Ward Silver hwardsil at seattleu.edu
Fri May 21 13:39:25 EDT 1993

de Ward, N0AX
    Why does a handicapping system remind of Kurt Vonnegut's story "Breakfast
of Champions", in which each person was rated by intelligence.  The most intel-
ligent were forced to wear headphones which emitted piercingly loud noises at
random intervals.  The higher the intelligent, the more frequent the noise in
order to keep you from thinking more than the average allowed.
    I mean, should I be able to beat K1AR or K7SS just because we've managed to
load them down with enough leaden bricks for me to catch up?  Doesn't sound like
much fun for them.  How does golf (not being a golfer) handle the really good
players?  Don't their handicaps top out or something?
    As I mentioned a few messages back, I was in charge of rating the stations
for 1990 WRTC and it was NOT easy.  I seriously doubt that a truly "fair" sys-
tem of station indexing is possible given the number of variables.  We elimina-
ted a number of those variables by bringing all op'rs to one location.  This
helped greatly and a "reasonably" level playing field was obtained.  Not a prac-
tical solution for the rest of us, though.
    Some of the common threads of thought I'm seeing on the subject tend to con-
firm that competition-among-peers is perceived as being of great importance.  The
question becomes, then, how do we define "peers"?
    I'm solicting others to join a loose round-table to discuss and propose a
rating system for contesters, and maybe hardware.  If you're interested, please
drop me a note.  I'll act as moderator and troop scribe.

CQ sprINT!
PS - hope I got the right Vonnegut ;-)

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