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Facts

Following up on my cognitive dissonance rant, I’ve been really disappointed lately with the disturbing trend we have toward ignoring facts. It seems that once again we are following in the foot-steps of the crazies by now also ignoring facts in favor of bias.

I use the most recent episode of Fitness SF’s1 domain scandal. One of the web contractors for the gym took their domain down and posted a rather long diatribe about “freelance developers” and “independent businesses” not being respected or paid. The contractor went on to accuse the franchise2 of failing to pay past due bills.

First, I agree a business should pay its bills. That was never in dispute. However, reading the posted story, it didn’t take much to recognize there was more to it. First, the contractor focused too hard on trying to play the victim and FSF was the big bad guy. Second, it reeked of revenge. The contractor requested everyone reading his rant cancel their memberships in protest. And here’s the kicker, some people did! With no more information than that given by a disgruntled party in a civil dispute, people not only canceled memberships but went on personal tirades about freelancers, the gym, uppity gays, blah, blah, blah.

FSF released a statement a couple days later detailing more of what was going on. And as suspected, it was much more than them just refusing to pay a bill. The contractor missed not only content but also deadline delivery. It goes one step further. His contract had been canceled and he no longer had legal access to the domain! So not only did the contractor act unethically, he also broke the law. And yet FSF was the bad guy. I don’t know who is ultimately “right” in this whole ordeal, but what is clear is it was a civil dispute between two parties that should never have been made public in this manner. I will add, having seen the mess that was their website during their grand-opening, it certainly adds up.

Here is where my rant really comes in today. Even after more of the real story came out, many still bashed FSF and went on to claim “support for freelance developers.3  Truth no longer mattered, only the person’s personal bias. On a tangent, having done freelance web-design for many years, I can speak from experience. If I didn’t deliver a product as promised, I didn’t expect to get paid. And if I did get paid, it wasn’t the original price. I certainly would never stoop to taking down a companies’ domain over a dispute. One, said practice is a very grey area legally and two, it certainly doesn’t encourage more business knowing you resort to such tactics. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The moment the contractor stooped this low, he lost any moral high-ground, if he ever had it to begin with.

Facts matter people and so should the truth. This is but one example of many I could cite lately. We all have personal biases, no secret there. But we also have reason. When you allow your personal bias to trump reason and then go on to compound the issue thru denial, you marginalize yourself (and your argument). Life rarely deals in absolutes and trying to have an absolute ideal is often a recipe for failure. Don’t get caught up in the sensationalism and/or mob mentality. And just because a “friend” shared it with you on Facebook, take the time to understand an issue before going all holier-than-thou.

We are better than this. We do not need to stoop to such tactics to be taken seriously. You can support a cause, group, or ideal w/o blindly ignoring facts, reason, or simple logic.




  1. Formerly Gold’s Gym []
  2. Which is not a big business by any means, they run 4 gyms []
  3. Completely forgetting how far the local franchise has gone out of their way to support our community lately. []

5 thoughts on “Facts

  1. Just wondering why you automatically think the web designer was lying and the gym was telling the truth. Bar my comments if you want, but you sound like the one who is jumping to unsubstantiated conclusions. Just my personal opinion.

    @Jeff ~ First, I don't 'bar' comments because someone disagrees with me. I only delete personal attacks. We can disagree, even strongly, and still be civil.

    I stated I wasn't sure who was "right." And to be fair, the developers comments could be described as "unsubstantiated" as much as FSF. And this idea that because he is a 'freelance developer' and beyond reproach is not an idea I cater to. But the point of my post was that to put bias before facts is not something we should resort to as a community. I could just as easily used the nudity ban, the gun issue, etc.

    Even w/o my personal knowledge, it was clear from the developers rant when he took the domain down there was more to it. If you read his posted comments, he tried to act like he had done nothing wrong and was the unwitting "victim." Omission of part of the facts is the same as lying IMO. So while I never said he lied, I do believe he did. His whole rant reeked of a personal agenda and revenge. And hearing one side of a dispute does not warrant canceling a membership, as the developer encouraged people to do. And even if he was right, he lost the moral high-ground when he resorted to, at best unethical, or at worst illegal behavior. I also stated 'two wrongs don't make a right.'

    To the heart of your question, I already knew before this came out the gym was having issues w/getting their domain up. I have several friends who work as line-employees at FSF, including a bestie. I'm in the gym 4-5 days a week. I listened to him for several weeks during the grand opening explain to customers why the domain was down or not working. It was pretty much known to many of us the gym was in a dispute with their contractor. I didn't say anything until AFTER the gym released a statement because it wasn't really my place to defend them.

    In the end, I never said the gym was right. I did say based on what I know and have seen, I tend to believe their version of events. I stand by that.

  2. This is a great example of how reactive we have become. People no longer take the time to think, gather facts and think before responding.

    People often ask me why I think that Iowans legalized gay marriage before Californians. In my experience, Californians are much more reactive than the rest of the country. This immediate reaction muddles, angers and confuses. Iowans took the time and realized legalizing marriage for all was the right thing to do rather than spouting out opinions at the get-go.

    Take a moment and let yourself think next time. You may be surprised.

  3. This is why I stick to database work. I hate the fiddilieness of web design and programming. Oh I know PHP, FLASH, JavaScript etc. and can modify code until the cows come home. But HTML and CSS, divs, iframes, etc. Ick, poo!

    I've had a lot of web development jobs offered to me and I declined. Don't want to do it.

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