Friday, January 21, 2011

Dailymile, encouragement and abuse

So I am away from the Interwebz for a few days, doing more important things, and I log back on to discover this gem:

Now, I know all the people involved and get along well with all of them.  But whenever there is strife in the world of velocipedes, it is the job of Guadzilla to come in and restore peace, sanity and the allure of bling.  

So with that, let me get in my few cents - I hope it does not upset any of my friends, but the Guads demand a correct verdict, without being biased by personal feelings.    So here goes.

1/  The original post is a very valid point.   Blindly applauding everything is not always the appropriate thing to do.  Note - no one has said that ALL encouragement is bad:  only that some of the encouragement is often ill-advised and that always being a rah-rah, pom-pom waving cheerleader is not always a good thing.   Does anyone really disagree with this?  No, I thought not.   Dont bother trying to justify any encouragement you may have provided.  Supporting a beginner athlete with his achievements is NOT the same as blindly saying "good job" to everything.    If you can think of atleast a few cases where blind encouragement is bad, then the OP is valid.  QED and the Guads will brook no more argument here.

Moving on.

2/ The post about it being a "brant" is a personal attack.    Period.    The OP's motives are not up for discussion, and it doesn't really matter WHY he posted what he did.  Discuss the point raised, don't attack the OP for why he raised it.

2a) Brant - great word.

2b) The Guads don't think the OP is guilty of bragging.    When you achieve a certain level of excellence in something, you have earned the right to challenge others and even use your own achievements as an example.   It isn't bragging when you can walk the walk.    It is called "stating facts."   The Guads dont like false modesty.

3/ The response to "some types of encouragement are bad" is not "so why are you here".   That is again attacking the person, not refuting the message.  Besides, it is illogical.  There is a big difference between not liking some aspects of Dailymile and finding it completely worthless.  

4/ Again, the OP's comment is extrapolated to the extreme - "it is a social forum so if you want silence, go somewhere else".   Saying "some encouragement is bad" is not the same as saying "all encouragement is bad."  Logic fail.

5/ More personal attacks, calling the OP delusional - not cool.   Very defensive and emotional.   To be honest, I think the OP showed a lot of restraint despite repeated unwarranted personal attacks.  Sorry if that offends anyone, but that's the way the Guads see it, and the Guads dont let personal prejudices come in the way of saying what needs to be said.

6/ Encouraging someone for taking the baby steps is not a bad thing, and I challenge anyone to show me where the OP said it was.  People, stop clouding the issue by setting up strawmen or jousting at windmills.  Argue the point that was made - viz, the blind encouragement on DM can, and does, lead to people encouraging training which is not appropriate.    

7/ Was "fuck you" appropriate?    After a bunch of repeated and somewhat excessive personal attacks, being told to STFU is fair game.    Maybe a little excessive, but whatever - on the interwebz, we are all just names and the Web has its own code of conduct.   However, this is the least relevant issue.

What the Guads find interesting is how many people seem to have gotten their panties in a wad and over-reacted when told that not everything is worthy of encouragement.    Despite repeated clarifications from the OP, people kept putting words into his mouth and arguing against it.  

As a society, we are a little too careful about saying anything that might be construed as confrontational or offensive.   Everything is applauded.  I've had people say "good ride" to exceptionally mediocre achievements, even by my relative low standards.   Well, the Guads say "fuck it" to that whole mindset.    Let's have the intellectual clarity and logical rigorousness (is that even a word?) to challenge our thinking, and separate the person from the point.  

Even if this WAS a brant, was it invalid?  No.  Argue the point, people, dont attack the person.   Even if you dont like the delivery style, have the intellectual integrity to separate the delivery style from the content.  

So in summary - the Guads rule in favor of the OP.  


  1. The Guads rule! Period.
    'Brant' was indeed new.

  2. ONLY when you do a 40km in an hour ride, will i say Good job :)
    But i agree with everything that you've stated here. I wanted to write there, that D deserved the FU.

  3. The only thing I have to say about all that is whether the FU was warranted or not, I've found that people who have all these notions about how it's worse because "it's a lady" are usually extremely patronising and condescending towards women. This excessive politeness or special treatment for "ladies" is usually based on the notion that they're frail, inferior beings.

  4. guadz sir, you have been updating blog more frequently than getting out and doing some quality rides. surprise, surprise.

    OP's OO is correct, and I regret my "why are you here" shout.

    You are skirting the real issue. Are you totally unaware of the history and evolution of this thread?

  5. nice, clinical dissection. OP's original comment IS valid, as also the STFU after a lot of restraint. A DM friend asked me why I don't post longer rides, and I let the comment pass. He rides multiple centuries weekly, while I do a couple of 10's (as in 10kms :-) ) every day. It woulda been stupid of me to take that motivation seriously and try out a 100 the next day.
    On the other hand, I did take hints from the kind of training other friends were doing, and started a regimen of high cadence rides. No advise was asked, or given. But the ride reports were noticed and I got some motivation.
    Remember peer pressure and school kids. You can make someone do the stupidest of things by egging him/her on, unless said person has head firmly screwed in place.

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  7. Firstly never judge a person who one has have never met in real life and make personal attacks. I am willing to give a benefit a doubt that this was a misunderstanding because I have indeed posted a few brags of my annual leadership status and challenged a few! Now what people might NOT know is that those challenged are actually my ( not virtual ) friends and they and me know it is in jest! Off the forum we are always talking and encouraging each other and we have respect for each other. So dont take the internet too seriously when you dont know people. Stick to the topic.

  8. Rigour.

    @MC: Well said, as expected. The Gauds don't like false modesty and the Gaudess spits on spurious chivalry.

    But my burning question is (having no grapevine access): what on earth happened at the Bangalore Brevet for so much lingering defensiveness?

  9. +1 to Sumit and guess what the attacks still continue...

  10. When I said Bangalore Brevet, clearly I meant Mumbai BRM

  11. Nothing happened at BRM anywhere Mina, the guys who run it in BLR are all good people and I know them myself. I even registered for 2 of them and still hope I can ride with them. I have no idea what D's problem is! From the first post to the last she has called me everything possible :-) She looks very frustrated. Yesterday I asked her to FU, today looks she does not even deserve that. It has become hilarious. Amazing to see someone exploding into pieces on the internet.

  12. @Raj: Thanks :) I asked because her reaction was so disproportionate to what you were saying, I wondered if it was carried over from something else!

  13. @Headmechanic - Why should past history be relevant? This is the Internet, we are adults and hopefully we can discuss issues without dragging in baggage from past discussions. Raj and I went at it hammer and tongs a couple of years ago, and he's called me out a few times since, as have I when we've felt it was deserved. When we disagree, it stays limited to the discussion at hand, as it should be.

  14. The shared-space analogy that Divya gives is wrongly used. In all the cases, she talks about things one is not supposed to do in the shared space (like talking during a movie, shitting on a street). However, there are no rules about what one should or shouldn't post in a DM note (unless Rajesh was posting filth).

    So what she was doing, to use her analogy, was not telling someone to stop talking during the movie, but telling people to stop laughing at something she didn't think was funny. Or on the street, it's like going up to someone and saying, "I don't like what you're wearing, go home and change."

    You can't make up your own rules for a shared space and then think it's your moral duty to enforce them!

    I suppose in a way it's funny that we're spending so much time on this, but also, we really are still working out the rules for social media... it's a bigger concept than just this one thread.

  15. mc, thats a nice analogy warp you did. makes perfect sense.

    vk, history is important. both rajesh and divya knows why divya came up out of context. pre-meditated it was. i strongly believe rajesh's post was indirectly referring to under prepared mass participation in brms - especially the bangalore version. he brought the subject in further down the comment stream, thus confirming my belief. divya being the brm spearhead of the indian version reacted. I am not justifying the way she reacted but it is important for me understand discussions in the context; especially when I personally know many of the parties and events in discussion.

    boni aka headmechanic

  16. I dont not have a problem with BRM. There was no reason to launch such a blamphemous attack on me. There is NO event immune to criticism and that includes TfN. Did you see me on that TfN thread where we were also accused of making money? If you have a problem with my criticism then address the criticism not launch a pre meditated personal attack. I am aware of my position in the community and I stayed very quiet for my standards. I am not going to give her too much importance. These are fleas of the society, i see them everyday and in all forms. I am going to shake myself like it was a bad case of flea bite.

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  18. @ Boni - No!I am NOT aware of any history. I have never accused a single person by name. I dont even know who this person this apart from the fact that I have seen her name pop up on BZ a few times. Why do they feel they are the center of everything? I see NO logic. If anyone wants to interpret it to their own theory or conviction, do that. but dont put words into other people's mouth.

  19. hey, let me drop from this discussion. i am not able to add anything constructive or that of any value. all points have been discussed and understood to bare bones. see you in pune soon :)

  20. Boni, how did you show up as headmechanic? MC, +1 on your point on social media. FB / DM brings together all sorts of people who probably wouldn't have met in such a short space/timespan and these things are bound to happen.

  21. I am a late bloomer to this mega mudslinging, clamorous FOUR letter word FEST....
    As a bystander all I got was a dosage of a hearty laughter.

    Three things I have learned on the web and am obliged to pass on to my fellowmen free of charge:

    a) do not take anything seriously

    b) when unsure how would the other person take your comments, toe the line of politeness. My goofy, slapstick, satirical remarks may not be taken in good humor, so I will be wary of unleashing them to people who may not know me and therefore misjudge my intentions

    c) nothing is at stake- not my integrity, not my intellect, not my reputation, not my commitment. So why pick up the cudgel?

    Finally, one word status messages are best kept friendly and light hearted. The best writer in the world can not convey the whole set of ideas in 140 words. For better POV elucidation, take the harder route- write a blog and put your thoughts unambiguously. You can not blame people for mis-understanding you when you did not provide enough understanding at the first place.

    Full marks to Gaudz for writing this blog. Brings out the best of what social media is.

    Did you ask if I agree with Gaudz's verdicts?Well here is my answer: "Where is the beer?"