a microcosm

Most if not all of us went to elementary school in the united states. I know that when I was a child, there was a highly stratified social structure. I, like many of you probably, was at the bottom of this social structure. Sure, i had a couple of people i hung out with… But the majority of the school (especially the girls) was off-limits for my to talk with.

The high rollers on the playground were the athletic guys. These guys played soccer and football after school, instead of rushing home to tinker with their erector set. They hung in groups and listened to rock music. They were too cool to sing outloud in music class, too cool to read outside of class, too cool to know star wars trivia with the level of deep comprehension that me and my few buddies did.

They were the all-stars, the popular kids

and some of them were bullies.

Me and my friend’s favorite passtime was to stage “mudball races”. we’d dig complexsets of trenches in the sand and roll little balls of mud through them, seeing whos ball would reach the bottom of the course first. We did this daily, building up a complex set of “mudball league” rules.

There was a kid, trevor, who was in the grade above me. his name was Trevor, and he always expressed dislike for me. He was one of the kids i discussed earlier, and he was standing in our mudball course one monday afternoon.

We tried to get him to leave, but he said that he had the right to be there, because he had “dibs” on it, that he had “called” it earlier in the day when we weren’t there.

We knew this was BS, but we cowered under his words. I challenged him.

I got hit in the face.

have you ever been in a social situation where you felt cowed? you felt weak? Lesser than everyone else?

Maybe some of you have been to a party where everyone seems to know each other better?

Have you ever heard a group of people talking, and tried to join in with your opinion, and been harshly rebuffed and then shut up?

Have you ever BEEN one of those people who shuts others up?

Physical bullies use the principal of might-is-right to justify their actions. Since they CAN, they WILL.

A lot of the children who were bullies on the playground grew up to be football players, basketball players, soccer players.

These high school sports are known for the bad spirit between teams. rival schools often play pranks on each other, which have ranged from playful to highly damaging. A player on a rival lacrosse team head butted one of our school’s players after a game, simply because they’d lost. He was coughing up blood after that. At a football game, the fans of two teams got into a fight after the winning team waved their flag in front of the losing team.

When we, the non-athletically inclined, nerdy engineering types (yes, i know, a stereotype – i’m just talking about myself ^_^;) got our own league, FIRST, the founders recognized that this type of angry, mean spirited competition is not constructive, not helpful, not good.

Its poison to a community.

And so, the FIRST community is based on Gracious Professionalism.

And here my winding, rambling, essay-like forum post winds to a point:

Gracious Professionalism is poison to the first community.

I’ve been lurking here for a while, and i’ve seen the same thing that i saw in elementary school, with the sports players using “might-is-right” to stifle the younger, less athletic.

I’ve seen people make suggestions or express opinions, and seen a mob of people tearing them apart for being “non-gp”.

The irony of people ATTACKING people for being non-gp is wasted on this group…

I’ve seen people ostracised from the group because they didn’t bend over backwards to overly respect every person who fit into the “gp” clique.

more and more it seems the idea of Gracious Professionalism seems to have diverged from its intention – to create an environment that all can enjoy, and have competition without acrimony and elitism – to a new one: Respect everything, regardless of merit, protect the status quo, first is amazing and we should not question, do not think outside of the poorly drawn lines, don’t attempt creativity with the rules, don’t try to get an “unfair” advantage, don’t look up, don’t think twice.

Its gotten to the point where, hiding behind their thin veneer of moral justification, people have POSTED PERSONAL INFORMATION OF BOARD MEMBERS ON THE INTERNET AND REFUSED TO REMOVE IT WHEN ASKED NICELY: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?p=420988#post420988

at least one mod has refused to remove said information as well.

this is the last straw for me.

Yes, i openly admit that collmandoman and i are friends in real life.

But i know that a lot of the times he’s a jerk, and i know that right now YOU are the ones being jerks.

I will not point to specific board members, but i have seen time and time again collmandoman express opinions on issues, only to have his views rejected because he’s an abrasive personality. Collmandoman is a little difficult to get along with, and he has a sense of humor that might be out of place on this forum

But the way he has been mistreated, ignored, flamed, talked down to, and disrespected on this forum is unacceptable.

Gracious professionalism is NOT “don’t step on any toes and you’ll do fine”

Gracious professionalism is becoming a tomb for the FIRST community. The way its being used on this board is representative of the way i have seen it being used in FIRST in general.

Don’t bite collmando’s ideas simple because he’s not always nice.


you have POSTED his PERSONAL information and REFUSED to remove it at his request. THIS IS INEXCUSABLE ANYWHERE, and much more so in the FIRST community, which prides itself on its play-nice, play-fair attitude.

if you didn’t get the whole of the post i just made, including its anecdotal intro, or simply think its too long, i’ll summarize it here for you:


Thank you for in advance for your flames.

If you have a problem with how this site is run, or with actions its moderators have taken, please contact the coaches and administrators at: abuse AT chiefdelphi DOT com with a detailed description of your complaint, and it will be looked at.