George S. Ledyard wrote:
In my opinion that original exchange represented most of what is the worst of the internet. Rev Furuya, a well known and respected Aikido teacher, voluntarily offered his time to contribute to this forum and in return had his character assasinated. Now Rev Furuya is gone, we have all lost.
There are very few people at the top levels who participate in these forums. I talk to folks all the time about the forums and consistently I hear that the people who are in the top ranks don't feel they have time to put up with all the BS just to have some good exchanges. Lack of civiliity is a problem in this culture and it was quite evident in the exchanges with Rev Furuya. I was embarrassed by it. And now, the rest of us who appreciated the participation of an articulate, knowledgeable, published Aikido teacher are deprived of his presence on the board because of the actions of a few individuals.
OTOH, that's one of the virtues of this kind of forum - that you can interact with senior people without the imposed formality and heirarchy of the dojo. Yes, it sometimes deteriorates, but people usually learn how to handle themselves in those situations - which is a kind of Aikido practice in itself. In my experience, it is often the more senior people who have a difficult time adjusting to this kind of interaction. Part of the problems in the Furuya threads was civility, yes, but another part was that he wasn't (IMO) used to having his opinions and statements questioned/doubted in such a direct manner.