Search found 2104 matches

by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu May 03, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Smoothing Out Your Set
Replies: 18
Views: 8135

Re: Smoothing Out Your Set

I was on the editing team for 2012 and 2013 ACF Nationals. I had absolutely no qualms about replacing submitted questions. Many times, I either totally threw out a submitted question, or I kept the answerline and completely rewrote the tossup. This was only partially inspired by a desire to keep the...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Public discourse, on the forums and elsewhere
Replies: 17
Views: 6545

Re: Public discourse, on the forums and elsewhere

I think the quizbowl community does a lot of weird things because it is the opposite of what quizbowl villains of yore did 10-15 years ago. So for example, when Matt Weiner criticized defenders of bad quizbowl over a decade ago and they could not refute him on the merits, they criticized his tone. T...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:51 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: ACF and Powers (POLL)
Replies: 49
Views: 16137

Re: ACF and Powers (POLL)

Also it's hard for me to have this much sympathy for ACF when most of what you're doing is taking questions that teams wrote and repurposing them.
This is one of the most remarkably ignorant things ever posted on this forum.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: 1995 ACF Nationals program
Replies: 11
Views: 4507

Re: 1995 ACF Nationals program

I love the old school ACF logo, despite the implications of pederasty.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Your Favorite Question
Replies: 45
Views: 19839

Re: Your Favorite Question

Honorable mention to "science tossups written by the 2006 University of Michigan team" Michigan was good that year: they played in the finals at ACF Nationals, losing to Texas A&M by not that much. But their lineup of Ryan Westbrook, Matt Lafer, Will Turner, and David Rappaport lacked a true science...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: How to make college quizbowl less insular
Replies: 22
Views: 9006

Re: How to make college quizbowl less insular

As you wait, perhaps in vain, for systemic top-down change to come to quizbowl, a possible good use of your time might be to simply send an email to that on again/off again team in your region saying "hey, it was fun seeing you guys at ACF Fall, do you want to come to our tournament next month" or t...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: What is the most pressing concern in college quizbowl today?
Replies: 68
Views: 23975

Re: What is the most pressing concern in college quizbowl to

I think it's just in general that high-caliber universities also have good quiz bowl teams. High achieving students matriculate to schools like Yale, UC Berkeley, UChicago, Columbia, Stanford, etc. which also happen to have established quiz bowl programs. As an old person, I can assure you that thi...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: Scheduling reform
Topic: Quizbowl Needs a Scheduling Committee
Replies: 50
Views: 15463

Re: Quizbowl Needs a Scheduling Committee

Separately, I'd love to see ACF evolve into some kind of governing body for college quizbowl, but that's not what ACF is built to do. ACF is PACE with more writing commitments and less professionalism - it's an organization that produces three tournaments a year and (grudgingly) maintains a set of r...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Scheduling reform
Topic: Quizbowl Needs a Scheduling Committee
Replies: 50
Views: 15463

Re: Quizbowl Needs a Scheduling Committee

I'm inclined to the belief that running a "rogue" tournament against something more established like SCT is its own punishment: people won't go to your event and you will have wasted your time. Further, I refuse to believe that any rogue quizbowl organizations are out there thinking "he he he, I am ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: 2018 Carper Award: congratulations Mike Bentley!
Replies: 6
Views: 3414

Re: 2018 Carper Award: congratulations Mike Bentley!

On top of his contributions to quizbowl generally, he is an incredibly important figure in the history of the Pacific Northwest quizbowl circuit.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:33 pm
Forum: Trash
Topic: The Best Two-Way Players
Replies: 12
Views: 4849

Re: The Best Two-Way Players

Wasn't Andrew Yaphe good at trash? He head-edited multiple trash tournaments.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:55 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Advice For Someone Who Wants To Edit History Questions
Replies: 3
Views: 2750

Re: Advice For Someone Who Wants To Edit History Questions

So you're lucky that history, in general, is not a topic that quizbowl players like to complain about on the internet. Certainly not the way people complain about science and music. When people do complain, it's often one of the following things (I'll focus on things you can fix): Temporal distribut...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Best Film Player
Replies: 44
Views: 16073

Re: Best Film Player

I once invited Rom Masrour to play with my pub trivia team. We got a question that was like "what was the first sports movie to win Best Picture". Rom proceeded to recite, from memory, every Best Picture winner from the first Oscars onward until he got to the correct answer (Rocky, sometime in the 7...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Your Favorite Question
Replies: 45
Views: 19839

Re: Your Favorite Question

I don't remember what tournament or what year this was from, but the answer line was "Bar Mitzvah" and the clues were all about modern Bar Mitzvahs, as traditionally conducted in the 21st century. I think there was even a clue about how decorations often reflect the kid's favorite sports team. I bel...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:41 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: The Dominance of Thought
Replies: 14
Views: 5588

Re: The Dominance of Thought

In 2010 or 2012, if you asked me what the most underrepresented thing in quizbowl was, I would have replied "thought". Or more specifically, thought that does not fall into the narrow, small categories at the bottom of the ACF distribution. I don't think this view would have been particularly contro...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:36 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Best Practices in Randomization
Replies: 7
Views: 3635

Re: Best Practices in Randomization

A classic complaint from back in the day was that close games on packets were the final question was trash were derided for being "decided by trash", despite of course the game actually being determined by the previous 19 tossups just as much as by tossup 20. I don't know if there's even trash in qu...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: On the Role of the Discord
Replies: 9
Views: 4818

Re: On the Role of the Discord

My personal preference is to be restrained by norms rather than rules. When somebody tells me I can't do something because there is a rule against it, I immediately feel oppressed and inspired to rebel. Being normatively shamed doesn't inspire that same feeling. Perhaps this is a personality or gene...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:14 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: On the Role of the Discord
Replies: 9
Views: 4818

Re: On the Role of the Discord

Just remember: if you want to discourage a particular kind of discussion, you can also use norms or shaming instead of rules. Back in like 2008 or 2009, when I was in the quizbowl IRC every night, there was no formal rule against discussing politics. #politics did not exist yet as a separate channel...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:53 am
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive
Replies: 64
Views: 24061

Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

I'll second the advice about telling new players things like "nice buzz". It's really amazing how much small compliments can mean to people. In my long quizbowl career, the most off-putting thing I saw was players throwing a hissy fit when they were beaten to tossups by their own teammate. In my opi...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Quizbowl men, get a haircut
Replies: 102
Views: 29326

Re: Quizbowl men, get a haircut

I had shoulder-length, poorly-kempt hair for much of my quizbowl career. In retrospect I regret the poorly-kempt part but not the shoulder-length part. Why did I have long hair? Two reasons. (1) When I was a little kid, my dad was very meticulous about keeping my hair short and my fingernails short....
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Nathan Freeburg
Replies: 14
Views: 10438

Re: Nathan Freeburg

How many degrees did Nathan Freeburg complete/start? At the time I started playing quizbowl (2004), the scouting report on Nathan Freeburg was that he was unnaturally extending his quizbowl career by going into degree program after degree program.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Nathan Freeburg
Replies: 14
Views: 10438

Re: Nathan Freeburg

Nathan Freeburg often played as a one man team. His high neg rate was a result of the fact that he needed to be aggressive to compete with full teams, especially at high levels. I once scorekept a game between Nathan Freeburg and a team that contained Sudheer Potru. Sudheer P was a fascinating figur...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Periods, Closing Quote Marks, and You
Replies: 17
Views: 5396

Re: Periods, Closing Quote Marks, and You

Does this hamper the ability of computers to read and parse questions? If not, I don't see how it possibly matters.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: An inexperienced writer among experienced writers
Replies: 11
Views: 4520

Re: An inexperienced writer among experienced writers

The following two things are real phenomena: (a) Sometimes people don't realize how mean or hostile their comments sound to others, even if they did not intend their comments to be mean or hostile (b) Sometimes in chatrooms where questions are being playtested, people over-criticize a question out o...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Bonus Leadins
Replies: 9
Views: 4189

Re: Bonus Leadins

Also please no more of the "You are an X who wants to Y" lead-ins. I'm like 99% confident that I invented these (or at least popularized them) in my 2008 Chicago Open History Doubles. A bit of a background on what I was thinking at the time follows below. At the time, I had received feedback from a...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: RAPTURE - A religion side event [Summer 2018]
Replies: 23
Views: 9424

Re: RAPTURE - A religion side event [Summer 2018]

Good luck! I might crawl out of retirement to play this if there's a site near me.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: How to Improve as a Question Writer?
Replies: 7
Views: 2792

Re: How to Improve as a Question Writer?

People are always going to be able to find something about your questions to criticize. You'll know you're a good writer when the criticism becomes a bunch of subjective nit-picking about specific clues (e.g., "you mentioned the Battle of the Gates of Trajan before the Battle of Pliska, but in the A...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: How Do You Run Your Club
Replies: 19
Views: 7892

Re: How Do You Run Your Club

I would like somebody who was on the Berkeley team in the early to mid 2000's, when it was organized along the lines of the Roman Republic with Consuls and Praetors and such, to come post in this thread.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:12 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Ways to practice outside of buzzing?
Replies: 4
Views: 3089

Re: Ways to practice outside of buzzing?

I've also heard of teams that have each player do some research on a topic (think not-too-broad but not just one answerline, such as "Holy Roman Emperors" or "20th century popes" or something like that). Then occasionally at practices, each player presents their research in a short slideshow. It al...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Ways to practice outside of buzzing?
Replies: 4
Views: 3089

Re: Ways to practice outside of buzzing?

If your practices are big enough, some teams find it helpful to split into two simultaneous practices--one for the more experienced players to read harder questions, and one for the less experienced players so they actually get a chance to buzz. This is probably the most common solution to your pro...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Accommodating for player needs
Replies: 12
Views: 6029

Re: Accommodating for player needs

I've seen Orthodox Jews simply say "buzz" instead of pressing a buzzer. It's then up to the moderator to figure out if the verbal "buzz" came before or after another player rang in with a buzzer. NAQT rules explicitly allow a player to "signal in an appropriate manner" if they cannot use a buzzer (...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Accommodating for player needs
Replies: 12
Views: 6029

Re: Accommodating for player needs

I've seen Orthodox Jews simply say "buzz" instead of pressing a buzzer. It's then up to the moderator to figure out if the verbal "buzz" came before or after another player rang in with a buzzer. NAQT rules explicitly allow a player to "signal in an appropriate manner" if they cannot use a buzzer (o...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: I Need Contact Information for These Folks
Replies: 5
Views: 3132

Re: I Need Contact Information for These Folks

Miriam Nussbaum is super active on Facebook, and Ted Gioia has recently been active on LinkedIn. I saw Nick Clusserath at NHBB middle school nationals in Atlanta in April of 2017. He was wearing the uniform of a high-ranking NHBB official. We sort of awkwardly waved at each other as if to say "do we...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: A, B, C teams
Replies: 13
Views: 6649

Re: A, B, C teams

I literally once saw a school (a very prominent quizbowl school, no less) use the system of "the A team is the first 4 people who signed up, the B team is the next 4 people who signed up, etc" which makes no sense but totally happened. The solution is to require rosters if you're going to be creatin...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:58 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Two Visions of ACF Fall
Replies: 9
Views: 4829

Re: Two Visions of ACF Fall

I'm too far removed from the current reality of ACF Fall to offer anything worth saying on those particulars. So instead I will tell two stories from the distant past. First story is from fall of 2004. I played my first ever college quizbowl tournament: ACF Fall 2004. For weeks prior to this, I had ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: we should be doing religion better
Replies: 26
Views: 8852

Re: we should be doing religion better

Current quizbowl players in this thread seem to be painting a picture of a Religion canon that is hyper-focused on primary texts. Is that really the case? So do people no longer write tossups on concepts like "Prayer for the Dead" or "Real Presence", with clues such as what Bible verse do believers ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:17 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: we should be doing religion better
Replies: 26
Views: 8852

Re: we should be doing religion better

I agree that quizbowl fails and has always failed at a clear definition between "religion" and "mythology". The current distinction is arbitrary and I could see, e.g., a devout Hindu finding it offensive in the abstract. However, I am also not sure that this matters in the end. Shuffling stories abo...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Thoughts on Book Prizes
Replies: 8
Views: 3493

Re: Thoughts on Book Prizes

As a TD or tournament staff member I've certainly been guilty of providing crappy book prizes: books taken from the "free bin" outside the used bookstore (essentially a glorified trash can), old textbooks on esoteric subjects that nobody wanted, realizing that the tournament was starting in an hour ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:50 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Open high school teams playing collegiate tournaments
Replies: 35
Views: 10851

Re: Open high school teams playing collegiate tournaments

Since about 2011, the norms of quizbowl have very much been against allowing anything other than a team of people who currently attend the same university playing most college tournaments, except for 1-3 per year that are marked as "open". I believe that, traditionally, an exception is made for remo...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Quizbowl and Mental Health
Replies: 30
Views: 18103

Re: Quizbowl and Mental Health

I've been hesitant to post this because it kinda cuts against the spirit of the thread, but I want to share how quizbowl helped me - a lot - during a time when I was dealing with poor mental health. When I was in law school, I was diagnosed with situational depression (now called "Adjustment Disorde...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Your Worst Moment In Quizbowl
Replies: 16
Views: 9207

Re: Your Worst Moment In Quizbowl

The angriest I have ever gotten at a quizbowl tournament was Oxford Open 2011, in the semifinal round. My team was in "we are mathematically guaranteed to win if we don't neg" territory and there was a literature tossup. It was clearly about a character from "The Devil and Daniel Webster". My teamma...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Use of the Term "Trivia"
Replies: 4
Views: 2602

Re: Use of the Term "Trivia"

"Academic Trivia" should be a good compromise that leaves all semantic extremists unhappy and makes your activity understandable to the general population. If people ask "what's academic trivia?" you can reply "you know, stuff about history, literature, science, art, mythology, etc." Anyone who woul...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: How to not get overwhelmed by the college canon
Replies: 8
Views: 3888

Re: How to not get overwhelmed by the college canon

All the way back in 2004 when I was a college freshman, I felt exactly the same way. After being a big fish in a small pond in high school, I was suddenly attending UChicago practices where not only were the questions much harder and full of things I had never heard of, but the room routinely contai...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Chicago Open Discussion
Replies: 32
Views: 16677

Re: Chicago Open Discussion

Ike Jose used to be one of my favorite people in quizbowl. I honestly really enjoyed that one Illinois Open he edited that nobody else liked. There was something pure about him, he was this big kid having fun learning things and having fun sharing the things he was passionate about with people who p...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:56 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Tiebreaker Distro
Replies: 6
Views: 3148

Re: Tiebreaker Distro

teams have already heard 20 TUs to differentiate themselves I think this is a very powerful rebuttal to a lot of nitpicks about tiebreakers. Over a pretty decent sample size of questions these two teams have proven to be evenly matched: there's not really a "wrong" outcome so long as the question m...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:41 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Tiebreaker Distro
Replies: 6
Views: 3148

Re: Tiebreaker Distro

I'm not aware of any deep theory that's been written on tiebreakers. Below, I will talk a bit about the approach that I took to tiebreakers back when I was writing and editing lots of questions (which was a long time ago, but I like to think some of the ideas might still apply today). In my opinion,...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Good books for studying history
Replies: 7
Views: 5248

Re: Good books for studying history

Definitely read the "books for quizbowl" thread, a running 198+ post affair where many different quizbowl players give their recommendations for good books to read, many of which are history books. You can find it here: http://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8159 The reality is that th...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: New Collegiate Teams
Topic: The overwhelming lack of knowledge for the initiate
Replies: 11
Views: 7338

Re: The overwhelming lack of knowledge for the initiate

To summarize, if you have no knowledge outside of a bare-bones STEM education from high-school, where should you start as a new collegiate player? You're going to school in Florida, you say? Stick to STEM, and you'll score plenty of points against most teams here. The rest of quiz bowl subjects wil...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: New Collegiate Teams
Topic: The overwhelming lack of knowledge for the initiate
Replies: 11
Views: 7338

Re: The overwhelming lack of knowledge for the initiate

Expose yourself to as many questions as possible. Ideally, attend tournaments as often as you can and attend practices as often as you can. If that can't happen, read packets in your spare time. Have a notebook and write down any answers you have not heard of, then look them up online. You can reall...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Would You Recommend Working for NAQT? Revisited
Replies: 41
Views: 20138

Re: Would You Recommend Working for NAQT? Revisited

Is it possible that NAQT's leaders dislike you for some reason unrelated to your work for its competitors, and they're using your NHBB connections as an excuse? I no longer moderate NAQT events (I think I still get invited to almost all of them), but when I look at pictures of NAQT events all the mo...