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/youtube.png

Janet Rosen
01-21-2010, 03:31 AM
I started participating in net-based aikido groups early in my training. I never considered myself knowledgable to talk about technical stuff, but as a middle aged person did feel knowledgable to talk about other stuff that would come up AND also many times newbies make interesting contributions to forums - they have a different perspective or ask questions we forget to. I'd hate to think that folks are feeling unwelcome here, but yeah there is some rudeness that goes on (by people of all levels of experience) and sometimes I feel like the aikiweb great-aunt, pinching peoples cheeks and reminding them to play nice :-)

Michael Fitzgerald
01-21-2010, 04:01 AM
It's true people can learn by experience (theirs and others'). Some people learn a lot from a little, others learn little from an awful lot.

Experience is no garuantee of wisdom. Nor does inexperience preclude insight.

I beleive 'newbies' should gratefully learn from those with more experience, but what a sad state of affairs for some of those who have accumulated so much, to have lost the ability to learn from those who- while new commers to the specialty of the veteran- may just have a thing or two the open mind can learn from them.

oooh I'm such a romantic *LOL*.

putting it another way- it is easy to get carried away with one's self after a long time on the one subject. (I'm thinking mad scientist type vibe here) I'm sure we all feel like we could help the mad scientist at times, but he sure knows how to science up a storm!

It occurs to me that above and beyond being talented at this or that martial art, we are all human, very much human. each of us is due the exact same 'mat time' in life, and as beauty is in hte eye of the beholder, so too the value of an expressed opinion to a large extent, is in the ear (or eye) of the person listening/ reading the forum.

wow, am I a pain in the 4r53 or what XP. beleive me I mean well.

lbb
01-21-2010, 08:31 AM
I beleive 'newbies' should gratefully learn from those with more experience, but what a sad state of affairs for some of those who have accumulated so much, to have lost the ability to learn from those who- while new commers to the specialty of the veteran- may just have a thing or two the open mind can learn from them.

This is true as a matter of simple fact, but the way the statement is framed is a little misleading. "Just as A can learn from B, so B can learn from A" suggests that there's an equal likelihood of the information going either way, which isn't the case. A college freshman who's never studied physics before can learn a lot about physics from a tenured physics professor...but while it's hypothetically possible, it's highly unlikely that a tenured physics professor is going to learn anything about physics from a college freshman who's never studied physics before.

I think the most valuable thing that newbies have to contribute is their experience as newbies -- recognizing, of course, that there's a good chance that others have heard it before. Every shihan was a newbie once, just as every tenured physics professor was once a college freshman, so they had that experience as well, and may have had the exact same amazing revelations. At the same time, even if someone else's closely parallels yours, twenty years down the road they may not really think about it much, and newbie perspectives can be a valuable reminder. Newbies should remember, though, that they're likely to be posting stuff that people have heard before in some form, probably many times -- so don't feel hurt when you don't always get much of a response.

Then, too, there can be significant differences in newbie experience, depending on life circumstances. We all had the experience of stepping onto the mat the first time -- but not everyone has had the experience of stepping onto the mat for the first time as a woman, as an older adult, as a person with a disability or a chronic medical condition, etc. I can see the potential for experienced aikidoka to make erroneous assumptions about what a newbie is experiencing, which could be quite different from his/her own newbie experiences. Again, this is an opportunity to listen and learn, although it really requires some clarity of thought and expression from the newbie if that's to happen -- if you're trying to communicate across a gap in life experiences, you have to be able to reflect on your own experiences and frame them well enough for others who don't share that experience to understand.

Finally, a newbie may have other life experiences that are directly relevant. I'm not so much talking about the people who try to make connections (sometimes really tenuous ones IMO) between some other area where they have expertise and aikido ("I'm an experienced software developer, and even though I've only been training for two days, I think this gives me a unique and unusually advanced insight into aikido because aikido is like a code review..."), as the pragmatic stuff (I learned what I know about blister prevention and treatment from hiking, for example).

I have to say, I honestly think that the claims of the newbies being roughed up here are sometimes a little overblown (and in some cases, a lot overblown). I also think that newbies have sometimes been oblivious to their own behavior and how they may be stepping on others. It's not all going one way -- let's please recognize that before we start calling out the more experienced members of AikiWeb as not "keeping to the aikido philosophy".

dps
01-21-2010, 08:49 AM
Walk the talk people! Where the hell is the unconditional love and understanding the Founder spoke of.

It is there.
You have to work hard to get to that point.
Your seniors have it.
Watch and listen to them.
If you don't recognize it, it is because of your expectations ( your cup is full )

David

C. David Henderson
01-21-2010, 08:53 AM
I agree with Mary's post, which is clearly thought through and well stated.

I also feel the unexamined term here is "aikido philosophy," about which, I suspect, there is in fact no wide-spread agreement.

(For example, whether I am right or wrong, I was nonplussed by the statement regarding O Sensei and unconditional love.)

To me it boils down to mutual respect, a value I do associate with my aikido training. That value however doesn't translate for me into "all opinions are equally valid." And showing respect to someone who is relatively inexperienced doesn't necessarily look the same as showing respect to someone who is relatively experienced when it comes to an exchange of ideas, IMO.

YMMV

cdh

crbateman
01-21-2010, 09:43 AM
Just my opinion, of course, but there is a difference between a noob getting on a forum and saying "I've been training for 3 weeks, but I don't understand how to blah, blah,blah...", and somebody else saying "I've been training for 3 weeks, and my instructor is wrong about blah, blah, blah..." or "All the black belts should be doing blah, blah, blah..." or "O'Sensei really was trying to blah, blah, blah..." or "Aikido is supposed to be blah, blah, blah...".

I know people with 30 or more years in Aikido who still can't define or express it, so I can see it's easy for some to slam somebody who claims to have figured it all out after a very short time, particularly if they start out ready to argue about it, rather than actually listening to those who might try to encourage patience. I rather think that the expectation (perhaps idealism at its best) is that you start humble, and just get more so as you go along (beginners' mind).

So introduction and reaction have much to do about attitude. There will always be exceptions; there will always be noobs with much more wisdom than would be expected, and there will always be those who just want to fight. If one can keep in mind that everybody has something to teach, as well as something to learn, I think it makes it easier to cope with the "overzealous"...

George S. Ledyard
01-21-2010, 11:38 AM
Just my opinion, of course, but there is a difference between a noob getting on a forum and saying "I've been training for 3 weeks, but I don't understand how to blah, blah,blah...", and somebody else saying "I've been training for 3 weeks, and my instructor is wrong about blah, blah, blah..." or "All the black belts should be doing blah, blah, blah..." or "O'Sensei really was trying to blah, blah, blah..." or "Aikido is supposed to be blah, blah, blah...".

I know people with 30 or more years in Aikido who still can't define or express it, so I can see it's easy for some to slam somebody who claims to have figured it all out after a very short time, particularly if they start out ready to argue about it, rather than actually listening to those who might try to encourage patience. I rather think that the expectation (perhaps idealism at its best) is that you start humble, and just get more so as you go along (beginners' mind).

So introduction and reaction have much to do about attitude. There will always be exceptions; there will always be noobs with much more wisdom than would be expected, and there will always be those who just want to fight. If one can keep in mind that everybody has something to teach, as well as something to learn, I think it makes it easier to cope with the "overzealous"...

I am sure I can be as guilty as the next guy in being impatient at times with newbies.It is as Clark stated, it's how the post gets stated. I actually think that, in general, people here are VERY patient with new folks. I usually don't post to the newbie questions, myself. At this point I am not a very good person to do so. My wife, who is an Aikido beginner, has pointed out that after spending virtually my entire adult life doing this art, I really don't even remember what it is like to be a beginner.I guess that's true... both Ikeda Sensei and Saotome Sensei told me not to even teach the beginner classes but have one of my seniors do so.

One thing that I I think gets the experienced folks a bit harsh is the appearance of laziness on the part of the poster. Jun has created a huge archive of material on here and it is free. Sometimes when a newbie asks a question or posts an observation concerning a topic which has 40,000 views and 500+ posts, you wish they had simply done a search and taken the time to read what has already been written.

How did the experienced people who posts here get that way? A lot of hard work. I have read virtually everything in the Aikido Journal archives, many articles more than once. I have most of what I consider to be the best books on Aikido, I have read all of the continuing set of articles by Peter Goldsbury, etc. Sometimes folks post on something on which the answer is quite close at hand. We should be more patient than we are sometimes, I agree. But it's hard when a topic has been beaten to death and you'd hoped it was dead and buried and it gets resurrected by some well meaning newbie.

It's not so easy to be experienced on the forums either. That's one of the reasons why there are so few really high ranking people posting with any frequency. Kensho Furuya tried years ago and simply left because the discourse was so discordant. He was accorded none of the respect that someone of his experience would expect in a dojo or in person. The internet is a hard place.

A number of quite senior people have told me that they either don't post or have stopped posting because they don't feel they have time to wade through so much BS and the don't wish to take the time for it.

So, yes, we should be more patient and welcoming of our new arrivals. But also, we should appreciate the really experienced folks who do support the site. I think that takes quite a bit of patience as well. Many do not have enough and don't bother.

And folks do have to deal with fact that Aikido is a martial art. Just as when you are new at the dojo and your technique isn't working and the seniors don't seem to have the time of day for you, or you think they are trying to kill you when they do train with you, you have to just get through it. After a time it won't be that way any longer. It's the same here. You have to be able to handle some hurt feelings and bruised egos to be able to participate. If you can't hold your own, it's never going to be very enjoyable. The respect you get on-line is earned, just as it is on the mat.

I think that, for the most part, people are very receptive to a sincerely asked question on the part of a newbie. I also think they are quite tolerant of an opinion on the part of a newbie which is level appropriate, even if it is a bit off base. What seems to get folks going here are ill considered or poorly expressed ideas and strong opinions expressed by people who don't know anything about what they are talking about. Then it can be a feeding frenzy.

Perhaps it shouldn't be that way but I don't think it is different anywhere on the Internet and Aikiweb is far more civilized than some places. Jun does a very good job of sitting on threads or posts that have gotten out of hand, something that didn't happen at Aikido Journal and it destroyed the participation on their forum.

ninjaqutie
01-21-2010, 12:01 PM
I hope I'm not one of the rude new aikido people here. :( As a new aikido person, I can say that I have never personally felt attacked or made fun of. I have seen some harsh things going on between other people though. I have no idea as to how long they have been training. I must say that at several points, most of you have answered some of my questions and I have found you to be helpful. I am probably guilty of asking answered questions already, but I am trying to get better about that. I didn't know aikiweb had a search feature for a while. Now that is my first go to.

In the end, this was a good thread and I have enjoyed reading your comments. :)

MM
01-21-2010, 12:06 PM
A nice post, George. Thanks.

akiy
01-21-2010, 12:23 PM
Good discussion so far, folks. Thank you for your thoughtfulness from all of you on all of this.

-- Jun

jonreading
01-21-2010, 12:24 PM
I pose a few things to consider:
1. Poor writing that does not effectively communicate the poster's intentions is the fault of the poster, not those who critique the post.
2. Posts that demonstrate a clear lack of preparation or forethought is the fault of the poster, not those who critique the post.
3. Posts that set forth speculation or opinion as fact is the fault of the poster, not those who critique the post.

Many posts [from more experience voices] that I read on aikiweb that appear harsh often are in response to one of these faults. That post may include a link to a previously discussed thread, a request for clarification regarding the topic, or a denounciation or counter to an opinion-presented-as-fact. These responses can appear harsh.

I often find I prefer to respond to well-written posts. I also prefer to read about new topics of interest rather that responding to a topic about which I have previously read. As an observation, I cannot recall reading a senior aikiweb-er respond negavitively to a well-reasoned and prepared post from a newer member.

As for the aikido philosophy I say this, what if a student trained half-heartedly on the mat, or gave instruction to a senior, or contested sensei, or made wild theories, or any of a number of habits we see on aikiweb. For all of these things, that student would be judged by the other dojo members and reprimanded for her conduct. So why does that respect and attitude change in cyber space?

I believe often we seek to post what we want to say, then revise our comments when rebuffed by others. We think we deserve credit for trying. One of my favorite english teachers once told me that if something was important enough to write down, then [I] should be prepared to concisely, effectively, and clearly write it and stand up for what I wrote. If not, then [I] did not know enough about what I was writing about to write about it. Similary, Einstein said, "
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."

Amassus
01-21-2010, 12:33 PM
Thanks for the responses so far.

I think the most valuable thing that newbies have to contribute is their experience as newbies -- recognizing, of course, that there's a good chance that others have heard it before. Every shihan was a newbie once, just as every tenured physics professor was once a college freshman, so they had that experience as well, and may have had the exact same amazing revelations. At the same time, even if someone else's closely parallels yours, twenty years down the road they may not really think about it much, and newbie perspectives can be a valuable reminder. Newbies should remember, though, that they're likely to be posting stuff that people have heard before in some form, probably many times -- so don't feel hurt when you don't always get much of a response.



I like this and agree totally.

One thing that I I think gets the experienced folks a bit harsh is the appearance of laziness on the part of the poster. Jun has created a huge archive of material on here and it is free. Sometimes when a newbie asks a question or posts an observation concerning a topic which has 40,000 views and 500+ posts, you wish they had simply done a search and taken the time to read what has already been written.


What I found useful when I first joined this forum was a link placed to appropriate archived material. It's been pointed out that some people don't even realise that there is a search function so a quick reference is good. It can end a thread and the OP gets what they need or at least put in the right direction. :)

I also feel the unexamined term here is "aikido philosophy," about which, I suspect, there is in fact no wide-spread agreement.


I thought someone would pick up on this. Agreed, the philosophy of aikido is a broad topic. My definition, for the purposes of this post, is to say that we should look to create a welcoming atmosphere here at aikiweb for beginners. I believe, on the whole, we do that but some threads have shocked me recently.

Please note, that I'm talking about attitudes in the forums and not on the mat. I don't believe personal opinions and questions should dominate physical training time.

Carl...thanks for your post, it did put things in perspective for me. I should lighten up.

dps
01-21-2010, 12:49 PM
On any thread, if you scroll to the very bottom of the page there is a "Similiar Threads" section.

Here is a post by Lynn Seiser from that section, bold type is from me.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13589

"What Aikido is Not (IMHO)

When I was a child, I believed in magic.
I hated people who burst my bubbles.

Aikido is many things to many people. I know that it is supposed to be the gift from O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba to a world full of confusion, conflict, and chaos. I do get a lot out of training. Nevertheless, and in no offense to O'Sensei, there are many things that Aikido is not. Aikido is not magic, it is not a quick fix, and it is not an escape or retreat from the real world.

As I got older, I wanted to believe in magic.
I learned to appreciate the people who burst my bubble
so I could see and deal with reality.

Aikido is not the only, or even the best, martial art. Aikido is a martial art. If it matches your needs, then practice. If not, let it go. Do not feel you are better than others because you practice or worse because you do not. The reason there are so many styles and systems of martial arts is that each have their strengths and weaknesses, their application intent and context, and their personality matches. Aikido may be the best for you, but the worst for another.

Aikido is not psychological intervention and treatment. It is not counseling or psychotherapy. Aikido will not fix your mental or emotional problems. In fact, because of the intense interactions, you may become even more aware of them. Aikido is that type of arena. By being aware of your problems, you can consciously face, accept, and resolve them (but not on the mat please).

Aikido is not medical treatment. Aikido will not fix physical conditions or injuries. In fact, it has the potential, if you do not train wisely, to make everything physically worse. Wise training, slow, and steady, watching alignment and form, and progressing slowly, now that just may be of some benefit. What would the fun be in that?

Aikido is not a social life. While you can learn social skills in a dojo, it is not a substitute for, or sanctuary from, the real world and a need for real human interaction. The social interaction before, during, and after training is important. It is a way to realize you are not alone in your Budo journey. That is important. Though trying to find your social life, especially the dating or sexual aspects, can lead to loss of the exact thing you were looking for.

Aikido is not family. Aikido is a type of family where you can learn parental type roles, responsibilities, and affection by teaching. Aikido is a type of family where you can learn sibling roles, responsibilities, and affect for senior and junior (rank, not age) members. Aikido is a type of family in which you share a responsibility to contribute and participate in the family dwelling, the dojo where you study. However, to neglect your real family and not practice the same at home is to totally miss the spirit of Aikido.

Aikido is not parenting. Aikido is not substitute for actively aware and engaged parents. Most Aikido Dojos offer a children's program. Some have after school programs for working parents. They may provide safety, supervision, and study time, but the children do not want or need if from substitute parents. They need it from the real thing, the ones who gave them birth brought them home, and love them.

Aikido is not the answers to your questions about your purpose in life. It gives you a place to practice that purpose. A Zen Koan is an absurd question that defies intellectual analysis and understanding. The best way to find the answer to a Zen Koan is to drop the question and stay consciously aware in the present. You do not find a purpose in life; you put it there by the direction and choices you make. The answer is in the question. How do you stop yourself from having the life you want?

Aikido is not aerobic, resistance, or stretching exercise. It is not ballet, folk dancing, or disco. Aikido is not a spectator sport. Aikido is physical movement. It is graceful and rhythmic. It looks like a choreographed dance from the bleachers. It is only when you sign up, show up, suit up, shut up, and train as an actively engaged participant that you finally understand what Aikido offers. You will not be able to explain it to anyone who does not train and you will not have to explain it to anyone who does.

The physical practice of Aikido is not the mental or spiritual practice. The mental or spiritual practice is not the physical practice. To have body, mind, and spirit in harmony, you must train the body, mind, and spirit separately and in unity. It is not either/or and it is not sequential. It is both and it is simultaneous. That is the practice, everything pointed, and extending in the same direction at the same time.

Aikido is not magic, but people are. Aikido it is not a quick fix, but a tool of respect and discipline. Aikido is not an escape or retreat from the real world, but a safe place to practice how to be in it and what direction we already know we need to be heading.

As an old man, I believe in the magic of reality and discipline.
I have become that person who bursts bubbles.
However, I try to do it with positive intent and love.

Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey. Now get back to training. KWATZ!"

jxa127
01-21-2010, 12:57 PM
George made two very good points regarding internet forums (fora?):


One thing that I I think gets the experienced folks a bit harsh is the appearance of laziness on the part of the poster. Jun has created a huge archive of material on here and it is free. Sometimes when a newbie asks a question or posts an observation concerning a topic which has 40,000 views and 500+ posts, you wish they had simply done a search and taken the time to read what has already been written.


Okay, so I'm new to aikido and I find out about Aikiweb. I got to aikiweb with a burning question about people turning out of shihonage (or the effectiveness of aikido in a fight, or whatever). I guess the proper action is to do a forum search and find my answer there. But if I do that, I run into this problem:


A number of quite senior people have told me that they either don't post or have stopped posting because they don't feel they have time to wade through so much BS and the don't wish to take the time for it.


So I find several threads on shihonage, and then wade through 500 posts with different opinions, arguments, side discussions, and flat-out contradictions. Furthermore, I'm probably too dang new to pick up on the fact that George Ledyard is a very experienced instructor while Drew Ames (to pick a name out of the air) is a common schmoe with just a decade of experience.

In the OLD DAYS of the internet, there'd be a frequently asked questions (FAQ) file that would get updated frequently and posted frequently to the newsgroups. There might be bickering over the answers, but generally, the answers were there, easy to find, and good enough for a starting point.

The bottom line is that it's not that easy for a newbie to get acclimated to using the forums (and that goes for any fora, not just Aikiweb). That's why some of the first advice for netiquette was to lurk for a while before posting.

It seems these days that both netiquette and the maintenance of FAQs have declined as common practices. The answer to a common question used to be "read the answer to the common questions (read the FAQ)"; it is now "search the forums." That is not an improvement.

Regards,

akiy
01-21-2010, 01:38 PM
I've moved the posts regarding a possible collaborative AikiWeb FAQ section to here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17574)...

-- Jun

Cliff Judge
01-21-2010, 06:56 PM
My honest answer to the question posed in the title of this thread is yes, absolutely. This forum is exceptionally civil and the regulars here are tolerant and generous.

gdandscompserv
01-21-2010, 07:28 PM
Once again.
Those darn varmits!
http://www.sandmtnshootersclub.com/yosemite.gif
:D

Sy Labthavikul
01-21-2010, 07:59 PM
Compared to the vast majority of internet forums for niche topics, I'd say we're a class act in civility. Though that isn't a license that we should be complacent; there's always room for improvement. Green enthusiasm shouldn't be met with scorn; it should be met with equal enthusiasm, an eagerness to guide newcomers to appropriate sources of information.

I used to play this computer game, lets call it Domain of Battle-artifice (UoB), where people (mostly programmers, engineers, academia, and other ivory-tower types) would love to pontificate on its mathematical details and how to optimize their play. They called it theorycrafting, I mean hypothesis-artificing.

The premiere forum for such hypothesis-artificing was a website called something like Snobby Bastards, and while the level of discussion there was very high level - statistical analysis of every possible encounter in the game was considered required reading before you could even understand what they talking about - it was not very newbie friendly. In fact, if you were to post a question or discussion topic that had already been covered, within hours an administrator would reply "Use search idiot," then issue you a warning. Simple requests for information that were considered "common knowledge" never received answers, just warnings and plenty of scorn. Three or more warnings and you'd be IP banned from the forum. There was no appeal.

Eugene Leslie
01-21-2010, 11:35 PM
Good people on this site.

Abasan
01-22-2010, 02:33 AM
The Racial Divide could be an answer.

Simply speaking, it means that in any forum there will be a group of people who share similar values and ideas, more often than not they would be of the same grouping be it country of origin, sex, educational background, race or creed.

When someone other than those people are comfortable with come out to say something, most times their views are either look at with condescension, ignored or put down. We as human beings like to have a safety zone. That's why mob rule exists. Take anyone out of a mob, and most will fall back to accepted societal behaviour. So, sometimes when someone in that mob starts shooting down a new poster, others of the mob usually follow suit even though in their own personal opinion, there was nothing wrong with the post.

Also, talking with people over the net whom you've never met is sometimes off putting. That's why you feel more comfortable posting to people whom you've already met in real life. This people are real, you know them and they know you. At the very least, they have to be polite and respond to your post because its expected of them. Taken in that context, you would generally have met people living in the same geographical location as you.

Finally, everyone is free to make a choice. Some post here to share what they have without feeling the need for a pat on the back. Some share to get positive feedback. Some lurk to just feed their mind, and some like to criticize because it suits their temperament to do so.

I've been called a terrorist in this very forum a number of years back. From a very small minded person who engaged only a small part of this forum's varied topics. And unhappily enough, that spurred some other people to join in on the onslaught as well. Never you mind the basis of the name calling, nor the context, its easier to jump on the bandwagon with the winning team.

For me, it does not matter if you praise me or criticize me. As long as the forum itself remains impartial, you can deposit your thoughts and opinion here. Maybe someone will find it useful and maybe not. But perhaps for that someone who did find it useful, you have at least brighten his life a bit. And that should be reward enough.

Carl Thompson
01-22-2010, 03:28 AM
I wonder how many people have sat and written long responses to Aikiweb threads, then paused with the cursor hanging just above the "submit reply" button, before finally closing the window without sharing their thoughts for fear of either other's egos or their own.
Maybe someone will find it useful and maybe not. But perhaps for that someone who did find it useful, you have at least brighten his life a bit. And that should be reward enough.
I always ask myself... "why post?" and "for whose benefit?"
In fact, if you were to post a question or discussion topic that had already been covered, within hours an administrator would reply "Use search idiot," then issue you a warning.
That tempts me to start a new thread entitled "Is aikido effective?" just to see what happens.

...(pauses)..

...(stands up...paces around the room a moment)...

...(tries to examine own ego but can't locate it, even with light from halo)

...(SUBMITS REPLY)...

Alec Corper
01-22-2010, 06:42 AM
Sometimes having a "beginners mind", and the openness and humility that belongs to it seems to require a lot of experience. After a lot of practise we tend to see more clearly what we don't know, and, even more importantly what we can't do. After 18 years of Aikido, ( and a total of 30 in Budo) I suppose that sometimes I wish people would just 'shut up and train", but then we wouldn't have internet forums anymore. That would be a loss, in the main par,t given the high calibre of information that is circulating for those who can sort the wheat from the chaff. We will all look back on the stupid things we have done and said, and if you never do, you either haven't done much, or you need to polish your glasses.

Shannon Frye
01-22-2010, 03:39 PM
I wonder how many people have sat and written long responses to Aikiweb threads, then paused with the cursor hanging just above the "submit reply" button, before finally closing the window without sharing their thoughts for fear of either other's egos or their own. .

I've done that may times. Figured I'd either be bombarded with contrary opinions with the disassociated "IMHO", whimsical insults disguised with "LOL" at the end, or downright argumentative posturing prefaced with "just my 2 cents".

It's a shame that you can expect, in most posting:
1. Someone to raise the question of "Why are you asking that?", instead of just answering the question.
2. Someone telling everyone how uninterested they are in the topic, even when her post is the 50th in line.
3. Someone with experience who can answer the question chastising the OP for not either already knowing the answer, or daring to expect someone to just give them the answer it.
4. Someone piping in with some poem or "unrelated words of unwisdom" making themselves sound important, but doing nothing to answer the question. Is there a "random babble" search on Google for this purpose?

I sure hope these encourage newbies to continue to post, and not be as second guessing as those of us who know what to expect. This art has an arrogant side to it, who shouldn't rear it's ugly head on such a nice place as this.

Just my 2 cents, IMHO, and LOL

Jeffrey Tanaka
01-22-2010, 11:30 PM
For me, the difference between a forum and reading a column is a forum is alive, everchanging, nonstatic. It's a dialogue. Whether good or bad, I'm forming relationships. Sometimes those relationships may be adversarial, but most times they're a delight. Me and You. Through the forum I feel I know a little glimpse of who you are despite great distances. If I were to just do an Aikiweb search, and not post for fear of the topic already having been covered, would I not miss out on the beauty of the forum?

Jeff

Eugene Leslie
01-24-2010, 01:34 AM
I learn alot regardless...................................................................... ................................................................................ ................................................................................ ...................

Kevin Leavitt
01-24-2010, 07:32 AM
Basically what I do before I hit send is look at it and say to myself "10 years from now....when I read back through the archives....I am going to cringe at what I wrote."

If not then I usually hit SEND.

aikishihan
01-24-2010, 07:35 AM
A monk living near a Japanese village was told by the Head man that a young lass had accused him of fathering her child.
"Is that so?", replied the monk.

When the baby was born, the same Head man brought the infant for the monk to care for. After, it was his, wasn't it?
"Is that so?" replied the monk.

A contingent from the village came abjectedly to retrieve the infant from the monk, apologizing for their error, explaining that the actual father was found, and that he and the young woman would marry and take rightful care of the child.
"Is that so?" replied the monk.

Someone told me that people who do Aikido don't always agree, and that sometimes, their behavior mismatches their philosophy.

"Is that so?" said I.

crbateman
01-24-2010, 07:46 PM
Someone told me that people who do Aikido don't always agree, and that sometimes, their behavior mismatches their philosophy.

"Is that so?" said I.:D :D :D Thanks!

Ron Tisdale
01-25-2010, 08:48 AM
Someone told me that people who do Aikido don't always agree, and that sometimes, their behavior mismatches their philosophy.

"Is that so?" said I.

Priceless!

Best,
Ron
Osu!

Shannon Frye
01-30-2010, 09:33 PM
*sighs*

RED
01-30-2010, 10:31 PM
It could be worse...

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/youtube.png

I <3 Carl Thompson.
That is all.

:cool:

Basia Halliop
02-09-2010, 03:23 PM
Sometimes when a newbie asks a question or posts an observation concerning a topic which has 40,000 views and 500+ posts, you wish they had simply done a search and taken the time to read what has already been written.

I know I've heard this before, but is seems kind of odd to me, or at least different from what I think of an internet forum as being.

I think of forums as active places where people come to participate and discuss things, not to be efficient... I could listen to recordings of people having conversations about a subject that interested me, but it probably wouldn't take away my urge to get in a conversation. Archives are always valuable and I hate when I see them lost on forums, or when they're hard to use, etc... but it seems some people join conversations they know they won't be interested in just to reprimand people for discussing something that's not new to them... Is there a big problem with bandwidth or something? Why not just not get involved in that particular conversation? Or at least respond helpfully mentioning that there are archived threads that might interest the person as well?

I've been on other forums and this is the first where I've encountered this idea of it being bad or wasteful to have conversations that aren't new enough... even when they are volunteer forums when people are basically donating valuable time to help people. Sometimes someone will refer to someone to a FAQ or a previous topic, but never in any kind of negative way. And certainly not when they're more informal discussion places. It seems it's just expected that many people will have the same questions and that popular topics will come up frequently. I've never encountered that being seen as a 'problem' before, let alone something to reprimand someone for.

lbb
02-09-2010, 06:08 PM
I think of forums as active places where people come to participate and discuss things, not to be efficient... I could listen to recordings of people having conversations about a subject that interested me, but it probably wouldn't take away my urge to get in a conversation. Archives are always valuable and I hate when I see them lost on forums, or when they're hard to use, etc... but it seems some people join conversations they know they won't be interested in just to reprimand people for discussing something that's not new to them... Is there a big problem with bandwidth or something? Why not just not get involved in that particular conversation? Or at least respond helpfully mentioning that there are archived threads that might interest the person as well?

Not bandwidth as such, but there is a valid concern, in general, with signal-to-noise ratio. It's misleading to state categorically that one can simply "just not get involved in that particular conversation": or that one can simply ignore the noise -- of course, one can, but when there's a lot of noise, it becomes very hard to pick out the signal. On some websites this takes the form of frequent and endless crap posts that flood the front page: if there's a worthwhile discussion going on, sure, someone can find it...if they know to go looking for it. But if one person starts a discussion thread on a serious topic, and two dozen other threads are started in the next fifteen minutes, all on crap topics, the original thread gets pushed off the front page, other site members who would have something worthwhile to say are much less likely to see it.

In aikiweb, we don't have the problem of a spate of crap threads pushing the worthwhile stuff off the front page in a very short period of time...but we do sometimes have a problem with the "noise" of many crap comments overcoming the "signal" of the worthwhile comments within that thread. Same issue, it becomes much harder to ferret out the decent stuff in amongst the chaff, so people who would have something worthwhile are less likely to contribute, and the thread continues to go downhill.

As for "it seems some people join conversations they know they won't be interested in just to reprimand people for discussing something that's not new to them" -- I'm going to call strawman on you. I would like you to find me five examples of threads where such a "reprimand" was issued in the past month. I doubt that you'll be able to, except perhaps by an extreme degree of stretching.

Shannon Frye
02-10-2010, 01:17 PM
Wow - noise - signal - crap comments - crap threads - worthwhile stuff -

seems awfully subjective to me.

Oh, I apologize - Im not the straw man, but I couldn't resist......Here's someone commenting on the comments, not addressing the original question, making assumption for the OP's interests, and making it clear that it didn't interest him/her...
________________________________________________
12-21-2009, 09:31 AM #33
(name withheld)
Re: Checking out a new dojo
I imagine that the OP is finding this pro-federation/anti-federation squabble very informative. Just what information is being conveyed, however, is something we probably don't want to dwell on.
_______________________________________________

________________________________________________
And the snow blows on.....

lbb
02-10-2010, 03:40 PM
Wow - noise - signal - crap comments - crap threads - worthwhile stuff -

seems awfully subjective to me.

Some of them are subjective; others are simply not defined in absolute terms. There's an important difference. Failure to understand the difference is a large reason why this debate persists.

Oh, I apologize - Im not the straw man, but I couldn't resist......Here's someone commenting on the comments, not addressing the original question, making assumption for the OP's interests, and making it clear that it didn't interest him/her...
________________________________________________
12-21-2009, 09:31 AM #33
(name withheld)
Re: Checking out a new dojo
I imagine that the OP is finding this pro-federation/anti-federation squabble very informative. Just what information is being conveyed, however, is something we probably don't want to dwell on.
_______________________________________________


I think this comment undermines rather than supports Basia's contention -- but I'll give it to you. So that's one...

Do you see my point, Shannon? People are talking like the old-timers wade into every thread, "reprimanding" newbies left and right, and I just do not think that's happening to any significant degree. I think that where it is happening, it is a few isolated incidents, and frankly, many of those are made out to be much more than the4y are. The complain is being made in sweeping, inaccurate and misleading terms. It reminds me of the current City of Boston "snow emergency" -- the whole city shut down all day, and there is perhaps one inch of snow on the ground. Look at this whole thread: "Are we keeping to the aikido philosphy". What's the expectation -- that no one on aikiweb shall ever show a human emotion of frustration? That no one shall ever express frustration and have it be wildly misinterpreted as a vicious personal attack? That if such a thing happens, we need to fire up some kind of witch hunt in pursuit of these alleged "reprimanders"? All I'm saying is, if there's such a big problem, show me the reprimands. It shouldn't be hard to do -- if it is such a big problem.

Johann Baptista
02-16-2010, 07:03 PM
It could be worse...

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/youtube.png

:D :D

I definitely agree with Carl Thompson. Aikiweb is a remarkably well behaved forum compared to so many forums out there. I used to participate in another forum; I left because one of the moderators was a self-important and arrogant poster. He hated Aikido, used profanity very often, and was a general annoyance to anyone who held a different opinion.

He once said of O'Sensei; "He was just a guy with some skill who tried to pimp his a** on some stupid mysticism. He was part of one of those freaky and stupid Japanese cults called Omoto Kyo."

I mean, a moderator of a forum behaving like this is inexcusable. In almost no other forum I have ever been on have I been able to respectfully disagree with people. In this forum I have been able to present cases and receive responses, and I am pleased with the politeness involved.

Good job Jun! Keep it up!

:ai:
:ki:
:do:

- Johann

Mark Nicoll
02-17-2010, 07:52 AM
Wow!

So many different opinions of one subject.

The internet will always be a place where people go not just for knowledge, or media ratification, but, they come also to rant and rave, for no other reason than that they can. Would they be so rude or nasty in real life? Probably not, because they would fear reprimand from their peers or worse, physical violence. The internet allows you to have an alter ego, where you can be the arrogant, rude urchin. Which is good, because without bad there cannot be good and visa-versa, plus it generates good healthy conversations such as this one.

I do not condone bad behaviour, but it will always be a part of life and I accept that.

Enough said. Nearly time for Aikido. :)

Wow 3 posts in how many years? LOL :D