19 March 2008

It's Sad, its So Sad; It's a Sad, Sad Situation

With apologies to Elton John...

If you are tired of discussions about OT, please skip this post.

Well, it didn't take long. It was just announced a couple of days ago that there will be a 2010 Fractal Universe Calendar. Of course, the children at OT just had to whine in again with just how "bad" this publishing venture is. I covered the topic at length in this post, so there is no need to go over all the idiocy about the complaints again. I'll just comment on a few of statements made in the latest childish rant.

Neither Tim nor I have ever argued that the FU editor(s) should not be compensated for services rendered. We have, however, questioned why compensation has to be including the artwork of the editor. When such rewards are given, especially in a competitive environment, propriety becomes suspect and issues of professionalism should be raised. Contrary to what our adversaries claim, such compensation is professionally frowned upon because questions of conflict of interest invariably come into play.
OT should just say what they believe, the calendar editor(s) are unethical and unprofessional because the agreement with the publisher give the editor(s) an image in the calendar as compensation for time and effort. They can hold this opinion, but people can see just how ridiculous it really is.

OT claims that such an agreement is professionally frowned upon. So what? This is an agreement with a publisher, and is clearly spelled out and has been for years. It isn't a professional contest. OT keeps making this false argument so they can continue complaining. They know the arrangement with the publisher isn't what they claim, a professionally run contest, but they continue to be disingenuous with the continuing rants. They are just repeating the false premise; if it is a contest, or similar to a contest, or resembles a contest, then it must conform to their view of a contest. This is the classic straw man fallacy; set up a false premise and shoot it down. It doesn't work.

OT should publish their own calendar, or make an arrangement with another publisher that fits their "view" of "professionalism".
Okaaay. So, why not just do this in the first place? Pay editors to make solicitations. Then you'll have a true publishing venture, and OT will never again question your operating methods. But, apparently, you're running a competitive process to generate material -- and doing solicitations, too? Will you publish a list showing which images were submitted and which were solicited? What is the percentage of solicited images included (say, in the last five years)?. Can FU Calendar editors (past or current) be among those artists who can be directly solicited? This whole bit sounds suspiciously like Damien M. Jones' BMFAC rationalization of needing "a hedge against insufficient quality."
Now this is rich. If the calendar editors force the publisher to change the agreement so that it meets OT's terms, OT will stop complaining? ROTFLMAO. If the entire list of submissions is published, I'd bet dollars to donuts that OT would complain about what was submitted, or question the selection criteria, or question why images were left out, or accuse the editor of favoritism, or something.

What is wrong with the current arrangement? Oh right, it isn't a triple blind submission process that conforms to somebody's "official rules of contest submissions". OT should set the example and cultivate an agreement with a publisher and show the world how a calendar submission process should be run. Of course, they won't. They aren't courageous enough to undertake such a venture. It's easier to complain.

Doesn't OT say just below that the publisher has the right to publish what they want? If so, why does OT want the editor to change the agreement with the publisher? It's the publisher's choice right? So, why constantly criticize the editor?

Perhaps the calendar editor could do all of these things. Why? For what purpose? To pacify OT? I'd encourage the editor to do nothing different if only to spite OT. All the fuss OT is making about the calendar just makes OT look silly, petty, etc.
Of course, Avalanche Publishing -- or any publishing firm -- is free to publish whatever fractal art it chooses. Then again, as artists, all of us have a stake in what is presented to the public as the contemporary face of fractal art. Do you feel the Fractal Universe Calendar's face in this regard needs a comprehensive facelift?
Well, if Avalanche Publishing has the right to publish whatever they want, then why all the fuss? Is it because OT doesn't like the images the publisher chooses? Perhaps a valid argument can be made here, but if the publisher has the right to publish what they choose, then complaints are just silly.

If OT believes everyone has a stake in what is presented to the public, then they should be proactive and create outlets to present alternative views of fractal art to the public. However, their latest attacks on the calendar just prove that their calls for people to do that in a previous post are just empty rhetoric. It's always easier to criticize and complain than actually do something.

are taking the brave step. This individual even managed to get a calendar publisher to publish her calendar. These are just two examples from a 30 second search. Are these individuals doing irreparable damage to the fractal community with their efforts? Are they unprofessional? Of course not, neither is the Fractal Universe calendar effort.

Does the calendar need a face lift? No, what needs the face lift is OT.


WelshWench said...

Very restrained of you to not quote the next line of the lyrics ;-)
"And it's getting more and more absurd"

I attempted to add a comment , though it has yet to appear and somehow I doubt it ever will.

Ken said...

Gill, well, OT seems to be a little humor impaired when it satire, irony, or sarcasm is directed at them. The next line might have been too much.

I'm disappointed though. I've been downgraded to ex-Troll. I guess if you rise quickly, you fall quickly. :-)

WelshWench said...

An ex-Troll? Oh, the shame, the ignominy. How ever will you cope? ;)

Dzeni said...

I'm surprised people still bother to read OT. Perhaps its the whole "train smash" thing, their blog is so bad that one can't really bear to look, yet once there, its hard to look away. I'd have to be extremely bored to read OT. Life's too short. Really.

Ken said...

Dzeni, I read it because I have always been curious to what they have to say. Much of what they write is rather inane, IMO. But, once they embarked on their current crusade of personal attacks, I believe they should be met head on and have the false and unethical charges countered. Bullies often don't like to be confronted.

Why do you think myself and others have been banned? For violating comment policies? Hardly. OT has never said what policies have been violated. If they ever do state that, I can show you OT posts that violate their own policies. That would expose their hypocrisy even more. It just easier for them to crusade on when they can ignore vocal critics.

I understand people staying away. That's fine. I find OT more amusing than serious. The sad thing is OT thinks they are serious. Look at one of their author's recent series of images surrounded by text. I'm sure he means it as humor, but it really is rather pathetic.