Search found 394 matches

by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:21 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ANNOUNCEMENT: Chicago Open (Weekend of July 25th, 2009)
Replies: 153
Views: 38005

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Chicago Open (Weekend of July 25th, 2009)

I'm guessing most readers of this thread will be aware of this, but I wanted to underscore the fact that I've announced this year's CO trash event -- the Ferdinand Tönnies Memorial Trash Tournament ("Gemeinschaft und Abfall") -- in the Trash forum.
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:19 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Announcement: Ferdinand Tönnies Memorial Trash Tournament
Replies: 116
Views: 25257

Announcement: Ferdinand Tönnies Memorial Trash Tournament

This is the announcement of this year's CO trash tournament. The Ferdinand Tönnies Memorial Trash Tournament ("Gemeinschaft und Abfall") will be held on the Sunday following the Chicago Open, which should be Sunday, July 26. It'll presumably be held at the University of Chicago. As in past installme...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:39 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2009 ICT discussion
Replies: 173
Views: 20919

Re: 2009 ICT discussion

I'd be happy to post excessively in a side-thread about the proper constitution of philosophy questions in quizbowl, but for now I'll just say that I strongly disagree with the possibly implied premise that "many (if not most?) philosophy questions should be on things of interest to contemporary (An...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:35 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2009 ICT discussion
Replies: 173
Views: 20919

Re: 2009 ICT discussion

For a change, I actually more or less agree with Ryan's discussion here. That is, I do think that it's clearly the case that having longer tossups can allow for better distinctions between players with varying degrees of knowledge. As an abstract principle, at least, it is certainly true that "longe...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:07 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2009 ICT discussion
Replies: 173
Views: 20919

Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Yeah, for what it's worth, I did in fact write that "Hegel" tossup, and wrote it as a tossup on "schools of Hegelian thought which will have the name 'Hegel' as the answer" (for reasons of answerability which have been covered recently in the "common link" thread). My thinking behind the question wa...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:08 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Common Link Discussion III: Pigs Shooting Japanese Fascists
Replies: 10
Views: 2003

Re: Common Link Discussion III: Pigs Shooting Japanese Fascists

I think Andrew (Yaphe) is arguing is that both the Swinburne and the pigs question are common link questions, and when decomposed like this, I tend to agree with him that every pyramidal question is necessarily a common link question. Here is my definition of a "good" vs. "bad" common link question...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:42 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2009 ICT discussion
Replies: 173
Views: 20919

Re: 2009 ICT discussion

I feel that the term "common link" applies not only to the question structure delineated by Andrew above but also to answer space. To me, common link answer spaces often bring together similar elements/things/concepts that are not usually grouped together in the author/work or creator/creation sens...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:47 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2009 ICT discussion
Replies: 173
Views: 20919

Re: 2009 ICT discussion

I was very happy to see more social science than I expected in the ICT set, but I was quite disappointed that the vast majority of pure social science/philosophy consisted of fill in the blank common links. At a national tournament, there is no excuse to not tossup works! This claim -- that the "va...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:58 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2009 ICT discussion
Replies: 173
Views: 20919

Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Also, is the using five (or possibly more) year-old questions par for the course for ICT, or is it a pretty unusual event that affects only a couple of questions each year? Given how much the game has evolved (two years, let alone four years, is a long time, and issues like canonicity, pure difficu...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:43 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2009 ICT discussion
Replies: 173
Views: 20919

Re: 2009 ICT discussion

So, my theory on what continues to cause the annual hatefest that is ICT question reaction (sans last year, for obvious reasons) is because some not insignificant number of question contributors are accurately described by this statement. Things have changed extraordinarily rapidly over the last fe...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:54 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT distributions posted
Replies: 59
Views: 7438

Re: NAQT distributions posted

Without trying to reiterate tropes, I'll say that I'm confident that you, Andrew Yaphe, would use those slots for non-trash questions (as would I.) I am equally confident that they have been and will be used as trash questions a very large fraction of the time and will probably continue to be given...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:31 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT distributions posted
Replies: 59
Views: 7438

Re: NAQT distributions posted

I want to applaud NAQT for (finally!) doing this. I hope we can discuss relevant issues now without so much baseless conjecture. For example: I'll open by asking, why is there 2-4 times more (what the circuit would call) trash than (what the circuit would call) fine arts, myth, religion, or philoso...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:38 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Concept tossups in the social sciences
Replies: 40
Views: 5472

Re: Concept tossups in the social sciences

I more or less agree with Jerry -- "we should have lots more questions about concepts, because they are REALER" is one of those notions which may sound good in theory, but doesn't necessarily work out very well in practice. In law, for instance, it would certainly be nice to have more questions on c...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:36 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Regionals Logistics Discussion, or, Finishing on Time.
Replies: 33
Views: 3364

Re: ACF Regionals Logistics Discussion, or, Finishing on Time.

This isn't particularly addressed at the editors of this tournament (thanks to being on the West Coast, I didn't even know that there was a problem with delayed receipt of the questions until after the tournament). But speaking as someone who is pretty obsessive about getting things done on time, an...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:08 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Regionals Discussion Thread
Replies: 121
Views: 14729

Re: ACF Regionals Discussion Thread

Yeah, for what it's worth "the philosophical fallacy" is not, to my knowledge, a bona fide piece of Deweyan jargon. And since you can't peg anything to that phrase, the first sentence could just as well be describing Whitehead, or Bergson, or a bunch of other early 20th-century philosophers. (I was ...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:41 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Regionals Discussion Thread
Replies: 121
Views: 14729

Re: ACF Regionals Discussion Thread

I agree that the gaucho literature tossup was bad. It was submitted as a tossup on Martin Fierro, which I thought was too difficult for this tournament, so I turned it into a gaucho literature tossup. It should probably have been a tossup on Argentina or something less obviously fraudable. My apolo...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:04 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Regionals Discussion Thread
Replies: 121
Views: 14729

Re: ACF Regionals Discussion Thread

Before this thread completely derails into a discussion of "how many video game tossups are appropriate in a set?" (though I agree with Bruce that this particular sub-category was overrepresented), I wanted to see if we could nudge things back to a general assessment of the tournament. My own take: ...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:53 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Chicago Open
Replies: 67
Views: 8612

Re: Chicago Open

I'm not sure what the etiquette is on "claiming" events, but as the creator and three-time editor of CO trash, I want to note that I haven't relinquished whatever vested rights in the tournament I have. Also, inasmuch as people have seemed to take genuine pleasure in the previous iterations of CO tr...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:40 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: SCT Private Discussion Forum
Replies: 129
Views: 14990

Re: SCT Private Discussion Forum

I've registered as "birdofredum"
by Birdofredum Sawin
Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:04 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: An NAQTer revisits the ACF question submission guidelines
Replies: 42
Views: 6448

Re: An NAQTer revisits the ACF question submission guidelines

Matt Bruce seems to be arguing that short, less clue-ful bonuses take less time to write, which certainly seems reasonable to me, and that's a much better indicator of lazy writing, right, taking less time per question? I think this thread has wandered pretty far from its nominal origin, but I'll t...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:48 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 17111

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

I guess when you can read our minds, discussion really is a moot point. edit: I think, by the way, that it's quite telling that when asked to provide some specific examples of questions for the purposes of discussion, you deign to do so only to humor us but you would like us all to note that you do...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:10 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Distribution: Origins, Motivations
Replies: 72
Views: 45380

Re: Distribution: Origins, Motivations

But Andrew, this is empirically untrue. In fact these kinds of questions get written all the time, and people are trying to be just as creative in their approach to writing music questions as they are in writing literature. That includes the kind of common link tossups you mentioned as an example; ...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:57 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Distribution: Origins, Motivations
Replies: 72
Views: 45380

Re: Distribution: Origins, Motivations

I think the counter-arguments which have been suggested are actually pretty weak. First, consider the notion that music answers are inherently less "askable" because they have titles like "String Quartet Number 4 in D minor" rather than "Lycidas." I think this objection, in fact, incarnates the unwi...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:20 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 17111

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

I think we'd then like to know that you agree with the following statement: that there exist such "repugnant" practices with which NAQT is associated (whether that is because NAQT "just doesn't get it," is a den of thieves, or fully intends to change but hasn't gotten a chance yet is irrelevant) th...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:22 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 17111

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

I have two points to make in response to Jonathan. I think I wasn't clear enough in my explanation of responsibility, so I'll try to be more lucid. In my opinion, responsibility involves ethical behavior and responding to feedback (both with reasonable explanations and procedural changes). I think t...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:27 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Distribution: Origins, Motivations
Replies: 72
Views: 45380

Re: Distribution: Origins, Motivations

Well, we can talk all we want about how much a "hypothetical intelligent person" knows about figures like Bach, Twain, and so on - but I don't really see how that's relevant to their askability within the framework of quizbowl (and its inherent limitations as a game). I submit that there are probab...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:58 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: An NAQTer revisits the ACF question submission guidelines
Replies: 42
Views: 6448

Re: An NAQTer revisits the ACF question submission guidelines

...there's a thin line between [my binary matching bonus] and the patently unacceptable "for 10 points each, who wrote [...]." I see no line, however thin! Let's look at this a little further. The essential problem is this: this bonus doesn't provide any context or much information. For example, ok...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:18 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Distribution: Origins, Motivations
Replies: 72
Views: 45380

Re: Distribution: Origins, Motivations

I wonder if the music/literature swap thought experiment is actually useful. The distribution represents years of discussion and evolution; the numbers and subsequent ratios actually mean something, so flipping them around and seeing what a whacky world it would be seems unjustified. Maybe that rat...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:37 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Distribution: Origins, Motivations
Replies: 72
Views: 45380

Re: Distribution: Origins, Motivations

Yeah, I think Weiner's right here - and I should have emphasized how important the workable/feasible part of the equation I put forth was. I don't think it's just that we "don't currently know how to write good questions" on the topic - rather, I think that plenty of experienced writers know very w...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:13 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Are IS-A sets appropriate for new teams?
Replies: 75
Views: 9208

Re: Are IS-A sets appropriate for new teams?

I thought I'd offer my own take on Mike's requests for answers. Consequently, I wish someone authoritative would post regarding this one way or another, either in this thread or in Guy's thread about motivations for writing. For example, I think authoritative answers are called for to the following ...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:46 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Distribution: Origins, Motivations
Replies: 72
Views: 45380

Re: Distribution: Origins, Motivations

They're neither less academically relevant, nor less important, nor less interesting, but they certainly are less workable. Writing a tossup on "Bach's English Suites" strikes me as more difficult than writing a tossup on "The Spoils of Poynton," just due to the inherent difficulties in finding goo...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:29 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Distribution: Origins, Motivations
Replies: 72
Views: 45380

Re: Distribution: Origins, Motivations

Contrary to what Yaphe seems to argue in the other thread, I think the typical mACF distribution we have now (as outlined by Bentley above) has done a pretty good job of justifying itself, such that it's not really some arbitrary thing at all. I'm obviously someone who spends a lot of time imaginin...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:52 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Linguistic Fraud
Replies: 60
Views: 5186

Re: Linguistic Fraud

Well, Seth, when you say that the answer could be "fire" or "thought"...yeah, maybe it could, if I were confident that the question was written by a good writer. But, a lot of fraud in general comes from the fact that you're at a tournament where you're already pretty distrustful of the questions. ...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:13 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Are IS-A sets appropriate for new teams?
Replies: 75
Views: 9208

Re: Are IS-A sets appropriate for new teams?

Three of the top four were the same for both IS-77 and IS-79. Also, a quick check tells me that those same three were in the top four of production for IS-76 (a set in which the top four writers produced 52% of the total questions).

Andrew
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:04 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Are IS-A sets appropriate for new teams?
Replies: 75
Views: 9208

Re: Are IS-A sets appropriate for new teams?

How many writers does NAQT exactly have? There does seem to be an abnormally large supply of A-sets in my neck of the woods, as we have only attended one IS set tourney this year. [So, hey, maybe we do need A sets to qualify.] Would it be unreasonable to ask NAQT to write more IS sets if they conti...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:48 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 17111

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

That's all well and good, but your post didn't actually address any of the points I brought up originally. The debate at the point you entered it may have shifted, but I don't see why that makes my original post less valid or deserving of a response to allay concerns of mine and others. Furthermore...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:07 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 17111

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

I think that the goal you elucidated for NAQT is a noble one, certainly if there is something inherent to ACF that puts people off. Do you believe that the goal of making quizbowl accessible to people put off by the ACF model (if I misstate your idea of what NAQT ought to do, please correct me) is ...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:53 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 17111

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

I want to take another shot at elucidating some of the points I've been trying to make in this thread. This time, I'm going to use Andrew Hart's comments about the "community" as a jumping-off point. I agree that the quizbowl community is a great thing; I agree that it would be nice if it grew even ...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:48 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 17111

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

I don't think the distribution is entirely arbitrary; I think it's a reasonable attempt to balance askable academic categories with answer space (for instance, literature comes up a lot because the answer space for literature tossups is larger than the answer space for mythology). If people have re...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:48 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 17111

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

I think, whatever historical audience ACF has had, the point is to consider both the "ideal" and "practical" audiences of both organizations. For ACF, our ideal audience is anyone who enjoys questions that are interesting, that reward knowledge before guessing, that reward primarily academic knowle...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:23 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 17111

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

Instead of composing a brief follow-up to Seth's post, I'll instead compose a brief response to Jonathan's intervening post. Jonathan makes a couple of absolute assertions (e.g. that NAQT's lower-level sets "are not good by any definition") which strike me as intemperate, for reasons outlined in my ...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:58 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 17111

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

There's a lot I want to say in response to the thoughtful posts from Fred and Seth; this is just a first cut at a follow-up to Fred's post. First, the issue with NAQT's A-sets. (I should perhaps note I have little to do with the production of A sets, as I have minimal interest in that level of quizb...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:58 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Resolve Protests in Important Games Immediately?
Replies: 36
Views: 3327

Re: Resolve Protests in Important Games Immediately?

I think "resolving every protest, period" is actually a pretty bad idea, simply because resolving protests, under any circumstances, takes time. The example of our CO match is somewhat misleading in this regard, as I was able to say (roughly; I don't remember the exact protest) "there is in fact a c...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:52 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Harvard T-Party Discussion
Replies: 61
Views: 7844

Re: Harvard T-Party Discussion

After Gaddis, you made the argument that Sykes-Picot, for example, is a poor answer choice because, if you're aware that Sykes-Picot exists you can easily determine that the tossup's answer is either that or something even more difficult, so your opponent won't get it either and you might as well b...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:20 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Harvard T-Party Discussion
Replies: 61
Views: 7844

Re: Harvard T-Party Discussion

I'd also like to make a separate but perhaps related point. I don't think there's necessarily an imperative to put the easiest real clue about something as its giveaway. In fact, I think doing so is a bad idea, unless one can select a set of answers with easiest real clues of about the same level o...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:13 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Harvard T-Party Discussion
Replies: 61
Views: 7844

Re: Harvard T-Party Discussion

This discussion continues to be more interesting than studying for a tax exam. I think it's a bad idea to get hung up on the specifics of this Saramago example. For one thing, being "from Portugal" is pretty obviously a salient fact about the author of "Journey to Portugal." For another thing, it is...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:06 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Harvard T-Party Discussion
Replies: 61
Views: 7844

Re: Harvard T-Party Discussion

Sure, not all fraud is created equal; you are certainly relying on knowledge of a fact rather than anagramming skill. But I always understood almanac clues to be things that quizbowl doesn't like. I say that if one team knows a Portuguese author but can't name a single thing he wrote, that team sho...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:26 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Chicago Open Discussion
Replies: 58
Views: 9905

Re: Chicago Open Discussion

Have the questions been posted somewhere? I want to deflate the love-in with a few bitter remarks, but I need to see the set for that to happen.

Andrew
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:48 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: CO Trash discussion
Replies: 22
Views: 4229

Re: CO Trash discussion

So, here's a few observations on the tournament. First, about the "skewing old" thing. I co-wrote this tournament with David Seal and Michael Arnold, who just finished their sophomore year of college. On the whole, I was interested to discover that they wrote more "old" questions than I did. For ins...
by Birdofredum Sawin
Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:36 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: CO Trash discussion
Replies: 22
Views: 4229

Re: CO Trash discussion

Hey, I'm sorry not to have posted results for the tournament earlier, but I've been exhausted/without a computer/in transit. Congratulations to Greg, Brian, Colby, and Jeremy, who won the tournament. They had a 9-1 record, losing by 5 in the final game to a team of Dren, Michael, Chris, and Eric. Th...