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Old 09-16-2008, 02:11 PM   #26
Dan Austin
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Re: On Closing Threads

Not that my opinion matters, but there does seem to be a bias, intentional or not, in moderating these threads. I was banned for two weeks for suggesting that a person who continually pollutes discussions when he has been called out for lack of knowledge or willingness to meet up with anyone to verify his knowledge might have some issues. OK, maybe that didn't need to be said, because it's pretty obvious, and it isn't the kind of interaction Jun wants on his site. To address Salim's comment, yes, it does feel a little insulting to be prevented from pointing out offensive behavior. This is especially the case when I see for example William Hazen calling Rob John a jerk, and I didn't see any gap in his posting. Erick insults people indirectly on a regular basis, sometimes directly as with the use of the word "liar" recently, and he's allowed to keep on trucking. It is what it is. I knew I was on dicey ground. Overall Jun has been quite tolerant in allowing discussions of a subject that causes controversy, so asking for a lack of any bias against those who are outside the Aikido mainstream may be a bit much. After all how could it be Aikido if there's no politics?

The other day I saw that the non-Aikido forum had more active readers than the General forum. On most days the non-Aikido forum seems to be the second most active. Human nature being what it is, a free-for-all unmoderated area would probably be the most popular on the site, and many sites have an "enter at your own risk" unmoderated area, but Jun has a vision of the kind of site he wants and it's been highly successful to date without indulging in that sort of thing. He's been accommodating enough.

Really, the only thing to do that would conform entirely with the site rules is for the regular posters on this topic to agree to ignore Erick until such time as he shows in person that he can demonstrate physically his knowledge of the subject. Anyone who responds to him, including me, really doesn't have a reason to complain about the consequences or how fair they seem.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:26 PM   #27
akiy
 
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Re: On Closing Threads

Hi folks,

Can you all please stop using this thread and this website to target specific people? Thank you.

As an aside, I'll just say that people are welcome to contact me regarding specific posts containing instances of seemingly egregious behavior. I'm not perfect and I'm sure that I've certainly let instances of such get past me. Besides, as some folks here know firsthand, you'll usually get a warning (or three) before I start imposing posting restrictions, so you may not see people's postings interrupted.

Back to work for me...

-- Jun

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Old 09-16-2008, 07:48 PM   #28
Cady Goldfield
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Re: On Closing Threads

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
My own instructor said, "People get exactly the teacher they are looking for. If they truly wanted something else, they would go out and find it."
Paraphrasing my mother (practicing psychologist, guardian ad litem and family counselor from 1943-2005): The rocks in his head match the holes in theirs.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:05 PM   #29
Cady Goldfield
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Re: On Closing Threads

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Old 09-16-2008, 11:12 PM   #30
rob_liberti
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Re: On Closing Threads

Can we just make the following points a sticky and not post them in every single thread in this section:

1) this is Jun's website
2) since there is a feedback section and all, one might expect this to be "the place" to disagree with Jun.
3) I'm grateful for this wonderful site, but...

Rob
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:05 AM   #31
DH
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Re: On Closing Threads

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Mark - I shan't go back-and-forth on this too much. But let's use your example. You start posting on Araki-ryu. You start posting opinions, theories and the like. I'd respond once or twice, I'm sure, in good faith. Then I'd make a statement that you didn't know what you were talking about and that I would ignore any post you made in the future, and would not participate in any dialogue generated by your posts. In fact, that's exactly what I do with a lot of people.
Returning to the subject at hand, let's say I've only peripherally heard of this internal stuff. I live in Seattle. An expert (take your pick) is coming through and I want to sign up for the seminar. Then I read one of Erick's posts.. And then, because of this, I don't even go to the seminar, either because he convinced me it's b.s. or because I'm still reading his posts, which are VERY long, and I miss the seminar time. Too bad for me. The kind of person who would be dissuaded from going for such a reason would never do the work anyway. The kind of person who would go, but would be so "confused" by the post that they couldn't perceive the evidence even when they felt it would never do the work.
If you want to discuss things with Erick or some others I can think of, that's on your dime. John McCain's statement on wrestling with pigs comes to mind, though. And finally, I've only seen Jun close threads when things get personal. If you or others go into discussions with the best intentions, and end up losing your temper arguing with someone who is, from your lights, talking nonsense, then it begs the question on another kind of "internal strength."
Best
Ellis
Good advice
For the first time since I've been here I have added someone to my ignore list. Why? After talking with several guys here its appears that responding to this one person has been the single most common source for a lot of warnings and posting restrictions. So the writing is on the wall-with this guy. Even with his verbiage and comments like calling people Jerks and liars and what not...and his never apologizing for it. For whatever reason, it seems clear... Don't mess with this guy. He's hands off.

So, Ellis's advice comes to the fore. Stop talking to him. If the only way to avoid losing your temper with his open antagonism and purposeful set-ups, tauntings and targeting of our threads is ignore him. Do it. All agree to summarily ignore everything he says and put him on an ignore list, and then stop quoting him in our posts.

Jun has better things to do then to have to keep monitoring. He also stated he would prefer a smaller list where everyone got along-Notice that did not include a desire or support for this new information. Which means to me he would prefer -that- over a larger more informed board where there was antagonism and more trouble for him to have to referee. Seems clear to me that he has better things to do.

So again, his mission statement is clear. He made significant allowances for me, so I am grateful. He even helped me work out issues regarding my approach. So I think if we want to write and share information, then make the changes yourself for yourself.

Last edited by DH : 09-17-2008 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:32 AM   #32
akiy
 
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Re: On Closing Threads

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Jun has better things to do then to have to keep monitoring. He also stated he would prefer a smaller list where everyone got along-Notice that did not include a desire or support for this new information. Which means to me he would prefer -that- over a larger more informed board where there was antagonism and more trouble for him to have to referee.
Just another quick reply here to clarify that it is not that I want a place where "everyone got along." I'm fine with people not getting along. I'm fine with antagonism. What I am objecting to is the disrespectful rhetoric within discussions as well as people targeting the person rather than their thoughts.

As I wrote:
Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
I believe that communication happens most effectively through respectful dialog. As such, I do not want to cultivate a "community" where disrespectful language, tone, and manner run rampant. I believe that honest criticism, difficult topics, and even strong disagreements can be shared and addressed without employing divisive, corrosive language and without targeting the person.
I hope I am making this distinction clear, as I believe it to be important.

-- Jun

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Old 09-17-2008, 09:20 AM   #33
Keith Larman
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Re: On Closing Threads

A memory from my childhood...

Me (all philosophically inclined): "But Dad, Kevin (my brother) isn't listening to me. He won't even listen to facts! All he does is ignore things that I know are true!"

My dad (an engineer): "If he won't listen then why are you still talking to him?"

Me: "Oh..."


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Old 09-17-2008, 10:09 PM   #34
Hebrew Hammer
 
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Re: On Closing Threads

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
A memory from my childhood...

Me (all philosophically inclined): "But Dad, Kevin (my brother) isn't listening to me. He won't even listen to facts! All he does is ignore things that I know are true!"

My dad (an engineer): "If he won't listen then why are you still talking to him?"

Me: "Oh..."

LOL if you had only posted this sooner....the Dao of Dad. I see a book in your future.

Stay Cut,

The Hebrew Hammer
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:10 PM   #35
Erick Mead
 
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Re: On Closing Threads

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
After talking with several guys here its appears that responding to this one person has been the single most common source for a lot of warnings and posting restrictions. So the writing is on the wall-with this guy. ... If the only way to avoid losing your temper with his open antagonism and purposeful set-ups, tauntings and targeting of our threads is ignore him. Do it.
御願いします.
http://www.koryu.com/library/dlowry9.html

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:14 AM   #36
MM
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Re: On Closing Threads

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
For the first time since I've been here I have added someone to my ignore list. Why? After talking with several guys here its appears that responding to this one person has been the single most common source for a lot of warnings and posting restrictions. So the writing is on the wall-with this guy. Even with his verbiage and comments like calling people Jerks and liars and what not...and his never apologizing for it. For whatever reason, it seems clear... Don't mess with this guy. He's hands off.
Isn't it amazing how one person can be given a pass while everyone around that one person must pay for his actions? It certainly illustrates a very important concept in budo. There are two kinds of power: that which is given and that which is within.

Some people are given power and it becomes very apparent how they choose to use it. Some examples of being given power might include not having repercussions in a forum, being a forum administrator, etc. All the while, these people might believe they have power, but really it is a fleeting thing that can change when the wind blows.

Power within is never given so it can never be taken away. It is a strong force that can be built to withstand many things. What force could bring Ghandi down? His power of spirit was strong. What force could bring Ueshiba down? His aiki was strong even to his death.

And when it comes down to the wire, to life and death, to things that really matter, which power do you want? The transient stuff that can be shifted, dissolved, taken away? Or the power that is the engine of the body, mind, and spirit? And when you choose, be careful that if you choose the former, you don't lose the slim chance to get the latter.

There is right. There is wrong. I stand by my original posts. Closing threads because the root disruption is one person is wrong. But, as people have noted ... I do not have the given power. Someone else has that ...
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:01 AM   #37
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Re: On Closing Threads

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Isn't it amazing how one person can be given a pass while everyone around that one person must pay for his actions? It certainly illustrates a very important concept in budo. There are two kinds of power: that which is given and that which is within.

Some people are given power and it becomes very apparent how they choose to use it. Some examples of being given power might include not having repercussions in a forum, being a forum administrator, etc. All the while, these people might believe they have power, but really it is a fleeting thing that can change when the wind blows.

Power within is never given so it can never be taken away. It is a strong force that can be built to withstand many things. What force could bring Ghandi down? His power of spirit was strong. What force could bring Ueshiba down? His aiki was strong even to his death.

And when it comes down to the wire, to life and death, to things that really matter, which power do you want? The transient stuff that can be shifted, dissolved, taken away? Or the power that is the engine of the body, mind, and spirit? And when you choose, be careful that if you choose the former, you don't lose the slim chance to get the latter.

There is right. There is wrong. I stand by my original posts. Closing threads because the root disruption is one person is wrong. But, as people have noted ... I do not have the given power. Someone else has that ...
All well and good except for one thing; nobody gave Jun his power. He developed it all on his own and it is 'real' power. He can even make you dissappear.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:42 AM   #38
John A Butz
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Re: On Closing Threads

Mark,

I like you and I think you are a stand-up guy. But I have to say that rarely does a thread on the internet devolve into an argument because of the actions of one person. Others have said it before in this thread, but it bears repeating; no matter what someone says or does, you always have the ability to control how you react.

My honest opinion is that a pass is being given to everyone involved in threads that degenerate into arguments and noise. There are people who post on this board with incredibly strong opinions, who argue with anyone that disagrees with them, and use a specific and sometimes difficult to understand set of terms and explanations that are not grasped by the people they are talking at (note please that I am not referring to anyone in particular, but don't assume I am referring to the same individual you might think I am talking about). Jun is very tolerant of every conversation, no matter how heated, that doesn't involve personal attacks; the type of poster described above very often ventures into that territory.

Regarding Peter's comment about correction for everyone involved in a dispute regardless of perceived fault, all I can reference here is a training maxim that has been a staple of my time on the mat: "If you hear a student get corrected, assume you are making the same mistake." I think that this is a valid point, and that everyone involved should keep it in mind.

Mark, I am addressing you mostly because I know you and because I understand why you are passionate about what you are working on. I think that the issues that brought about this conversation are much bigger then just any one person. I also think that the atmosphere of hostility that hovers over every Internal Skills discussion that happens on Aikiweb will do more in the long run to hinder the acquisition of those skills by potentially interested parties then the opinions of any one person.

If I wanted to find a model for dealing with challenging people and conversations, I would look to posters like Don Magee, who patiently goes over the value of alive training so often that he deserves a medal; Kevin L, who has to repeatedly deal with people who make incorrect assumptions about how the military trains martial arts and does so with respect and clarity; and Rob Liberti, who is able to ask clarifiying questions and make statements about the subject being discussed without calling into question the character of the people he is debating with.

With the greatest respect,
--John A Butz

Last edited by John A Butz : 09-18-2008 at 09:56 AM. Reason: for clarity
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:21 AM   #39
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: On Closing Threads

Quote:
John Butz wrote: View Post
If I wanted to find a model for dealing with challenging people and conversations, I would look to posters like Don Magee, who patiently goes over the value of alive training so often that he deserves a medal; Kevin L, who has to repeatedly deal with people who make incorrect assumptions about how the military trains martial arts and does so with respect and clarity; and Rob Liberti, who is able to ask clarifiying questions and make statements about the subject being discussed without calling into question the character of the people he is debating with.
Ron Tisdale, too, whom I've seen handle many a touchy, controversial topic with an aplomb I wish I could muster for something as silly and trivial as linguistic discussions.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:52 AM   #40
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Re: On Closing Threads

Hi folks,

Another quick post here. Thanks for everyone's thoughts so far.

I'm a bit confused at having the actions of a forum administrator compared to those of Morihei Ueshiba or Gandhi. I guess I'm at a loss as to understanding how a forum administrator should "act" should they subscribe to the notion of "What would Ueshiba/Gandhi do?"

As far as thoughts about having threads closed due to the actions of only one person go, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree in our perceptions of what is going on. At least in the case of the thread which spawned this discussion, I saw more than one person engaging in disrespectful, personal discussions. As such (and perhaps to address the issue of whether people are given "passes"), I'll just say that I gave out more than one user infraction in that particular thread.

Thanks, again, for everyone's feedback.

Best,

-- Jun

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Old 09-18-2008, 10:59 AM   #41
Ron Tisdale
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Re: On Closing Threads

Oh Damn, now I'm blushing!

Thanks for the kind words. Now, if only I had yours or Peter's intellect, or Dan's rugged good looks!

Best,
Ron (I'd settle for a quarter of Dan's aiki, but that power must be earned through sweat...it is not given)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:42 PM   #42
Mike Sigman
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Re: On Closing Threads

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
At least in the case of the thread which spawned this discussion, I saw more than one person engaging in disrespectful, personal discussions. As such (and perhaps to address the issue of whether people are given "passes"), I'll just say that I gave out more than one user infraction in that particular thread.
I've seen many people on many different forums observe, over the years, that Aikido forums have a reputation for passive-aggressive behavior. It's true... although I'd also suggest that the same behaviour can be found in some karate forums, some judo forums, some CMA forums, and so on.

The problem I see is when passive-aggressive posting, sly-but-politely-worded posts, pseudo-polite-but-personally-aimed remarks, etc., are allowed to pass as acceptable behavior and a limited/unrealistic definition of "disrespectful" posting is then applied.

Pretending that sly or passive-aggressive or personal-oriented remarks are not insulting, when they're clearly meant to be, only fuels the problem. I've found that as an admin on other forums when I stop the first sly or personally-oriented oblique comments, I also stop the later escalations. When posters find out that they can't make a chump out of the moderator by couching insults in polite language, they tend to get back on topic and the bickering tapers off. Sure, it doesn't solve all cases of "disrespectful behavior", but it sure stops it from growing.

Go back and look at all the really contentious threads over the past few years and look at how they always start with a few sly, personal digs that don't quite have blatant insults but which are clearly insulting and off-topic. Nip those and you would have nipped the subsequent conflagrations. Unfortunately for the reputation of Aikido, treating passive-aggressive posting as "Aiki-speak" or some such nonsense has done much to color the reputation of Aikido and reflect on its place among other martial arts.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:55 PM   #43
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: On Closing Threads

Quote:
John Butz wrote: View Post
Mark,
I also think that the atmosphere of hostility that hovers over every Internal Skills discussion that happens on Aikiweb will do more in the long run to hinder the acquisition of those skills by potentially interested parties then the opinions of any one person.
--John A Butz
That is definitely true. One does sometimes get the impression internal skills correlate with missionary zeal, very strong opinions and lots of time to spend on aikiweb, to put it carefully.

Am I one of the lurkers supposedly misguided by wrong posts about internal skills? I dont post a lot for several reasons, but I am interested in the topic, I follow discussions closely and I do get enough information to make up my mind and form a personal opinion (misguided as it may be...). So in the back of my mind, I have a list of people who I am very interested in training with if I ever make it to their countries, one or two I would make quite an effort to meet, and well, I also have people who I put on ignore a long time ago (as they probably did with me). And a list of some of whom I am totally convinced they have skills, but I just would not want to spent time with them. Wrong people on the those lists? Well, probably, but I am an adult after all, my problem.

Also, I think Jun is doing a great service to the aikido community maintaining this site, and his handling of things, especially the internal skills debates, is a great example of applied aikido for me, I stand in awe of that.

Nick
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:31 PM   #44
Lan Powers
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Re: On Closing Threads

Verbal aikido has been mentioned before.....I like to think of myself as an "irimi" kind of conversationalist
(Just kidding, of course, but what a neat anology to the physical actions you see....neatly tenkan-ing around an "ugly" point in a exchange..)
Just a silly thought. <shrug>
Lan

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Old 09-18-2008, 08:54 PM   #45
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Re: On Closing Threads

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I've seen many people on many different forums observe
Is it not ironic, then, that you so often shield your own opinions about the people and ideas in this forum by claiming that those opinions were delivered to you from an anonymous group of people outside the forum. How is this not the exact passive/aggressive behavior you decry?
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:02 PM   #46
Mike Sigman
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Re: On Closing Threads

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
Is it not ironic, then, that you so often shield your own opinions about the people and ideas in this forum by claiming that those opinions were delivered to you from an anonymous group of people outside the forum. How is this not the exact passive/aggressive behavior you decry?
Actually, lack of sourcing is not synonymous with "passive-aggressive". If you're really interested in whether "passive-aggressive" is a term associated with Aikido, all you have to do is Google ["passive-aggressive" + Aikido]. Let us know the results, unless of course you want to change the discussion to one about me personally, which you appear to be doing.

Aren't you a member of Ikeda's dojo, BTW?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:08 PM   #47
Cady Goldfield
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Re: On Closing Threads

The true irony here would be if this thead "On Closing Threads" were to be closed due to the deterioration of the posting.

After all that has been said about personal attacks, and the necessity of refraining from them on this website in order to facilitate cogent discussion, I'm surprised that someone would then launch into yet another personal attack.

There's a private-message function on this board for anyone with pressing questions of a personal nature.
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:22 PM   #48
Mike Sigman
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Re: On Closing Threads

Good point, Cady. Perhaps the bigger point is not the exchange itself, though, but the fact that people are so used to slipping in a certain level of insult (just below the level that Jun would suggest they've been "disrespectful") on this forum that they don't even see the point of what you just said. It probably needs to be instilled that no personal/off-topic/oblique shots are to be tolerated. But whatever... I'm not trying to tell Jun how to run his forum, I was contributing what I thought might be a constructive opinion about how to avoid letting a certain few people interrupt thread after thread.

Best.

Mike
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Old 09-19-2008, 02:23 PM   #49
Mike Sigman
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Re: On Closing Threads

By the way, and I've meant to post this before, I think it would be helpful if more people understood the correct meaning of Ad Hominem. Ad Hominem essentially refers to the situation where someone responds to the man rather than to the issue being discussed. In other words, if someone says A equals B, but a responder says in reply "your answer can't be correct because I have more rank than you"... that's an ad hominem response.

Ad Hominem's can be politely worded, but anytime someone starts dragging off-topic personality into the discussion, no matter how sly or clever or without harsh words, it's still ad hominem. If you understand the meaning of ad hominem in that light and look at how many posts drift immediately into personality discussion apart from the issue, you can see that most of the problem is the diversion to ad hominem, regardless of whether any harsh terms were used. It would be useful if people were sometimes prompted to respond to the debate rather than to the perceived personality. Maybe we should have a separate forum where we talk about what we really think of various other people?

FWIW

Mike

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 09-19-2008 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 09-19-2008, 02:26 PM   #50
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Re: On Closing Threads

Awesome, where did my post go?

Was it too ad -hominy-hominy-hominy?

Or more likely the case I'm a donkey's cap, or ass-hat more commonly?

Wait, yes, I'm an ass-hat, it spurned another thread.

Nothing to see here folks, just a 4 yr old forum noob
michael.

Last edited by MikeLogan : 09-19-2008 at 02:30 PM.

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