Originally Posted by Wmcmanus
I don't think even Penchum would deny that.
I wish someone had said that from the beginning; maybe we could have saved ourselves 30 pages of argumentation (so far, but probably 40 pages by the end of the day tomorrow). I've read it all, and it's really tiring (which is not to say that I don't care, I do, but it's still tiring).
Everyone seems to be wrapped up in the term shill. Fact is, Penchum's reviews and other posts have been one of the key driving forces in the Little Dot success story here at Head-Fi. Take your pick as to whether you think that's a good thing, a bad, or something you're completely indifferent to. But, in my view, it wasn't in any way unfair that someone pointed out the factual matters concerning his posting history. If I posted that much about about any of my favorite audio brands, I'd fully expect someone to at least point it out and question my motives. Of course, if I posted that much about all of the audio brands I use, I'd have over 100,000 posts (though I digress).
From what I can see, however, Penchum really has nothing at all to be ashamed of. In fact, he should be proud of the contributions he has made to the community via the enthusiasm and support that he's offered to others who have shown interest in, and have had questions about, the Little Dot amps and Zero DACs that he has reviewed. In other words, I see nothing wrong with what he has done in terms of his participation at Head-Fi, but at the same time I don't blame anyone who may respectfully point out that his enthusiasm/focus has been rather singular and extreme, and thus question what his motives may be. Yet, unless I were to be presented with strong evidence to the contrary, I'd to consider Penchum to be an unusually enthusiastic customer rather than a shill, as such.
Originally Posted by Pricklely Peete
Finally, a voice of reason.........
I would imagine the majority of regular members share this exact view. I see Penchum as nothing more than an extremely enthusiastic supporter of LD. That's it...end of sordid story.
I think you're right about that part, Peete (that most members would find Penchum to be an extreme supporter of LD).
But let's review my post (quoted for convenience above). I also made the point that I don't see anything wrong with the posts made by those who have respectfully pointed out (and challenged) the rather unusual nature of his posting history at Head-Fi.
You seem to have a major problem with that (and by extension, with those who have presented the facts of that particular 'case'). Quite frankly, I don't get it. Why all of the drama about it? What they have pointed out is largely a factual matter. Why not simply acknowledge that:
1) yes, Penchum's posting history is rather unusual, and
2) yes, you can see why others would bring that fact up as a potential explanation, or at least partial explanation, of the so called 'Little Dot phenomenon', but then
3) respectfully disagree with their conclusion that he may/must therefore be a 'shill', and then
4) present an even better case, based upon your analysis of Penchum's posts, or based upon your interaction with him in your posts, that he is not (in fact) a shill, but is instead, just an extreme supporter, or whatever label you think more appropriate.
To my way of thinking, that's the best form of argumentation/debate. First, you acknowledge the counter party's argument, and in fact (initially at least) attempt to give them every possible benefit of the doubt. In other words, stretch your mind and imagination to be able to see whatever points that they are attempting to make. Acknowledge the legitimacy of their points, and even build them up a bit, perhaps even extending their argument and making it even better/stronger.
Then the minute you do that, you can tear it down piece by piece, limb my limb, and replace it with even better, much stronger, much more clearly supported arguments of your own to support your side of the debate! That's where the real power lies, in your ability to say, "Well, yes, you have a point. If you were to look simply at the number of his posts or the nature of the threads that he has started, it sure would seem that perhaps he has being doing so to shill the Little Dot amps and Zero DAC. But the reality is, the evidence is much stronger that his motivations for doing so were to help the community by sharing his experiences/enthusiasm, being supportive of other members who have shown interest or have had questions about these products, etc., etc. (You can fill in the blanks better than I can because you seem to have a better understanding of the man, his posts, and his motivations for making them, than I do).
What I'm getting at is the whole idea of effectiveness in advocacy. The minute you turn negative and hostile towards people - (who at least in their minds, but maybe not yours) are just telling the honest truth as they see it and are doing so (again, in their minds, not necessarily yours) to help the community by bringing an awareness of a situation that they believe deserves the attention of other members - you lose their respect, and ultimately that of others who are more neutral on the matter.
Whether this is couched in terms of 'accusing the accusers' or whatever, the real opportunity for you to make a difference for a 'cause' that you believe in (the defense of Penchum's posting history, and therefore his character, in this case) is lost. Why? Because by going negative and hostile, you end up losing some street credibility and begin to get seen as someone who is arguing merely for the sake of arguing, or worse yet, to create new controversies surrounding collateral issues that simply are not germane and thus only serve to further weaken the force and effect of the position that you're trying, legitimately, to defend.
Sad thing is, when I read your posts carefully - at least those in which you've remained most calm - I can see that your points are quite solid and that your voice ought to be carrying more weight than it seems - to you, me, and many others - to actually be carrying.