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Re: [CQ-Contest] Congrats to Russian DX Contest cracking down on cheatin

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Congrats to Russian DX Contest cracking down on cheating
From: David Gilbert <xdavid@cis-broadband.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 12:00:33 -0700
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
That is indeed a very naive impression.  Honorable perhaps, but naive.  
Many social studies have shown that it is human nature to cheat, 
especially when:

a.  the visibility (the chance to get caught) is low
b.  the penalties for getting caught are low
c.  the perceived personal advantage to benefit from cheating are high
d.  the perceived harm to others is low
e.  the perception exists that others are also cheating
f.   somebody feels that by cheating they are merely compensating for 
some other situational disadvantage or unfairness in the rules

Virtually all of those conditions exist in ham radio contesting and 
believe it or not, there are lots of people in this world who really 
don't care what you think of them as long as they are able to claim they 

Following the rules (i.e., honesty) is not the universal behavior that 
some folks would like to pretend it is, and there are countless examples 
from real life to prove it.  Employee time clocks, tax return audits, 
cameras at traffic stop lights, showing tickets at the gate of an event, 
etc.  Those aren't measures taken to regulate a few renegade cheaters 
... those are measures taken to prevent any one of us from cheating.  
Humans have an incredible ability to rationalize their own bad behavior, 
and we all do it repeatedly.

Ironically, even the premise of "innocent until proven guilty" (often 
raised as an argument against making contest logs public) has no basis 
in morality and is even less justifiable statistically ... it's a legal 
measure instituted to protect individuals against false accusations 
(dishonesty) from other individuals, either private or from within the 
legal system itself (police, lawyers, judges).

I have no opinion whether the new rules instituted by the RDXC committee 
will be effective or not, but I can hardly blame them for trying.  
Anyone who thinks cheating in ham radio contests is restricted to a few 
isolated cases is living in a cave.  Anyone who thinks cheating by a few 
does not diminish the enjoyment or desire to participate for the 
majority of others is delusional.

Lastly, and amazingly, there are many people in this world who will 
cheat to gain temporary fame/glory/ riches even when they know full well 
that the odds are high they will eventually be caught and lose 
everything.  You don't have to look far beyond the sporting or finance 
worlds to see that.

Dave   AB7E

On 2/11/2011 5:18 AM, Shelby Summerville wrote:
> Ken Widelitz wrote: "Actually, these new rules make a lot of sense. The
> requirements are
> minimally intrusive. Much less so than a referee in the shack."
> First, let me say that this is one contest that I've never operated. Second,
> IMHO, the "referee in the shack", should be the operator? If the operator,
> post contest, can't look in the mirror and be convinced that they operated
> totally within the current, published, rules, why bother?
> I've never understood why it's necessary to make rules that deter cheating?
> If there was a high monetary value to winning, I might be able to
> understand? The mere thought of the other participants believing that
> cheating was involved, in winning, should be enough to deter cheating, at
> least for me?
> Naive, probably...cheater, not a chance
> C'Ya, Shelby - K4WW
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