Christopher Li wrote:
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.
Certainly, anyone who expects to participate o a forum should expect to have his ideas challenged. I don't think it necessarily means that one should expect to be personally attacked.
One of the reasons the most senior people do have a hard time with these exchanges is that they have learned. over time, to be civil to one another. We all move around the Aikido community, we interact with one another, and our teaching is often our living. We have a stake in upholding our own reputations. Honor is an outdated term but would have been a central concern to any traditional Budo man.
The people who act the worst on these forums are usually those with nothing to lose by doing so. They are not senior enough to have any kind of reputation to protect. Often they don't even have their own dojos much less get out in the larger community and have to interact with people. They have no essential stake in maintaining some standard of behavior and lack enough of a sense of personal honor that they feel the need to be civil in their interactions with others.
Actually, you are a very good example of what a forum participant can be. Your posts are always thought out, you are willing to challenge anyone's ideas but you never make it personal. In short, you act like a man of honor. If you and I disagree I don't feel attacked, I just feel like we are having an exchange. That doesn't diminsh either of us.