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All comments by Larry Lang
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Greg,
I understand that you and the committee did look into it, in considerable detail. And I'm not belittling your conclusions.

But what I don't see is a path forward so that members can help out. I see the same proprietary attitudes as before. Do you disagree?

And I don't know exactly what I want, but I think the membership needs some assurance that Hartman will be held accountable. To an outsider it looks like business as usual. And I think the membership deserves to know that this was taken VERY seriously, so we can rest in peace. I keep hearing stories from some directors indicating that very little of the attitudes have changed since then, but I must admit that's hearsay.

So what are we to believe?


Dec. 9, 2015
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“With open source you often get what you pay for.”

Nicholas, if I remember correctly, you were one of the primary authors of the RFP (an unacceptable conflict of interest in my mind). And the RFP required only using open source development tools to save cost. That showed chutzpah – using a capricious requirement to save $20K on a $2 Million contract. Weren't all the software development tools you used open source?

I guess I would rather have something for nothing than nothing for $2 million dollars.

Sometimes you seem to forward the view that no one really messed up except perhaps the lawyers. But the project Managers were all hired (and left) under Hartman and his boys, weren't they? Isn't Hartman known for listening to those who agree with him and tuning out all other voices?

You can't have it both ways.

Without assigning blame, you and Hartman were put together and the results were not good. It doesn't really matter who was at fault. Why should the ACBL repeat the same adventure?
Dec. 9, 2015
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My understanding is that the ACBL is now focused on other technology upgrade tasks, and nothing will happen. They can't afford it. The technology committee has not posted notes for about 6 months.
Dec. 5, 2015
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Barry,
I agree with your statement. But “not going to happen” is not a good excuse.

Actually, the ACBL holds onto their “proprietary” code so tightly that it's clear, “nothing will ever happen”. And that's not a good excuse either.

Are they afraid the WBF will steal their code? It doesn't make sense to protect antiquated code, which most of the technology committee members feel is beyond redemption. (It is okay to hide components of the program that deal with financial transactions, and to worry about hackers).
Dec. 5, 2015
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Don Alexander,
I agree.
Who would guess that the whole matter could be simply swept under the rug by convening a technology committee headed by the CEO (Chief Excessive-spending Officer)


Dec. 5, 2015
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Greg,
That WAS your face. As I am so rudely reminded when I look in the mirror – things change.

By the way, if you really want to encourage people to change their default icon. Start them out with a picture of Barrack Obama. After 2 months, if that doesn't do it, switch them over to George W Bush.

I guarantee, they will change their icon.
Nov. 3, 2015
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Thank-you Ian,
You look like most of my Bridge partners.
Nov. 3, 2015
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I was taught to be humble. So posting a profile would be in violation of my belief system.

I don't see any reason to post my resume. My credentials do not necessarily make me smarter than anyone else – even though I'm an incredible specimen of humanity. And the same works in reverse.

Further more, I think Greg Humphreys should be banned from BW for posting such a misleading picture.
Nov. 3, 2015
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Bridge itself is not just one game, but many different games, depending on who you are and who you play with.

Our club allows us to look at our convention card. And often when we do, it takes us 10 minutes to find the little scrawl that covers our bidding situation. I think we should convert to microfiche.

Master points were never meant to be a true representation of skill. Just as in life, you eventually get something just for showing up.

Oct. 17, 2015
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I think it's a simple problem. Maybe I'm missing something. Poll some people, similar to Dave Corn, but give them the hand without mentioning the pause. Usually the answer becomes obvious.

Dave Corn is not obligated to bid differently than he normally would, or thinks he normally would.
Oct. 10, 2015
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Just to clarify. We get one Regional a year in Eastern Washington. I'm not sure that having one Regional every other year would increase the turnout.
Within 100 miles we used to have 5 sectionals a year, now we are down to 3. We lost a sectional last year when the Bridge matron of Walla Walla was too feeble to continue on.
We have our own answer for knockouts. The first session of our sectional is a handicapped knockout. We get about 7 teams.

We are one of the few areas that favors night games. When morning games become the favorite – it's time to kiss your clubs goodbye.

We did try to take bridge to schools, but you must be a certified school teacher. We doubled our existing current membership with Easybridge! – but the bridge players die faster that we can replace them.

The population of our area has probably doubled or tripled, certainly past 100,000 – while the Bridge membership has been stagnant. I've probably recruited 40 or more players in the past 5 years, but the well is running dry.

One thing I am sure of, it will not all take care of itself by thinking happy thoughts.

You can recognize the trend for what it is and start moving people to the life rafts, or you can call on Poseidon to come save the ship. But sticking your head in the sand won't do it.
Sept. 17, 2015
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I'm from the West side of the US, and we're burning up over here. Glacier National Park has very few glaciers left. Each year is the hottest year on record world wide. Yet still, about 25% of westerners are in “Global Warming” denial. They don't think it exists.

But even more incredible are those that deny that Bridge is dying. By my calculations, 2 years from now is the beginning of the end. I would look forward to saying “I told you so.” over and over again during the next decade, but what's in it for me?

Not having Bridge tournaments will not make them more special, it will just make them go away faster, as people turn to other activities more quickly.

Peg Kaplan, if I knew you personally I think I would like you. But I really disagree with your views that somehow there won't be a problem when most of the world's remaining Bridge Players are sedated in Nursing Homes, trying to escape out the window when the attendants aren't looking.

Sept. 17, 2015
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If I see two boards in a row with 13 card suits in each pocket, I am relatively certain the deals aren't random.
I don't mind Ed's lack of intelligence. But I don't like the word stupid.
Aug. 11, 2015
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Under some circumstances, yes. However, you must call the director first, explain why he deserves it, and then get a ruling.
July 24, 2015
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I'm selfish. I want to suck them in. I admit it.

If the ACBL just said, “This is the way it is, we can't do much about it.” there wouldn't be much I could say. I'd find something else to complain about.

After thinking about it some more. We are all a different person than we were yesterday. Essentially, we are all slightly maimed and re-instantiated every time a brain wave pulses through our system at approximately 60 times a second.

Bridge as I knew it (and preferred it) is already dead. There were some good things about Bridge in it's prime – and some bad things, just like there is now. I can say the same about myself.

So RIP – Bridge. And welcome to the new age.

But I like the red sun analogy much better than Paul's
July 22, 2015
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John,
You may be right. Here are the assumptions from my admittedly simple minded model.

I assume that all ACBL members are competitive until they are exactly 83, and then they immediately quit or die.

Obviously this is over simplified. Some Bridge players are active and competitive into their 90s and some start losing it at 60 or less.

I assume there are no bridge players below the age of 63. Obviously this is not true either, but the number of players younger than 63 almost falls into the category of statistical noise.

I assume that the distribution of ACBL players from the age of 63 to 83 is uniform. And I assume that anyone who wants to to take bridge up again will be retired by age 65, and then they'll either take up the game immediately, or not at all.

Thus the age of Bridge players currently ranges from 63 to 83. Assuming uniform distribution, next year 5% of current ACBL members will either quit or die. Each year the width of the age range decreases, causing the annual rate of attrition to increase.



July 22, 2015
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Alvin,
I have similar views, although 20 years seems too close. Most of my friends think I'm absolutely nuts. I suspect I'll die just in time.

When Man reaches immortality, welcome to Hell. I don't know who to worry about more – the Planet or Mankind.
July 22, 2015
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Here is another scary thing. if my model is right. In two more years, successful recruiting ends.

Meanwhile, 5% of the ACBL membership dies each year for the next 3 years. Two years following that, 6% die each year. Then 7% for 2 years. From then on, the kill rate rises 1% a year. After it gets to 12%, it increases even faster, until it takes off like a rocket.

Why am I so morose? In the last 4 months I've lost two of my favorite contemporaries. Dick Yarington and Rod Caldwell from Seattle. They were fairly young by our standards. I assumed we had a good 20 more years to “battle in peace” at the Bridge Table.

Even though we didn't see each other that often, I'll miss them.

And – it's hot outside.

July 21, 2015
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When I first started in College, cards and Bridge were very popular. It seemed to knock off all of a sudden, although maybe my memory over exaggerates the situation.

Here is some more anecdotal evidence. 1970. I was the youngest person in a unit consisting of perhaps 150 people.

Now it is 2015. We have about 150 people in our Unit even though our city has at least tripled in size. I am now the 3rd youngest of 150 people.

This suggests the BIG BAM theory to me.

It is similar to Global Warming. Up until now there has been an uneasy feeling that it might be happening, but no one is sure, or can envision what it might look like. But now, evidence is starting to flow in that is a little bit scary.

The same is true in our Unit. Up until now we were all uneasy about demographics, but it really didn't affect us much. I sense that we are about 2 years away from “the Great Awakening” when demographics become very real to us, and Bridge Players begin to melt away.
July 21, 2015
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If you are right, and I think you are. The average recruitment age will rise each year, and eventually we're done.

I'm going to go out on a limb, and say the bottom of the barrel is 63 years old, with many outliers underneath. If we take 83 as a reasonable age to check out, the average age would be 73, and it will rise by 1/2 a year every year.
July 21, 2015
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