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Opinion vs Bunk

post #1 of 125
Thread Starter 
This is a public service announcement. Bunk hidden under the veil of innovation is still bunk.

The exchange of ideas and opinions are a valuable means of promoting learning, and propagating new and/or refined solutions to enhance current options. But that said, some ideas are not opinions worthy of consideration in such discussions. They're actually misconceptions based on clearly faulty understanding of the technical foundations.

Sure, these bogus ideas can sound like new and innovating thinking, and the authors often try to pass it off as such. But they're only new because anyone with true knowledge and understanding of skiing know better, and would never say such a thing.

So beware, readers. There is much good information contained in these discussions, but mixed with that is a substantial batch of pathetically inaccurate nonsense. I feel bad for people who are authentically trying to learn from their readings of these discussions. Sorting it out can be a challenge for those new to the sport.

I urge those of you in that boat to take all you read here with a grain of salt, and save your trust for only those who've earned it, not only from you, but from others. I also urge the knowledgeable to loudly call "BUNK" when you see it. The learners here need to know, so as not to get sucked in.
post #2 of 125
Excuse me. That's BUNK(rm)


"BUNK" is a registered "retort mark" of Spindrift Inc.
post #3 of 125
Rick,

Epic should make that a sticky and lock it.
post #4 of 125
Rick, just as an example, would you say that theories that deny the effect of tipping angle on turn radius, theories that I can only imagine were dreamed up without ever skiing on hardpack, would qualify as Bunk (I would).
post #5 of 125

Bunk

The question is have you been BUNKED? Do you recognize it as such? There are bunkers on the net? Tell me it ain't so! Life just isn't fair.

Ask yourself, have you ever talked to a person (almost always male) who states he "only skies double diamonds", but you've never seen him ski. Chances are you never will - you've been bunked.

Sorry for the Ric but I certainly agree with ya.
post #6 of 125

Beware Your Own Bias

Beware also your own bias in judging information. The following is an article for your consideration:

Sources of Information Bias
By Joan Rostad

Information is a raw material that perception turns into the insights that produce high quality decisions. It is critical that the information that flows into the decision-making process be as unfiltered as possible in order for our perceptions to be clear, our insights to be accurate, and our decisions to be effective.

This article explores how information filtration works to limit our perceptions. These filters may be externally or internally imposed. Censorship, an example of an external filter, is alive and well in the form of the password protected directory. More subtle, perhaps, are the internal filters that limit perceptual inputs to those that correspond with our individual preferences. Everyone is equipped with a unique filtration system when it comes to receiving information. This is why we hear such variation in the reporting of a single event by a group of observers.

People tend to be predisposed towards awareness of certain aspects of "what's happening." Awareness has many options from which to choose. A simple analogy would be how people at a play or motion picture "take in" different levels of character, dialogue, plot, setting, mood, visuals, etc. It all adds up to the particular message or experience each person takes away from the theatre.

Of course, a play or motion picture has an author and a director pushing a particular message or experience on the audience. The interpretive push in real life is self-imposed. Each person's account of what happened in an actual instance will emphasize preferred aspects to the exclusion of other aspects that another person might emphasize. No one account is likely to tell the whole story.

The following thumbnail sketches describe some of the common filters that we use to attract and repel certain kinds of information. Some operate by letting information in, some by keeping information out, and some by weighting certain information over other information. The mechanisms differ, but each offers an effective way to bias your perceptions, falsify your conclusions, and diminish the quality of your decisions.

Availability Bias
By availability we mean the tendency to pay more attention to the most easily accessed information about the problem or issue. Recently-stored information is generally easier to retrieve than information that is buried deep in the company database under tons of useless data or "floating freely" in the world of information at large, available but untethered.

Accessibility Bias
In reality, everyone in a corporation does not have equal access to collective information. Status in contemporary organizations is signaled by the level of access a person has to company information: the most powerful people in the corporation are those who have unlimited access. The practice of limiting access creates bias by predetermining each individual's "need to know." This limits the utility of the company knowledge base and handicaps the decisions of those without access to critical information.

Familiarity Bias
This is the tendency to more easily remember information that "seems familiar." If the information fits seamlessly into your prior understanding, it takes up less "psychic space." (Czikszentmihalyi, 1993.) Like a hard drive that has been defragmented, this takes a good deal of the complexity out of retrieval. In practical terms this means that, exposed to the same information consisting of both engineering and marketing data, we would expect an engineer to remember mostly engineering information and a marketer to remember mostly marketing information.

Recency Bias
We tend to give greater credence to more recent information than older information. If a study comes out today that contradicts a study that came out a year ago, we tend to go with today's results rather than last year's without regard for the quality of the research.

Affective Bias
We tend to pay more attention to and actively seek out information that we find most interesting. This means that we will be most attentive to information that pertains to our self-interest, both individually and as part of a larger group. More generally, it means that a manager who is interested in theory may be drawn to more qualitative kinds of information and that a manager who loves facts and figures may be drawn to more quantitative data.

Conversely, we tend to avoid or reject information that doesn't have meaning for us. We don't subscribe to the newsletter if we are not interested in its topic. We don't take the class unless we have an interest in learning what it has to teach us. A decision-maker can filter out whole areas of information in this way.

Belief Bias
Prior beliefs and positions can be a source of bias by causing us to reject contradictory information. If we have a longstanding belief that our company's business is manufacture and supply, we may discount information that points to a stronger business in servicing the products that we had manufactured. This was the situation at IBM, and is why their transition from a manufacturing to a service paradigm was so painfully slow.

Conversely, we tend to look upon favorably and actively seek out information that supports our positions and beliefs.

Inexperience Bias
We have a tendency to throw an anchor into the first information that we receive about something new. This is why first impressions are so stable. If advance information about a new boss, new strategy, or business innovation is extremely positive, we tend to require a preponderance of negative information to change our initial opinion about it. On the other hand, a negative first impression will be just as hard to unseat.

Summary
We can never eliminate the bias that causes information to be filtered into or out of our field of perception. Like all researchers, we can only control for bias through awareness. One control is to take periodic time-outs in your information discovery process to check internally and externally for possible sources of bias. Another control is to make sure others on your team are aware of sources of bias so they can recognize when information filters may play a role in their own and others' conclusions. Finally, recognize that bias usually is internal to the team members and the best prevention is continual inquiry, open dialogue, collaborative learning, and a commitment to seek ever more finely-grained clarity of insight.

References
Czikszentmihalyi, M. (1993). The evolving self: A psychology for the third millennium. New York: Harper-Collins.

Dawson, R. (1993). The confident decision maker: How to make the right business and personal decisions every time. Audiobook. New York: Simon & Schuster.
post #7 of 125
Before you all go calling "bunk" perhaps you should post your skiing CV for the rest of us to review.
post #8 of 125
Hey nolo, nice to see the information biases all summed up in one convenient article. May I ask where it came from?

This thread gives me an idea I'd like to mention in the EpicSki Suggestions thread....off we go!
post #9 of 125
It came from my dead letter file, skiingman.
post #10 of 125
Nolo, great find and thank you for sharing.
post #11 of 125
Nice, I'm an idiot and didn't look at the author. Thanks for the article.

I think what Rick describes is a very real problem (one I'm sure I've been a part of at times, sorry) but my question is what can be done about it. How do you try to keep the signal strong and the noise weak without resorting to groupthink?

What I see often goes like this:
-Non-professional member poses a question
-Question is answered by a pro
-"Meta" discussion between pros and non pros stretches for a couple hundred posts.
-Members who didn't have a solid grasp of the answer to the original question are now hopelessly confused.

When someone asks a speed control question, it would be kind of neat if the methods of controlling speed and their uses were described in a straightforward dispassionate way, while the arguments over which methods are better/more appropriate could carry on in some other designated space. So all the equations, greek letters, and philosophical stuff would be in some place where the discussion can rage while the meat of an answer is protected for those uninterested in all the meta.
post #12 of 125
skiingman,

Would something like an "Ask the Ski Pro" forum where the question can be asked but the respondents are limited to a preselected group of instructors/pros and only the original poster can ask follow up questions address the problem?
post #13 of 125
Skiingman,

I thought the break out between "Ski Instruction & Coaching" and "Ski Technique & Analysis" were to address your concern. The first to be without the meta and the latter the home for it?
post #14 of 125
cgeib, taking a quick look through the current threads in each, would you say that it has worked well?

Bill, that does sound like a decent way to really filter out the chaff for those who aren't interested in it.
post #15 of 125
I don't know where you get off Rick. Are you saying that people post crap on Epic? I refuse to accept that!!!!!!

Are you saying that alot of posters are suffering from Inexperience Bias
and they too easily grab onto a tidbit they heard in a lesson as being the "brass ring" or the foundation upon which they can build a whole "new technique". Are you saying that another group with Affective Bias latches onto this "new technique", then further falling victim to Availability Bias uses the easy to obtain, easy to understand 2 paragraph description as a way of justifying why they failed their PSIA Level 2?

Are you then saying that any rebute to this is just a lame attempt by those poor saps suffering from Belief Bias?
I don't know Rick, seems like you are suffering Familiarity Bias!

I am done here....I am now off to learn more about SITS and the revoulutionary SVMM mogul technique.:
post #16 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
I am done here....I am now off to learn more about SITS and the revoulutionary SVMM mogul technique.
Ya know, I have to admit that these days when I see a new acronym tossed around in a thread title, I ignore the thread and don't learn what it is until someone I trust mentions it elsewhere.

/doesn't just apply to EpicSki or ski forums, btw.
post #17 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
Excuse me. That's BUNK(rm)


"BUNK" is a registered "retort mark" of Spindrift Inc.
Sorry, Spinner. Hard to invent anything these days that hasn't been invented before. Your credits to the term are duly noted.
post #18 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Rick, just as an example, would you say that theories that deny the effect of tipping angle on turn radius, theories that I can only imagine were dreamed up without ever skiing on hardpack, would qualify as Bunk (I would).
Sure would, Ghost. As you may remember, I called BUNK on a similar contention a couple years back here at Epic, and called out the fool making it with a means of testing who was right, and a several thousand dollar wager that it was me. The fool backed down, BUNK lost out.
post #19 of 125
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that article, interesting. But the fact is BUNK does truly exist, shows itself here on occasion, and can be recognized as such by some, even through those pesky filters.
post #20 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
I don't know where you get off Rick. Are you saying that people post crap on Epic? I refuse to accept that!!!!!!

Are you saying that alot of posters are suffering from Inexperience Bias
and they too easily grab onto a tidbit they heard in a lesson as being the "brass ring" or the foundation upon which they can build a whole "new technique". Are you saying that another group with Affective Bias latches onto this "new technique", then further falling victim to Availability Bias uses the easy to obtain, easy to understand 2 paragraph description as a way of justifying why they failed their PSIA Level 2?

Are you then saying that any rebute to this is just a lame attempt by those poor saps suffering from Belief Bias?
I don't know Rick, seems like you are suffering Familiarity Bias!

I am done here....I am now off to learn more about SITS and the revoulutionary SVMM mogul technique.:

Well done, Dude.
post #21 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillA View Post
Before you all go calling "bunk" perhaps you should post your skiing CV for the rest of us to review.
?????????
Can't make sense of this one, Bill.
post #22 of 125
Hey Rick,
In the off-season, when you're not dispensing your certified version of the ski technique truth, consider becoming a ghostwriter for the other ultimate truth dispenser, Vince McMahon of the World Wrestling Entertainment group. I can just hear him using your phrases in an opening monologue.

Think of the possibilities for your website. $20 per month brings all the ski truth anyone ever needs.

In the mean time, we non-pros will just have to find our own way in the dark reaches of the Ski Technique and Analysis forum, i.e. – the non no-spin zone.
post #23 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by med View Post
Hey Rick,
In the off-season, when you're not dispensing your certified version of the ski technique truth, consider becoming a ghostwriter for the other ultimate truth dispenser, Vince McMahon of the World Wrestling Entertainment group. I can just hear him using your phrases in an opening monologue.

Think of the possibilities for your website. $20 per month brings all the ski truth anyone ever needs.

In the mean time, we non-pros will just have to find our own way in the dark reaches of the Ski Technique and Analysis forum, i.e. – the non no-spin zone.
Just FYI....Rick actually teaches "Wasit Steering".....not exactley what one would call a "certified version".....hence to say he is stuck in a mold and only advocates what is dictated by the powers that be at "What ever certifying body" Headquarters is pretty far off the mark.

On an aside....if you know and understand skiing, it doesn't matter what "chunks" or "Bits" you use to break skiing up, the end result is roughly the same. Perhaps one of the biggest and most common errors on this forum are from people who do not understand this concept...nor do they understand the difference between progression and final form. As much as skiing has changed over the years, it is really amazing how the key fundamentals havent really changed at all.
post #24 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
to say he is stuck in a mold and only advocates what is dictated by the powers that be at PSIA Headquarters is pretty far off the mark.
You're the first one to bring up PSIA in this thread.
post #25 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
You're the first one to bring up PSIA in this thread.
Sorry epic, didnt mean to offend....I just assumed med was referring to the PSIA as most posters on here do....but you are right, it could be "certified" by any number of organisations....over site fixed.
post #26 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
?????????
Can't make sense of this one, Bill.
CV-summary of your experience and education, a more detailed version of a resume.

We have posters jumping in here with no verifiable expertise claiming that what others post is "bunk". Anybody can read a book and claim to be an expert but that doesn't make them one nor does it mean they have even a basic understanding of what it takes to teach someone else to ski. I'm guessing there is no shortage of "experts" who think waiststeering is bunk. Know what I'm sayin?
post #27 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Rick, just as an example, would you say that theories that deny the effect of tipping angle on turn radius, theories that I can only imagine were dreamed up without ever skiing on hardpack, would qualify as Bunk (I would).
They're not bunk, they're just and example of opinions that have resulted from bias.

Applying bias cuts both ways -- the listener may have bias in the way that it is heard (which is what I think nolo is suggesting) and the speaker may have bias from the way they've arrived at their conclusions.
post #28 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillA View Post
CV-summary of your experience and education, a more detailed version of a resume.

We have posters jumping in here with no verifiable expertise claiming that what others post is "bunk". Anybody can read a book and claim to be an expert but that doesn't make them one nor does it mean they have even a basic understanding of what it takes to teach someone else to ski. I'm guessing there is no shortage of "experts" who think waiststeering is bunk. Know what I'm sayin?
Bill,
You suggest Fastman post a cv. Click the link in Fastman's signature. Then click on the "the team" flag at the top.
post #29 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Bill,
You suggest Fastman post a cv. Click the link in Fastman's signature. Then click on the "the team" flag at the top.
I know who Rick is. You're missing the point. There are many here who claim to know more than they really know and those same people have been calling "bunk" on coaches and instructors who have forgotten more than most of us will ever know. Reading a book doesn't make you an expert and all experts are not created equally. Just as writing a book or setting up a web site does not make you the ultimate authority on anything. Get it. The buyer beware part cuts both ways.
post #30 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
So beware, readers. There is much good information contained in these discussions, but mixed with that is a substantial batch of pathetically inaccurate nonsense.
I rarely feel able to comment in this forum, such is my ignorance about technique. But this thread is too delicious to ski by without trying.

Love this line myself: "pathetically inaccurate nonsense." Not just nonsense, but incorrect nonsense, as if what doesn't make sense can be not only nonsensical, but lacking rationality in a way that misleads. On top of all that, there's the adverb "pathetically." So all that misleading nonsense is misleading readers in a way that elicits a response of pathos. I see readers, if I'm grasping this, reading ski technique discussions and perhaps breaking into tears?

That's some powerful nonsense, Rick!
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