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Re: Bakersfield, another C&J failure

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  • Mike Barkley
    On Tue Oct 26, 2004 12:52 pm Tom Condon wrote, [lotsa stuff]. With all due respect, yeah, that s what I used to think. Even so, although I doubt I ll ever see
    Message 1 of 51 , Nov 1, 2004
      On Tue Oct 26, 2004 12:52 pm
      Tom Condon wrote,

      [lotsa stuff].

      With all due respect, yeah, that's what I used to think.

      Even so, although I doubt I'll ever see a public answer to these few
      pertinent questions, I still ask them:

      1) How many formal scoring complaints are filed with the C&J community
      per year?
      2) How many of these have EVER produced an upwards adjustment of scores

      Zero? Zip? Nada? Zilch? That's some jim-dandy complaint system ya got
      there, you betcha!

      Tom repeats the C&J policy that minimizes public discussion of C&J
      problems. Most every organization that I'm a member of that allows me
      a vote or collects money from me cannot maintain that kind of
      "information firewall" that allows it to work in secret. It's part
      of the disease that infects SPEBSQSA. If the USA government were like
      SPEBSQSA it would run something like the following:

      --We are allowed to vote for our local mayor and board, from a panel of
      candidates proposed by the village elders. Outside candidates are
      allowed but discouraged.

      --The local mayors, combined with existing state governor & cabinet plus
      all the past governors, become the state legislature and may then vote on
      the new state governor and cabinet from a panel of candidates proposed by
      the current state governor and cabinet and past governors - "go along
      to get along" is a prerequisite for nomination. Outside candidates are
      allowed but have a snowball's chance in ...

      --The President and his Cabinet and Congress would be elected by (ratified
      by, actually) the state legislatures from all states, but nominees are only
      those proposed by the current President and his Cabinet and Congress -
      "go along to get along" is a prerequisite for selection. Outside
      candidates are not permitted. The political word for it is "politburo".
      No wonder they like working in secret.
      - - -
      Yes, singing better was always the best option, at least up until a few
      weeks ago.

      But to see how far this malignancy goes, I tried an end-run on the
      scoring problem with multiple contests, only to be ambushed at the last
      minute by some sort of SoCal / District Management coalition hiding in the
      tall grass until the last minute at the HOD. Oh well.

      And I tried it head on. Y'all have an awesome "sensory-impaired" C&J
      cheering section out there. While few will have carried objections as far
      as I have, I suspect all get shouted down or run out of the Society, or
      both. In this way you maintain the integrity/insularity of the C&J system.
      And dwindling membership rolls? Suit yourselves.

      btw, a friend of mine used to be a C&J judge. He says the political
      nonsense within the C&J system is as bad as, if not worse than, that
      outside of it and he took it quite a bit longer than he could stand it before
      bailing. There is no accountability to the membership whatsoever.
      Circles within circles.

      Many have written me that the right way to effect change in the Society is
      to remain a member and work from the inside. No, I don't think change
      is possible. It's too calcified, the unlimited fealty too strong, the
      levels of management too distant from the membership and too entrenched,
      and the method of electing Society governance morally indefensible. Others
      have written me that the Society is better off without me and please go
      away and stay away. They have a point.

      All the best,

      --Mike Barkley, former SPEBSQSA member
    • Mike Barkley
      ... . . . ... Not exactly. ... No. Not ever. ... Not exactly. ... No. Not necessary. Rather, allow for the opposite. ... No. Not necessary. ... Not
      Message 51 of 51 , Nov 30, 2004
        Kevin wrote:

        > From: "Kevin Keller" <kkbari@w...>
        > Date: Tue Nov 23, 2004 6:15 pm
        > Subject: C&J issues
        . . .
        > I'm really trying to put together the whole enchilada. According to Mike,
        > it seems that the C&J program should:
        > a. Fix scores after the contest is over

        Not exactly.

        > b. Fire any judge who doesn't get it right

        No. Not ever.

        > c. Fix scores during the contest

        Not exactly.

        > d. Have all judges be perfect in their scoring

        No. Not necessary. Rather, allow for the opposite.

        > e. Spend their lives watching and calibrating

        No. Not necessary.

        > f. Allow competitors as many chances to make a cut [sic]

        Not exactly.

        What I am seeking is:

        1) improve competition opportunities for quartets at the Division level.
        2) provide additional competition opportunities for Division level quartets
        that missed the District cut for *any* reason.
        3) install on-site real-time scoring adjustments for across-the-board
        scoring anomalies that exceed a tolerable threshold
        4) directly elect all District and International officials and board members,
        and limit voting in the House of Delegates to chapter delegates.

        #1 & #2 are easily accomplished, and they work in LOL. The votes against
        it ranged from puzzling to silly.

        #3 can be a simple spread-sheet function. It can be accomplished in a number
        of ways. Here's two:

        a) Suggested from time to time on the Harmonet, although this is the
        first time by me: for when there is more than a single-judge panel,
        throw out the lowest and highest score and replace them with an average
        of the remaining scores in that category, or if no scores remain in that
        category, replace them with the combined average score from all the other

        --From now on, when penalty points are assessed, the total of them would
        be placed on the Official Score Sheet with the name of the contestant
        being scored (as in "scores shown include a penalty assessment totaling
        XX points).
        --Upon applying for a contest, a contestant would submit its latest
        contest percentage score after adding back any penalty points, and the
        name of the contest where it was earned - this is an auditable honor
        system; a new contestant would so indicate.
        --Upon completion of the contest the spreadsheet would exclude contestants
        with the largest positive and the largest negative variance from the
        previous scores and exclude new contestants before the final step,
        --If more than 5 contestants remain, the spreadsheet would compute the
        average variances for all remaining contestants excluding current penalty
        points, and if it were more than 1% positive or 2% negative, the
        inverse of that average would be applied across the board to all final
        scores before subtracting any penalty points. A copy of the calculation
        would be furnished to all who ask.

        Both of these methods could be used together, and would tend to smooth
        out anomalous, larger variances while leaving minor ones alone.
        - - -
        #4 is tangentially relevant to Kevin's point about responsibility:

        (Kevin also states:)

        > As for Mike's lost efforts in Bakersfield, it is not a C&J issue. It is a
        > District Policy issue. If LOL has the policy, then C&J supports the policy.

        This understates both the power and the responsibility of C&J management.
        The vote in Louisville was 15 to 1 against the policy. It was given great
        weight in Chuck Hunter's memo to the FWD HOD. If it had been 15 to 1
        *in favor*, the measure would have passed. Your position was not neutral,
        it was critically persuasive.

        The National Board and Management (including C&J management) is not
        accountable to the membership. That should be changed.

        > I don't appreciate the inflexibility on Mike's part, but I think its
        > ok to challenge the system.

        I'm inflexible? You're the one defending the status quo, not me.
        - - -
        As things stand, Bakersfield will be the last contest where I am familiar
        with the field, and thus someone else will have to carry any reform baton
        after this year. It won't die, it will probably retreat into the usual
        beaten, whimper mode. Make no mistake, if you think there's no problem,
        then you haven't been listening to all those other people out there who
        have timidly raised their hand about it shortly before the mob of you
        took 'em out and hung 'em.

        --Mike, former SPEBSQSA member
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