[CQ-Contest] Driving at 4AM

Michael Coslo mjc5 at psu.edu
Wed Feb 11 10:33:05 EST 2009

On Feb 10, 2009, at 6:59 PM, K0HB wrote:

> From: "W0MU Mike Fatchett" <w0mu at w0mu.com>
>> So far I have yet to hear one compelling argument why logs should  
>> not be
>> open.
> Nor have we seen any compelling argument why they should be not be  
> closed.

This is a good place to jump in with what I see as the essence of the  

We get many points of view, but in the end, it boils down to that  
those who are very interested in open and published logs simply think:

1.  there is a lot of cheating out there. We have to investigate the  

2. Sponsors are complicit in the cheating. We have to be able to  
investigate the sponsors too.

No point in denying it, even for those who in one sentence say that  
they don't mean that, yet in the next sentence talk about certain  
conditions merit further investigation.

If you want it open and published, it is because you do not believe  
that the sponsor will catch the cheating, or worse, you believe that  
they don't care, or yet even worse, they are part of the cheating.

Those who are opposed to the open log issue might very well include  
some who might have at some time cheated.

But they can also include people who have a philosophical problem with  
the issue, and there are a few of us who know it won't work as you  
intend it anyhow.

All these other arguments, such as tying the time of submission to  
cheating, or if they see my log, they'll find out my contesting  
secrets are exposed to the world are just diversions, and not very  
useful ones at that.

Sooooo, lets hypothetically take y'all up on this.

Lets set up a contest, call it say the NAECG (North American Ethical  
Contest Group) For simplicity's sake, we'll have it as a contest in  
North America.

It will be a typical contest, QRP, Low and QRO classes, no assisted  
class, no spotting allowed.

Contact as many sections as possible, a mult per section. Multiply  
sections times QSO's. That's the final score.

Okay, now let's get to the enforcement of integrity.

1 week log submission deadline.
Logs are published online as they come in.
NO allowance for late logs. The process is automatic, the logs simply  
won't be posted nor accepted after the due date. (we're assuming that  
it is a perfect world, and all Cabrillo is the same)

The sponsors are by definition not trustable (elsewise we would trust  
them to find the same  cheating the ad hoc group will), so someone  
needs to check all those logs in addition to the sponsors own checking  

Now I have two questions:

2. How is this system, which will not allow entries that are not  
posted online for the world to see, going to raise the level of  
integrity? Examples of cheating methods exposed by log publications   

2. WHO is going to check all these logs to make sure that the sponsor  
and contesters are on their toes? Ethics and morality demand that ALL  
logs be checked for cheating. A penny whistle station has as much  
obligation to not cheat as the big gun. Any ad hoc log investigation  
committee must check all the logs, or else it is just practicing  
situation ethics of it's own, and therefore a fertile ground for  
corruption itself.

	note: not all cheaters submit winning scores.

This is where I think the whole thing falls apart. I have to beg and  
plead for help, and turnover is pretty high, since for some reason,  
these guys get the impression that contesters don't appreciate what  
they are doing - or worse. And somehow, some way, ad hoc teams are  
going to form that are going to keep everyone's noses clean by  
investigating everyone's logs.

Not much can be gleaned from a log, aside from QSO's. Those are  
checked pretty easily, if boring. If there are a lot of uniques, we'll  
get interested, but beyond that, if the two ops are in each others  
logs, logs aren't the best place to look for cheating. I'm just trying  
to say this isn't the way to go if you want to help. It irritates good  
and honest people, and does precious little to cure anything.

But how can I help ensure integrity, Mike? Glad you asked.

Ham's have a long tradition of self policing. If you know of someone  
who is cheating, say running too much power, using multi when they  
claim single, or using spotting when they shouldn't, let us know. Some  
things are still hard to prove, but we can start looking into it.

Are you concerned? Do something *useful* about it. Have some real  
evidence? Why are you not sharing that with the sponsors? Most of us  
have ways we can be contacted.

But if I were to say the number one thing that Ops should not do, it  
is to spout off about cheating, yet not offer anything constructive  
about it. I had a fellow once who had a long public posting litany  
about a "cheating" Op he didn't name full of accusations against some  
other Ops, including former party administrators. When I contacted him  
for information, like who the Op was so I could pursue the matter. He  
clammed up, saying he "didn't want to cause trouble". I told him he  
not only caused a lot of trouble to begin with, by suddenly becoming  
silent after such a rant, HE was now part of any problem, either by  
lying in the first place or covering up for someone.  What a jerk.

Don't be a jerk, guys.

-73 de Mike N3LI -

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