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Old 03-28-2004, 08:10 AM   #1
Michael Halbfish
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I couldn't seem to post this in Pukie's Bucket so I am posting it here.
Coach and Lauren recently changed the nature of the Crossfit message board. They gave the board to the Crossfit community and appointed 12 leaders of the community to moderate the board. This action was consistent with the way coach believes in opensourcing and randomization. Giving up control of a baby is also a courageous act. I applaud Coach and Lauren. I think that Coach picked an outstanding group to guide the board and I appreciate their willingness to take on this responsibility and work.
It is with some fear that I write the following. It seems to me that Crossfit is in danger of a GroupThink mentality. It seems to me that disagreeing with an action might lead to my being banned from this community that I love so much.
Recently Ben and Barry were banned from the board (or at least posting).
While I thought that there were problems with the discussion or argument that they had, I think banning is an extreme measure. On other threads both Ben and Barry made interesting useful posts that contributed to the community, or at least my knowledge of fitness and training. Marvin, if you're reading this, I'd love to know how Ben helped you increase your pullups?
Weren't there some less extreme remedies such as warning Ben and Barry? It seems to me that there arguments and those threads were already over when the board was appointed. I'd also like to note that Coach never found it necessary to boot either of them.
Perhaps before people are banned, the board should establish guideline and/or rules. ie no advertising without prior approval, no personal attacks, etc.
Crossfit was created by departing from the norm and Groupthink. Coach continues to find and search for new different ways of doing things. He continues to experiment and innovate with how he trains. Dissenters and different voices are where the new learning can be found. They add a very valuable and important component to the community. Silencing Ben and Barry in a way silences the whole community. It silences other voices that might want to speak out or say something different from the primary voice of the community. It can mean death to the free exchange of ideas.
Having studied the First Ammendment (Freedom of Speach) extensively, I have grown to have a tremendous appreciation of how important it is in our country and on the internet. As a great man once said "While I don't like what you are saying I will defend to my death your right to say it." I think that applies here. As another dissenting voice (within this post), I hope this does not mean my death (ie banning).
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Old 03-28-2004, 09:28 PM   #2
Mike Yukish
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Michael,
You wrote:

Crossfit was created by departing from the norm and Groupthink. Coach continues to find and search for new different ways of doing things. He continues to experiment and innovate with how he trains. Dissenters and different voices are where the new learning can be found. They add a very valuable and important component to the community. Silencing Ben and Barry in a way silences the whole community. It silences other voices that might want to speak out or say something different from the primary voice of the community. It can mean death to the free exchange of ideas.

I think current groupthink on the internet is everyone gets a voice, no matter how infantile, rude, abrasive, etc. they are. Civility is out the window.

The real departure from groupthink here is demanding that people act like adults. Or at least, what adults used to be expected to act like. Bring whatever ideas you've got to the table, but do it with respect for the forum and its members.

In fact, I'd argue that the standard blather on most forums does far more to supress the introduction of new ideas than anything else. New ideas get shouted down, or buried in noise.

It was inevitable as forums grow that this decision point would be reached. If not Ben, then someone just like him. I think the road less traveled has been taken. Curious to see if it dampens the forums.

B& B didn't act like adults. It's really that simple. Who needs a warning for that? Common courtesy.
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Old 03-29-2004, 04:13 PM   #3
Michael Halbfish
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I had an excellent conversation with Brian Mulvaney today. He cleared up some misunderstandings that I had and restored my faith in the board. He also gave me a sense of confidence that Crossfit will remain an excellent place for dialogue and debate concerning training.
Crossfit will continue to be my fitness home on the internet. I'm going to remain silent for now regarding the above matter. Suffice it to say that the board has my full support. I believe that they will be posting to further clarify what is happening here. However, I will leave that to them. I'd also like to thank them for their efforts and hard work.
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Old 03-30-2004, 06:19 PM   #4
mark twight
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re: First Amendment rights

Yes, you may assemble and speak freely on public property but the same is not true on private property. A Forum is essentially private property owned by the individual who buys space on the server where the Forum resides. The owner invites the public to gather on his property for discussion. Private property rights trump free speech rights so the owner or his assigns may eject anyone from the property should they choose to do so. End of story.

We assemble here voluntarily. We exchange ideas about health and fitness. When we follow the Golden Rule we are accorded the same respect in return. When we do not, and we refuse to heed the suggestions of our peers, we should be treated to the steel-toed boot of the property owner or his assigns (in this case The Board).

Responsibility as well as rights are the defining points of our culture. Let us abide.


Mark T.
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Old 03-30-2004, 11:35 PM   #5
Lincoln Brigham
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Supporting someone's right to alternative or offensive speech does not mean that they have to be provided a forum, soapbox, bullhorn, or bandwidth for such speech wherever and whenever they feel like it.

The right to assembly protects us from obnoxious and unwanted speech that would serve to prevent us from assembling. Thus, one cannot stand up in a crowded theater and yell, "Fire!" under the guise of the First Amendment rights. So too can disruptive speech be proscribed from places of public (and private) assembly.
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Old 04-07-2004, 01:22 PM   #6
Ryan Shanks
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I want to add that I've been to a lot of message boards, fitness and otherwise. This is one of the most respectable boards I have ever visited. I was wondering how it got to be so clear. The focus is almost always on the information being asked, very few rude statement/remarks.

For me, it comes down to the signal to noise ratio. A bit of noise is ok, but you want the information to be very clear at the same time, without having to cut through the garbage.

Trolling strength and conditioning forums may have dire consequences if the information is used improperly. There are enough myths in the fitness world already without having to add any more.
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Old 04-07-2004, 05:27 PM   #7
Dale S. Jansen
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I must say I am happy to have missed this little episode chez Xfit. Yes, the 1st amendment is a vital part of our country. But, isn't it nice to be participating in a discussion based on respect, civility and courtesy? The 1st amendment has been abused;used as an excuse for individuals like Howard Stern who merely degraded and humiliated women and any one else he could target. There are other examples of this(the KKK)but perhaps the question should be do they enrich the society in which they exist or do they detract from it? Like a bee flying down my bike jersey detracting from my enjoyment of my ride...well, we just squish it. We need to get over it and engage in squishing behaviors, perhaps more often. Sounds like the board did the right thing.
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Old 04-09-2004, 02:13 PM   #8
KEG
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Dale, there is a difference between a private discussion board and open air waves of radio. The board absolutely did the right thing and did not squash anyones 1st ammendment rights as this is a private board. We are guests here.

However, the radio is a is a public medium and while there are FCC guidelines fuzzy as they may be, broadcasters have the right to their speech.

As much as I may disagree with what someone says, I would fight to protect their right of free speech.

I may not agree with your opinion, but I respect your right to have one and to be able to express it.
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Old 04-11-2004, 12:31 PM   #9
Barry Cooper
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I've recently returned from a meditation retreat in the mountains of Central Kansas, and wanted to comment on this: I fully support Coach's decision, and I'm glad that this board is now moderated. If it had been moderated six weeks ago, we would not have had the friction that occurred, and several good threads would not now be in Pukie's bucket.

I think it's important to be clear as well that in my opinion what occurred was nothing less than an attempt to hijack the discussion board. If you look at the volume of names that were used, and the sheer effort expended, I don't think any explanation other than aggressive and hostile intent is plausible. CrossFit has adapted, and that is a good thing.
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Old 04-11-2004, 07:39 PM   #10
Steve D.
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Barry,

Good to have you back!
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