Whatever happened to spite

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marnold
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Whatever happened to spite

Post by marnold » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:07 pm

Spite used to be the lifeblood of quizbowl. Just searching now, there are all sorts of great threads extolling spite as a way of improving at the game and how tournament criticism used to be dominated by the "machinery of spite."

So in this thread I want to know (1) some great examples of spite-as-motivation from the days of yore and (2) some theories why there's so much less spite around in this decadent age of quizbowl.
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Cheynem
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by Cheynem » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:13 pm

I think spite is still around, it's just that people don't find it as kosher to talk about as explicitly. I don't think I would be controversial to say that any given team has an overriding desire to beat 1/3 of specific teams at tournaments out of spite. During the superplayoffs at ACF Nationals, I think there was only one team we played that I didn't want to beat out of spite.

I think I also became better at the game based on spite. When I started playing, Minnesota practices were very, very competitive--Andrew, Rob, Gautam, and Brendan were all there and Bernadette was pretty good too. The overriding desire to get in a few buzzes at practice makes you pay more attention to and learn more clues.
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Skepticism and Animal Feed
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:11 pm

I think that, to Matt Weiner's great horror, the idea of civil discussion was hegemonic on HSQB for most of the mid-2000's. Indeed, around 2006-7 there was an almost hilarious dedication to self-deprecation, where almost every post that included feedback began with the author's denunciation of his own quizbowl abilities.

Things changed a bit with the rise of Minnesota (Andrew Hart in particular has always been either unapologetically egotistical, or very bad at hiding it), but it looks like current undergrads, especially Matt Bollinger, Matt Jackson, and Cody Voight, are bringing meanness in posting back. Maybe spite will come along with it.
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Rufous-capped Thornbill
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:21 pm

The only reason I play quizbowl is to beat Mike Cheyne.
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by Cheynem » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:25 pm

You must not be enjoying quizbowl so far in your career.
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:27 pm

Cheynem wrote:You must not be enjoying quizbowl so far in your career.
you are the super bowl i am john elway
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by Cheynem » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:31 pm

I guess I won't have to worry about you for another eight or so years then.
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:38 pm

:(

brb spitefully reading Darwin Among the Machines
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by Kyle » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:04 pm

You don't have to be spiteful to have a rivalry with somebody. You can even be friends with your rival.

But I think, historically speaking, the most effective manifestation of spite is when two teammates despise each other.
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:57 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I think that, to Matt Weiner's great horror, the idea of civil discussion was hegemonic on HSQB for most of the mid-2000's. Indeed, around 2006-7 there was an almost hilarious dedication to self-deprecation, where almost every post that included feedback began with the author's denunciation of his own quizbowl abilities.
I don't remember this at all...
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by magin » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:00 pm

Amusingly enough, Ryan Westbrook made some post back in '06 lamenting the great wasteland of dedicated up-and-coming quizbowlers (besides Will Turner and Dave Rappaport) that really pissed me off and helped motivate me to get better and show those terrible Midwest elitists.
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:56 pm

Kyle wrote:You don't have to be spiteful to have a rivalry with somebody. You can even be friends with your rival.
I'd like to think the members of the Brown team had this going.
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:39 pm

But I think, historically speaking, the most effective manifestation of spite is when two teammates despise each other.
I would endorse this view, and moreover, I think it explains the outcome of the Battle of Chaeronea.
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by kayli » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:39 am

Kay, Chicago.

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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:22 pm

I'll say this, though the rest of you probably won't believe it:

When I first started playing collegiate quizbowl and people like Marnold threw around the word "spite" as though it was obvious what mindset that entailed and what sorts of behavior might be motivated by it, I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT HE MEANT. I literally had no clear idea what an internal monologue would sound like for a person animated by spite. Suffice it to say, that's no longer the case.
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Re: Whatever happened to spite

Post by Cheynem » Tue May 09, 2017 11:51 am

For no reason, I was thinking of this today (probably because I associate Marnold with Muttley), and it caused me to remember the one time where I was really motivated by spite.

in 2011, after Rob and Gautam graduated, someone (let's call him "B.S.") declared that while Andrew Hart was very good, he would have no supporting cast next year, so Carleton was now the top team in Minnesota. In effect, this was saying I was too terrible to fill Rob and Gautam's spot. While I am certainly a weaker player than those guys, this proved to be...not true. We beat Carleton by a lot every time we played them that year. In the three years the lead scorers were myself and Andrew (as well as other very fine players), Minnesota finished 6th and 5th at ICT, and 8th at Nats (Andrew played solo and got 12th the following year). We also took 4th at College History Bowl. Carleton did not. Even though B.S. was not from Carleton, my spite was mostly directed at them and Carsten, so this was very satisfying.
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