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This case illustrates the process of "Forced Transfers," which no victim of the transfer likes or should ever be subjected to. A "forced transfer" occurs when one party manipulates the environment in such a way that another must sacrifice his liberty in order to protect himself from the harm that would otherwise result from the environmental modification by the first party.

A "forced transfer" occurs when the person for whom you are babysitting comes home at 2a.m. instead of the promised 11p.m. The offending parent has put you in a position of having to choose between abandoning the baby at 11pm or sacrificing your liberty for whatever length of time the parent selfishly chooses to stay away. Your life has been diminished by having those 3 hours of liberty stolen from you, and converted by the parent into 3 hours of pleasure for him/herself. You were put to the choice of losing your liberty to the parent, or to the law enforcement authorities who vigorously punish baby abandonment.

A "forced transfer" occurs when some scumsucking, cell phone addicted, reprobate travels down the street or sidewalk, not watching for others, oblivious to the presence of any other human being, thereby ignoring the safety of himself as well as others. His reward? The bliss of uninterrupted lovemaking with his precious brainsuck device. The cost to him? Nothing. But, the others attempting to use the street or sidewalk are put to the involuntary choice of either crashing into the degenerate, or, having to bear full responsibility for everyone's safety, the degenerate's included, by taking the evasive actions his actions necessitated. The dirtbag thereby took your liberty and converted it to his pleasure.

"Forced transfers" are the hallmark of our day. It is the inevitable consequence of the modern loosing of unbridled narcissism. And, it is a sure sign of the coming abandonment of liberty and the consequent imposition of external control.

In the case of the piano competition in question, the organizers engaged in a "forced transfer" for their own benefit and to the detriment of the complainant. By accepting their appointments as jurors, they undertook the responsibility of making the easy or difficult decisions involved in selecting the six finalists. The amount of their compensation is immaterial. They ACCEPTED THE RESPONSIBILITY. Equally important, the contestants made big changes in their lives and investments of their time and personal resources in reliance upon the jurors' acceptance and promise perform.

But, when the jurors found that the task they promised to perform was going to be more difficult than they liked, they abdicated from their responsibility. They found it easier to just renege on their promise and to escape the pains by "transferring" said pains to someone else. They took the route that was easiest for them, without regard for the circumstances of those who had relied upon their initial promise to perform the duties of juror.

This was a "forced transfer." What did it cost the jurors? Nothing. What did it benefit them? They got to escape the discomfort of making the promised decision that they sought to shrink from. Who paid for the jurors' benefit? The contestant paid for it. They diminished the contestant by placing him in undeserved doubt about what was to be contested, which, as we have seen, was in fact, to his great detriment.

These jurors engaged in the unholiest of "forced transfers", satisfying their need to escape the pains of their own cowardice at the contestant's expense. If being a juror is just too difficult for them, then they should stay away and not promise to do that which they are not committed to doing.

Shame on these jurors!

Last edited by Ralphiano; 05/08/19 11:04 AM.

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So given that the jurors felt that there were 10 contestants that were good enough to be heard, instead of 6, and that there were undoubtedly time constraints, what were the jurors to do?

I suppose that they could have asked the contestants to play all their selections twice as fast. Would that have been acceptable? They could have kicked a bunch of them out, even though they qualified. Would that have been acceptable? They could have made the contestants pay for the overtime for everyone else involved. Would that have been acceptable? They could have had them play less music, which is what they did, but you just said that was unacceptable. Of course, they could have told the contestants to stop playing after a while, but the contestant in question did not do that.


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Originally Posted by BDB
So given that the jurors felt that there were 10 contestants that were good enough to be heard, instead of 6, and that there were undoubtedly time constraints, what were the jurors to do?

I suppose that they could have asked the contestants to play all their selections twice as fast. Would that have been acceptable? They could have kicked a bunch of them out, even though they qualified. Would that have been acceptable? They could have made the contestants pay for the overtime for everyone else involved. Would that have been acceptable? They could have had them play less music, which is what they did, but you just said that was unacceptable. Of course, they could have told the contestants to stop playing after a while, but the contestant in question did not do that.


They simply needed to do what they promised to do, select six finalists.

Last edited by Ralphiano; 05/08/19 12:13 PM.

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"Last night, after announcing the finalists, every one of them was asked to leave out the third piece, which was a freely chosen work. Everybody accepted without problems.
In the case of Shuan Hern Lee, he immediately wrote back in belligerent tones that he did not want to do that. He had prepared three pieces, and he wanted to play all three. "

"Today, when it was his turn to perform, he started with the Chinese piece. Then, instead of the Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto, he started playing the Prokofiev Toccata. We were very surprised. The Director of Operations, upon instruction from jury members, started ringing a little bell to stop him."

"Shuan Hern did not stop. The bell kept ringing, but he kept ignoring it. Our President of the Jury, Mrs. Zhu Yafen, grabbed a microphone and asked him to please stop, and play the Concerto. He ignored her, too, and continued to play Prokofiev. "

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What is he doing??

How is the competition going to continue if he is the only one playing three pieces? Declare him the Grand Prize recipient?

Last edited by newport; 05/08/19 12:49 PM.
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If he does not agree with the rule change, he should just withdraw in protest. He doesn't own the competition and should not be allowed to behave like that in the competition.

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So did he not even "notice" that other competitors before him only played two pieces? And he still thinks he is in his right to think that he can play three pieces if the time fits (and he can go on to win the competition)?

And all this happens because he is "confused"? About what?

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Originally Posted by Ralphiano
Originally Posted by BDB
So given that the jurors felt that there were 10 contestants that were good enough to be heard, instead of 6, and that there were undoubtedly time constraints, what were the jurors to do?

I suppose that they could have asked the contestants to play all their selections twice as fast. Would that have been acceptable? They could have kicked a bunch of them out, even though they qualified. Would that have been acceptable? They could have made the contestants pay for the overtime for everyone else involved. Would that have been acceptable? They could have had them play less music, which is what they did, but you just said that was unacceptable. Of course, they could have told the contestants to stop playing after a while, but the contestant in question did not do that.


They simply needed to do what they promised to do, select six finalists.


So you are saying that they should kick out qualified candidates. How do you propose that they do that? Remember, they went in with a set of rules to determine who is qualified. Do you propose that they should have changed those rules?


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Originally Posted by BDB
So you are saying that they should kick out qualified candidates. How do you propose that they do that? Remember, they went in with a set of rules to determine who is qualified. Do you propose that they should have changed those rules?

Not trying to defend or address Ralphiano's point, but my observation is if they established initial rules that allowed the possibility of 10 qualified candidates instead of 6, with no tie breakers, and yet, they only had the capacity for handling 6 at that stage, then I am only stating the obvious by saying the initial rules were very poorly thought out.


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Originally Posted by BDB

So you are saying that they should kick out qualified candidates. How do you propose that they do that? Remember, they went in with a set of rules to determine who is qualified. Do you propose that they should have changed those rules?

By definition, every pianist who entered the competition was qualified. It was the jurors' responsibility to select the best among equals. If they couldn't whittle the competitors down to 6 at that stage, what guarantee was there that they would not present us with 10 first prize winners at the end?

Regardless of 16-year old Shuan Hern Lee's reaction to the rule change, it was highly improper and an abuse of his power for a juror to publicly shame this kid with an open letter filled with personal opinions masquerading as facts. The juror claims Lee "wrote back in belligerent tones". I didn't see anything belligerent in Lee's message. Again Pompa-Baldi claims "He (Lee) was on a mission to show everyone that he was in charge, he was the boss." How the heck does he know what was going through the kid's mind? Perhaps he was scared, anxious, confused, worried that he was damned if he stopped and damned if he didn't.

Ironically, this debacle has ensured that Shuan Hern Lee is the only one out of all the contestants that we will remember. I am willing to bet no one here can name the actual winner of the competition. In a world filled with thousands of 16-year-old virtuosos, a little name recognition doesn't hurt...if it is, of course, backed up with prodigious talent and the ability to move an audience.


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Originally Posted by BDB


So you are saying that they should kick out qualified candidates. How do you propose that they do that? Remember, they went in with a set of rules to determine who is qualified. Do you propose that they should have changed those rules?


Up to this point, I have proceeded under the assumption that the judging would be subjective, employing the full range of experiences, training, biases, tastes, preferences, and beliefs that each juror brings to the task. I had not considered the possibility your "set of rules to determine who is qualified" poses that the contest might have been adjudged on some completely "objective basis".

I am unable to imagine such an objective method of judging. Playing piano doesn't seem to lend itself to such in the way that a math problem does (only 8 is the correct answer to the problem of "2 x 4 ="; all other answer are incorrect).

So, unless I learn otherwise, I believe the adjudicative process contained ample opportunity for these judges to find justifiable grounds for differentiating the no. 6-10 contestants, and determining that one of them earned number 6.

I believe that was their duty, and they shrank from it.

I also believe the odds are astronomically against the likelihood that 5 contestants put in performances of exactly and precisely the same quality. I think the more likely explanation is that the jurors were fearful of offending someone, and sought to postpone, for as long as possible, the unpleasant task of telling 4 of those 5 that they did not make the cut.


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I think that the judges are given criteria upon which each of them are to score a contestant on a scale of something like 1-10, and then their scores are added up. So ties can happen rather easily, and the judges cannot change the score without breaking the rules. The rules, which nobody seems to know what they are, but I would suspect are not made by the judges.


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Guys we are talking about China here. Money and influence may be a factor and certainly wouldn’t surprise me, especially if this wasn’t a big well-established competition.

Sometimes people overestimate how far China has come in terms of their overall and general cultural perspective about rules.


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Originally Posted by BDB
I think that the judges are given criteria upon which each of them are to score a contestant on a scale of something like 1-10, and then their scores are added up. So ties can happen rather easily, and the judges cannot change the score without breaking the rules. The rules, which nobody seems to know what they are, but I would suspect are not made by the judges.

This was my earlier point. Presumably, the reason they ended up with 10 instead of 6 is because of tied scores. So for example, if the point scores for 6th place were the same for 5 of the competitors, then one could imagine ending up with 10 instead of 6. This is actually fine as long as the competition process could handle a large number of ties. However, we understand from the controversy that the jury decided they could actually not handle a large number of tied votes and needed to change the competition rules. This just shows the initial rules were incompetently developed that those initial rules should allow a large number of ties without any way of coping except further rule changes. Amateurs (at rule-making, that is!)


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Having both judged and participated in many competitions at varying levels, here's my take:

As a competitor, I would be confused and worried about the sudden change in the number of finalists. Does this also mean they they would increase the number of awards or have more special awards? If notified, I guess I'd have no option but to comply if I wanted to proceed in the competition, but it would leave me wondering if there were an ulterior motive from the jury (maybe one of their students or someone they are trying to recruit is on the expanded list).

As a judge, I've *never* judged a competition that allows for a rule change this dramatic mid-stream. We're paid to make choices and rank the contestants, simple as that. Also, given the vast number of competitions, I don't think that someone not making the finals of this competition would destroy their lives. If contestants are tied, then go to a second round of voting to determine the candidates who advance. I have a hard time believing that some of the jurors on that panel would be unable to pick one over the other unless there truly were issues of fairness and impartiality.

Maybe the contestant here overreacted, but in my experience modifying the rules (no matter how good your intentions are) is a very bad idea and opens the door to this exact kind of situation. They really should have known better.

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Originally Posted by Brendan
I have a hard time believing that some of the jurors on that panel would be unable to pick one over the other unless there truly were issues of fairness and impartiality.
.


You've never had a hard time not tying anyone? I can recall at least 3-4 times that it was pretty impossible to not tie. In fact, I bent the rules of a competition once and tied two people for first place. And I don't feel bad one bit.



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Again, nobody here seems to know what the rules are. Nobody knows what are rules and what are not. Nobody knows who makes the rules, but I doubt very much that it is the jurors.


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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Originally Posted by Brendan
I have a hard time believing that some of the jurors on that panel would be unable to pick one over the other unless there truly were issues of fairness and impartiality.
.


You've never had a hard time not tying anyone? I can recall at least 3-4 times that it was pretty impossible to not tie. In fact, I bent the rules of a competition once and tied two people for first place. And I don't feel bad one bit.


It's always been straightforward for me, with or without a point system, judging alone or judging on a panel, etc. You just have to think objectively about how people are playing on that specific day and at that specific time and not base your decision on any perceived trajectory the contestant may have.

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Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Originally Posted by Brendan
I have a hard time believing that some of the jurors on that panel would be unable to pick one over the other unless there truly were issues of fairness and impartiality.
.


You've never had a hard time not tying anyone? I can recall at least 3-4 times that it was pretty impossible to not tie. In fact, I bent the rules of a competition once and tied two people for first place. And I don't feel bad one bit.


It's always been straightforward for me, with or without a point system, judging alone or judging on a panel, etc. You just have to think objectively about how people are playing on that specific day and at that specific time and not base your decision on any perceived trajectory the contestant may have.


It's happened with people I didn't know beforehand - so nothing involving bias. Sometimes I think it's silly to be judging those things in general, but what do I know?



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Originally Posted by Brendan

Maybe the contestant here overreacted, but in my experience modifying the rules (no matter how good your intentions are) is a very bad idea and opens the door to this exact kind of situation. They really should have known better.


I was in one that moved the competition date up a week and "forgot" to notify anybody at my university (only) until the last moment. But the option to move the date may have been in the rules. 😁

Competitions often get "organizeritis," where the sheer inconvenience of holding the thing outweighs enough consideration of those playing in them.


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