Why can't we get along?

“A house divided against itself cannot stand”

Over the last couple of days, more and 4 threads containing more than 200 posts have been written about the allegations of “fixing” matches. There have been some accomplishments:

  1. There have been countless fights in which many people got their ideas bashed and condemned by other posters in an unprofessional and public manner.

  2. Several teams have been singled out for criticism without their knowing it.

  3. A petition has been formed, but the thread about the petition is infested with rude posts and as a result loses its intended meaning.

  4. People have undertaken personal attacks on each other and their beliefs as well as attacked the wording on the posts rather than take the idea behind the post into consideration.

  5. Individuals have spoken on behalf of entire teams or other individuals and have been jumped on all over by people not even from that team.

My question is: Are these accomplishments what FIRST was meant to be aboout? I know there has been talk of what Dean would say and even disagreements on people speaking for him. But on the other hand, apart from Dean, is this how WE want FIRST to be. FIRST is about changing the world for the better and improving it. Can we do this if we are all fighting amongst ourselves.

We have been fighting for days about this now, with no good coming out of it. For the sake of peace and unity, I hope people will agree to disagree and put their differences behind then. Is it really worth causing division and fighting to get the last word in? Are we going to devide our house against it or will we stand together?

In closing, Ashlee made a good post and it would do us all good to read it.

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=18863

I propose, these forums are not a competition. There is no race to prove a point, to prove you are right, to prove you are wrong. If you have something you feel will help the union of FIRST, write down you thoughts in a separate location. Go on reading other threads. If you still feel the same after 20 minutes, re-read your thoughts. Check to make sure someone else has not stated the same point. Then post your reply. This will give you time to think about what you want to say. The more educated you sound the more people will want to listen. To repeat what others have said, requires little education; to sincerely challenge it, requires intellect.

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
Benjamin Franklin

I completely agree with Sean. There have be countless posts in the past day doing nothing but fighting and arguing and bashing. The threads got too big, and people stop reading everything that was posted, and the threads aren’t even organized discussion anymore.

Instead of trying to make things better, people just keep adding into the pool of complains and frustration and pointing fingers. The constructive critisms stopped, and nothing productive come out of it anymore.

So, my suggestion to everyone out there: Take a few steps back, spend a day or two reading what’s been posted, organize your thoughts and think about it, and then figure out what’s the best way to fix this problem. And I think locking some of the threads for a day or two will help folks think more clearly.

I’ve been really really disappointed by what’s been showing up in the past few days. If these sort of things keeps happening, a lot of people will stop paying attention to this forum and never come back, and all the good things about this forum will disappear…

I do not believe that this is an issue that we can all agree to disagree upon. Those who take offense to point collusion feel it to be an act that is not in the spirit of FIRST and will not help the game or organization grow. There is a feel for a need for resolution to correct a wrong and make the game “fair.” I think that convictions like those will not just go away. I do not like seeing FIRST progress toward a factioned organization that has teams “blacklisting” others and excluding teams from elimination round play… yet without any official ruling from FIRST, I see the sad reality that there is not really any other realistic path for this game to take. :mad:

Isn’t that last post exactly what this thread is about?

My personal suggestion is if this bothers everybody SO MUCH then everybody needs to step back and call a team meeting. Discuss this issue among your team and then ONE person post whether they are for or against. There has been enough bashing and hurtful words said in the last day for a lifetime. If you really object to this, do it sensibly. Personally I request that all threads about the issue be closed for a day to give everybody a chance to talk within their own team and then come to a concerted opinion. And a note for all teams, before you get self righteous…make sure that your OWN team wasnt doing that which you have objected to so venomously within this bulletin board.
Also another point, Ive heard a lot of people saying that this is a strategy issue and NOT a game issue. I would work hard to define that as well. If its a strategy issue, is it really FIRST’s business to regulate the issue at question?
In closing, I think everybody needs to discuss among themselves what their team wants to do, make a reasonable CALM post about their choice one way or another and leave it. By bashing other teams, even if they were being graciously unprofessional in your opinion, YOU are the one who is being graciously unprofessional in the end, to an even greater extent then the offending party.

Sean in response to your question “Why Can’t we get along” they only answer i can provide you with is becuase Teams have lost faith in each other, in the old FIRST, the organizers as well as teams didnt have to worry about “FIXING” Matches, or weather or not someone is going to cheat. But now it seems that FIRST as a whole is Parinoid that everyone is out to win, i think that Teams need to go over what they are really in this competition is really about. I believe that it has nothing to do with winning, that just having the fortitude to show up with a robot gives you reason enough to feel good about yourself

so to quote a wise great man (Dave Lavery :smiley: ) STOP BEING Lawyers and Start Being Engineers

Mad Dash for the Control System - Dlavery’s Post

If we went back to having faith in each other then i think threads like these can stop getting out of hand, and even stop being created

I now leave it up to you Students and Mentors of FIRST, Believe in Each Other and give everyone a chance to be graciously proffesiona, not parinoid lawyers

Thank you And Have a Nice Day, I know I won’t:D

I posted this in the terribly long “Fixing Matches” thread. I think it might be of some use here…

Its the RULES, not the Players

Hello All-

So here is my take on the situation:

I honestly do not believe that very many FIRST teams participated in “agreements” with the intention of “cheating”, “making up for their robot’s shortcomings” or “knocking teams down in the seeding ranks”.

I believe that most teams who participated in “agreements” felt that they were executing a strategy that was within the rules and perhaps even encouraged by the rules. Perhaps even being an example of adversaries working together as is often supported by FIRST.

The problem is that not all teams have interpreted the rules in this way. The solution is to clarify the rules. Since “official” FIRST responses have been somewhat vague, I suggest the following:

At each regional to come, announce a meeting of ADULT COACHES on THURSDAY (perhaps at lunch, or after the last practice round) to discus (briefly) and ultimately agree on the “opposing alliance agreement issue”. Take a vote if necessary, but I feel confident that if we consider what we are doing and WHY we are doing it, people at each regional can come to an agreement before the next match is played.

Level the playing field again, help each other, celebrate what we’ve learned and get back to what FIRST is all about.

-Mr. Van
Coach, Team 599
RoboDox

No offence meant to you mr van but Im not sure this was the appropriate thread for that post…
While a valid point I think that issue needs to be first looked at by EACH TEAM INDIVIDUALLY.
one of the regional advisors has already commented on the rule and FIRST’s approach to it.

Ive been involved with FIRST for 7 years now.

Ive seen outstanding acts of good sportsmanship, where a robot tipped up off its wheels in a semifinal match and the OPPONENT robot came right over and nudged it back on its feet (“GET UP - I DONT WANT TO WIN LIKE THIS!”)

and I have also seen poorly performing robots do everything they can to ‘take out’ the top seeding bot, just so they can say 'we knocked team XYZ out of the rankings"

as soon as you forget that FIRST is a program that teaches students about engineering and science, using a robot design contest as the underlying engineering project

and you start thinking you are engaged IN some sort of a robot building contest

you have lost IT

It takes some teams a year or two to get IT. Its up to the veteran teams to hold the traditions and ideals of FIRST like a beacon, so all the new teams have to squint or go blind from the intense light.

If you want to do well in this years contest you have to leave your opponents stacks alone until the last few seconds, and then only knock them down as a last resort to win. There is no need for teams to make side agreements for this - its the nature of the game.

And if you choose to leave your opponents stack intact, or you cant knock them down when you need to

Then you will be THE looser!

If you think FIRST is a robot building contest, you have lost before you show up for the event.

Wow! I can’t believe what I have been reading. There is so much destructive noise going on in so many threads. It is sad to see people behaving in a manner their mother’s would never approve. Folks, take a step back and look at what is important concerning FIRST. We are all here to inspire young minds to explore ideas in Science and Technology. In 2000 at the National Awards ceremony, Dean spoke at length on changing the world from one based on “stuff” to a world of ideas. The world of “stuff” is leaving little room for the small guy to have a peaceful and healthy existance. The world of ideas allows us to have a peaceful , healthy , cooperative existance. An existance that we want our children to live in. FIRST is supposed to be the birthplace for this new world. Destructive critiscism, anger, ungentlemenly or unladylike behavior are not effective methods in promoting a better place for each other or our children. The real world is becoming a difficult place to exist these days. I don’t know what changed in a year, but last year I distinctly remember feeling and seeing a little more compassion for our fellow Americans. Sept. 11, 2001 seemed to bring out the better qualities in us. We can’t possibly have that short a memory span. How do we expect to change the world, if we quickly forget what that event taught us? Dean’s vision of the world is one I hope we will be able to create. It’s one I’d rather live in. Please, if you can’t maintain a decent level of Respect for your fellow FIRST’RS, then don’t post.

Before you say it, Yes I think this is the right forum.

We are “getting along”

In 1773(?) open Debate led to the formation of the United States of America!

With Lots of heated argument, personnel attacks (witch should be minimized or ignored )

Debate is a Right! (IN the USA) A National TREASURE!

FIRST is “only a robotics competition” But it mirrors the real world,
AS it is designed to.

This year by design or not the game/rules has opened up controversy.
Again “Mirroring Life”

PLEASE do not belittle this debate, it is not pointless

The people taking part may be on the Senate floor someday,

I do agree that everyone should Read the posts,
THINK about them,
And Please THINK about your reply!

Geo.

P.S. At first read my writing is a little cryptic,
but if you think about it, it is clear (think big, think angles, think parallels) and I do try to keep it short

I agree that Debate is the backbone of this Great Nation. You can express your opinion freely in this country, and should thank our Fore Fathers for recognizing its value. When people are passionate about an issue heated Debate is gaurunteed to occur. When it does though, as a civil adult, you should refrain from letting the nature of the arugment degenerate to a personal level. I can have a ton of respect for you and disagree with your viewpoint.

There is nothing wrong with debate, as long as it is a productive and organized one.

What’s been happening in the 4 threads aren’t organized debate at all. A bunch of people posted about 50 threads for half a day, then more people come in posting without reading the existing posts, then 10 more people come in to correct some of the mistakes, then 10 more people come in to correct those correction, and it continue and continue and continues.

Same things have been repeated over and over, and it’s impossible to keep track what’s going on and who said what. It just turn into a lot of finger pointing, instead of figuring out what’s the best action to resolve this issue.

I myself tried reading the whole thread, but when I reach to about page 4 I got really tired. Imagine all the people gather in the same room, and the threads turn into real life discussion. Imagine what a mess that would be.

I suggest locking the threads for a few days, not forever. So sit back, read through the 20 pages of stuff, and come back with more organized thoughts.

I also suggest some of you more level headed people act as moderators in a discussion, and organize it into something more productive. Someone to keep track of all the opinions and suggestions, and make sure no one’s shut out just because their opinions aren’t part of the majority. And the goal should be coming up with something that most teams agree with, while making sure it fits the spirit of FIRST and Gracious Professionalism.

Well, this is my suggestion anyway. If you choose to go back to the flaming and bashing and yelling and screaming and finger pointing, this will be the last time you will hear from me.

*Originally posted by Mr. Van *
**I posted this in the terribly long “Fixing Matches” thread. I think it might be of some use here…

Its the RULES, not the Players

Hello All-

So here is my take on the situation:

I honestly do not believe that very many FIRST teams participated in “agreements” with the intention of “cheating”, “making up for their robot’s shortcomings” or “knocking teams down in the seeding ranks”.

I believe that most teams who participated in “agreements” felt that they were executing a strategy that was within the rules and perhaps even encouraged by the rules. Perhaps even being an example of adversaries working together as is often supported by FIRST.

The problem is that not all teams have interpreted the rules in this way. The solution is to clarify the rules. Since “official” FIRST responses have been somewhat vague, I suggest the following:

At each regional to come, announce a meeting of ADULT COACHES on THURSDAY (perhaps at lunch, or after the last practice round) to discus (briefly) and ultimately agree on the “opposing alliance agreement issue”. Take a vote if necessary, but I feel confident that if we consider what we are doing and WHY we are doing it, people at each regional can come to an agreement before the next match is played.

Level the playing field again, help each other, celebrate what we’ve learned and get back to what FIRST is all about.

-Mr. Van
Coach, Team 599
RoboDox **

I agree. I will look for you at the S. Calif. Regional to discuss it. If we are all playing by the same rules, the disagreements on this issue will fade away, harmony will rein, and we will all enjoy the competitions to the fullest.

*Originally posted by A. Snodgrass *
**No offence meant to you mr van but Im not sure this was the appropriate thread for that post…
While a valid point I think that issue needs to be first looked at by EACH TEAM INDIVIDUALLY.
one of the regional advisors has already commented on the rule and FIRST’s approach to it. **

Actually I remember a post that had words like “discussion”, “diplomacy”, and “consensus” and phrases like “teams making decisions”.

See this link (it should work now).

*Originally posted by George *
PLEASE do not belittle this debate, it is not pointless
Geo.

I dont believe that the point was to belittle the DEBATE going on in the threads. However, not all of these posts are debates. When it gets to the point where people opposed don’t want to state their side for fear of being blacklisted in a community that they respect, where is the DEBATE in that? If people want to have a rational debate about this whole issue, not I or anybody else have a problem with it. However the bashing of teams that I have seen by veterans and rookies, mentors and students alike has saddened and at times even sickened me, not because they might not have a valid point, but because I very much feel we have degressed towards the grade school tactics of pointing and saying “you’re wrong and I’m right” This debate didnt need to have the specific teams mocked and hurt to prove a point. The purpose of debate is to convince people to at least look at their opinions and be open to change. Open debate is often structured and measured by somebody or something. On here however that structure isnt so present. There really isnt anybody but your own peers to say “umm that might have been a little bit off topic”. In debate, you refute your opponent’s opinions by adding more valid points of your own, or you provide substance and backing for your own points in the manner of specific cases. Simply disagreeing, name calling, and adding no solid evidence to back up your assertions is no form of debate. Frankly some of what has been going on in these four threads isnt a “debate”. Its argumentation for the sake of arguing, or statements in order to protect yourself from being blacklisted. I’d be the first to agree that a healthy debate never hurt anything but possibly some of the debaters egos. However, I dont see the whole of what has been occuring as a healthy debate.

Ashlee,

I agree fully that a lot of the things said (Name calling, personal attacks, threats of “black lists” and the like) have no place in this
or any other Debate.

I see the threads have been locked, temporarily I hope,
For censorship would be Far worse then any of the above.

Remember Ashlee… Sean, Ken, yourself, and others like you
Are The Moderators in this debate.

Geo.

I apologize if my posts over the issue of fixing matches have come off in an unappropriate and offensive manner… I guess I just got lost in the heat of things.

*Originally posted by George *
**Ashlee,

I agree fully that a lot of the things said (Name calling, personal attacks, threats of “black lists” and the like) have no place in this
or any other Debate.

I see the threads have been locked, temporarily I hope,
For censorship would be Far worse then any of the above.

Geo. **

They are locked temporarily of course. Just want to give people a few days to cool their head, think about it, read the pages of threads. Then we ask Brandon and others to unlock these threads, and figure out something that most teams can agree on, as a constructive thing to do at the competition about this.

Most people going to this weekend’s competition is probably gone already, so maybe we can open it sometime this weekend, or until they are back from the comp and tell us what happened.

*Originally posted by George *
**I see the threads have been locked, temporarily I hope,
For censorship would be Far worse then any of the above.

Remember Ashlee… Sean, Ken, yourself, and others like you
Are The Moderators in this debate.

Geo. **

Actually, they are posters just like you. They do not exist to make sure you don’t go overboard and start a flame war.

Remember that it is YOU and YOUR team that you represent here, and no one else on these boards is to blame for your actions.

It is no ones “job” to regulate the content of YOUR posts - Brandon and very few others are kind enough to moderate this board, but rarely do they step into arguements - they mainly just lock threads.

Personally, I’d prefer the threads to remain locked - there is little else to say, and the threads in question will quickly run wild again, probably.

Maybe if Brandon creates a new thread after this weekend, but not a revival of the old ones.