2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Old college threads.
User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:19 pm

This is the thread in which to note errata and discuss specific questions from the 2017 ACF Regionals set.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:28 pm

I have noted and fixed errors in the lit bonus on Ben Jonson and the painting bonus on rams, which will be fixed. My bad on both.

Edit: also fixed a minor inaccuracy in the tossup on "liberty" (which implied that On Liberty and Two Concepts of Liberty were the same work).
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

User avatar
Kasper Kaijanen
Lulu
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:00 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Kasper Kaijanen » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:13 pm

In packet F, which answerline was in the lit distribution, Watchmen or elves?
Finn Bender
Edmond Memorial '15
OU '19

Bensonfan23
Wakka
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 7:50 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Bensonfan23 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:19 am

For the gram negative bacteria bonus (don't remember which packet, sorry), I'm pretty confident that "injectisome" should have been acceptable, or at least promptable, for the part on the Type 3 Secretion System.
Ryan Humphrey
UT Austin (Cell & Developmental PhD Program, 2018-?)
Duke University (Biology and History, Class of 2018)
George Washington High School (Charleston, WV, Class of 2014)
PACE Member (inactive for 2018-2019).

User avatar
Panayot Hitov
Wakka
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 1:59 pm
Location: Northfield, MN

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Panayot Hitov » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:45 am

I really enjoyed the "Odessa Steps" question, thank you to whoever wrote that!
Paul Kirk-Davidoff
Oakland Mills High School '14
Carleton College '18

User avatar
UlyssesInvictus
Tidus
Posts: 717
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:38 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:55 am

Imperial Cormorant wrote:In packet F, which answerline was in the lit distribution, Watchmen or elves?
I believe I sent Watchmen in as other lit, so I'm assuming it stayed under that category. (Was admittedly a little struck that they also included elves in the same packet, but I think that was one of Oxford's questions.)
Raynor Kuang
quizdb.org
Harvard 2017, TJHSST 2013
I wrote GRAPHIC and FILM

User avatar
Remembered Guy
Lulu
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:01 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Remembered Guy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:00 am

Was the Abbey Road tossup under other arts or trash? Regardless, thanks to whoever wrote it. Really enjoyed it.
Ben Koppel
Richard Montgomery '15
Carleton College '20

Urech hydantoin synthesis
Tidus
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:35 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:25 am

I don't remember the exact bonus or the exact packet, but the first part of the first bonus (physics, I think) in the packet that had tossups on stomach acid and formaldehyde did not specify an answer that it was looking for.
Ben Zhang
Columbia '18 | Ladue '14
PACE member

User avatar
kitakule
Lulu
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:49 am

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by kitakule » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:31 am

What was up with the convex tossup? Surely "concave up" should have been accepted?
Moses Kitakule
Episcopal School of Acadiana '15
Yale University '19 (Vice President '16-17, President '17-18)

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:06 am

Imperial Cormorant wrote:In packet F, which answerline was in the lit distribution, Watchmen or elves?
The Watchmen question was in literature; the "elves" question was classified as trash/other.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:09 am

Bensonfan23 wrote:For the gram negative bacteria bonus (don't remember which packet, sorry), I'm pretty confident that "injectisome" should have been acceptable, or at least promptable, for the part on the Type 3 Secretion System.
Yeah, it looks like that should've been acceptable; I've added it to the prompt. Apologies for the omission.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:10 am

El Cool Rectangle wrote:Was the Abbey Road tossup under other arts or trash? Regardless, thanks to whoever wrote it. Really enjoyed it.
The tossup on Abbey Road was classified as trash/other.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:13 am

kitakule wrote:What was up with the convex tossup? Surely "concave up" should have been accepted?
Yeah, I think this should have been an acceptable answer before "convex up" was read in the question. Apologies for the omission; I've added it to the answer line.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:15 am

Urech hydantoin synthesis wrote:I don't remember the exact bonus or the exact packet, but the first part of the first bonus (physics, I think) in the packet that had tossups on stomach acid and formaldehyde did not specify an answer that it was looking for.
Are you talking about this bonus? It's bonus 1 in the packet with those tossups, and it's a physics bonus, but it seems to specific the answer it's looking for in its first part:
packet 15, bonus 1 wrote:1. A Wick rotation of a hyperbolic Feynman propagator allows one to consider elliptic operators, whose Green’s functions can be expressed in terms of this solution. For 10 points each:
[10] The Minakshisundaram–Pleijel (min-AHK-shee-SOON-dah-rahm PLY-el) asymptotic expansion of what fundamental solution, often represented p or K, can be used to prove the Atiyah–Singer index theorem or compute perturbative expansions in quantum field theory and quantum gravity?
ANSWER: heat kernel
[10] Applying a linear partial differential operator to a fundamental solution, such as the heat kernel or a Green’s function, yields this function, which is used to represent a point source in physics.
ANSWER: Dirac delta function
[10] For heat kernels on a Riemannian manifold, Alexander Grigor’yan developed a universal way of obtaining “upper bounds” named for this prolific German polymath because they involve an exponential similar to the normal distribution, which is often named for him.
ANSWER: Carl Friedrich Gauss [or Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss]
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

adamsil
Wakka
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:20 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by adamsil » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:58 am

Bensonfan23 wrote:For the gram negative bacteria bonus (don't remember which packet, sorry), I'm pretty confident that "injectisome" should have been acceptable, or at least promptable, for the part on the Type 3 Secretion System.
Yep, that's totally my bad. I added that late to the list of acceptable answers but forgot to make the change in the final packet; apologies.
Adam Silverman
Georgia Tech 2012-2016
Northwestern 2016-

User avatar
Cody
2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year
Posts: 2113
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:57 am
Location: Richmond

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Cody » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:43 am

kitakule wrote:What was up with the convex tossup? Surely "concave up" should have been accepted?
Concave up is wrong for about half the clues in that tossup. (it's a convex combination and convex hull for instance). I guess no one would say concave up until the clues applying to it would be read, so it's fine to just take it the whole way through from a player empathy perspective. But that's the reason it didn't occur to me to put it in the answerline.
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I write lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16).
Quizbowl at VCU

User avatar
Sigurd
Lulu
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:11 am

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Sigurd » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:41 am

I don't know which packet it was in, but whoever wrote the Rhine tossup using clues from the Ring Cycle made my day!
Isaac Thiessen
Martingrove CI 2015
A University in Waterloo 2019

User avatar
west neg, new york
Lulu
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:35 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by west neg, new york » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:17 pm

Can I see the exact phrasing of the "vibrations" tossup, especially the lead-in about PQR branches? I might be remembering wrong, but I think that part was more applicable to transitions between vibrational states than to the act of vibrating itself.
Robert Chu
Harvard '17
Johns Hopkins '21
NAQT writer

User avatar
Sima Guang Hater
Auron
Posts: 1805
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:31 pm

Can I see the albinism question please?
Eric Mukherjee, MD PhD
Washburn Rural High School, 2005
Brown University, 2009
Medical Scientist Training Program, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2018
Intern in Internal Medicine, Yale-Waterbury, 2018-9
Dermatology Resident, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2019-

Member Emeritus, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer, NAQT, NHBB, IQBT

"The next generation will always surpass the previous one. It's one of the never-ending cycles in life."

User avatar
Silverman
Lulu
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:58 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Silverman » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:38 pm

I don't remember the exact phrasing, but the tossup on _binary trees_ opened with a clue about the Catalan numbers. Given that there are at least a dozen reasonable combinatorial interpretations of those, I'm not confident the first clue is sufficiently unique.

I very much enjoyed the elves tossup, so thank you to whomever included that.
Steven Silverman
Unionville High School '13
Carnegie Mellon University '17

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:40 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:Can I see the albinism question please?
packet L, tossup 2 wrote:2. This condition occurs with a coagulation deficiency in Hermansky–Pudlak syndrome. Mutations in the P protein lead to this condition, which is why it is often a symptom of Prader–Willi (PRAH-dur vill-ee) syndrome. The copper-dependent enzyme absent in this condition hydroxylates and then oxidizes tyrosine to give a quinone. People with this condition have no RPE layer in their retinas. The opposite phenotype to this condition occurs in patients with Addison’s or Cushing’s disease because they overexpress melanocyte-stimulating hormones. The oculo·taneous (ock-yoo-lo-TAY-nee-us) form of this condition often leads to deafness, vision trouble, and susceptibility to skin cancer. For 10 points, name this recessive condition in which the body can’t produce melanin, which causes unpigmented skin.
ANSWER: albinism [or word forms such as albino; or hypopigmentation; accept oculotaneous albinism; prompt on descriptive answers]
I will note that Minnesota's Sam Levin got this question on the first clue, almost immediately after his parents arrived to watch the last match of the tournament, helping Minnesota B upset Minnesota A.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:44 pm

Silverman wrote:I don't remember the exact phrasing, but the tossup on _binary trees_ opened with a clue about the Catalan numbers. Given that there are at least a dozen reasonable combinatorial interpretations of those, I'm not confident the first clue is sufficiently unique.
round 8, tossup 1 wrote:1. The number of different “full” examples of these structures with n internal vertices is the nth Catalan number. An example of these structures with good amortized properties uses zig, zig-zig, and zig-zag operations. Rotation of these structures maintains their balance, a concept introduced by Evgenii Landis and Georgii Adelson-Velskii. On average, the basic operations on a randomly built example of these structures can be done in big theta of log n time. A balanced example of these structures maintains its properties using the red or black property of each node. The “search” type of these structures has left and right subnodes that, respectively, have a lesser and greater value than the parent node. For 10 points, what structure has at most two children at every node?
ANSWER: binary tree [or self-adjusting binary search tree; or self-balancing binary search tree; or BST; or splay trees; or AVL trees; or red-black trees; accept rooted tree or ordered tree or plane tree or k-ary tree before “zig”; prompt on “tree”; do not accept or prompt on answers that do not mention “tree”]
Cody and I went back and forth on this tossup a bit--it originally had language that attempted to rule out other trees on the first clue--and in the end, we decided that the least-confusing way to formulate the question was to word the answer line to accept various other trees before clues that ruled those types of trees out (see above).
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:49 pm

west neg, new york wrote:Can I see the exact phrasing of the "vibrations" tossup, especially the lead-in about PQR branches? I might be remembering wrong, but I think that part was more applicable to transitions between vibrational states than to the act of vibrating itself.
packet B, tossup 11 wrote:11. The “forbidden Q branch” in a “P·Q·R” spectrum corresponds to this process. The “group” form of this process identifies irreducible representations that correspond to it by just looking at rows in the character table that transform as a linear or quadratic function of a coordinate. Centro·symmetric molecules cannot have overlapping peaks in spectroscopy that excites this process by causing a change in the polarizability tensor or dipole moment. The an·harmonic Morse potential models the energy required to excite this process, which is often reported in inverse centimeters. Nonlinear molecules have “three n minus six” degrees of freedom—or normal modes, such as wagging, scissoring, or bending—for this process. For 10 points, what process, detected by I·R spectroscopy, occurs when nuclei move back and forth?
ANSWER: molecular vibration(s) [accept word forms such as vibrational; prompt on “molecular motion” or similar answers; prompt on “rovibration” or “libration”; do not accept or prompt on “translation(s)” or “rotation(s)”]
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

adamsil
Wakka
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:20 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by adamsil » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:12 pm

west neg, new york wrote:Can I see the exact phrasing of the "vibrations" tossup, especially the lead-in about PQR branches? I might be remembering wrong, but I think that part was more applicable to transitions between vibrational states than to the act of vibrating itself.
I'm not sure there's really a fundamental difference between those two things? If a molecule vibrates, then it has been excited by a transition in its vibrational energy spectrum, right? I hope this wasn't confusing; certainly, I'd like to avoid phrasing like "corresponds to this process" to be more precise, but I couldn't really come up with anything better to describe what's happening here, and I thought this was relatively clear for anybody who knows the basics of rovibrational spectroscopy (which, frankly, is all I know about rovibrational spectroscopy).

I guess you could make the case that an excitation from one vibrational state to another vibrational state not including the ground state doesn't count as a "vibration" as much as a "change in vibrational mode/frequency", but at this point it seems like it's getting pretty granular?
Adam Silverman
Georgia Tech 2012-2016
Northwestern 2016-

adamsil
Wakka
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:20 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by adamsil » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:20 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:Can I see the albinism question please?
In case it's unclear, the second sentence is referring to the OCA2 gene, one of the proteins that gets lost/mutated in Prader-Willi, so I think the clue is fine as it reads. Perhaps it's unclear because albinism isn't the most famous symptom of Prader-Willi, but it is a common one... to my mind, this is a completely true statement, and the sentence taken in its entirety is uniquely identifying. You can argue that the clue is too hard as it stands for second line of a Regionals question, and I would probably agree with that--there wasn't a lot of deep, gettable stuff that I could find for this answerline, unfortunately.
Adam Silverman
Georgia Tech 2012-2016
Northwestern 2016-

User avatar
The Abydos Helicopter
Wakka
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by The Abydos Helicopter » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:53 pm

(I read, rather than played the set)

I'm going to read through the set again later, and will add comments, but I think the most notably "off" question I read all day was the Masaccio tossup which clued the quote above the skeleton in his Holy Trinity, i.e. his most famous single work, on the second line
Last edited by The Abydos Helicopter on Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
west neg, new york
Lulu
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:35 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by west neg, new york » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:41 pm

adamsil wrote:
west neg, new york wrote:Can I see the exact phrasing of the "vibrations" tossup, especially the lead-in about PQR branches? I might be remembering wrong, but I think that part was more applicable to transitions between vibrational states than to the act of vibrating itself.
I'm not sure there's really a fundamental difference between those two things? If a molecule vibrates, then it has been excited by a transition in its vibrational energy spectrum, right? I hope this wasn't confusing; certainly, I'd like to avoid phrasing like "corresponds to this process" to be more precise, but I couldn't really come up with anything better to describe what's happening here, and I thought this was relatively clear for anybody who knows the basics of rovibrational spectroscopy (which, frankly, is all I know about rovibrational spectroscopy).

I guess you could make the case that an excitation from one vibrational state to another vibrational state not including the ground state doesn't count as a "vibration" as much as a "change in vibrational mode/frequency", but at this point it seems like it's getting pretty granular?
Yeah, I think the first clause of your second paragraph sums up my feelings on this question. Full disclosure, we just learned about PQR stuff this week in class, so I'm not talking from any real position of expertise on the topic. I'm just a little confused why, even though I got prompted on it during the game, "transition" isn't mentioned anywhere on the answerline, even though the Q-branch is (as I understand it) a subset of the transitions between vibrational energy levels. I think it's an important distinction to make, since the PQR branches and other results from spectroscopy depend on forced transitions between vibrational states and not just the fact that the molecule is naturally vibrating at a constant energy level. I'll concede that whether it makes any difference in a quizbowl setting is probably less clear, since if you know what the Q-branch is, getting prompted on "transition" is probably just going to lead to "vibrational transition" or "transition between vibrational energy states" or other things like that which will get you points. I also agree that "correspond to" is not great here; as it stands, I'm pretty sure "exposing to radiation" or "absorbing energy" or other weird answers technically work if I buzz at the end of first sentence.

This is more of a nitpick, but saying that the Q-branch "corresponds to" vibration/vibrational transitions (let's just say they're interchangeable for this next point I'm about to make) seems to leave out the fact that the P- and R-branches also "correspond to" vibrational transitions, but with an added rotational energy transition as well.

Maybe the phrasing could be improved to something like "Unlike the P- and R-branches, the Q-branch arises solely from a change in the energy level of this process," although that seems a bit contrived and possibly transparent, too. I don't want to seem like I didn't like the science overall in the set; I think it was pretty good (e.g., the rest of this tossup seems fine to me). Also, like I said, this critique is coming from a very not-authoritative source (i.e., my 5-day-old understanding of rovibrational spectroscopy), so perhaps I'm the only person who had trouble parsing the question; if I'm mistaken here, I'd really love some corrections since I've got a lab report on this stuff due next week :grin: .
Robert Chu
Harvard '17
Johns Hopkins '21
NAQT writer

adamsil
Wakka
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:20 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by adamsil » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:12 pm

west neg, new york wrote:
adamsil wrote:
west neg, new york wrote:Can I see the exact phrasing of the "vibrations" tossup, especially the lead-in about PQR branches? I might be remembering wrong, but I think that part was more applicable to transitions between vibrational states than to the act of vibrating itself.
I'm not sure there's really a fundamental difference between those two things? If a molecule vibrates, then it has been excited by a transition in its vibrational energy spectrum, right? I hope this wasn't confusing; certainly, I'd like to avoid phrasing like "corresponds to this process" to be more precise, but I couldn't really come up with anything better to describe what's happening here, and I thought this was relatively clear for anybody who knows the basics of rovibrational spectroscopy (which, frankly, is all I know about rovibrational spectroscopy).

I guess you could make the case that an excitation from one vibrational state to another vibrational state not including the ground state doesn't count as a "vibration" as much as a "change in vibrational mode/frequency", but at this point it seems like it's getting pretty granular?
Yeah, I think the first clause of your second paragraph sums up my feelings on this question. Full disclosure, we just learned about PQR stuff this week in class, so I'm not talking from any real position of expertise on the topic. I'm just a little confused why, even though I got prompted on it during the game, "transition" isn't mentioned anywhere on the answerline, even though the Q-branch is (as I understand it) a subset of the transitions between vibrational energy levels. I think it's an important distinction to make, since the PQR branches and other results from spectroscopy depend on forced transitions between vibrational states and not just the fact that the molecule is naturally vibrating at a constant energy level. I'll concede that whether it makes any difference in a quizbowl setting is probably less clear, since if you know what the Q-branch is, getting prompted on "transition" is probably just going to lead to "vibrational transition" or "transition between vibrational energy states" or other things like that which will get you points. I also agree that "correspond to" is not great here; as it stands, I'm pretty sure "exposing to radiation" or "absorbing energy" or other weird answers technically work if I buzz at the end of first sentence.

This is more of a nitpick, but saying that the Q-branch "corresponds to" vibration/vibrational transitions (let's just say they're interchangeable for this next point I'm about to make) seems to leave out the fact that the P- and R-branches also "correspond to" vibrational transitions, but with an added rotational energy transition as well.

Maybe the phrasing could be improved to something like "Unlike the P- and R-branches, the Q-branch arises solely from a change in the energy level of this process," although that seems a bit contrived and possibly transparent, too. I don't want to seem like I didn't like the science overall in the set; I think it was pretty good (e.g., the rest of this tossup seems fine to me). Also, like I said, this critique is coming from a very not-authoritative source (i.e., my 5-day-old understanding of rovibrational spectroscopy), so perhaps I'm the only person who had trouble parsing the question; if I'm mistaken here, I'd really love some corrections since I've got a lab report on this stuff due next week :grin: .
Gotcha. Well, I hope getting you prompted got you to the right answer, in any case. For what it's worth, the last version of the question that I submitted had the first line written as
"The forbidden Q branch in a “PQR” spectrum corresponds to only this process"
so somewhere along the line in final-pass editing someone must have gotten rid of the "only" (perhaps it was me? I'm not sure). But the original intent was to make it clear that this was true only for the Q branch and not P and R. Sorry about that! I'm sure you'll be fine on your lab report. :smile:
Adam Silverman
Georgia Tech 2012-2016
Northwestern 2016-

User avatar
Milhouse
Wakka
Posts: 240
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:16 am

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Milhouse » Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:52 pm

Could I see the questions on The Master and Margarita, The Underground Man, and The Gay Science?
Eric Wolfsberg
Bethlehem Central High School 2016
University of Delaware 2020
Writer, NAQT

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:02 pm

Xochicuicatl Cuecuechtli wrote:Could I see the questions on The Master and Margarita, The Underground Man, and The Gay Science?
packet F wrote:17. This book contends that, when a man loves a woman, he hates nature and rejects the “human beneath the skin” in a section titled “We Artists.” This book contains the line “I wish to be a yes-sayer” in a section advocating the uncompromising acceptance of reality. Five years after this book was published, its author expanded it to include a fifth section and an appendix of songs. One section of this book begins by noting that, after Buddha’s death, people would show his shadow in a cave for centuries and posits that, “for millennia yet,” people will do the same for another dead figure. The concepts of amor fati (ah-"MORE" FAH-tee) and eternal recurrence were introduced in, for 10 points, what Friedrich Nietzsche (NEE-tchuh) book that preceded Thus Spake Zarathustra in its use of the phrase “God is dead”?
ANSWER: The Gay Science [or Die Fröhliche Wissenschaft; or The Joyful Wisdom]
packet D wrote:9. A maître d’ in this novel, called “the pirate” or “the commander of the brig,” reacts unfavorably when another character, dressed only in his underwear, enters a restaurant and raves about his stolen clothes. A frantic chase that unfolds at a surreal pace in this novel ends with those clothes being lost when a man strips naked to search a river. This novel begins at the Patriarch’s Ponds, where a poet known as “Homeless” sees a dark prophecy involving spilled sunflower oil realized when a man’s head bounces down a cobbled street. A clown named Korovyov (koh-ROH-vee-ahf) and a cat named Behemoth join in the demonic Professor Woland’s rampage in, for 10 points, what novel that interleaves the story of Pontius Pilate with a visit by Satan to Moscow and that was written by Mikhail Bulgakov?
ANSWER: The Master and Margarita [or Master i Margarita]
Packet I wrote:14. This character is concerned about the yellow stain on his trousers after arriving to a dinner party an hour early. He obsesses over “the man of nature and truth,” a corruption of a quote from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions, before claiming that “twice two makes four is an excellent thing” but “twice two makes five” is a “very charming thing too.” This character compares the Crystal Palace in Nikolay Chernyshevsky’s (chur-nih-SHEV-ski's) What Is to Be Done? to a chicken coop and makes plans to bump into a villainous lieutenant on the street. He is ditched by Simonov and others, who go to a brothel without him, in the section “Apropos of the Wet Snow.” At that brothel, this man meets the prostitute Liza. For 10 points, what unnamed antisocial man’s “notes” form a novella by Fyodor Dostoyevsky?
ANSWER: Underground Man [accept answers conveying the idea of the protagonist or narrator of Notes from the Underground or Letters from the Underworld or Zapiski iz podpol’ya]
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

User avatar
Wynaut
Wakka
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:34 am
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Wynaut » Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:31 pm

Could I see the tossup on the Great Leap Forward? It seemed really obvious to me from the start, but held off buzzing until "sparrows" was said.
Kenji Shimizu
University of Michigan '18
Summit Academy North High School '13
Writer, NAQT
"...the best Seychelles player in quizbowl" -Auroni Gupta

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:43 pm

Wynaut wrote:Could I see the tossup on the Great Leap Forward? It seemed really obvious to me from the start, but held off buzzing until "sparrows" was said.
packet J wrote:14. A poem criticizing this government program declares that “the millet is scattered over the ground, the leaves of the sweet potato are withered,” which was used as evidence to fire a defense minister. A fake photo circulated by the government as part of this program appeared to show a wheat field supporting the weight of several children. Jasper Becker highlighted foreign news coverage of this program’s deadly aftermath in his book Hungry Ghosts. The effects of this program were exacerbated by the extermination of sparrows, which were labelled one of the “Four Pests.” As part of this program’s focus on steel production, household utensils were melted down in backyard furnaces. For 10 points, what program started in 1958 and attempted to rapidly modernize the economy of China?
ANSWER: Great Leap Forward [or dà yuè jìn; accept Great Leap Forward Famine; prompt on the “Great Chinese Famine” or “Three Years of Difficulty”]
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

User avatar
Red Panda Cub
Wakka
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:59 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - thanks and general discussion

Post by Red Panda Cub » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:13 pm

Philosophy commentary (with assistance from Alston Boyd). The causes of the perception described above here were of a very different and much more explicable sort than in lit and phil, which is why I'll make this post first. I will do my best to read the other categories through soon and try to work out what was going on there for me. In the meantime, please accept my apologies for any befuddlement caused.

Maryland A + UCSD B:

J: Why is there a random Tarsky philosophy clue in the T in linguistics tossup?

Hume--

J: First clue describes a metaphor used without explaining or making clear its connection to the central argument. The second clue misreads (remember, tossups are *readings* of texts in their own right and have to be careful not to interpret in misleading ways!) the argument about induction.

A: In addition to misreading the argument about induction, that clue is absurdly early, given that it’s definitely his most famous epistemological contribution. To pile on to the misreading criticism, by using causal language and the word “understand” (implying some connection to reality) this tossup implies the exact opposite of the conclusion of Hume’s critique of induction.

Maryland C + Toronto A

J: Appears not to have a philosophy tossup, unless the Eichmann one is meant to be?

A: Well, since that’s the only candidate philosophy tossup, we might as well treat it as one. Even given this unfortunate idea, this tossup could be significantly improved. For one, instead of just relaying the fact that Eichmann claimed to follow the categorical imperative and was rebutted, the tossup could spend some more space relaying the actual arguments being presented (i.e. the philosophy.) Also, an entire sentence devoted to year of publication, the magazine, and a way it is generally presented? That seems to be sacrificing an awful lot of space for not much content.

Rutgers A + Georgia A

Utilitarianism--

J: Outsmarting isn’t defined specifically in reference to utilitarianism in the Philosophical Lexicon, though perhaps this clue comes from somewhere else? Seems also to misinterpret the “no rest” objection. From what I can see, that seems to be about the eternal possibility of there being more to do, and so doing it. The frozen into inaction critique of utilitarianism is more often tied to the potential impossibility of the calculation some forms of it require, from what I know.

A: Everything Joey says is true. The problem with the no rest objection is only compounded by the fact that that the clue immediately following, dropping “mere addition,” is, if not misplaced, a bit early, which means that given the problems with the immediately preceding clue you’re going to have a disproportionate number of people buzzing there.

Florida A + Johns Hopkins A

Ockham--

J: Duns Scotus discusses “intuitive cognition” too, and was active slightly earlier, so this clue seems tricky at game speed.

Michigan A + Johns Hopkins

Consciousness--

J: Bernard Baars seems like a pretty random dude (and isn’t a philosopher!)? The P-Zombies clue is also neg-bait for qualia.

A: As a person who did in fact neg with qualia, I’ll stay out of that. Just because consciousness is in the title of some Bernard Baars work doesn’t mean it’s good to clue him.

Ohio State A + Caltech A

Liberty--

J: Spends a bunch of time on Constant, who is, like, not a philosopher?

A: Yeah, once again, if your goal when writing a philosophy question is to reward engagement with philosophy, you should clue philosophers. Also, I think that the “do not accept or prompt” on freedom or other pseudo-synonyms is a bit mean-spirited. Yes, I understand that quite a few titles are referenced in the tossup which make freedom strictly wrong, but the concepts being discussed are like, pretty similar.

Virginia A + Kenyon + Yale A

Taoism--

J: I think this is meant to be the philosophy tossup in this packet. Perhaps I am being hella western and bad here, but this is just a list of random stories without engaging with the philosophy or ideas?

A: This is pretty uncharitable to Taoism qua “school of thought” as opposed to body of stories or some other facet of religion; it’s not as if there aren’t meaningful ideas to be discussed, this tossup just doesn’t hit on them.

Chicago A + Cornell A

Santayana--

J: Does anyone actually study Santayana? He seems a good example of the not-accessible sort of subject that this tournament was constructed to avoid/the sort of person that’s gonna give quizbowl insiders points, but not reward engagement?

A: A quick philpapers search suggests that there were two (2) things published about Santayana last year that were not published in the Bulletin of the Santayana society.

Berkeley A + WUSTL A + Northwestern A + Michigan B

J: I can’t work out if Fromm or Discipline and Punish is meant to be the philosophy here, but if one is it seems unfortunate that both ended up being very much at the intersection with social science end of the discipline.

A: That’s pretty bad feng shui, yeah. Also, Discipline and Punish was written pretty transparently, since it makes abundantly clear very early that this is some historical concept undergoing a transition related to some sort of place. There’s really not many things it could be at this difficulty once that’s revealed.

Columbia A + Carleton A + Michigan State

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus--

J: Uhhhh, this lead-in is both very easy, since Wittgenstein’s most famous point of discussion is nonsense, and incredibly contentious. Probably at least 50% of Wittgenstein studies is dedicated to working out what he was saying about nonsense (and even deciding if it was an argument as such!). Then it goes right into the therapeutic nature of philosophy, which is, again, one of Wittgenstein’s most famous notions.

Ed 1

Knowledge--

J: The closure thing is misrepresented. Should say something like “knowledge is not closed under entailment” rather than “closed under closure” which is meaningless. Nozick is not a reliabilist, even if truth-tracking has apparent similarities.

A: Not understanding things is not good when you’re writing about them!

Overall statement--

J: So we can see there are systematic issues in the philosophy. Many clues are straight up inaccurate, and another bunch are defensible interpretations presented without context, so they appear inaccurate or dogmatic. Philosophy tossups are readings of the texts and philosophers they treat! Most of philosophy is about deciding how things ought to be read, so if you're cluing an interpretation, know that you're interpreting, and tie it to a major thinker who reads it that way. Another problem with the philosophy was the lack of engagement with argumentation, which made it feel like a bunch of literature-style tossups sprinkled with 'named thing' clues. On top of this there was an odd conception of what belongs within the philosophy distribution. Then we have the fact that there wasn't really a new approach presented here, so we've combined a bunch of pretty critical issues, which made the category pretty frustrating, and consequently, dull to play. I recognise philosophy is super hard to write (it took me way, way longer to write for WAO than my other categories, and was probably the category that I was, nevertheless, overall least happy with), so I'm not claiming all this would have been easily fixed. Nevertheless, it was pretty disappointing.
Joey Goldman
Oxford '17

User avatar
AGoodMan
Rikku
Posts: 262
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:25 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA or Warrenville, IL

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by AGoodMan » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:31 pm

Can I see the Steinbeck, Gustav von Aschenbach, and Snows of Kilimanjaro tossups?
Jon Suh
Wheaton Warrenville South '16
Harvard '20
PACE

User avatar
heterodyne
Rikku
Posts: 360
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:47 am

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - thanks and general discussion

Post by heterodyne » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:35 pm

Short-beaked echidna wrote: Another problem with the philosophy was the lack of engagement with argumentation, which made it feel like a bunch of literature-style tossups sprinkled with 'named thing' clues.
This, to me, is the most serious problem. Most of the other things - weird answerline selection, openly inaccurate clues - are fixed rather easily. This sort of conclusion-summary style writing, though, is both harder to fix and extremely detrimental to the "feel" of the questions. Take, to use an arbitrary example, The Makropulos Case by Bernard Williams. A tossup in the style that I'm criticizing could clue it along the lines of "this philosopher referenced the 'old Jewish reply' in an essay that argues one should not wish to live forever, The Makropulos Case." If I hear this, there's nothing in it that suggests to me I might be interested in reading The Makropulos Case - all I know is that he took a position plenty others have historically taken. I'd far prefer a brief summary of one of the actual arguments in play - it would seem to be much more in keeping with the way that one actually reads philosophy. Papers are not read because one is interested in finding out what conclusion the paper reaches, so telling me the conclusion of some argument by some philosopher simply tells me what they think. It gives me no information about the actually interesting parts of the text. This acts as a major contributor to the "boring" nature of the questions that Joey was pointing out earlier.
Alston [Montgomery] Boyd
Bloomington High School '15
UChicago '19
he/him/his or they/them/their

User avatar
Kasper Kaijanen
Lulu
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:00 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Kasper Kaijanen » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:56 pm

In packet E tossup 13, the first line includes a pronunciation guide for CRISPR but doesn't actually include the word CRISPR.
Finn Bender
Edmond Memorial '15
OU '19

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:58 pm

Imperial Cormorant wrote:In packet E tossup 13, the first line includes a pronunciation guide for CRISPR but doesn't actually include the word CRISPR.
Yep, we got that fixed. Thanks.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

gyre and gimble
Tidus
Posts: 714
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:45 am

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by gyre and gimble » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:02 pm

I'll let Benji defend or accept the claims of misinterpretation if he wants to, but I'm gonna go ahead and say that Joey's philosophy post above 1) takes for granted an astounding number of assumptions about the correctness of Joey's own view of how philosophy questions should be written; and 2) is kind of a stupid act of mutual mental masturbation.

Note that I'm not actually defending the style or general content of the philosophy questions. I'm specifically arguing that the post sucks.

On point 1:
Short-beaked echidna wrote:So we can see there are systematic issues in the philosophy. Many clues are straight up inaccurate, and another bunch are defensible interpretations presented without context, so they appear inaccurate or dogmatic. Philosophy tossups are readings of the texts and philosophers they treat! Most of philosophy is about deciding how things ought to be read, so if you're cluing an interpretation, know that you're interpreting, and tie it to a major thinker who reads it that way. Another problem with the philosophy was the lack of engagement with argumentation, which made it feel like a bunch of literature-style tossups sprinkled with 'named thing' clues. On top of this there was an odd conception of what belongs within the philosophy distribution. Then we have the fact that there wasn't really a new approach presented here, so we've combined a bunch of pretty critical issues, which made the category pretty frustrating, and consequently, dull to play. I recognise philosophy is super hard to write (it took me way, way longer to write for WAO than my other categories, and was probably the category that I was, nevertheless, overall least happy with), so I'm not claiming all this would have been easily fixed. Nevertheless, it was pretty disappointing.
This assumes 1) that quizbowl should only be interested in treating philosophy as a bunch of people arguing with each other, 2) that it's somehow unbuzzable unless you're told exactly who made an argument that is being clued (although presumably for pyramidal reasons, the people making the arguments are typically named later in the tossup), 3) that Joey's and Alston's view of what parts of thought constitutes "philosophy" determines whether a tournament's philosophy distribution is good or bad.

Justify your damn assumptions, especially if one of the arguments you're making is precisely that the Regionals philosophy failed to justify its interpretations of texts! Of course, after you justify that your assumptions are defensible, you'll also have to make an argument for why everybody should write philosophy questions that way, i.e. why your view of philosophy is the only correct one. Right now, your entire criticism (apart from the criticism of inaccurate clues) rests on the premise that because Benji's questions don't fit your model, they are bad. It takes a huge leap of faith (of which I and presumably others have absolutely no basis for taking) to accept your assertions as true.

On point 2:

Just saying, the post reads like Alston is just agreeing with everything Joey is saying, while adding nothing of substance on his own. Is this just to show that at least one other person (and thus far only one other person, though I'm willing to and will even assume that there are others) agrees with Joey? Seems like you can do this by just saying "Alston agrees with me." I don't know what other phrase besides "mutual mental masturbation" can describe how I see this conversational format.

This is readily apparent in the apparently unassailable mutual judgment that neuroscientist Bernard Baars is unqualified to weigh in on the philosophical concept of consciousness, even though philosophers wade into neuroscience all the time. It's not like consciousness is a strictly philosophical concept. But the majority of the clues in the tossup come from philosophy, so this interdisciplinary topic belongs in the philosophy distribution. Your argument is like saying a tossup on Anne Boleyn should never have a quote from a Thomas Wyatt poem. But Alston's argument isn't even that: It's just, "You saw consciousness in the title of something and decided to put it in a tossup? Shame on you." The same goes for the Constant complaint.

Meanwhile, quizbowl (and the rest of the world!) has long treated Taoism as an important branch of Eastern philosophy, and George Santayana is a guy who is famous as fuck, important at least historically, and certainly a philosopher. In Joey's and Alston's strained effort to find something lacking in every single tossup, apparently they have no qualms about unilaterally deciding that Taoism and Santayana don't belong in the philosophy canon.

Discipline and Punish, Wittgenstein, and other(?) complaints about transparency or easiness: I can't speak to clue ordering, but I read 11 rounds of Regionals yesterday and nobody buzzed before the 3rd line on any philosophy tossup I read. Please realize that your fiat claims that "X is famous, it must be, because I've known about it for a while, or because I figured it out, and so your question is bad" are entirely based on your experiences as presumably elite philosophy players.

I mean, show off your philosophy knowledge, or genuinely argue about how philosophy should be written, all you want. But don't make the claim, without justification, and with a rather high level of condescension, that any other way is bad. (By the way, I think Alston's most recent post about why things felt "boring" is perfectly fine.)
Stephen Liu
Torrey Pines '10
Harvard '14
Stanford '17

User avatar
Cody
2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year
Posts: 2113
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:57 am
Location: Richmond

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Cody » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:16 pm

To be honest, I'm not sure I even understand the contention about writing what philosophers argue. Questions have finite space and so porting the arguments from works is difficult at best and totally impractical at worst. By necessity, much of quizbowl boils down to summarizing memorable/key points and conclusions. Can you give some examples of the differences in writing style you'd like to see?
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I write lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16).
Quizbowl at VCU

User avatar
heterodyne
Rikku
Posts: 360
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:47 am

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by heterodyne » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:23 pm

gyre and gimble wrote: Just saying, the post reads like Alston is just agreeing with everything Joey is saying, while adding nothing of substance on his own. Is this just to show that at least one other person (and thus far only one other person, though I'm willing to and will even assume that there are others) agrees with Joey? Seems like you can do this by just saying "Alston agrees with me." I don't know what other phrase besides "mutual mental masturbation" can describe how I see this conversational format.
Yeah, this is like, a problem with the format, since we wrote this up after talking about the questions to some extent and coming to a point of agreement on more or less all of them. The point about Constant, for instance, was originally raised by me - it's simply a consequence of how we prepared this that I come off as syncophantic. We could have easily synthesized this into a single set of criticism. I'd attribute the failure to do so not to some sort of attempt to like, come off as having more people on our side (?) or whatever it is you think was being accomplished but rather to simple laziness. I was, in fact, saying things, just to be clear, even in this format. Criticisms of clue placement, support for the assertion that Santayana doesn't seem very currently relevant, etc. This post is more or less an attempt to protect my fragile ego from the appearance of vapidity or w/e but I would like to respond to some of the rest of your post later on, so I'll just leave this here for now.
Alston [Montgomery] Boyd
Bloomington High School '15
UChicago '19
he/him/his or they/them/their

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5565
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:26 pm

Stephen, I appreciate that thoughtful response to a post that, quite frankly, I found to be a ghastly reminder of the worst excesses of the music mafia.

I will readily admit that some of these questions could have been cleaned up even further. For instance, it is probably a minor inaccuracy to imply that J. J. C. Smart coined the phrase "outsmarting," although there appears to be ample support for the notion that the clue, as a whole, applies specifically to an answer of "utilitarianism" (more specifically, "act utilitarianism," which is an acceptable answer). But some of the nitpicks are, in my reckoning, inaccurate. For instance, I defend the formulation of the Hume causation clue as accurately conveying Hume's skeptical argument that causation is just people's subjective perception of a "constant conjugation" between cause and effect. For another instance, as I learned the "no rest" argument, a person is ultimately frozen into inaction by the constant need to evaluate the best outcome among an infinite number of possible choices.

But look, Cody's right that questions are short, and it's hard to summarize things accurately. Although I think Benji did a fine job picking an interesting set of answers and clues, and although I tried my best to verify and refine those clues, I admit that there's room for improvement; there always is.

That said, there is a pernicious attitude in the post that I take extreme issue with: it is steeped in the false notion of rigid categories whose boundaries must be militantly policed. Tarski's contributions to natural language semantics be damned, he's a philosopher. Political theorists and neuroscientists cannot be clued in the philosophy distribution. A philosophy tossup on Eichmann is, for unstated reasons, an "unfortunate idea," regardless of execution. Stories illustrating the Taoist philosophical tradition are strictly scrutinized, while similarly narrative tossups on Platonic dialogues are not. Etc.

It was very annoying to discuss classical music for nearly half a decade because the entire conversation was premised on the invented notion that any question bucking a self-defined acceptable orthodoxy was self-evidently illegitimate. Let's not go down that road again, please, for the love of god, please.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

User avatar
Red Panda Cub
Wakka
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:59 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Red Panda Cub » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:26 pm

I'll reply tomorrow to this very mean spirited post, but for now will point out that

"Meanwhile, quizbowl (and the rest of the world!) has long treated Taoism as an important branch of Eastern philosophy, and George Santayana is a guy who is famous as fuck, important at least historically, and certainly a philosopher. In Joey's and Alston's strained effort to find something lacking in every single tossup, apparently they have no qualms about unilaterally deciding that Taoism and Santayana don't belong in the philosophy canon"

can only be construed as a pretty horrendous misreading of what the post said. Neither of us suggested they don't belong as answers (in fact the comments on Taoism were supposed to suggest the opposite! Taoism is totally philosophical, but you could never tell them from the tossup!).
Joey Goldman
Oxford '17

User avatar
Red Panda Cub
Wakka
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:59 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Red Panda Cub » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:33 pm

I haven't seen all the packets so didn't realise there was a narrative TU on a platonic dialogue. Had I known you can rest assured it would have been listed in my syllabus of errors, too.
Joey Goldman
Oxford '17

gyre and gimble
Tidus
Posts: 714
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:45 am

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by gyre and gimble » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:12 pm

Short-beaked echidna wrote:I'll reply tomorrow to this very mean spirited post
Joey reached out to me with this concern (which I'm inclined to believe is not unjustified). I told him:
Me, on Facebook wrote:I found your post to be incredibly condescending, and tried to illustrate how your leaps in logic made it that way. I normally try not to be aggressive when I post, but the aggression was intentional in this case. I hope you can find some substance in there (I believe it's all substance, and I hope you'll readily believe me when I say I never post simply to be rude) because otherwise, "rude" is all it will be to you and that wasn't my intent.

I might have chosen the wrong tone, so in any case I apologize! And im happy to retract anything I've said if you prove me wrong.
I hope we've come to an understanding on the intent of my post. Alston, the reason I'm including this here is to clarify that intent for you, and to apologize to the extent that I was excessive. And also to clarify that your conversation post came across to me (and Andrew, evidently) as very condescending, and unproductively so.
heterodyne wrote:We could have easily synthesized this into a single set of criticism. I'd attribute the failure to do so not to some sort of attempt to like, come off as having more people on our side (?) or whatever it is you think was being accomplished but rather to simple laziness. I was, in fact, saying things, just to be clear, even in this format. Criticisms of clue placement, support for the assertion that Santayana doesn't seem very currently relevant, etc. This post is more or less an attempt to protect my fragile ego from the appearance of vapidity or w/e but I would like to respond to some of the rest of your post later on, so I'll just leave this here for now.
I honestly don't think, and never thought, that you were being sycophantic or substanceless in your real-life conversation with Joey. But Joey's post was written that way. I only characterized it as I did, seemingly mean-spiritedly, to highlight the condescension present in your conversational format. It read very much like, "Yes, we are two very knowledgeable people who are in perfect agreement that this set of questions were terrible." Maybe that was just in my head?

And to keep my promise, I'll admit that I mischaracterized the Taoism discussion. But my point about your excessively narrow view of the philosophy canon remains: Why can't Taoism tossups clue from stories about the philosophers? Is it wrong to say that Chrysippus died from laughing in a tossup on Stoicism? You can argue that it is, but you have to explain why.

By the way, the Euthyphro question leads in by saying "One character in this work." But otherwise it is not treated as a narrative.

EDIT: Re-read Andrew's post. He's summarized precisely what I'm getting at.
Last edited by gyre and gimble on Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stephen Liu
Torrey Pines '10
Harvard '14
Stanford '17

User avatar
Ike
Yuna
Posts: 878
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:01 pm
Contact:

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Ike » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:15 pm

I agree that Joey's and Alston's insights aren't the most clear, and it feels like some of the classic Mukherjee science scattershots we haven't seen in a while. However, I want to say two things in general about philosophy because I think they touch on some things:

The first is that if you're writing tossups that cite a thinker's commentary, the clue itself should also "suggest" the answer. One of my writing philosophies is that if you use a commentary leadin, unless that commentary is famous in its own right, it's incumbent on the writer to make it "interesting," and at the very least make it so that people who know the underlying philosophy in the commentary can be suggested toward the answer. On that podcast I did, I gave the example of a leadin to a tossup on Spinoza that just began "Leo Strauss wrote a commentary on this philosopher titled '[him] and blah.'" That clue sucks, not only because did the paper have 6 citations according to google scholar, but because it doesn't help you at all arrive at the answer if you understand the underlying philosophical concepts of the paper. I haven't seen the set, so I can't comment, but I think using Benjamin Constant as a leadin to a liberty tossup is a fine idea-- I certainly came across him while reading about Quentin Skinner's theories of liberty. Perhaps the frustration is that this wasn't written in a way that is conducive to what Joey and Alston knows*?

The second is that, contra Boyd and Goldman, I think the idea of restricting yourself to pure philosophers, whatever that means, is, misguided. To use the example in this thread, Bernard Baars is a perfectly cromulent choice for a leadin for a TU on consciousness - his major book has around 3,600 citations, and he's someone you definitely come across in philosophy. He's discussed for a couple of paragraphs, for example, in ~The Conscious Mind~ by Chalmers. Even if you disagree with the premise of this paragraph, you still should be able to know of him through "pure philosophy." But my larger point is that, philosophy begins where science and other "knowable" topics ends. So naturally, there is going to be some intersection between philosophy and other disciplines, and that's not a problem if quizbowl reflects that. If you want to criticize the Taoism tossup for not focusing on "philosophy enough" -> "not many buzzable clues" I think that may be valid. But I do hope no one is taking seriously the idea that we can't use scientists or historians in our philosophy questions.

EDIT: Edited for clarity.

*Of course the issue is now whether it's conducive to what the field knows? If no, then I guess, you have a bad tossup!
Last edited by Ike on Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Ike
UIUC 13

RexSueciae
Rikku
Posts: 318
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:24 am

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by RexSueciae » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:18 pm

I had fun.

On the subject of philosophy, could someone please post the tossup on "utilitarianism"? I am not in fact a philosophy player but am curious about modern variants of that school.
Vasa Clarke

Maggie Walker '14
Virginia '18
William and Mary '21

User avatar
Cody
2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year
Posts: 2113
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:57 am
Location: Richmond

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Cody » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:21 pm

I'm surprised to hear your criticize Stephen's post for being mean-spirited, Joey, after posting a pretty mean-spirited post of your own! I found Stephen's post quite reasonable and correct on its merits.

Also, quizbowl exists to test knowledge. The animating force has never been and should never be to make you want to look up something. It's a nice secondary goal but it's an impossible feat to accomplish in its face given the way different people decide what is interesting or exciting. I find it bizarre that this is perceived as a route of substantial critique.
Last edited by Cody on Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I write lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16).
Quizbowl at VCU

Banana Stand
Wakka
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:38 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - thanks and general discussion

Post by Banana Stand » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:22 pm

Short-beaked echidna wrote:
Liberty--

J: Spends a bunch of time on Constant, who is, like, not a philosopher?

A: Yeah, once again, if your goal when writing a philosophy question is to reward engagement with philosophy, you should clue philosophers.
How is Constant not a philosopher? Eric Xu first-lined this tossup with something he read in his political philosophy class, and most classes on Kant will at least mention him.
Jack Mehr
St. Joe's NJ '14
UVA '19

User avatar
gettysburg11
Wakka
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by gettysburg11 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:27 pm

Just wanna give a shout out to the author of the First Manassas bonus for justifying my entire summer internship there.
Ryan Bilger
Emmaus '15, Gettysburg '19

"I never saved anything for the swim back." - Vincent Freeman, Gattaca

User avatar
Sima Guang Hater
Auron
Posts: 1805
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2017 ACF Regionals - specific-question discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:31 pm

adamsil wrote:
The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:Can I see the albinism question please?
In case it's unclear, the second sentence is referring to the OCA2 gene, one of the proteins that gets lost/mutated in Prader-Willi, so I think the clue is fine as it reads. Perhaps it's unclear because albinism isn't the most famous symptom of Prader-Willi, but it is a common one... to my mind, this is a completely true statement, and the sentence taken in its entirety is uniquely identifying. You can argue that the clue is too hard as it stands for second line of a Regionals question, and I would probably agree with that--there wasn't a lot of deep, gettable stuff that I could find for this answerline, unfortunately.
The problem is to have actual full-blown albinism you have to hit both copies of OCA2 (it's a recessive disease). Light skin (not albinism) is a minor criteria in PWS, because some deletions on chromosome 15 will take out one copy of OCA2, but its very rare for someone to inherit a PWS deletion in one chromosome and a mutation on OCA2 on the other. So in an absolute sense, albinism isn't a part of PWS, which is part of that reason that the clue confused me.
Last edited by Sima Guang Hater on Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Eric Mukherjee, MD PhD
Washburn Rural High School, 2005
Brown University, 2009
Medical Scientist Training Program, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2018
Intern in Internal Medicine, Yale-Waterbury, 2018-9
Dermatology Resident, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2019-

Member Emeritus, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer, NAQT, NHBB, IQBT

"The next generation will always surpass the previous one. It's one of the never-ending cycles in life."

Locked