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All comments by Joe Hertz
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I was highly amused that they used those terms.

The “lynch mob” hasn't “lynched” anyone. It exposed them.
The “kangaroo court” isn't a court. It claims no authority to pass or enforce sentences. It doesn't even try to do it without authority (if it did, it would be a “lynch mob”).

Both terms imply that the effort has a greater degree of legitimacy anyone (Boye included) claims to possess.

The only thing the effort in question claims is that its research has resulted in *correct* opinions. The WBF, et al, are the ones with the authority.

The WBF wants people to quit drawing conclusions and forming opinions? In the era of the internet? Why don't we just ignore that man behind the curtain while we are at it too.

What's the internet equivalent of a rotten tomato and how does one throw it?
Oct. 9, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Oct. 9, 2015
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Oh, sweet haven.
Oct. 9, 2015
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So it's not nationalistic stuff.
It's zonally authoritative stuff.
Oct. 9, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Oct. 9, 2015
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I want to know why declarer said “oops” even for a second. The only thing he might have said oops about was his bad wording.

That's the only reason I might give 5, but you gotta convince me. He's not claiming with a low card in the suit the opps preempted if it's not going away.
Oct. 8, 2015
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Yes, this is pretty slanted writing. It took me a minute after reading it to decide if it was meant sarcastically about how badly the review was handled.
Oct. 8, 2015
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The joke I like to make is, “If youre going to huddle, come out of it with a forcing bid”.
Oct. 8, 2015
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Let's try this for size.

Say Poland *was* good enough to qualify without a cheating pair on their squad.

I don't care if they'd win the Gold Medal in Chennai. They still shouldn't be there.

Disagree? Ask yourself this:

Do you believe for a minute that the results of a “clean” European qualifying would have been identical to what they were with the shenanigans going on? Of course not.

Is it possible that some other nation (A) lost out on a BB berth because a cheating pair played against them, but was on the bench against some other nation (B)?

Yes it is. So does that mean nation A should get to go instead of nation B?

No. We don't know who would have made it. It could be A or B. We cannot tell. Therefore the country which cost country A or B by way of the bad acts of some of its representatives should give up its berth. So good luck next time Poland. This was your squad's doing. In order to fix this as best we can, both A AND B must get to go to Chennai. It's your spot that is being given up.

And even this isn't perfect. For all we know, some other nation, C, was the one who would have qualified.

This is the chaos that cheating causes. Nobody should get to benefit from its creation, even if blameless. You can't have a cheating pair on your squad and claim no responsibility. Boye taught us that much.
Oct. 3, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Oct. 3, 2015
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Basic netiquette: You have no more expectation that a message posted on the internet will make it to a specific person than would a have for message placed on a bulletin or bill board.

Reliability may only be assumed with in person delivery, postal mail, the recipient's phone (including SMS, voicemail, etc), or email address.
Oct. 3, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Oct. 3, 2015
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There's one name on it that I know the person is no longer with us. What was weird was how the obituary mentioned the person was a serious bridge player, even though the suspension (BC) was many years ago.
Oct. 3, 2015
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Restating the above:

“Because someone may or may not have gotten onto Italy's BB squad via cheating, it is no other nation's concern (even if they might have to play against someone who cheats in the BB because of it), but it logically follows that the person who felt *otherwise* had best shut up because he lacks strong and real evidence.”

I don't even know where to start with this one.
Oct. 1, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Oct. 1, 2015
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I don't see why it couldn't even be that he really did play the hand…the first time and then gave the story some legs.

This might be a sign of someone insecure, but fishermen are famous for doing this sort of thing.

If he's guilty, then this story “makes sense”, but you can't really use it to draw a conclusion that he is guilty of cheating (lying, sure, but the example was not one where it impacts peoples income, jobs, et al). And if he's innocent, well, then it actually means nothing more than say something about some issues best handled by a psychologist.

So, I hope whoever is on the actual jury *doesnt* read this thread.
Sept. 30, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Sept. 30, 2015
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“In short when you make a decision you have to take into account that you may be wrong and calculate the cost of your mistakes.”

But unlike the decision to sac or bid, the cost of being wrong here is not going to be borne by those making the decision.

Splitting the baby in half was a bad decision. Solomon only used it to gather evidence to make a correct one. Unless Poland's reaction to bring in another pair solves this puzzle for the WBL, so is this.
Sept. 29, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Sept. 29, 2015
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What European nation would have gone to the BB if Poland was DQ'd?

I suspect they might have a tiny quibble with the “Almost no harm” part.
Sept. 29, 2015
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By definition, if you kick a pair out after the deadline to submit your system, anyone who replaces them cannot comply with the deadline.

So either the new pair gets some slack, or the team plays with 2 people less. If they cannot field four players, they withdraw and nobody takes their place.

Slack or nobody. Pick one.
Sept. 29, 2015
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I'm thrilled to see this too, but I wouldn't have called it “proactive”. Boye? He was proactive :-)

For fans of Babylon 5, the quote that comes to mind is:

“The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.”
Sept. 27, 2015
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I was thinking of an OJ reference too.

In the OJ trial, the Los Angeles police proved to be so incompetent that they couldn't even frame a guilty man. In fact, the possibility that they tried to do that (remember Mark Furhman pleading the 5th?) is what the jury referred to when they thought reasonable doubt existed.

So yeah, we all think they are guilty as sin…but that's not a reason to skip to the end as fast as is possible. It's a reason to make sure everything is done correctly.

The last thing I'd want is for someone to be acquitted of an offense like this, not because they were innocent, but because they had no chance to show they were innocent, even as impossible as that sounds to be.

Let them take as long as they want present a defense, as long as they cannot impact anyone else's scores while the charges are pending, I'm good with that.
Sept. 25, 2015
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The problem with that is if your game goes through a period like what baseball or cycling went through, it's not so much a scarlet letter for the criminal but a fashion statement about the era.

It also runs the risk of turning cheaters into Pete Rose or Shoeless Joe Jackson: Getting them more famous for being sanctioned than they would have become had they actually got into the “Hall of Fame”

That, and it feels like Ed Koch's “John Hour” – which 35 years later looks awfully tacky (When he was mayor of NYC, he had the names of anyone arrested for soliciting a prostitute read on a weekly radio show).
Sept. 24, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Sept. 24, 2015
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I'd argue that if the primary method of determining the winner of the competition is subjective (i.e. judges' opinion) it's not a sport.

This would leave out figure skating, diving, ice dancing, gymnastics, cheerleading, a great many X-games, and synchronized *anything*.

I also think all participants must be willing, which leaves out rodeos and hunting (despite it being practiced by “sportsmen”).

So whaddo I know?
Sept. 24, 2015
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Just from the AI of a free bid of 2 over 1, I can't imagine partner passing 2 and being happy to do so. I'd assume this to be the case even in perfect tempo.

The only thing that makes me hesitant to bid 3 over 2 myself is the vulnerability, so yeah, I'd probably not do it. -100 I'm okay with. -200? Not so much.

As much as I really want to say he cannot bid 3, I feel like I'm “shooting it because it hesitated”

I'd like to see that gave partner so much trouble to see if the hand matched up with what the pause implied.
Sept. 23, 2015
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Of course, I read the subject line and thought that the .BWS file format was changing.

Joe's a Nerd.
Sept. 23, 2015
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