Originally Posted by fischermh
You make it sound like you have top secret monitoring abilities. I doubt if you have any abilities that the IT community does not know about.
There's probably only a small pool of dial-up IP addresses in Dumont.
No doubt among a lot of other methods. There are a lot more corporate-security-oriented forensic IT tools than the general internet-oriented public is aware of. Lots more than cookies and IPs. ssh and dchan are sharp, experienced corporate IT guys. Don't underestimate what they may know.
On a more serious note, is it possible that Max501 and the other TBTS-ians really aren't deliberately-assigned agents provocateur? The zeal of the convert is a powerful thing. Think about the Crusades, Children of God, Scientology, Fundamentalist-(pick any one of the major religions), hundreds of examples throughout ancient up through modern history. You don't need to pay people to spout incessantly to anyone in range about how what they found works for them
must the the one and only immortal truth
and that all other paths are at best ignorant and at worst deliberately leading innocents into perdition
. There's a whole additional level of self-perception, a rare level, that allows one to distinguish "this paradigm works!" from "this paradigm works - for me
Just ask the Apple fanboys (sorry ssh!).
Or me about two previous "conversions" where I fell into obnoxious proselytizing. (I could probably still explain the good/evil Christ/Satan dualistic theology of the Church of the Process...)
The converted hordes may not realize, honestly may not be self-aware, how they are steering
(oops bad term in this context) tipping so many of the technique threads into threads about PMTS. They can't imagine that anybody could object to this because it's just so obvious that PMTS has "saved" them.
The charismatic leader doesn't always have to tell his converts to proselytize - they just can't help it, and are oblivious to how obnoxious they are when they make everything about "their system".
Imagine every time you opened your door to get your mail or go to the store or mow your lawn, there was someone from the Jehovah's Witnesses, or Scientology, or LDS, or the Pentecostal Church of Heavenly Snake-Handling Fire, or Jews for Jesus, or the Shia Brotherhood, or (fill in the blank and apologies for anyone offended by the examples). The same people for the same belief structure, day after day, not letting you alone, trying to tell you how your lawn would be greener if you believed and prayed properly, how your mail would bring greater prosperity, how you wouldn't need to pay for your milk, it would arrive with honey and cookies from heaven. Every freakin' day, and like a badly autistic child unable to read others' emotional reaction, they would have no awareness of your first disinterested, later annoyed reaction to them, because they were so caught up in their own happiness at being able, yet again, to relate the tale of their salvation.
This is what the Harbians have done over here. Max501 and the others may be tone-deaf to it. But these 1000-post threads are so full of noise and preaching that it's deafening.
SCSA was a deliberate agent, by his own choice - I don't think Harb sent him here. But the newer group of acolytes and priors don't realize how they're coming across. He might not have sent them, but Harb is benefiting from it, perhaps.
Or perhaps not. I recall how excited Lisamarie was, several years ago, at perhaps being able to learn PMTS in Colorado. Until she got a load of the PMTS postings. They absolutely lost a self-motivated eager-to-learn prospect of PMTS as a customer, entirely from the Harbite attitude.
If other proponents of other ski-teaching paradigms and camps were doing what the PMTS folks do here, they'd probably get the same treatment from EpicSki management. If the Harbians were acting like the Waist-Steering guys or some of the other folks with outside interests, with respect for the community, then PMTS probably would not have gotten the boot.
Self-disclosure note: I'm not a member of the EpicSki management team nor do I have any financial interest in EpicSki, LLC; however I suppose I do have a slight indirect link and interest in EpicSki's success: my wife Lisamarie is a fitness coach for some of the ESAs (unpaid except for her getting a discount on her ESA tuition; also her studio and books being an "approved" business allowed for her to reference in links.) I am a 25% owner and an officer of the corporate (LLC) entity for her business; she's the 75% owner and president. So perhaps I have a very small dog in this fight; certainly not one as large, fast, or attractive as our greyhound Giselle.
If Lisa's business grows from the connection to Epic, I have a 25% interest in that very small amount of growth. Or more likely 25% of that slightly lesser tax loss than the year before.
Despite that indirect connection, I've been critical of some of the EpicSki management decisions over the last few years. Yes, it's grown more business-like and cash-flow (if not profit) oriented and has lost much of the feel of being "AC's living room" back in the day. Yes, the ESA has gone from being a "let's ski with some of the instructors we talk to" to more of a "star" system with much less interaction. I don't like that direction and I've been vocal about it at times. I think EpicSki management overreached a couple of years ago when then came down hard on some ESA founders who attempted to break out onto their own website and own series of ski camp tune-ups. The necessary (just due to membership size and diversity) evolution of EpicSki from AC's hobby into a business that is attempting not to lose money (probably a fairer description than calling it "money-making") has not gone smoothly. I do personally feel that EpicSki management in the post-all-volunteer era has been too heavy-handed and opaque at times.
But I don't think this is one of those times. This policy change about PMTS is necessary IMHO. Whether the PMTS folks are undercover agents or merely zealous converts, it's gone way too far. It's contributed to driving away long-term valued professionals, probably kept away some of the newer ESA pros (thus contributing to my and others concerns that the ESAs are becoming "just another ski camp" unrelated to the forums). It's created a horrible S/N ratio in the forums, and way too much meta-discussion instead of discussion about skiing and ski instruction.
If anything, I think EpicSki management has been unusually patient in dealing with this issue. They have also been much more open about exactly what was done and why, rather than being defensive or non-responsive, the way some of their earlier post-volunteer-era decisions were made. I'm actually encouraged by how they are handling this. Even though, as I've said before, I'm not generally in favor of Speech Codes nor Net Cops. However something needed to be done here, and I think they're doing the best they can.