Balajiganapathi's blog

By Balajiganapathi, history, 4 years ago, In English,

Background

One of the regionals in India was scheduled to be held at Hindustan University at Chennai on December 17 — 18, 2015. Unfortunately Chennai was stuck by a natural disaster. The entire south India received heavy rainfall and hence there was a lot of flooding at many places including Chennai around that time. Atleast 347 people died in the state of Tamil Nadu (where Chennai is located). The damage due to the floods overall in south India is estimated to be atleast USD 3 Billion. It is the costliest flood in 2015.

Ofcourse, due to this the Chennai regionals was postponed. I think everyone here will agree that this was an unexpected, unprecedent situation and hence it was entirely understandable that the regionals was postponed.

The Blog post

Dr. C J Hwang is the ICPC Asia director. In response to the above postponement he posted a blog article on his blog. You can read it here. Please read it as this post deals with that announcement.

Quote from the blog: "In the 20 years of ACM-ICPC Asia history, we never had the case of contest postponement."

Comment: That is just luck. It is great luck that there never was any problem during any of the Asia regionals during the past 20 years.

Quote from the blog: "Several years ago, Vietnam contest had a flood and I was there. I walked over the deep water.I was wet with pants and shoes. Vietnam committee did not request any postponement."

Comment: Wet pants and shoes, seriously? This seems like a minor water logging not a major, destructive flood.

Quote from the blog: "To avoid any future abuse of asking postponement to cover the un-readiness and the irresponsibility of hosting the contest ..."

Comment: Abuse? What exactly does Dr. Hwang want the organizers to do? How can you conduct a coding contest when there is water 2 storey high? How is this un readiness or irresponsibility? The flights/train/bus service were all stopped so how would the contestants reach the venue? What if something happened to them? There were no proper supply of food/water/electricity during the floods. As someone who has experienced a real flood, I am extremely offended by this statement.

Quote from the blog: "..., I am proposing to insert a few new lines into 2015 Asia rules. These new lines are same as I had approved for Asia Chennai. We have no time for negotiation/discussion and the complexity of calculating Asia site scores prevent us from any other solutions."

Comment: Why no time for negotiation or discussion? Calculating the slots is indeed complicated, but it does not take that much time either. This reason is here just so he can rush the decision before any discussion takes place. This should not be how decisions are taken at ICPC.

You can read the actual rule in the blog itself. Rules are generally passed by a vote. Here is the result of the voting for this rule:

Quote from the blog: "Voting Result: Casting Yes vote – 11 (Including 3 from WC sub-region)

Casting No vote – 1 (Including 1 from WC sub-region)

Implicit Yes vote – 40"

Comment: See that last line? The Implicit Yes vote? It means those who did not vote were automatically considered as "Yes". Yeah, that is how decisions are taken for such an important rule.

Concluding Remark

I have nothing against the rule. But everything against the manner in which it was decided. Also, the remarks about the flood situation reeks of arrogance and a total lack of empathy for the disastrous situation at Chennai. It is really sad that decisions are taken like this at such a prestigious contest like ICPC.

 
 
 
 
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4 years ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +254 Vote: I do not like it

Because pictures speak louder than words,

The City:

The Airport:

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4 years ago, # |
Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +213 Vote: I do not like it

Insensitivity, arrogance and autocracy is all I could find reeking all through the blog post of director.

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4 years ago, # |
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@Director, If you can't have sympathy with the participants(or Chennai residents) , at least have some empathy.

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4 years ago, # |
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ERROR 404
Prophet Moses not found in 21st century

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4 years ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +77 Vote: I do not like it

When you see stuff that's plain wrong, it's naive to keep quite. I quite agree that the blog post is insensitive. This is really sad how such a prestigious contest is managed.

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4 years ago, # |
Rev. 3   Vote: I like it +56 Vote: I do not like it

Err.. @Director better check your own statements!
This is what ICPC's Committee's Goals are:

Attract as many colleges and universities as possible.
Draw from as many areas of the world as possible.
Provide equitable access to the ACM-ICPC World Finals.
Are you really upto it?!

Pictures speaks for itself!

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4 years ago, # |
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I was going to post something regarding this myself (my team will be competing in the Chennai regional), but this blog pretty much sums up what I have to say on the subject. It is my belief that a major objective of conducting such events is to unite the world together by a mutual passion, and such insensitive remarks just achieve the opposite effect.

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4 years ago, # |
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This is really sad. There is clearly no fault from the organizers` side, and thus such a "rude" blog is impossible to be justified.

I would like to request the CF community, apart from the people from India, especially the highly expirienced REDS/ORANGES to present their views on the issue too.

Our frustration is against the way the blog is written and not with the rule.

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    4 years ago, # ^ |
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    Yes, I am curious about what non Indian coders think of this. Especially those who are involved with ICPC. Sadly, none of them have commented so far.

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      4 years ago, # ^ |
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      I think that having such flood is a good reason to postpone regional. As a competitive programmer, I feel offended by Dr. Hwang's post.

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They sound retarded..

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4 years ago, # |
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So we get only 1 WC slot eh ? :(

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4 years ago, # |
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If the contest is not postponed, does Dr. Hwang gain any benefits from that? Say, additional WF slots in other Asia regionals. Maybe the teams close to Dr. Hwang will pass then. This is how high level politics works.

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4 years ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +33 Vote: I do not like it

Dr. Hwang seems to have grossly underestimated the severity of the floods and the (understandably) loss of ability to conduct the event during the time. The manner in which this rule was passed is very sad.

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4 years ago, # |
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Because video speaks louder than pictures.... This is how during the floods, Pregnant women was rescued. How can you even post something like that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1rMCjemwHU

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" I walked over the deep water. I was wet with pants and shoes. " Isn't it obvious that if your pants are wet and then your shoes would be wet too?.

In Chennai, people were travelling using boats. Swimming was very risky as the water was contaminated. The situation was the worst ever in a 100 years. Even after knowing about the severe condition of the floods if this guy thinks that it was the ICPC Chennai organizer's fault, I think he isn't fit for the position. It is just a contest, they have made the right decision as nothing is more important than the safety of the contestants.

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4 years ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +77 Vote: I do not like it

Hello, and welcome to politics.

I am extremely offended by this statement.

Don't be offended, the word reeks of extreme liberalism. Stick to reasoning.

Otherwise, good point. The main technical problem would be the lack of working infrastructure (travel, electricity?); there's no contest without that.

I would propose an amendment to the rule: in the event that the director fails to respond on time or disapproves the postponement, he's responsible for organising the contest on that site (insert details). If you have enough people pissed off at this, I imagine it wouldn't be hard to get it passed (especially if there are 40 Implicit Yes votes again :D) — check and mate. Or just submit another proposal to repeal that rule "in light of further details unavailable at the time of the vote".

There's no need to be fair. It's just a race of who can game the system better.

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    4 years ago, # ^ |
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    I am afraid only director can call a vote. So no, there is no way to win within system

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      4 years ago, # ^ |
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      Oh, there is then. It's called "remove the director".

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        4 years ago, # ^ |
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        I am not sure there is any way to do that within rules

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          4 years ago, # ^ |
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          I'm curious if Bill Poucher already saw this post.

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            4 years ago, # ^ |
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            Bill is outside Asian Superregional rules

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              4 years ago, # ^ |
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              So, Bill's reaction must be like 'Oh, guys, your director is a jerk, so or he leaves or have your own world final with blackjack and hookers'

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          4 years ago, # ^ |
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          As they say: when there's a will, there's a way.

          Example: do you know what CISA is? (An Internet security bill.) It was introduced and stopped several times; a few days ago, it was passed within a must-pass budget bill. As I said, it's about gaming tne system.

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4 years ago, # |
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Dr. C.J. Hwang is famous for his autocrazy. The way showed in the blog post is exactly how Dr. Hwang decide things, including World Finals slots distribution. This new postponement rule is way better than his magic slots distribution rules. Except this time you guys are unlucky.

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Dr. CJ Hwang is the worst case for all the humanity , moral values .

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It is very pathetic of you to have remarked like this. People out there were suffering in the city, while all you care about is whether the contest goes on or not.