Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

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justinfrench1728
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Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

Post by justinfrench1728 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:27 pm

In general an entire post about a specific clue placement would be absurd. However, cluing "Quiet Night Thought" too early is an epidemic that must be stopped.

Any line from "Quiet Night Thought" should not be in power at any difficulty above HS regs. For the vast majority of people who play quiz bowl, "Quiet Night Thought" is Li Bai's most famous poem. For the small amount of people who know secondary Pound poems more than the most memorized poem in the entire world, "Drinking Alone by Moonlight" might be more famous. Any other poem is certainly harder than "Quiet Night Thought" and should come before it in any tossup on Li Bai!

EXAMPLES:
PACE 2018 had a "Quiet Night Thought" clue in power for Li Bai that was widely criticized as "way too early."
PACE 2019 had "Quiet Night Thought" near the end of power, which was similarly criticized but it's a step in the right direction.
Sun God had "Quiet Night Thought" near the end of power for "moon;" (I believe) it was later moved out of power because too many people powered the tossup.
Countless hs regs+ sets clue "Quiet Night Thought" near second line, leading to enormous buzzer races in loads of rooms.
Justin French
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Milhouse
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Re: Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

Post by Milhouse » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:45 pm

wow your so good at literature

edit so this doesn't get FZ'd: I strongly believe that you and whoever you're getting anecdotal information from overestimate how much Chinese poetry most high school quizbowlers know.
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Re: Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

Post by nycaqb1999 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:09 pm

Similarly, putting "A willow of crystal/a poplar of water" in power for Paz has been almost universally criticized whenever it happens, but continues to occur. The most famous quote from a poet's most famous poem should indeed not be in power, as Justin says with Li Bai.
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Re: Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:07 am

Milhouse wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:45 pm
wow your so good at literature

edit so this doesn't get FZ'd: I strongly believe that you and whoever you're getting anecdotal information from overestimate how much Chinese poetry most high school quizbowlers know.
So I think the point of concern here is that it is likely that the majority of quizbowl players who first encounter Li Bai in a natural manner are Chinese Americans who commonly in fact have to memorize the poem in mention. It always struck me as the most famous Li Bai poem (at least in the context of someone who is Chinese American).
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Re: Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

Post by vinteuil » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:38 am

Justin is right, and so is Max, at least in terms of how those tossups inevitably play out.

As far as I can tell, the root of the problem in both cases is a recognition that a topic is important enough to keep coming up, coupled with a lack of any collective sense of what the "famous but not-yet-quizbowl-famous" clues might be. So, even easy clues have to stay earlier, due to a lack of confidence that newer clues, as they gain quizbowl exposure, will be just as buzzable to people coming in with knowledge from outside of quizbowl.

I can't offer any guidance on Paz's poetry,* but for Tang poetry (where a handful of Du Fu, Li Bai, and Wang Wei poems have been completely beaten to death while their almost-as-famous counterparts never get clued), there's a straight-up canonical list of (almost all of) the most famous poems, i.e. the 300 Tang Poems collection. (Take the translations with a grain of salt, but you can even find the whole collection online here.)

Obviously I'm not saying "this should all be fair game"—nobody needs to be tossing up Qiwu Qian or anything. But the most-represented poets and the selections from the most famous authors should make it pretty clear what the famous and underasked material is.

*Maybe keep writing more about his prose? The Sor Juana biography is still pretty widely discussed?
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