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8 years 9 months ago #104782 by manic_dave

dmcdona wrote: Manic Dave - take a deep breath and read back the three posts you penned - aloud, in a quiet room.

Then you will hear, in your own voice, many more insults from your own keyboard than I could ever throw. You want to attack IFAS? You want to demean all the work people have put in to it? Attack me as a past Chairman? Go ahead. But don't get all pissy when its thrown back at you. Don't dish the dirt if you can't take it. And if all you took from my post was the "annoying squeaky bearing" bit, then that speaks volumes about you. As does the fact that you then continue on your DM diatribe yet again.

I recall going to the first SSP - I recall that you were there. I recall that a significant portion of your conversations that I heard were all about your bitterness toward DM and AI. Not about the "lifeblood" of astronomy, the beauty of the night sky, the challenge of splitting a tight double. No - a monologue on the evils of AI/DM. Seriously - stop it for the sake of your health. Its not good for you. That *is* genuinely sad.

As a former Chairperson of IFAS, I actually got off my backside and played my part in furthering the organisation - as did those before and after me. What did you do? What is your contribution? What did you bring to the table? I'd love to hear of all your achievements.

Roy - I was going to write something here in reply to you but I've better things to be doing.

One final point to you Manic Dave. It actually sickens me when someone I don't know or who doesn't know me (at all) calling me "mate". You're not my mate. And I'm not.
Yours
Dave



Seems you just can't help yourself you nasty little man.

I'm not going to bother replying to your idiotic ranting bull.

Perhaps it's time you went back into the background or under whatever bridge you have been festering under.


Seance I think the reason ROA did not talk to you guys is there is no link with IFAS. This is the point. Perhaps you should open the lines with them instead of thinking there is an agenda,

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8 years 9 months ago #104783 by albertw

manic_dave wrote: Seance I think the reason ROA did not talk to you guys is there is no link with IFAS. This is the point. Perhaps you should open the lines with them instead of thinking there is an agenda,


Do ROA want to be part of IFAS? Is there something that they think would be beneficial to them? As far as I can see they are not a club per se at the moment and seem to be doing very well on their own. It can certainly be discussed if they are interested.

manic_dave you also seem to slate IFAS for not wanting to deal with Moore and 'the corporate side' and at the same time want IFAS to go on an all out attack against David Moore.

fwiw the idea of Astronomy Ireland joining IFAS was suggested in the past (probably the ultimate way to expand IFAS!). Nothing came of it due to issues with both sides; e.g. many IFAS reps hold dear the idea that clubs should be democratically ran and some in Astronomy Ireland had issues with other aspects of IFAS. However we've also had David Moore attend and promote IFAS club star parties and I've been invited to AI events to represent my IFAS club and light pollution. There are strong opinions, suspicions and very fundamental differences on both sides obviously, but scope for cooperation in some areas also.

And I think everyone should have a vote in who gets the top job. For example, you want to be chair, you need a nomination from a club and then the nominated get voted on by the members. That way people with ideas for example can look to get elected and make things happen.

That was a demand from some people in Astronomy Ireland as well regarding IFAS. Surely the club with the largest membership should have the most say and appoint the chairperson? Well, no. This misses the point of IFAS being a federation of astronomical societies where each society has an equal say. IFAS is what the clubs want it to be, not necessarily what one club or individual wants.

IFAS is somewhat modelled on the FAS in the UK. An national organisation like the IAS might be more suited to taking a more vigorous role, but the IAS (imo) never really recovered from having a young enthusiastic member get in control, decide it should be bigger, more commercial, have more of a presence and when he didn't get his way formed Astronomy Ireland. Still the IAS would be one logical avenue to take on a role more like the BAA in the UK. Granted the BAA has offices and staff as does Astronomy Ireland so I can't see how the IAS or IFAS could seriously take on that role even it they wanted to.

Having IFAS be more involved in social media is a good point. It's come up at council meetings in recent years and there are several admins on the facebook page now trying to build that up. But this requires people, and more often than not the same people who are running clubs, all voluntarily and with limited time and resources.

Oh and all this talk of closed doors... Most if not all of what gets discussed at council meetings has been discussed on this forum or over tea/pints at starparties. The council is made up of club reps, so ask your club reps what was discussed and ask them to put forward motions. All clubs must be democratically ran so if you have issues with your club you should be able to voice this at an AGM and change things if others feel the same.

Cheers

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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8 years 9 months ago #104785 by dmcdona

manic_dave wrote: Seems you just can't help yourself you nasty little man.

I'm not going to bother replying to your idiotic ranting bull.

Perhaps it's time you went back into the background or under whatever bridge you have been festering under.


Hook, line and sinker...

Go peddle your poison elsewhere.

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8 years 9 months ago - 8 years 9 months ago #104787 by dave_lillis

albertw wrote: Oh and all this talk of closed doors... Most if not all of what gets discussed at council meetings has been discussed on this forum or over tea/pints at starparties. The council is made up of club reps, so ask your club reps what was discussed and ask them to put forward motions. All clubs must be democratically ran so if you have issues with your club you should be able to voice this at an AGM and change things if others feel the same.
Cheers


Well said Al, I've been to many committee meetings in IFAS, never have I come out of one where I said to myself "better not tell the guys in SAC about this", and its all stuff no one would have a problem going public with.

You see, the reason why I asked what is this ROA (no answer yet btw), if they're a club , then like stated above, they can join up with IFAS if it suits them. From what I can see so far, its one of a million facebook astronomy pages. So they ran a "starparty"or whatever people call it near Tullamore recently, why didn't they contact MAC about it.?? that would have been a good opportunity to link up.

and what is this pre-occupation with DM and AI???, , I prefer to use my time getting the scope ready for observing sessions then wasting my time plotting strategies about that guy, you can bet he doesn't devote more then 10 seconds of his time contemplating you, me or anyone else outside AI...

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Last edit: 8 years 9 months ago by dave_lillis.

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8 years 9 months ago - 8 years 9 months ago #104790 by johnomahony
I have to say this one more time. " I go away for 5 years and come back to this :laugh: "

On a positive note, I never logged onto the site as many times in the past two days as I have in the last year. It is great to see all the activity and passion again. I think something like this was long overdue and great reading. :P

There are lots of strong opinions, personalities, assumptions, and examples voiced here about how effective or not we are in IFAS and clubs but there is one fundamental thing missing. I haven't seen any hard facts or data to suggests IFAS and the clubs are effective or not in growing astronomy in Ireland (sorry, I am putting on my six sigma hat now :-) .. We are seeing new non -club starparties and new astronomy forums appearing, so you do have to ask yourself why this is happening, is it a good thing or does it reflect an issue with the current club setup (I don't know the answer).

Like any organisation trying to achieve a goal, there has to be a way to measure if it is being effective in its strategy or not. Otherwise, how do you know if we are doing the right things.

In my personal view there is only one metric that covers the clubs and IFAS (as the umberella organisation) as to effectiveness and that is what is happening to club membership numbers.(Forget the icing on the cake like outreach activities etc. for now -which are important ,but ultimately it comes down to club memberships.) There are three scenarios

1. Numbers are growing nationally - no problem, keep doing what we are doing
2. Numbers are flat and no growth- we may have a problem as people are leaving at the same rate as they are joining. May have to do something different
3. Numbers are declining. - we have a big problem and the strategy has to change. Leave all the opinions and assumptions at the door, deal with the facts and come up with a new plan as a team

What I suggest is that the club reps submit their club membership numbers over say the past five years to the IFAS committee. Let IFAS process the NATIONAL numbers and determine if we have growth or not. This can be done behind closed doors.
If we have hard numbers then we can have a proper discussion

The Lord giveth, the Revenue taketh away. (John 1:16)

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Last edit: 8 years 9 months ago by johnomahony.

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8 years 9 months ago #104792 by dmcdona
That thought crossed my mind too John.

Its easy enough for anyone to come on here and make a sweeping statement like:

Manic_Dave: I propose that IFAS as it is, is no longer relevant


Of itself, that kind of comment is at best, useless and worst, inflammatory. I would have no issue with that kind of comment if it were backed up with some kind of data on *why* IAFAS is no longer relevant. But to simply state that then go off into what needs to be done is missing out the huge chunk in the middle. (Feel free to go back and look at that comment in context.)

Fundamentally, I've no problem with anyone criticising IFAS - as long as it is dignified and constructive with at least some sort of data to back it up (even anecdotal is better than none). But to come on here, have a go and just demean people is bang out of order.

This conversation has been going on for as long as I have been in IFAS - and surely before that too. The AI/DM thing is a waste of energy. For all the talk over the years, what difference does any of it make to that organisation? None. It keeps trundling along. To compare IFAS to AI/DM is a pointless exercise. Apples and Oranges. The key difference is the ability of that organisation to have people working full-time on executing their strategy. IFAS doesn't have that and unless there is some fundamental change, it never will. Any argument around the concept of "AI does this - IFAS must compete with it" is futile. Firstly, why? Secondly, it isn't a competition. Its not Ryanair- Aer Lingus, Apple-Microsoft, Liverpool-Everton.

Over the years there have been many criticisms of IFAS - IFAS, where it can, takes on board any constructive suggestions. Those that only criticise should be called out. Those that criticise because they have hidden agendas should be exposed. Those that constructively criticise should be (and are) listened to. I've seen all three types over the years - only the last sticks around. The others disappear and peddle their misery elsewhere or just disappear..

Back to data - again to quote Manic_Dave: "Star parties are the life blood of our hobby" - on what basis is that statement made? Any cynic would say "hmm, that's someone who like star parties - but what about the ones that don't?".

Presumably "life-blood" means "catering for closet astronomers hoping that a few will join on a longer term basis". As some of the other conversations alluded to - the hardcore observers *will* go to remote locations and do what they love doing. You won't get any mums+dads+kids going along to that kind of event. If you call it a star party - grand. But I don't see that kind of event as "the lifeblood" of astronomy.

Sidewalk astronomy is a huge attraction for the public and hopefully a few converts will ensue thereby keeping the numbers at least in equilibrium. Gathering data on each event will soon show which one contributes to increasing club members and being "the lifeblood".

By the way, just to be clear, I've no problem voicing my opinion in the harshest manner where I feel serious wrong is being perpetrated. Whilst I may come very close to an imaginary line, I believe that I never cross it. And my opinion in this case was harsh because I actually care about IFAS - warts and all - but it is IFAS, it is ours and we either nurture it or let it die. I won't let unsubstantiated criticism go and where people attack those who try, those who contribute, they need to prepare for those people to be defended. Especially if their own contribution is zero. They will be found out, caught and exposed. If you can't stand the heat...

Yes John - data, data, data...

Dave
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