Thursday, January 27, 2011

Encouragement and abuse contd

The Guads are disturbed.

A few people have been commenting on how BZ seems to be a cliquey little circle (a "boys boarding school", as one critic dubbed it), and that taking advantage of the knowledge there entails putting up with a lot of crap from the regulars.   Normally, this wouldn't really rate a mention, but when no less a luminary than The Manster seems to imply that there is an element of "fit in or get out", the Guads start to doubt.

However, this gem has put an end to that doubt:

If anyone had the temerity to doubt the judgement of the Guads, this should remove those doubts.   The Guads are infallible, and you should know that.   However, the Guads also forgiving, so welcome back to the fold.

Not to go off on a rant or anything (as Dennis Miller would say), but here are a few things that the Guads need to get off their, erm, chest.

Not every opinion is correct.   Some opinions are wrong.   People are absolutely free to believe in whatever they want, but that doesn't make their beliefs right.  This little fact seems to have gotten lot in today's politically correct world.   And that means all you Creationists as well - you guys are wrong.  STFU and deal with it.   Excusable mistakes are just that - excusable but also, and here is the vital bit, mistakes.

Some people are stupid or close-minded (which is, effectively, the same thing).    Now, this is distinct from being wrong and being open to correction.  No shame in that.   If you haven't made mistakes or erred, you haven't lived life to its fullest.     The Guads have no beef with honest mistakes.   Even Guadzilla has been known to err every so often (yes, I know it is hard to believe).    The main thing is, we keep an open mind, learn from these mistakes and move on.

However, there is a different type of ignorance.   Here, the ignorant person embraces his stupidity as if it were a severely-aroused and well-oiled Angelina Jolie squirming around on a giant bed of jello.

We will now take a break while the Guads ruminate on that particular image.

Ok, where were we?    Yes, holding on to the embrace of ignorance as if it were a desirable lover.    Now, the Guads are of the firm opinion that it is not their job to protect people from their ignorance.   Being mostly nice and kindly Guads, they do try - but if the person is not receptive, then they move on.

The problem is that over the Interwebz, ignorance tends to proliferate faster than a sex-crazed rodent with a lifetime supply of Viagra.     And the idiocy tends to take on a life of its own, and other, well-meaning beginners get fed lines such as "high cadence is only for people with weak legs who cannot generate torque" - and that too from someone who, at the age of 18, needs to take pills in order to manage the pain in his knees.

Somewhere, the God of Irony just suffered a heart attack from overload.

At the risk of treading perilously close to Godse's Law (that's the Indian version of Godwin's Law), I would like to refer to a quote from the Bhagwad Gita (Guadzilla is one literate lizard), which mentions that turning the other cheek when faced with wrong only encourages the wrong-doer.

I think it is the duty of more experienced cyclists to take up cudgels on behalf of the beginners, who come to forums such as BZ and DM, and give ignorance a beating that hasn't been seen since LA's finest  tuned up Rodney King.    Pointing out abject stupidity isn't the wrong thing to do - it is the ONLY thing to do.

While the Ignoramii are free to wreck their own knees or other appendages, their brand of idiocy should be contained and culled as efficiently as possible, in order to prevent it affecting others.   Reasoned debate works with people who are willing to listen to reason - the Ignoramii only deserve the electronic version of a taint kick: snark and mockery.

The Guads have spoken.


  1. "Somewhere, the God of Irony just suffered a heart attack from overload." LOL! Good one again Guads! :)

  2. Any forum where people know each well is going to be intimidating to newcomers. In addition, the BZ "core" tends to turn the heat a little higher on new posters. I remember it happening to me when I joined, posting about fixed-gear bikes. How stupid I'd have been to throw a hissy fit and leave in a huff,

    Now, there's a web of back-story and references that makes parts of it even more impenetrable. But when someone posts a question where they've done some homework, there's *always* a thank you and a helpful response.

    When there's a post about a new bike, no matter what bike, there's congratulations and suggestions and invitations to join rides.

    Ride reports of all kinds are celebrated. In fact, I think the "butterfly counters" actually get a warmer reception than the "I cracked x km in x mins".

    I really think that focussing on the cliquey side (though there is one) is to lose the point altogether. But we have to accept, given the high levels of ironic humour and irreverence, that some people will never get it.

    I sometimes get the feeling that Boni is contrary just for sake of being contrary, that grouchy old Mallu firestarter.

  3. I liked the DM thread 'cause Rajesh took the initiative to help out a guy riding wrong. It is not easy for the unfamiliar to understand the wisdom buried under a mountain of sarcasm, but hey this is internet and he is helping for free.

    MC: I want to get those brain probes out. Please, please...

  4. Re: brain probes
    Which part of "I sometimes get the feeling" *wasn't* couched in journalistic weasel words??

  5. Grouchy old Mallu firestarter - hehe, I like that.

    Where did the Headmechanic go, btw?

  6. Odd that people should say that re: BZ. People take the piss, sure. But even the malice is mirthful. As net forums go, it's pretty gentle.