Thank you, Mark.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.
I have never been so insulted in all my life.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.
The ban is a good idea? What can I say?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.
I am speechless.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.
For Khan: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!!
Garbage posts? Math is not garbage.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?
We're not talking about your math, harpazo, and you know it. The situation has already been clearly explained to you by several people (including a number of moderators) at various math sites for years now. Yet, you continue to deny and dismiss the concerns. That's why you have been permanently banned from some sites. You seem to have little desire in being part of a math community. You know what you need to do (whether you want to or not). So please do as we've asked, or please hang out somewhere else.Garbage posts? Math is not garbage.