Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What is the future of an industry that condones this type of behavior?

In 1998 and 2000 I published the How to Write and How to Teach books. I then took some of the How to Write content and made it more user-friendly for the end user in Get Buffed! 1999.

Most appreciated the contribution I made through these writings. They were based on my experiences and conclusions from being in the industry for the prior 2 decades, training athletes at the elite level in over 20 different sports in over 10 different countries; and my personal training experiences from the prior 4 decades, inlcuding competing in a variety of sports.

You can imagine the shock when I found extensive portions of my original works published in a variety of publications by the same author.

It's been a learning experience as to what certain individuals are prepared to do to gain short term personal advancement. I had never expected to see this type of behavior in the physical preparation industry. I understand there are many and varied moral values in the world and that the prisons around the world are full of people who make decisions that led to their incarceration. Perhaps it was naivety, perhaps a believe and trust in the goodness within people, but for some reason I just didn't expect to witness such extensive criminal behavior in relation to intellectual property in our industry.

The learning hasn't stopped there either. There has been many lessons about what so called 'professionals' who seek to be 'industry leaders' are willing to do actively or by omission to support this behavior. Again, perhaps I was naive, in thinking that those who seek to be role models would not support these criminal acts.

I understand the readership and the followers of those who choose to flaunt copyright law may have varied value systems - until or unless it was their car being stolen or their home being broken into and items stolen. I suggest that they may at that time get a sudden case of morality and claim at least temporarily it's not right that their possessions be stolen.

Another lesson has been about how organizations - both profit and non-profit - react to these revelations. Again, perhaps naively, I assumed that any organization seeking to position themselves as pillars of the physical preparation industry would distance themselves immediately from this criminal behavior. And certainly any organization seeking to be industry regulators would enact their clearly worded Ethics guidelines and negatively reinforce this behavior.

However the values highlighted by 'Gordon Gecko' in the 1987 movie 'Wall Street' and by former US President Bill Clinton in 1998 during 'Lewinskygate' appear to be inherent in US domestic physical preparation. Values such as: If it's oral it's not immoral (I did not have sexual relations with that women). It's okay to lie if 'no-one gets hurt'. Its only wrong if you get caught. Or, according to one industry regulating organization - its only an ethics violation if a person is convicted.

Which leaves me asking some big questions - What is the future of an industry that condones this type of behavior? Who is being served by the endorsement of this deceit? How does this serve the greatest good of those who have invested unknowingly in this kind of behavior (in part because of those endorse the individuals/ and who knew better, looked the other way), and who made their investment in the hope that they will be led to a better place personally, financially and professionally? Is the global social and economic environment one that will support this supposedly-left-in-the-1980s mentality that greed is good and there are no moral limits in commercial enterprise?

This is just one example....The Bullshitter's Program Design Bible 1st Ed:

“It's like lip-synching to someone else's voice and accepting the applause and rewards for yourself”

--Dummer, G. M., & Douglas, M. M. (September, 2008). Plagiarism. Paper presented at Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop, Michigan State University Graduate School, East Lansing, MI.

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