Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

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Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by balloon on Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:24 pm

What happened to the Pacers Digest I used to know?

Pacers Digest began with a clear and simple philosophy – one that stood in clear opposition to the IndyStar message boards (i.e. RATS). After numerous unfair and unjust bannings, Hicks et al., began a new Pacers forum with the intention to create a more open, friendly, and just forum. They named it Pacers Digest.

It is true, that such a place existed at one point in time...that was the real Pacers Digest. But today, the forum compares more closely to RATS as it seeks to emulate the very principles with which PD supposedly stood in opposition!

Don’t let yourselves be fooled. PD is not the democratic, fair, open or just forum it would lead you to believe.

It is run by one man and one man only. His power is absolute. His opinion is the only one that matters. And he derives a very real (and somewhat sick) pleasure from this power.

With the exclusion of one individual, he has surrounded himself with other moderators/admins who will not question his power...who will not speak up against his rulings. And this is the way he likes it. His power has gone unchecked for far too long without anyone speaking up. Posters are dissuaded from speaking up, as they see a collective “group” of admins who seemingly all agree with Hicks’ temperamental decision-making. Such is not the case, however, as these same people are also discouraged from voicing a dissenting opinion.

After all, it is Hicks’s board – and he has made that clear to everyone. He can do what he chooses as the PD CEO or PD FOUNDER. We are all supposed to be forever indebted to his graciousness for bestowing upon us the greatest NBA forum of all-time.

Forget about the POSTERS...the COMMUNITY...YOU - who are the real people to make PD what it is. The only community that remains important to Hicks are an exclusive collective of people, whom he has either labelled as a fellow admin or deemed worthy of posting on “The Front Page”. These are the great basketball minds – or, in Hicks’s view, his tickets to something much grander. He realizes what he has in these people’s writings – and he will exploit them for the benefit of “his board” for every penny they’re worth. Even those who go so far as to design professionally made logos in their spare time are not given as much as a simple thank you. Everyone should just be thankful they have the privilege to partake in this medium that is PD, and read this “exclusive” group.

But if you aren’t a part of this group, you’re not all that important to Hicks. Respected posters who have been part of the PD community since the RATS days are given the banhammer without any notice. Misinterpreted words deemed unacceptable by the ruler/CEO are worthy of an instant ban. Not even so much as a simple PM asking for further clarification – just a permanent ban...to a member of 6+ years. Dispensable.

Rating too many threads with five stars? Banned. Dispensable. No questions asked – no discussion made – to a member of the community for 6+ years. Apparently those who only used thread rating as a tool to discourage others (i.e. handing out a 1-star) were deemed more appropriate by the CEO.

Do not try to even make contact with the ruler once you have been banned. It is no use. He refuses to talk. You must “honor thy ban”. In fact, that is the message displayed as justification for your banning when you log into the page. After trying to contact Hicks through countless different mediums (facebook, PD, e-mail, etc.) – you will never receive a response. He just doesn’t care.

If you somehow do get in contact with Hicks during your banning, be prepared to jump through numerous loop-holes...including quizzes that must be answered correctly in order for reinstatement. Some of the questions include “Do you think I’m racist? Yes/No?”; “Do you think you fucked up tonight? Yes/No?”. I wish I could say I was making this up. They are nothing more than a fleeting attempt to display the Ruler’s absolute power at the expense of the helpless user’s dignity. It is truly sick and perverse.

He just doesn’t care. And you’ll never receive this sort of treatment if you stick to basketball-related posts exceeding 15 paragraphs in length. The rest can be dispensed of; particularly those who contribute little to basketball discussion at all.

...Which is ironic given PD’s history.

Today we see the closing of the counting thread. But back in the RATS days, many of the PD old-timers contributed to a thread that consisted of random thoughts. It was unrightfully closed by the unjust RATS admins, and this had many upset for good reason. This was just one of the many reasons for the beginnings of the real Pacers Digest – but it has spiralled out of control since then. Sadly, PD has become RATS...partaking in the exact same abuses of power that drove people away from RATS to begin with. People have been blinded from seeing this, as it was never meant to get to this point...and most certainly, one is to never question the decisions of the CEO.

This post would never be allowed to surface on PD, as the tolerance for dissenting opinions is at an all-time high. But why is this? It is almost like a trip back in time, where one is not to question the absolute power of the monarchy. Haven’t we grown from this? Wasn’t PD’s foundation based in some type of thinking that allowed for the critical voice? It is CRUCIAL to hear these opinions, to always keep the ruler in check. But in the case of Hicks, it has gone unchecked for far too long. He cannot engage with the critical voice without being personally offended or seeing it as a personal attack – so he partakes in childish “silent treatments” and discourages people from speaking in such terms altogether.

I hope that no one experiences a sudden ban without so much as a word from Hicks...or even an attempt on his part to engage in civil discussion. But such is the nature of the beast. You are likely not deemed worthy of “his community” (even if you’ve been around since the RATS days) – and for that, you’re dispensable. This post has not even begun to scratch the surface of the stories which cast Hicks under a real light, as it would take hours to compose such a thing. Those who have experienced the ban understand...and it is necessary to at least put the truth out into the open. Specific stories regarding Hicks “behind the scenes” would sound so farfetched to most, that many would not even believe them if they read the words for themselves. But this is, at least, some attempt to question what PD has become without getting into specifics. For some existing posters and admins, none of this will come as a surprise; but they realize they cannot express these opinions.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress DISSENT, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” – Joseph Goebbels
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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by N8R on Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:27 pm

I thank this post.

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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by Trader Joe on Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:32 pm

Here is something I posted on the PD feedback board before it was deleted by Hicks...

Hicks,

I believe closing the counting thread was the wrong course of action.

By all means, I believe one of the best ways to enjoy life is to be able to laugh at yourself. I do it all the time.

In many ways, Hicks, I believe you have become a parody of yourself the "PD CEO" member status, and in many ways the somewhat disconnected feeling I now receive from this forum have severely hurt my enjoyment of it.

I may receive an infraction or a banning, I don't know, but I write this post more out of sadness than anything else. When I joined PD in 2006 it was because it was a community I felt the admins were a part, above the cliques and other things of that nature. Unfortunately, you say that some of us who have partaken in the counting thread have created these cliques. I must respectfully disagree. The Pacers board has perhaps become most unwelcoming place to post for me. New opinions are often greeted with hostility. Long time posters are allowed to get away with open ridicule of new poster's intelligence.

It is wrong. I am not sure if you don't notice it, or if you merely don't care, but it is with a heavy heart that I feel I must deliver this message. For many years here, I felt that I often saw eye to eye with you, however over the past 3-4 months, I feel like there has been a significant change in the way things are handled.

Certain events and mis-steps are looked over. I can go on the Pacers board on any given day and see demeaning comment after demeaning comment rarely receiving attention as long as certain, what I would call buzz words, are avoided.

I don't know what will become of this post. I don't mean it as a personal attack, and I don't intend for it be viewed as immature, but rather as a public critique.

You have deemed yourself the "PD CEO" fine, it is your board, your baby, you should have the final say, but it is also important to remember that CEOs are appointed in the corporate world by a board of directors, who they are ultimately responsible to.

I feel in some ways PD has lost sight of what once made it great, in order to be ESPN or some other form of news. It used to be a community. I don't get that feeling as much anymore.

And that makes me sad in many ways.

If you wish to punish those with dissenting opinions, then I cannot stand in your way, but I would encourage you to re-open the counting thread so that those who were not involved may enjoy it as they always did.

Sincerely,

Trader Joe
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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by balloon on Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:33 pm

From SiG:

Soup Is Good wrote:. . . since the one with my Q's in it was locked.

Like TJ mentioned, for a few months now I've felt like the driving goals for this forum have shifted away from civility and community. I'm not entirely sure what the new goals would be, but the tone sent from the admins (especially Hicks) has become one of "Don't **** with me" rather than the "Let's try to work this out" of old. I also think Hicks's ability to separate his roles as fan/poster/community member and as admin/moderator have gradually deteriorated. Within the last few months there have been an awful lot of strange incidents where it looked like he was using his powers as admin to settle personal quarrels.

I don't really want to make this a long screed thing, because really it doesn't upset me that much. I have simply lost faith in the idea that the administration of this site was eventually going to return to the more "let's work this out" demeanor. I was riding it out for a while, but it would seem as if the new changes are permanent. I find that kinda disappointing, as while this site will never get as bad as RATS was, and overall it will probably still remain a great site for keeping up with the Pacers w/o having to put up with all the trolling other forums hit you with, the strong sense of community that I sense has been keeping many of us here no longer seems to be important.

Since I'm struggling to describe this, I think I'll simply say that much of what has made me feel alienated here at PD lately can be exemplified by this following statement:

Quote from Hicks:
You may think I'm 100% wrong, and that's fine, but don't waste your time arguing with me on it because it will not lead to anything good.


And really it's not like this is that big of a deal. As PD changes, this may in fact be the best way of administrating things now - I've certainly seen many other successful forums that go about things this way. However, it's not what I always valued so highly about PD, and so I think it's maybe time to just admit that things change, and that the kind of forum I like engaging w/ and the kind of forum PD is becoming no longer matches up.


I see now that TJ's thread was deleted. This is the section of the forum for questions/comments/complaints, no? I thought TJ's post was a heartfelt and civil complaint about the direction of this forum - it's unfortunate that it was deleted.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that it's been a great six years here, and that many of the friendships made here over our years of conversation will be ones I'll always remember and carry with me. So long, all! Stay healthy and live well.

Logging off,

SIG
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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by Pig Nash on Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:42 pm

I find the whole thing really upsetting.
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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by balloon on Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:12 pm

Pig Nash wrote:I find the whole thing really upsetting.
+1
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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by N8R on Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:31 pm

Pig Nash wrote:I find the whole thing really upsetting.

+2
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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by Los Angeles on Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:52 pm

Hey everybody.

I think I need to clear something up regarding the use of the logos that were designed in the latest "PD logo contest".

First, the contest was not Hicks's idea. He was kind of railroaded into it from negative reactions to his yellow PD on textured blue theme. He made that himself and was pretty proud of it, but people really gave him a hard time over it. I think that was not a positive way to start out in creating a logo.

Second, I think due to this awkward way of starting out, the thread wasn't exactly full of "good vibes." But I do recall that he bumped the thread and said that he had "fallen in love" with one of the logos I had created.

Here's his post:
Hicks wrote:
As should be obvious by now, I decided to go with LA's first submission.

I had been undecided, but once I used his for what I originally thought would be a placeholder while setting up the new Front Page (check it out, if you haven't; much improved!), I quickly fell in love with it and decided to make it the official new logo.

Thanks to all who produced content! I love seeing what everyone comes up with!

There's a thanks right there, and the forum software does not show that it was edited (which I think it shows whether a person is an admin or not).

Anyway, I AM really bummed that such a great social scene has had such a dark day. I will continue to participate in Pacers Digest, but I will try often to come here and see what everyone is up to.
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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by Pig Nash on Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:54 pm

Thanks LA.
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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by balloon on Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:10 pm

Yep. LA is right. I missed that post by Hicks, as it was made many days following the submissions. That's my mistake - and I stand corrected. I think what stood out for me during that entire process was a general sense of entitlement, though. I remember checking in on the new logos as they were being submitted and thinking 'how cool' - but never hearing thank you's - only "meh's" or "see if you can do this...".

Glad you made it here, LA.
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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by N8R on Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:25 pm

Very true LA. I too stand correct...actually I stand Erected.

LA I do hope you check it here from time to time and grow to a Madison Square full fledged member (you already are in my heart).
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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by sig on Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:21 pm

Which one was the one Hicks made? I remember liking a recent logo that fit that description. . . are there pics anywhere?

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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by Pig Nash on Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:49 pm

It was just the plain block PD in yellow at the top.
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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by sig on Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:08 pm

Just went back and found that layout - I really liked that one! Can't believe people gave him hell for it.

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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by heywoode on Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:52 am

I feel bad for what had to happen at PD, but really, aren't we realizing that it was a good thing? This place ROCKS for what it is, and PD got rid of the counting thread and all our tomfoolery...

Once the dust settles a bit more, maybe after the season starts, we will be able to enjoy both boards. If it had to happen to make a place like we've got here now, I'm fine with it.
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Re: Pacers Digest: A Dissenting Voice (Finally...)

Post by Hicks on Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:31 pm

Hmmm

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