What ever happened to the Cog?

I don’t usually have time to read a ton on here. But every now and then I look him up to see if there’s any new things I can learn that I missed reading.

Well he got suspended. What gives?

I doubt anyone but TR staff can give the full answer but I would bet it’s because of how he usually conducts himself online.

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How did he conduct himself ?

I am not going to dig through his comment history here and most of the spicy stuff has been flagged already but, for all his knowledge and contributions to exercise science he tends to have a very prickly and rude approach to conversing online. Go peruse the slow twitch thread on the sufferfest if you want more.

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Direct, blunt, and sometimes confrontational. And the confrontational stuff was sometimes dealing with people that did not want to believe or accept facts. And sometimes it was his personality. I for one miss both his personality and knowledge contribution to the forum.

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I’ll just note that the good Dr. has eventually been banned from every forum I have ever seen him on.

There is a pattern of behavior there and it has nothing to do with his knowledge.

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Correct. Extremely unfortunate he chooses the method of discussion that he chooses because he does, in fact, present some of the most straightforward and easy to understand findings surrounding training that actually work.

I’m also appreciative of people being direct and not needing “safe spaces” to speak or interact, but his discussion isn’t even direct - he speaks with a superiority that literally nobody else with similar backgrounds has chosen to speak with. It’s too bad, because i “like” a lot of his posts, but it was only a matter of time.

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Was the account deleted?

Even forum users who have spent most of their intellectual energy parroting his answers have been banned! It’s…

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I always applaud when rude, condescending jerks are removed from otherwise thriving ecosystems like this one.

Speech is free. So are consequences. You can say what you want, but sometimes you can’t say it here.

Also, I think @Nate and the TR team are exceptionally tolerant hosts. He would egregiously denigrate the TR product in this forum. Like, if someone was in my home at my party and constantly criticizing my carpet, my furniture, my family, my taste … and telling the other guests they were stupid. At a certain point, I’d tell them they had to leave.

Such a disappointment … he had/has such an opportunity to be helpful given his obviously world-class expertise. Instead, he chooses to be an insufferable pedant at best … and a belligerently condescending voice clearly suffering from some incredible inferiority complex.

Good riddance.

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Even though Cog harshly reminded me how stupid I was on a few occasions, I still thought he was a net positive contributor to the forum. Rough delivery for sure, but I never saw any blatant personal attacks. I’m assuming (hoping) he did something bad that crossed the line, otherwise it would really suck to exclude someone just because they have an abrasive personality. If society banished everyone who is socially inept (myself likely included), it would be a small and boring “truman show” world.

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Yeah, I see what you’re saying and generally I agree. I have definitely had some questionable moments myself (usually trying to be funny). But two things I have always tried to steer clear of are: 1) personal attacks (besides being a forum rule, I also simply don’t engage in that in real life), and 2) needlessly criticize TR (…if I have constructive feedback about the product, that is one thing, but I agree with batwood, if you’re going to just trash it, why are you here).

I mostly interact with folks here like we were on a group ride, or after a race.

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Agree 100% on the personal attacks and Cog was definitely walking the edge with that. As far as criticizing TR, I think that’s fair game and it happens all the time (and usually in a constructive fashion). I’m a big fan of the TR platform and team and give credit where I see good things, but I think they have created a community where it’s safe to point of shortcomings. Maybe I’m off on that point, but I don’t see a lot of censorship on anything unless it gets personal. It actually seems like the TR staff has considered some of the negative feedback on things like the polarized plans, too much intensity in standard plans, etc. That said, I’m not sure what Cog was saying about TR and it’s not hard to imagine a line being crossed.

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What do you mean? The plans were perfect from the start

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I don’t think you are off. I pointed it out a long time ago but I think they actually want it (again, follow rules, etc.). It is a net benefit, even with dissenting opinions. For example, I have participated in a coaching forum where for a variety of reasons you really couldn’t say anything but ask the coach a question and then fall over yourself expressing gratitude at the shear genius you now have access to. As long as I’m following the (very lenient) forum rules, and the topic is generally cycling, I feel free to discuss anything. I’m no longer on that coaching forum (or another one very similar). But I’m still here, even if mostly lurking these days.

Here is another benefit for them: recently Escape Collective put out this 4-part podcast on the bicycle industry. It is exemplary sport/recreational business journalism.

Even though I didn’t have anything to contribute, where did I go first to see (and maybe participate) in some discussion about the podcast: here. The TR forum. What does TR have to do with Escape Collective media? Absolutely nothing, directly. Same with lots of other things that have nothing to do with TR. It is a huge net benefit for them.

They have fostered the gold standard in online cycling community. Coaches, influencers, and even the Cogs of the world benefit from the forum. Just be nice. LOL.

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I was quite disappointed to be honest, a hero not measuring up left me a special kind of sad. He was dismissive of former collaborators as well. I remember one of the first discussions where the topic of the 20-minute test came up. He claimed he never thought it was good at estimating FTP. When I answered that he covered 20-minute test in his book with Hunter Allen, he said Hunter wrote this and this was obvious/public knowledge. That’s not how it works: if you have a joint publication, your name is on the content and you own it. You can change your mind, but I don’t think it is right to claim he never held that opinion and readers should have magically known.

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Having published a few things, I disagree. Including coauthors crappy ideas or writing oftentimes is a compromise. It doesn’t mean it’s what you personally believe

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He was more talented (or maybe it was just carelessness, but I think talented) at insinuating a person was stupid than to blatantly say it. It was always through strong implication and a tone of abject apathy towards the insulted party.

The only time he was anything but ruthlessly literal was when he was insulting someone. (I still make no firm claim that it was on purpose, but I certainly conjecture that he was aware of what he was doing).

I just wanted to comment on the pattern I saw. I do recall that on at least one occasion I asked him to consider a more empathic written approach, or similar. I don’t recall being him responding kindly to that.

I will say, in the majority of cases, his input on any topic was wise and true, and often ahead of the curve. When it was not, he was likely to be terse in response to any dissenter who could go toe to toe with him, even if the dissenting content was more accurate or more well-considered information.

If his contributions weren’t so often accurate and helpful, I’m sure he’d have been banned far earlier. His ability seemingly not be concerned with having caused emotional pain to others (lack of empathy in writing) was striking.

If it were my forum, I’d have asked him to choose to display more empathy for both the replied-to parties and the readers. (and I’m sure they did attempt discussion with him about his approach or otherwise warn him, not that he didn’t know, since he’s one of the most experienced internet forum users in the history of the world).

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I have been involved in online forums for 25 years and been a mod in a forum that used to be very big. A few badly behaved members can really spoil the good vibe. These members take up the majority of the resources and are constantly pushing everyone’s buttons while not straying too far from the line.

The forum I co-mod has been much more lenient and it cost us good members who stopped contributing. @mcneese.chad and the TR team do a much better job than we have: they allow for all sorts of discussion, including plenty of criticism of their product, platform and some of the people, but keep a good vibe. That’s really hard.

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Having co-authored a few things, too, I disagree (I’m a scientist in an unrelated field): it requires two yes, and if one person disagrees or is not convinced, it is not going in. That has always worked very well for me. If I can’t convince my own collaborators, the people who understand the content the most, I need to work on my arguments even if I am right. That is especially easy when you are only talking about two people of similar stature.

Attacking your co-author publicly is incredibly bad form and brings bad karma with it. People won’t want to work with you if you act like a jerk and are dismissive of their contributions.

Plus, you cannot expect the audience to know internals of that project. If you publish something with others and I refer to that as KWcycling et. al have introduced a 129-minute FTP test protocol, you can’t complain to me I should have known it wasn’t your idea. The proper way would be to point me to some follow-up work (that I can read and cite) where you are self-critical with your earlier work.

Edit: Even if your approach to collaborations is different, Coggan‘s line of argumentation bordered on gaslighting: he could have responded “I see where you are coming from. Yes, it is in our book, but this was Hunter‘s idea and I was never fully on board. Here is why …”

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