My withdrawal from the Missouri market

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My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by STPickrell » Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:31 pm

In 2008-09, I will no longer provide academic competition questions in Missouri.

Simply put, I overextended myself and wish to spend more time focusing on my family, my day job, and potential interests outside of quizbowl.

People interested in writing for the Missouri state series may contact Stacy Schroeder at stacy at mshsaa dot org. You may also contact me for further details.

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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by bdavery » Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:45 am

As the last person who had Shawn's (thankless?) job in MIssouri, and knowing that he had his first child this past year or so, congrats on great work, Shawn--and I entirely sympathize.

Writing a lot of conference rounds (besides the 13 for the state series) is a tremendous amount of work, especially at 50 tossups a game (thankfully, MO and AR are the only 2 places I know that use that many in each game). Even when you have several good people helping you (as Shawn does), when you're the head of a quiz-writing group, all the problems fall on you (as opposed to, say, being the head of a large company, when you can claim everything was someone else's fault and walk away with $100 million). And if you have a regular full-time job besides that, it can be utterly brutal.

Charlie Dees--if you're graduating this year, you should try for the contract next year. Seriously. You'd have to be willing to write 650 tossups and 260 four-part bonuses, all to your personal level of quality in a style many others in Missouri would like (which is not 6-line tossups in 10-point TNR, BTW)--plus at least a few other 50/20 rounds so people can practice beforehand and get used to your style. But if you really want a chance to influence MO quizbowl, this is your golden opportunity.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:09 am

HEY GUYS I'M GOING TO HIJACK SHAWN'S ANNOUNCEMENT THREAD TO COMPLAIN ABOUT WRITING QUESTIONS AND THEN CALL OUT CHARLIE DEES FOR DARING TO CRITICIZE QUESTIONS AMAZING I'VE FAILED TO TRY AND INTIMIDATE PEOPLE WITH A THREAT OF LAWSUIT THIS TIME BUT I'M CERTAIN THAT THIS TRUMP CARD WILL BE A USEFUL ONE TO KEEP IN MY BACK POCKET AIN'T I THE GREATEST BRYCE AVERY IS #1 AVERY ENTERPRISES WE WRITE ALL THE GREAT QUESTIONS WE DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE WE DRINK IT UP WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I SAID A HIP HOP THE HIPPIE THE HIPPIE TO THE HIP HIP HOP AND YOU DON'T STOP I AM THE BATMAN

See you in a week, super awesome poster!
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:13 am

bdavery wrote:Writing a lot of conference rounds (besides the 13 for the state series) is a tremendous amount of work, especially at 50 tossups a game (thankfully, MO and AR are the only 2 places I know that use that many in each game).
Actually, writing awful questions is no work at all. When questions are two lines long, factually incorrect, make no attempt at being pyramidal, academic, or interesting, and about whatever your personal trivial obsessions are, you can knock out that set of 50 in an hour or so, as I am sure you do.

Those of us who respect ourselves and the competitors enough to write questions that are appropriate for the tournament while still maintaining their academic, competitive, and information-dense nature realize that it's a balancing act which takes a lot of time, but you wouldn't know anything about that.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by Howard » Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:16 pm

fishsaidfred wrote:HEY GUYS I'M GOING TO HIJACK SHAWN'S ANNOUNCEMENT THREAD TO COMPLAIN ABOUT WRITING QUESTIONS...
Actually, I didn't see Bryce complain once in his post here.

While I agree he's posted some really stupid stuff, and Bryce's questions (that I've seen) don't appear very good, this post came across as very genuine. I, too, think Charlie Dees writing Mizzou questions is a great idea. It'll help Charlie see the other side of the coin, but more importantly, it'll most likely help improve Missouri quiz bowl.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by evilmonkey » Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:33 pm

First of all - good luck on life Shawn
Howard wrote:
fishsaidfred wrote:HEY GUYS I'M GOING TO HIJACK SHAWN'S ANNOUNCEMENT THREAD TO COMPLAIN ABOUT WRITING QUESTIONS...
Actually, I didn't see Bryce complain once in his post here.

While I agree he's posted some really stupid stuff, and Bryce's questions (that I've seen) don't appear very good, this post came across as very genuine. I, too, think Charlie Dees writing Mizzou questions is a great idea. It'll help Charlie see the other side of the coin, but more importantly, it'll most likely help improve Missouri quiz bowl.

I'm going to have to agree with Howard here. I must say that I was a little stunned, but it makes sense. Imagine if you, Fred or Matt, took actions that caused you to be shunned by much of the active quizbowl community. I'm certain you would miss the community, and I'm certain that if you posted something stupid in defense you would feel regret for what you had done. Now, I may be making up reasons that he made this post, but I think the way I look at things is much more legit than "Bryce is trying to hijack this thread again".

I'm not sure if having Charlie write all of the Missouri questions will be a good idea (especially since he'll be spending next year adjusting to college life), but if he could get other people to help, then I agree that it sounds like an excellent opportunity for him.

Also, 50 questions a round??? WOWSERS. If you want to introduce longer questions, you may want to work with Missouri Quizbowl to knock that number down. Claim that its causing you to run out of unique things to write about, or unique ways to write questions. If I had to have 50 question rounds, I'd expect two-liners as well... even middle length pyramidal questions would cause game to last an eternity.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:17 pm

I could see that if he had written something along the lines of "As someone who has had this contract in the past, I know how difficult it is to fulfill their standards etc etc", it wouldn't have been discipline worthy.

The really egregious thing that keyed the response & ban is that it seems like every time Bryce makes a post about Missouri, it always has to have a complaint about Charlie Dees. It seems pretty stalker-esque and immature to me for an adult to publicly continue to feud with an 18-year-old, to be quite honest.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by ragnarok2012 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:29 pm

fishsaidfred wrote:I could see that if he had written something along the lines of "As someone who has had this contract in the past, I know how difficult it is to fulfill their standards etc etc", I could see that.

The really egregious thing that keyed the response & ban is that it seems like every time Bryce makes a post about Missouri, it always has to have a complaint about Charlie Dees. It seems pretty stalker-esque and immature to me for an adult to publicly continue to feud with an 18-year-old, to be quite honest.
I don't see Avery criticizing Charlie at all. If you are referring to the 6 line questions, that seems like a legitimate thing to say. I think you are overreacting greatly. It seems you are handing out a temp ban for almost no reason.

Edit: I apologize for not reading Weiner's post clearly.

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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:53 pm

After speaking with several parties regarding their views of the post, I've removed the ban.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:52 pm

See, I have no real interest in writing for such a horrible format and, like, if I'm doing college quizbowl I actually want to spend most of my question writing time working on college packets. I think Missouri would be much better served in the long run by getting more people to host NAQT and other, real pyramidal sets in reasonable match formats, which is something I am acting towards at the moment, and frankly that means a few tournaments that (shock!) have 6 line tossups. I know that's just soooooo long and IMPOSSIBLE to play, but that doesn't mean I have to compromise to make questions demonstrably poor.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by NoahMinkCHS » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:07 pm

Yeah, would it be feasible either for Missouri to adopt NAQT A-series or for someone to try to get NAQT to do one of those custom sets they do, but in MO format? It seems like the option that would be most likely to result in decent questions while being cost-effective.

Unless NAQT doesn't want anything to do with that format, which would understandable. It just seems, though, that since they've done TV shows and stuff in the past, they might be able to do a good job with it.

Edit: This is based on the philosophy of incremental reform, as I don't think A-series would generally be a legitimate set to run a state series on. But meaningful change takes time...
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by DumbJaques » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:11 pm

I for one don't know why there's this objection to tempbanning Avery. The post seemed full of condescension to me, and I think Fred is correct in stating that it was directed in a sort of ludicrous way (once again) at Charlie. It starts with the "thankless?" thing, which seems to me a shot at Charlie's criticism of Shawn's Missouri questions not being up to the level he was expecting. It was also pretty clearly some kind of reference linking some dissatisfaction with Shawn's work to the huge outcry over the butchering of decency that were his questions from last year, which is woefully off-topic. The idea that there's something intrinsic about the contract that explains why he wrote all those incorrect, terribly-composed questions and then responded with even more ridiculous behavior is just silly.

His last paragraph is just full of condescension. It seems like a continuation of the grudge-bearing over all that crap last year, as comments like "you'd have to write questions. . . to your personal level of quality" can't really be interpreted as a legitimate piece of advice or encouragement, and are pretty clearly a passive-aggressive "my job was so hard, your criticism was thus invalid" kind of deal. Lastly, the "which is not 6-line tossups in 10-point TNR, BTW" thing is by itself pretty ridiculous. I don't see how anyone could really interpret that as Bryce Avery legitimately offering friendly advice to Charlie Dees, as opposed to the condescending, pseudo-internet stalking crap it actually was.

That said I really don't support banning Bryce since I am continually entertained by his posts and the subsequent responses, and would relish the chance to engage him in online discussion more often. Maybe if you don't recall the prior Avery threads, or haven't read through his style of posting and some of the comments he's made to Charlie and others, his post just seems innocuous. But for those of you who can't see anything objectionable about what he posted, a full knowledge of the history of exchanges between Bryce and Charlie on this board, and a bit of a closer reading of Bryce's post, will probably yield the objectionable tone and content that Fred was reacting to.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by ScoBo » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:39 pm

Deesy Does It wrote:See, I have no real interest in writing for such a horrible format and, like, if I'm doing college quizbowl I actually want to spend most of my question writing time working on college packets. I think Missouri would be much better served in the long run by getting more people to host NAQT and other, real pyramidal sets in reasonable match formats
I agree with this approach - we need more people to host NAQT-type tournaments so that more coaches can see firsthand how much better the questions and format are. Even if you used the same higher-quality questions in MSHSAA format, games would last way too long, which teams would not enjoy. Switching to the more universally-accepted tossup/bonus format is the best way to finally bring better questions to Missouri. Unfortunately, too many coaches are closed-minded and think that since MSHSAA format is what's used at districts and state, anything radically different from it is just a waste of time.

I can only think of one or two sets of MSHSAA-format questions used this year that were positively received: the questions we used at Missouri S&T this spring (which was actually a modified A-set, so mostly verbatim NAQT A-set questions) and Shawn's questions, though there have even been concerns raised about them.

For the record, there were only 5 tournaments in tossup/bonus format in Missouri this year (please correct me if I missed any):
UMR/MS&T Fall Tournament (house-written)
North Kansas City's NAQT tournament (with a total of 4 attendees)
WUHSAC X
NAQT State Qualifier (hosted by MS&T)
Truman State's Spring Tournament
This is based on the philosophy of incremental reform, as I don't think A-series would generally be a legitimate set to run a state series on. But meaningful change takes time...
Yes - the only way Missouri will ever change is through some kind of incremental reform, and something on the level of A-sets is going to be necessary in this process. For instance, all the small schools at Truman State's spring tournament left early in protest of the question difficulty, yet teams in Georgia playing on the exact same questions had no problem with them. I'm afraid that initially, most tournaments in the tossup/bonus format are going to have to be at a lower difficulty level than what is normal throughout the rest of the country, or teams (especially smaller schools) could dismiss the format itself as too difficult and stick with MSHSAA. Of course, the Missouri canon is probably fairly close to the level of A-sets anyway, so using A-set level questions might not be as big as step down in difficulty as it would be elsewhere in the country.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:57 pm

Yeah, Jeff's pretty right. One to add is that NKC tournament in January that used an A-set as well. My thought is basically the same, in that I think A-sets are fine for tournaments in Missouri, and I think the best answer for the near future would be a healthy mix of A-sets, regular IS-sets, and house written sets, and I think there are a lot of people who want to help facilitate this shift soon. My thought is that, even if these tournaments initially are poorly recieved, eventually it will grow on people, so to speak, if hosts persevere at it and more and more tournaments use the format, and I think the groundwork for that has already been laid a bit with those tournaments listed above. Also, hopefully the NAQT state qualifier can gain more prestige, and I personally would have very few qualms about MSHSAA state if teams started to also go to the NAQT state and make it a lot more viable over the next few years.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by evilmonkey » Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:02 pm

Chris,
DumbJaques wrote:I for one don't know why there's this objection to tempbanning Avery. The post seemed full of condescension to me, and I think Fred is correct in stating that it was directed in a sort of ludicrous way (once again) at Charlie.
Of course it was directed at Charlie. His name is mentioned.
It starts with the "thankless?" thing, which seems to me a shot at Charlie's criticism of Shawn's Missouri questions not being up to the level he was expecting.
It could be taken as a shot at many things, or it could be taken as the truth. I know I've read many other question writers complain about the lack of positive comments directed towards them, or any indication that they are happy with the questions. You could potentially read this in Shawn's comments as well.
It was also pretty clearly some kind of reference linking some dissatisfaction with Shawn's work to the huge outcry over the butchering of decency that were his questions from last year, which is woefully off-topic. The idea that there's something intrinsic about the contract that explains why he wrote all those incorrect, terribly-composed questions and then responded with even more ridiculous behavior is just silly.
I don't think it was anything of the sort. I think that certain types of people try to empathize with others, and that Avery may have read that sentiment in Shawn's post. I don't think he is trying to regain his own status here. Rather, it seems like you are taking every word he types as evil.
His last paragraph is just full of condescension. It seems like a continuation of the grudge-bearing over all that crap last year, as comments like "you'd have to write questions. . . to your personal level of quality" can't really be interpreted as a legitimate piece of advice or encouragement, and are pretty clearly a passive-aggressive "my job was so hard, your criticism was thus invalid" kind of deal.
Fine, I concede this point. This is condescending. But it could also be legit advice. To him, there are two possible outcomes of Charlie doing this (and I know he said he isn't going to) - Either Charlie will write good questions, and the problem is solved, or Charlie will be unable to write those questions, and he can stop criticizing. He thinks it'd be a good experience for Charlie to write questions, but knowing that Charlie is just entering college he wanted Charlie to be aware of exactly what he would have to do if he took on the challenge. Thats what I read into this.
Lastly, the "which is not 6-line tossups in 10-point TNR, BTW" thing is by itself pretty ridiculous.
How is this ridiculous? This is the sentiment of many coaches in Indiana; I don't see why Missouri coaches can't have the same opinion.
That said I really don't support banning Bryce since I am continually entertained by his posts and the subsequent responses, and would relish the chance to engage him in online discussion more often.
Dude, maybe you should reconsider what you just said. "I think this guy is an idiot, so lets keep him around so we can laugh at him". I was past that phase of immaturity about junior year of high school. If you truly think his actions deserve temp-banning, then he should be temp-banned. If not, then he shouldn't. There is not a "temp-ban for no reason", nor is there a "anti-temp-ban for humor purposes".
Maybe if you don't recall the prior Avery threads, or haven't read through his style of posting and some of the comments he's made to Charlie and others, his post just seems innocuous. But for those of you who can't see anything objectionable about what he posted, a full knowledge of the history of exchanges between Bryce and Charlie on this board, and a bit of a closer reading of Bryce's post, will probably yield the objectionable tone and content that Fred was reacting to.
So he's screwed up in the past. So have you Chris, along with most other active posters (myself included) on this board. This is why you forgive, but don't forget.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:08 pm

evilmonkey wrote:Chris,
DumbJaques wrote:I for one don't know why there's this objection to tempbanning Avery. The post seemed full of condescension to me, and I think Fred is correct in stating that it was directed in a sort of ludicrous way (once again) at Charlie.
Of course it was directed at Charlie. His name is mentioned.
It starts with the "thankless?" thing, which seems to me a shot at Charlie's criticism of Shawn's Missouri questions not being up to the level he was expecting.
It could be taken as a shot at many things, or it could be taken as the truth. I know I've read many other question writers complain about the lack of positive comments directed towards them, or any indication that they are happy with the questions. You could potentially read this in Shawn's comments as well.
It was also pretty clearly some kind of reference linking some dissatisfaction with Shawn's work to the huge outcry over the butchering of decency that were his questions from last year, which is woefully off-topic. The idea that there's something intrinsic about the contract that explains why he wrote all those incorrect, terribly-composed questions and then responded with even more ridiculous behavior is just silly.
I don't think it was anything of the sort. I think that certain types of people try to empathize with others, and that Avery may have read that sentiment in Shawn's post. I don't think he is trying to regain his own status here. Rather, it seems like you are taking every word he types as evil.
His last paragraph is just full of condescension. It seems like a continuation of the grudge-bearing over all that crap last year, as comments like "you'd have to write questions. . . to your personal level of quality" can't really be interpreted as a legitimate piece of advice or encouragement, and are pretty clearly a passive-aggressive "my job was so hard, your criticism was thus invalid" kind of deal.
Fine, I concede this point. This is condescending. But it could also be legit advice. To him, there are two possible outcomes of Charlie doing this (and I know he said he isn't going to) - Either Charlie will write good questions, and the problem is solved, or Charlie will be unable to write those questions, and he can stop criticizing. He thinks it'd be a good experience for Charlie to write questions, but knowing that Charlie is just entering college he wanted Charlie to be aware of exactly what he would have to do if he took on the challenge. Thats what I read into this.
Lastly, the "which is not 6-line tossups in 10-point TNR, BTW" thing is by itself pretty ridiculous.
How is this ridiculous? This is the sentiment of many coaches in Indiana; I don't see why Missouri coaches can't have the same opinion.
That said I really don't support banning Bryce since I am continually entertained by his posts and the subsequent responses, and would relish the chance to engage him in online discussion more often.
Dude, maybe you should reconsider what you just said. "I think this guy is an idiot, so lets keep him around so we can laugh at him". I was past that phase of immaturity about junior year of high school. If you truly think his actions deserve temp-banning, then he should be temp-banned. If not, then he shouldn't. There is not a "temp-ban for no reason", nor is there a "anti-temp-ban for humor purposes".
Maybe if you don't recall the prior Avery threads, or haven't read through his style of posting and some of the comments he's made to Charlie and others, his post just seems innocuous. But for those of you who can't see anything objectionable about what he posted, a full knowledge of the history of exchanges between Bryce and Charlie on this board, and a bit of a closer reading of Bryce's post, will probably yield the objectionable tone and content that Fred was reacting to.
So he's screwed up in the past. So have you Chris, along with most other active posters (myself included) on this board. This is why you forgive, but don't forget.
You are defending BRYCE AVERY. Therefore, you are wrong.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by aestheteboy » Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:44 pm

In my opinion, Chris, that last post was utterly ridiculous, in addition to being pointless (he shouldn't have been unbanned but that was a good thing because it's funny . . . what?). Here's why: it just so happens that on the internet you can interpret a same message in very different ways. I don't know why you think your interpretation is so self-evident when clearly not everyone agrees with you. I know about what happened between Charlie and Bryce Avery, but I still didn't reach the same interpretation that you had.
In the end, you are objecting to the person that he is rather than the post that he wrote. I find it perfectly understandable, but having been annoying in the past or not being a defender of good quizbowl, from what I understand, is not a reason to ban someone. What you did in the last post was not to point out the lack of basic civility or an egregious disregard for logic, but to put words into his mouth ("since he's a person like this, he must have meant that").
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by evilmonkey » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:04 pm

Gonzagapuma1 wrote: You are defending BRYCE AVERY. Therefore, you are wrong.
I am defending his lone post on this thread. Nothing more, nothing less. If that makes me wrong, well, [insert ad hominem attack here]. But seriously... even the faintest star emits some light. And, from what I can tell, by no means is Bryce Avery among the greatest filth in the world.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by DumbJaques » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:06 pm

I can't believe I'm taking the time away from Frauding up for ICT to do this, but ok:
Of course it was directed at Charlie. His name is mentioned.
Right. It's not bad because it's directed at Charlie, it's bad because it continues a pattern of Avery posts you seem less than familiar with, both in being aimed at Charlie and in using a condescending tone to make passive-aggressive comments against people who have criticized Bryce Avery.
I don't think it was anything of the sort. I think that certain types of people try to empathize with others, and that Avery may have read that sentiment in Shawn's post. I don't think he is trying to regain his own status here. Rather, it seems like you are taking every word he types as evil.
Bryce Avery: Portrait of empathy. Particularly with low-scoring teams! Seriously, even if we accept that my logic for interpreting his posts one way is as flimsy as "certain people are empathetic, therefore Bryce Avery is empathetic," there's no reason you couldn't similarly be accused of taking every word he types as "good" or whatever. Equating what I posted, which was mostly just a defense of Fred's actions and an attempt to explain what I imagined was his perspective, as putting forth that every word Bryce Avery utters = evil is pretty off base.
Fine, I concede this point. This is condescending. But it could also be legit advice. To him, there are two possible outcomes of Charlie doing this (and I know he said he isn't going to) - Either Charlie will write good questions, and the problem is solved, or Charlie will be unable to write those questions, and he can stop criticizing. He thinks it'd be a good experience for Charlie to write questions, but knowing that Charlie is just entering college he wanted Charlie to be aware of exactly what he would have to do if he took on the challenge. Thats what I read into this.
Well, I guess you're free to read whatever you want. It's clear enough to me that the "Charlie will be unable to write those questions, and he can stop criticizing" is the central point of his entire post. You're even accepting that this was the message conveyed, and honestly dude, that's enough to make a post tempban-worthy. Even if I'm off base about the other four or five things I identified as kind of jerkish, showing up in Shawn's announcement thread to tell Charlie that "you should write what you criticized me for sucking at - see how hard it is, stop criticizing" is way against board rules, even if this was the first time he'd done this (and it's not). This is the central idea behind what Fred and I are saying.
How is this ridiculous? This is the sentiment of many coaches in Indiana; I don't see why Missouri coaches can't have the same opinion.
It's ridiculously condescending - it has nothing to do with Indiana or Missouri coaches or the fact that (OBVIOUSLY) a bunch of those coaches don't enjoy acf-length questions. The whole comment is even prefaced by that "up to your personal standards" crap, which is clearly a shot at Charlie for daring to HAVE STANDARDS and initiate the outcry that led to Avery making the comments that made him the joke he currently is on this message board. Charlie (and a lot of us as well) clearly explained to Bryce why his questions were terrible, and nobody was advocating Missouri start using anything like 20/20 with six-line questions in TNR 10 - pointing that out in this context is not friendly advice, but yet another attempt to argue that it's our "ridiculous" standards that make Avery questions bad, as opposed to AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL QUESTIONS.
Dude, maybe you should reconsider what you just said. "I think this guy is an idiot, so lets keep him around so we can laugh at him". I was past that phase of immaturity about junior year of high school. If you truly think his actions deserve temp-banning, then he should be temp-banned. If not, then he shouldn't. There is not a "temp-ban for no reason", nor is there a "anti-temp-ban for humor purposes".
Thanks for sharing your superior maturity with us, and for letting me know the rules of the board! First off, nobody here even kind of claimed that people should be temp-banned for no reason. Secondly, what? If I think his actions deserve temp-banning, he should be banned? I'm not sure what impressions you're under, but I don't ban anyone, dude. I don't care what label I have to wear to be amused by Bryce Avery's antics, but I will wear it proudly.
This is why you forgive, but don't forget.
I'm pretty sure making against-the-rules posts (and really, just generally being an ass, which in the case of his posting history is hardly a subjective evaluation), then continuing to do that exact same thing and targeting that exact same person, is pretty much the letter of how we define things that can get you banned. Whatever in the world you mean by this I'm not sure, but it's not like Fred woke up today and tembanned Bryce Avery for past offenses out of the blue.
So he's screwed up in the past. So have you Chris, along with most other active posters (myself included) on this board.
No I do not make mistakes.


EDIT:
In my opinion, Chris, that last post was utterly ridiculous, in addition to being pointless (he shouldn't have been unbanned but that was a good thing because it's funny . . . what?). Here's why: it just so happens that on the internet you can interpret a same message in very different ways. I don't know why you think your interpretation is so self-evident when clearly not everyone agrees with you. I know about what happened between Charlie and Bryce Avery, but I still didn't reach the same interpretation that you had.
In the end, you are objecting to the person that he is rather than the post that he wrote. I find it perfectly understandable, but having been annoying in the past or not being a defender of good quizbowl, from what I understand, is not a reason to ban someone. What you did in the last post was not to point out the lack of basic civility or an egregious disregard for logic, but to put words into his mouth ("since he's a person like this, he must have meant that").
Well, I tried to lay out what led me to make the interpretations. I challenge you to find where I said "he's a person like this, therefore he most have meant that." I can see other people who have argued "there are people like this, therefore he probably meant that." I tried to explain where I was coming, and the specific past posts Bryce had made that led me to reach those conclusions. That's not using my view of his character, but a track-record of Charlie-stalking, passive-aggressive posts. I didn't just say "it's evident, the end." Also, really, all I did was try to put forth the thinking behind what might have led Fred to make the tempban in the first place. Is that really "ridiculous" or "pointless?" I mean, it's cool if you reached a different conclusion - I mean, if I made a claim right now that this post you made was "ridiculous" and that "not everyone agrees with you," how would it be any different than what you said?
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by evilmonkey » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:49 pm

DumbJaques wrote: a pattern of Avery posts you seem less than familiar with
Believe it or not, I have read them. Which is why I don't defend Avery's past.
there's no reason you couldn't similarly be accused of taking every word he types as "good" or whatever.
Actually, that was pretty much what I was doing, in an attempt to show a different interpretation of events.
Equating what I posted, which was mostly just a defense of Fred's actions and an attempt to explain what I imagined was his perspective
False. What you said earlier was:
Earlier Chris Ray Post wrote: I for one don't know why there's this objection to tempbanning Avery.
The most common way of interpreting your statement is "I don't think there is an interpretation that could possibly show Avery's comments in a positive light". If you had said "this is why I think Fred temp-banned Avery", then there would not have been as many problems. But you didn't.
Most Recent Chris Ray Post wrote: Well, I guess you're free to read whatever you want. It's clear enough to me that the "Charlie will be unable to write those questions, and he can stop criticizing" is the central point of his entire post. You're even accepting that this was the message conveyed, and honestly dude, that's enough to make a post tempban-worthy. Even if I'm off base about the other four or five things I identified as kind of jerkish, showing up in Shawn's announcement thread to tell Charlie that "you should write what you criticized me for sucking at - see how hard it is, stop criticizing" is way against board rules, even if this was the first time he'd done this (and it's not).
I think that was part of what he was saying. Unlike in the past, I think he sees this as an opportunity for Charlie. And I don't think he wants Charlie to fail, but rather, for quizbowl to grow.
First off, nobody here even kind of claimed that people should be temp-banned for no reason. Secondly, what? If I think his actions deserve temp-banning, he should be banned? I'm not sure what impressions you're under, but I don't ban anyone, dude.
Sorry, I didn't make that clear. My point was that BECAUSE we don't temp-ban people for no reason, we shouldn't untemp-ban them for YOUR entertainment. My other point (which was equally unclear) was that if you think we should temp-ban someone, then you shouldn't change your opinion for your gratification.

Things I Apologize for:
as putting forth that every word Bryce Avery utters = evil is pretty off base.
Thanks for sharing your superior maturity with us, and for letting me know the rules of the board!
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:15 pm

So, allow me to settle this with an in-depth discussion of just why Bryce was temp-banned.
bdavery wrote:As the last person who had Shawn's (thankless?) job in MIssouri, and knowing that he had his first child this past year or so, congrats on great work, Shawn--and I entirely sympathize.

Writing a lot of conference rounds (besides the 13 for the state series) is a tremendous amount of work, especially at 50 tossups a game (thankfully, MO and AR are the only 2 places I know that use that many in each game). Even when you have several good people helping you (as Shawn does), when you're the head of a quiz-writing group, all the problems fall on you (as opposed to, say, being the head of a large company, when you can claim everything was someone else's fault and walk away with $100 million). And if you have a regular full-time job besides that, it can be utterly brutal.
This part of his post was okay.
bdavery wrote:Charlie Dees--if you're graduating this year, you should try for the contract next year. Seriously. You'd have to be willing to write 650 tossups and 260 four-part bonuses, all to your personal level of quality in a style many others in Missouri would like (which is not 6-line tossups in 10-point TNR, BTW)--plus at least a few other 50/20 rounds so people can practice beforehand and get used to your style. But if you really want a chance to influence MO quizbowl, this is your golden opportunity.
This part was not.

The question is, why. There are two ways to interpret this portion:

1) "Charlie, you would be a good selection for the new writer of Missouri's quiz bowl questions. I mean this as a genuine suggestion."
2) "Charlie, all you do is complain about questions. I will suggest you take this position while mocking your question preferences in an attempt to re-emphasize your folly."

Thanks to the INTERNET, it's difficult to interpret the meaning of a person's posts. In cases like this, where both interpretations are valid, you should rely upon context clues (as my English teachers loved to use). This does include post history, which is pretty much the most important context clue. Here are some context clues (bolding is mine, to point out the important parts) that I used to determine that a ban was necessary.

Clue #1
bdavery wrote:Charlie, I know your heart is in the right place on this. But since I'm an adult and you are not, I will tell you something important --and you should pay attention even though you think little of my question-writing skills. (This applies to the rest of you readers under age 21, too.)

You have probably read about sports deals where someone is offered a contract for X dollars per year, with the proposed details often leaked before a contract is actually signed. It happens so often now that kids don't even think twice about it.

In the real world, however, it is different. If you ever have a real-world job where you have to evaluate a number of sealed bids for a contract, and if you leak any detail about those bids to anyone, _you will be fired_ quicker than you can answer a power tossup. And if you are working for a government entity or large corporation when you do it, you will be lucky to stay out of jail.

In the real world, contract details are _never_ public knowledge until after a contract is signed--and usually not even then. People forget that at their peril. If Charlie's details are correct and Questions Galore now loses this job even though they were the lowest bidder, they can sue MSHSAA for big money and will probably win.

I have advised Stacy at the MSHSAA office (as well as their chief financial officer) that someone in their office or on their advisory committee has a big mouth and should be told to shut it. (That person's mouth is apparently as big as all Missouri if even a high-school kid like Charlie knows so many details.)

So be careful about talking contract details in the future, as your defense of "I was doing it for the common good" doesn't work in real life.
Context clue #2
bdavery wrote:I have a 3-part response.

1) The errors Charlie mentions are my fault. The Merchant of Venice is a true atrocity. Sincere apologies--and sincere embarrassment. I gotta edit a lot better--and do even more checking of the work of those I buy questions from.

The Clinton question was, "name the home states of these female U.S. Senators re-elected in 2006." I should have said, "states represented by..." That would have been clearer, though I still think more people would say "New York" as it was written than either "Illinois" or "Arkansas"--and knowing what state Maria Cantwell (one of the parts) was raised in is pretty obscure for HS questions. I haven't checked; she may not have been raised in the state she now represents in the Senate.

For the Hercules question, the first few reputable-looking sites I googled up to check the story all said Pluto as Lord of the Underworld. When I tried Hades in checking this response here, I see at least an equal number giving that as an answer.

For the Danube--my first answer set included Moldova--but in final checking, I googled up a couple of maps where the scale made it difficult to ensure that Moldova actually borders the Danube. So I took it out to be safe; I should have known that some wise-acre Missouri kid would say "Moldova "of all possible answers. (More on this below.)

2) As far as the Missouri contract goes--someone else is welcome to have it. But since even Charlie admits that NAQT/pyramid is not a welcome format in much of Missouri (he names maybe 10 schools who like it, out of more than 300 who played districts this year), the new writer will have to be willing to write some shorter questions--at a price MACA will like.

As Byko mentions, the distribution is not that much fun--and you get to write at least 13 rounds of it (only 9-11 of which are actually used in most years, and more than 13 if the vendor would actually like to make a few bucks to subsidize both the cut rate he had to give to get the gig in the first place and the requirement that only MACA gets to sell those 13 rounds throughout Missouri for the 12 months after the state finals.)

Good luck with all that.

3) Missouri seems to have more immature smart-aleck HS players per capita than any other state in the country. Every state has them, and I was one of them when I was that age.

But, based on all the other states where we do or have done quiz events, in any random quiz match, Missouri is the state most likely to feature a kid who : A) deliberately (and unnecessarily) answers "Samuel Clemens" when asked who wrote "Huck Finn" [to demonstrate his 'depth of knowledge'], B) screams loud, long and obnoxiously if (by error) only "Mark Twain" is written on the paper (so that his answer is ruled wrong by the moderator) [not accepting that his own 'superior' answer is what got him in trouble] and C) makes the assumptions that i) anything he knows is easy by definition, ii) anything he doesn't know or has never heard of is obscure by definition and iii) [based on comments after last year's event] any game where each team scores less than 100 points must be the fault of the questions and couldn't possibly indicate the presence of 8 clueless players who couldn't find their rear ends with both hands and a map.
Context Clue #3

"Congratulations to the winners this year, BTW; those messages on this board congratulating the winners seem to have gotten lost in the noise (and sour grapes) about the questions afterward, which would have been better discussed after a few days had gone by to let everyone cool down.

The beauty of capitalism is that someone always thinks they can do something better for cheaper. That's how I got in the business myself, so for me to do anything but welcome competition for next year's bid would be inappropriate.

That said, it needs to be a level playing field for everyone involved (including me). I encourage Cathy to send a blank copy of the contract I signed for this year (with the number of rounds, but _without_ the price) to everyone who wishes to put together a serious bid. And everyone who wants to try can give it their best shot.

But everyone bidding needs to understand: it is _both highly unethical and downright illegal_ to try and get this job by getting any aspect of my financial details with OAC and/or saying, "Let me know what the current price is and I'll beat it." I'm sure Cathy and the committee recognize that keeping those details a secret to my competitors is their duty, is common practice, and is only fair to me (if I don't get to see my competitors' numbers, then they can't see mine). It is also the committee's duty to ensure that anyone seriously trying to get on the committee doesn't get the writing job (since they would have inside information on their competitors that no other bidder would get). And I'm only too happy to remind them of their duty, _by lawsuit if necessary_.

If you don't know what to bid, how to bid, how much to charge, or how to write a winning proposal, then either learn, or consider your losing bid to be an essential part of your education. If you want to compete with the pros, then put your best shot up against mine and let the committee decide. But be a man. Don't be a slug (or a crook) by trying to get the job some other way."

So, what do we learn here? Two important things.

* That Avery has attempted to intimidate people who criticize his questions before.
* That Avery has a blatant disregard for those who do criticize his questions, solely because of their criticism.

With this information in hand, I invite you to re-read his post at the beginning of this thread. I personally find it hard to believe that, when you consider his very relevant history, that you would assume he acted in good faith.

Let me very plain - attempting to intimidate people into silence because they criticize you is grounds for being banned. Doing so with the threat of lawsuits is very much grounds for being banned. I have no wishes to stifle the discussion of anything regarding quiz bowl on these forums. Using intimidation techniques to try and do so is the very basis of unacceptable behavior.

The question becomes - why did I unban him? Well, to be honest, I did it because some people whose opinions I respect and that I spoke privately with thought I should remove the ban. I did so, but I will also say the following:

Bryce, if you ever attempt to interfere with the exchange of thoughts regarding quiz bowl on these forums again, you will be permanently banned from hsquizbowl. Similarly, any other missteps will be treated very seriously - per our rules, "Tempbans can range in time from about a day for a minor offense to a week or more for grand problems. Other things like being a repeat offender or using a parachute account will cause the tempban to be lengthened."

I hope this clarifies the decision to anyone who had questions. If you have further questions, please contact me via e-mail.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by cdcarter » Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:26 pm

evilmonkey wrote: The most common way of interpreting your statement is "I don't think there is an interpretation that could possibly show Avery's comments in a positive light". If you had said "this is why I think Fred temp-banned Avery", then there would not have been as many problems. But you didn't.
That was the most common way of interpreting Chris's statement? I am pretty sure he said "I for one don't know why there's this objection to tempbanning Avery." Which is pretty easily interpreted as "Avery broke the rules, therefore why would anyone object to tempbanning him, as the rules say." Then he goes on to explain how he broke the rules. ..
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by DumbJaques » Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:27 pm

The most common way of interpreting your statement is "I don't think there is an interpretation that could possibly show Avery's comments in a positive light". If you had said "this is why I think Fred temp-banned Avery", then there would not have been as many problems. But you didn't.
I just said I didn't know why people had these objections, and explained the prior Avery actions that led me to reach that conclusion, and then I suggested that those same actions and that same pattern had led Fred to reach a similar conclusion. Are you really going to assume the ability to declare what the "most common way of interpreting" someone's statement is after giving me all this crap about how I interpreted Avery's? Really? I also don't really see where I'm belittling your views or anything like that, so I'm not sure where the hostility is coming from.

Also,
But for those of you who can't see anything objectionable about what he posted, a full knowledge of the history of exchanges between Bryce and Charlie on this board, and a bit of a closer reading of Bryce's post, will probably yield the objectionable tone and content that Fred was reacting to.
How is this not saying "I think this is along the lines of what Fred was probably thinking?"

And I don't think he wants Charlie to fail, but rather, for quizbowl to grow
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by Ford08 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:29 pm

We played in a small tournament on Bob Brown questions which are about 1 1/2 liners and it took 2 hours cause we kept answering everything. I would like to say Charlie is competely right in the fact that Missouri is going to have to change. I would settle for 30 questions that were at least 5 lines. I was a contestant at the Mo S&T spring tournament and the questions were utterly good. There were only 1 or two errors in the sets all day.

I do not know who will be providing the questions next year but hopefully not QG. I was wondering about the http://dacquestions.com/ company. They seem to be fairly decent. I am a member of the National Beta club and will be competing at the national tornament in Myrtle Beach this year with our qb team for beta (which I am the only real QB member on the beta team, the rest of our team is not in Beta) and Avery is providing the questions. At the state level I averged 5 per game on a set of 16, the questions were terriable. I bet I got every single one of those questions about 4 to 6 words into the questions. They were just so easy and have give away clues were in the begining of the questions. It is a sad day in mo quizbowl when Shawn said he would no longer be providing questions anylonger.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:42 pm

I fully agree with Mr. Ford08 (sorry bud, don't know your actual name) - VHSL seemed to be a welcome change of pace from bad questions to pretty solid ones. However, half way through the year he had to change the style of his questions, and given the format of the rounds I think it added up to an unforgiving atmosphere for Shawn. I just hope someone good is willing to pick up the slack.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by aestheteboy » Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:48 pm

Allow me to express my opinion just once more...
Fred and Chris may or may not be right about what Avery thinks about Charlie (actually, I think they are right). In a sense, though, it's irrelevant. We (the readers of his post) cannot judge him for his thoughts/emotions but only for what he wrote.
Bryce Avery wrote:Charlie Dees--if you're graduating this year, you should try for the contract next year. Seriously. You'd have to be willing to write 650 tossups and 260 four-part bonuses, all to your personal level of quality in a style many others in Missouri would like (which is not 6-line tossups in 10-point TNR, BTW)--plus at least a few other 50/20 rounds so people can practice beforehand and get used to your style. But if you really want a chance to influence MO quizbowl, this is your golden opportunity.
Even with the "context" in mind, it's impossible for me to see how this could possibly constitute a mockery of our love for good quizbowl or a threat against Charlie not to criticize him. "If you're graduating this year" part is totally unwarrented, but it's hardly the worst thing that went unpanished in this forum. Otherwise, he's just stating facts. Again, I really don't see how he's threatening or mocking anyone here. I feel that there is a false dichotomy in Fred's and Chris's arguement: it's Bryce! If he's not genuine and sincere, he must be doing something ban-worthy.
I understand that he has done those two things in the past; I probably wouldn't have objected if there was a perm ban on him then. Regarding this temp ban, though, I feel that it was a punishment against the person of Bryce Avery rather than the post of Bryce Avery. Whether such a thing is ever justifiable is arguable, but at least, it's not in the rules right now.

Also, Chris, sorry for the harsh tone. I just wanted to convey that I was pretty shocked with what you said - and I was - but there might have been a better way.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:19 pm

aestheteboy wrote:Fred and Chris may or may not be right about what Avery thinks about Charlie (actually, I think they are right). In a sense, though, it's irrelevant. We (the readers of his post) cannot judge him for his thoughts/emotions but only for what he wrote.
Bryce Avery wrote:Charlie Dees--if you're graduating this year, you should try for the contract next year. Seriously. You'd have to be willing to write 650 tossups and 260 four-part bonuses, all to your personal level of quality in a style many others in Missouri would like (which is not 6-line tossups in 10-point TNR, BTW)--plus at least a few other 50/20 rounds so people can practice beforehand and get used to your style. But if you really want a chance to influence MO quizbowl, this is your golden opportunity.
Even with the "context" in mind, it's impossible for me to see how this could possibly constitute a mockery of our love for good quizbowl or a threat against Charlie not to criticize him. "If you're graduating this year" part is totally unwarrented, but it's hardly the worst thing that went unpanished in this forum. Otherwise, he's just stating facts. Again, I really don't see how he's threatening or mocking anyone here. I feel that there is a false dichotomy in Fred's and Chris's arguement: it's Bryce! If he's not genuine and sincere, he must be doing something ban-worthy.
I understand that he has done those two things in the past; I probably wouldn't have objected if there was a perm ban on him then. Regarding this temp ban, though, I feel that it was a punishment against the person of Bryce Avery rather than the post of Bryce Avery. Whether such a thing is ever justifiable is arguable, but at least, it's not in the rules right now.

Also, Chris, sorry for the harsh tone. I just wanted to convey that I was pretty shocked with what you said - and I was - but there might have been a better way.
Sorry, but from my experience moderating these forums for the past five years, you're dead wrong about this. People who have been disciplined in the past or done things that would be grounds for punishment before are highly more likely to do so again, and peoples' posting histories absolutely have an influence upon the tone of their future posts.
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Re: My withdrawal from the Missouri market

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:14 am

Look guys, this is dumb. There is a difference between standing up for, like, NAQT's geography content or whatever, and being contrarian about a mercenary outsider who has threatened to put people in jail in the past for thwarting his quizbowl will. Bryce Avery sucks and should be reminded of that every time he posts here, or should be stopped from posting here. There's no reason to care if he's being treated fairly or not--if the world were fair, he would never have been allowed to inflict his questions on people for money in the first place. The thread is over.
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