CO 2016 Editor Search/Discussion

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CO 2016 Editor Search/Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:56 am

[This thread was split from its origin here. -- mgmt]

I too would like to discuss Chicago Team Formation, but from a different perspective: from the perspective of "Who's Left to Edit the Tournament?".

Originally, Matt Jackson and I were planning to co-edit this year's CO. As is traditional, we secured the "rights" to edit from Jerry, the previous year's editor, but we never announced it, as neither Matt nor I were sure that our schedules would allow this. In December, Matt Jackson needed to drop from the process. Since then, I have solicited over a dozen different co-editors. I was able to find one or two potential science editors, but every prospective humanities co-editor has informed me that they are either already on a team or too burdened with other things this summer in order to edit.

I would be a hypocrite to outright condemn the practice of forming teams for CO before an editing team is even in place, as I have engaged in this practice before. But I have come to the conclusion that this year's premature team formation process has seized up the human resources necessary to produce a quality CO tournament. As a consequence, I am no longer willing to remain a part of this project, and I too am dropping out as an editor.

I suggest that some of the currently formed teams begin un-forming; because right now, this tournament has zero editors again.
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by Cheynem » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:34 am

GORILLA CO

I am willing to be an editor if nobody else steps up.
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:49 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote: I would be a hypocrite to outright condemn the practice of forming teams for CO before an editing team is even in place, as I have engaged in this practice before. But I have come to the conclusion that this year's premature team formation process has seized up the human resources necessary to produce a quality CO tournament. As a consequence, I am no longer willing to remain a part of this project, and I too am dropping out as an editor.

I suggest that some of the currently formed teams begin un-forming; because right now, this tournament has zero editors again.
I didn't expect to have to comment on this, but I'm baffled by this chain of reasoning.

Look, I understand better than most that editing CO is a huge commitment, but publicly dropping out as head editor a few months in advance seems like a waaaay larger blow to the tournament than early team formation. I'm honestly not sure what this is meant to achieve or how John abandoning the project is either justified by the current state of affairs or will spur someone else to take up the reins[*]. No one of course signed a contract written in blood to edit CO and no one can formally obligate anyone else to do so, but I think this is a bad move on your part, dude, from the standpoint of both optics and the potential future of CO. I understand backing out because you have prior commitments or think you might not be able to carry the load, but if you've made a commitment, even a private one, I really think you sort of owe it to people to do your best to follow through on it.

At the same time, I'm almost-equally baffled by the lack of editors available for CO. When I was a young man back in the Neolithic, editing CO was something that serious players aspired to. It was considered to be a capstone for an editing career almost on par with Nationals. It was understood that if you were a long-time editor of high standing, it was expected of you to give up your opportunity to play the set in one or two years so that you could provide the same experience that you yourself have enjoyed to others. Unlike Nationals, CO eligibility never expires; as Chris Borglum has aptly demonstrated, you can come back every year! There's not that much for anyone to lose to step up and edit, and I know for a fact that there are a whole bunch of people out there who have the necessary expertise to do it.

Tournaments like CO, and quizbowl more generally, cannot survive unless people donate their time and effort. That's just how it works; when you're starting out, the existing structure of the game eases you into it, and when you're a seasoned veteran, you're expected to contribute to that same structure to make things easy for the next generation. But quizbowl cannot forever depend on old people stepping in and solving every problem. We all age, acquire other concerns, families, children, careers. Most of us north of 30 don't have the latitude to work on quizbowl tournaments for months on end. Maybe if I was in the class of the idle rich I could afford that luxury, but I'm not and I can't, and pretty much no one that I know from my generation of players can either. So I put it to all of you that if you want to see a tournament like CO succeed, it is your responsibility to contribute to its success. You can be the change you want to see in the world of quizbowl, rather than passively waiting for someone to do the work for you.

[*] edit: I see that Mike Cheyne has volunteered to be the head editor, but this obviously does not resolve the problem of editing categories that Mike can't. The larger point stands.
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by Ike » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:42 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:I too would like to discuss Chicago Team Formation, but from a different perspective: from the perspective of "Who's Left to Edit the Tournament?".

Originally, Matt Jackson and I were planning to co-edit this year's CO. As is traditional, we secured the "rights" to edit from Jerry, the previous year's editor, but we never announced it, as neither Matt nor I were sure that our schedules would allow this. In December, Matt Jackson needed to drop from the process. Since then, I have solicited over a dozen different co-editors. I was able to find one or two potential science editors, but every prospective humanities co-editor has informed me that they are either already on a team or too burdened with other things this summer in order to edit.

I would be a hypocrite to outright condemn the practice of forming teams for CO before an editing team is even in place, as I have engaged in this practice before. But I have come to the conclusion that this year's premature team formation process has seized up the human resources necessary to produce a quality CO tournament. As a consequence, I am no longer willing to remain a part of this project, and I too am dropping out as an editor.

I suggest that some of the currently formed teams begin un-forming; because right now, this tournament has zero editors again.
So I was on the email list and I would have gladly done another CO but as you can guess, I'm hogtied right now. What I'm a little baffled by is why you didn't post an open call for editors on here instead of bowing out.

Also, it's not the case we're in a complete disaster, 2012 hadn't figured out its editing situation until late May or something and that tournament happened fine.
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by Cheynem » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:45 pm

Does Jerry suggest there are categories I can't edit??!!?
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:56 pm

Snap Wexley wrote: I didn't expect to have to comment on this, but I'm baffled by this chain of reasoning.

Look, I understand better than most that editing CO is a huge commitment, but publicly dropping out as head editor a few months in advance seems like a waaaay larger blow to the tournament than early team formation. I'm honestly not sure what this is meant to achieve or how John abandoning the project is either justified by the current state of affairs or will spur someone else to take up the reins[*]. No one of course signed a contract written in blood to edit CO and no one can formally obligate anyone else to do so, but I think this is a bad move on your part, dude, from the standpoint of both optics and the potential future of CO. I understand backing out because you have prior commitments or think you might not be able to carry the load, but if you've made a commitment, even a private one, I really think you sort of owe it to people to do your best to follow through on it.
What are you talking about? To whom are you claiming I made a commitment to solo head edit this tournament? By what possible criteria are you distinguishing my reasons for dropping from the apparently legitimate reason you offer of "not be[ing] able to carry the load"?

Matt Jackson and I initially floated the idea of co-head-editing the tournament together, and asked your permission to do that. In this arrangement, I was never supposed to do more than the Literature, Fine Arts, and (maybe) Philosophy. We purposely never publicly announced this, because we were unsure of our schedules, and the project was contingent on our doing this together. Since Matt Jackson's departure in December, I have done what I thought was the responsible thing, which was to explore the possibility that I might continue subject editing these categories, with someone else editing the remaining categories, rather than just abandoning the tournament as soon as our initial plans fell through.

In all private communications on this subject that I have made since Matt Jackson's departure, I have made it very clear that my continuing to entertain the idea of editing was fully contingent on my being able to find co-editors to edit the categories that I cannot edit. And in all of these private e-mails (received by over a dozen prominent members of the community), I stated point blank that I would likely abandon my plans to edit if I was unable to secure category-compatible co-editors by the end of February. I have been quite forthright on this matter.

I purposely set this drop deadline early, both so that I would have time to set up academic research projects for the summer if I wasn't editing, and so that if I left, there would be time for a new editing team to assemble. Contrary to your bizarre slanting of this as if I'm dropping out at the last moment, I am actually withdrawing earlier than many Chicago Open editing teams have been formed and announced in the first place, in previous years! I fail to see how hanging onto this project for even longer, thus reducing the possible time for other people to step in, would have been somehow more responsible. That strikes me as far more reckless.
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:27 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote: What are you talking about? To whom are you claiming I made a commitment to solo head edit this tournament? By what possible criteria are you distinguishing my reasons for dropping from the apparently legitimate reason you offer of "not be[ing] able to carry the load"?
No one expects anyone to edit CO solo, although head-editing CO solo is not an unreasonable expectation, being something that has been accomplished by, you know, most other CO head editors. Head editing, as I'm sure you know, is not so much about what share of the categories you do as it is about coordinating the editing effort, something I know you're as capable of as anyone else.

But that's hardly the point. The point is that instead of putting out a call for editors with some time on the clock, you chose to publicly announce your withdrawal from editing in March. This leaves the tournament in a precarious situation in which all of a sudden not only is there no editor for a large part of the tournament, but actually no editors at all, and no head editors either, and therefore no one to coordinate any kind of editing team formation. That's a terrible thing to do to a tournament without advance public warning, and with no replacements lined up.
Matt Jackson and I initially floated the idea of co-head-editing the tournament together, and asked your permission to do that. In this arrangement, I was never supposed to do more than the Literature, Fine Arts, and (maybe) Philosophy. We purposely never publicly announced this, because we were unsure of our schedules, and the project was contingent on our doing this together. Since Matt Jackson's departure in December, I have done what I thought was the responsible thing, which was to explore the possibility that I might continue subject editing these categories, with someone else editing the remaining categories, rather than just abandoning the tournament as soon as our initial plans fell through.
I think the proper thing to do is to publicly announce the situation and put out a public call for editors, with the stipulation that if no one turns up by a specified date you would not be able to do it alone and would have to drop. Matt emailed me to let me know he was dropping out and in response I expressed full confidence that you'd be able to do what you said you were planning to do. If that wasn't the case, it certainly would have been nice to know that your commitment came with some reservations. That we're finding out about this now, when you've unilaterally decided to abandon the tournament, is quite the surprise.
In all private communications on this subject that I have made since Matt Jackson's departure, I have made it very clear that my continuing to entertain the idea of editing was fully contingent on my being able to find co-editors to edit the categories that I cannot edit. And in all of these private e-mails (received by over a dozen prominent members of the community), I stated point blank that I would likely abandon my plans to edit if I was unable to secure category-compatible co-editors by the end of February. I have been quite forthright on this matter.
I have no idea with whom you have been communicating, though it certainly wasn't with me. Not that you're required to tell me anything, seeing as how my powers of delegation are entirely ceremonial anyway, but to repeat: back-channel negotiations with unknown parties are a shitty way to organize a tournament of this magnitude. I am not imputing to you or to anyone else involved any malice; I am saying that your decision not to make this conversation public is a bad decision that jeopardizes the existence of the tournament.
I purposely set this drop deadline early, both so that I would have time to set up academic research projects for the summer if I wasn't editing, and so that if I left, there would be time for a new editing team to assemble. Contrary to your bizarre slanting of this as if I'm dropping out at the last moment, I am actually withdrawing earlier than many Chicago Open editing teams have been formed and announced in the first place, in previous years! I fail to see how hanging onto this project for even longer, thus reducing the possible time for other people to step in, would have been somehow more responsible. That strikes me as far more reckless.
I did not say you were dropping out at the last moment. You are, however, dropping publicly and without prior public warning at a date that makes it much harder to organize a replacement for you than if you had done this several months earlier. It's not impossible, obviously, for CO to still happen; it's still harder for it to happen than if you had been open about this from the time that Matt dropped and you first contemplated the possibility of having to coordinate the tournament alone. Moreover, I fail to see how your conspicuous departure from involvement with CO is supposed to generate some kind of groundswell of editing, except of course unless your calculation is that people will care more about not having CO than they will about the fact that someone who was likely going to edit 1/4 of the set, and do it well, is now gone and has to be replaced. To me this reads as real fucking cynical, and if that's really your calculation then it's bad and you should feel bad about it.
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:19 pm

The fact that all of us were in the dark about the situation is a real failure on both you (John) and Matt J's part. The least one of you could have done was post publically about Matt J's departure so someone else could step up. I understand that you approached people in private, but this is a really poor way to go about it, because it doesn't convey the gravity of the situation nearly well enough.
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:23 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:The fact that all of us were in the dark about the situation is a real failure on both you (John) and Matt J's part. The least one of you could have done was post publically about Matt J's departure so someone else could step up. I understand that you approached people in private, but this is a really poor way to go about it, because it doesn't convey the gravity of the situation nearly well enough.
I don't fault Matt because he backed out long before anything was really happening and did so for reasons that were totally unrelated to getting other people to commit. That's a stage at which the remaining editor, should they choose to remain the editor, should decide on a sensible and public course of action. "I quit and the rest of you should pick up the pieces if you want a tournament," is not an appropriate response.
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by Mike Bentley » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:53 pm

Probably doesn't affect much, but I think it's unlikely I'll be at CO this year and I'd be happy to kick in a decent number of editor questions (although not necessarily edit a subject).
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:01 pm

Mike Bentley wrote:I think it's unlikely I'll be at CO this year and I'd be happy to kick in a decent number of editor questions (although not necessarily edit a subject).
For what it's worth, my current status is something like this as well. It became clear to me several months ago that I am still in no condition to head-edit (or even co-head-edit, and almost certainly not even subject-edit for) a high-difficulty tournament, but I suspect there's a growing chance I could pitch in substantially, akin to my work on CO 2013.

I do still have hopes of editing some CO, including for many of the reasons Jerry outlined in his first post here, and encourage other players in a similar stead as myself to also harbor such hopes. But it's simply not possible for me to do so this year. To the extent that I am to blame for that state of affairs, I apologize.

On the bright side, this thread can effectively be the informal open call for editors! It's not too late for people who have interest in doing the thing to do the thing.
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:10 pm

Jerry, you and I appear to be talking past each other at this point, so I'm going to dry to lower the rhetorical temperature here and explain the situation as I understand it.

Here is my side of this: Matt sent you an e-mail in July, on which I was cc'ed, expressing interest in editing Chicago Open 2016. "Interested in editing" was exactly how he put it. Neither of us were committed to the project yet. Matt asked for "right of refusal" in case anyone else applied. You affirmed that we would be "first in line" for the job. The last e-mail that I was cc'ed on was from Matt, asking you to let us know if anyone else applied for this gig too.

That was on July 21, 2015, and that was the end of all of our communication on the subject. You have not contacted me once since then, Jerry. I was not privy to any further conversations you may have had with Matt. And I have never communicated with you directly on the subject at all; only Matt ever e-mailed you, cc'ing me. I understood both your e-mail and Matt's as making it clear that we had not committed to this, and that you had not awarded us anything beyond "right of refusal". In other words: other people could and should still apply for the job, but you would let us refuse first before awarding it to them.

Your understanding seems to be that Matt and I at some point committed to editing this year's Chicago Open, and that when Matt dropped out, I inherited the mantle of responsibility to serve as head editor, to find replacement editors for Matt, and to find a replacement for myself. Until today, I was unaware that you believed this to be the case, and I still have absolutely no idea what miscommunication caused you to believe this.

When Matt dropped, I took it upon myself to search for possible replacement editors. Because I was editing ACF Regionals 2016, I did not begin this process in earnest until the evening of January 30th. I apologize to everyone if my delay in making this search has worsened this situation. That was not my intention.

Jerry, I frankly do not understand your claim that "back-channel negotiations with unknown parties are a shitty way to organize a tournament of this magnitude". At no point in my playing career has the choosing of Chicago Open editors been a public process. It has always been done in "back-channels".

I agree that if I had been acting as head editor this whole time, the process could have benefited from my bringing more people into this process, or conducting my search more openly. But that was not my understanding. My understanding was that I was still determining, in the first place, whether I was going to be a part of the editing team at all. And, as I've already said, I set what I thought was a reasonable deadline for me to finalize my decision to edit or not specifically so that the tournament itself would not be in jeopardy if I could not serve as editor. In every single communication that I have had since Matt's departure, I made it clear that my editorship was only provisional. I did this specifically so that people wouldn't think: "JL is head-editing this year's CO. The tournament situation is under control." If somehow my silence on this matter has spread that impression, I'm sorry. I've tried to be clear throughout about the provisionality of my editorship. That the tournament's existence would be at all threatened is the very opposite of my intentions.

I'm sorry that I didn't think to include you in the loop for these e-mails, Jerry. I was thinking only of negotiating with potential editors. I do agree though, that I probably should have shot you a quick e-mail before posting on the forums. You were owed that.

And I apologize if the tone of my first post in this thread made this conversation worse. I was and am very frustrated my unsuccessful process of soliciting co-editors, and of being treated as if the weight of this tournament is on me, even though I was only exploring whether to work on it in the first place.

Having delivered these apologies for these miscommunications, though, I wish to add, Jerry, that I am extremely offended by your public portrayal of my moral character and your characterization of my actions. I think I have a good track record as a moral member of this community, not only living up to my responsibilities as a writer (and making sure to edit prolifically, in order to "give back"), but even helping with a tournament like DEES, although I was already overcommitted to working on other tournaments. I have helped proofread, playtest, etc. any tournament I wasn't playing that wanted my help. I don't have a track record of just abandoning responsibilities. Whatever your objections to my philosophical positions on quizbowl matters may be, I don't think they remotely justify the way you have attempted to portray me as a person in this thread. Not only that, you are making all these declarations about what my level of commitment to CO was even though I never actually e-mailed you about this, and we spoke only through a third party (Matt)! That's just absolutely fucking ridiculous!

If the community as a whole has been laboring under the misapprehension that I was the committed head editor for this tournament, and if my departure will really jeopardize this tournament (I still don't understand why people are saying that it would; I repeat: we have had no editing team for CO at this point in the year, in many previous years), then I will wait one more week before dropping. I can wait until the 10th, at the latest, to decide whether or not to pursue the presentation that would determine whether I do a summer research project instead of CO editing. If before then, an editing team coalesces that allows me to serve as a subject editor, I will rescind my departure and subject edit for this year's CO. But after that point, I really should just commit to using the summer for research.
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by Cheynem » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:30 pm

Do you think maybe another thread to hash out editors might be a good idea? I wonder if some people will totally skip this thread, thinking it is about teams, and that those people (i.e., people who won't be at CO) are actually going to be really good potential editors.
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:54 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:Jerry, you and I appear to be talking past each other at this point, so I'm going to dry to lower the rhetorical temperature here and explain the situation as I understand it.

Here is my side of this: Matt sent you an e-mail in July, on which I was cc'ed, expressing interest in editing Chicago Open 2016. "Interested in editing" was exactly how he put it. Neither of us were committed to the project yet. Matt asked for "right of refusal" in case anyone else applied. You affirmed that we would be "first in line" for the job. The last e-mail that I was cc'ed on was from Matt, asking you to let us know if anyone else applied for this gig too.

That was on July 21, 2015, and that was the end of all of our communication on the subject. You have not contacted me once since then, Jerry. I was not privy to any further conversations you may have had with Matt. And I have never communicated with you directly on the subject at all; only Matt ever e-mailed you, cc'ing me. I understood both your e-mail and Matt's as making it clear that we had not committed to this, and that you had not awarded us anything beyond "right of refusal". In other words: other people could and should still apply for the job, but you would let us refuse first before awarding it to them.

Your understanding seems to be that Matt and I at some point committed to editing this year's Chicago Open, and that when Matt dropped out, I inherited the mantle of responsibility to serve as head editor, to find replacement editors for Matt, and to find a replacement for myself. Until today, I was unaware that you believed this to be the case, and I still have absolutely no idea what miscommunication caused you to believe this.
All of this is entirely correct. I did not think that there was any particular need on my part to deliver some kind of official blessing; I assumed that an email of intent to edit Chicago Open constituted some level of commitment to edit Chicago Open. For what it's worth, you were the only people who volunteered. I might be at fault for not communicating this explicitly, but I assumed your interest signified real intent to follow through and that if anything changed, you'd either let me know (so I could announce it publicly) or you'd announce it publicly yourself.
When Matt dropped, I took it upon myself to search for possible replacement editors. Because I was editing ACF Regionals 2016, I did not begin this process in earnest until the evening of January 30th. I apologize to everyone if my delay in making this search has worsened this situation. That was not my intention.

Jerry, I frankly do not understand your claim that "back-channel negotiations with unknown parties are a shitty way to organize a tournament of this magnitude". At no point in my playing career has the choosing of Chicago Open editors been a public process. It has always been done in "back-channels".
It's one thing to email people and say "Hey, I need help on this tournament and I'd like you as part of my writing team." That is a normal way of organizing tournaments. What is not normal is a public announcement from the putative head editor that he is dropping out because whatever negotiations he was conducting with potential writers fell through. That is not ok and it is not how things should be done. If your private emails have failed to yield the desired results, then I think you owe it to people to explain the situation publicly and put out a wider call for writers, explaining that you cannot carry the project yourself. That is a totally normal thing to do and I'm really confused as to why you didn't do it. Even if you had not been announced as a CO editor publicly, you knew that you had a claim to the position. It is not my responsibility to check up on you and make sure that you know what you're supposed to be doing.
I agree that if I had been acting as head editor this whole time, the process could have benefited from my bringing more people into this process, or conducting my search more openly. But that was not my understanding. My understanding was that I was still determining, in the first place, whether I was going to be a part of the editing team at all. And, as I've already said, I set what I thought was a reasonable deadline for me to finalize my decision to edit or not specifically so that the tournament itself would not be in jeopardy if I could not serve as editor. In every single communication that I have had since Matt's departure, I made it clear that my editorship was only provisional. I did this specifically so that people wouldn't think: "JL is head-editing this year's CO. The tournament situation is under control." If somehow my silence on this matter has spread that impression, I'm sorry. I've tried to be clear throughout about the provisionality of my editorship. That the tournament's existence would be at all threatened is the very opposite of my intentions.
I'm sorry I wasn't more explicit about outlining what was going on, but I think if it's March and you're still thinking that your editorship is provisional, you should probably contact the person to whom you made the original offer of editing. What you should not do is quit in the hopes that someone else will somehow pick up the slack. I promised Matt that if anyone else wanted to edit CO, I would let you guys know, but no one else stepped forward.
I'm sorry that I didn't think to include you in the loop for these e-mails, Jerry. I was thinking only of negotiating with potential editors. I do agree though, that I probably should have shot you a quick e-mail before posting on the forums. You were owed that.

And I apologize if the tone of my first post in this thread made this conversation worse. I was and am very frustrated my unsuccessful process of soliciting co-editors, and of being treated as if the weight of this tournament is on me, even though I was only exploring whether to work on it in the first place.
I understand your frustration. Believe me that everything you are feeling with regard to recruiting people I have felt many times. I think saying, publicly, that you cannot do this tournament alone and need help, and giving people some time to respond to that, would have been a perfectly acceptable course of action.
Having delivered these apologies for these miscommunications, though, I wish to add, Jerry, that I am extremely offended by your public portrayal of my moral character and your characterization of my actions. I think I have a good track record as a moral member of this community, not only living up to my responsibilities as a writer (and making sure to edit prolifically, in order to "give back"), but even helping with a tournament like DEES, although I was already overcommitted to working on other tournaments. I have helped proofread, playtest, etc. any tournament I wasn't playing that wanted my help. I don't have a track record of just abandoning responsibilities. Whatever your objections to my philosophical positions on quizbowl matters may be, I don't think they remotely justify the way you have attempted to portray me as a person in this thread. Not only that, you are making all these declarations about what my level of commitment to CO was even though I never actually e-mailed you about this, and we spoke only through a third party (Matt)! That's just absolutely fucking ridiculous!
I am not "making declarations" about your level of commitment; I made an (apparently erroneous, but not, in my view, unjustified) inference from your email expressing the desire to edit the tournament. I am not saying that you are immoral or a bad person, because I don't believe that. But I am saying that I think this particular action of yours is a bad thing to have done, and that, if it was performed with the intent of shunting the CO work onto someone else, then it was very badly conceived and shitty. This has nothing to do with anyone's "philosophical position" on quizbowl and everything to do with a situation that seems to leave a major tournament twisting in the wind. The fact that you are a generally responsible person and have an excellent track record of following through on things is what makes this particular incident especially baffling, because if you were just someone who flakes on things all the time, I'd be way less surprised. I did not anticipate having to fence over legalese, that's for sure.
If the community as a whole has been laboring under the misapprehension that I was the committed head editor for this tournament, and if my departure will really jeopardize this tournament (I still don't understand why people are saying that it would; I repeat: we have had no editing team for CO at this point in the year, in many previous years), then I will wait one more week before dropping. I can wait until the 10th, at the latest, to decide whether or not to pursue the presentation that would determine whether I do a summer research project instead of CO editing. If before then, an editing team coalesces that allows me to serve as a subject editor, I will rescind my departure and subject edit for this year's CO. But after that point, I really should just commit to using the summer for research.
Your parenthetical is simply not true. For what it's worth, today is a year to the day that I announced CO 2015, having done some serious thinking in the run-up about how much I wanted to do it. I had come to an agreement with Eric and Aaron some time ago about doing CO; in fact, we had discussed it the previous year and exchanged preliminary planning emails. In 2010, the first time I did CO, I announced around this time as well (about a week later, actually, but I knew I was going to do it barring some kind of emergency), and I also put out a call for editors to help me at the same time, which worked out just fine in the end. CO 2014 was announced by Andrew Hart in January. The basic point is that around this time in previous years everyone publicly knew a) that CO was happening, and b) who the head editor was and that they either had a team in place or were working on one.

I think a Chicago Open edited by John Lawrence would be a great tournament and none of the foregoing makes me believe otherwise. I also think the way in which you chose to address the difficulty of rounding up an editing team is pretty awful, circumstances considered. You should do whatever you think is best vis-a-vis producing a CO set, but I personally can't see how quitting as head editor is the optimal action here.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

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Re: CO 2016 Editor Search/Discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:00 pm

I think we can all learn from this that being explicit in plans is pretty important. If you've volunteered to do something, and it's been months, and you still don't know if that's something you're now supposed to be doing, you need to get in contact and confirm that you are the person that's supposed to be doing this thing.

I think Jerry could have been clearer in his communication, but I also think that there was an onus on John to not let something like this float in purgatory for so long. Additionally, as pointed out above, there are steps to take between "I am editing something but I need help" and "I do not have enough help to edit this, so I am not doing it." One of those is a public call for help, which should always be done for in a situation like this.

Communication is very important, and given quiz bowl's status as something that is spread very distally, online communication dominates. While this has its benefits, it also has its shortcomings as shown like this. If there's every confusion about something like this, the best way to handle it is probably a five minute phone call.
Fred Morlan
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International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
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Re: Chicago Open Team Formation

Post by Muriel Axon » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:24 am

Mike Bentley wrote:Probably doesn't affect much, but I think it's unlikely I'll be at CO this year and I'd be happy to kick in a decent number of editor questions (although not necessarily edit a subject).
I am also in this situation. The field season will keep me out of reach for most of July, so I don't want to be in any official editing role, but I can kick in questions and consult on editing until then. I realize the too-many-cooks issue is real and important, but I think it could be avoided with good communication.
Shan Kothari

Plymouth High School '10
Michigan State University '14
University of Minnesota '20

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Re: CO 2016 Editor Search/Discussion

Post by Ewan MacAulay » Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:46 pm

I'm in the UK in July, so will be up to contribute questions for/edit CO chemistry, physics and chemistry-ish bits of bio if that'll help.
Ewan MacAulay
Oxford 2015
Cambridge 2018

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Re: CO 2016 Editor Search/Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:44 pm

I am also willing to co-edit physics and chip in questions elsewhere.
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Re: CO 2016 Editor Search/Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:51 pm

A bit of backstage brokering means that we now have nearly enough to people to produce a Chicago Open set. Matt Jackson and I have both rescinded our withdrawal from editing the set. We will be involved in editing it, albeit in more limited capacities than we originally planned. We'll be joined by Mike Bentley, Mike Cheyne, Ewan Macaulay, Aaron Rosenberg, and Adam Silverman. And we should have contributions to the editors' questions from Shan Kothari and Seth Teitler.

However, we're not quite out of the woods yet. At bare minimum, we still require editors in the categories of Econ, Math, Astronomy, and Earth Science. If you're interested in editing any of these categories for CO, please contact me as soon as possible. I would like to be able to lock into this project in this coming week, and get the announcement up, so we can start a poll for the actual date of the tournament.

Also, we could still use further contributors in those categories (and others too) from any experienced writers who are not playing the tournament, but who may not have time to edit.

Lastly, while I'm happy to handle all the room reservations for this tournament, I can safely predict that I will want a logistics czar to help recruit staff, co-ordinate with them, and run the control room. If you are interested in serving in that capacity for this tournament, please e-mail me.
John Lawrence
Yale University '12
King's College London '13
University of Chicago '19

“I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.” - G.K. Chesterton

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Re: CO 2016 Editor Search/Discussion

Post by Æthelred the Unready Steady Cook » Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:50 am

I have a decent amount of packet editing experience having worked quite significantly in the last two Oxford Opens. I'd be more than happy to help edit some history, religion(especially Islam) and social science ( I can do economics but I'm dubious as to whether doing it all on my lonesome at CO level is advisable).
Daoud Jackson
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Re: CO 2016 Editor Search/Discussion

Post by The Abydos Helicopter » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:09 pm

Æthelred the Unready Steady Cook wrote:I have a decent amount of packet editing experience having worked quite significantly in the last two Oxford Opens. I'd be more than happy to help edit some history, religion(especially Islam) and social science ( I can do economics but I'm dubious as to whether doing it all on my lonesome at CO level is advisable).
Same experience as above, though replace the religion and SS with Myth (especially Greco-Roman) and Astro.
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Re: CO 2016 Editor Search/Discussion

Post by frasier » Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:40 am

Having edited/wrote questions for quite a few tournaments in the UK, I'd feel comfortable editing the econ for CO, if you've not yet found anyone else.
George Charlson
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Re: CO 2016 Editor Search/Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:45 am

A full editing team has now been assembled; it can be found in the official announcement.
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