how prevalent is groupthink in today's MMA culture? (WARNING: long read!)

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Dionysian, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Dionysian

    Dionysian Silver Belt

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    INTRODUCTION
    First off, this has nothing to do with who won or who I thought won or how the decision should have gone. Don’t want to argue about that and it’s been done intelligently elsewhere on this forum. This thread is about the REACTION to the fight.

    http://forums.sherdog.com/forums/f2/who-do-you-think-won-jon-jones-vs-alexander-gustafsson-2564389/

    Take a look at reactions in the beginning. The first 10 pages or so. Then take a look at the most recent 10 pages. See that? Why the change? Were Jones fans all asleep at the end of the fight? Or did something else happen that caused a change? And when asking “why the change” in fan opinion over the course of the night (and ultimately the last few days) we should also ask the equally important “why the ignoring?” The ignoring of WILD inconsistencies that is.

    SOME OF THE MOST BLATANT INCONSISTENCIES POST-FIGHT

    1. Fightmetric scores the fight for Gus by a wide margin, then Jones by a wide margin.
    (http://www.mmaplanetonline.com/fishy-ufc-judges-decisions-and-fightmetric-stats)

    RESPONSE MEME: They change it after rewatching. The end.
    MY RESPONSE: Ok, I get that. But have they ever changed anything even REMOTELY as wildly as they did it with this fight? Have they ever subtracted nearly 80 strikes thrown (from just ONE fighter while the other goes largely “uncorrected”)? Have they ever flat-out confused fighter A for fighter B for 25 minutes in terms of respective stats? You can tell me they initially counted some misses and then slow-mo’d to fix it. But you CAN’T tell me it was FIGHTER-SPECIFIC that one fighter’s 80 strikes were imagined while the other fighters strikes were being ignored.

    2. Fighters and fans score the fight for Gus by a wide margin, media scores it for Jones by a OUTRAGEOUSLY UNREALISTICALLY DOMINANT margin.
    (here I would post the thread for media results but it has been taken off Sherdog now… most of you will remember it before it was deleted as showing that 95% of the media was scoring it for Jones)

    RESPONSE MEME: Fans are biased/haters/stupid-disparaging-adjective-here. Media isn’t. The end.
    MY RESPONSE: Think about the margin. This is one of the most damning pieces for people who understand statistics. Think of the most unanimous thing you can think of. Opposition to use of nuclear weapons against Syria maybe. It isn’t 95%. It would almost certainly be less. Why? Because in the real word there is a plurality of opinions. Like in the real world among fighters where it is split more evenly. More on this later…

    3. Dana White says Gus rushed straight to the hospital, meanwhile Gus is getting interviewed by Ariel Helwani.

    RESPONSE MEME: None yet. Mostly just ignoring it happened AFAIK. That or the conspiracy pic for pointing out reality.

    BACKGROUND OF GROUPTHINK FOR A FRAME OF REFERENCE
    We laughed at Saddam saying he had a 99% mandate... yet we DON’T laugh at MMA media going 95% in one direction… interesting isn’t it? Apparently in our little bubble world OUR society is free of coercion/corruption. But despite the Saddam election numbers being absurdly high was there not some internal logic to it? Imagine being in the parliament building when those sham votes were held. Even if you HATED Saddam you’d wonder “Who is doing it so they don’t get shot? Maybe they are all serious? Maybe I’m the only one, the one who is wrong?” You turn everyone against everyone. Don’t want the dissenter to dissent? Make him feel out of place/stupid/ostracized from the group. Because you would sure as hell want to fall in line, lest you get singled out. Dictatorship groupthink was based on violence. Pretty basic stuff, but there are also things like post-Stalin USSR tactics like demotion of position, getting sidelined from avenues of power if you didn’t “play the game”, etc.

    SO WHAT'S THE POINT? WHY DOES GROUPTHINK MATTER IN MMA?

    What is my point with the above paragraph? Groupthink doesn’t require handcuffs and gunshots. Capitalism has enforced groupthink too. Money is the most obvious example. Though there are often conceptual groupthinks as well, such as no one saying “Iraq might NOT have WMD” before 2003… because both the major parties agreed that it did therefore groupthink was enforced… the fact was never even questioned before war broke out.

    But yeah, money is the obvious tool now in monopolistic-MMA just like violence was the obvious tool under communism/dictatorship. Do not forget the fighter opinions… they CAN’T be controlled as easily both in terms of the individuals in question being fighters/fans rather than working for press credentials and scrums and favorability from an organization exclusively AND their medium (twitter) is more open-ended, hence harder to revise (and they don’t communicate with Zuffa for pre-approval on giving their opinions like much of the media). Which is why 66% of fighters thought Gus won (and why on Sherdog 60% of fans thought Gus won). 66% is a REALISTIC result on an either/or opinion. Nevermind if it was for Gus or Jones, that isn’t the point here. The point is 95% almost NEVER is legit in polling. Like I said before, anyone at all who has even studied basic polls should know this.

    Which brings me to my point. Groupthink and MMA. Look at the shift in rhetoric after A) the media results came in and B) fightmetric “corrected” stats in the form of a complete 180 unprecedented in the sport. The media bias tends to encourage groupthink. As are online posters (intentionally). Tow the line or be ostracized. The same point as sham elections… perceived legitimacy. But in chasing ABSURDLY unrealistic inflated-sham legitimacy they also delegitimize themselves to rationally-thinking people (might be the reason why the thread showing that 95% has now been deleted actually).

    CONCLUSIONS

    There are two options you can take on this. Either you deny money is an influence in the world, like a 15 year old who has never worked a job in his life (some on Sherdog fit this I’m sure, but most don’t), and post the conspiracy jpg. Or you can acknowledge that if it walks like a duck (absurd media subservience to who they think they are supposed to favor) and talks like a duck (49-46 + post-fight comments + almost certainly a wave of corporate-sponsored forum posts on page 1 of as many threads as possible that initial night to combat the AVALANCHE of unanswerable questions that happened after the fight) and smells like a duck (unprecedented 180 on fight stats in favor of the gatorade/nike sponsored fighter) then it might just be a duck. Maybe money miight just have a influence in the real world! /conspiracy.jpg

    The point of this thread is to discourage groupthink. Think for yourself, not because of a bunch of people in authority told you to think a certain way. Sad that sometimes it seems as if UFC fighters (employed by Zuffa) were less susceptible than sheepish fans (who, since not employed by Zuffa, would theoretically be LESS susceptible to towing the corporate line). But MMA fans have again and again proven how sheepish they are. The ignoring of OBVIOUS questions + this whole farce being reduced to internet name-calling and labeling of “haters” and “nuthuggers” and other juvenile bullshit. Don’t get me wrong… I’m sure fighters will be pushed as well as much as Zuffa can manage. But the truth was on display before that could happen… and let me tell you… fighter opinion results weren't a 95% rubber stamp of approval for the guy with millions upon millions of dollars in marketing and big-name endorsements.

    Think clearly and let’s talk facts rather than one-liner bullshit or name-calling in this thread. Is groupthink applicable to MMA world and monopolies over industries in general? Let’s discuss where MMA ultimately is at and where it is headed… while this thread still exists anyway, since it is quite possible a mod will delete it and prove that internet discussions are also susceptible to wanting to groupthink sadly. Yes, they want press credentials too and money means something in this world of ours.

    Thoughts? Logical arguments as to why you think I am just paranoid or wrong? Anything you think I missed or should be added?

    TLDR: I think groupthink is VERY prevalent today... specifically because it is operating under monopoly conditions. Zuffa has applied it beautifully in silencing critics of obvious lack of independence on the part of the media and other officials not employed but Zuffa that are nevertheless subservient under most conditions. Groupthink is prevalent both in that it is intentionally engineered from the top (see ludicrous media results) and how quickly it is propagated amongst fans (witness Sherdog on a daily basis and how quickly it reacts to narrative shifts given to them from above, even if utterly illogical). Groupthink exists in in ALL societies, not just your fantasy-land communist-Other perceptions. Money determines influence (MMA media tends to endorse the obvious marketing favorite), despite 90% of Sherdoggers thinking that that means “conspiracy” when they clearly never looked up the word “conspiracy” in a dictionary. Finally, I hope this website errors on the side of free discussion rather than corporate subservience and censorship and doesn’t delete this thread like it does with nearly every thread that poses questions that DON'T feature the words “hater” or “nuthugger” 10 times in every paragraph.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  2. mrsinister

    mrsinister Brown Belt

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  3. LikeItIs

    LikeItIs Red Belt

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    Reading a paragraph is hard.
     
  4. Alexandergreat3

    Alexandergreat3 In Fedor We Trust, amen™

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    "Group think" (aka being a sheep and follow the herd) is not limited to just the media telling people how to think.

    It also exists among the people or groups of people (aka peer pressure).

    In simple term, these are the people who are in groups called bandwagoners, nuthuggers, haters, and so on.
     
  5. Dionysian

    Dionysian Silver Belt

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    Really no shorter way to put it. I left out plenty in the OP too so it wouldn't be too long. Left out Rogan implying imaginary injuries based on zero medical evidence when Jones started to lose, left out links to online "fans" trumpeting those imaginary injuries, left out links to repeat-themes posted always on the first page from white belts with 0 post history that have since disappeared from the website, left out Zuffa's slow-mo clips omitting most of the most uncomplimentary shots for the champ and always showing him landing shots, left out historical examples of groupthink in the corporate world, etc.

    Tried to shorten as much as I could, just wanted to get some good conversation going and with a topic like this you have to expound on it a little bit. Looking at the post below me I guess it is obvious that the only replies I'll get are stupid one-liners... exactly what I wanted to avoid.
     
  6. Joe

    Joe :l

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    is this about how youre a better fan than everyone or better than the average fan?
     
  7. Emjay

    Emjay And again and again and again and ag.. zzzzzzzz

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    Let people like what they like and be influenced by what they're influenced by.
     
  8. crowded

    crowded Red Belt

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    I think I'll see what everyone else's opinion of this thread is before I comment.
     
  9. solrae

    solrae White Belt

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    TLDR: I think groupthink is VERY prevalent today... specifically because it is operating under monopoly conditions. Zuffa has applied it beautifully in silencing critics of obvious lack of independence on the part of the media and other officials not employed but Zuffa that are nevertheless subservient under most conditions. Groupthink is prevalent both in that it is intentionally engineered from the top (see ludicrous media results) and how quickly it is propagated amongst fans (witness Sherdog on a daily basis and how quickly it reacts to narrative shifts given to them from above, even if utterly illogical). Groupthink exists in in ALL societies, not just your fantasy-land communist-Other perceptions. Money determines influence (MMA media tends to endorse the obvious marketing favorite), despite 90% of Sherdoggers thinking that that means
     
  10. LongTermLurker

    LongTermLurker "Et tu, Brute?" Platinum Member

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    Your point on statistics is nonsense.

    Journalist are not the same as a random sample. By definition them being more similar to each other than a random out is expected.

    Just an FYI: your MMA Planet link doesn't go anywhere.


    My opinion: This was not a hard fight to score. Scored it live in a pbp...3-2 Jones. Great fight, look forward to a rematch.
     
  11. TreasDiggler

    TreasDiggler Green Belt

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    Nothing is free from influence be it money or anything else, our opinions are shaped that way. I don't feel the sport or Zuffa is controlling any opinion. This particular fight happened to be that close. Period. The UFC has had their poster boys mopped up before. They might not like it but those business opinions still don't interfere with the outcomes of matches. Everyone has their own opinion whether it's a bandwagon jumper or a nut hugger, its still an opinion. This MMA media is made up of a collection of fans who for the most part have been watching this sport since it's inception. I don't think money has to do with any of it. Just some well rounded knowledgable opinions.
     
  12. Dionysian

    Dionysian Silver Belt

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    You implied it above so now I want something explicit.

    What specifically about MMA journalists makes them MUCH MUCH MUCH more likely to vote for Jones more than a random sample pf fighters/fans/human beings?
     
  13. soiltostone

    soiltostone Blue Belt

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    I tried my best to read that, but it's a bit incoherent. When you say groupthink do you mean conspiracy? Because it seems like you're saying that someone out there wants us to think something to achieve some kind of personal gain (a conspiracy), rather than that people's opinions are highly malleable in certain group contexts (groupthink).

    And quite honestly it seems a bit paranoid and tangential.
     
  14. Dionysian

    Dionysian Silver Belt

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    But that doesn't really make sense. Why the HUGE discrepancy between the two? 95% of fans didn't think Anderson would beat Bonnar.

    Again, I think I need to stress this. 95% is an absolutely ridiculous and unrealistic margin. You could ask people about if slavery should be illegal and it might be less than 95% if it was anonymous.


    Especially with what we should all be able to agree was a CLOSE FIGHT. Anything exceeding 80% is next to impossible minus other factors.

    Not being a jerk by posting definitions but this will come up frequently I guess so I'll just kill it here and post the definitions of each to clarify.

    con
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  15. Whitestallion

    Whitestallion Purple Belt

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    Your version of group think in this case is flawed.

    Jones won 2. 4. And 5. The. UFC can't stop someone from getting KOd, or SUBd. They've had their champions of PPV lose in the past and keep pressing forward.
     
  16. KneetoLiver

    KneetoLiver Brown Belt

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    I know your point is the shift in reactions.


    however, the zuffa-money- cover-ups -deletions-conspiracy implications notwithstanding, believing that Jones won rounds 2,4,5 wasn't an absurd reaction before the reading of the judges scorecards, immediately following the reading of the judge's scorecards, nor is it an absurd reaction now after most have carefully scrutinized each round for the 20th time.
     
  17. LongTermLurker

    LongTermLurker "Et tu, Brute?" Platinum Member

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    Not more likely to pick Jones...but less likely to be random. They should be more consistent.

    They are not suitable as a sample. So you can think they are "fishy" but stats have nothing to do with it. Nothing about their cards needs to reflect any normality.
     
  18. phatron

    phatron Black Belt

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    You really don't see a vast difference between polling 100 journalists who are getting paid (IE working at the event) and who have a much broader knowledge base of the sport (besides sherdoggers of course) and polling drunks fans, sober fans, women, children, old people, etc who all had different vantage points?

    You don't think there can be a vast difference in judging between a group of people who is sitting there taking notes and calling the play by play on a laptop....and some fans that probably missed half a round taking a piss, another half a round in the beer line, and 10 different sequences of combos because they were chugging their beer?

    Just like using a sherdog poll as a stat for the stance of the whole fanbase of mma doesn't work since sherdog is made up of more hardcore fans who make up a much smaller portion of the fanbase. Most people who watch MMA at bars have absolutely no clue wtf sherdog is.

    To put sherdog in perspective....Dana white has 2.7 million twitter followers, sherdog has 270k members.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  19. Bollman

    Bollman Brown Belt

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    Truth, often times, is stranger than fiction.
     
  20. Dionysian

    Dionysian Silver Belt

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    Don't care which rounds Jones won. That isn't the point. 95% consensus doesn't happen in non-controlled environments in non-blowout fights. Look at results in marketing-free fights. Find me one in a non-blowout fight approaching that number... one at odds with other sources. That is a challenge to anyone in this thread.
    Not sure where the bold came from. My comparison was between pro MMA fighters vs jouirnalists. You can't play the experience card unless you are saying fighters know better. But again... you guys are missing the point. Jones can be argued to have won. I don't care what rounds you scored for Jones, just like you don't care which rounds I scored for whoever. I'm not arguing who won. I'm arguing that clearly 95% is an unnatural number and why it happened. I care about 95% being an absurd number to come to in a close fight. IMPOSSIBLE in the context of a competitive fight.



    Never said saying Jones won 2 4 and 5 is an absurd reaction. Clearly I am miscommunicating here because you aren't the only person to think this.

    But the result was that they did pick Jones. Nearly unanimously. And I think your assertion about consistency is largely refuted by a wealth of data on media scoring. Check out my challenge above. Post it if you have it. The true consistency they have is financial dependence on an industry, not opinion on judging criteria. Hence the landslide completely at odds with every other source on the planet that saw a close fight.
     

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