Search found 394 matches

by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:44 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Welcome to the 2010 SCT discussion.
Replies: 228
Views: 25607

Re: Welcome to the 2010 SCT discussion.

I think the point here is more "why do cross-disciplinary questions need to go anywhere?" If we're going to rehash fundamental topics like "should there be any cross-disciplinary questions in NAQT," it might be a good idea to open up some separate discussion threads? My general response, though, wo...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:17 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Welcome to the 2010 SCT discussion.
Replies: 228
Views: 25607

Re: Welcome to the 2010 SCT discussion.

I don't think the bonus is "fatally flawed," I just think the following: Delmore Schwartz is already plenty hard. Sure, Summer Knowledge might have won the Bollingen, but you have to have really, really deep Schwartz and/or Bollingen knowledge to even know that. This question doesn't even tell you ...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:54 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Welcome to the 2010 SCT discussion.
Replies: 228
Views: 25607

Re: Welcome to the 2010 SCT discussion.

Well, like, there was a bonus that I got where the "easy" part was Caprica. I mean, I know that this is the prequel to BSG, and I figured that out from the clues, but I couldn't remember what it was called. I don't have cable, so I don't watch things like the Syfy (ugh) channel and the only way I k...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:35 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Welcome to the 2010 SCT discussion.
Replies: 228
Views: 25607

Re: Welcome to the 2010 SCT discussion.

A good chunk of the literature was ok as well, but there were many questions that just ended up being incredibly vague and had entirely unhelpful clues. Some bonuses were outrageously hard and lacked easy parts, and more than once, the most famous thing about some bonus answers wasn't even given as...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:02 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Welcome to the 2010 SCT discussion.
Replies: 228
Views: 25607

Re: Welcome to the 2010 SCT discussion.

The interminable shitwave of trash in this SCT really ruined my experience completely. Oh, you caught a bad bonus because it's on a show on a network you don't watch? Screw you, you get nothing! Endless bonuses demanding you identify some obscure-ass actors, ungettable things about some stupid show...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:34 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Winter discussion
Replies: 83
Views: 12654

Re: ACF Winter discussion

Yeah, I wanted to chime in about the variable bonus difficulty, which I see others have started to comment upon as well. I don't regard this as a flaw for which the editors of this set deserve to be castigated; rather, it's emblematic of the confusion that's been endemic in recent tournaments over w...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:55 am
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Philly Experiment?
Replies: 12
Views: 7860

Re: Philly Experiment?

Oh man, Philly Experiment! I also played in the 1995 tournament, which was the summer after my freshman year of college. My team (which was me, Guy Jordan, and two people I forget) lost in the finals to, I think, "Three Boys and a Goy." I want to say that the game went to the last tossup, when one o...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:45 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Rewarding Different Levels of Knowledge
Replies: 102
Views: 13125

Re: Rewarding Different Levels of Knowledge

This thread may be running into the sand, or it may be gathering new life. Anyway, I wanted to post something about "recycling" clues and the canon, and this seemed as good a place as any to do it. To make my point, I want to consider the following tossup on Wallace Stevens, which I have just writte...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:43 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Rewarding Different Levels of Knowledge
Replies: 102
Views: 13125

Re: Rewarding Different Levels of Knowledge

Obviously, we all get knowledge from different sources. Many of us are avid readers. Much of that reading is from primary material, a lot of it is secondary stuff like book reviews and so on, some of it is just random essays on this or that topic, and a lot of it comes from class. None of those sou...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:30 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Rewarding Different Levels of Knowledge
Replies: 102
Views: 13125

Re: Rewarding Different Levels of Knowledge

So I assume that Bruce's "pet point" in this context was either unrelated to my post, or in fact was lining up behind it? (Inasmuch as reading things like "the New York Review of Books/TLS, popular biographies of authors, etc.," as discussed in my earlier post, has nothing whatsoever to do with "aca...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:09 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Rewarding Different Levels of Knowledge
Replies: 102
Views: 13125

Re: Rewarding Different Levels of Knowledge

I started to read this thread, but despaired only a few posts in. Regardless, I'll weigh in and suggest that what I take to be Ryan's central dichotomy -- between "Tier 1" knowledge (e.g. "I read Moby-Dick, now stand back while I buzz on this lead-in describing Chapter 37 of the novel") and "Tier 2"...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:59 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: geography's role in the canon, round 398479386987
Replies: 147
Views: 31791

Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Man, are we having this discussion yet again? I'll weigh in and say that while Seth is surely right, at least in the pure good of theory, I still sympathize with Ted's perspective. To offer a more succinct version of Ted's point: Could someone produce a critique of geography questions in quizbowl wh...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:41 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Past Tournaments as the "Basis" of Quizbowl Knowledge
Replies: 52
Views: 10536

Re: Past Tournaments as the "Basis" of Quizbowl Knowledge

Sure, I can believe that it isn't just inexperienced writers who are responsible for this phenomenon. Maybe there are three kinds of people who do this kind of thing. First, the relative novices I referred to in my previous post. They don't know any better, and we can't expect them to be discerning ...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:58 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Past Tournaments as the "Basis" of Quizbowl Knowledge
Replies: 52
Views: 10536

Re: Past Tournaments as the "Basis" of Quizbowl Knowledge

In theory, yes, this burden would fall on the writers. But I'm assuming that a lot of the people who do this kind of thing are people who just don't know any better -- they are relative novices to quizbowl, and all they can do is "look at recent tournaments and take what they find there as exemplary...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:46 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Past Tournaments as the "Basis" of Quizbowl Knowledge
Replies: 52
Views: 10536

Past Tournaments as the "Basis" of Quizbowl Knowledge

I'm going to begin this post with an anecdote. At VCU Open, there was a bonus on the oeuvre of Edwidge Danticat. "Another stupid Danticat question," I said to my teammates. "She comes up at every fucking tournament these days!" Then we sat down to play the CaTO/TaCO, and the very first bonus was on ...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:56 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: VCU Open discussion
Replies: 55
Views: 12345

Re: VCU Open discussion

This tournament was ok. I didn't find anything to be excited about in this set. As usual, there were some incredibly dubious answer choices, including a whole bunch of things that were either incredibly obvious from the start or were unanswerable by anyone until the end. The bonuses were pretty var...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:23 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: CO Lit Discussion
Replies: 49
Views: 8325

Re: CO Lit Discussion

I usually find myself in agreement with Ted's posts, but this "questions about 'poets' should exclusively be about their 'poetic' works" proposal strikes me as really unsound and arbitrary. In general, modern quizbowl prefers that tossups on literature consist largely of clues derived from actual li...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:41 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Passing the Torch
Replies: 5
Views: 1102

Passing the Torch

After editing four CO trash tournaments, "actual life" beckons. Consequently, I've handed the reins of CO trash to the extremely capable Michael Arnold, who will be in charge of next year's event. I've enjoyed working on the tournaments over the last five years; thanks to everyone who helped me prod...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:08 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Writing Music Questions for Music Players
Replies: 122
Views: 33426

Re: Writing Music Questions for Music Players

But I'm almost in equal opposition to tossups that lack any technical clues, as they can be gotten by people with no musical knowledge too early in the question. The question I have to ask here is: should non-music people really be getting music tossups before the last two or so lines? I was under ...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:03 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion
Replies: 153
Views: 21168

Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Again I'm disturbed by this tendency to defer to so-called experts when determining what is and isn't askable in quiz bowl. Do we really want to say "Charlie Dees and Hannah Kirsch haven't heard of this, so it shouldn't come up"? Compare this to Jerry's post -- he doesn't say "I am a physicist! I h...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:21 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Writing Music Questions for Music Players
Replies: 122
Views: 33426

Re: Writing Music Questions for Music Players

I'd like to contest the notion that to be a "music player" necessarily implies "being interested in hearing more questions based on technical descriptions of musical scores." I consider myself a music player (both in terms of being extremely interested in classical music, and pretty good at answerin...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:06 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Ferdinand Tönnies Discussion
Replies: 42
Views: 11397

Re: Ferdinand Tönnies Discussion

Anyone who has a copy of the set should feel free to make it available online. (Or, if you are an online archiver of questions and want to make the set available, get in touch with me and I'll email it to you.)
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:15 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Ferdinand Tönnies Discussion
Replies: 42
Views: 11397

Re: Ferdinand Tönnies Discussion

For what it's worth, the distribution was 6/6 TV/movies, 5/5 music, 4/4 sports, and 5/5 "other" (including comic books, video games, trash lit, weird quasi-academia, tossups on "homunculi," etc.). We adhered to that high-level distribution pretty rigorously, but the sub-distributions were not as tho...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:05 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Ferdinand Tönnies Discussion
Replies: 42
Views: 11397

Re: Ferdinand Tönnies Discussion

Before the discussion advances too far, I wanted to thank everyone who made the tournament possible. First, thanks to the invaluable Donald Taylor, who pitched in with logistics, writing questions, and generally with the averting of disaster. Next, thanks to people who helped out with additional wri...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:28 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Ferdinand Tönnies Discussion
Replies: 42
Views: 11397

Ferdinand Tönnies Discussion

It appears that the only two iterations of the Tönnies (the Chicago and Berkeley ones) have both been completed, so feel free to post comments, critique, unmitigated praise, etc. I'll be posting some expressions of gratitude, and perhaps some overall comments on the set, at some point in the future.
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:30 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: West coast mirror of VCU Open?
Replies: 41
Views: 5123

Re: West coast mirror of VCU Open?

I'll cast my vote for a Bay Area mirror of this.
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:26 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: BASQUE at UC Berkeley 7/25/09
Replies: 58
Views: 14119

Re: BASQUE at UC Berkeley 7/25/09

What's the word on whether the lit tournament will be played Saturday night? Brian and I, at least, are interested in playing it.
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:28 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Announcement: Ferdinand Tönnies Memorial Trash Tournament
Replies: 116
Views: 25765

Re: Announcement: Ferdinand Tönnies Memorial Trash Tournament

To answer a few questions: This year's set will either contain (a) tiebreaker tossups or (b) an extra packet set aside for a finals round, but not both. In keeping with the autocratic tradition of this event, arbitrary team names will be assigned either by myself or by the indispensable Donald Taylo...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:28 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: BASQUE at UC Berkeley 7/25/09
Replies: 58
Views: 14119

Re: BASQUE at UC Berkeley 7/25/09

As far as free agents go, if nothing else, you guys probably can be added to a Berkeley team, since some of our players may be recruited into staffing. Is there any interest here in running the literature side tournament on Saturday night? I'll be playing BASQUE (as one of those "Stanford" teams, a...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:13 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Announcement: Ferdinand Tönnies Memorial Trash Tournament
Replies: 116
Views: 25765

Re: Announcement: Ferdinand Tönnies Memorial Trash Tournament

It's been a while since we had a field update. As far as I can glean from this thread and what people have emailed me, the field is now as follows: Team List: Dan Passner, Ted Stratton, Mike Cheyne, Evan Nagler Chris Borglum, Billy Beyer, Seth Kendall Nathaniel Kane + RIT people Greg Sorenson + "old...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu May 28, 2009 2:51 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Tossups about works
Replies: 15
Views: 1781

Re: Tossups about works

I wrote the Lucy poems tossup. In fact, the first sentence contains clues which are of central importance in 20th-century literary criticism. "Against Theory" is a very important essay which people read and discuss widely; and they chose "A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal" because that poem was the centr...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon May 11, 2009 2:51 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Penn Bowl Trash Mirror @ UC Berkeley (5/9/09)
Replies: 25
Views: 3697

Re: Penn Bowl Trash Mirror @ UC Berkeley (5/9/09)

Yeah, I don't really mean to hate on a tournament produced largely by novice writers (as I said, I had no idea that was the case, as Matt didn't mention the fact in his announcement of the switch to Penn questions). I'm not sure that criticism at this remove would be any help, but I will say that so...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun May 10, 2009 1:26 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Penn Bowl Trash Mirror @ UC Berkeley (5/9/09)
Replies: 25
Views: 3697

Re: Penn Bowl Trash Mirror @ UC Berkeley (5/9/09)

I don't think anyone's ever called PB Trash a great set. Most of it was written by rookie question writers and editors (I wrote 10/10, and Bentley contributed a packet, but basically everything else was done by folks in their first year of college-level question writing), and yeah, the inexperience...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun May 10, 2009 4:05 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Penn Bowl Trash Mirror @ UC Berkeley (5/9/09)
Replies: 25
Views: 3697

Re: Penn Bowl Trash Mirror @ UC Berkeley (5/9/09)

So, these Penn questions were not so great, in addition to being a bit dated. I'm not sure why people thought these rather perfunctory questions were just fine, but they could have used some work.
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu May 07, 2009 10:01 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Penn Bowl Trash Mirror @ UC Berkeley (5/9/09)
Replies: 25
Views: 3697

Re: Fake TRASHionals @ UC Berkeley (5/9/09)

Unfortunately, I just received word that the tournament cannot be completed by this weekend. As recommended by Matt, I am looking into exploring a previous TRASH tournament from UPenn's Penn Bowl this previous January. I await an e-mail from that TD and will update everyone on the status of the tou...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue May 05, 2009 11:51 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?
Replies: 58
Views: 9570

Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Yeah, I agree with Matt here. The thinking behind the "lame," as I understand it, is "you'll be able to tell from the first sentence of the bonus whether you'll be able to do anything on this question." But that only holds true if the bonus lead-in is something like "Name these three characters from...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sat May 02, 2009 4:07 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF distribution
Replies: 200
Views: 28334

Re: ACF distribution

Can you share your interpretation of how, eg, spelling questions were jettisoned in the mid-90s, or some other obviously beneficial change took place? It's empirically not the case that either nothing has ever changed, nor that nothing should ever change, so surely there must be some agreeable proc...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sat May 02, 2009 2:50 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF distribution
Replies: 200
Views: 28334

Re: ACF distribution

If there's stuff that currently gets classified as popular music in trash and is truly artistically-and-culturally influential and gets two thumbs up from real classical music scholars across the land, perhaps it could make it into an "all academic" distribution through "other fine arts." I'll move...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sat May 02, 2009 2:32 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF distribution
Replies: 200
Views: 28334

Re: ACF distribution

So this thread has now looped from (a) "let's dump geography from ACF" to (b) "maybe we should think harder about what is involved in dumping anything from ACF" to (c) "let's dump trash from ACF (nationals)." I continue to be in favor of spending more time thinking about (b) before we do anything al...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Fri May 01, 2009 6:10 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF distribution
Replies: 200
Views: 28334

Re: ACF distribution

I'll admit my question-writing is not up to par with everyone else here, but this is my take on Matt's idea of a Wyoming tossup: The Popo Agie Wilderness of this state includes a glacial carved valley surrounded by granite peaks known as the Cirque of the Towers. A large collection of columnar basa...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:29 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF distribution
Replies: 200
Views: 28334

Re: ACF distribution

With all due respect to Dwight, I will once again assert that attempts to account for the distribution on the basis of factors extrinsic to the game (e.g. "relevance of a topic to a 'well-rounded' education") are doomed to be rationalizations of the status quo. For example: In my mind, we consider l...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:17 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF distribution
Replies: 200
Views: 28334

Re: ACF distribution

I think that the burden may also lie with people, who cannot credibly claim they are unaware of what "good question" means, to answer the challenge to produce any examples at all of a good geography question, or to explain what sort of wacked-out metaphysics leads you to think that the 40,000 examp...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:46 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF distribution
Replies: 200
Views: 28334

Re: ACF distribution

This thread is getting a bit weird, but I want to stick up for (what I take to be) Ted's position. (Disclosure: I myself am a mediocre geography player who derives little pleasure from the category.) As I understand it, Ted is making the somewhat Burkean argument that the ACF distribution has evolve...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:16 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Announcement: Ferdinand Tönnies Memorial Trash Tournament
Replies: 116
Views: 25765

Re: Announcement: Ferdinand Tönnies Memorial Trash Tournament

Bumping this because I've edited the original post with whatever info I have been able to glean (from emails and this thread) on who is going to be at the tournament. If I've assigned you to the wrong team, or if you aren't on the list and want to be (in whatever capacity), please let me know. In re...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:51 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals question thanks/discussion
Replies: 75
Views: 11385

Re: ACF Nationals question thanks/discussion

I don't think the bonus difficulty fluctuated enough to really mess things up; in particular, I don't think that's why we beat Stanford in the play-in game. Looking at our play-in game with Stanford: they answered the same number of tossups and had one less neg than we did. They also had slightly b...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:38 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals discussion
Replies: 151
Views: 22954

Re: ACF Nationals discussion

Just stepping in here -- the editors cannot edit a packet that they have yet to receive. I know that doesn't apply to the editors packets, but it's impossible to have all the questions ready when the last packet submission didn't come in until two days before the tournament started (correct me if I...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:20 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals discussion
Replies: 151
Views: 22954

Re: ACF Nationals discussion

Well, I'm mostly on Yaphe's side when it comes to getting tournaments done in a reasonable time. I think the way that most people (both these days and in the past, though what's relevant is now) tend to procrastinate and not properly plan out what they're doing is straight fucking nuts. Now, I thin...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:02 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals discussion
Replies: 151
Views: 22954

Re: ACF Nationals discussion

The Burmese history question had a part about SLORC, which seemed well below "Chicago or beyond" difficulty. SLORC has been a tossup answer at past tournaments, I believe. Violating my own rule about sidetracking threads: Jerry's QBDB yields a single mention of SLORC (it isn't an answer, but a clue...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:28 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals discussion
Replies: 151
Views: 22954

Re: ACF Nationals discussion

There were huge problems with this tournament. Many of them were my fault. Others were not. Jerry missing his plane was no one's fault but his own for scheduling a flight on razor-thin time margins. I am interested in helping analyze the real problems and developing suggestions for next year's Nati...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:28 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals discussion
Replies: 151
Views: 22954

Re: ACF Nationals discussion

Hey, I just got home from St. Louis and so am a bit late to the discussion. I was going to post a somewhat lengthy excoration, but Jerry has anticipated my critique of the tournament logistics. I won't say much more about that here, but it really is unfathomable to me that an experienced TD in charg...