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Fuskie
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No. of Recommendations: 21
In days of Yore, it was often said here that one of the hallmarks of this Board was that posts and ideas could, and often should be beaten to death, but the poster was never personally attacked or criticized.

Worth remembering.
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No. of Recommendations: 21
WaveDoc:
Posts are getting personal. I would hope we are better than this.


HankDfrmSD:
In days of Yore, it was often said here that one of the hallmarks of this Board was that posts and ideas could, and often should be beaten to death, but the poster was never personally attacked or criticized.

Worth remembering.



Charlie and Hank,

The next time the poster in question posts false claims based on deceitful methodology, I will simply alert you two by email and give one of you the chance to set the record straight in a way that you deem more befitting of this message board, hopefully with better results. Only if neither of you steps up will I do so myself. How does that sound?

I happened to be skimming the original thread that caught my attention (whose title, ironically in hindsight, described "backtesting issues") when the post in question first appeared, but decided that I'd leave the job of exposing its flaws to someone else. It was only over the weekend, after a smart guy like FLARAM, who certainly knows a thing or two about backtesting himself, had already replied without picking up on the crystal ball deception that I realized that, once again, I would have to be the bad guy who sets the record straight. But if one of you wants that job next time, you're certainly welcome to it.

Robbie Geary
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No. of Recommendations: 31
The next time the poster in question posts false claims based on deceitful methodology...

I don't know this issue or its history at all, so forgive what might be an inappropriate question.
Isn't it possible the errors were honest ones?
It's surprisingly easy to miss a crystal ball effect when doing a test.

And given how incredibly much work it is to correct the subtle ones, you always have to make judgment calls on which assumptions are "good enough".
For example, there is little true meaning to a test that doesn't correct properly for both inflation and currency effects, but those are usually ignored.
Anyone noticed that a US dollar has lost 10% of its purchasing power for tradable goods and services since late March?
I would call nominal dollar tests limited in utility and reliability, not deceitful.

Ultimately, I think some tests have errors, but I find it hard to believe anyone would purposely fake a test result. Cui bono?
Most things that seem malevolent are just randomness or goof-ups.

Jim
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No. of Recommendations: 28
The last thing this board needs is to drive more people away, especially those who are still experimenting / researching ideas.

All that's required is a.) care in backtesting and b.) a de-escalation of the language used to call out mistakes, not attack words usually used to ascribe bad motives.

There are many, many more important things to get incensed about outside this microscopic forum. Please guys, laugh it off, try to do a little better next time, and move forward together.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
The next time the poster in question posts false claims based on deceitful methodology...
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I don't know this issue or its history at all, so forgive what might be an inappropriate question. Isn't it possible the errors were honest ones?


Robbie may be suffering from lockdown/coronavirus stress as many of us are.

DB2
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No. of Recommendations: 12
Robbie,

I did wonder what led to your angry outburst, since I wasn't interested in the screen mentioned, so I'm glad you gave a bit more insight in your last post.

It's clear by ignoring the error when you first found it this has been gnawing at you for
quite awhile, leading to intemperate
language when it resurfaced and was believed valid by others.

Your language suggests that tpoto was just
sitting around waiting to con us poor souls (your term, 'deceitful'), while he really just had an inaccurate analysis and by passing along
a new screen, it is incumbent on us to try to find problems he overlooked, before using the screen.

You do not need others to do this for you. Just state the problem in the METHOD that invalidates the claimed results. If the methods maker
disagrees with your analysis, an educational thread will surely be launched. If he agrees,expect a thank you or an apology.



rrjjgg
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No. of Recommendations: 3
mungofitch:
I don't know this issue or its history at all, so forgive what might be an inappropriate question.
Isn't it possible the errors were honest ones?


No it isn't. If you want the history, I can compile some of it for you in email, but posting links and emails going back a decade would kind of do the opposite of "ending this now".

The easiest and least provocative way to test whether it's intentional is to see if he finally stops.

Robbie Geary
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Even close associates and best of friends and certainly family members have the occasional spat. You shake hands, give a pat on the back, have a beer and move on.

Just please don't allow momentary rifts to break up a good thing - Simon and Garfunkle, Watson and Crick, Lewis and Clark, Jake and Elwood...
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The Beatles
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Brady and Belichick
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Charlie, this board, as are all TMF Public Community boards, is monitored. And any violations of the Fool Terms of Service (which can be found via link at the bottom of this post) will be reported to the TMF Moderators.

Fuskie
Who encourages all Fools to be respectful of diverse and differing views and perspectives and to engage always in constructive and cooperative conversation...

-----
Premium Home Fool: Ask me a Foolish Question, I'll give you a Foolish Response!
Ticker Guide: The Walt Disney Company (DIS), Intuit (INTU), Live Nation (LYV), CME Group (CME), MongoDB (MDB), Trip Advisor (TRIP), Vivendi SA (VIVHY), Mimecast (MIME), Hain Celestial (HAIN), Royce Micro Capital Trust (RMT)
Disclaimer: This post is non-professional and should not be construed as direct, individual or accurate advice
Disassociation: The views and statements of this post are Fuskie's and are not intended to represent those of The Motley Fool or any other sane body
Disclosure: May own shares of some, many or all of the companies mentioned in this post (tinyurl.com/FuskieDisclosure)
Fool Code of Conduct: https://www.fool.com/legal/the-motley-fools-rules.aspx#Condu...
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No. of Recommendations: 35
I'm replying to elliotyoung's comments in post 279069 (https://boards.fool.com/Message.aspx?mid=34624230), as wells as other comments on this topic, in this thread because (1) I don't wish to distract from anyone's efforts in the above thread to woo the person in question back onto the message board, and (2) in spite of the many votes to "end this now", "this" has now spread to four threads, which I'm sure is making it difficult to follow.


elliotyoung:
As you probably know, message boards were in their infancy the etiquette was horrible. Most message boards were on AOL since they were the major consumer platform. On boards, people often would insult, name call, and be jerks to others. One great exception was our board. We were civil from the start but every once in awhile, we weren't. This is one of the times. We all make mistakes. But please don't quit because a person made a mistake.


For the record, I don't believe I've made any mistakes in facts or judgments, which are based on twenty years of observation and spot-checking the person's posts at levels of scrutiny that I doubt very many other people would be willing or able to match. I stand by every word I've posted, including the precise language that some have described as "intemperate".

If you believe I've been uncivil, then I include you (as well as FlyingCircus and rrjjgg) in the invitation that I offered to Charlie and Hank:

The next time the poster in question posts false claims based on deceitful methodology, I will simply alert you two by email and give one of you the chance to set the record straight in a way that you deem more befitting of this message board, hopefully with better results. Only if neither of you steps up will I do so myself. How does that sound?

So far, no one has expressed any willingness to lead by example on this matter. The only attempt at constructive feedback that I've gotten is this:


rrjjgg:
Just state the problem in the METHOD that invalidates the claimed results. If the methods maker disagrees with your analysis, an educational thread will surely be launched. If he agrees, expect a thank you or an apology.


The only problem with this suggestion is that it has already been tried for at least fifteen years--all the education in the world has not produced the slightest change in the deceptive behavior. All the polite options that I can think of have been exhausted.

So I think the group would be wise to come up with an acceptable protocol for calling out dishonesty on the message board for what it is, especially one that does not run afoul of The Motley Fool's code of conduct. To quote/paraphrase Zeelotes, where there is no accountability, dishonesty is inevitable. To assume that among over a quarter of a million posts there have never been any false or exaggerated claims, falsified data, deceit, etc, and that all mistakes have been innocent, would be naive. Also, it's absurd to think that "Fuskie" is going to moderate over an arcane controversy like this.

Another point for the record: I think the person in question has been mostly honest, namely, wherever it has been easy for the group to hold him accountable. For example, I don't think I've ever seen anything intentionally deceptive about his posts on market timing (which anyone can usually replicate in Excel); his stock screens developed at backtest.org and Keelix.com; or his ETF-based screens that can be verified with the GTR1 backtester or etfscreen.com, and for which the same survivorship bias and crystal ball issues do not exist (at least not for the big ETFs representing major indexes and asset classes).

However, where it has not been easy for people to scrutinize his work, he has demonstrated a willful disregard for the most basic principles of backtesting (avoidance of survivorship bias and crystal ball effects, or merely acknowledging these when they are unavoidable with the tools he is using) and a resistance to being questioned on these matters, even responding to polite, constructive criticism by calling for a referendum on whether he should continue sharing on the message board at all, or as Elan put it, by threatening to take his marbles home.

For example, for many years (2001-2012) he was one of the very few people with access to the Zacks backtester. In spite of others regularly pointing out to him that the Zacks backtester suffered from serious survivorship bias and crystal ball effects when it came to certain screening fields he was using (e.g., S&P 500 membership), he just kept on churning out false results, even refusing to include any of the suggested disclaimers. It was only when I gained access to historical Zacks data myself and added it to the GTR1 backtester, thereby enabling others to "torpedo" his screens, that he finally stopped. But he did so only to move on to PortfolioVisualizer (which allows "backtesting" on a survivors-only stock database), where he has been repeating exactly the same errors, with exactly the same disregard for the corrections and suggestions from others.


FlyingCircus
All that's required is... a de-escalation of the language used to call out mistakes, not attack words usually used to ascribe bad motives...


I would like to point that there is some amusing irony (and in the above case, hypocrisy) in these sermons that are coming my way. It only just now occurred to me, but both the worst, and least accurate accusations of bad motives that have ever been made on this message board were against me back in this thread (which was probably the biggest thread hijack ever as well): https://boards.fool.com/whats-working-top-screens-ttm-225133... As you can see, FlyingCircus was among those who essentially accused me of defrauding several dozen donors and volunteers and absconding with the data they had collected. Elan (who probably has a better memory than FlyingCircus), was among them as well, which I'm guessing might be what he was alluding to when he posted this yesterday:


elann:
As I’ve watched this controversy unfold, I’ve thought about how fortunate we are that Robbie isn’t so thin skinned. Just imagine for a moment, if you will, what would happen if Robbie were as thin skinned as tpoto.


Indeed!

In any case, I haven't held grudges against anyone (including FlyingCircus) for the accusations that were made against me in 2005, partly because I had, in fact, disappeared for a while.


Robbie Geary
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No. of Recommendations: 21
To quote an old Western, Hombre - "well now... what do you suppose hell's gonna look like?"

Now, I'm upset by understanding the blast radius I caused in someone by assuming my alleged sense of humor was funny. I really didn't realize then - 15 years ago - that a sarcastic, and intended-to-be-a-joke, post, could be taken that personally. In re-reading it now, well it was at best unnecessary.

Robbie, I was not accusing you of fraud and absconding with data. But my post on that thread was stupid and unnecessary.

Although Robbie says above there's no grudge, since he went to the length of calling me out twice, and called me out as a hypocrite 15 years later, I'm gonna go ahead and assert that it's obvious there was serious offense taken. And now I really know where I stand.

And because I've learned, among other things, that communication is not as much about what's said as what's received -

I apologize.

FC
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No. of Recommendations: 9
FlyingCircus,

I absolutely do not hold any grudges against you or anyone else who spoke up in the thread I linked to. When I posted last night, I had spent the day searching in the back of my mind for counterexamples to the idyllic picture of this message board's "days of yore" that others have alluded to. Like I said, I did not think of the thread I linked to until I was putting the last touches on my post. I had zero memory of who said what, other than that Zeelotes was personally insulted for coming to my defense. The fact that this one thread had it all: accusations of fraud, personal insults, name-calling, and people going over-the-top--with some of it in your yore--amused me to no end. My intention was merely to enjoy a good field day teasing and embarrassing you and the message board, not to provoke a serious apology from you or anyone else, which I'm now embarrassed to have gotten.

The facts, at least as they were visible from the message board, certainly supported the impression that I had made off with the data, never to return.

Robbie Geary
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No. of Recommendations: 30
The facts, at least as they were visible from the message board, certainly supported the impression that I had made off with the data, never to return.

Robbie Geary


To set my part of the record straight as far as fifteen year old accusations. I wasn't alluding to that in my previous message. I had absolutely no memory of that, and I still don't, and I'm not going to bother going back to refresh my memory. I can barely remember things I said yesterday, and they probably don't matter.

You are incredibly generous and your postings on this board, including the one you just made about 3x sector funds, are masterful. Thank you for being here.

Elan
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No. of Recommendations: 21
<< ....supported the impression that I had made off with the data, never to return. >>

Some 20 years ago I was working on backtesting Sparfarkle's (IIRC) 6/3 option strategy.

Klouche showed me how to incorporate the Black-Scholes model to give an estimate of expected returns on those options:

https://boards.fool.com/optimal-use-of-options-12820144.aspx... (for example)

I had access to the raw ValueLine data with accurate CRSP (Center for Research in Security Prices) numbers (I'm the original purchaser of the VL data going back to 1986, and have the actual license from them to use--but not publish--their data).

The problem was we didn't have actual historical options prices...just our model from those Black-Scholes equations

I was able to track down a DVD (from TradeStation) that had decades worth of actual prices. It cost me a few thousand $$'s, but now I had the real thing.

But to get a price on a single option, I had to input the ticker and date....one at a time. There seemed to be no way to extract tables of data to put into a spreadsheet . On top of that, the DVD was not able to be copied.

Then I had some off-line discussion with FooiishlyFree. He thought he knew a way to get around that DVD's protective algorithms. So I mailed him the DVD, and waited:

https://boards.fool.com/obviously-the-real-problem-with-perf...

....and waited, never to hear from him again.

I began to think he absconded with all that expensive data.

Turns out I somehow missed the post on his demise, and it wasn't until Elan just recently mentioned he died in a car accident some 19 years.


Alan (been here a long time)
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