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Topic split - chasing a spectre (Read 42926 times)

SA Chris

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#325 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 08:56:30 am
I reckon it's all an elaborate wind up put together by several people.

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#326 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 10:22:02 am
Wow what is happening over there.

It seems like the fake belayer has achieved his goal of attempting to make this into even more of a circus, stripping Said of any credibility he might have had left. If he did do the route then what we are witnessing is a mans livelihood being destroyed. That is a pretty sobering fact.

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#327 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 10:29:44 am
How has the now-outed fake belayer changed anything, particularly with respect to Saidís credibility?

If anything Saidís credibility has gone up by disowning him; unless you take the view that Said was in cahoots with him.

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#328 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 10:35:19 am
How has the now-outed fake belayer changed anything, particularly with respect to Saidís credibility?

If anything Saidís credibility has gone up by disowning him; unless you take the view that Said was in cahoots with him.

By turning the whole affair into a free-for-all social media circus, and through people suggesting that he is Said himself or a plant. It muddies the waters and draws peoples eyes back to the mis-information of the story, leading Said to defend not only his ascent but now potentially whether he is attempting to contrive evidence. I cannot see a way in which this can do more good than damage to his credibility.

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#329 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 10:39:23 am
I canít see the position has materially changed. The question of evidence has extended beyond AD now anyway to all his hardest ascents.

Iíve climbed with Said and heís stayed at my house and is a lovely human being. Iíd love for his ascents to be proved but the anomalies are mounting up.

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#330 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 10:44:51 am
It highlights the fact that he isn't naming the mystery belayer I suppose. Surely by now he'd be telling people the belayer's name and Instagram account name and any details he remembered about the Czech guys who filmed him in an appeal for them to get in touch and clear his name. 

AMorris

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#331 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 10:51:14 am
I canít see the position has materially changed.

I wish I could believe that things like this work entirely on an objective level i.e. evidence weighed against counter-evidence. But this is now in the domain of social media, and when your livelihood is centered around being a public image for a brand, with the implication that you will boost exposure and sales for that brand, objective facts fly right out the window in favor of public opinion.

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#332 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 11:24:22 am
I wish I could believe that things like this work entirely on an objective level i.e. evidence weighed against counter-evidence. But this is now in the domain of social media, and when your livelihood is centered around being a public image for a brand, with the implication that you will boost exposure and sales for that brand, objective facts fly right out the window in favor of public opinion.

Can you be specific about the objective facts that you think are flying out of the window?

AMorris

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#333 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 12:07:42 pm
I wish I could believe that things like this work entirely on an objective level i.e. evidence weighed against counter-evidence. But this is now in the domain of social media, and when your livelihood is centered around being a public image for a brand, with the implication that you will boost exposure and sales for that brand, objective facts fly right out the window in favor of public opinion.

Can you be specific about the objective facts that you think are flying out of the window?

No, because it was a general point about how objectivity is not particularly highly valued on social media. Consequently when an event is playing out on social media what matters is perception. This means when things like the fake belayer incident happen it muddies the waters of the entire thing, and leads to suggestions that he might have tried to contrive evidence to support his claims. There is not community in the world that is so objective that this kind of thing can do no damage whatsoever, it only serves to make even more of a mockery of the situation, and by extension him.

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#334 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 12:23:40 pm
No, because it was a general point about how objectivity is not particularly highly valued on social media. Consequently when an event is playing out on social media what matters is perception. This means when things like the fake belayer incident happen it muddies the waters of the entire thing, and leads to suggestions that he might have tried to contrive evidence to support his claims. There is not community in the world that is so objective that this kind of thing can do no damage whatsoever, it only serves to make even more of a mockery of the situation, and by extension him.

An athlete's endorsement of a brand is bound up with their public reputation. If a public reputation is challenged and inadequately defended (as is the case here so far) then public opinion of Said's reputation of course counts and typically a sponsorship contract would include a reputational damage clause to protect a brand in instances like this.

By not engaging or digging for evidence to the best of his ability Said has created a vacuum and furthered the impression that it doesn't look good. Yes there is some over reaching speculation but also good, balanced posts such as this from Peter Minky (if that is his real name!)

Quote
What this whole sorry story has highlighted to me is how gullible people are on the internet. This is now a problem in democratic elections and the online climbing community it now seems. Firstly, to condemn a well-liked professional athlete based on very little evidence, hearsay and conjecture and secondly, to defend someone without question and knowing all the facts.

To get a full picture you have to cut through all the online noise of people who would like to see the downfall of a popular athlete (sad), or are willing to condemn someone on very little evidence, but equally the biased support of friends and fans and look at the facts and current status quo as they currently present themselves.

Current facts and status quo:
Papachulo - no named belayer in the public domain, no publicized witnesses, no uncut footage.
Just Do It - no named belayer in the public domain, no publicized witnesses, no uncut footage.
Trip Tik Tonik - belayer said to be girlfriend (unnamed), no publicized witnesses, no uncut footage.
Action Directe - no confirmed belayer, no publicized witnesses, no uncut footage.

All the rest is just conjecture and hearsay and should be ignored.

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#335 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 12:39:14 pm
This thread has turned into a holding area for the suspicious and BS claims du jour. Maybe it should be pinned and used as such going forward.

While we're at it did Ellis Butler-Barker's ascent of Dark matter 8B+/ his repeat of fatman (Supposedly unclimbable?) ever get resolved?

 :worms:

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#336 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 12:43:50 pm
Quote
What this whole sorry story has highlighted to me is how gullible people are on the internet. This is now a problem in democratic elections and the online climbing community it now seems. Firstly, to condemn a well-liked professional athlete based on very little evidence, hearsay and conjecture and secondly, to defend someone without question and knowing all the facts.

To get a full picture you have to cut through all the online noise of people who would like to see the downfall of a popular athlete (sad), or are willing to condemn someone on very little evidence, but equally the biased support of friends and fans and look at the facts and current status quo as they currently present themselves.

Current facts and status quo:
Papachulo - no named belayer in the public domain, no publicized witnesses, no uncut footage.
Just Do It - no named belayer in the public domain, no publicized witnesses, no uncut footage.
Trip Tik Tonik - belayer said to be girlfriend (unnamed), no publicized witnesses, no uncut footage.
Action Directe - no confirmed belayer, no publicized witnesses, no uncut footage.

All the rest is just conjecture and hearsay and should be ignored.

It appears from that discussion that Cobra Crack can be added to the list too.

It strikes me though that the biggest gullibility is on the part of the media and sponsors accepting and publicizing these climbs in the first place without confirmed belayers, witnesses and footage?

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#337 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 12:46:26 pm
I feel we might have drifted from the point of my initial post. I have no idea about whether he did it or not, but it doesn't look good given that he presented no evidence. But I am trying hard to at least see that this might be a very poorly handled bit of PR. We see the results of this time and time again from people who are not prepared to handle the amount of attention they suddenly receive, in all arenas.

Quote
An athlete's endorsement of a brand is bound up with their public reputation. If a public reputation is challenged and inadequately defended (as is the case here so far) then public opinion of Said's reputation of course counts and typically a sponsorship contract would include a reputational damage clause to protect a brand in instances like this.

Reasonable challenge is absolutely fine. I actually feel it is necessary since his endorsement effectively means he is trying to sell me something, so I am inclined to be a little harsher than with non-sponsored athletes. But my initial point was that the fake-belayer thing will be an unjust smudge on this story. If we are to be skeptical and objective, then this incident is very unfortunate. I would be extremely frustrated if I was in the process of defending myself (though I grant, his defense is half-hearted at best) and someone I do not know stands up and presents false evidence for my case. This would only serve to make the entire defense look like a joke regardless of whether I disassociate myself from that person.

Quote
By not engaging or digging for evidence to the best of his ability Said has created a vacuum and furthered the impression that it doesn't look good. Yes there is some over reaching speculation but also good, balanced posts such as this from Peter Minky (if that is his real name!)

There we can agree. I have stated elsewhere, in response to the claims that it is "only 9a" and 9a is far from the cutting edge now, that the high profile nature of AD means ascents will always be reported and celebrated, and consequently will need more evidence than ascents of the grade. Especially since the locals of the Frankenjura are (rightly) very proud and protective of their hard routes, and are doubly skeptical. This has been demonstrated before :worms: So this shows very poor judgement from Said if he did do it (and even poorer if he didn't!).

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#338 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 01:09:34 pm
It strikes me though that the biggest gullibility is on the part of the media and sponsors accepting and publicizing these climbs in the first place without confirmed belayers, witnesses and footage?

You'd think so as they are insiders who should be in the know after all! However, who is going to alert them?

It is a big deal for an individual to blow the whistle as it is usually the case that the evidence is that there is no evidence and so is circumstantial. Also typically there is nothing to gain from calling someone out - quite the reverse in fact  and you take a lot of flak for sticking your head above the parapet and possibly leave yourself open to legal action. 

This is well articulated in Andrew Bisharat's article 

Quote
There are at least a few climbers out there who I can think of, with far bigger careers than Said, who are likely misrepresenting their accomplishments in unethical ways. Another way of saying this is that there are a lot of liars and bullshit in pro climbing. But these are just stories I hear, stories that other pro climbers tell me in whispers, in private.

People have suggested that I should be the guy who takes the leap and names these people publicly. But Iím not willing to do that because I donít think hearsay, conjecture, and whispers are strong enough reasons to risk maligning someoneís character and career.

I can imagine how things work at the moment for an Athlete Manager at a Brand. You meet someone, you like them, you trust them, you know their reputation, no doubts have been raised, you sign them up. Situations such as this should be a wake up call to sponsors to dig a bit deeper.   


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#339 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 02:04:05 pm
It is well known from the corporate word that when there is a PR crisis not having answers to potential questions is pretty much the worst thing you can do. But I find it deeply unlikely that any climbing brand gives any form of media training to their athletes, since many are so incredibly tightfisted that they are begging for free photos (to which the answer is ďfuck offĒ, of course).

In the case of AD, Said would have been a lot better off by immediately pointing out that Huch's story about him not being able to go bolt-to-bolt on the route was a gross missrepresentation of fact as at least two belayers who are well known in the climbing community has seen him doing big links.

I refuse to visit the cesspit that is 8a.new, but people should probably not troll and counter-troll on stuff like this. Especially not on sites that are administrated by JL.

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#340 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 03:31:43 pm
I'm beginning to doubt if anyone's ever climbed anything. I'm even doubting if I've climbed anything... In the words of saltbeef:

Quote from: saltbeef
Who saw you?

shark

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#341 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 04:04:59 pm
I'm beginning to doubt if anyone's ever climbed anything. I'm even doubting if I've climbed anything... In the words of saltbeef:

Quote from: saltbeef
Who saw you?

Iím doubting my deadhang scores.

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#342 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 04:11:50 pm
So are we TBH. Especially with all the space-time dilation that occurs when you take 2 hour rests between hangs.

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#343 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 04:35:08 pm
The first half of Bisharat's article is an articulate critique of call-out culture, but then he completely undermines his objective position and descends into a character assassination of Hannes Huch. Among the defenses Ive heard of Said is that he is some kind of Renaissance Man who is a master of the art of life. Well he could play Vivaldi on a flute out of his arse for all I care, this issue is about lying, plain and simple, and we the public obviously care about this. If you don't have integrity, what's left?

Let's suppose he is telling the truth, and it's just some mind-bending constellation of coincidences that he can't prove any of his recent hard ascents. Making uncut footy isnt in his contract, just spraying on IG. Should he just be given a warning? Joe Kinder style, next time you're off the team. Innocent until proven guilty... maybe that should read Unsent until proven?

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#344 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 04:43:29 pm
Let's suppose he is telling the truth, and it's just some mind-bending constellation of coincidences that he can't prove any of his recent hard ascents. Making uncut footy isnt in his contract, just spraying on IG. Should he just be given a warning? Joe Kinder style, next time you're off the team. Innocent until proven guilty... maybe that should read Unsent until proven?

All publicity is good publicity right? Just needs to be spun in the right way. His number of followers is already up, a legit ascent of AD in the new year and they will go stratospheric. Perhaps that was the plan all along.

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#345 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 05:42:59 pm
The criticism of Huch's "callout" seems mostly to be based around the idea that he just had a hunch that Belhaj hadn't climbed it and shouted about it online without much forethought or reason for suspicion, when in fact his article is a very comprehensive list of reasons why he doubts him and he repeatedly says that he doesn't want to but that the combination of factors is too much to believe.

The defense of Belhaj is that he's a nice guy, he's strong enough to climb 9a, has been witnessed climbing that hard on other routes and it's not polite to accuse people of lying. All true I'm sure but irrelevant to whether he climbed AD or not- at least two are what people say (rightly) about Gaskins and Marathon champion Simpson. I knew nothing about either Huch or Belhaj before it all kicked off and while I find it fascinating I don't have a preference for what the truth turns out to be (how amazing would it be if these Czech guys who no-one's talking about put their footage online- can you imagine watching film of him on the lead, not knowing if he's going to drop it or not? The context would make it the most exciting climbing film ever!) but I know which scenario seems more likely on the evidence they're both presenting.

I'm much more comfortable with the idea that people who fit into the (absolutely tiny) category of sponsored climbers who make ascents of top-end climbs alone or with only uncontactable strangers to witness should be expected to provide video evidence than with a situation where people who express doubt of such ascents are pilloried for doing so or that people are making weird Michael-Jackson-fan-like "we believe in you, you are the best" comments about pro climbers they've never met online like the ones that can be seen on Belhaj's Instagram and that Gresham was encouraging on his short-lived post.

One of the great things about climbing is that  the people who inspire us are the same as us, just better at what we're both trying to do, not unquestionable, untouchable media entities that we support like football teams or pop stars. Climbing's changed a lot in the last decade or so, mainly in ways that only grumpy old fuckers would argue are genuinely important. Let's not let it change in ways like this as well.

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#346 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 06:07:17 pm
It's an interesting situation to me. 

I think we as a sport are grappling with something that will never go away, and we are trying to understand what to do with it.  Personally, I think these spectre's are amazing for climbing as a whole.  They create a mythology and vast tapestry of stories that people tell and talk about.  They make us reassess ourselves and what/why we do what we do.  Sometimes they make us believe in the impossible.  I love that Rich Simpson is "known" as lying, Gaskins is "speculated about", and others as well.  They bring color and diversity to a community.  I would hope there aren't too many of those, but I do think they're important. 


wasbeen

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#347 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 06:29:17 pm
I think these spectre's are amazing for climbing as a whole.  They create a mythology and vast tapestry of stories that people tell and talk about. 

I am sorry I just don't buy it. These are not victimless crimes. Whole climbing careers have been overshadowed by Gaskins' lies. Would you say the same for doping in cycling/Athletics. It is difficult to argue it has been good for those sports.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 06:37:25 pm by wasbeen »

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#348 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 07:25:28 pm
I think these spectre's are amazing for climbing as a whole.  They create a mythology and vast tapestry of stories that people tell and talk about. 

I am sorry I just don't buy it. These are not victimless crimes. Whole climbing careers have been overshadowed by Gaskins' lies. Would you say the same for doping in cycling/Athletics. It is difficult to argue it has been good for those sports.

I think there's a big difference to the doping aspect, so I don't think it's a good comparison.  In cycling there was no doubt about the accomplishments, but instead about the method they achieved them.  I'm 100% certain that climbers are using PED's as well, and some of it has been talked about but then gets brushed under the rug.  If someone was using performance enhancing drugs for a world class send, would that invalidate their send?  Do we start drug testing for climbing outside? Where do you draw the line?

Climbing outside is a social hobby game.  It's like a surfer who said they rode a serious break, and then some other surfer said, no you didn't.  no video no proof.  We've created rules and expectations for ourselves, but that's kind of it. I think it's important to call these things out, but I still think they're part of the tapestry of climbing as a whole that is important. 

Can you name the victims? And what was lost/stolen from them? 


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#349 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 19, 2019, 08:22:05 pm
I think these spectre's are amazing for climbing as a whole.  They create a mythology and vast tapestry of stories that people tell and talk about. 

I am sorry I just don't buy it. These are not victimless crimes. Whole climbing careers have been overshadowed by Gaskins' lies. Would you say the same for doping in cycling/Athletics. It is difficult to argue it has been good for those sports.

I think there's a big difference to the doping aspect, so I don't think it's a good comparison.  In cycling there was no doubt about the accomplishments, but instead about the method they achieved them.  I'm 100% certain that climbers are using PED's as well, and some of it has been talked about but then gets brushed under the rug.  If someone was using performance enhancing drugs for a world class send, would that invalidate their send?  Do we start drug testing for climbing outside? Where do you draw the line?

Climbing outside is a social hobby game.  It's like a surfer who said they rode a serious break, and then some other surfer said, no you didn't.  no video no proof.  We've created rules and expectations for ourselves, but that's kind of it. I think it's important to call these things out, but I still think they're part of the tapestry of climbing as a whole that is important. 

Can you name the victims? And what was lost/stolen from them?
There are definitely victims, when multiple people lie as about their ascents it artificially raises the level of the sport and makes it harder for honest climbers to get recognised for their achievements.

They're also potentially setting an impossible standard for anyone to match.

When there is money and sponsorship involved it's never a victimless crime

 

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