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John Boswell
12-22-2003, 02:44 PM
After reading various threads both here on :ai::ki: Web and other sites, it occurs to me that there is a serious lack of due Respect in the world... or at least in the world of Aikido. Now, this flies totally in the face of "Free Speech", which I am all for to an extent, but even free speech has its limits.

But consider: You go to a web site where anyone can post ideas and thoughts freely to share and discuss with others their points of view. GREAT! But now... we have points of view that go CRASHING into the faces of high ranking sensei... well respected authorities... doctors, priests, leaders of their field! And we can do nothing but watch as these individuals are attacked despite being RIGHT?

Personally, when a person under the age of say... 30, comes along and begins telling others how they are wrong and will not be talked down to, then I gotta think that Respect is dying, Humility is forgotten and Honor is a word with no meaning WHATSOEVER.

There is something to be said for knowing your own place in this world. As for those who don't know their place... I have a few choice words for them in addition to very specific directions on where those people can go.

Well... that's about it. I've vented as nicely as I can. The proper audience probably won't get the whole point of this post. I hope one or two of you will appreciate it for what it is. ;)

Domo!!

Eric Joyce
12-22-2003, 03:25 PM
I agree John. I have seen that as well. Thats the thing about freedom of speech...sometimes you have to take good with the bad. I just wish more people were respectful and if they didn't agree with you, that they would have a little tact and made their disagreements with a little bit of class. Oh well, dare to dream I guess. Have a great holiday John.

John Boswell
12-22-2003, 03:39 PM
Thanks for chiming in, Eric!

Have a Merry Christmas!

vanstretch
12-22-2003, 03:54 PM
freedom of speech, yeah. but what about freedom of thought?

Josh Bisker
12-22-2003, 08:52 PM
Domo!!
please excuse my ignorance on the subject, but if i might contribute something - i remember a japanese language student telling me that to use "domo" by itself is the linguistic equivalent of a tossed down "thanks," and suitable really for only extremely familiar and informal situations; he told me that "domo arigato" or even "arigato" is generally a more appropriate expression whenever one is aiming to convey respect or apprection.

it is something not everyone knows, and people quite frequently commit breaches of linguistic etiquette without knowing at all that they are doing so. i have found, however, that almost everyone i have encountered with this difficulty has been happy to improve themselves after being shown that the chance exists for them to do so. i have often found that people are more resentful towards changing this practice when they are told that they have been doing something wrong. In this case, in fact, they have not been doing anything wrong anyway; there is simply something that they could be doing "more right." The same, i imagine, goes for keiko, where an instructor who guides his students towards an ideal might develope them more easily and successfully than one who would badger them. In my experience training, the same has been true for my technique: it feels much more smooth and successful when i aim to lead my uke than when i try to push or pull him. In reflecting on my training, I wonder if respect is implicit in the action of leading, and if so, then what is contained within the essence of forcefulness? These are things i consider when i think of respectfulness in aikido; that some people might be unaware of others' expectations, and that the realigning of those perceptions and expectations is a process that requires respect, gentleness, and understanding.

Again, please excuse my lack of experience and years; i submit my commentary and criticism to you with humble apprciation.

Arigato Gozaimas

shihonage
12-23-2003, 02:16 AM
I don't see people like Mr. Peter Goldsbury and Mr. George S. Ledyard ever be a subject of continuous and seemingly "blatant" attacks, nor do I see them getting particularly worked up about something that was said on an Internet forum.

That's probably because the things they say (or rather, type) here are actually on the subject, and they actually make sense.

Tim Griffiths
12-23-2003, 06:14 AM
...we have points of view that go CRASHING into the faces of high ranking sensei... well respected authorities... doctors, priests, leaders of their field!...

Personally, when a person under the age of say... 30, comes along and begins telling others how they are wrong...
OK, so you admitted it was a vent/rant, but still...

I'm sure there are a lot of high-ranking sensei I've never heard of (e.g. pretty much all Tomiki sensei - sorry!). For all I know this list is littered with them. If someone makes a comment that I don't understand, or that seems at odds with what I do understand, I'll want to query it. I don't know them, or their rank and experience, all I know is what they write and how they response to me. Which is, incidently, why Pete G and George don't get much abuse - they write carefully and politely.

Now, I'm a reasonably polite guy, and haven't intentionaly insulted anyone here that I recall. But others have a more 'brusque' manner, and I'm sure they don't know any better who's who.

As for your comment about people over the age of 30...no, I won't even start.

By the way, I myself have many views that would go CRASHING into the faces of many priests, rabbi's, mullahs, yogi and lama's. As, I suspect, do you.

Tim

Qatana
12-23-2003, 09:23 AM
"Which is, incidently, why Pete G and George don't get much abuse - they write carefully and politely"

Also, probably they are not in quite as "reactive" a space as a Sensei who may be extremely experienced with teaching Aikido to his own very respectful students but almost No practical experience of the day-to-day incidental (and generally unintentional) cruelty of normal "American"interaction....if you spend your Entire Life in the dojo there is not much opportunity for varied social interaction.

AsimHanif
12-23-2003, 09:32 AM
John, while I do agree with your basic premise of respect, I personally find it difficult to equate knowledge with age. I have known many people over the age of 30 (older even) who are not necessarily wise. More to your point though, being in an aikido system for many years does not necessarily make a person an authority OR an authority to all. Aikido knowledge will be based largely on personal experiences and I don't feel it can be dictated to all. In other words one size does not fit all.

Also I have noticed on this site and at seminars how certain instructors seem to have a superiority complex, although it may be subtle and guised in false humility. These are the instructors who speak of many, many years of experience yet don't have enough experience to take their aikido "off the mat". We all know that in aikido, the energy we put out has to go somewhere. Respect should be incumbent upon all regardless of so called rank. I too find that Mr. Goldsbury and Mr. Ledyard are recieved well here. I may not always agree with them but their posts are always respectful of others views and non authoritarian.

Lastly, I want to challenge my aikido as I challenge my faith. I am not afraid to ask the hard questions because I will not be shackled to dogma. And if the answers conflict with what has been traditionally the norm, then I have to ask "why is that?" The way I see it, this is really the first generation of aikidoka to ask the uneasy questions and challenge the status quo. I see nothing wrong with this as long as it is done respectfully. We have to keep aikido moving forward.

John Boswell
12-23-2003, 02:37 PM
Thank you for your words, Asim. You bring up many fine points which I would like to address. (*Before I start, its been a long day and my temper is warmed up. If I get snotty, I'll be back to apologize. From this point on I'll be address the thoughts you make and debating them, but nothing said is intended personally.)

1) Age does matter. Growing up, if I talked back to an elder... I was reminded in no uncertain terms that that was NOT good behaviour, was rude and would apologize. If that person is wrong, there is a correct way to address that while still giving them respect. However, if they are both older AND wiser... double attention should be paid when they are speaking to you as there is much to be learned. Anyone not willing to learn is in an obstienant frame of mind imho. As far as rank goes, I understand your point. The same could be said for styles and points of origin. It still does not excuse rude behaviour. There is such thing as HEALTHY debate... there is also name calling, back stabbing and peddy childishness.

2) Arrogant Sensei here and there is a point but that is not what I'm talking about. Sensei Goldsbury and Ledyard ARE well respected here. I agree and hold them in the highest regard despite knowing them ONLY by the internet (websites). They are not who I see being abused here. The ones I see being treated poorly are other sensei who are themselves Yondan and higher. Yet they are spoken to on these boards as a common person walking down the street... and in my humble opinion, they are anything but common.

3) I agree with your last point of asking the hard questions. I do this myself and like you said... it can be done with tact and respect. Not everyone on aikiweb does that, however. THIS is why I bring up this point on respect.

Thank you for posting. Hope I was as respectful to you as you were in yours. Have a happy holiday and look forward to future dialogue! ;)

AsimHanif
12-23-2003, 03:20 PM
John, your points are all well taken here also (as usual).

Hopefully you can clear something up for me...

Are you saying that these Sensei (in question) are not common and the rest of us are? This is not meant to sound harsh or like I'm trying to argue. I am really just trying to find out how/if you make the distinction. To me people are people regardless of rank and these high ranking people with years of experience should be teaching that they are not better than anyone else although they may have a great deal to impart to those of us willing to listen.

I do agree with regards to our elders. I will make more of an effort for someone who has spent many more years on this earth than me. They've earned it. I grew up with those same lessons you mentioned. But it is also true that I should give those who are not as advanced in years the same respect. I guess I'm looking at this as giving more respect to all instead of giving less to some.

Sorry for being so long winded again.

Erik
12-23-2003, 03:40 PM
I think this is needed. From

http://www.aikidofaq.com/aikidol/whine.html

Feel free to change aikido-l to aikiweb, or not, if you so desire.

(this is a standard message posted infrequently when the need arises)

Dear whiner,

You have whined about Aikido-L - quality of posts, quantity of posts, content of posts, character of posters, etc. You have threatened to unscubscribe.

You're not the first and you're not gonna be the last to do so. The world is full of whiners, not unlike a duck with warm shit. You follow the fine tradition of bitching without contributing and we follow the fine traditions of putting up with your crap and ignoring you. The List has existed in its original form, feel and content for years. If we didn't like it the way it is, we wouldn't have it that way. If you wanna make your own list, that's fine. If you wanna make your own newsgroup, that's fine too. But if you're gonna pollute *this* List with messages against pollution, you're pissing against the wind.

Don't whine! Shut up!

Don_Modesto
12-23-2003, 06:47 PM
Last week I received an email message from our host, and my friend, Jun Akiyama, who suggested I had made what he called “personal attacks” against a member of this board. I expected further communication from him on this (it hasn’t developed) and so refrained from posting further on the issue in the several threads which have popped up to debate it. Developments in the meanwhile have been instructive. Many of the points I would have made concerning the issue have been made very well by others, thank you, and I’ve quite enjoyed many of the posts on both sides of the issue. I would like to summarize my take on things and, as my title promises, apologize.

In my response to Jun’s email, I included a quotation from a recent reading in the Spring ‘03 issue of Monumenta Nipponica concerning standards of discourse and a psuedo-scholarly area of study called Nihonjinron. The citation quite expressed my own sentiments on such matters. I termed it “serendipitous” that I should find such a thing so pertinent to recent developments here, an unfortunate choice of words, however, for issues of accuracy and the protocols of inquiry interest me generally and indeed explain my interest in a brand of research (or other purported experts) embracing neither. Reviewing two books on this Nihonjinron, in his “Identity, Nihonjinron, and Academic (Dis)honesty,” Ian Reader writes,

“There are times…when I found myself wondering whether academic analysis and argument alone can ever be adequate as a means of dealing with some of the things purveyed by this genre. Is there not…a place also for ridicule and sarcasm here? At the very least this would provide us with a little satisfaction while our attempts at academic arguments are being ignored.”

If I am guilty of this self-same impulse, I am certainly now well placed to answer Mr. Reader’s question: No, there is no place. Ridicule and sarcasm distract. And this will be my segue to the promised apology.

I imagine it was to my post among others that board members referred when complaining of the rough treatment meted out to Reverend Furuya. The tone of my post was unfortunately such as to distract from its contents. To my immense gratification, prior to the unfortunate demise of the controversial Kamiza thread, several prominent members of these fora, Messrs. Peter Goldsbury, Chris Li, Ron Tisdale, and Fred Little, in varying degrees of enthusiasm, posted in support of the kind of frank inquiry occurring there and supported continuing the thread. Mr. Little's post honored me with the sincerest flattery of taking of the spirit of my comments and expressing it in his own magisterial eloquence and learning. All four, including Mr. Little on all other occasions I’ve read his posts, are notable for their restraint and unflagging courtesy. I realize that it is with justice that any of them could question my admiration for themselves in what Nietzsche calls the voice of disappointment: “I listened for an echo, but all I heard was applause.”

So, gentleman, please accept my apologies for the unrestrained tone of contempt I allowed into my own posts and also for the result of it which was to distract attention from the valid points nevertheless made.

For those who might not recall, my complaints in the original offending post were three (if it was my posts offending—one problem with such delicate sensibilities in intercourse is knowing who we are talking about when making our impersonal complaints):

1) A false imputation of racism directed at fellow board members;

2) Dismissive refusal to respect facts contradicting own posts;

3) What measure of sincerity was to be gleaned from 1 and 2 above.

As the argument is rightly made that none may look into another’s heart, I will dispense with the issue of sincerity here as I intemperately did not before. From ROKKYU to ROKUDAN, in any case, we already know that to dismiss the difficult issue similarly from our consciousness as individuals (or, perhaps, preceptors) is certainly to bite off more then we can eschew. I leave all to their own consciences.

Respect was the pivot of many of the posts ensuing from the Kamiza thread. Frankly, I am flabbergasted at the selective application of this demand by the assembled and appalled even concerning someone of position, accomplishment, and rank. In précis: One post commented unfavorably on the suitability of an instructor’s physical condition; he replied by insinuating racism. How this qualifies as polite discourse, I can’t tell.

Many posters also testified to the value and lessons of the lately retired sensei. I am surprised at the lacking concern for the reliability of his pronouncements unsupported by reference other than, “I am that I am.” There are protocols of accuracy serving the same function for technical discourse that scrubbing down serves for surgery, namely, an inviolable hygiene of thought not well served by the specious invocation of rank and privilege. We might productively recall that “shihan” translates as “exemplar”, not “exemption.”

In any case, if any members here feel the loss that I would should any of the gentlemen above similarly depart from these fora, I offer a suggestion. On this and the other boards/lists below, there are search functions. If you are truly interested in those who “share little bits of information”, I suggest you go to the boards below and search on the names below that (as well as the four above). This will provide you with many hours of fruitful exciting reading.

Happy Holidays.

-------------------Venues-------------------

e-Budo

http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/index.php?

Aikido Journal

http://143.207.8.139/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi

Bugei

http://www.swordforumbugei.com/phpBB2/

Iaido-L

http://listserv.uoguelph.ca/archives/iaido-l.html

Electronic Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences

http://ejmas.com/

Furyu

http://www.furyu.com/index.html

Koryu

http://koryu.com/index.html

--Names which of themselves incline me to read a post--

Karl Friday

William Bodiford

Stanley Pranin (Aikido Journal)

Ellis Amdur

Meik Skoss (Koryu)

Diane Skoss (Koryu)

George Ledyard

Dennis Hooker

Toby Threadgil

Tony Alvarez

Szczepan (gird your loins if posts here have offended you—the unpronounceable one suffers fools gleefully)

Jun Akiyama (Aikiweb)

Nathan Scott

Neil Yamamoto

Joseph Svinth (ejmas.com)

Ubaldo Alcantara (better deceased than some still breathing)

Dan Hardin

Wayne Muromoto (Furyu)

Misogi-no-Gyo
12-23-2003, 08:42 PM
I am flabbergasted at the selective application of this demand by the assembled and appalled even concerning someone of position, accomplishment, and rank
Don,

Would you be so kind as to bring this down a notch. I am a bit too filled with holiday spirit to grasp the simple meaning. I would so much like to get what you are saying here. Thanks...

shihonage
12-23-2003, 10:20 PM
Don,

Would you be so kind as to bring this down a notch. I am a bit too filled with holiday spirit to grasp the simple meaning. I would so much like to get what you are saying here. Thanks...
Just use the button below !

http://www.speakeasy.org/~shihonage/modesto.png

Misogi-no-Gyo
12-23-2003, 10:45 PM
Just use the button below !

http://www.speakeasy.org/~shihonage/modesto.png
Great! Very Creative. Now, how long did that take you to do? Really?

shihonage
12-23-2003, 11:32 PM
Great! Very Creative. Now, how long did that take you to do? Really?
About 15 minutes.

Great art takes great sacrifices.

shihonage
12-23-2003, 11:48 PM
^^^^^^

Correction:

My post was posted at "Today 09:20 PM".

Minus 8:50 PM in the picture, it makes it 30 minutes exactly.

indomaresa
12-24-2003, 06:28 AM
Maybe I can help summarize Mr. Modesto's not so modest reply;

============================================

Last week I received an email message from our host, and my friend, Jun Akiyama, who suggested I had made what he called “personal attacks” against a member of this board. I expected further communication from him on this (it hasn’t developed) and so refrained from posting further on the issue in the several threads which have popped up to debate it. Developments in the meanwhile have been instructive. Many of the points I would have made concerning the issue have been made very well by others, thank you, and I’ve quite enjoyed many of the posts on both sides of the issue. I would like to summarize my take on things and, as my title promises, apologize.

Translation:

Jun emailed me, he said I'm a bad boy. So I stopped posting for a while.

============================================

In my response to Jun’s email, I included a quotation from a recent reading in the Spring ‘03 issue of Monumenta Nipponica concerning standards of discourse and a psuedo-scholarly area of study called Nihonjinron. The citation quite expressed my own sentiments on such matters. I termed it “serendipitous” that I should find such a thing so pertinent to recent developments here, an unfortunate choice of words, however, for issues of accuracy and the protocols of inquiry interest me generally and indeed explain my interest in a brand of research (or other purported experts) embracing neither. Reviewing two books on this Nihonjinron, in his “Identity, Nihonjinron, and Academic (Dis)honesty,” Ian Reader writes,

Translation:

I answered Jun's email, attaching reading materials that will support my innocence.

=============================================

“There are times…when I found myself wondering whether academic analysis and argument alone can ever be adequate as a means of dealing with some of the things purveyed by this genre. Is there not…a place also for ridicule and sarcasm here? At the very least this would provide us with a little satisfaction while our attempts at academic arguments are being ignored.”

If I am guilty of this self-same impulse, I am certainly now well placed to answer Mr. Reader’s question: No, there is no place. Ridicule and sarcasm distract. And this will be my segue to the promised apology.

Translation:

I've been thinking, MAYBE I FORGOT my manners.

============================================

I imagine it was to my post among others that board members referred when complaining of the rough treatment meted out to Reverend Furuya. The tone of my post was unfortunately such as to distract from its contents. To my immense gratification, prior to the unfortunate demise of the controversial Kamiza thread, several prominent members of these fora, Messrs. Peter Goldsbury, Chris Li, Ron Tisdale, and Fred Little, in varying degrees of enthusiasm, posted in support of the kind of frank inquiry occurring there and supported continuing the thread. Mr. Little's post honored me with the sincerest flattery of taking of the spirit of my comments and expressing it in his own magisterial eloquence and learning. All four, including Mr. Little on all other occasions I’ve read his posts, are notable for their restraint and unflagging courtesy. I realize that it is with justice that any of them could question my admiration for themselves in what Nietzsche calls the voice of disappointment: “I listened for an echo, but all I heard was applause.”

Translation:

I realized that the person everybody's angry about is probably me. But some really OK people backed me up, so I'm not 100% wrong.

=============================================

So, gentleman, please accept my apologies for the unrestrained tone of contempt I allowed into my own posts and also for the result of it which was to distract attention from the valid points nevertheless made.

Translation:

I'm sorry.

=============================================

For those who might not recall, my complaints in the original offending post were three (if it was my posts offending—one problem with such delicate sensibilities in intercourse is knowing who we are talking about when making our impersonal complaints):

1) A false imputation of racism directed at fellow board members;

2) Dismissive refusal to respect facts contradicting own posts;

3) What measure of sincerity was to be gleaned from 1 and 2 above.

As the argument is rightly made that none may look into another’s heart, I will dispense with the issue of sincerity here as I intemperately did not before. From ROKKYU to ROKUDAN, in any case, we already know that to dismiss the difficult issue similarly from our consciousness as individuals (or, perhaps, preceptors) is certainly to bite off more then we can eschew. I leave all to their own consciences.

Translation:

(Insert various flowery unrelated defensive comments here)

=============================================

Respect was the pivot of many of the posts ensuing from the Kamiza thread. Frankly, I am flabbergasted at the selective application of this demand by the assembled and appalled even concerning someone of position, accomplishment, and rank. In précis: One post commented unfavorably on the suitability of an instructor’s physical condition; he replied by insinuating racism. How this qualifies as polite discourse, I can’t tell.

Many posters also testified to the value and lessons of the lately retired sensei. I am surprised at the lacking concern for the reliability of his pronouncements unsupported by reference other than, “I am that I am.” There are protocols of accuracy serving the same function for technical discourse that scrubbing down serves for surgery, namely, an inviolable hygiene of thought not well served by the specious invocation of rank and privilege. We might productively recall that “shihan” translates as “exemplar”, not “exemption.”

Translation:

People demands respect, how do I do that? The guy I pummeled on the forum didn't show proof of his aikido knowledge and status. Shouldn't we at least doubt him? I did.

==============================================

In any case, if any members here feel the loss that I would should any of the gentlemen above similarly depart from these fora, I offer a suggestion. On this and the other boards/lists below, there are search functions. If you are truly interested in those who “share little bits of information”, I suggest you go to the boards below and search on the names below that (as well as the four above). This will provide you with many hours of fruitful exciting reading.

Translation:

If any of you are angry and complaining that I deprive them of knowledge, look at all these links for diversion and don't be angry at me.

Thalib
12-24-2003, 08:10 AM
Man... Maresa

You're never this funny in real life...

JasonB
12-24-2003, 08:48 AM
(M. Sumardi, you are my hero for the day.)

I may not be the most authoritative person on Aikido, but let me speak with authority on the topic of forums.

J. Boswell, the points that you have made are remarkable for the fact that the same comments have been repeated on public forums as far back as I can remember.

My first exposure to the concept of the public forum goes back to the old dial-up BBS days. Since that time my interests have changed many times, I have grown a little older and I have been a regular member of many forums. In that time, though I have changed, the nature of forums has never changed. There have always been trolls, flamers, lurkers, subject authorities, hot-heads, egotists, conciliators, wise-guys, anonymous liers, adolescents, philosophers and many other easily labeled personalities. The posts are sometimes so predictable that you start to suspect that there are really only a couple of dozen people who have ever joined forums and they just change their names a lot. :)

Likewise, it has been my experience that there are certain "topics" that arise with such regularity that you could cut and paste them from any forum. John, your post is a classic. I believe that I first encountered this post within a month of joining my first BBS (a creative writing forum)back in 1993. I also remember the post arose under almost identical circumstances. Try this experiment, go to any forum for any topic, select a figure who is considered a respected aurthority on that topic, subject him to relentless criticism and observe this effect:

1. The longest remaining members of the forum will rise up in indignation.

2. Someone will create a post decrying a general lack of respect for authority.

My comments are not meant to discount the value of John's point. In fact, I believe that John's comments are right in line with the conflict that arises within all communities. A good forum is one that grows into a community and within all communities there is a heirarchy that grows. People are elevated to positions of status within the heirarchy by the members of the community. All communities differ in their criteria in doing this. Struggles always ensue when an individual fails to percieve the status of a member of a community and subjects that person to scrutiny that may be considered beneath their position.

These are just observations. Here's my opinion. I believe that John is an anachronism in the online age. The free exchange of thoughts, ideas and knowledge over wide geographic areas has changed the nature of learning. The ultimately anonymous nature of this exchange of ideas makes personal status a very abstract concept. Though we may build up an internal perception of a community revolving around this forum, in fact, that perception is a personal one. We are all little more than strangers who have spent a lot of time talking, in a room without lights, about a single topic. Any perception that you have about the room or the people in it is a personal one and you should not expect any one else to share your views.

I submit that under these conditions, most of the old values concerning status and respect go out the window. When someone walks into our darkened room they become another voice in the room. Do not expect to bring your outside status into the room with you. This is a choice that you make when you enter. The respect that you receive will be dependant on the value of your statements. The value of your statements will be determined by each individual who receives them.

I also will make one more claim. Any truely wise and learned person will, above all, understand the value of dissenting views. The difference between gentle suggestion and harsh criticism is only perceived when ego is applied. The value of critism is only diminished when one's ego will not allow one to see the point beneath the words. Any person who goes online to engage in an exchange of ideas in a public forum should check their egos at the door. I do not see your followers, your tall buildings or your empires. They do not exist to me. Your words are no more valuable than mine until I judge them to be so. If I judge your words to have value then I have made a personal assesment. I have no right to demand any other person to share my opinion of your thoughts. Many people choose not to contribute to forums because they cannot accept the loss of status that they have become accustomed to in their personal life.

I do, however, agree that this makes the issue of BASIC respect all the more important. How much respect do you afford to strangers? Do you project a minnimum amount of respect until you determine the person deserves more or do you hold strangers in the highest respect until they prove that they do not deserve it? How much tolerance do you display before lowering your respect for another person? How do you express your sense of respect?

John Boswell
12-24-2003, 08:52 AM
Man... Maresa

You're never this funny in real life...
I dunno if you're right or wrong on that point... but that's funny as hell! :D

Hehe! Laughing WITH you...!

John Boswell
12-24-2003, 09:04 AM
Jason Breitzman,

That is one of the better and more well thought out posts I've read (on ANY subject) in an extreamly long time.

You are correct.

Everything falls down to your last paragraph and the questions therein. MY mistake was assuming that this being an Aiki website, more respect would be accorded everyone than is clearly evident.

Oops. My bad...

I very much like your analogy of "voices in a dark room." I'll consider that more in the future on this and other boards.

This is pretty good! Think I learned something today. Hope you don't mind if I copy/paste your post on other threads... I really liked it.

Merry Christmas to you and all!

aikidoc
12-24-2003, 09:18 AM
Just a thought. I've always liked the statement that the way you treat others speaks volumes about you as a person and says nothing about the other person. The ego issue is very important and needs to be checked at the door. However, whose ego is it? The person demonstrating little respect for the ideas of others is IMHO the one with the bigger ego problem-you're wrong and I'm going to show your how stupid you are and how smart I am. The other ego is going to get damaged in such an onslaught unless you have some pretty thick skin and especially if the "person" and not the "idea or thought" is attacked.

Good thread John. See you next year.

Ron Tisdale
12-24-2003, 11:25 AM
Hi Don and others,

Well, I find it intereting in a thread about 'respect' that someone (Maresa Sumardi) has chosen to render their sarcastic interpretation of your words. If they have a gripe, why don't they come right out and say it? Why don't they approach your comments as if you at least are trying to be honest, and address their disbelief of your intent in a forthright manner?

I believe that post goes right to the heart of the problem here. A severe lack of directness, a need to be overly clever, and a false respect for authority (anyone who has done any debating knows that this is NOT a valid tactic).

I get as bad as anyone here from time to time, and for that I appologize. But really folks...if you set yourself up as an authority, and then are not carefull to frame your words with accuracy, you will be called on it.

AS to Don's qualifications to object when facts are in issue, I can assure you he does not need to appeal to the likes of me. His words, for those who care to really read them, stand pretty much on their own. He deserves as much respect as anyone else here...someone who supposes they are capable of 'rendering' his words for him, should check out some of the friendship demonstration tapes...Don has been around these parts longer than most of us, and in better company too.

Ron Tisdale (no disrespect intended...but really now)

Erik
12-24-2003, 01:33 PM
Ron, you beat me to it, right down to the friendship tapes, and, you were much more tactful than I'd have been.

I think it's time to power down and enjoy the holiday.

NagaBaba
12-24-2003, 02:39 PM
If somebody expect a respect only bcs he is reverend or 6th dan or monk --- it is taking watery moon for heavenly moon. Pure illusion. But some folks can't live without illusions. Nothing can be done with them.

To gain a respect it is very hard labour. Takes also long time.

Another illusion it is a BB without conflicts. If conflicts don't existe, harmony can't existe either. BB without conflicts is artificial concept and honest aikidoka can't write on such forum if he wants to preserve his integrity.

indomaresa
12-24-2003, 03:42 PM
I was planning to enjoy my vacation here quietly in china, but I guess I've already fired a salvo, so...
If they have a gripe, why don't they come right out and say it? Why don't they approach your comments as if you at least are trying to be honest, and address their disbelief of your intent in a forthright manner?
I did address my disbelief in a fortright manner, you'll notice I use my real name. And why ask don? You seem to be conversing with him instead. You're making feel ignored here. Yuuhuu, Ron. I'm over here.
I believe that post goes right to the heart of the problem here. A severe lack of directness, a need to be overly clever, and a FALSE RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY (anyone who has done any debating knows that this is NOT a valid tactic).

I get as bad as anyone here from time to time, and for that I appologize. But really folks...if you set yourself up as an authority, and then are not carefull to frame your words with accuracy, you will be called on it.
I AM clever. And btw, I never plan to do any debating. Valid tactic? what on earth are you talking about? Who's at war?
AS to Don's qualifications to object when facts are in issue, I can assure you he does not need to appeal to the likes of me. His words, for those who care to really read them, stand pretty much on their own. He deserves as much respect as anyone else here...someone who supposes they are capable of 'rendering' his words for him, should check out some of the friendship demonstration tapes...Don has been around these parts longer than most of us, and in better company too.
? I respect Don with AS MUCH RESPECT he showed others in this forum. Plus I did read his words, hence the translation. Someone who can create such a convoluted way to write an insincere "i'm sorry" demands the entire world's academic respect and standing ovation. (standing up and clapping with tears streaming down me eyes)

Your quoted last line there also shows your "false respect for authority". Haven't we established that entering this forum means leaving your ego and credentials behind? ( did you read Jason Breitzman's post? a very insightful and visual example of what the internet forum is )

Basically, Mr. Boswell have brought up what I've been dying to say all along. All forums have rules, and aikiweb has only one. But it' being broken nonetheless.

Jun-san's reiteration of the rules on the thread "forum credibility" is a good one. Everyone should read it. Again and again. You too Ron.

No hard feelings eh? Happy holidays all

Thalib
12-24-2003, 03:53 PM
Wow... You're awake early, Maresa. It's 0545. I'm surprised, you're never awake this early. You're never awake at all... hehehehh... just jokin.

Not coming to Maresa's defense, I also see the "apology post" as being insincere. Maybe I'm wrong about this, that's why I haven't said anything about it. The post is like saying, "I am still right, but since all of you are giving so much beef about it, I'll give in and apologize."

Hope I'm wrong about this...

Merry Christmas everyone and have a happy new year.

shihonage
12-24-2003, 05:43 PM
I AM clever.
I for one think your little dissection was funny.

Or, as Don would probably put it,
It does not stand against what happens to be the opinion of the one writing this sentence at this very moment, that despite the unseemly, if not outrageous and bordering on offensive conduct exercised by the above assembled in their colloquy, the intent and content expressed by their neanderthal brains does somehow almost appear to be endearingly amusing, not dissimilarly from such a thing as a child playing in a schoolyard with his or her schoolmates, unaware of how their actions affect the emotional state of the mature developed adults around them, and how much years and thousands of dollars in therapy of damage they have inflicted, uberknownst to them, on the core of my very being.

P.S. I like pie.

If you're interested in pie, please consider going to

http://www.pierecipe.com/

http://www.gourmed.gr/greek-recipes/pie/?gid=1&nodeid=45

http://www.freerecipe.org/Dessert/Baked_Goods/Pies/

Ron Tisdale
12-25-2003, 01:12 PM
I AM clever
I'm glad you think so...others may not be as sure.
I respect Don with AS MUCH RESPECT he showed others in this forum.
No, you don't. Don (and others) did not **interpret** someone else's words. He saw a factual error, and spoke to that error. YOU on the other hand, played a different game. I'm done with this topic now, and with you.

Just the same, Happy Holidays, and probably see y'all in the New Year!

Ron

Neil Mick
12-27-2003, 08:17 PM
Wouldn't you guys rather argue it out over on the Iraqi thread? It's getting kind of slow over there...

After all: politics leads to sniping WAAY better than stuffy old topics like respect. :D :cool:

ikkainogakusei
12-29-2003, 01:11 AM
Wouldn't you guys rather argue it out over on the Iraqi thread? It's getting kind of slow over there...

After all: politics leads to sniping WAAY better than stuffy old topics like respect. :D :cool:
:D Neil you're silly. If you'd like, I'll feign an attack in the Iraqi War thread, but only if you go easy on me. I'm fragile :D

:circle: Jane :circle:

ikkainogakusei
12-29-2003, 01:17 AM
Oh, wait...can I start out with the old SNL 'Point Counterpoint' line..."{Neil} you ignorant slut!" <- see that's me asking 'onegaishimasu' for verbal randori, maybe if Neil and I are in agreement, it won't be lame for one of us.;)

John Boswell
12-29-2003, 01:08 PM
Well, after much reading, re-reading and re-reading again... I have a question for Don M. and that is:

From what I can gather of what you said, you question(ed) Sensei Furuya's comments and possibly his creditials. Though some are in the world worthy of questioning... why him? In what way did he seem questionable to you?

This whole thread has definitly headed south, much to my dismay. Jun has obviously moved it and that is his peragotive, but it seems like things are getting personal when they shouldn't be.

Honestly, I'm not questioning YOUR right to question... but only asking why. Sensei Furuya's rank is varifiable, his study of Zen (imho) is undeniable, he's been on nationally televised shows and is well known in the MA community. Is there something we don't know that you DO know that would lead to a questioning of him? Besides all that... when I read his posts, he was just giving information based on his own study. It was not intended as opinion as right or wrong.

Sheesh... why do I feel like I'm setting myself up for a fall? Oh well... here I am.

Don_Modesto
12-29-2003, 02:02 PM
I have a question for Don M.

From what I can gather of what you said, you question(ed) Sensei Furuya's comments and possibly his creditials. Though some are in the world worthy of questioning... why him? In what way did he seem questionable to you?

....

Honestly, I'm not questioning YOUR right to question... but only asking why. Sensei Furuya's rank is varifiable, his study of Zen (imho) is undeniable, he's been on nationally televised shows and is well known in the MA community. Is there something we don't know that you DO know that would lead to a questioning of him? Besides all that... when I read his posts, he was just giving information based on his own study. It was not intended as opinion as right or wrong.
I didn't question his credentials. (Although I would be curious as to where he studied Zen after reading Fred Little's post and an article by Robert Sharf at http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/jjrs/pdf/456.pdf. )

"Why him?"--Wrong question. It wasn't about him. It was about his "facts".

Regardless of credentials or standing in the MA community, if he's wrong, he's wrong. He refused to engage on the point when I cited learned arguments (see http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=4749).

In all fairness, though, the man claims credentials in aikido, iai, and zen, not history.

"Is there something we don't know that you DO know...?" No, distressing, that. Everyone could see that when challenged on points of facts, he refused to engage other than to scold the questioner to do his homework. That's a warning flag for all of us, not just me. Read Goldsbury, Little, Ledyard, Bodiford, any journal maintaining standards of academic rigor--you'll find no hesitation in citing references.

What's wrong with this picture?

Neil Mick
12-29-2003, 02:26 PM
:D Neil you're silly. If you'd like, I'll feign an attack in the Iraqi War thread, but only if you go easy on me. I'm fragile :D
"Silly?" Au contraire, "Jane!" Politics is serious stuff! It got Jaime and me kicked off the aikidojournal forum: you KNOW you're doing something right when the moderator "shuns" you, from the online community, for bringing up "difficult discussion topics!"

And--you? "Fragile??" Not the Jane I know! :D
Neil} you ignorant slut!" <- see that's me asking 'onegaishimasu' for verbal randori, maybe if Neil and I are in agreement, it won't be lame for one of us.;)
NOW you're getting into the spirit!! You can't be truly sincere in your beliefs without a little invective to the "other side," I always say! It shows the reader that you "mean business!" :D

John Boswell
12-29-2003, 03:52 PM
Okay. Against my better judgement, I'm going to put my finger on what it is that's bothering me... put words to it, and then let the chips fall where they may.

And in my own defense, I hesitate to say anything to you, Don, because Sensei Riggs (my instructor) has spoken of you in high regard. But...

"What's wrong with this picture?"

Sensei Furuya, if nothing else, is polite and respectful in his comments here on the boards.

Aikido is the "Way of Harmony" or some variation thereof. Why do comments have to get nasty or aburupt? I have read many posts by Ledyard, Clark, Goldsbury and I agree with them almost always. But whether I agreed with them or not, I have NEVER heard any of them go at someone in the way you did here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=4749

"Iz you iz or iz you ain't?" Would you take that from me... regardless of my rank or educational background?

There is a way to be right. There is also just plain manners and respect for each other. Facts should be challenged but that can be done while keeping one's cool.

It's probably a pipe dream of mine that the web can someday work in an orderly fashion. That manners and respect would walk hand in hand with good debate. In the meantime, I'll do my best to live up to the standard I hold others to in the hope that I'm not coming across as arrogant or egotistical... or just plain wrong.

AND... if it makes you feel any better, I truly was never even addressing you with this thread in the first place. I was attacking the asinine idiot(s) telling my sensei that "smoking is no big deal" over on the smoking thread... when we all know the ill effects of it. THOSE kind of people need to be taken down a notch, imho.

Anywhoo... best wishes for your New Year, Mr. M! Wish that "I" was in Florida... ;)

Kevin Wilbanks
12-29-2003, 04:54 PM
Sensei Furuya, if nothing else, is polite and respectful in his comments here on the boards.
Perhaps superficially. Although obsequious in exectution, Mr. F was also quick to insinuate about the personal character and lives of anyone who dared to question or challenge him. Your interpretation of the exchange is positively Orwellian.

I suggest you would get more out of the discussions by paying attention to the actual content of what was being said, rather than just the form. It looks as though you reduce any disagreement to "A is saying something mean to B, and he didn't say please and thank you".

In my book, talking straight to someone, holding them accountable for their factual claims, and their behavior in the discussion shows more respect than any amount of disclaimers, niceties, compliments or apologia.

It seems you have two projects here: one, to make an emotional plea for acceptance of arguments from authority, and two, to attempt to enforce a narrow, syrupy style of communication in people's posts. I can't go along with either.

Don_Modesto
12-29-2003, 06:02 PM
Sensei Riggs (my instructor) has spoken of you in high regard.

DJM: By all means, please extend him my YOROSHIKU.

"What's wrong with this picture?"

Sensei Furuya, if nothing else, is polite and respectful in his comments here on the boards.

DJM: As did Mr. Wilbanks, I found contradictions in Mr. Furuya's courtesies and how he treated people.

Aikido is the "Way of Harmony" or some variation thereof. Why do comments have to get nasty or aburupt? I have read many posts by Ledyard, Clark, Goldsbury and I agree with them almost always. But whether I agreed with them or not, I have NEVER heard any of them go at someone in the way you did

DJM: I addressed that above.

here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=4749

"Iz you iz or iz you ain't?" Would you take that from me... regardless of my rank or educational background?

DJM: Yup. No problem. The "you" doesn't refer to a person here. I'm using it loosely to define the issue, not challenge Mr. Young. Sequence:

DJM: Mr. F offers the traditional connection--which is to say, a whole body of reference--between Zen an MAs.

DJM: Several question this, including myself.

DJM: Mr. Young says I'm reading too much into Mr. F's comments.

DJM: I post the Zen/MA thread.

DJM: Now Mr. F could as well, indeed more accurately, have said Mikkyo or Kannagara as Zen. That he said Zen invokes a whole discourse and history of the connection. It says more than his words themselves did.

DJM: (Btw, I'm somewhat taken aback that anyone would find the "Iz" you stuff offensive. I remember it from a charming song and dance routine, Louis Armstrong, wasn't it? Maybe that's why I didn't have a problem with it; how could anyone have a problem with Satchmo's smile? :))

AND... if it makes you feel any better, I truly was never even addressing you with this thread in the first place.

DJM: Thank you for your concern. Actually, I posted here because all the other pertinent threads seemed to have been abandoned.

I was attacking the asinine idiot(s) telling my sensei that "smoking is no big deal"

DJM: Ha! Wouldn't have guessed it.

Anywhoo... best wishes for your New Year, Mr. M! Wish that "I" was in Florida... ;)

DJM: Best wishes back. Train hard and have a safe holiday.

PeterR
12-29-2003, 09:35 PM
Hi Don;

You need to learn how to cut and paste those quotation comands.

I've already commented on the source of this thread but I would like to add that it seems that RESPECT has become polarized. Some demand respect from the beginning and others expect you to earn it. What gets lost in the middle is common courtesy and many times I've noticed the two polar extremes tend to forget that.

There are several people who never seem to get flamed even if they show their annoyance at us lesser mortals. They never forget.

SeiserL
12-30-2003, 08:52 AM
IMHO, if we focus on our own respectfullness, we can develop some compassion for those of us who are still working on it.

Don't allow others to take your balance (respect). Learn to enter, blend, and redirect with all levels and stages of learning on and off the dojo mats. I find other's opinions and presentation an excellent source of learning and practice.

Don_Modesto
12-30-2003, 11:54 AM
Hi Don;

You need to learn how to cut and paste those quotation comands.(1)

I've already commented on the source of this thread (2)
1) I used to use this system, but rereading one of my own posts once, I found it tedious scrolling back and forth, thus the "DJM:" system. Kind of narrow paragraphs for you,are they?

2) Sorry, Peter,. I searched for your name earlier in the thread and couldn't find it. Where did you comment? Thanks.

Peter Goldsbury
12-30-2003, 07:26 PM
This is a topic of interest to me because it is virtually never discussed in Japan. Elders of course complain that the young treat them with diminishing respect and the young complain that they also are entitled to a measure of respect from their elders. The concept has two aspects: respect for what you are as a human being and respect for what you do with what you are. Another way of putting this would be to think of respect for your basic personhood and for the positive or negative qualities that you bring to this basic personhood.

In Japan, where society is thought to be imbued with Confucian ideals, the elderly are given respect simply because of their personhood: their advanced age and the experience that they are supposed to have acquired. Those with status, the people addressed as Sensei, are also given respect, including politicians whose reputation for political and moral corruption is well known and equally well deserved. People here are also very good at displaying tatemae or kata: here understood as the outward or omote aspect of social interaction. The honne or ura aspects, what people really feel, are supposed to be kept firmly hidden, but there is a tendency, especially among the young, who have been more exposed than their elders to foreign influences, that this is somehow dishonest. Thus the young have good reason for some of their complaints. I suspect\without any grounds other than living there for two years and the basic reading I have done\that in a society like the US respect is more firmly based on what you do with your life than on what the Good Lord has given you. Going out and making good seems more deserving of praise than simply accepting with as good grace as possible the role that society has assigned you.

This topic also of great interest to me because I am an official of a large international aikido federation. As a federation it is grounded on the general principle of equality of members. Congresses, where people come together to do some intensive aikido training and also to meet and discuss issues of common interest (such as sex discrimination and violence in the dojo), are held only once every four years, but on these occasions there are certain ground rules that have to be accepted.

One is that all delegates represent their organizations and as such have equal status, rights and obligations, even when a delegate happens to be an 8th dan aikido shihan. Thus the shihan may not use his shihan status to browbeat or bully a delegate who happens to be a 5th kyu.

Another rule is that discussions, decisions at the congress are all done under the general direction of the Chair. This means that occasionally the Chair has to ensure that the rules of order are followed\by everybody.

In this situation, for me the question of respect does not arise. If someone breaks the ground rules, whether shihan or shokyu, this must be corrected. However, for some delegates the question of respect is a major issue. Here is someone, sent by the organization and representing organizationfs interests, who is in serious disagreement with another delegate who just happens to be a shihan, possibly connected in a teacher-student relationship with the first delegatefs own teacher. What do the delegate do? Should he keep quiet during the congress sessions, or speak out? How should he vote on an issue like dojo violence, if the sensei is known to be eroughf?

Sometimes the discussion becomes very heated and two episodes stand out at IAF congresses I first attended as a delegate. One is of an IAF official picking up a chair to throw at a delegate who refused to keep quiet. Another is of a delegate who walked over to another delegate whose manner he disliked and grabbed him by the collar. The offending official and delegate were both Japanese aikido shihan.

Thus, my reaction to Mr Boswellfs initial post was mixed, to say the least. Perhaps it is true that in the aikido world in general due respect is being lost. On the other hand, in my experience aikido meetings like IAF congresses are generally better conducted than they were. The focus is now much more firmly placed on training and there is virtually no bullying based on rank during congress sessions. Given that aikido can be understood in general as the enlightened resolution of conflicts, an aikido Internet discussion forum is much more like an aikido meeting than training in the dojo, in the sense that participants are like delegates, who have an equal right to express their views and be listened to / read. The shihan and the shokyu are equal in this very basic sense. I think the real issue is not whether, but how you disagree and I think that here we are in agreement. Nevertheless, my own experience has been that shihan sometimes do not bring to the resolution of conflict off the tatami the wisdom that should have been gained on it.

Apologies for the length of this post and a Happy New Year to Everybody.

PeterR
12-30-2003, 09:30 PM
1) I used to use this system, but rereading one of my own posts once, I found it tedious scrolling back and forth, thus the "DJM:" system. Kind of narrow paragraphs for you,are they?
I meant this system. ;) I have the same advice for Peter G. It's just a matter of copying and altering the quote command as necessary. I suggest it because often I read only the comments to see if something new has been said and go back to the quote if it isn't clear.
2) Sorry, Peter,. I searched for your name earlier in the thread and couldn't find it. Where did you comment? Thanks.
It was in the This Forum Just Lost Credability it had Left. thread in the Feedback section. Different thread same topic. No matter - it wasn't that deep meaningful or profound.

Cheers and by the way I actually don't understand why you are getting that much flack. I would just let it die.

Peter Goldsbury
12-31-2003, 01:19 AM
I meant this system. ;) I have the same advice for Peter G.
Ohh? Have my columns been too narrow recently as well? Usually, when I want to respond to a lengthy post with direct quotes, I copy the whole thing on to a Word file and then can cut, paste and edit as I wish, at leisure. My last long post sat in a Word folder for several days before I finished it this morning.

All the best to you, your wife and daughter for 2004.

PeterR
12-31-2003, 02:03 AM
Ohh? Have my columns been too narrow recently as well? Usually, when I want to respond to a lengthy post with direct quotes, I copy the whole thing on to a Word file and then can cut, paste and edit as I wish, at leisure. My last long post sat in a Word folder for several days before I finished it this morning.
Now I'm embarassed - a quick scan of your latest endeavors shows no problem. Memories. Don take note - it is only you. ;)
All the best to you, your wife and daughter for 2004.
I was trying to talk them into going to Hiroshima with me over the holidays but with little luck. I'm in need of a road trip so ... well I just phoned a couple of Aikido friends and sent you a private message.

AsimHanif
12-31-2003, 09:17 PM
Peter - I tend to agree with your statements. Also I believe that the same generational phenom of etiquette current in Japan has been tested somewhat here in the States. The expression "keeping it real" employed by the under 30 demographic initially meant being honest and true. It now has been used to give license to do and say whatever comes to mind regardless of who it hurts. My personal feeling is that this unchecked disregard for humanity is wrong.

BTW - I am not putting Don's comments in this category at all. I have been know to take issue to a few of my college Profs "theories" when I believed they had misrepresented certain facts. Of course they would try to pull "rank".

This all reminds me of something that was said to me long ago that has since become my mantra -

"Just train and everything will take care of itself".

PeterR
12-31-2003, 09:25 PM
"Just train and everything will take care of itself".
Wise words.

I was once told half in jest - after too much discussion on my part.

In the East a 16 year old listens to a 60 year old man talk about life.

In the West a 16 year old tells the old man what life is all about.

Not sure what that has to do with the thread but ... Happy New Year all.

happysod
01-05-2004, 03:42 AM
PeteR, to be fair, the regarding age with respect was due to many factors that no longer exist, the main one being that surviving to an old age was rare and often denoted valuable experience to be respected. I agree that the west in particular has embraced a culture of promoting youthfulness to an absurd degree (look at ageism in the workplace for the direct effects of this) but dismissing opinion because of the age of the proponent has always struck me as odd. (note, I'm not ascribing this behavior to you, just to your post's implications).

For me, respect or more correctly manners as I can be very polite to someone while being highly disrespectful, is directly linked to the consequences of "overstepping the bounds". This is an area where the web is one of the most interesting forums as many cultures with different expectations of mannered behaviour interact in a very direct manner. Most forums find a level of acceptable behaviour determined by the members themselves and posters who transgress are ignored or pilliored (our very own aikiweb's Justin was an example).

However, returning in a very longwinded way to aikiweb, my view is that if you post, you must be prepared to justify your post. It is a discussion forum with peer review and should enjoy as little censorship as possible and no-one should have a "free ticket to ride". Just because you've been doing something for 40 years, doesn't mean you've been doing it right and aren't there quotes like "out of the mouths of babes?..."

PeterR
01-05-2004, 04:09 AM
How old do you think I am? I'm the mouthy young un - definately not the crusty old coot with wisdom coming out the ears. I leave that to others - you know who you are. :D

Respectful behaviour is basically listening to what the other person has to say and you are right it does cut both ways. I also agree that the forums are a debating platform and any pronouncement must face the light of scrutiny. Frankly speaking what set off these threads was not a failure of the young but in my view an incorrect assumption based, if I choose to be generous, unfamiliarity with the media.

AsimHanif
01-06-2004, 03:03 PM
In the East a 16 year old listens to a 60 year old man talk about life.

In the West a 16 year old tells the old man what life is all about.

How pathetically true that is.

Regarding this topic though I have to say that I am a bit conflicted. Working in IT and having a big interest in internet policies and cyberlaw, I am on the side of those who say let technology roam free. Checks and balances will be a natural occurrence. This is all still relatively new frontier. As stated above this little online town of ours makes the rules as we go and banish to pergatory those who violate our laws.

I tend to use these forums as a training tool. Knowing someone out there is waiting to pounce, knowing that there are people out there way smarter than me, with more aikido and life experience, etc., I have to mind my manners even if I am a legend in my own mind:-) So all the tools of "Executive Management" also known as Jedi Mind tricks don't work here. In these waters you have to be sincerely humble as not to get bitten by the sharks.

If it sounds like I'm going on a tangent or trying to be PC let me translate...

BS doesn't work around here.

Neil Mick
01-06-2004, 08:57 PM
Jedi Mind tricks
"...You don't need to write any more posts"

"We don't need to write any more posts!"

"These aren't the sempai you're looking for"

"These aren't the sempai we're looking for!"

"move along"

"Move along!"

Sorry, I just couldn't resist. ;)

But seriously, I've been following the posts in this thread for awhile. Good points!

While I mostly engage in political debate on aikiweb, much pixel-space is devoted to issues of respect, and courtesy, in political discussion. Or, as some may put it: "fair fighting." In short, it is OK to "hate the game, not the player," as one post-er put it. Personal attacks only lead to counter-recrimination, and not an exploration of issues.

Many ppl also confuse the goal of discussing politics with trying to "win" someone over, to your side. IMO, this is a waste of time. Since the Iraqi war and all the polarization of issues in this country, I have made a study of why (and where) ppl develop their beliefs. Core values initially arise from the home, or community of upbringing. It doesn't mean that, say, being raised a Catholic means that you are doomed to Catholicism, but it is more likely that your core values will involve issues around redemption, and sin (even if you don't call it that).

Even if you cannot "convert" a person to your position, there is a lot of room for exploring new ways to communicate, no possible without the internet. For example, I once started a thread in aikidojournal called "Protestors and Police: an aiki response." A post-er who works crowd control in Wash, DC during marches wrote a funny and fascinating account of his "day in the life" of a policeman on crowd control. I took his post and re-posted it on an indymedia forum, a website for protestors. The response it elicited ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. After awhile I posted a link to the indymedia thread in aikidojournal, so everyone else could see the responses.

All this (and more) is possible, via the wonders of the internet. :cool: But, the downside of the internet is the ease of miscommunication. It is difficult to gleam emotional tone from a post (even with smilies).

Just a few thoughts: apologies for rambling. :)