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Old 08-20-2012, 10:31 AM   #101
kewms
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Um, it's a public forum. So, there is no "unsolicited advice" nor "unsolicited criticism". It's public. Forums on the internet are specifically designed for this. So, should my neighbor rent a Public Meeting Hall, invite all people inside to "communicate" and then proceeds to talk about how ugly he is, then, yes, he is inviting other people to comment on that "conversation". That is Internet forums, not someone living next door and unceremoniously telling him/her that they are ugly. Apples and Oranges.
What if he's walking through a park with a group of friends, talking about whether or not to get plastic surgery?

Funny thing about the internet: just because you *can* comment, that doesn't necessarily mean that you *should.* I think we can all name sites that are completely unreadable because the rules of civil discourse are so totally ignored.

Apropos of this thread, I was just reading an essay on civility in political discourse. It offered what seems to me a good definition of what civility in argument actually entails (emphasis mine):

Quote:
This means that arguers are committed to the possibility of finding that their reasons are weaker than they had initially thought or that their opponent’s case is in fact stronger than expected; and when one’s reasons come up short, one may have to revise one’s belief. Unless conducted against the background commitment to the possibility of revising one’s views, argumentation is pointless.

We now are able identify civility in argument with tendencies that enable the exchange of reasons among disputants. Chief among these concerns the need for those who disagree to actually engage with each other’s reasons. This requires arguers to earnestly attempt to correctly understand and accurately represent each other’s views. For similar reasons, arguers must also give a proper hearing to their opponents’ reasons, especially when the opponent is responding to criticism. In addition, when making the case for their own view, arguers must seek to present reasons that their opponents could at least in principle see the relevance of. We can summarize these ideas by saying that civility in argument has three dimensions: Representation, Reception, and Reciprocity.
http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksd...ment.html#more

Katherine
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:55 AM   #102
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post

Hmm, bit of Monday morning snark? Well, whatever. I've seen enough people go dangerously wrong through the fundamentalist approach for me to want to approach "scripture" with a good deal of caution. I don't see how caution does any harm here.

Do you ever wonder if maybe some of the things O Sensei said were just toss-off remarks? Do you think everything he said should be given equal (fundamentalist) weight?
Actually, I meant it in direct response to the supposition in the original post - that we don't know and can never know. Once you go there you stop, IMO, really trying to form an opinion - it's just some inscrutable mystery.

Sure, there were toss-off remarks. OTOH, a pervasive characteristic of O-Sensei's text is the repetition - all of the basic themes and principles are repeated over and over, in the same way and in slightly different ways. It makes those things very hard to ignore or write off as casual remarks.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-20-2012, 10:57 AM   #103
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Um, it's a public forum. So, there is no "unsolicited advice" nor "unsolicited criticism". It's public. Forums on the internet are specifically designed for this.
This is a public forum in so far as anyone can read them, but not anybody can post here. To post you must sign up and agree to the terms and conditions of the forum in order to participate. In other words you can watch the people over the fence play in Jun's backyard but you can't play unless you agree to play the way Jun wants you too. If you don't play by Jun's rules you aren't aloud in anymore.


dps
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:00 AM   #104
James Sawers
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Really, you guys should migrate to the "Rutabagans" thread, we are having much more fun....!
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:09 AM   #105
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Nice article you linked there, Katherine. Thanks for sharing that.

And, just a quick request that if the discussion you're having goes too far away from the heart of the discussion here (ie doesn't explicitly tie itself into the original topic), please start a new thread.

Thanks,

-- Jun

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Old 08-20-2012, 11:15 AM   #106
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
I like your post overall, but I must say I totally disagree with this. This is O-Sensei we're talking about. How are we possibly NOT to argue about what he was doing, how he was doing it, and how to reproduce it ourselves? And if part of the argument is that the core of what he was doing has been largely lost, how can that argument be made at all without saying "Most of you missed it"? Particularly when the argument has been made over the years with extensive research into the founder's actual circumstances, language, videos, training, and the reactions others had to his budo.

It's telling that you have to go to religion for your parallel. If you're seeing Aikido as a religion, you've got a problem. Other areas of human experience are supposed to be debatable.

Arguing in the alternative, have you ever hung out on religion boards? Speaking as a follower of one of those prophets, let me tell you that telling each other that the other hasn't understood the prophet at all is a major source of entertainment and refreshment for all.
Hi Hugh,
I was going to get back to this since you adressed me, lots of stuff been said since, some very good, but here we go:

I think I can see where you coming from, but still, I also – with much respect! – think that this kind of reaction may be part of the problem. Especially when it comes from people who are neither the ones who have done the original research, nor the ones who can go out there and demonstrate IS. Like myself, who can do neither.

Note that I said “impolite and pointless” in my earlier post; I did not say don’t ever mention it, don’t discuss it with like-minded people and don't point it out to the less like-minded, I did not say the stuff is factually wrong. I personally think it’s right, actually, and have said so in the past.

However, internet forums, IMHO, are not a very good place to go missionary (for some reason, we love doing it though...). When the ideas and texts of Ellis Amdur, Peter Goldsbury, Chris Li have been brought to somebody’s attention, when they have been invited to attend some IS event, and they still don’t engage with all this, I personally see little point to continue pressing the issue with them when it apparently just pushes their buttons and they go into digital hyperventilation. Who am I to make their world, I am not the official representative of eternal truth. So for me its about politness and constructive discourse, first of all, rather than my truth.

With the possible exception of some stuff Peter Goldsbury has written, there is no scholarly opinion about all this, and we are still at the starting point of research, interpreting scattered findings that may again be interpreted differently in ten years, they likely will be. I have drawn my own conclusions and I am following them through, I just do not think it’s worth pages and pages of predictably inconclusive disagreement, just because we all think we are right.

As for religion… I personally do not see aikido as a religion in the least, but take a sort of sociological stance there, to put it politely. So in my world my comparison is not so far flung necessarily. "Cosmologies of greater or lesser reach" is a label I like to think with. There is lot’s of civil religion, and as you say, maybe that’s a problem, but it’s true nonetheless. Try to have rational discusion about speed limits in Germany, or gu …. no, forget it

Again, all meant with respect,
Nicholas

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 08-20-2012 at 11:21 AM. Reason: careful wording ...
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:35 AM   #107
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Actually, I meant it in direct response to the supposition in the original post - that we don't know and can never know. Once you go there you stop, IMO, really trying to form an opinion - it's just some inscrutable mystery.
Oh, sorry I misinterpreted! So...don't you think there's room for "I don't know, but I think that..." An opinion, but one that admits the possibility of being wrong?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Sure, there were toss-off remarks. OTOH, a pervasive characteristic of O-Sensei's text is the repetition - all of the basic themes and principles are repeated over and over, in the same way and in slightly different ways. It makes those things very hard to ignore or write off as casual remarks.
That is indeed a fair point.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:50 AM   #108
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
This is a public forum in so far as anyone can read them, but not anybody can post here. To post you must sign up and agree to the terms and conditions of the forum in order to participate. In other words you can watch the people over the fence play in Jun's backyard but you can't play unless you agree to play the way Jun wants you too. If you don't play by Jun's rules you aren't aloud in anymore.

dps
*Sigh* As I said in my example, once you are allowed inside the Public Meeting Room (I.E. Public Forum) ... in other words, it's taken for granted the definition of public forum meaning that one must either be invited or openly join the forum to have a voice. I did not state in my example that people outside the Public Meeting Room were conversing with those inside.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:06 PM   #109
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
...
The increasing polarization of Aikiweb over the past year or two with a predictable pattern of mutual ad hominem attacks and the breakdown of many threads has been bothering me a lot..
Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post

The most remarkable thing that most people do not want to face in this thread, is that those who typically give the "unsolicited advice and criticism" are the ones who also make genuine offers to respectfully "flesh-out" the ideas in some type of training experience.

I would suggest that wisdom and integrity should go hand in hand. Don't ask a question if you are not willing to hear an answer. Don't put your ideas out there in a thread and not expect to receive a myriad of opinions. The people who spend so much time on the Aikiweb complaining about the poor reception to their ideas, the "mean-spirit" of people's comments, the "unwillingness" of those "mean" people to fully understand and embrace their ideas, etc., are typically the ones who shy away from the natural consequence of putting ideas about martial arts out in the public = "SHOW ME!"

As much as both sides should show some respect and restraint in their comments and threads that they start, both sides should be also be willing to find some format to demonstrably put their ideas and beliefs about "martial arts" abilities, theories, understandings to the test. If a person is not willing to stand behind and up to their beliefs and ideas, then maybe, just maybe that person should show better restraint in starting threads and/or a "thicker skin" when the expected criticisms and unsolicited suggestions start arriving.

Marc Abrams
Hi Marc,
I think what you write is on some level true, and I deplore a lack of accountability in many aspects of aikido as well. But I think just calling people out for testing is not helpful considering the purpose of more constructive discourse.

For one, there is no inbuilt right to ask for a reality test in internet conversation on anybody's specific terms. That is just not part of the medium, and I doubt it will ever be. As a consequence, if somebody is deluded about what they do, well, all evidence will be interpreted that way. After all, we are not even sure these other people exist under the names they give here in many cases. So conversation that is just about calling people out to whatever reality test is unhelpful unless that person wanted somebody to. Repeating it n times is mostly pointless.

Second, I think talk about testing is really a veiled definition trap: what is tested, which rules, who is the judge, etc. We will not get any agreement. This is not MMA or power lifting.

Third, I think there are few, if any, people on the IS side - except Dan, who does not do aikido and does not intend to or want to do aikido either - who can yet walk the talk regarding the promises of IS. (You may be an exception, we have not met.) I hope that is going to change. But I think that a lot of zeal is invested into this debate that curiously implies to a bright IS future we imagine.

Best

Nicholas

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 08-20-2012 at 12:09 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:19 PM   #110
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Oh, sorry I misinterpreted! So...don't you think there's room for "I don't know, but I think that..." An opinion, but one that admits the possibility of being wrong?
Reasonable enough!

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-20-2012, 12:21 PM   #111
kewms
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
*Sigh* As I said in my example, once you are allowed inside the Public Meeting Room (I.E. Public Forum) ... in other words, it's taken for granted the definition of public forum meaning that one must either be invited or openly join the forum to have a voice. I did not state in my example that people outside the Public Meeting Room were conversing with those inside.
I think David's point was that Jun, as the forum owner, gets to decide whether it's okay to tell people their aikido is ugly. There are plenty of places where saying "sorry, this is the internet" when the forum owner has expressed concern about the tone of the discussion is a good way to get banned. Jun has a lighter touch than that, but that doesn't mean it's okay or desirable to push the limits.

Katherine
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:26 PM   #112
Basia Halliop
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Um, it's a public forum. So, there is no "unsolicited advice" nor "unsolicited criticism". It's public. Forums on the internet are specifically designed for this. So, should my neighbor rent a Public Meeting Hall, invite all people inside to "communicate" and then proceeds to talk about how ugly he is, then, yes, he is inviting other people to comment on that "conversation". That is Internet forums, not someone living next door and unceremoniously telling him/her that they are ugly. Apples and Oranges.
OTOH, if your neighbour rented a public meeting hall, invited all people inside to communicate, and ANOTHER neighbour started talking about a third neighbour being ugly, the guy who rented the meeting hall would likely just chuck them out (it's his meeting hall, he's not obligated to allow anyone in or even to be fair about his reasons for inviting or not inviting people).

If not and that continued to be the quality of conversation that was going on, 90% of the people would soon go home or go chat elsewhere, and the hall would soon become full only of those people who thought sitting around discussing how ugly their neighbours are was a fun way to spend some time.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:31 PM   #113
kewms
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Third, I think there are few, if any, people on the IS side - except Dan, who does not do aikido and does not intend to or want to do aikido either - who can yet walk the talk regarding the promises of IS. (You may be an exception, we have not met.) I hope that is going to change.
I think this is a very important point for the IS proponents to keep in mind. Most non-IS students are still not complete bozos. Most IS students are not Dan. So a little more humility might be in order.

Katherine
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:34 PM   #114
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Actually, the best internet discussions I've personally seen, most full of content and empty of personality fights and repetition, were almost all in the most heavily moderated forums (though there are exceptions). Ones where either a comment has to be approved before it's even posted, or where one bad move gets your comment edited or erased and you sent a private warning, and the second strike gets your account simply deleted without any further discussion. A huge amount of work for the moderators but boy is it effective and you can get some amazing quality of discussion.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:34 PM   #115
Marc Abrams
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Hi Marc,
I think what you write is on some level true, and I deplore a lack of accountability in many aspects of aikido as well. But I think just calling people out for testing is not helpful considering the purpose of more constructive discourse.

For one, there is no inbuilt right to ask for a reality test in internet conversation on anybody's specific terms. That is just not part of the medium, and I doubt it will ever be. As a consequence, if somebody is deluded about what they do, well, all evidence will be interpreted that way. After all, we are not even sure these other people exist under the names they give here in many cases. So conversation that is just about calling people out to whatever reality test is unhelpful unless that person wanted somebody to. Repeating it n times is mostly pointless.

Second, I think talk about testing is really a veiled definition trap: what is tested, which rules, who is the judge, etc. We will not get any agreement. This is not MMA or power lifting.

Third, I think there are few, if any, people on the IS side - except Dan, who does not do aikido and does not intend to or want to do aikido either - who can yet walk the talk regarding the promises of IS. (You may be an exception, we have not met.) I hope that is going to change. But I think that a lot of zeal is invested into this debate that curiously implies to a bright IS future we imagine.

Best

Nicholas
Nicholas:

I do not think that anybody simply call someone out for "testing" for laughs and giggles. We listen and think about ideas that people have put forward and some of them resonate to a point that we want to see how they translate into what we think that we do.

The limitations with the internet as a means of communication regarding tangible entities (such as martial arts) are obvious. I think that it is important to challenge and ask questions to things that seem far fetched. I do not believe that delusions should be allowed to flourish as "legitimate" ideas.

The "testing" of ideas in person is never perfect, but far better than not doing so. The testing of ideas and getting people to see a larger consensual reality was really at the heart of what the Aiki Expos were. Mini experiences like that are now becoming more common place. My experience has been that these types of encounters have led to bridges being created, respect being deepened and an appreciation of our own limitations in context of the myriad of learning experiences that are out there. I frankly went into my first training with Dan expecting little positive. I walked into a room of dedicated, honest martial artists from many different arts. We all walked away excited by how much more we can learn to improve ourselves. It is typically those who have not gone out of their way to have those experiences (or have walked away from them with minds as closed as when they entered in the first place) who seem to try and discount the importance of these types of encounters.

I think that the convenient tendency to "blame" the IS group/ crowd, etc. has more to do with people's difficulties with owning up to their own shortcomings, than with the actual comments from some within that growing community. I even think that the label is limiting in ways that are not necessarily helpful. I also study with Ushiro Sensei, who would not be considered part of the IS group. My main teacher, Imaizumi Sensei, is certainly not part of that group. Placing me in that group (as some on the Aikiweb would like to do) is simply immature and misleading. I am not concerned about the future of "IS". I am simply concerned about trying to improve myself in all aspects of my life, including budo. I work harder than many to try and become a teacher who can pass down a legacy that resembles the legacy that has been passed down to me by my teachers. It would be a lot easier to not have stepped outside my comfortable world of what I thought that I knew and could do. That is not the path that I have chosen for myself. I will have flown over 50,000 miles this year alone in pursuit of my training (not including driving miles of course). The hours and costs could never be recovered in running a serious school. This is about trying to be the best that I can be, in absence of self-serving delusions.

More constructive discourse will not happen through words alone. Asking someone to do what they say in person is actually a sign of respect. It is not about our egos, but about our art. If we fail to do what we say we can do, then we should have the self-respect to acknowledge that and seek to improve. If we can find those who can do what they say, then they garner the added respect and admiration from those eager to learn. If we can do what we say, can we not claim ownership to it, but seek to pass it on to others so that the respect is about our art.

I hope we do meet some time soon. It has nothing to do with us trying to "live up to our talk." It has everything to do with meeting people on a similar path and helping each other move forward together. The respect that I have gained from these fellow travelers throughout the world has deepened my life and has enabled me to share this greater depth to my students.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:42 PM   #116
Marc Abrams
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I think this is a very important point for the IS proponents to keep in mind. Most non-IS students are still not complete bozos. Most IS students are not Dan. So a little more humility might be in order.

Katherine
Katherine:

The absence of real communication via the internet leads to the ease by which a lack of humility is assumed. Martial arts breeds humility and respect not for what is said, but what is done.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:47 PM   #117
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Nicholas:

I do not think that anybody simply call someone out for "testing" for laughs and giggles....

... The respect that I have gained from these fellow travelers throughout the world has deepened my life and has enabled me to share this greater depth to my students.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
Marc,

I think we are talking past each other, I agree with all that, some is my own story. I just seem to draw different conclusions when it comes to approaches to online discussions. Probably time we meet up :-)

Have a good day

N
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:04 PM   #118
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Katherine:

The absence of real communication via the internet leads to the ease by which a lack of humility is assumed. Martial arts breeds humility and respect not for what is said, but what is done.
I have to say, Marc, it sounds like you're questioning Katherine's judgment about information received via the internet, and yet you're asserting the validity of your own judgment on information received through the same medium. What's the difference?
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:27 PM   #119
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I have to say, Marc, it sounds like you're questioning Katherine's judgment about information received via the internet, and yet you're asserting the validity of your own judgment on information received through the same medium. What's the difference?
I have to say Mary, that you have a remarkable, uncanny ability to misread and distort almost everything that I say. Let me try this with you:

1) I agree with Katherine about the request for humility across the board.
2) Words on the internet about tangible items and experiences are simply not as "accurate" as actually putting your hands on tangible items and experiences.
3) I think that the categories of " IS proponents" "non-IS people" are vague at best and serve to distort a much more nuanced distinction amongst us.
4) Using Katherine's categories, I think that most people "IS" or "non-IS" are not bozos.
5) I think that only Dan Harden is Dan Harden.

I hope that this post has been made clear enough for you so as to prevent further distortions about what I said and what I meant.

Marc Abrams
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:30 PM   #120
Marc Abrams
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Marc,

I think we are talking past each other, I agree with all that, some is my own story. I just seem to draw different conclusions when it comes to approaches to online discussions. Probably time we meet up :-)

Have a good day

N
Nicholas,

I am hopeful that you have had more success with your approaches to online discussions. I don't see it as us speaking past each other. I think that you accurately pointed out that we do have different conclusions. Nothing like meeting in person! First round is on me...... ps- I will try again to be in Germany in early 2013. Hopefully, major snags will not arise this time.... New York is always a fun trip I hear!

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:47 PM   #121
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
I have to say Mary, that you have a remarkable, uncanny ability to misread and distort almost everything that I say.
Oh, for god's sake.

I tell you what, Marc. Since I can't ask you anything without you taking this attitude (thereby making dialogue impossible), I'll just put you in the ignore file. You've ripped into more people than just me with no justification whatsoever, and eventually more people than me will get sick of it.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:48 PM   #122
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
3) I think that the categories of " IS proponents" "non-IS people" are vague at best and serve to distort a much more nuanced distinction amongst us.
Agreed, but sometimes quick definitions, though vague, are sufficient to move the conversation along.

Quote:
4) Using Katherine's categories, I think that most people "IS" or "non-IS" are not bozos.
Agreed, so why are accusations of bozohood so common?

I think a significant part of the problem is that people feel like their teachers and their particular approaches to aikido are being attacked by people who have *not* taken the time to come train with them in person and/or who are trying to accomplish completely different things.

If I bake a blueberry pie, I might be open to comments about the crust. I might even be interested in discussing the relative merits of blueberry vs. huckleberry or mixed berry pies. But it would be really annoying if a bunch of people stomped into the kitchen and (without tasting the pie) told me I should be making a chocolate cake instead.

I'd also be pretty upset if my feeble protestations about the deliciousness of blueberry pie were met by a demand that I travel somewhere (on my own time, at my own expense) to demonstrate the merits of blueberry pie in front of a roomful of chocolate cake lovers. Never mind that I've never said a bad word about chocolate cake, and just want some peace and quiet to enjoy my pie.

Katherine
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:55 PM   #123
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
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Posts: 1,302
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Oh, for god's sake.

I tell you what, Marc. Since I can't ask you anything without you taking this attitude (thereby making dialogue impossible), I'll just put you in the ignore file. You've ripped into more people than just me with no justification whatsoever, and eventually more people than me will get sick of it.
Mary:

What was it that Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet.... OH, I remember ... "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Your post to me was passive-aggressive at best and you are somehow upset with the clarity of my response? Your "issues" with me are thinly veiled in your posts to me. I appreciate honest, forthright discussions with others. it is most unfortunate that this seems to be lacking in our attempts to communicate with one another.

THANK YOU FOR PUTTING ME ON YOUR IGNORE FILE .

Marc Abrams
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:02 PM   #124
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,523
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Agreed, so why are accusations of bozohood so common?
Just fwiw I would disagree that the accusations of bozohead are common. Or maybe more accurately there are a few folk who seem to "attract" the accusation repeatedly as a result of their habits in posting. I would dare say most here have rarely if ever been open to the accusation. Some, however, seem to almost relish in repeatedly posting things virtually guaranteed to open the floodgates...

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Old 08-20-2012, 03:02 PM   #125
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Agreed, but sometimes quick definitions, though vague, are sufficient to move the conversation along.

Agreed, so why are accusations of bozohood so common?

I think a significant part of the problem is that people feel like their teachers and their particular approaches to aikido are being attacked by people who have *not* taken the time to come train with them in person and/or who are trying to accomplish completely different things.

If I bake a blueberry pie, I might be open to comments about the crust. I might even be interested in discussing the relative merits of blueberry vs. huckleberry or mixed berry pies. But it would be really annoying if a bunch of people stomped into the kitchen and (without tasting the pie) told me I should be making a chocolate cake instead.

I'd also be pretty upset if my feeble protestations about the deliciousness of blueberry pie were met by a demand that I travel somewhere (on my own time, at my own expense) to demonstrate the merits of blueberry pie in front of a roomful of chocolate cake lovers. Never mind that I've never said a bad word about chocolate cake, and just want some peace and quiet to enjoy my pie.

Katherine
Katherine:

I agree with you that people should refrain from attacking other people's teachers in major public venues, more so by people with no first hand knowledge. The problem is made worse when we place our teachers on pedestals and get too touchy about anything neutral or negative said about them. People can say whatever they would like about my teacher. He's a big boy and can handle his affairs nicely without my assistance......

Now chocolate and blueberry happen to be a great pairing in my book!

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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