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Thread: Making HES Warm and Friendly Again

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Making HES Warm and Friendly Again

    Over the years, I've gone a great lengths to provide an environment that serves the community as a research tool, and fosters international friendships - with the hopes that online teamwork would further WMA studies. Thanks to so many of you, you've literally revived nearly lost and nearly forgotten fighting methods and have restored them into living arts.

    As I reviewed this situation, let me state that I have no particular preferences to any of the schools, and have no personal biases towards any individuals (most names I don't recollect or recognize). As I write this, I'm simply a servant and an outsider towards your collective endeavors. But I am also the landlord, so when literally dozens of my tenants end up on my doorstep claiming that there are trolls marauding in the neighborhood, this moves beyond the task of a moderator and into my hands.

    I have reviewed the most recent, controversial threads, and I've made my way through many more of the last few months. As someone who recognizes a few names, but really has no deep understanding of the players, I can't claim to understand the technical arguments. And that is what made what I found all the worse. Because, as an HES neophyte, it is still quite easy for me to define what is wrong on this forum. It has nothing to do with "interpretations" or differences of academic opinion. It is about trolling, baiting and manipulation (be it through words or public understanding), implication through insinuation, and sowing discord.

    This is bad behavior and is unacceptable, period.

    If those in violation of the rules were acting on misinformation or third party information, that's one thing, but harassing and sniping at participants without any courtesy or kindness under the guise of innocent questions is disappointing.

    The questions I see, however, are written to antagonize and tear apart. What upsets me more after reading these threads is the attempt to disguise this trolling and bad behavior with a mask of altruism and academic rigor, thereby falsifying intent. That in no way helps reinforce the friendship and unity that has been ten years in the making.

    My policies against bad behavior and trolling are very clear. Everyone - no exceptions - clicked "I AGREE" during user account registration.

    As a reminder...

    NO TROLLING POLICY:
    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=82858

    CODE OF CONDUCT
    http://swordforum.com/forums/#2


    In light of the above, the violations here are:

    1. Be warm and friendly. ".... Disrespect, rudeness, impatience, anger, snide remarks, sideswiping attacks, trolling, cynicism, and poor attitudes are not welcome here. If you can't manage your own etiquette and tact, don't post here. We will gladly ban the rule violator in favor of the other readers who are willing to be on their best behavior."

    2. No trolling. ".... Having created a fight while blaming others for starting it, the Troll then lays into his victim amoraly and combatively, while seeing his own actions as a righteous battle against an evil enemy. If the victim seems hurt, the Troll will be disgusted by such weakness (amoral.) But if the victim responds in kind, the Troll will immediately complain bitterly about this, while steadfastly denying that the type of attacks he so hates are identical to the ones he's using himself (hypocrisy, self-serving bias.)"

    Therefore, I can't help but feel that I have to take direct, administrative action. Those bans include the following, full, administrative bans from SFI:

    Scott Brown
    David Britten

    I am told by many, including three of my moderators, that Dave Rawlings is a serious and dedicated contributor to the HES community. I've also been told that he doesn't always come off well in email. On the flip side, I have an inbox full of complaints. I've taken all of this into consideration as I've read Dave's posts, and I find him in the odd position of exacerbating what reads to me as trolling and baiting on one hand, and perhaps mishandled attempts to bring it to an end on the other (see the "Practice Video" and the "Allies" thread). Be that as it may, we need to get this forum participation under control, and make it clear that a smiley does not eliminate an insult. Therefore I am giving David Rawlings a 60 day suspension from SFI.

    Finally, Bill Grandy has already issued a warning to David Teauge and Steve Reich. That serves as their final warning.

    Guys, I hate that it has come to this - for my moderators that I am invoking "emminent domain" and for all of you who have not in recent days found a friendly home at SFI. Perhaps these administrative decisions will help part the dark clouds and let the sun shine through once more.

    Together, let's work to make it better!
    Last edited by Gregory Mele; 07-23-2008 at 02:34 PM.
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Ko View Post
    Finally, Bill Grandy has already issued a warning to [...] Steve Reich. That serves as their final warning.
    Point taken. I apologize for unnecessarily exacerbating an already tense and antagonistic situation (and thus, making your job harder than it needs to be).

    Steve
    Founder of NoVA-Assalto, an affiliate of the HEMA Alliance

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Reich View Post
    Point taken. I apologize for unnecessarily exacerbating an already tense and antagonistic situation (and thus, making your job harder than it needs to be).

    Steve
    Hello Adrian, Greg, and Bill,

    I apologize for my "taking off the gloves" post. I sank to a level that I've never gone to before in the years of internet posting as either a Mod or forum member. I too deserved a cooling off time for my post. Thank You for allow me to stay with a warning. I shall not cross that line again.

    Oz,

    Let me apologize for saying what I did. Opinion is not fact and I used my perception to make statements about you that were quite unfair. This was/is something best left for the PM system and not the open forum. Once again, My apologies.

    Yours,
    David Teague
    Scholar of the Highland Broadsword
    Free Scholar/Instructor -Selohaar Fechtschule
    The Historic Recrudescence Guild

    ""Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."

  4. #4
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    Gentlemen,

    Thank you.

    I think we all basically want the same thing which is a supportive atmosphere and the furtherance of our studies in WMA. Let's all bear in mind why we are here, and we're good to go!
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  5. #5
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    Adrian,

    I'm sorry it came to this, and I'm sorry that my generally laissez faire style on this forum has led to this much tension. No one wants to clean-up after their kids.

    I hope Dave will be back, and in the meantime we'll all figure out what led to everything becoming so very personal in recent weeks.

    Dave T- thanks for your apology to Oz. He and I have not agreed on all of these threads or how best to handle them, but he is one of SFI's oldest members, a moderator and I believe someone who has genuinely wanted to find a way to get people talking more and sniping less. We've butted heads a time or two with enough force to raise lumps, but we've also both IM'd the other to say "am I being an ass?" I think when you can do that, and accept that the answer may come back "YES!", then you have a good environment. Let's all work to get back to that place.
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

  6. Adrian, Greg, and Bill-

    Thank you for taking the situation in hand, and for taking the time to consider it carefully.

    Though I wasn't warned on behaviour, I can also see that my tone grew less civil in recent days. That doesn't help anything (silence would have been better), so I'd like to apologize for letting my annoyance show.

    I also hope Dave Rawlings returns and that we can all get back to what we obviously feel passionate about - historical European swordsmanship.

    And to those people who weighed in with earnest and nuetral entreaties for the rest of us to calm down - thank you. It did help.

    Best Regards,

    Sean Hayes
    Sean Hayes, Maestro d'armi
    Northwest Fencing Academy

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association
    San Jose Fencing Masters Program Examination Board

    One should never confuse the rules of a competition with the rules of an art.

    People talk a lot about speed, but not very much about control, safety, tactics, and trying to get close to the reality of sharps. When simulating sharp fights, how fast one charges in depends on how quickly one would like to die.


  7. #7
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    Sean,

    I appreciate your post. I'm sorry that the environment delined to the point that many ended up speaking out of tremendous frustration and stress over the situation. Now that it's over, we can hopefully return to our proverbial happy place.


    Greg,

    No need for apologies. You've done a most incredible job under complex and challenging circumstances. Much of what you said brought clarity, fairness and balance and allowed us to turn the situation around. Thanks for being a voice of reason.


    Christian,

    Also, thank you for reminding us of the example we need to continually live up to.

    The world is watching what we do next.
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

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    Thank you Adrian, for your compliments and for sorting things out here.

    While I try to set the example that you perhaps over-graciously commend me on, there's doubtless more I can do, and I promise to do my part to return the forum to a more productive footing.

    And if David Rawlings returns after the specified time, it's my intention to extend my hand with no ill will and in the hopes of better discourse in the future. I hope everyone else will too...

    All the best,

    Christian
    Christian Henry Tobler
    Selohaar Fechtschule

    The Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Author, Captain of the Guild, DVD: The Poleaxe, In Saint George's Name

    "Though I love the stout blow and the cunningly placed thrust, my greatest joy when crossing swords lies in those rare moments when Chivalry herself leans over and takes one into Her confidence."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Mele View Post
    I'm sorry it came to this, and I'm sorry that my generally laissez faire style on this forum has led to this much tension. No one wants to clean-up after their kids.
    And I have to say the same.

    Further, I have to echo many of the sentiments here. SFI has been an invaluable resource for me over the past many years, and my personal work in WMA would be light years behind if I had never discovered this board. I want to see it continue to thrive, and despite recent ugliness, I think that we as a community can and will do this.
    Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
    --German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


    "A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of all skill."

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    Scott Brown & Dave Rawlings

    Hi, Adrian!

    I've been on vacation, and was out of contact when all the excitement happened last week on SFI. Now that I'm back, I'd like to say a few words in defense of Scott Brown and Dave Rawlings, since I feel their punishments are overly harsh and out of keeping with SFI precedent. I would also respectfully ask you to reconsider your action in light of the arguments below.

    1) The decision to ban Scott came right after a series of heated exchanges on the "Allies" thread. None of those exchanges involved Scott Brown, who did not even post in that thread. Thus, it appears that Scott has ended up being "collateral damage" from a thread he didn't even participate in.

    2) Many of the concerns expressed on the "Allies" thread were clear references to Scott's posts on the "Killing Arts" thread. However, Scott was already reprimanded by Greg Mele on that thread, and was given a warning. In response, Scott heeded Greg's warning and made no more posts between that time (17 July at 11:34) and the posting of your decision on 23 July. Despite that, he has been banned. Thus, it looks like Scott is being punished twice for the same act, which is unfair.

    3) Dave Rawlings was suspended without being given any kind of warning that I am aware of. On the "Allies" thread, which I have re-read several times, Dave seemed to be going out of his way to be respectful while still maintaining his ground -- which compares favorably to a number of other posters on that thread, who simply received warnings. This disparity of treatment is pretty striking, especially in light of the harsh punishment (suspension) meted out to Dave.

    4) The sanction levied against Scott (full ban, indefinite duration) is particularly harsh. According to Greg, Scott is guilty of "lexiconal badgering" and "condescending politeness." I can understand how that could be considered trolling under SFI rules, but it's not the kind of thing that has resulted in indefinite bans in the past. From past discussions with Greg, I understand that previous bans resulted from physical threats and the like. That's a far cry from what Scott is accused of having done. Thus, banning Scott represents a break with SFI precedent.

    5) Compare Scott's "lexiconal badgering" and "condescending politeness" and Dave's smileys to the outright aggression displayed by David Teague in his post to Martin Auswick. David received a warning, which was right and proper. But he did not receive a ban, much less an indefinite ban. Others also received warnings, but no bans. Thus, Scott and Dave are being subjected to a much harsher level of punishment than others on the forum. (For the record, I am not advocating any additional punishment for David Teague or anyone else in regard to this matter -- I am merely asking for equal treatment of Scott and Dave.)

    6) With regard to Scott's posts on the "Killing Arts" thread, it's important to remember that it was _his_ thread, after all. Scott initiated it, and he had a specific point he was trying to make (however inartfully). He didn't hijack someone else's thread. If Christian felt he was being badgered, he could choose not to participate in that discussion (which he eventually did.) For the record, I'm not a fan of Scott's "lexiconal badgering", if I understand that term correctly; I was tempted to ask Greg for a definition, but was afraid I might end up getting banned.

    7) In giving Dave Rawlings a temporary suspension instead of an outright ban, you noted that he is a "serious and dedicated contributor to the HES community." I can certainly vouch for the truth of that statement. However, you should also take into account Scott Brown's resume. Scott is a dedicated and talented martial artist whose primary focus is I.33. He is one of the very few instructors from the US WMA community to make the effort to come teach in Europe. He has attended the annual HEMAC event in Dijon for the past two years, serving as an informal ambassador between the US and European WMA communities. He gave lectures on training pedagogy and classes on I.33, which were very well-received. Having seen Scott in action, I can attest to his excellent grasp on both the technical aspects of the manual as well as the intimate details of the manuscript itself. He is also a hell of a fighter. Scott has crossed the Atlantic twice to examine the I.33 manuscript in Leeds. He has visited Europe a total of 5 times to teach and train with European WMA groups in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, and Hungary. On his return, he wrote up reports, which he posted on this forum. So to tar Scott Brown as a "troll" with no redeeming value is grossly misleading. Some folks on this forum don't like him, and others have a history with him, but popularity should not be a factor in decisions on whether or not to ban someone.

    Final thought: Under SFI rules, you can justify banning Scott and suspending Dave. However, doing so looks pretty unfair in light of the actions of others on the same forum, and the mere warnings they received. If your goal is to make this a warmer and friendlier forum, that's going to be pretty hard to achieve if it looks like you simply took sides. A more balanced approach would be to issue a warning to all parties and tell them to knock it off. Accordingly, I would respectfully ask you to reconsider your decision, take King Solomon's approach, and convert the bans and suspensions into warnings, as you did for the others in this case.

    Thanks in advance for your consideration of my request.

    Best Regards,

    - Matt Galas
    Matt Galas
    Mons, Belgium

  11. #11
    I would have preferred to not get involved in this issue and simply shake my head and leave it.

    However, I feel the urge to second Matt's request.
    In every line of his above posting he perfectly expressed what I am thinking, too.

    All the best,
    Roland

  12. #12
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    Hi Matt and Roland,
    I'd prefer not to get into a large debate about moderator actions here. But I will say this: There is more to the behaviour of those banned than what went on in that one thread. There is also something to be said for people who genuinely apologize, whether publically or privately, and those who'd prefer to wave the finger in the face of authority after being warned (politely warned, I might add).

    I don't know the people who were banned personally, and had it not been for recent behaviour, I probably wouldn't have even recognized their names. I hate to say it, but I have better things to do than get involved with forum politics, and I stay out of those things as much as possible. So it wasn't about popularity in the least: It was about following simple rules, where we as moderators let things slide too many times and finally had to do something about it or else let the boards completely die. I'm sorry if these people are excellent martial artists, but if Jet Li came onto these forums and consistently ignored warnings, publically and privately, he'd have gotten the same treatment.

    Adrian has made his decision, and I support it fully. If there are any further complaints, I'd prefer that you PMed Greg or I. Thank you.
    Last edited by Bill Grandy; 07-30-2008 at 06:54 AM. Reason: fixed a spelling mistake
    Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
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    "A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of all skill."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Galas View Post
    For the record, I'm not a fan of Scott's "lexiconal badgering", if I understand that term correctly; I was tempted to ask Greg for a definition, but was afraid I might end up getting banned.
    A repeated derailment of conversation, primarily for the purpose of making the other poster look foolish or become agitated, based on arguing a nuanced definition of a word that should be quite obvious from context. In this case, see "module" and "extant" of two examples. It was hardly the case of the sort of misunderstanding you'd get with a Londoner in a San Francisco bar, asking if someone could give him a fag....

    A more balanced approach would be to issue a warning to all parties and tell them to knock it off. Accordingly, I would respectfully ask you to reconsider your decision, take King Solomon's approach, and convert the bans and suspensions into warnings, as you did for the others in this case.
    I agree, popularity should not be a factor in banning, but nor should it be a factor in asking for a reprieve, either. (I don't see anyone even mentioning David Britten, the other party that was banned.) I realize that Scott and Dave are both well-regarded in Europe, but Bill is quite right - accomplishment as a martial artist really isn't the issue here. I recommended that Dave not be banned because he has made many substantiative contributions on *this forum*, over the years, and that's what Adrian was referring to in his comments.

    Warnings *were* issued, multiple times. In Mr. Britten's case, he'd been asked to reign it in almost as many times as the number of months he's been on this forum. In his time on SFI, Scott has been warned repeatedly, as has Dave. Since I know the parties involved, some on a face-to-face level, some not, I bumped this up to the SFI ownership to review the threads and make the decisions. Yes, they *were* harsh.

    This was a departure from HES policy on extreme behavior being required to lead to bans, but that is Adrian's call, as he owns this list. It was also meant to signal that we're done with baiting or goading to "slip under the wire". When I go out of town for a weekend and come back over 20 messages in my PM box from SFI readers, all asking variations of "WTF, why does every thread with certain people go this way", then enough is enough. Of those messages (and I believe Bill received some too), only two were from people involved in the posts. Some of were lurkers, some were long-time members who no longer want to post here - from both Europe and North America - because of the tone of the last several months. I understand that there are other HES forums that are hands off and have no problems with people having gos at each other, but this isn't one of them, and locking threads doesn't seem to be solving the problem.

    Since the bans, I have received two PMs asking that we reconsider the 60 day suspension on Dave Rawlings. Nothing about the other issues.

    So I do appreciate both of your positions (Matt and Roland), and I appreciate the measured way in which you posted it. Like Bill, I'll be happy to discuss it further, in PM or email. If Adrian wants to review the decisions, I'll support that. But that is his call, and if not, I'll support that as well.
    Last edited by Gregory Mele; 07-30-2008 at 09:48 AM. Reason: posted too soon
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

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    Bill, Greg:

    Thanks for your comments and explanation. However, the request for reconsideration was addressed to Adrian, since he made the decision. So unless he's specifically asked you to respond on his behalf, I'll wait for his decision.

    One other comment: While I understand Bill's desire to have this out of the limelight by PM, there is a community aspect to this that warrants it being handled in public. I'm concerned that the way this is handled will have a negative impact on the European and American WMA / HEMA communities. Just as you have had contacts from the members of this forum, I have had multiple expressions of concern from this side of the pond over how this matter was handled.

    Regards,
    Matt Galas
    Mons, Belgium

  15. #15
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    Matt,

    Bill and I simply responded since we are the mods assigned to this forum. I've also told Adrian this post is here, since he doesn't regularly read the various sub-forums.

    Greg
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Galas View Post
    Bill, Greg:

    Thanks for your comments and explanation. However, the request for reconsideration was addressed to Adrian, since he made the decision. So unless he's specifically asked you to respond on his behalf, I'll wait for his decision.

    Matt,

    As you may understand, it's very difficult for me to keep track of all these names. Just in case I mis-associated a name with an action, I'll review your post more carefully over the next several days. I also highly respect Greg and Bill's moderation efforts, knowing first hand what diligence and effort is required to help make a forum enjoyable and useful for everyone.

    I have to draw the line at facilitating ban/unban requests based on organization affiliations and any resulting political ramifications that I am unfortunately unfamiliar with. Online misconduct by itself is something I can observe and act on. This is the only way, as an outsider, I can contribute towards making the HES forum to a happy place more fairly and impartially.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Galas View Post
    I'm concerned that the way this is handled will have a negative impact on the European and American WMA / HEMA communities.
    As the one who defines the charter for this entire website, let me say that the HES Forum facilitates multi-national cooperative study regardless of organization or school. SFI does not favor any one particular group or organization. Having said this, everyone will hopefully realize what they can contribute towards the furtherance of WMA though cooperation and friendship without geographical or political boundaries, as well as the efforts of our Moderators to help facilitate this goal.
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Mele View Post
    Since the bans, I have received two PMs asking that we reconsider the 60 day suspension on Dave Rawlings. Nothing about the other issues.
    I've received nothing at all except maybe one e-mail thanking us for handling the misconduct and making the place friendlier. If some feel this was mishandled, they haven't e-mailed me about it.
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Grandy View Post
    Adrian has made his decision, and I support it fully. If there are any further complaints, I'd prefer that you PMed Greg or I. Thank you.
    Thanks Bill.

    What Bill and Greg have expressed over the misconduct echo my feelings on this subject.

    I do not believe any logical, thinking human being who has such potential to contribute to WMA can find no alternative but to communicate those contributions with a lack of courtesy and respect to their fellow man. No-one is banned for their ideas or beliefs on HES. They are banned for violation of the Code of Conduct.

    I have even gone to great lengths to simplify the Code of Conduct so that people do not mistake the spirit if they refuse to acknowledge the letter. Therefore, when people click "I AGREE" and yet disregard it altogether, I view that as a direct insult to me and a violation of my trust, regardless of who they are or what they could potentially contribute.
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  19. #19
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    Hello Adrian,

    I know that you chose not to either ban or suspend me based on only one post that broke the rules. I do know that the moderators of this forum requested you suspend me and you chose not to do so, but Matt has a point...

    In all fairness I did break, willingly break, the rules of SFI with my "gloves off post".

    I feel to help restore negative impact on the European and American WMA / HEMA communities that I too suffer for my actions.

    I formally request either a permanent ban or 60 day suspension for my transgressions.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Last edited by David A Teague; 07-30-2008 at 11:19 PM.
    David Teague
    Scholar of the Highland Broadsword
    Free Scholar/Instructor -Selohaar Fechtschule
    The Historic Recrudescence Guild

    ""Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by David A Teague View Post
    "If you keep poking a normally well-mannered dog with a stick, it will bite. And when it does, the fault lies not with the dog, but with you."
    I think this states pretty clearly why you weren't banned or given a vacation.
    Roger Siggs

    “It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A Teague View Post
    Hello Adrian,

    I know that you chose not to either ban or suspend me based on only one post that broke the rules. I do know that the moderators of this forum requested you suspend me and you chose not to do so, but Matt has a point...

    In all fairness I did break, willingly break, the rules of SFI with my "gloves off post".

    I feel to help restore negative impact on the European and American WMA / HEMA communities that I too suffer for my actions.

    I formally request either a permanent ban or 60 day suspension for my transgressions.

    Yours Sincerely,

    The ""Allies" thread certainly underscored that certain continued misconduct created an environment of unfriendliness. It was notably emotionally-charged thread. I could clearly tell the difference between people misspeaking out of frustration and reaction, versus people whose misconduct wasn't as accidental.

    Given the circumstance under which you misspoke, the moderators addressed you, and you apologized. To me, their post served as sufficient warning.

    More important than the symptoms is addressing the root cause of the decline of the environment. This deterioration did not happen overnight. Whereas you have no prior history and no prior moderator warnings to my knowledge, those who were banned did.
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  22. #22
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    Hi Adrian,

    I have to agree with the sentiments of Matt Galas and of Roland Warzecha.


    From reading the posts it seems that there is a definite academic approach by Scott Brown and Oz, which revolved around the clarification of terms and meanings as expressed by Christian Tobler on the topic under discussion. They repeated the asking of questions because they were not sure that Christian Tobler; either had understood their questions or they did not themselves understand the “terms” used by Christian Tobler in his replies, or they wished to clarify what he really meant. This is normal in my opinion in academic circles, this should be normal in forum debate.

    The definition of terms is required in academic study before people can actually understand each other. It is usually the practice to define all terms you wish to use before the debate begins. Because of the nature of internet forums this is not always possible. This was not done by either party at the start of this discussion.

    Due to the fact that Scott Brown and Oz did not make any broad statements they had no technically defined terms to define that I could see and when Christian Tobler replied they found it necessary to clarify what he meant in order to keep the discussion on track and to understand what he actually meant. This is normal discursive practice in my honest opinion. This is not trolling, if it is to be defined as such we are now entering a period in this sub forum of SFI where questioning someone about their actual meaning is not possible in my honest opinion.

    Also from reading the posts it seems that Christian Tobler and others that came to support him, did not like to enter into a discussion based on defining terms, in order to better understand the different sides of the argument. They preferred to refer to it as bad tone, being overly polite and other such absurdities.

    Then Greg Mele warned Scott Brown

    “Speaking as the moderator, this is your first, and last, public warning. It's been a long time since we've banned someone, and I in particular dislike the idea of banning someone who is actively working on this material and is well thought of in some quarters for the work he's doing. But baiting masquerading as innocent questioning is unacceptable, and it's been going on too long.”

    and then Scott posts nothing more, but is banned several days later, for what? I think this is a completely unfair act and is based on personal bias and on the need for certain people to defend their friends whatever the consequences for the others. There can be no other logical conclusion.

    This is further supported by the fact that Greg Mele has now twice accused Scott of asking for a definition of "extant" when Scott clearly stated....

    QUOTE BY SCOTT:"Extant" merely means 'existing' documents but what does this mean to you exactly? Which documents are you referring to?

    Therefore I would say that Greg is blatantly using Scott's words out of context to support this "strawman" accusation of Trolling. Which I would think is an attempt at flaming against Scott at the least. Or for no other conclusion that Greg and friends wished to remove Scott at any cost. By cost I mean whatever the damage to the reputation of the forum as a place of debate.

    This whole situation and the result that followed, the banning of Scott Brown, will lead only to a precedent which will be used in the future to stop any academic questioning of people position and meaning. The conclusion in my mind; debate at the academic level is in effect dead here on Historical European Swordsmanship SFI. We should all acknowledge that or reinstate Scott Brown.

    For example if I am polite someone else can say it is too polite and therefore a moderator can say it is impolite. If I am polite someone else can say it is not polite and therefore I am accused of impoliteness. What is the definition of politeness? We see now on this sub forum there are two definitions of it, “us (Greg and his friends, who only get warnings) and them (those who oppose Greg and his friends)” definitions.

    For example: If I ask questions of an academic nature, which require definition I will be considered as if I am “Lexiconical Badgering” if the person I am asking cannot provide adequate reply within the confines of the question and I must repeat my question. This leads only to one future, stagnation and the loss of any reason to debate, because the debate will end as soon as you want to clarify what someone means by wishing for definition. “Lexiconical Badgering” what a great term to invent to make someone appear like they are being antagonistic, very inventive, and very wrong.

    On another thread called dagger seminar Video, around my next to last post I have already had Greg Mele accuse me of “badgering” Guy Windsor in a debate shortly after this thread reached its climax. I point this out to show how pervasive this type of accusation is within the short time of it first raising its ugly head. That is the first incidence after the "lexiconical badgering" in this thread, when will be the third and the fourth?

    We are only a slight step away from this, banning and suspension, becoming the standard approach to squashing debate that does not go the way those who are in “charge” of this sub forum would like. This is just the first example, I predict there will be many more. If you do not believe that there are people in charge of this forum I could spend my valuable time finding the evidence. It is not hard to find.

    Yours sincerely

    Colin Richards
    Founder and Head Instructor at Arts of Mars Historical European Martial Arts Academy.
    Author: Fiore Dei Liberi 1409: Wrestling and Dagger (in two languages)
    DVD "Medieval Combat Italian Longsword - Student Guide 1" from the Treatises of Fiore dei Liberi 1409
    HEMAC member.
    Organiser International Open Championship 2008, 2010
    www.ArtsofMarsBooks.com
    www.ArtsofMars.com
    www.wwc.ArtsofMars.com


    There is no need of further discussion, when the Sword has the last word.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Hannover, Germany, Europe.
    Posts
    542
    Hi Adrian,

    One final point which I find a little strange.

    After your original post Adrian, it was edited by Greg Mele 4 minutes after you issued it. Could we have an explanation what happened there?

    I just wondered if it is possible that Greg Mele is posting in your name in order to increase the validity of the posts?

    This all seems very strange to me that a Moderator can edit a post of yours so soon after a post and at that time you Adrian were on line.

    I am sure there is an obvious explanation that I am not seeing, as I have no idea how the internal workings of a forum are handled. This will help me to better understand what happens in the forums in the future.

    yours sincerely

    Colin Richards
    Founder and Head Instructor at Arts of Mars Historical European Martial Arts Academy.
    Author: Fiore Dei Liberi 1409: Wrestling and Dagger (in two languages)
    DVD "Medieval Combat Italian Longsword - Student Guide 1" from the Treatises of Fiore dei Liberi 1409
    HEMAC member.
    Organiser International Open Championship 2008, 2010
    www.ArtsofMarsBooks.com
    www.ArtsofMars.com
    www.wwc.ArtsofMars.com


    There is no need of further discussion, when the Sword has the last word.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,584
    Colin,

    Greg does not have the ability to post for me.

    Any incident that requires my attention unfortunately takes me away from work and family obligations due to the catch-up reading and memory-refreshing I must do.

    Due to my lack of familiarity with WMA and names of forum participants, I do rely on him to help me to make sure I was not inadvertently misstating facts or misassociating names and events. I have no desire to add fuel to the fire through my own errors.

    I will take some time as I am able to review your post along with Matt's.

    Addendum: 1.27 p.m. - However, I will say that people may believe the content of their communication has academic merit, but it's how they go about that communication that I am observing. Having validity in a certain belief system does not justify violating the code of conduct.
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Suburban Chicago area
    Posts
    3,595
    Hi Colin,

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Richards View Post
    Hi Adrian,

    One final point which I find a little strange.

    After your original post Adrian, it was edited by Greg Mele 4 minutes after you issued it. Could we have an explanation what happened there?
    Sure. Adrian told Bill and I what he was posting and when. He also misspelled one of the parties' names and didn't finish a sentence. I didn't see much need to IM Adrian to say "it isn't Dave Drawlings", and then while he was responding have five people post to comment on it.

    I just wondered if it is possible that Greg Mele is posting in your name in order to increase the validity of the posts?
    Well, that's a big jump, going from a question to an accusation, isn't it? I suspect that the conspiracy theorists will believe what they like,but you do realize that if the goal was to ghost write Adrian's posts, it would a) be a lot easier just to do that offline and have him post it, and b) I could edit his post without the edit tag showing up?

    I realize this is a heated issue, and I realize that SFI and I are both getting nicely roasted for this in some circles right now. But honestly, implying that I'm ghost-writing posts is a bit much, and sure doesn't help matters.
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

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