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Thread: Competition

  1. #1
    Glamour puss with a tan Raffaella's Avatar
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    Default Competition

    I’m curious about others' attitudes to competition and perceived competition. Below are two scenarios, I want to know what the responses would be.

    Case scenario 1:
    Suppose you’re studying a subject where the professor is an unobliging sluggard that denies students past or practice exams. There's also no set textbook for this subject so you’re lost for questions to practice with. Now, suppose, your classmates shrewdly determined that the year prior to yours had practice exams and they managed to secure these practice exams and forward them to some classmates (you were one). If your good acquaintance asks for a copy, would you give it to them if you’re not in direct competition?*

    Case scenario 2:
    As part of an assessment, you’re required to research recent peer-reviewed articles to debate your topic for an online discussion. You’re very skilled at this, but your friends aren’t. Would you help them achieve good research skills in this case?*


    *your final grade is not scaled i.e:. the grade you achieve will be your final grade, it will not be adjusted according to a bell-shaped curve of the class’ grades.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deceptive View Post
    Case scenario 1:
    Suppose you’re studying a subject where the professor is an unobliging sluggard that denies students past or practice exams. There's also no set textbook for this subject so you’re lost for questions to practice with. Now, suppose, your classmates shrewdly determined that the year prior to yours had practice exams and they managed to secure these practice exams and forward them to some classmates (you were one). If your good acquaintance asks for a copy, would you give it to them if you’re not in direct competition?*
    Been there, done that, about a hundred times.

    Would definitely do it, bar none. I'd do it for strangers as well.

    I'd have to mull over whether I would if the grades were scaled. Probably so; may very well level the playing field.
    Case scenario 2:
    As part of an assessment, you’re required to research recent peer-reviewed articles to debate your topic for an online discussion. You’re very skilled at this, but your friends aren’t. Would you help them achieve good research skills in this case?*
    Also been there, done that, about a hundred times.

    Would definitely do it if grades aren't scaled; also almost surely otherwise. But I'd do it only while (a) my work doesn't begin to suffer, and (b) I don't feel as though I'm doing their work for them.

    --

    Overall, the question grade-scaling/bell-curving would change the problem up dramatically for most.
    J. Scott Crothers
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  3. #3
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    Competition is for the uncreative.

    The uncreative are hollow, they are empty, they have nothing to offer, but give themselves the simulacrum of life by competing with others.

    The uncreative, having nothing to offer themselves, are parasitic on others.

    The uncreative are consumed by ressentiment and seek to feed off then destroy the creative.

    It's Salieri boiling with ressentiment, in order to feel better, kills Mozart.

    The uncreative compete when they can't create.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deceptive View Post
    I’m curious about others' attitudes to competition and perceived competition. Below are two scenarios, I want to know what the responses would be.

    Case scenario 1:
    Suppose you’re studying a subject where the professor is an unobliging sluggard that denies students past or practice exams. There's also no set textbook for this subject so you’re lost for questions to practice with. Now, suppose, your classmates shrewdly determined that the year prior to yours had practice exams and they managed to secure these practice exams and forward them to some classmates (you were one). If your good acquaintance asks for a copy, would you give it to them if you’re not in direct competition?*
    First of all, I wouldn't expect practice exams in any class. I've rarely had professors who gave them, and I'm also just inclined by personality to expect things to be hard and not to be thrown any bones until it's proven otherwise.

    Second, I would not feel right even opening the practice exam sent to me. When the acquaintance asked me, it would be an awkward moment, but I'd tell them I'm not using it and would rather not pass it around, and that my reasons aren't personal. If they want to ask someone else for the exam, though, I can't stop them and won't hold it against them. Then, I'd wish them good luck (no sarcasm).

    But that leaves: how would I study? Don't worry about it. The challenge I've accepted is my own business. I've found strange ways.

    Case scenario 2:
    As part of an assessment, you’re required to research recent peer-reviewed articles to debate your topic for an online discussion. You’re very skilled at this, but your friends aren’t. Would you help them achieve good research skills in this case?*
    Why not? I'd outline my method for them if they asked for help, but not not link them to any articles. If they didn't ask for help, then I would stay focused on my own work without giving it unsolicited.

    On the general topic, I'm more competitive than this makes me look. In fact, I choose my competitions sparingly because I know I have issues moderating my instinct in them and could hurt myself from overwork (I can't sabotage or cheat, so any neurotic aggression is routed to myself to out-endure instead - into speed and energy burn). I don't usually scare people, but this is when I scare people. Using this combustion mode doesn't hurt in the short term or if used selectively in the most important endeavors, but it's dangerous for the long term or as a default modus operandi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscrothers View Post
    Been there, done that, about a hundred times.

    Would definitely do it, bar none. I'd do it for strangers as well.

    I'd have to mull over whether I would if the grades were scaled. Probably so; may very well level the playing field.
    What about competition on a grander scale? It's about having the right resources and skills and using them successfully, right? So some people see networking effectively enough to obtain exams as a skill and therefore if you're deficient, they're beating you (and won't help you out). Would you still share exams?

    Quote Originally Posted by jscrothers View Post

    Would definitely do it if grades aren't scaled; also almost surely otherwise. But I'd do it only while (a) my work doesn't begin to suffer, and (b) I don't feel as though I'm doing their work for them.
    Even if grades weren't scaled, you're in competition with them because you've debating against them. If you friends managed to acquire better papers than you, then there's a possibility your grade might be affected. Would you still help out?


    For what it's worth, I'm known as a generous person and I share my stuff and help everyone out. I'm not competitive. I strive to get the highest because of the effort I put in not because I scammed someone of their opportunity to do well. I'm just trying to wrap my head around certain ideas.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Competition is for the uncreative.

    The uncreative are hollow, they are empty, they have nothing to offer, but give themselves the simulacrum of life by competing with others.

    The uncreative, having nothing to offer themselves, are parasitic on others.

    The uncreative are consumed by ressentiment and seek to feed off then destroy the creative.

    It's Salieri boiling with ressentiment, in order to feel better, kills Mozart.

    The uncreative compete when they can't create.
    Haha, they're not parasites. I can understand why people are competitive; sometimes it's really difficult to get through something and proving to yourself that you're competent through any means can improve your self-esteem, albeit temporarily. Maybe I don't understand competitive people as well as I think I do but most tend to be very insecure about their abilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nixie View Post
    First of all, I wouldn't expect practice exams in any class. I've rarely had professors who gave them, and I'm also just inclined by personality to expect things to be hard and not to be thrown any bones until it's proven otherwise.

    Second, I would not feel right even opening the practice exam sent to me. When the acquaintance asked me, it would be an awkward moment, but I'd tell them I'm not using it and would rather not pass it around, and that my reasons aren't personal. If they want to ask someone else for the exam, though, I can't stop them and won't hold it against them. Then, I'd wish them good luck (no sarcasm).

    But that leaves: how would I study? Don't worry about it. The challenge I've accepted is my own business. I've found strange ways.
    Yeah... things are very different here, that attitude warrants a fail grade here (not that there's anything wrong with it, it's just doesn't suit the occasion). Trust me when I say that every student that didn't use the past exams failed.

    Why not? I'd outline my method for them if they asked for help, but not not link them to any articles. If they didn't ask for help, then I would stay focused on my own work without giving it unsolicited.
    Just to clarify, you're debating directly against them, is that why you wouldn't link them to any articles?
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    even if the grades were scaled, i'd give out and use any available info. i'd also help people with research.

    i don't see why not. you never know, the guy could go on to be a great doctor or engineer and would have been helped by me helping them way back when as they built a bridge or discovered a cure to cancer..

    you shouldn't be selfish with your knowledge. even if they do weight the class, it's best to help out.

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    Scenario 1: Yes, might as well help someone out.
    Scenario 2: I would if they asked for help. They'd have to reach out first.

    I don't usually get competitive unless it's someone who likes to show off. It's more in my mind than shown to others, but I love seeing their show-offy behavior get stomped in the ground.
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    Good questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deceptive View Post
    What about competition on a grander scale? It's about having the right resources and skills and using them successfully, right? So some people see networking effectively enough to obtain exams as a skill and therefore if you're deficient, they're beating you (and won't help you out). Would you still share exams?
    Having also been on the other side as well--if the professor fosters an environment that incentivizes preparing for his tests in a way that doesn't involve actually knowing the material, he's a bad professor.

    The following is tangential, but that's okay. I'm going to talk about decision-making in general more so than how I'd personally go about it.

    I had a class where the prof copied homework problems onto his quizzes/tests verbatim. The class was mathematical in nature, and so there were derivations and proofs; but no real need for calculators. But students would load the steps for derivation onto their TI-83s, we'd hear the clacking of the keys on a calculator, and they'd ace the tests. Prof knew what was going on, but he didn't give a shit.

    The material on its own was hard as shit, made worse because he didn't know how to teach it. The pattern would be for the class to perform godawfully on the homework but to ace the rest. So in that particular class, trying to learn the material was futile and counterproductive. So outright cheating, which is 'morally wrong,' was incentivized. I stood my moral ground and suffered in the class for it, but it did help me explore the notion that morality isn't so cut-and-dry.


    On a large scale, professors aren't infallible. And there are entire fields devoted to how well a test actually evaluates proficiency. That doesn't even cross the mind of the average professor--they think their tests are one-to-one with competency. Thankfully, many professors change problems around year-by-year (maybe not significantly, as it is a lot of work) such that previous exams reflect what the professor expects you to be able to know generally, but not down to the 'just memorize the freaking answers' level.


    So at the billion foot view, the world isn't fair. It's not a meritocracy. Work can be.. worked around. Gordian knot. It turns out that in virtually all fields, being able to network and to communicate is worth more than subject matter knowledge. Talent isn't worth much without knowing how (or where) to sell it. It is what it is, and one does have to learn to play the game, despite how much it might suck.

    So at the billion foot view, there are many frameworks through which to make these sorts of decisions. Morality being one of them. And risk/reward. Cheating, failing, passing without learning.. they're all just outcomes. Which framework is best used to evaluate actions? That's for wisdom to decide, and primarily on a case-by-case basis.

    Knowing all that, what would I do? I'd read up on the exams and also attempt to solve the problems myself. I'd also pass them along to friends. Acquaintances and strangers are usually, by necessity, too far removed from my scope. I'd hope that rumor circulates and that they get the same resources that I have.

    Past exams are a tool that some have access to and can harness. Then again, often, so are study groups, textbooks, and even time to devote.
    Even if grades weren't scaled, you're in competition with them because you've debating against them. If you friends managed to acquire better papers than you, then there's a possibility your grade might be affected. Would you still help out?
    I completely skipped over the 'debate' part. That part makes this a less cut-and-dry, and more interesting, question.

    If we wanted to judge ideas on both sides of debate based on their merit alone, it's best to help others learn research. The judgment of those ideas shouldn't boil down to how well those who are on each side know how to perform research in the first place.

    But, if I don't know their history, I'd also be dismayed at the fact that they were able to get so far without knowing how to conduct research in the first place. What kind of 'shortcuts' did they take in their prerequisite courses that got them into this situation in the first place? And/or why were some important courses not prerequisites for that one?
    J. Scott Crothers
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    Founder, Truthtology, est. 1952
    Prophet and Channel, God Almighty
    Author, the Holy scripture Elevenetics

    "Just as jet fuel cannot melt steel beams, so too cannot the unshakeable pillars of Truthtology ever be shaken, whether by man, nature, or evidence."
    - Elevenetics

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