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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 1998 3:01 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Well here we were having a wild party at my home. A few of the guests had gotten a little rowdy (damned rookies don't know how to hold their wine!!) and broke some furniture. There was some finger pointing and yelling, but no blows were thrown. Nothing particularly unusual at the Glasheen residence. But somebody called the police and they came around and told us we were making too much noise. This was only the first call, so we can probably keep partying as long as we can keep everybody quiet and have some folks (Van, Mark, etc) threaten to sit on the drunks.

I received some interesting "calls" since our neighbor, Paul-san, called the cops on our rowdy party. Were we being *that* rowdy? Which jerk broke the first piece of furniture? Should we be giving grape juice to some?

Again, I'm a free speech advocate and I HATE the kind of gossip that goes on in the martial arts world. There are always those who 1) don't have a life, or 2) have an indefensible agenda who will cause great harm by spreading malicious tales. My goal is to make these artificial factions irrelevant by shining the disinfecting light of day on bad behavior.

And then there are legitimate issues that evoke strong responses. The "chi" thing is one of them. Some have professional carreers riding on the paradigm. Others think it a bunch of hogwash. And then there is the 80% in the middle that isn't that concerned. But issues like this NEED to be discussed - even if certain individuals have their precious views of the world shaken.

But there is a right way to do this, I'm sure.

Comments on decorum are welcome. In the mean time, keep it down. I don't want to upset the landlady!

Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 10-05-98).]


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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 1998 8:01 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
folks,

I sit on the "Chi" fence and enjoy reading a healthy discussion on this and any other matter by respectful adults. When it gets ugly though I tend to step out of the room.

The fact is if I want to see a fight or get into one, all I have to do is walk down the street to the corner in the "combat zone." I don't have to sit in front of the computer and read people's subtle and not so subtle threats That's been my gut reaction to some of the "chi" postings.

david.



[This message has been edited by david (edited 10-05-98).]


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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 1998 10:55 am 
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J.D.

No. You did not threaten him.

david

[This message has been edited by david (edited 10-06-98).]


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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 1998 11:59 am 
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Bill,

I know there must be a "rumor mill" out there. Different people keep mentioning getting email about this or that. I don't get any though... Image

Just before last Saturday's class, George sensei said he was enjoying the "chi" postings and asked me what I thought of the discussions. My simple reply was, "too much rancor." So, simply, there were people who stay tuned and were interested. There were also people who "turned off". The beauty of this site is the number of channels. "Different strokes for different folks."

david


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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 1998 1:08 am 
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what I was reading was not a discussion of the merits of the two sides of the argument, but an attempt to end it by bullying and intimidation. This is not in the spirit of learning or growth, for anyone. The shame of this is that thee were some good, thoughtful points made which could have been elaborated upon had they not been overshadowed by efforts to 'shout down' each other. I appreciate a good debate... it is not the same thing as a fight.


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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 1998 10:09 pm 
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Agreed, Paul, that the loss of a constructive dialogue is regrettable.

You are just the person I would like to ask the following question. Do you think there are times - like in this discussion - where the speed at which one resorts to attacks is indeed part of a message? I don't want to get terribly specific as I am but an amateur at reading human behavior. But I found the medium to some extent as fascinating as some of the explicit messages.

I'm always suspicious where there is secrecy and mysticism. I often wonder when people protest too much. I often balk at mindless tradition, folklore, and "obvious" knowledge. And I always look deeper where the skin is very thin.

Language is wonderful in that way. If you look carefully, people are communicating on more than one wavelenth at a time - whether they mean it or not.

Bill


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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 1998 11:49 pm 
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
I can appreciate what Paul is saying about decorum, manners and etiquette. However, having made the rounds of other martial arts' discussion groups I can only say that our party in Bill's home is a model of good taste.

I've met in person, some of those who are most guilty of overreacting on the web. They turn out to be very nice people, totally unlike my first impressions of them made from their written posts. Having re-read some of what I've written, I can undertand how easily written words can be misunderstood or off the mark intended by the author.

I can only offer that we apply the Golden Rule to what we do here. If the purpose of communication on these forums is to learn new information and share knowledge, then we can't afford to antagonize our audience with verbal tactics that widen differences and impede normal openminded dialog.

However, if you find yourself communicating with someone who loses it, the best tactic is to reply with kindness, understanding and concern. If this doesn't work, "shunning" will!


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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 1998 3:52 pm 
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J.D.: It would be helpful if all of us had the same educational background and intelligence possessed by you and Bill.

However, some of us sit at this Roundtable with passionate beliefs, varying physical skills and limited intellectual or educational backup. Combine this with hairtrigger defense mechanisms and we have a volatile formula for Flame Wars III.

When challenged on a level we are inadequetely prepared to defend, some will become defensive and resort to childish behavior that the more gifted opposition will or should understand and accomodate.

I'm thinking back 40 years . . . what if I were taken to task and made to explain scientifically why Sanchin developed what I promised. . . or where was my proof that Uechi-ryu was a superior method of self defense. . . or how could I make statement about the "killing" potential of certain strikes to certain parts of the body without tests, how I would have reacted!

As a gifted Monday morning quarterback, I can look back on the Mr. Mooney vs Mr. Randi episode and offer some suggestions as to how it might have been handled differently so as to not antagonize Mr. Mooney and lose his input, while continuing the discussion and perhaps setting up some valid tests that Mr. Mooney would be willing to perform.

Mr. Randi, accostomed to thousands of fakes and frauds, naturally assumed that Mr. Mooney's intentions were the same as some phony magician we see on tv. The difference, I believe, is that Mr. Mooney believes that what he is doing is honest and valid, whereas the tv magician practices deception knowingly. When Danny Pai broke his 2 ton block of ice with "chi", he was practicing deception. I'm not sure that when Mr. Mooney moves people with his or his subject's power, he knows or understands what is happening.

I think that we might have learned more about what Mr. Mooney does by not taking such a strong intellectual stance with him. He might have benefited from a more carefully structured discussion and the martial arts might have benefitted in the process.

When Evan first came to camp, his Kyusho abilities were questioned and doubted. Rather than withdrawing and practicing "underground", he took the high road and admitted that there was much he could learn from those who were better educated than him. Since that time, many of us have explored Kyusho with Evan. I beleive we have all furthered our martial arts knowledge through this openminded attitude, including Evan.

On the other hand, had we sent him a Mr. Randi's type of letter, denouncing him as a fraud, etc., Evan might have responded to us in a totally different manner.

I'm all for free speech and applaud Bill's handling of his forum. In that spirit, I'm simply stating my viewpoint.


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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 1998 4:55 pm 
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Dr X.,
If I came across as scolding the moderator I apologize... my aim was and is to call attention to the tenor that seemed to me to be escalating in an unhelpful direction, and do what I could to get the discussion back to exactly the kind of dialogue you are suggesting.


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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 1998 3:00 pm 
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To Paul

My skin is thick. I invited comment and I got it. I would be disingenous if I did not allow of me what I encourage for others. I am not in the least bit offended. Feel free to comment as you have.

To J.D.

Some of the comments of George bring back memories. I first studied karate from a very talented and quite insecure and emotionally immature fellow from "the old country" (Japan). I developed a strong fighting spirit as well as a basic understanding of "vanilla karate" from this man. Then I went from W&M to UVa and studied a semester of Uechi with Rad Smith (a minnow of George back in the early 70s). I came home for summer and studied once again with my old instructor. He watched me warming up by doing a rather poor rendition of sanchin and some hojoundo. Then we had "kicks only" sparring later on in the class. My partner was not all that impressive, and I was using some of my newly-learned Uechi infighting knowledge to jam him every time he even thought of lifting his leg. My instructor stopped the two of us. Then he faced off with me and stated "See if you can use some of that crap against me." Of course he beat the *&%$ out of me.

Fortunately I was young, I could take a hit, and I could see the situation for what it was. I have seen very few people who could persevere under the same conditions. Not to pat myself on the back; my point is that many good people with good ideas were muted by this talented karateka with a rigid mind. In his dojo, might made right.

Many years later, I can remember discussions with my wife that I would "win". Finally she began to accuse me of "verbal karate". She and a fellow by the name of Covey eventually convinced me a) not to bring my research mind home with me, complete with challenge, debate, and discussion, b) to learn the art of listening, c) to choose my battles, and finally d) to let a few of them go (I couldda kicked his ass!!!).

I am not necessarily accusing you of being another incarnation of my dark, intellectual side, J.D. I'm just stating that - like my former talented karate instructor - you are so capable that you may be able to win a point and completely miss the point in the process. You are capable of winning a debate by intellect that you should lose based on the facts.

Fortunately you have a sense of humor. And I got the phone number of one of YOUR old girlfriends. Tch, tch tch!

To Mr. Mooney (if you are still listening)

I was happy you agreed to step into our own lion's den. I'm sorry we couldn't have arranged for a more civil outcome. I get the impression you are used to being in a more supportive and/or more believing environment. I was disappointed that you so quickly resorted to communicating behind the scenes. If you are sincere, if your knowledge is real, and if you are as capable as you say, I'd like to think that you could take the hits as I once did (and continue to do). Perhaps I am unreasonable in these expectations. Maybe your approach is better. Maybe your actions are telling. Time will tell.

To Everyone

This dialogue HAS had some positive outcomes. Evan-san is hosting Mr. Mooney and they will be investigating his claims and his "do". And Mr. Mooney has indeed agreed to show up at camp.

I'm not necessarily justifying the means, but we are achieving some desireable ends!


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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 1998 5:23 am 
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Anthony

I have to second J.D. on this one. As Einstein would say, it's all relative. So who, in this situation, is on the plank, Anthony? Could not the believer be accused of the same? Could WE not be swimming in the ocean of truth?

There are a lot of things I WANT to believe in. I have always wanted to believe in things that I cannot fathom today. Years of academic training have NOT shackled my brain. On the contrary, I have seen both situations being portrayed here:

Situation A: The vast majority believes in a certain paradigm, and refuses to go through a process whereby those ideas can be tested. My (former) church, the Catholic church, used to figuratively and literally torture people rather than let go of ideas that they KNEW to be true (God told them!!!).

Situation B: A less-than-perfectly-educated visionary stumbles on a new idea and tries to share it with others. The educated elite shoot it down because it doesn't fit with existing paradigms or it wasn't discovered via conventional pathways. The field of mathematical chaos had some rather inauspicious beginnings. But....it prevailed, and now is able to explain a lot of what formerly mistified folks. Another example is the discovery of the link between Helicobacter Pilori and duodenal ulcers. A BACTERIUM causing ulcers???? Baloney, said the drug companies that were making millions on lifelong prescriptions of H2 antagonists (Zantac, Tagamet, etc, etc). But....the gentleman was right. And the cure is cheap.

Your ground is no holier than mine, and vice versa! Nobody posesses the holy grail. In the end, the best idea wins.


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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 1998 5:41 am 
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Anthony

Relax, buddy. You are in friendly company.

I thought you brought up a good idea. However not all "good ideas" make it into production.

What would you say if someone asked you how you detect Santa Claus? Think about this idea for a while, Anthony. I am not being flip. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But it isn't what you think! This, my friend, is a true koan.

I'm not (necessarily) saying that chi is a Santa Claus idea. But then again, some might think the analogy to be perfect. To those that do, what kind of response would you expect?


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 Post subject: Decorum - again!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 1998 5:50 am 
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Anthony

One final point. Science is a tool in a toolbox. J.D. and I are NOT science. We use it as a means to an end.

I am in Research and Development. I am famous for using tools for other than their intended purposes and discovering new things in the process. To be productive in R&D, I must always be thinking "out of the box".

What I'm trying to say is that I can relate. I get paid to come up with wild ideas. However at the end of the day I need to put them all through the science grinder. Most new ideas end up in the waste heap. Consequently the only folks that have the patience to do R&D are folks like myself who get bored a LOT and are ALWAYS coming up with new things and aren't afraid to be proven wrong and are very, very, very persistent. Indeed we need a balance of yin and yang in my shop, and the kind of persistence and determination that you find.....in martial arts.

Bill


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