9/28/2009 9:36am, #1
The Internet and the Democratization of Stuff
Prominent industry figures embroiled in controversy. Message-board investigations. Broken standards.
No, not martial arts. Wine. We might as well be talking about the same thing, however. That utilitarian, libertarian utopia prophesied by the earliest Internet pioneers seems to be real--not as earth-shattering as expected, but revolutionary nonetheless. Niches like wine, politics, craft beer, martial arts, and journalism are going through tempestuous changes due to the internet's inherent crowd-sourcing effects.
If this doesn't remind you of Bullshido.net, you need to lurk a little more:
Parker initially claimed that the allegations concerning his colleagues were "totally fictitious" and were being peddled by "extremists." But as more details poured out on Dr. Vino's blog, he grudgingly acknowledged that, yes, mistakes had been made. (To see Parker's comments, check out post Nos. 11, 40, 71, and 117 on this thread.) This Internet rumpus soon found its way into the mainstream media; in late May, the Wall Street Journal ran a piece about the Miller affair. Parker, in a letter to the editor that he posted on his Web site (it never ran in the paper), asserted that he had dealt with the matter in a "forthright, transparent, and public manner." This didn't exactly square with what the commenters on his board had observed, and when some of them had the temerity to say as much, they were treated to a whiff of grapeshot: Some of them had posts deleted, and at least one longtime participant had his posting privileges revoked entirely. (Another, recently established, discussion board, Wineberserkers.com, quickly became a meeting point for the purged and disaffected. If you want to read some of the dissident literature, click here and here and scroll down.)
When people say we at Bullshido.net don't do anything, we now have a story arc to point to. We host video of martial-arts criminals in order to find them. We expose fake judo black belts. We promote good training practices.
But the common thread running through all of this--all our work, as well as our parallel selves on wine-critic sites--is that the Internet, by bringing together those with a common interest that is below some threshold of in-person popularity, is shining a light into the chasm between what people say and what they do.
Anyway, I thought it was interesting.What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates
9/28/2009 9:43am, #2
It's simply the ease and speed at which information can be obtained, and as a corrollary how quickly data can be fact-checked. A great (or bad) side effect is that it's often very hard to bury anything, such as damning forum posts or anything along those lines, as data is enumerated, archived, and propagated very quickly. Witness the Bobby Joe Blythe investigation, and how quickly copies of the evidence videos were made and spread around.
9/28/2009 11:05am, #3
Did this part remind anyone else of kata demos being used as proof?
Last year, Jay Miller awarded a 96-point rating to the 2005 Sierra Carche. It was the first-ever vintage of this wine, produced in the Jumilla region of Spain by the same British company that makes the Fat Bastard line of wines. On the basis of Miller's gushing review, a number of point-chasing Parkerites raced out to buy the '05 Sierra Carche—and many were shocked by what they tasted. It was egregiously bad and had nothing in common with the wine Miller had described. One unhappy buyer e-mailed Miller to ask about the discrepancy and took the unusual step of sending him one of the bottles he had purchased in the hope that Miller could somehow account for the divergence of opinion. Miller never got around to opening the bottle, a fact that became known when other participants on Parker's board began to pipe up about their own dissatisfaction with Sierra Carche. Sure enough, when Miller finally uncorked the wine, he found that it was indeed terrible.
9/28/2009 12:57pm, #4
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
9/28/2009 1:39pm, #5
After following the kerfuffles in the blogosphere and here over the last two weeks, I think the one tried and true adage continues to apply -- it is less about the underlying issue and more about the cover-up/reaction. Controversies gain legs only through the cover-up. Honesty up front -- or even a sincere "I am not ready to comment on this but will investigate and get back to you" go a long way toward immediately squelching controversy. What I, along with others, noticed about Jay's response were that they were immediately defensive and evasive. If he had done something wrong, apologize and fix it. If he had not done anything wrong, explain why. If he was not in a position to comment at that moment because he needed to run his response by RMP first, then say that. Instead, it sort of ballooned unnecessarily.
The real issue is that in the case of, say, a Bullshidoka or these wine critic junkets, is that there is ongoing behavior that doesn't fit community standards. Behavior that undermines the community itself.
9/28/2009 3:02pm, #6
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
I can see your point , but , In the MABS threads i,ve seen where the subject actually shows up the reaction/attempted cover up (Morton & Brinn spring to mind) tend to dictate the direction of the thread , the more lies tried and uncovered the harsher the treatment.