NAQT Security Discussion

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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by Frauny Von Smiley » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:23 pm

Regardless of whether or not certain schools have particular cultures which foster attitudes that make cheating more acceptable, we do know that NAQT has had a significant problem with question security, and we should try to keep this discussion about ways to improve the system. I admit that I don't have any ideas of my own, but this discussion is too important to devolve into an argument.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by gaurav.kandlikar » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:52 pm

I'm happy to see my teammates, friends and quizbowl mentors (and family!) finally recognized for their achievements, albeit in a really shitty way.
rhentzel wrote:I have started this thread to gather suggestions for preventing (and/or detecting) unauthorized access to questions. We assume the focus will be on NAQT's administrative website, but any of NAQT's policies are theoretically up for discussion.
Why does NAQT not authorize useraccounts to different "events" (or sets) rather than difficulty/levels/whatever it is right now? This system seems to work fine outside of NAQT -- I have (more or less) full access to sets I am working on at any given time, and absolutely zero access to sets I am not working on.

Why not implement a similar system within Ginseng? An event admin can invite accounts, set differential authorizations (eg. submit questions, edit questions, etc.). Maybe this would be tough with HS sets with so many writers and so many sets, but it should be easy to do for SCT/ICT, no?
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by SmallerMegalomaniacalPandaOnAbsinthe » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:29 pm

Auroni,

My issue with this is that he actually was in India for a long time. For quite a while, there was no reliable internet connection. There was nothing deceitful about that.

Marshall,

I will admit that I do not know much of the particulars concerning this string of wrongdoings in the quizbowl community. I will also admit that his negligent misstatements and conduct as to matters of quizbowl are believable, even for me. Yes, my brother is more dear to me than most things on this earth. However, your post does not make me feel hate. What I feel is a profound sense of despair in knowing that an intellectually gifted person like yourself harbors such odious feelings towards Shantanu based on what I believe is an incorrect characterization. This is exacerbated by my intuition that the quizbowl community at large feels the same way, and is even further exacerbated when I recognize that I probably cannot do a thing to fix it.

I maintain that you are incorrect in your extension of these habits to things outside of quizbowl. I would venture to say that your characterization of him is dehumanizing. What I know is that when I was finishing middle school (Shantanu's senior year/NSC 2008) I saw very little of Shantanu. When I listened through his bedroom door, I would hear only Bach's Magnificat accompanied by his sobs. I know that when I would practiced guitar or double bass, he would chant to me The Man with the Blue Guitar in desperate hopes that I would start reading poetry. I know that after he came back from spending a month in Italy (the first of a number of trips), I saw in notebooks his attempts at translating passages from Dante's Inferno, along with other Italian poetry.

I know that while employed by a private equity firm, he was in such distress over precisely those mathematical models which you mentioned (I will not pretend to understand what they are, I probably never will) that I initiated a heated fight about his dedication to doing good work for the firm. I have a scar on my face to prove it. It is unfortunate that the experiences which have played a large part in my life are reduced to mere puff and even plain falsehoods in your eyes.

He may have committed some grave injustices in terms of packet submission and editing duties, but I think it is also a grave injustice to call him a compulsive liar when the representations unrelated to quizbowl are all factually correct. It remains unclear to me that he had a truly 'disastrous effect' on your team 'across many years' when my understanding is that 2012 was the only year where this was the case.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:33 pm

post of the decade.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by marnold » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:35 pm

the cheating was almost just made worth it
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:35 pm

Just because you got sucked into his vortex of insanity and are defending it right now doesn't mean that more unbiased people who are intelligent and rational are going to put up with Shantanu's bullshit. He lied all the fucking time to a bunch of people about a bunch of things, and I think everybody who dealt with him seriously in quizbowl has some story about something ridiculous he told them that proved to be wildly off the mark. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but open your eyes dude.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:36 pm

SmallerMegalomaniacalPandaOnAbsinthe wrote:Auroni,

My issue with this is that he actually was in India for a long time. For quite a while, there was no reliable internet connection. There was nothing deceitful about that.

Marshall,

I will admit that I do not know much of the particulars concerning this string of wrongdoings in the quizbowl community. I will also admit that his negligent misstatements and conduct as to matters of quizbowl are believable, even for me. Yes, my brother is more dear to me than most things on this earth. However, your post does not make me feel hate. What I feel is a profound sense of despair in knowing that an intellectually gifted person like yourself harbors such odious feelings towards Shantanu based on what I believe is an incorrect characterization. This is exacerbated by my intuition that the quizbowl community at large feels the same way, and is even further exacerbated when I recognize that I probably cannot do a thing to fix it.

I maintain that you are incorrect in your extension of these habits to things outside of quizbowl. I would venture to say that your characterization of him is dehumanizing. What I know is that when I was finishing middle school (Shantanu's senior year/NSC 2008) I saw very little of Shantanu. When I listened through his bedroom door, I would hear only Bach's Magnificat accompanied by his sobs. I know that when I would practiced guitar or double bass, he would chant to me The Man with the Blue Guitar in desperate hopes that I would start reading poetry. I know that after he came back from spending a month in Italy (the first of a number of trips), I saw in notebooks his attempts at translating passages from Dante's Inferno, along with other Italian poetry.

I know that while employed by a private equity firm, he was in such distress over precisely those mathematical models which you mentioned (I will not pretend to understand what they are, I probably never will) that I initiated a heated fight about his dedication to doing good work for the firm. I have a scar on my face to prove it. It is unfortunate that the experiences which have played a large part in my life are reduced to mere puff and even plain falsehoods in your eyes.

He may have committed some grave injustices in terms of packet submission and editing duties, but I think it is also a grave injustice to call him a compulsive liar when the representations unrelated to quizbowl are all factually correct. It remains unclear to me that he had a truly 'disastrous effect' on your team 'across many years' when my understanding is that 2012 was the only year where this was the case.
What the actual fuck!

EDIT: "He's not a bad person! He's a crazy person who punched me in the face (?) because of economics!" Ah, now I'm convinced.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:43 pm

I will also admit that his negligent misstatements and conduct as to matters of quizbowl are believable, even for me. Yes, my brother is more dear to me than most things on this earth. However, your post does not make me feel hate. What I feel is a profound sense of despair in knowing that an intellectually gifted person like yourself harbors such odious feelings towards Shantanu based on what I believe is an incorrect characterization.
So, you're despairing because people believe things that are true.... Right....
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:01 am

Dude, cut the crap.

Do you seriously expect us to change our opinion of Shantanu's cheating because of your little episode of Quentin Tarantino Does Northern Exposure? You seriously expect us to have sympathy for a known compulsive liar and cheat, because he punches someone else in the face over economics, or cries over classical music and Italian renaissance art for hours at a time? What a ridiculous notion. Do you think, somehow, these excessive histrionics somehow humanize your brother in a way that makes us excuse his pathological lying? And furthermore, are we supposed to now somehow have sympathy for you just because you clearly worship him in every way, even literally excusing him giving you a black eye with "you just don't know him like I do?"

If this was a serious post, I honestly advise both you and Shantanu to get psychiatric help. But we've seen enough excessive false erudition from Shantanu that we're not exactly inclined to be charitable to this kind of grandiose posturing. Grow up.

EDIT: I am not a doctor.
Last edited by Sima Guang Hater on Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:10 am

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:If this was a serious post, I honestly advise both you and Shantanu to get psychiatric help.
Urrgh, I was considering saying something like this but would've felt kind of like a hypocrite... also I am not a certified medical person, etc.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by The Atom Strikes! » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:16 am

Does anybody else suspect that the person posting on here as Ketan is actually Shantanu? The straining-toward-erudition vocabulary, purple prose, and histrionic descriptions are all very much like his. And sock-puppeting as a younger sibling is exactly the sort of thing that he would do.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by I'm a goff (in case you couldn't tell) » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:47 am

For what it's worth, the IP address that the posts in this thread came from is owned by the University of Sussex.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by The Atom Strikes! » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:53 am

Ah, well, perhaps the siblings simply write alike and I am wrong. If this is the case, my apologies to Ketan.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:59 am

And to drive home just how big a problem Shantanu telling falsehoods is, in the IRC a bunch of peoples' reaction to Henry's conjecture was "I totally wouldn't be shocked if Shantanu did something like that," not "that would never happen." That's how much your brother's done to shatter any faith in his honesty among us.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by Unicolored Jay » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:07 am

To go back to the original topic: I believe a system that only accepts people who themselves ask to work on a particular set, such as the one Guarav proposed, is probably the best idea. Since I'm not a writer for NAQT, given what I've read about Ginseng in this topic, I think a complete redesign of the writer model might be in order; I don't know if this current model is functioning as it should, even after the preventive measures taken after the discovery of John Alman, etc., since accidents like Sameer Rai's are still popping up and it can lead to potential problems discussed in Joe Nutter's post.

Wouldn't it also make more sense to restrict access to question sets based on individual cases rather by assigning people into groups?
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:15 am

A good idea might simply be to have a legally binding contract that authorizes financial proceedings (i.e. a suit in court) against a writer if they are found to have done this (establish a standard of proof beyond all reasonable doubt, of course). A bunch of companies have a clause like that in their NDAs.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by SmallerMegalomaniacalPandaOnAbsinthe » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:31 am

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:Dude, cut the crap.

Do you seriously expect us to change our opinion of Shantanu's cheating because of your little episode of Quentin Tarantino Does Northern Exposure? You seriously expect us to have sympathy for a known compulsive liar and cheat, because he punches someone else in the face over economics, or cries over classical music and Italian renaissance art for hours at a time? What a ridiculous notion. Do you think, somehow, these excessive histrionics somehow humanize your brother in a way that makes us excuse his pathological lying? And furthermore, are we supposed to now somehow have sympathy for you just because you clearly worship him in every way, even literally excusing him giving you a black eye with "you just don't know him like I do?"

If this was a serious post, I honestly advise both you and Shantanu to get psychiatric help. But we've seen enough excessive false erudition from Shantanu that we're not exactly inclined to be charitable to this kind of grandiose posturing. Grow up.

EDIT: I am not a doctor.
Last time I'll mention this, I promise.


In light of what I learned yesterday in IRC, yeah, he lied to you guys and exaggerated things. This was not reflective of his general conduct with other people. I do not particularly worship him. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on the basis that he hadn't expressed this kind of behavior in situations where I could see it or hear of it. If in your eyes caring about learning things (perhaps frighteningly so) is histrionic behavior, fine.

You have to understand that I was mostly addressing the particular things cited. While many other claims may have been false or absurd, none of those were. I cannot defend some of what I heard about yesterday.

If quizbowl wants to remember him as a liar, fine. But at least have the respect for truth that he didn't and acknowledge that he was a cheater who actually accomplished a ridiculous number of things. Obviously that second part is not going to be verbalized, especially given ICT 2012.

edit: I maintain my post was in good faith, although badly timed. There's no crap.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:35 am

Good faith! LOL!

In seriousness, I've never had a problem with Shantanu (he politely greeted me a few times and the only tournament I worked on with him was fine), and I can't blame you for defending your brother.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:11 am

So, I want to know why NAQT thought it was a good idea to let people see the first 40 chaaracters of every (or any!) question if they chose to do the right kind of search. What did you expect to happen? Why would such a gaping security flaw even be put into Ginseng in the first place?
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:21 am

Alliance in the Alps wrote:To go back to the original topic: I believe a system that only accepts people who themselves ask to work on a particular set, such as the one Guarav proposed, is probably the best idea.
This is worth thinking about, but for many NAQT writers, some portion of the questions we write aren't written for any particular set. We write them, and then they might get used months or years later. Even when we do write questions intended for a set, they may not get used then.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by minusfive » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:25 am

Ukonvasara wrote:What the actual fuck!
This made my day.
List of Fighting Spirit characters wrote:A good idea might simply be to have a legally binding contract that authorizes financial proceedings (i.e. a suit in court) against a writer if they are found to have done this (establish a standard of proof beyond all reasonable doubt, of course). A bunch of companies have a clause like that in their NDAs.
In Canada, section 209 of the Criminal Code ("Cheating at Play") would likely cover this situation (as long as the cheating had some monetary gain-like even the trophy, and definitely the added competitiveness of a resume). It's designed for cardsharps (is that even still a thing?), but criminal sanctions could result from cheating.

Is there anything like that in Illinois? Oh American law students, sing of the anger of mighty Akhilles...
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by jonpin » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:30 am

Horned Screamer wrote:So, I want to know why NAQT thought it was a good idea to let people see the first 40 chaaracters of every (or any!) question if they chose to do the right kind of search. What did you expect to happen? Why would such a gaping security flaw even be put into Ginseng in the first place?
An uninformed theory: You're trying to find a specific question for editing purposes. You do a search for a certain topic, and nine questions fit the bill. The system needs some way to display those questions, so that you can find the question you're looking for without having to click every single question. You can either display the answer line, all of the question, or the beginning of the question (which may be enough to uniquely identify the question). Otherwise there is basically no way to determine which question is which in a useful fashion.
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Re: NAQT Security Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:04 am

Yeah but why would non-editors need to do that?
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