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Gray Watson Personal Thoughts 2002.06.26
My Insulting Content

When I logged into my computer system the other day, the following lovely message greeted me.

From: Charles ... <...@ufl.edu>
Subject: Sucky Brain Teasers Page

I have never used that word [sucky] before refering to anyone's work
but after being insulted by your web site numerous times I think it is
appropriate.

I use the internet to LEARN things, not be insulted by web pages that
tell me "Sorry but I can't give you another answer so fast. How about
you think about the question a bit more and then ask me again."

It is to bad that you seem to look at the internet as your personal
putdown conveyance. Your page had great promise when I found it. I
left after two brain teasers. To bad I never saw the rest of the site.

Maybe you should start a personal war against arrogance.

Goodness gracious. The insulting site in question is my Brain Teasers page where I have a number of riddles and fun questions that I've collected over the years. Charles is referring specifically to my script which checks people's answers against the correct ones. It also stops them from getting the solution for two different questions in a short period of time. Initially I did not have this limitation, but I watched visitor after visitor just walk down all of the questions typing in non-answers just to see the results. That was insulting to me. I didn't build the pages so that people could get the answers to all of the questions. I put it up so people can be challenged. Stretched.

I'm not exactly sure what Charles found insulting about the response. If I wanted to be insulting, I would have done a better job. Of the 1000s of people who have visited the pages, he's the very first to admit to being insulted by them but I guess some are more sensitive than others. Again it says, quite politely I'd say:

Sorry but I can't give you another answer so fast. How about you think about the question a bit more and then ask me again.

I want people to work at the problem. Think about it. I always feel let down by myself when I am given the answer to a problem that I should have been able to figure out.


So then I took the liberty to probe the logs a bit and see how much Charles had worked on the problems. He mentions that he uses the internet to LEARN. But what is he learning if he doesn't work on a problem for couple of minutes? He worked on the "Ten Coins" problem for 37 seconds, the "Let's Make a Deal" for 25, "Eight Balls" for 68 seconds, "Einstein Riddle" for 91, and "Three Hats" for all of 25 seconds. This includes time to read the problems. Below is a log of his activity. At least I got him to read the US Constitution.

Worst of all, he is either a college student or working at University of Florida -- an institute for higher learning. Sigh. So I wish you the best of luck Charles.

When Secs What
08:36:08   Clicks on a Google search for "ten coins scale" and comes to my site.
08:36:45 37 Asks for the answer for the "Ten Coins" problem
08:45:22   Clicks on another Google search for "ten coins scale"
08:45:47 25 Asks for the answer to "Let's Make a Deal"
08:46:01 14 Gets the answer to "Let's Make a Deal"
08:46:55 54 Asks for the answer to "Three Hats". He is encouraged to make a guess instead.
08:47:10 15 Makes an incorrect guess on "Three Hats"
08:47:16 6 Is denied getting the answer for "Three Hats"
08:48:24 68 Gives up on the "Three Hats" and is denied getting the answer for "Eight Balls"
08:48:36 12 Is denied getting the answer for "Eight Balls"
08:48:48 12 Is denied getting the answer for "Eight Balls"
08:49:07 19 Is denied getting the answer for "Eight Balls"
08:50:53   He returns from some of my thoughts pages to see if my script's timer has expired.
08:51:06 13 Asks for the answer for "Eight Balls"
08:51:12 6 Finally gets the answer for "Eight Balls"
08:52:12   He clicks off my site and visits a joke page.
08:52:26 14 Comes back and makes an incorrect guess on the "Einstein" question.
08:52:37 11 Is denied getting the answer for "Einstein"
08:52:53 16 Reads a bit from my personal timeline.
08:53:12 19 Asks again for the answer for "Einstein"
08:53:16 4 Is denied getting the answer for "Einstein"
08:53:23 7 Visits my home page.
08:53:29 6 Comes back to the teasers page.
08:54:07 38 Asks again for the answer for "Einstein"
08:54:10 3 Finally gets the answer for "Einstein"
08:54:34 24 The denials must have pissed him off by now because he goes to my contact page.
08:57:36   Comes back to the teasers page.
08:57:46 10 Makes an incorrect guess for "Let's Make A Deal". Maybe while composing the message, he wanted to quote the scripts insulting language.
08:57:50 4 Asks for the answer for "Let's Make A Deal"
08:57:54 4 Is given the answer to the "Let's Make A Deal"
08:57:57 3 Back to the Teasers page.
08:58:09 12 Makes an incorrect guess on the "Three Hats"
08:58:15 6 Asks for the answer for "Three Hats"
08:59:13   Goes off and reads my copy of the US Constitution.
09:04:28   Sends his complain to me.

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