A Public Disservice Message - The Golden Lamprey Award

Diana Nyad is once again threatening to swim from Cuba to Florida under the rules of some extraterrestrial swimming federation only she knows about... Loonies in Iran make women swim in enough clothes to sink a battleship... USMS throws OW under the bus with regard to insurance... FINA passes a rule that allows OW races to be held at water temperatures normally reserved for cooking lobsters... And it never seems to end...

Every year awards are given for inspiring feats of swimming prowess and service to the marathon swimming community. However, no one gives out an award to the person/organization who has done the greatest disservice to marathon swimming during the preceding year. I propose that this be rectified by this forum with the establishment of the Golden Lamprey Award. Nominations and voting would occur during the same time period and via the same processes as the other awards. Anything perceived as harmful to marathon swimming would be eligible - be it a stupid rule, a boneheaded attempt at some swim, blatant lies about a swim or other disservices to the community and the sport.

Any takers?

-LBJ
"Ordinarily he is insane, but he has lucid moments when he is only stupid." - Heinrich Heine

Comments

  • Leonard You make it difficult for me to choose.
    Do I nominated the FINA's temp rule or Dian's ESOPF (Extraterrestial Swimming One Person Federation) rules ......?

    I'll pick the FINA because I think their rule is the biggest danger to us all in the long run.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • I'd love this idea. I'll talk to @evmo and last year's selection committee but I'd love to see this added to the marathonswimmers.org Annual Global Marathon Swimming Awards. Everyone else's thoughts on adding it?
  • I've already received a private nomination for two other "nominees"!
  • I'll nominate @KarenT to hand out the award.
    After all Lampreys are her pet projects.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • Absolutely in favor. One must point out the bad as well as the good in order to have something to improve on and something to strive for. A nice balance. Here is a nice possible model to follow: http://www.tjcenter.org/muzzles/
  • I guess I have a different perspective here and am not in favor.

    I think the forum can have a valuable role providing constructive criticism and advice organizations within the marathon swimming community, but it seems likely that this award would serve simply to mock those who have chosen to exercise their activities outside of the community. This to me is an unnecessarily negative focus for the forum.

    To put it differently, if a nominee for this award actually cared that they were nominated, it would seem that that they would be an individual or organization that it would be more constructive to engage with in other ways. If they do not care then the award becomes an exercise in forum self importance (aka "wanking").

    just my 2c
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • is it kind of a dickish thing to do? probably

    do I like the idea? probably

    does that make me kind of a dick? ... haha, don't answer that

    I agree with @dc_in_sf that this wouldn't be very constructive criticism. It's more a cathartic exercise for those of us offended by the actions of a few in the name of our odd little sport. Chances are if you've ran afoul of this crowd hard enough to deserve a Golden Lamprey you either don't care what we think or would revel in the bonus attention it may provide. Which is good because now I'm not the only one who is a dick. :)
  • @dc_in_sf. I understand where you are coming from. However satire and/or ridicule have often been shown to be an effective tool in organisational change when other methods may already have failed. I see it as having the potential to be a serious message, from swimmers.

    For example one nomination is for an organisation that has been at odds with the wishes of the majority of its own swimming members. Another is for a country. Both will be utterly unconcerned, I imagine with this, but it would allow swimmers another avenue of expression, and therefore part of
    what I have always aspired this forum to be.

    I'd like to think that an advantage of this forum, is that our discussions, such as this, are essentially held in public. Page views of the forum are higher than membership numbers might indicate. Yet many decisions that impact swimmers happen outside their POV.

    I would also expect marathonswimmers.org to be nominated, btw.
  • edited July 2013
    This may surprise but I am inclined towards DC's perspective.

    I do think targeted, well-reasoned criticism has its place on this forum, and that it has the potential to influence people and policy in ultimately positive ways.

    I worry that creating an "award" may not be the most tonally productive way of influencing and effecting change. And in the case of specific persons, could actually backfire.

    On a different note, I appreciate @LSJswims contribution to this discussion, lest @oxo come on here and accuse us of misogyny again.
  • @dc_in_sf -

    Your point is well made and contains a valuable perspective.

    My thinking in starting this was that there are too many things that go on in the sport that seem to have no accountability to them. For example, in the FINA water temp ruling, despite a number of coaches, athletes and others yelling loudly that this is a dangerous rule, FINA has basically brushed everyone off. Further, the report put together by the NZ university was - and maybe still is - "secret." Has anyone seen it? If so, where can I get a copy?

    Admittedly, FINA likely doesn't care about our opinion, but there have been numerous cases in the past where shaming an organization has brought about change. Remember the "Golden Fleece Award" that one senator (maybe Proxmyer?) used to give out from wasteful government spending? We won't get the kind of press that award got, of course, but speaking truth to power IS a valid form of criticism and protest, regardless of whether the object of ridicule cares or not. In that sense, I don't see it as an exercise in self-importance, but is rather a way to protest against those who won't engage and to do so in a way that might at least draw some attention to the problem.

    "To sin by silence when they should protest, makes cowards of men." - Abraham Lincoln

    Regards,
    LBJ

    "Ordinarily he is insane, but he has lucid moments when he is only stupid." - Heinrich Heine
  • The Lamprey Award could be our Raspberry Award (the Razzie).
    Some courages swimmers will collect them and most won't. But I bet every nominee will spent some time as to why they are nominated. And all that might lent to a better ow-wimming world.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • Thanks Evan, but I swear I don't take people disagreeing with me as evidence of misogny! I am often wrong.
    Maybe the award could be given out by a subcommittee of the MSF (composed of d*%ks and b*&^%$s) from which decent people could distance themselves? :-)
    And you could have a lot of prefatory language (as a lawyer and writer, I am probably overly fond of prefatory langauge...) stating the noble objectives of such an award. I agree that it shouldn't SEEM smug or nasty....
    I just find a lot of what LBJ posts on this forum to be worth considering.
    BTW, the link I posted is to the Thomas Jefferson Center's for Free Expression's Muzzle Awards for actions harming free speech. So that's 2 presidents and one senator mentioned on this thread. In case anyone is counting.
    Now, could everyone please stop being so interesting? I have got to get back to work....
  • I have a question..... If Diana came out with a full description of her swim and how she planned to do it, made it very clear, and explained to the world that what she is doing does not fall under marathon swimming, would you respect her for this? Or is what she doing just not good in your eyes no matter what. I guess I am wondering if it is the way she is doing it or the way she is presenting it? Or Both? Just curious. Happy Swimming.
  • oxooxo
    edited July 2013
    fwiw, I'm not in favor of the Golden Lamprey as proposed, however, I'd support it being re-purposed for identifying evil threads on ms.org.

    @LSjswims - I believe @evmo was referring to a fact that i stumbled across when posting to another thread. @evmo found 40% of respondents to his survey were women, which, if i recall correctly, he pointed out was identical to the percentage in the triple crown list, and concluded represented the ms community at large. So, if the only factor at play is randomness, then odds that the 3 villains on ms.org are all women is 1 in 15. Of course there are a multitude of factors at play other than randomness. One of those factors is sex-bias.

    The odds '1 in 15' derives from the calculation 40% X 40% X 40%, or 0.4 X 0.4 X 0.4, or 0.4**3. This is in between the odds of obtaining all heads when tossing three fair coins in a single throw ( 0.5**3 ) which is about twice as likely, and the chance of obtaining all 1's and 2's when rolling three fair dice in a single throw ( 0.3**3 ) which is about half as likely.

  • If Diana came out with a full description of her swim and how she planned to do it, made it very clear, and explained to the world that what she is doing does not fall under marathon swimming, would you respect her for this?

    Yes
    And if she doesn't and she manages the swim I still will give her a kudos.
    If she does and manages the swim I'll give her much more kudos.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • oxooxo
    edited July 2013
    Niek said:

    If Diana came out with a full description of her swim and how she planned to do it, made it very clear, and explained to the world that what she is doing does not fall under marathon swimming, would you respect her for this?

    Yes
    And if she doesn't and she manages the swim I still will give her a kudos.
    If she does and manages the swim I'll give her much more kudos.
    I don't think she gives a rats a*s about your kudos.
  • edited July 2013
    oxo said:

    So, if the only factor at play is randomness, then odds that the 3 villains on ms.org are all women is 1 in 15. Of course there are a multitude of factors at play other than randomness, including sex-bias.

    And also selective (biased?) memory by @oxo. Perhaps you could re-do your calculations to include Rob Copeland, Rob Butcher, Lance Armstrong, and the FINA leadership (almost entirely male) ?
  • oxooxo
    edited July 2013
    evmo said:

    And also selective (biased?) memory by @oxo. Perhaps you could re-do your calculations to include Rob Copeland, Rob Butcher, Lance Armstrong, and the FINA leadership (almost entirely male) ?

    Quite possibly, but the names you've listed are not contenders.

  • @oxo for Golden Lamprey!
  • oxooxo
    edited July 2013
    evmo said:

    @oxo for Golden Lamprey!

    I second that!
  • I don't think she gives a rats a*s about your kudos.

    No not if I'm the only one thinking like that.

    But if the majority of the marathon swimmers community thinks like I do it will certainly influence her thinking.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • edited July 2013
    oxo said:

    the names you've listed are not contenders.

    Someone reminded me over PM about this guy:

    http://www.marathonswimmers.org/forum/discussion/359/swimming-the-north-channel-in-december-or-hoax

    So now we're at four men and three women, not including the hated male-dominated FINA leadership.

    (I withdrew one name from the previous list, as it's not really fair to put that person in the same category as the polarbear and the madfish.)

    @oxo, what are the odds?! Gotta be a conspiracy!
  • oxooxo
    edited July 2013
    Nope, none are contenders. Now if intentional drafting had been given it's due, it'd be 3F, 1M. Short of that, it's still 3F, 0M. Can you imagine a swimmer blogging about their swim and not mentioning that they drafted their way across?
    evmo said:

    Gotta be a conspiracy!

    Not at all. The task is to come up with a list of factors that shape the odds at 1:15. Surely, gender bias in sport is one factor.
    oxo said:

    Of course there are a multitude of factors at play other than randomness.

  • oxo said:



    @LSjswims - I believe @evmo was referring to a fact that i stumbled across when posting to another thread. @evmo found 40% of respondents to his survey were women, which, if i recall correctly, he pointed out was identical to the percentage in the triple crown list, and concluded represented the ms community at large. So, if the only factor at play is randomness, then odds that the 3 villains on ms.org are all women is 1 in 15. Of course there are a multitude of factors at play other than randomness. One of those factors is sex-bias.

    Epic fail not to calculate shameless over-promotion into your pseudo-scientific analysis... Which does quite obviously reveal a certain bias. Own it OXO.
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • oxooxo
    edited July 2013

    your pseudo-scientific analysis

    There is no science or analysis in it. Three independent events spells out as P1 x P2 x P3, or in this case 0.4**3. See for example, p198 here. The science would be in understanding the factors that explain how it is that odds of 1:15 have happened ... probably the domain of scientists schooled in social psychology.

    Epic fail not to calculate shameless over-promotion ... Which does quite obviously reveal a certain bias.

    Exactly, Sir Barra. Gender bias in sport selects for iconoclasm, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any individual who challenges established dogma or conventions ... unless when a real marathon swimmer says they will adhere to EC rules they are signalling their intent to intentionally draft off their escort boat, as is allowed, neigh endorsed, by those things EC.

  • oxo said:

    your pseudo-scientific analysis

    There is no science or analysis in it.

    Indeed. I was being kind.
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • I read @Leonard_Jansen's original post as quite clear in mentioning individuals or organisations or other.

    I myself was only thinking of organisations (of which I'd consider rules etc a subset), and the two private nominees I alluded to were a swim organisation and a country.

    Let's try a reset of this thread to the original topic.

    I propose that the Award be restricted to organisations and other/rules, no individuals.
  • I read @Leonard_Jansen's original post as quite clear in mentioning individuals or organisations or other.

    I myself was only thinking of organisations (of which I'd consider rules etc a subset), and the two private nominees I alluded to were a swim organisation and a country.

    Let's try a reset of this thread to the original topic.

    I propose that the Award be restricted to organisations and other/rules, no individuals.

    I have no problem with the idea of restricting it to non-individuals. God knows that stupidity tends to flourish when an organization or committee can be used to deflect blame. My only regret will be that I can't win it then - I'll never be good enough to win one of the legit awards, but I am certain that I could excel as a liability and/or bad example.

    -LBJ


    "Ordinarily he is insane, but he has lucid moments when he is only stupid." - Heinrich Heine
  • Jamie said:

    I have a question..... If Diana came out with a full description of her swim and how she planned to do it, made it very clear, and explained to the world that what she is doing does not fall under marathon swimming, would you respect her for this? Or is what she doing just not good in your eyes no matter what. I guess I am wondering if it is the way she is doing it or the way she is presenting it? Or Both? Just curious. Happy Swimming.

    Speaking for myself only: I really don't have any problem with how she is doing it now in the sense that it does not really affect me. That doesn't mean I don't like making a little fun of her and some of the very questionable assertions that have been presented. However, even if she does it with flippers, water wings and people spoon feeding her caviar as she swims, it is still a very daunting and very athletic accomplishment and props for that. As long as everything is open and transparent, go for it, good luck and I'll be cheering her on.

    -LBJ

    "Ordinarily he is insane, but he has lucid moments when he is only stupid." - Heinrich Heine
  • Jamie said:

    I have a question..... If Diana came out with a full description of her swim and how she planned to do it, made it very clear, and explained to the world that what she is doing does not fall under marathon swimming, would you respect her for this? Or is what she doing just not good in your eyes no matter what. I guess I am wondering if it is the way she is doing it or the way she is presenting it? Or Both? Just curious. Happy Swimming.

    I would respect her for completing the swim under @Jamie's recommendation above. But what burns my hide is that she is constantly mentioning she's following some sort of rules of marathon swimming. Then I have to remind all my friends who know I'm a marathon swimmer that what she's doing is adventure swimming, not marathon swimming.

    She does the swim, I'll give her props. She comes out and explains her "rules" for how she's going to do the swim, I'll give her props. But not if she calls it marathon swimming. (Unless she really does do it following EC rules.)
  • I read @Leonard_Jansen's original post as quite clear in mentioning individuals or organisations or other.

    I myself was only thinking of organisations (of which I'd consider rules etc a subset), and the two private nominees I alluded to were a swim organisation and a country.

    Let's try a reset of this thread to the original topic.

    I propose that the Award be restricted to organisations and other/rules, no individuals.

    I disagree, but I'm probably alone. How else can we call out these fakers like I believe the North Channel dude is/was?
  • I disagree for the same reasons as @IronMike.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
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