Muggle nudge culture

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Hector
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Muggle nudge culture

#1

Post by Hector » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:04 pm

Nudge pleas being a suboptimal practice in multiple ways, I suggest -- and happy to hear better ideas -- that we foster the following one. Solvers who know that they'll be easily reachable, and who are happy to nudge, add some standard remark or metaphor or whatever you creatives can produce to that effect in their "solved it" post. I'm-Nudge-Generous-On-This, INGOT?

boharr
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#2

Post by boharr » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:48 pm

Hector wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:04 pm
Nudge pleas being a suboptimal practice in multiple ways, I suggest -- and happy to hear better ideas -- that we foster the following one. Solvers who know that they'll be easily reachable, and who are happy to nudge, add some standard remark or metaphor or whatever you creatives can produce to that effect in their "solved it" post. I'm-Nudge-Generous-On-This, INGOT?
I like this idea, although it may prove impractical, especially for newbies not having had much muggle interaction. This week we are up to almost 200 posts as I write. Someone new would have to wade through pages of long posts with much copied material searching for an INGOT. I'm not sure they'd do that rather than simply posting an all-purpose request for a nudge, annoying as that may be. We could, of course, try it though.

BrianDavidson
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#3

Post by BrianDavidson » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:44 pm

I think asking for nudges before Sunday is giving up too soon.

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Joe Ross
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#4

Post by Joe Ross » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:11 pm

boharr wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:48 pm
Hector wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:04 pm
Nudge pleas being a suboptimal practice in multiple ways, I suggest -- and happy to hear better ideas -- that we foster the following one. Solvers who know that they'll be easily reachable, and who are happy to nudge, add some standard remark or metaphor or whatever you creatives can produce to that effect in their "solved it" post. I'm-Nudge-Generous-On-This, INGOT?
I like this idea, although it may prove impractical, especially for newbies not having had much muggle interaction. This week we are up to almost 200 posts as I write. Someone new would have to wade through pages of long posts with much copied material searching for an INGOT. I'm not sure they'd do that rather than simply posting an all-purpose request for a nudge, annoying as that may be. We could, of course, try it though.
Maybe nudgers could add "INGOT" to their profile signatures, hyperlinked to this topic, by way of explanation. With it showing on several signatures, new muggles should pick up on it quickly.

I like the idea of trying to reach a loose consensus on helping others work their way through metas. IMO, it would be best if creators state their policies, if they have them, including how nudge-receivers are docked points, or aren't. However, it's likely that creators don't wish to court controversy (& who could blame them?).

This community of intelligent, friendly, & fair-minded muggles can generously debate, agree upon, & accept guidelines, even if consensus remains that their are no guidelines & each muggle should nudge and seek nudges as they see fit. Brian's post about pre-Sunday nudge requests is a good starting point.

boharr
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#5

Post by boharr » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:26 pm

BrianDavidson wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:44 pm
I think asking for nudges before Sunday is giving up too soon.
I'd hate to see something so draconian become something of a "rule." Frankly, it seems unfriendly. Not everyone spends, or can spend, three days mulling over a puzzle. That doesn't mean they don't enjoy struggling to solve them solving them. And, in fact, as I have learned, many muggles enjoy discussing and kibitzing over puzzles. Even solving them together. Temperaments differ. I think Bob's posts about nudging and hints are kinder and pretty sensible. Why chastize and discourage newbies, or any muggle for that matter? One is never forced to supply a nudge. Scrolling is easy.

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TPS
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#6

Post by TPS » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:43 pm

My two cents - for what it’s worth. I’ve been the benefactor of a nudge probably 15 weeks of the 30 or so weeks I’ve been coming to this message board. So I personally check back all weekend and when I see someone ask I usually PM them - I also now have probably 20 people (possibly more) who PM for a nudge any weekend they don’t solve it.

I think most people fall into 3 categories: they don’t want help EVER, if they can’t get it solo they don’t want to know, people who might be able to solve it if they spent all weekend but simply don’t have the time but the not knowing will ruin their weekend (This is probably me), and those who just are not going to solve it and have spent a ton of time working on it. I feel like if 2 & 3 ask me for help I’m inclined to give it.

If there was a way to officially designate this so noobs could understand I’m willing to help but I do tend to side with boharr in thinking most people aren’t going to wade through the message board to look for the rules and will probably just post right to the topic after registering.

Good topic though - hopefully my post was additive and made sense - TBH I am 4 Buffalo Traces deep while watching Raging Bull - so coherent is relative.

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TPS
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#7

Post by TPS » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:50 pm

BrianDavidson wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:44 pm
I think asking for nudges before Sunday is giving up too soon.
Wendy tells me I do this - she says I solve “hard” ones quick and give up too easy on “easy” ones...Maybe so. But time has rarely helped me...before I came to this board I spent all weekend staring at these and never solving them. It was counter productive and ruined my weekend. I had in probably 60 attempts never solved one until I came here and I got a few nudges and then ultimately Joe Ross put me onto his method - that has helped me get to a closer to 35-45% clip - which at least makes them sorta fun for me. But honestly if that hadn’t happened I probably would have given this up entirely months ago - I still flirt with giving it up now - so as both a given of pre-Sunday nudges and a benefactor - I don’t think giving/getting a nudge before Sunday is too soon.

BrianDavidson
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#8

Post by BrianDavidson » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:39 pm

I’m not suggesting my current opinion on nudges become a rule. I’ve asked for nudges twice. Once in April from TPS (and sadly it was on a Saturday). The second nudge didn’t nudge me at all and it was on a Sunday.

I’m of the mind that I’m not meant to solve every meta. I try to, but when I don’t, I learn something new and remember it because it stings to not get the answer many others are getting. For me personally, nudging my way to the answer is equivalent to getting a “participation trophy”. I didn’t earn it on my own through mental gymnastics, but I still show up on the shore list with everyone else.

This is my opinion only and you don’t have to adopt it or even agree with it. But if you need help understanding it, I’ll give you a nudge. ;)

boharr
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#9

Post by boharr » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:24 pm

BrianDavidson wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:39 pm
I’m not suggesting my current opinion on nudges become a rule. I’ve asked for nudges twice. Once in April from TPS (and sadly it was on a Saturday). The second nudge didn’t nudge me at all and it was on a Sunday.

I’m of the mind that I’m not meant to solve every meta. I try to, but when I don’t, I learn something new and remember it because it stings to not get the answer many others are getting. For me personally, nudging my way to the answer is equivalent to getting a “participation trophy”. I didn’t earn it on my own through mental gymnastics, but I still show up on the shore list with everyone else.

This is my opinion only and you don’t have to adopt it or even agree with it. But if you need help understanding it, I’ll give you a nudge. ;)
So folks who get nudges should be banned from the island? Personally I would not mind but it does seem decidedly unfriendly.

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Hector
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#10

Post by Hector » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:19 pm

There are after all lifeguards, the Coast Guard, and Flipper.

BrianDavidson
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#11

Post by BrianDavidson » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:36 pm

boharr wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:24 pm
So folks who get nudges should be banned from the island? Personally I would not mind but it does seem decidedly unfriendly.
No, but before this forum existed, it was very hard to find any hints or help for the metas before the deadline. It was a challenge that you could either solve on your own or not. The nudge culture erodes the satisfaction of solving on your own, in my opinion.

boharr
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#12

Post by boharr » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:39 pm

BrianDavidson wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:36 pm
boharr wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:24 pm
So folks who get nudges should be banned from the island? Personally I would not mind but it does seem decidedly unfriendly.
No, but before this forum existed, it was very hard to find any hints or help for the metas before the deadline. It was a challenge that you could either solve on your own or not. The nudge culture erodes the satisfaction of solving on your own, in my opinion.
Times change.

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TPS
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#13

Post by TPS » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:36 pm

boharr wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:24 pm

So folks who get nudges should be banned from the island? Personally I would not mind but it does seem decidedly unfriendly.
In the history of the world banning things never had negative unintended consequences.

GlennG
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#14

Post by GlennG » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:21 am

BrianDavidson wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:36 pm
No, but before this forum existed, it was very hard to find any hints or help for the metas before the deadline. It was a challenge that you could either solve on your own or not. The nudge culture erodes the satisfaction of solving on your own, in my opinion.
I'd say in the time I've done these (four years), I've noticed that people that really want to try to learn how to do these things are pretty stymied. Furthermore, I've personally noticed about a dozen people asking about meta help just in the time I've done this, not counting the small live meta group I used to feed puzzles to (which have had similar issues to the point of all quitting). It seems the reason I see for that is usually the competition/competitive nature that these drawings for mugs or whatever it might be brings out in people. I get it and totally understand that people want a fair shake in these things, and can feel that these nudges or any kind of help before deadlines eliminates that. But it's rough to tell someone that wants the help (whatever that may be since I've heard several arguments that the concept of "metas" is entirely unfair in itself, which is another issue entirely) that they can't get it out of fairness to the others. I think the idea of finding a way to help people get into this that doesn't upset the people that are competitive would ultimately be useful.

Inca
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#15

Post by Inca » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:15 pm

BrianDavidson wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:36 pm
boharr wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:24 pm
So folks who get nudges should be banned from the island? Personally I would not mind but it does seem decidedly unfriendly.
No, but before this forum existed, it was very hard to find any hints or help for the metas before the deadline. It was a challenge that you could either solve on your own or not. The nudge culture erodes the satisfaction of solving on your own, in my opinion.
I'm not sure of your reasoning here, Brian. A nudge is not forced on anyone; it is requested. If someone wants to solve only on their own, they can continue to do so. But why stop folks who can't stand the suspense from having to wait until Monday? Personally, I have never asked for a nudge (yet?), but I can understand why others ask for one.

boharr
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#16

Post by boharr » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:42 pm

Inca wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:15 pm
BrianDavidson wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:36 pm
boharr wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:24 pm
So folks who get nudges should be banned from the island? Personally I would not mind but it does seem decidedly unfriendly.
No, but before this forum existed, it was very hard to find any hints or help for the metas before the deadline. It was a challenge that you could either solve on your own or not. The nudge culture erodes the satisfaction of solving on your own, in my opinion.
I'm not sure of your reasoning here, Brian. A nudge is not forced on anyone; it is requested. If someone wants to solve only on their own, they can continue to do so. But why stop folks who can't stand the suspense from having to wait until Monday? Personally, I have never asked for a nudge (yet?), but I can understand why others ask for one.
Exactly

Inca
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#17

Post by Inca » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:55 pm

I "knew" this was one I should get...and finally I did.

My addiction to the meta, to "needing" to solve it before I can relax, has really released it's hold on me. So, I really don't obsess over them anymore nor do I spend too much time to keep trying to figure it out. But in the back of my mind, every time I don't see the path, I wonder if I am just using that slackening of the "addiction" as an excuse for not seeing the answer--that maybe I am just losing my ability to solve these. That's why when I get the idea that this is the type of puzzle I should be able to solve, it still does worry at me a bit. So, I am really happy to have solved this week.

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DaveKennison
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#18

Post by DaveKennison » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:26 pm

I have never asked for a nudge and I seriously doubt that I would ever ask for one. Patience is a virtue. I even have a rule that I have only broken two or three times in my whole history of doing the WSJ metas: I don’t come to the blog and read any comments about a metapuzzle until I have either solved it or given up on solving it. Others may take a different view ... 😜.

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Cosmo
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#19

Post by Cosmo » Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:56 pm

I may be a little late to the conversation, but personally I lean more to the no nudge side of things. Given that there is a prize at stake, albeit a small prize, nudges come across as cheating to me. I would love to hear how Mike Miller, Mike Shenk, or Matt Gaffney feel about the inclusion of nudges on this forum. Others have made a lot of great points on this thread, but my competitive spirit is still getting in the way of accepting the idea of nudges :)
It's a coffee table book about coffee tables

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Joe Ross
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#20

Post by Joe Ross » Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:53 pm

The competitive spirit might be what's required to learn from nudges and hints. After deadline, the solution may be thought of as yesterday's news. With the stakes so low, I doubt that the prize is the goal, rather beating the timer is.

I see nudges & hints as a way to welcome new muggles and to help them learn the methods & culture. This is a great and growing community. The more the merrier, please. Everyone wants to belong somewhere. Let's help.

I have been inconsistent, but look to be more uniform in my approach going forward. I will reply to nudge requests, whether direct or posted on the topic, with the following:
  • Tell me the level of help you are seeking. Do you want a simple yes/no validation of a solution or first few steps, or more?
  • Send me what you have, so far, please. Leave nothing out. However, as you write, see if new ideas occur to you. You may find the solution by reframing your thoughts. Also, see if the act of putting your ideas into words doesn't make you realize that you are going too far. Most solutions, no matter how difficult, are simple to explain. If your methodology is 3, 4, or more steps past your initial thoughts, try walking away.
  • I will return questions for you which will guide you toward the basic and excellent solving methods at play, which can be found here. Consulting them before replying is a great idea.
  • I will quote your PMs back to you & remove anything that doesn't help you solve. That, in itself, can be a powerful hint. Please do not continue to argue ignored points. I truly enjoy offbeat & unintended answers that have some validity (and have found a couple, in the past), but these are best left for Monday's discussions.
  • You will not be given the answer, because I will try to preserve your AHA! moment as best I can.
  • Whether you submit for the mug, or not, means nothing to me. This is entirely up to you. If you do win, expect me to sincerely congratulate you.
  • I prefer that our discussions remain confidential, please.
[ EDIT1, 2, & 3: I get the reasoning of & agree with the "no nudges before Sunday" policy esteemed muggles mention here, but due to the expected & experienced back & forth nature of the Socratic method I will use, plus my relative lack of availability on Sundays, I will set Saturday, 4 PM ET, as the starting point of replying to requests. (Unless you're that DrTom guy. He needs all of the help he can get! I'm thinking of installing a digital billboard outside his home office, on which I'll post each contests' answer, to save us time. As HOA president, I'm sure he'll approve it.) ]
Last edited by Joe Ross on Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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