dearest syncerror,

i don't believe in second chances, so much as gradients and curves of ambitions and allowances. i made the decision to elevate zhu's user level on esr recently. there were two main factors that influenced this decision.

1. zhu is not an idiot. i have had conversations with the guy, and he understands the connection between behaviors and consequences. whether or not he chooses to behave some specific way is another question, which leads to the second factor.

2. the system in place on esr can easily address the potential risk of allowing a person to use the site freely. i can afford to test whether or not a user is prepared to behave in a manner that respects the system and its users by allowing probated users the freedom to disrespect them, knowing that if the freedom is abused the probation can be easily reinstated. xou made it very clear that he is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to OPPRESS and SUPPRESS zhu's freedoms, and so far zhu has maintained that freedom.

zhu has a good personality for this community, even though i think it's tough to fit in when you've cheated and there are lots of people ready to point that out mindlessly, like some spurned and bitter wife constantly reminding her husband of some fleeting infidelity from their past.

i won't pretend to know the ql team's motivations for handling these behaviors, i only wish to propose one small idea.

dreamhack is happening soon. zhu has made it clear that he is attending. i am a spectator of ql (since i have given up playing the game). i believe that zhu playing quake at dreamhack would be quite the spectacle.

i believe it is in the interests of the ql team to instate a moratorium on zhu's ban until dreamhack is concluded. knowing that:

1. the ban can be reinstated easily if zhu demonstrates any detrimental behaviors
2. zhu demonstrates an understanding of consequences for his choices, and regret for making those choices
3. zhu has regularly demonstrated a passion for the game and regret for engaging in behavior that resulted in his inability to play.

unbanning zhu will be entertaining, but more importantly it is an opportunity for a human being to redeem and prove himself both to himself and to his peers without any true risk to ql. it is a good opportunity, because giving him time to prepare for dreamhack means that he can demonstrate the validity of his skill and progress on lan. most importantly, it is a safe experiment for ql, and a great opportunity to increase the loyalty of at least one player who shows a great love for the game.

it isn't the ql team's responsibility to offer anybody redemption, but the chance is there, and all the team has to do is seize that chance and perhaps alter the ending to this tiny plot in ql history from the tragic irony of a talented player subjecting himself to the ridicule and scorn of an unforgiving community to the fallen player extended a hand by which he can climb up to overcome his mistakes and demonstrate the principal of human nature that is the growth and character that develops from making mistakes at all.

it's time to recognize that zhu is a member of this community, and that he has the mentality of a quake player. even lance armstrong took advantage of the system, a system he claimed to love, when nobody was looking. at least zhu has the dignity and poise to admit that it was wrong and to apologize for violating the trust necessary for the game to maintain its integrity.