Steve Kidd as Pete Doherty"Old Wounds"

An essay inspired by a thread on the Facebook "Quiz Discussion Group" instigated by Mark Cooper and headed ".. How much of your non attendance at quiz events is down to worrying about looking stupid?".

I am quite aware that my reputation precedes me, which is unfortunate for me, but, probably more importantly, in the wider scheme of things, is detrimental for many who:

  • might otherwise take advantage of the good things I do,
  • make sub-optimal decisions brought about by mis-information and false perceptions, and
  • by making poor choices deny opportunities to others.

    I would ask anybody, especially those who don't know me, to divorce the copious hearsay from the actual evidence.

    Good Things

    When Didier Bruyere states "For the records, I have never heard or read one good thing about the gentleman mentioned above" (i.e. me), He is giving the distinct impression that he is inferring I have not done anything good; that he has heard and read only bad things. He is not alone. I understand that if someone only moves in circles where misconceptions are bandied as truth that it is natural to believe them. For any people out there who wish to have a more complete picture of a world where I am currently The Great Satan, please, check out some of the stuff I have done that is immediately visible through my web site, and some quiz specific things at, for example

  • LightSpeed Quizzes
  • QU12 quizzes
  • 2013 Christmas Mastermind competition at Pontefract RUFC
  • Current affairs question tweet @currentquiz

    123 quiz (now defunct) and the annual Roses quiz were other ventures I was instrumental in creating, one day I may be able to retrieve and post some of the stuff about them from the great trash bin in the ether, but they had in common with the other stuff that they are entirely philanthropic, done for the pure love of quiz. I would estimate that the financial cost to me of these capers to be in excess of £30,000.

    Though still done primarily because I love quizzes, the following are things that I am incredibly proud of that have actually made money for people.

  • Organising the winning team for Come And Have A Go If You Think Your Smart Enough
  • Organising trips, accommodation and expenses for many quiz players on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Live, culminating in prizes for the vast majority of them and a nice little expenses paid holiday for most.
  • A success rate of over 90% for coaching people at "Fastest Finger First" prior to their appearances on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Over 70% of people I coached got on first time, of the remainder several were only beaten by someone who had been coached by me. I am particularly proud of turning two brilliant quizzers around from multiple appearances on the show and multiple fff failures (prior to my input) into "hot-seats". (And I didn't make a red cent out of them, one actually cost me a thousand (it's a long story!))

    Now... If some of that shit is not 'good', I guess I'm stumped.

    The other side of the coin is all the bad things I've done which, naturally, I do not wish to dwell on. We have all done things in the past we regret, misguidedly, mistakenly, whatever, but if, for example, David Stainer states I have tried "to invest LSQ with an importance that it patently does not merit." I can only ask "Where?". Yes, on the LSQ introduction page I state "You have arrived at the site of the best quick fire general knowledge quiz in The Galaxy." but if this is not obvious over the top, tongue in cheek, hyperbole, you really don't understand. I am reasonably confident that everything I write is accurate.

    I am suggesting here that when people say I do bad things, ask them to put up or shut up. There are a lot of real nice people (I mean that) who contribute directly to, or at least permit, damaging exaggerations and lies about me.

    In the thread that has provoked this, I only asked a sincere and reasonable question, invited people to LightSpeed quiz, and, I consider courteously, placed a link to it. (In total it read "Do you mean quiz events or Quizzing events? Hope we might see you one day at a LightSpeed event.") - I can not imagine how I could have been more reasonable.

    The reaction from David Stainer was "Steve Kidd - I'm watching you. I very much wouldn't want to exclude anyone from this group even if I might disagree profoundly with them - but equally the group is NOT a place to open old wounds or to advertise your commercial interests"

    It was aggressive, unjustified, unbalanced and misleading. And this is what we all must be wary of, because I know of fewer more lucid, manifestly intelligent, knowledgeable and entertaining blokes than David Stainer. And when he writes stuff like that he has me believing it! We must all make decisions on what to believe. When a source is trusted we are less inclined to be circumspect, but this is when untruths are at their most pernicious.

    We all have cognitive dissonance, that subconscious reconciling of conflicting evidences. A trait of this is that the more one invests into a belief, the stronger it becomes, engendering a feedback of justification which veers further and further away from the empirical truth. At the top of the facebook group in question we had the statement:

  • "A group to discuss any and all aspects of general knowledge quizzing - quiz events.. etc."

    yet at the bottom of the thread David

  • appeals to emotion ("my heart sank", "Sadly")
  • repeats the 'Aunt Sally' ("I knew you would not be able to resist reopening old wounds and so it has proved" "past battles"). I had not done anything of the kind.
  • makes a rod for his own back ("LSQ has five or six regular attendees"), in that such a criterium for not posting would negate many of the groups' postings, and
  • directly contradicts the group's statement above when he states"I hoped you might .. talk about things other than .. LSQ".

    This is not meant to be a hurtful attack on David, (although it is a refuting of what he says). It me using him as an example of people using everything bar evidence to secure a position, I might suggest instinctively rather than rationally. If David, or anybody for that matter wishes to say "Steve, I don't like you, you are a lisping, limping boor with an overinflated sense of your own importance" I would be disappointed, try to seek a way of redeeming myself and carry on trying to promote social welfare. But please don't try and justify disdain as something that is anything other than personal taste couched in an ad-hominem attack.

    How can so many people be wrong? - read history

    Do I enjoy this?

    I enjoy writing, but this? Definitely no.

    What do I hope to achieve?

    Before you believe everything you hear, even whilst you believe what you believe, get as much first hand evidence as you can. There are many people have loved LightSpeed and will do in the future. Come along, make your own mind up. It's great!