Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
Locked
User avatar
Not That Kind of Christian!!
Yuna
Posts: 847
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:36 pm
Location: Manhattan

Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:47 pm

It has recently been brought to the attention of the board that PACE president Trygve Meade, while acting as Chief Administrator of the hsquizbowl.org discussion boards and prior to his election as PACE president, used his permissions to view a private HSAPQ forum hosted on the PACE-owned discussion boards. PACE does not condone his actions, and does not believe that he intended to actively harm HSAPQ, but does acknowledge the responsibility delegated to the administrative staff to police content in all of the forums on this site. Trygve will be issuing an apology to HSAPQ for accessing their content without their permission, and has agreed not to return to the HSQB administrative staff following his term as PACE president. PACE is pursuing no punitive action against Trygve, but is actively reviewing the role of the HSQB administration team in order to prevent any future incidents.
Hannah Kirsch
Brandeis University 2010
NYU School of Medicine 2014

"Wow, those Scandinavians completely thorbjorned my hard-earned political capital."

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:50 pm

So, after hearing about twenty times over the last month that something was about to happen "tomorrow" or "in three days" or "this week," including being told last night that there would absolutely definitely positively be an e-mail sent to HSAPQ by noon today, which did not happen, I believe it's time to post a few things in public. Anyone who has heard my pleas for some resolution on this matter can attest to the fact that I gave lots of people second, eighteenth, and thirtieth chances to end the discussion in a quiet, behind-the-scenes way, which were routinely not taken.

Trygve did a lot more than just use Dwight Wynne's permissions to read forums that he was not supposed to (an action which has never, in fact, been either a responsibility of the forum administrators, nor an actual thing that any of them besides Trygve did). Trygve repeatedly lied to Fred Morlan and to PACE as a whole when asked why he was using the transfer-permissions feature; he maintained that he was doing whatever "checking on the Fall Novice forum" is, until Dan Goff produced server logs showing that, on each of his sojourns as Dwight Wynne, Trygve had gone exclusively to the HSAPQ forum and not to the Fall Novice forum.

In an attempt to forestall me from uncovering any more evidence of misbehavior in the forum admin logs, Trygve tried to have me removed from the board staff. As he had already resigned from the staff himself (fifteen minutes after Fred informed him that his use of transfer-permissions feature was under investigation), he of course had no legitimate avenue by which to fire anybody. Trygve and his lackey Andy Watkins came up with a plan to bar "heads of question-writing companies" from the staff, and mailed hand-picked staffers about it in secret, using as their rationale an incident from April in which I deleted a post that mentioned HSAPQ with the consent of the poster, that Trygve falsely portrayed as happening without that poster's consent.

Despite no formal arrangement or historical custom giving PACE jurisdiction over individual members of the board staff, Trygve called a PACE executive board vote on his proposal. This was done at the strange time of 11 AM on a Tuesday morning, August 17, when, conveniently, members of the board supporting Trygve were online for some reason, while others were either not available or, in the case of some PACE board members I talked to later (Donald Taylor), had no idea any vote was even going on. Only at the behest of Dan Goff, who was about to complete his investigation, was the vote tabled while already in progress.

Two days later, still before anyone outside of the PACE executive board or the HSQB staff had heard about any of this, the above public announcement from Hannah appeared, informing us that "PACE is pursuing no punitive action against Trygve."

In the ensuing month, nothing, officially, happened. I am told that various people in PACE expressed displeasure at the fact that their president had engaged in this sort of malicious behavior and that they had been spoken-for without being consulted, and were shouted down by Trygve's disciples. Nobody at HSAPQ or the board staff was given any official word as to what was going to happen next; even a confirmation that Trygve and Andy would stop trying to fire people from the staff on their own accord was not forthcoming (and, as of right now, still has not been issued). On August 25, the board staff and HSAPQ each sent letters to PACE outlining what concrete steps they wished to see taken to resolve the issue; neither letter has received any response whatsoever. For what it's worth, the demands largely reduced to "the board staff wants a reform committee set up that will define the relationship between the board and PACE and the future of the chief admin role," and "HSAPQ wants PACE to acknowledge that Trgyve spied on us, lied about it, and tried to fire an admin to cover it up, and wants PACE as a group that exists outside of Trygve's personal rule to condemn those things," respectively.

I am also privy to rumors about various individuals in PACE throwing HSAPQ, the board, the reputation of PACE, anybody who questioned Trygve, and high school quizbowl in general under the bus, in some sort of fight to the death to preserve Trygve's position. Since these are rumors only, I will not name those people in public, but I will ask those who know who they are what it is that they hope to gain by selling out everything PACE is supposed to stand for in order to defend Trygve Meade from the consequences of his own behavior. I particularly take offense to one of Trygve's younger proteges, whose own record of accomplishment in quizbowl is thin at best, verbally annihilating Fred Morlan at a PACE meeting for trying to reach some sort of resolution besides "give Trygve candy and flowers." The only words that come to mind are: how dare you. You have absolutely no idea what Fred has done to make the NSC field what it is, nor what he's been working on in West Virginia. If the rest of PACE had one tenth the will to actually contribute to quizbowl that Fred does, there would be vibrant teams at five thousand high schools in this country. That some jackass social-climber would even think of talking to one of the few people who has actually accomplished something meaningful for PACE in that way is an infuriating example of the sort of upside-down world that Trygve's regime creates.

When I left PACE in July, I did so because I had predicted, during the PACE elections, that Trygve would continue in PACE the pattern he showed as HSQB chief admin and in his other quizbowl endeavors: no particular concern for good quizbowl, no ability to relate to other human beings honestly rather than as objects to be used for some personal end, endless attempts to promote his own confidants while destroying his arbitrarily picked enemies, acting autocratically and refusing to communicate with those not in his circle, etc. I had no desire to be any part of Trygve's delusion that quizbowl is some sort of social chess game, as opposed to a fun and rewarding activity for students. Trygve has, to the surprise of everyone who didn't listen, done exactly what I said he would do, and exactly what he has always done. PACE is suffering tremendously for it.

I still think that the NSC is going to be a great tournament this year, mostly because noted good editor Rob Carson is editing it as opposed to the person who is, for some reason, voting on the PACE executive board as the "vice president of editing," Andy Watkins. I still think teams should go, and I hope that my condemnation of the small faction that has hijacked PACE for its bizarre ends is not taken as a condemnation of the true members of the group, nor of the event that is in the hands of those members. I hope to return to PACE once this year of horrors is over and help heal the wounds which Trygve and his lapdogs have so callously caused. But, for now, I still must speak as a member of (if not always on behalf of) the forums staff and HSAPQ, and at a minimum what I must say is that it's ridiculous to try to fix a bad situation with a private letter making reasonable requests, and not even be given the courtesy of any response.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
Sir Thopas
Auron
Posts: 1330
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:10 pm
Location: Hunter, NYC
Contact:

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Sir Thopas » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:04 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:That some jackass social-climber would even think of talking to one of the few people who has actually accomplished something meaningful for PACE in that way is an infuriating example of the sort of upside-down world that Trygve's regime creates.
How do you know about this? These are proceedings which come with an expectation of privacy for all involved.
Guy Tabachnick
Hunter '09
Brown '13

http://memoryofthisimpertinence.blogspot.com/

User avatar
millionwaves
Auron
Posts: 1360
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:35 pm
Location: Urbana, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by millionwaves » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:37 pm

HSAPQ will have a letter from PACE tomorrow; throughout the entire process, we've been very concerned with everyone in PACE having a say, especially after some initial missteps along those lines. This has required two meetings, an informal vote, and a formal vote, so I hope it will be apparent to HSAPQ why it's taken so long and they'll accept our heartfelt apologies. Many of the members of PACE are also in HSAPQ, so it's fair to say that a substantial fraction of HSAPQ has always known what's going on with the process in PACE, and, indeed, were participating in it.

I'm not speaking as the President of PACE in the rest of this post.

Many of the things that Matt has said are untrue, or have a grain of truth but have been so exaggerated that it's nearly impossible to tell that they ever did. I don't think it's appropriate for me to say anything more publicly about this, except to note, specifically, that he had a personal letter of apology from me, for the actual wrongdoing that was made clear to the public about a month ago, within two days, as did HSAPQ.

I'm unsure whether or not HSAPQ or the board staff endorse what Matt has just said; as a former member of both of those groups, I hope they'll clarify that point. It's my hope that they'll show much less of an inclination to make up or exaggerate whatever facts they please and hope that, by conjuring up some moral outrage, people will believe them. Again, those are my words, not PACE's.
Trygve Meade
Illinois, ACF

Above the Star-Apple Kingdom

User avatar
Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite
Auron
Posts: 1113
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:46 pm
Location: Fairfax, VA
Contact:

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:44 pm

Is there any connection between this incident and the delay in resolving the situation involving Amit?
Harry White
TJHSST '09
Virginia Tech '13
Tournament Database Search by Team
Will run stats for food

User avatar
millionwaves
Auron
Posts: 1360
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:35 pm
Location: Urbana, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by millionwaves » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:53 pm

We expect that to be publicly announced here in the next couple of days. It isn't a complete causation, but it certainly didn't help.

EDIT: Someone pointed out that that looks like I'm trying to minimize the role my own actions played. I certainly didn't intend that; what fault lies with me certainly contributed to the incident "not helping," and I'm sorry about that.
Last edited by millionwaves on Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Trygve Meade
Illinois, ACF

Above the Star-Apple Kingdom

User avatar
Not That Kind of Christian!!
Yuna
Posts: 847
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:36 pm
Location: Manhattan

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:21 am

The following is PACE's official statement in response to Matt's post and in summation of our resolution of the complaints against Trygve:

PACE has already resolved this matter internally, as was mentioned above, through a multi-step process. We apologize for the delay, which was due to exhaustive discussion amongst PACE members as to how best to amend the first post made in this thread. To wit, Trygve has been officially censured and will no longer pursue nor be permitted to pursue elected office in PACE once his current term is up. He will additionally recuse himself from all discussions relating to Matt Weiner in order to ensure that the personal history between himself and Matt will not affect PACE's policy toward HSAPQ or Matt personally. PACE considers this matter closed. The executive board would like to request that Matt Weiner desist any further defamation or questioning of PACE's decision. Anybody with further questions may contact myself or Trygve privately. Otherwise, rest assured that PACE business and the production of the NSC are continuing as normal.
Hannah Kirsch
Brandeis University 2010
NYU School of Medicine 2014

"Wow, those Scandinavians completely thorbjorned my hard-earned political capital."

User avatar
Auks Ran Ova
Forums Staff: Chief Administrator
Posts: 4022
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:40 pm

Not That Kind of Christian!! wrote:The executive board would like to request that Matt Weiner desist any further defamation or questioning of PACE's decision.
This request, while well within the executive board's rights to make in general, comes extremely close in this setting to violating the board rules about non-staffers telling other posters how to post. This is not an official warning, but it is a reminder, coming from my position as a board administrator.

For reference:
the rules thread wrote:9) If you are not a moderator or an administrator, do not tell anyone how to post on these message boards. Do not publicly call them out on breaking the rules and do not tell them not to disagree with you. If you do not like someone's tone, it's permissible to tell them that you don't like it, but you cannot tell them not to post that way in the future.
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
Member, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer and Editor, NAQT

User avatar
cvdwightw
Auron
Posts: 3446
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Southern CA
Contact:

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by cvdwightw » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:37 pm

Sir Thopas wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:That some jackass social-climber would even think of talking to one of the few people who has actually accomplished something meaningful for PACE in that way is an infuriating example of the sort of upside-down world that Trygve's regime creates.
How do you know about this? These are proceedings which come with an expectation of privacy for all involved.
I would make some sort of joke about the HSAPQ forum if it wasn't so not-funny.

Over the past month, PACE tried numerous times to resolve this matter internally. Each time, nothing productive was accomplished as the people who voiced any displeasure with the matter or the ensuing cover-up attempt were shouted down (as much as one can be shouted down online) by people who believed nothing wrong had been done. Furthermore, any lull in the discussion was treated as if the matter had been solved, not as if anyone should act upon whatever resolutions or suggestions had actually gotten through the attacks. The level of acrimony on both sides did and continues to reach unheard-of levels.

While I do not endorse any of the actions Matt Weiner has unilaterally taken to distort the facts, the fact remains that a small matter that should have been handled internally by PACE, the board staff, and HSAPQ instead turned into a massive flame war that interfered with the activities of all three organizations and has now invaded the sphere of a public that, by and large, did not have strong feelings about the incident. As a PACE member, I am saddened that individuals within the organization continue to take any criticism of their positions or their actions as a personal affront and respond in kind. This applies not only to Trygve's supporters but those that have gone beyond rational argument in attacking Trygve's poor defenses. Furthermore, the fact that members of PACE view their organization as worthy of a privacy double standard, knowing full well the amount of quizbowl gossip and the rate at which said gossip passes, continues to shock and appall me. I do not care if PACE wants to discipline me for these public comments or even remove me from the organization for sharing "PACE internal secrets," whatever those might be. Flame away, PACE. I will not regret this post in the morning.
Dwight Wynne
socalquizbowl.org
UC Irvine 2008-2013; UCLA 2004-2007; Capistrano Valley High School 2000-2003

"It's a competition, but it's not a sport. On a scale, if football is a 10, then rowing would be a two. One would be Quiz Bowl." --Matt Birk on rowing, SI On Campus, 10/21/03

"If you were my teammate, I would have tossed your ass out the door so fast you'd be emitting Cerenkov radiation, but I'm not classy like Dwight." --Jerry

User avatar
Not That Kind of Christian!!
Yuna
Posts: 847
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:36 pm
Location: Manhattan

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:14 pm

I don't think you're going to be the target of flaming, but I would (not as a member of the exec board, just as myself) like to say a word about privacy (noting that I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "double standard," so my apologies if I misinterpret).

To say "the quizbowl community gossips, so there should be no expectation of privacy" is to fatalistically give in to a practice that I for one have never much appreciated. Furthermore, I think this is a practice that degrades the professionalism of any quizbowl club or organization; we would do well to stop it for that matter alone. Why not instead hope that individuals will have the integrity not to gossip, or at least to restrict it to the latest amusing thing that Bruce Arthur posted on Facebook?

Secondly, that PACE should have an expectation of privacy, despite what Trygve did, is in no way shocking to me. Trygve's actions were his own, not endorsed or in any way previewed by PACE. PACE and Trygve (or the executive board and Trygve) have been conflated quite often lately. I find the claim that because of what happened, PACE should no longer expect to be able to keep its proceedings private, and that it almost doesn't have the right to ask for privacy, disrespectful to other members of the organization.

And finally, Dwight, your point about not taking criticism as a personal affront is one that quizbowl--and, well, most organizations--is constantly in need of and should constantly keep in mind. Thanks for making it.
Hannah Kirsch
Brandeis University 2010
NYU School of Medicine 2014

"Wow, those Scandinavians completely thorbjorned my hard-earned political capital."

User avatar
Skepticism and Animal Feed
Auron
Posts: 3170
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:25 am

Speaking as a complete outsider to all involved organizations, it looks to me like quizbowl is experiencing its own Stanford Prison Experiment, except they're roleplaying as corporate bureaucrats.
Bruce
Harvard '10 / UChicago '07 / Roycemore School '04
ACF Member emeritus
My guide to using Wikipedia as a question source

Nick
Wakka
Posts: 184
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:41 pm

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Nick » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:58 am

millionwaves wrote:We expect that [Amit/NSC situation] to be publicly announced here in the next couple of days.
Any updates?
Nick Clusserath
Dorman/Clemson/Rutgers
Academic Competition Enterprises
acequizbowlcamps.com

User avatar
Rococo A Go Go
Auron
Posts: 2244
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:08 am
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:08 am

Let me interject here to say that this incident (and the aftermath especially) is troubling for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that PACE and HSAPQ are having a very hard time communicating with each other, and are apparently at least close to (if not already) moving in different directions. The quizbowl community doesn't need this at all. Whatever the problem is here (it had to start somewhere...why would Trygve want to look at the HSAPQ board in the first place?), I'm really hoping this gets resolved quickly, and in an amicable way that leads to these two organizations getting back on the same page and working together to promote good quizbowl nationwide.
Nick Conder
Louisville, KY

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."--Eugene V. Debs

User avatar
The Time Keeper
Auron
Posts: 1541
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 9:26 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by The Time Keeper » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:24 am

Hilltopper22 wrote:Let me interject here to say that this incident (and the aftermath especially) is troubling for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that PACE and HSAPQ are having a very hard time communicating with each other, and are apparently at least close to (if not already) moving in different directions. The quizbowl community doesn't need this at all. Whatever the problem is here (it had to start somewhere...why would Trygve want to look at the HSAPQ board in the first place?), I'm really hoping this gets resolved quickly, and in an amicable way that leads to these two organizations getting back on the same page and working together to promote good quizbowl nationwide.
As ridiculous as this entire ordeal has been, nothing that has gone on has affected or will affect what either group does in terms of writing, hosting, and promoting good quizbowl. I mean that not only in terms of both groups maintaining such as their ultimate goal, but specifically in any practical or logistical way related to the production and running of tournaments. No one has siphoned off time from their question writing in order to be dumb about dumb things on the internet. Any fears about any of this having the slightest impact on real world operations are completely overblown.
Pat Freeburn - No particular affiliation.

User avatar
Rococo A Go Go
Auron
Posts: 2244
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:08 am
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:07 am

Pat Freeburn wrote:
Hilltopper22 wrote:Let me interject here to say that this incident (and the aftermath especially) is troubling for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that PACE and HSAPQ are having a very hard time communicating with each other, and are apparently at least close to (if not already) moving in different directions. The quizbowl community doesn't need this at all. Whatever the problem is here (it had to start somewhere...why would Trygve want to look at the HSAPQ board in the first place?), I'm really hoping this gets resolved quickly, and in an amicable way that leads to these two organizations getting back on the same page and working together to promote good quizbowl nationwide.
As ridiculous as this entire ordeal has been, nothing that has gone on has affected or will affect what either group does in terms of writing, hosting, and promoting good quizbowl. I mean that not only in terms of both groups maintaining such as their ultimate goal, but specifically in any practical or logistical way related to the production and running of tournaments. No one has siphoned off time from their question writing in order to be dumb about dumb things on the internet. Any fears about any of this having the slightest impact on real world operations are completely overblown.
That's good news.


Edited for better wording
Nick Conder
Louisville, KY

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."--Eugene V. Debs

User avatar
Skepticism and Animal Feed
Auron
Posts: 3170
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:50 am

Pat Freeburn wrote:Any fears about any of this having the slightest impact on real world operations are completely overblown.
At least not until HSAPQ collapses because Trygve sold its trade secrets to competitors and/or Japan.
Bruce
Harvard '10 / UChicago '07 / Roycemore School '04
ACF Member emeritus
My guide to using Wikipedia as a question source

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6363
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:17 pm

Morraine Man wrote:
Pat Freeburn wrote:Any fears about any of this having the slightest impact on real world operations are completely overblown.
At least not until HSAPQ collapses because Trygve sold its trade secrets to competitors and/or Japan.
"Pyramidal questions? Why did we never think of that?!"
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Dresden_The_BIG_JERK
Tidus
Posts: 709
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:56 am
Location: Lowell, IN
Contact:

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:23 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
Morraine Man wrote:
Pat Freeburn wrote:Any fears about any of this having the slightest impact on real world operations are completely overblown.
At least not until HSAPQ collapses because Trygve sold its trade secrets to competitors and/or Japan.
"Pyramidal questions? Why did we never think of that?!"
There's definitely an I.M. Pei joke in there somewhere.
BJ Houlding

Winnebago '04
Saint Joseph's College '08
IHSSBCA Certified Moderator

User avatar
Auks Ran Ova
Forums Staff: Chief Administrator
Posts: 4022
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: Announcement regarding the chief administrator

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:08 pm

Dresden_The_Moderator wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
Morraine Man wrote:
Pat Freeburn wrote:Any fears about any of this having the slightest impact on real world operations are completely overblown.
At least not until HSAPQ collapses because Trygve sold its trade secrets to competitors and/or Japan.
"Pyramidal questions? Why did we never think of that?!"
There's definitely an I.M. Pei joke in there somewhere.
Perhaps it is hiding in China.
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
Member, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer and Editor, NAQT

Locked