12 July 2010

Asked and answered

Opinions are great and when expressed with gravitas and consideration are worthy of attention. Facts, however, tend to get lost in the pablum of the loudest denominator.

The disparate organizations, with their panjandrums ensnared in a melee of nugatory and capricious behavior, spend more time bickering over the naming order of coalitions, than on substantive issues.

Few are willing to sit down and discuss facts. There is nowhere to go for real answers and the dross of vituperation, passing itself for dialog, discourages the genuine parties.

StackOverflow was created to serve as the ultimate Q&A repository for computer programming matters. Real, interesting, relevant questions are posed on the site and then answered.

The answers are voted on according to several metrics, one of which is the degree to which it addresses the question and provides a solution. Visitors can vote on the answers provided, ranking them as it were, with the higher ranked answers moving to the top of the list and being the most visible.

No longer does one have to wade through an endless bulletin board of flames and misspellings, to find the answer to some question posed 5 years ago. If the question exists, the best answer is the first one listed, no matter when it was provided.

Open ended questions or questions seeking opinion are tagged as off-topic and wasteful. The site participants gain reputation points based on community voting on whether their answers are relevant.

If somebody just keeps posting crap or opinion, their reputation suffers and their future postings are treated with discretion.

The site concerns itself with facts.

StackOverflow has taken this concept of community and knowledge repository and expanded their offering to myriad and sundry topics through their StackExchange site. They agree to host, through a creative commons agreement, any site on any topic. They provide the real estate, the users provide the community.

In the beta phase, anybody can suggest a site for development. If enough support is generated through participation, and the site reaches a critical mass, StackExchange will take the site live for universal participation.

The beta phase involves creating the format for the site, generating the interest through commitment from users and developing the format of the questions that will be permitted as well as those considered off topic.

I started a proposal.

Check out their FAQ. See if it interests you. If you think this could be something worthwhile, sign up to help create the format. Tell your friends. Get Baffert and Lukas. Davis and Stronach. Zayat and Moss.

Want an answer to acceptable parts per million in an after race drug sample? Maybe somebody from the testing board can answer that for you. The stewards knocked you out of the Pick 4 at Hollywood? Perhaps they could deign to step up to the proverbial mike.

For the site to make it out of alpha, it requires 60 users and 10 sample questions(both good and bad). Everything gets a vote. The format develops organically.

It is a meritocracy. A place for facts.

In a game that lacks transparency, change has to start somewhere.


Anonymous said...

What are your feelings regarding yesterday's World Cup win by Espana.

frank mitchell said...

Mate, This is bitch'n'. I'm in. Frank

Wind Gatherer said...


That makes two...

Indulto said...

Just wondering what your thoughts were on the California takeout increase bill signed recently by Governor Schwarzenegger.

Wind Gatherer said...


I think if I managed my finances, the way government manges theirs, I would have been in debtors' prison, a long time ago.

That said, when one bases their choice of leadership on ephemeral dogma and hollywood soundbites, well we all deserve the government we have.

It sucks all around and horse racing has done itself no favors with public perception. It's easy to target what is perceived as a community of degenerates and mafia types. Who wouldn't want to tax the shit out of them?

I am settling in nicely in the front row to watch the whole thing.


Indulto said...

Happy New Year.

Your commentary is missed.

Hope all is well.


Matt @ Horse Racing Games said...

My first visit here today. I am UK-based but I have an interest in horse racing internationally. I enjoyed your style and hope we'll see some new posts soon.

The Bid

The Bid
Greatest horse ever to look through a bridle