# Member harpazo has been issued Strike 1

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#### mmm4444bot

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I've tried communicating with harpazo during the past five weeks, but it's not working.

(1) Repeated failure to follow written requests
(2) Multiple posting warnings ignored
(3) Unwillingness to follow the forum's submission guidelines

I have banned harpazo for about 14 days, to afford him a better opportunity to change his behavior.

$$\;$$

#### Romsek

##### Senior Member
It's not on any of us but the best thing that anyone could do for Harpazo is to convince him that

a) life is finite
b) he has utterly no talent for mathematics
c) he will enjoy what remains of his finite life much more if he finds something, anything, he has a small talent for. Everyone is good at something.

#### pka

##### Elite Member
It's not on any of us but the best thing that anyone could do for Harpazo is to convince him that
a) life is finite
b) he has utterly no talent for mathematics
c) he will enjoy what remains of his finite life much more if he finds something, anything, he has a small talent for. Everyone is good at something.
Living in NYC area, why would one not enroll for basic mathematics an the many community colleges there?

#### topsquark

##### Senior Member
Don't you read his posts?? He's in his 50's, working full time, posts from his cell phone, and has little money to spare. Thus he deserves a lot of latitude.

Sorry. I still think he's working on that problem bank he seems to think online fora need to have, which is why he keeps asking for help on the same basic concepts and more or less demands full explicit answers. But that's just an opinion. I think the ban is a good idea.

-Dan

#### Subhotosh Khan

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Don't you read his posts?? He's in his 50's, working full time, posts from his cell phone, and has little money to spare. Thus he deserves a lot of latitude.

Sorry. I still think he's working on that problem bank he seems to think online fora need to have, which is why he keeps asking for help on the same basic concepts and more or less demands full explicit answers. But that's just an opinion. I think the ban is a good idea.

-Dan
I think the same way. I think he is trying to collect a tutorial book - to be able to tutor mathematics. That is why I do not respond to his posts.

#### JeffM

##### Elite Member
I think the same way. I think he is trying to collect a tutorial book - to be able to tutor mathematics. That is why I do not respond to his posts.
I am not sure that I agree with a ban, even a temporary one, but the supposition that he is planning to tutor is appalling. Being naive, I had always supposed that he had some obscure, but ultimately intellectual, interest in learning mathematics for its own sake.

To do mathematics, you must learn some techniques, but ultimately mathematics is a style of thinking, not a bag of tricks. I have seen nothing to indicate that he grasps the importance of careful definition, generalization, abstraction, and experimentation. More importantly, I am not confident that he knows correctly which trick to pull out of his bag even when one of them applies. He seems to want to put as many things into the bag as possible rather than to have a bag full of only those things that he knows how and when to use.

#### MarkFL

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I have had a lot of correspondence with harpazo on several sites over the last couple of years. I can honestly say I do not believe he has any malicious intent. I think he just has an interest in studying math, and talking about math with people when those in his circle of friends and family do not share his interest.

But, I can say that I have gotten frustrated with him at times over his lack of interest in taking direction by forum staff and dedicated helpers. He routinely ignores my follow up questions, which I carefully select in an effort to help drive the material home, or to spark further thought into the math underlying the problem.

I have also gotten frustrated in explaining things to the best of my ability, only to have the same question posted a few weeks later with no apparent recollection of any prior discussion on the problem. I have honestly waffled between wanting to help, and feeling like I am not helping, that I am failing him in some way. I also get frustrated when I am told my explanation is "too mathematical" or that I should change my style of posting to enumerated steps. I try to post with a logical flow, where one step leads to the next, and I think numbering steps is simply unnecessary.

In the end though, I truly don't think he is trolling.

#### topsquark

##### Senior Member
I agree that he's not a troll. Just what he actually is is beyond me at this point. But the idea that he wants to tutor is likely. I vaguely recall him saying that at some point.

-Dan

#### Subhotosh Khan

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I have seen people who think they can teach because they can solve some certain sets of problems. A man with a roll of duct-tape and a can of WD-40 start to have delusion that he can fix everything. My sense about Harpazo was that he was collecting that roll of duct tape and WD-40. I have seen several 50+ people like that. Suddenly they are tired of the physical demand of their profession (roofer, night-watchman, etc.) - and think that teaching is a relaxing job that they should be able to handle.

He probably is not a "conscious" troll - but his post about Mr. Limbaugh was a borderline behavior at best!!

#### Otis

##### Elite Member
Like others, I'm not really sure what's going on, so I'm left to speculate as well. My current take is that harpazo really has no interest in learning math as much as playing with or dabbling in math topics, and chatting about it all. I imagine him jumping from one math link to the next and watching youtube videos, like other people peruse magazine articles or watch reruns on TV (i.e., somewhat mindless recreation). But, when it comes to effort required for real concentration, systematically absorbing lessons, memorizing patterns and practicing, he doesn't seem motivated. He's shown little interest in a lot of corrections and constructive suggestions posted for him. In one of his earlier threads here, he seemed to express surprise when some referred to him as a student (replying with something like, "What? Me a student at 54?").

The comments about harpazo's possible mindset of tutoring math students ring true. I've often thought that parts of his threads read like he's acting as both tutor and student. In other words, a lot of demonstration has seemingly been presented as requests for help. Some of his math "inquiries" seem feigned. There is repeated waste of volunteer resources. He posts too many replies that add nothing of interest.

I also suspect that harpazo uses forum interaction as a substitute for face-to-face social contact. I've considered that he may have been mistreated regularly in his life and has developed an inferiority complex as a result. Acting as tutor or one who provides math service (eg: worked-out "practice" problems for students) might be one way his psyche seeks self-validation, using a fictional environment of its own creation, to fill voids created by an indifferent or absent social network. I don't have the knowledge to confirm any of that, and I don't have special training required of those who work with such individuals.

Again, I'm not sure what's up. If goofing around is harpazo's thing, then my opinion is that he needs to find a different playground. If behavioral medicine or cognative therapy is what he needs, then I'd hope he chats up his care team. My guess is that none of the regular contributors in the forum can continue leading him around by the hand for years or have interest in being a nurse mate facilitating a false narrative. This is a tutoring forum for students.

#### Subhotosh Khan

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I am not sure that I agree with a ban, even a temporary one, but the supposition that he is planning to tutor is appalling. Being naive, I had always supposed that he had some obscure, but ultimately intellectual, interest in learning mathematics for its own sake.

To do mathematics, you must learn some techniques, but ultimately mathematics is a style of thinking, not a bag of tricks. I have seen nothing to indicate that he grasps the importance of careful definition, generalization, abstraction, and experimentation. More importantly, I am not confident that he knows correctly which trick to pull out of his bag even when one of them applies. He seems to want to put as many things into the bag as possible rather than to have a bag full of only those things that he knows how and when to use.
The supposition is appalling or

the thought of him being a math-tutor is appalling?

#### JeffM

##### Elite Member
The supposition is appalling or

the thought of him being a math-tutor is appalling?
My dear Subhotosh

It is the supposition because the reality is unimaginable.

#### Harry_the_cat

##### Elite Member
I think the simple fact is that Harpazo is lonely, as on several occasions he has said he doesn't have supportive friends or family. And he just wants to be accepted into a group with common mathematical interests. That's sad. I always try to be nice and treat him with respect. I'm pretty sure he is not a troll. Yes he can be frustrating and his sociability sometimes seems misdirected, but it is upsetting when some members on here mock him to the point of bullying. A temporary ban might be a good idea - but maybe he sees it as just another kick in the guts - it feels like he has had many in his life. My request is that if you have nothing nice or constructive to say to him then just scroll past his posts. None of us know what anyone else is going through and one nasty comment may just be the straw that breaks the camel's back. I'd hate that to be the case.

#### topsquark

##### Senior Member
Looks like harpazo has gone back to MMF.

-Dan

#### jonah2.0

##### Full Member
Beer soaked opinion follows.

Notwithstanding his weak grasp of math, I keep hoping against hope that one of these days, he will somehow have an epiphany where he realizes that it's all so simple. I guess that day has yet to come. Like Good old Charlie Brown though, I am a chronic hopeaholic and can only hope that he will get it. Maybe he just needs to be chemically enhanced with a mere beer bottle.

#### mmm4444bot

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
… [harpazo] just wants to be accepted into a group …

… My request is that if you have nothing … constructive to say to him then just scroll past his posts …
harpazo is free to be a part of this community (the temporary ban has ended), but acceptance in a community comes with personal adult responsibilities. At this forum and others, harpazo has already received hundreds of constructive replies, suggestions and warnings. For nearly five years, he's consistently shown little interest in constructive replies; seemingly, his focus is usually on starting the next thread (not on the math).

Over weeks, I've made dozens of attempts to help harpazo adapt to the forum's guidelines and basic forum etiquette. He didn't take those seriously, even with multiple warnings that he wouldn't be able to post for two weeks.

Clearly, harpazo is unwilling and/or unable to adapt. Let's remember: His behavior became bad enough to warrant a lifetime ban at other sites. At this point, what is your suggestion on how to proceed, Harriett, when harpazo returns to submitting two-dozen garbage posts a day, while repeatedly ignoring the guidelines and tutors' reasonable attempts to interact?

$$\;$$

#### mmm4444bot

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
… Maybe he just needs to be chemically enhanced with a mere beer bottle.
I think that's worth a shot.

#### Subhotosh Khan

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I, personally, plan to ignore his posts.

#### Harry_the_cat

##### Elite Member
I don't know the answer. Is the platform used able to limit the number of posts per day from a particular member?

#### MarkFL

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't know the answer. Is the platform used able to limit the number of posts per day from a particular member?
I don't think so, not without a (paid) addon.

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