Elitism

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ronaldx
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Elitism

Post by ronaldx » Wed 08 Sep, 2010 10:36 pm

It's been mentioned that we come across as quite elitist, what with comparing our scores and seeing whose is bigger and such (ooo err!).

Perhaps despite our efforts to be welcoming, this is putting people off.
How can we encourage people who think of puzzles as just being a bit of fun to come and play with us?

I think we all think they are fun too, though I certainly get some pleasure out of the competitive element.

It's my opinion that we need to talk less about our scores and more about how to solve interesting puzzles.
I'll try to practice what I preach but would appreciate some feedback from other people! Thoughts?

Thanks :)

GarethMoore
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Re: Elitism

Post by GarethMoore » Wed 08 Sep, 2010 11:15 pm

Well I certainly don't think it's even slightly elitist to imply that some people are better (or worse) than others at certain things. That's not elitism; that's life. Elitism is saying that those who perform worse are somehow inferior, and I'm sure no one's ever written that here.

In particular I can't see how there's anything wrong with posting or comparing scores. After all, people still want to be footballers even though they can see that Ronaldo is better than them... and still want to go running even though they're not Michael Johnson. If that discourages you - well so be it.

I think it's only the implication that there is something wrong with being worse that is offensive. So what can perhaps fairly be criticised is people suggesting that a certain score was globally bad, or implying that a low score is poor. Of course I'm sure the posters here were saying that they thought their scores were bad FOR THEM, not universally. I'd say that was pretty obvious though. If you talk to Andy Murray and he says he played badly then really I think we would all know that his badly was our incredibly good! He doesn't need to say "I played badly. For me, at any rate; for you it would have been brilliant - go you!".

Of course it all depends how you write. At worst you risk sounding arrogant, not elitist. Or that's what I think anyway. :)
Last edited by GarethMoore on Thu 09 Sep, 2010 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

detuned
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Re: Elitism

Post by detuned » Thu 09 Sep, 2010 12:10 am

Wasn't Michael Jordan a basketball player? :P

I don't think there has been too much discussion of scores to be honest. In threads whose subject is to do with a puzzle specific competition I think discussing scores made in that contest is fair game. Equally in these threads, there has been a fair amount of discussion about interesting puzzles in the relevant contests, and what people's opinions of them have been. I suppose things are somewhat skewed at the minute by the fact that the large majority of active threads at the moment are to do with puzzle competitions.

So I don't know really. Perhaps there should be a separate beginners/tutorial forum? From my own perspective I think it's good that a healthy competitive spirit is building up, especially in the lead up to the WPC...

GarethMoore
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Re: Elitism

Post by GarethMoore » Thu 09 Sep, 2010 12:19 am

Oops... yes. I meant Michael Johnson. ;) I've edited it now. :)

ronaldx
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Re: Elitism

Post by ronaldx » Thu 09 Sep, 2010 1:53 am

Oh you edited it you cheater! Interesting discussion, thanks :)
I think you're right about the competitive spirit thing, and that suits me too.

It might be helpful tho if we had an intro to some puzzle types with tips?
Perhaps a few that are seen in newspapers and a few that are not?

Think this would help people who arrive randomly and don't want to read about how awesome we are ;)

PuzzleScot
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Re: Elitism

Post by PuzzleScot » Thu 09 Sep, 2010 8:20 am

It might be helpful tho if we had an intro to some puzzle types with tips?
Perhaps a few that are seen in newspapers and a few that are not?
You mean like this? http://www.puzzlewiki.org/wiki/index.php/Logic_Puzzles (A great idea not followed through, hence my thoughts on creating our own one).

The Germans have one too. Despite most of the content being in German, there's enough in English to make it the best relevant wiki I've seen: http://wiki.logic-masters.de/index.php? ... ainpage/en

Nick D gave us a link to Puzzler Media's own encyclopaedia of puzzle types that they publish: http://www.puzzler.com/Puzzles-encyclop ... opedia.htm

ronaldx
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Re: Elitism

Post by ronaldx » Fri 10 Sep, 2010 12:45 pm

Thanks for the links!
I prefer the conversational style that is starting to happen here on the forums to the wiki style of deleting what's been said before... it's more accessible and more complete (and easier to write and understand). So I'm saying I think everyone should be doing more of it ;)
It will certainly help the WPC team if we all know the good strategies.

Parity is often something I forget to look for, I easily did the USPC snake puzzle after I saw that mentioned here but couldn't have before I realised the significance of parity.

dickoon
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Re: Elitism

Post by dickoon » Fri 10 Sep, 2010 8:02 pm

There are a few things I want to say on this; some of them need more careful thought before I say them, if ever.

I'm very glad that the World Puzzle Championships exist and are competitive, and that I have been lucky enough to participate in the past.

dickoon
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Re: Elitism

Post by dickoon » Sun 12 Sep, 2010 6:46 pm

After thought and in the cold hard light of day, I think Gareth gets to the nub of the issue very precisely:
GarethMoore wrote:Elitism is saying that those who perform worse are somehow inferior, and I'm sure no one's ever written that here.
Not yet, but it definitely feels like there is the potential for it to happen - more likely inadvertently and by implication, than anything else. I have definitely observed it in the past, though not from UK mouths; no names, no pack drill, but I'm not intending to single out particular solvers here. On the other hand, this is a statement that has the potential for collateral damage; some day each of us will spot when we've said something that has the accidental capacity to downhearten, myself firmly included.

I will happily participate in discussions of solving techniques where and when I feel qualified to do so. :)

GarethMoore
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Re: Elitism

Post by GarethMoore » Mon 13 Sep, 2010 10:07 am

dickoon wrote:I have definitely observed it in the past, though not from UK mouths; no names, no pack drill, but I'm not intending to single out particular solvers here.
I do know what you mean - if you ever join Nikoli.com you'll certainly be entertained by some of the comments. People will get (say) the 2nd fastest time out of perhaps 1500 solvers and then they'll write a comment along the lines of "Ridiculously slow". I'm sure these comments are just for themselves but it would be easy to take them out of context! ;)

On my own puzzlemix site I tend to get the opposite! People will take (say) an hour to solve a puzzle most people take a few minutes on, then they'll comment "Far too easy!".

Bless.

detuned
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Re: Elitism

Post by detuned » Mon 13 Sep, 2010 11:52 am

GarethMoore wrote: I do know what you mean - if you ever join Nikoli.com you'll certainly be entertained by some of the comments. People will get (say) the 2nd fastest time out of perhaps 1500 solvers and then they'll write a comment along the lines of "Ridiculously slow". I'm sure these comments are just for themselves but it would be easy to take them out of context! ;)
I bet I've been guilty of this often enough in the past, especially with a couple of sudoku. Generally though, I don't think nikoli is particularly bad for that sort of thing. These days I tend to leave myself notes simply saying redo. I suppose as has been mentioned, it's all about the context, and being aware of who is reading what.

Janix
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Re: Elitism

Post by Janix » Mon 13 Sep, 2010 9:09 pm

Errrr

I take great pleasure in reading Motris (http://motris.livejournal.com/) -Thomas Snyder, the best, simply the best.

Need I say more, other than he is the first point of reference I turn to for puzzle solving strategy.

That is what I find really fascinating. Those who can solve puzzles in "the zone".

For example, Sudoku - X-wings, naked pairs, I don't (personally) like this descriptive jargon, but it does describe the underlying logic.

My current nascent interest is in the number of purely logic steps it takes to solve a puzzle, practice and foreknowledge dictates how you deploy the strategy. Then you can work out how long the fastest solvers take to determine each step.

I compete in the Mental Calculations World Cup, where speed is everything, but for certain disciplines techniques can also be different, yet equally effective!

People should celebrate and share their success stories, and it makes me happy that they are happy (I would still like to score better of course...)

Ken

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