HFT Discussion

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HFT Set DIscussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:53 pm

Hey, we can talk about the set now, and it's nonsensical to do so in four different threads.

There were a few bizarre artifacts in the set that we fixed Saturday night, like the occurrence of two identical Gogol bonuses and three remarkably related Murakami bonuses (I've figured out why both happened, but there's no real expanation), but I think they were fixed for Sunday.

Things I know are the case: the science was too hard, the bonuses were pretty variable in difficulty, everything was very hard. That said, I want to hear every comment you have on those subjects as well as what I'm unaware of.

PIllory the team or praise the set; let the discussion begin.
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HFT Discussion

Post by Kyle » Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:59 pm

Since people are discussing the final at the VCU site, I conclude that the tournament is done? In that case, have at it.

Andy is going to get the packets posted online soon. You might be interested in looking at the packets you didn't get to play (i.e. the upper or lower playoff rounds, depending which team you were on).

I want to acknowledge that there were a few problems with the set, especially with the science being, in certain instances, very hard. But at the Harvard site, at least, when the questions got really hard the top six teams stepped up and kept answering them. It is very gratifying to be able to write questions that will challenge players like Guy, Ben, and Dan.

Thanks to all the members of the Harvard team who wrote questions, to Brian for an exceptional job running the stat room, and to two members of the MIT team for coming by to moderate. Also, loyal readers of this board will be pleased to note that the tournament included at least one tossup each by Seth Kendall and Charlie Dees.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:01 pm

Because I'm an idiot or else just brain dead by this point, I posted the packets in the announcements section. Woooo!

Never mind! Packets here.
Last edited by Mechanical Beasts on Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by JackGlerum » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:06 pm

The Le Corbusier, The Stranger, and Geico Gecko were three of my favorite tossups of the day.

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Re: HFT Set DIscussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:13 pm

everyday847 wrote:Things I know are the case: the science was too hard, the bonuses were pretty variable in difficulty
To be clear, they ranged from bonuses like "moby dick, billy budd, bartleby" that are a 30 for more than half the field, to a high school bonus asking for Roland Barthes AND a work by Roland Barthes (in one of the "easy" packets nonetheless!) This sort of drastic difficulty swing in the bonuses was going on pretty much all day. I thought the tossups were really great and difficulty-appropriate in every way (in terms of both answer selection, and having buzzable clues for good-but-not-great teams in the middle instead of just blah blah blah buzzer race) but the bonuses reflected some truly off the wall philosophical notions about who tournaments are for and how to edit them.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by wowitsquinthaha » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:18 pm

Euler Totient Function + Raman Scattering = NO
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:20 pm

I'll step up to the plate and admit that both of those bonuses were written by me, yay (and surely many others were as well). I don't know what was more influential, my fear of making the lit bonuses I wrote too hard, which I foresaw as a danger because apparently I read things in high school for class that no one else has, or my desperate attempts to determine what the social science canon actually WAS the night before when it seemed like I had exhausted it. Barthes, of course, was a terrible decision in pretty much every way.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:35 pm

Oh, please to not discuss anything from the prelims. Rancho Bernardo is cannibalizing the prelims to extend their NNT set.

I'll take the link down.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by at your pleasure » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:55 pm

Since this has nothing to do with the prelims, I was pacticuarly enamored of the Van Der Wyden and Ghent altarpiece tossups.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:11 pm

Anti-Climacus wrote:Since this has nothing to do with the prelims, I was pacticuarly enamored of the Van Der Wyden and Ghent altarpiece tossups.
Hmm. I thought the Ghent altarpiece tossup was very fraudable, while van der Weyden had a misplaced leadin. But yeah, having those come up was awesome.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by The Laughing Man » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:15 pm

a high school bonus asking for Roland Barthes AND a work by Roland Barthes (in one of the "easy" packets nonetheless!)
Yeah the social science bonus difficulty was really variable. We would have 20d the Barthes one had we gotten it, but obviously it is pretty ridiculous that that appeared in an easy packet. The Parsons bonus was also really hard. The tossups were really good though and I thought that the difficulty of non science tossups was fantastic. It was great that there were tossups like "Billiards at Half Past Nine" "Livy" "Gramsci" and "Van der Weyden", but the difficulty was such that there were still few tossups that were not answered before FTPE in my games. The science difficulty of tossups in the playoffs was, as I'm sure many will comment, pretty ridiculous. I'm a terrible science player, but it would seem that based upon the empirical evidence of their conversion rates the answers were too hard. I think it is possible to differentiate between top science players without writing a round with multiple tossups that fall dead in a room with two top ten teams.

EDIT
On the whole, it was a really great set and the tournament was efficiently run, making HFT a really good tournament experience. Also, I think this was the first time I have gotten to play Guy on non NAQT/ Yale questions which was definitely a treat.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:23 pm

Given that I'm a disaster at judging difficulty, it'll come as no surprise that I wrote the science (though pretty much just edited the math and a few other tossups) and I wrote the Parsons bonus too! The science was, indeed, too hard, as I'm seeing empirically. I guess I had a weird background, but I thought that a high school student with an interest in physics would have run into Minkowski space. That's no excuse, because apparently that's not even close to true.

If people would take it upon themselves to identify the impossible third parts they found most egregious, I'd really appreciate that. (Apparently there were a million of them in the lower bracket questions, so they weren't restricted to my two social science bonuses or my disastrous attempt to judge what high schoolers know about science.) Eventually I'll bludgeon into my head what a reasonable benchmark of difficulty is; for the upper bracket, I just tried to consider whether it would take very good knowledge of a subject to get thirty points on a bonus. That's clearly an inadequate benchmark, but this is the first time I've gotten empirical data to relate my intuition to the real world, so things should improve radically from here.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:32 pm

HFT tournament distribution: 1/1 TV Ads

On a minor nitpicky note, there was at least one case (variable stars for Cepheid variables) where I was given a neg for answering before given any further specifics. Heck, I didn't even get a prompt, which would have been probably most applicable in this situation.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:37 pm

Hm, I think when Kyle edited that down to five lines/ 10pt TNR, something unique might have been lost from the first line, but you're right, the answer line was definitely wrong given the lack of uniquely identifying information and in any event "variables" should have been prompted. My apologies.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:48 pm

Some other things about the answer lines:
I answered Infinite Column for Endless Column and it wasn't accepted. Given that the original title is in Romanian, and that I've seen it as Infinite Column before, shouldn't that be an acceptable answer. (We protested, but as it didn't affect the match, it wasn't resolved.)
Also in the Salt Satyagraha question, shouldn't there at least be a prompt on March to the Sea before that is said in the question?
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:57 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:Some other things about the answer lines:
I answered Infinite Column for Endless Column and it wasn't accepted. Given that the original title is in Romanian, and that I've seen it as Infinite Column before, shouldn't that be an acceptable answer. (We protested, but as it didn't affect the match, it wasn't resolved.)
Also in the Salt Satyagraha question, shouldn't there at least be a prompt on March to the Sea before that is said in the question?
I wrote the Brancusi bonus; I hadn't seen the Romanian title before because I don't know much about Brancusi, but now that I have, yes, you're correct.

As to the latter--though I didn't write it, and I'm no history maven, I've never heard "march to the sea" used to refer to the Salt March; the former reminds me of Sherman more. I'll let Kyle decide.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by ihavenoidea » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Andy, you can safely discuss prelims. RB will not cannabalize.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:59 pm

Ah, okay. Excellent.

Wanted to know for sure.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:00 pm

Its always been called the Salt March whenever I've heard it come up.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:35 pm

I understand that its name is not the March to the Sea, but seeing as its referenced here and here as Gandhi's March to the Sea, I think it should be prompted before the question says he walked to the sea.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:52 pm

There is certainly something to be said about the difference between the names by which things are commonly known and those by which they are sometimes called and whether the former are any more "correct;" I could imagine that a prompt would be appropriate. But really, I'd rather have Kyle or someone else who's good at history rule on this one.

Packets are back up.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:58 pm

One thing in particular I found strange:

I probably shouldn't have let the Aeneas TU get past Anna, but since I did, I heard "Hera" mentioned and got a little confused. It didn't stop me, because I'm fairly certain Achaemenides is unique to the Aeneid, but I think it's a bit odd to use a Greek name for a goddess when the answer is a character from a Roman epic. I realize Aeneas appears in the Iliad as well, but the clue I have issue with is unique to the Aeneid.

That's probably a minor quibble, but it just bothered me a bit. Also, having the first part of an Akutagawa bonus list Murakami works was troublesome.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:00 pm

This tournament was awesome. I'm willing to forgive some repeats, because, to paraphrase Meryl, Andy attempted to replicate Gilgamesh's feat of staying up for seven days, and because everything was really well written. Kudos to Andy, Kyle, and everyone else who did anything.

Once I actually bother to look over the packets, I'll offer a more specific reaction, but for now I'll just say that I really liked the tossups on Hitler, Lutherans, panhandles, teaching evolution, pogroms, Great Britain, and Japan.

I can only remember like 4 impossible lower bracket bonus parts (Bierstadt, loa, Carey, Bitterroot Range). Maybe that is a result of the inherent "I know this, so it can't be too hard" bias and the fact that I'm probably better than the average player in the lower brackets, but, while the bonuses were pretty hard as a whole, they weren't undoable. In general, the tournament was difficult, but not overly so. While the final was off the deep end in terms of difficulty, the rest of the tournament allowed one to put up good numbers without needing to have deep, deep knowledge. The tournament was well written enough to gradiate between teams with great knowledge, good knowledge, and average knowledge, which makes the difficulty a bit less daunting.

Also, that Dan Puma fellow is pretty good at this quiz bowl stuff. 51 points per game more than Guy is quite the accomplishment.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:02 pm

I'm having problems opening the set.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:06 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:One thing in particular I found strange:

I probably shouldn't have let the Aeneas TU get past Anna, but since I did, I heard "Hera" mentioned and got a little confused. It didn't stop me, because I'm fairly certain Achaemenides is unique to the Aeneid, but I think it's a bit odd to use a Greek name for a goddess when the answer is a character from a Roman epic. I realize Aeneas appears in the Iliad as well, but the clue I have issue with is unique to the Aeneid.

That's probably a minor quibble, but it just bothered me a bit. Also, having the first part of an Akutagawa bonus list Murakami works was troublesome.
Wait, crap. I wrote that one (it was originally the third repeat, bizarrely, of a Murakami bonus) at five this morning. Apparently I changed the bonus lead ("The Spider's Thread") and the rest of the bonus, but not the first part. I'm so sorry.

You're right about the Aeneas tossup; that is a little odd. I think Dallas touched that one, so I'll ask him.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:07 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:I'm having problems opening the set.
The link on Chris's site works for me.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:09 pm

Yeah, I just wasn't thinking correctly. It works now.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by intothenegs » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:12 pm

In the bonus part on Taiwan, Kaohsiung was stated to be at the northern terminus of the Sun Yat-sen Freeway, while it is at the southern terminus. It didn't make a difference in the end, but that threw me off a bit.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:13 pm

la2pgh wrote:
I can only remember like 4 impossible lower bracket bonus parts (Bierstadt, loa, Carey, Bitterroot Range). Maybe that is a result of the inherent "I know this, so it can't be too hard" bias and the fact that I'm probably better than the average player in the lower brackets, but, while the bonuses were pretty hard as a whole, they weren't undoable. In general, the tournament was difficult, but not overly so. While the final was off the deep end in terms of difficulty, the rest of the tournament allowed one to put up good numbers without needing to have deep, deep knowledge. The tournament was well written enough to gradiate between teams with great knowledge, good knowledge, and average knowledge, which makes the difficulty a bit less daunting.
Loa is not that hard, really. It's been in every voodoo question (TU and bonus) I've ever heard, and it certainly is not impossible. Also, Carey was answered in our game and isn't that hard for an Australian author. I can't comment on the other two, though, due to insufficient knowledge of those topics. I agree that the finals were pretty crazy, though.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:18 pm

Think for a second about what you are saying.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:19 pm

Re: the finals, I do want to know how they went over. At the time, at least, State College and Hunter seemed fairly happy with them, and at both sites scores seem to have been reasonable (though as usual, my science: too hard). Our idea, essentially was that in all likelihood each site would have, ideally, the two best teams, or close to it, in the northeast / Illinois / the mid-Atlantic competing. At our site, at least, seventeen tossups were answered--and since generally you shoot for 85-90% conversion on tossups by the field that'll be playing them, that's at least kind of successful overall. (I'll readily admit that the playoff rounds may have been less so.)

So the finals were motivated by the idea that games between two teams that are really, really, really good at typical high school questions are best distinguished by questions that are harder. I'll leave it to you to pass judgement on whether that's an accurate assessment--and certainly on whether the finals didn't suffer in other respects that made better distinguishing a moot point--but in any event, I'd like to hear your comments.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:23 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:Think for a second about what you are saying.
If that's in regards to that "not too hard for an Australian author," yeah I guess he is kind of hard. I'm bad at judging difficulty. I maintain that loa is reasonable, but the difficulty throughout was quite variable.


And Andy, the finals definitely distinguished teams, at least at VCU. We had no idea what was going on for several of the questions, and Daichi clearly showed a greater depth of knowledge in the finals packet.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:24 pm

I would just like to point out to whoever wrote the Humbert Humbert tossup that they made a very poor choice not mentioning Clare Quilty along with other decent midlevel clues.
Also, actually loa is very very hard. Peter Carey as the hard part of a bonus in HS is maybe understandable.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:26 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:
Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:Think for a second about what you are saying.
If that's in regards to that "not too hard for an Australian author," yeah I guess he is kind of hard. I'm bad at judging difficulty. I maintain that loa is reasonable, but the difficulty throughout was quite variable.
Your perspective may be softened on loa because you've seen that like ten college sets include the word "loa" and eventually it just has to stick. It's probably pretty hard for high school.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:30 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:I would just like to point out to whoever wrote the Humbert Humbert tossup that they made a very poor choice not mentioning Clare Quilty along with other decent midlevel clues.
Also, actually loa is very very hard. Peter Carey as the hard part of a bonus in HS is maybe understandable.
There was a Humbert Humbert TU? We had Lolita; I guess the Humbert Humbert one was in the "hard" set. Clare Quilty should definitely have been in there.

Also, Charlie, Peter Carey was the hard part. The other two were Oscar and Lucinda and Australia. I guess we have to agree to disagree on loa, which I consider to have been the hard part of that bonus. I don't know what else you could really put in that bonus...

Andy, I agree that the amount of college qb I've played/practiced on has probably skewed my sense of difficulty and thus it's pointless for me to continue this argument.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:32 pm

I see it now, and question the wisdom of making Oscar and Lucinda the middle part of a high school bonus.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:37 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:There was a Humbert Humbert TU? We had Lolita; I guess the Humbert Humbert one was in the "hard" set. Clare Quilty should definitely have been in there.
The Humbert Humbert tossup wasn't much different from the Lolita tossup; Ted differentiated the two, I believe. I'm sure I mentioned Quilty in my version; I think but am not sure that Ted removed him, and I accepted his judgement, but having read Lolita many times, I certainly agree with you.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:38 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:Carey...isn't that hard for an Austrailian author.
Either Carey or Oscar and Lucinda is way too hard. Both of those are either hardish hard parts or insane middle parts. Carey isn't well known enough to justify both him and a work of his showing up in a bonus.

Also, I loved the insane difficulty of the final. I thought that it was very cool to see such good teams playing at such a high level.

I felt that there were too many "here are some book descriptions, now name the country that they are from tossups". While I really like those type of tossups, they were just everywhere.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:40 pm

That was an attempt at lowering difficulty given that the world lit canon is not that big in high school. (Also, we had run a little dry on Euro, though we with some effort could have gotten around that.) Another solution would be to have less than 1/1 world lit, I guess.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by intothenegs » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:43 pm

la2pgh wrote:
MLWGS-Gir wrote:Carey...isn't that hard for an Austrailian author.
Either Carey or Oscar and Lucinda is way too hard. Both of those are either hardish hard parts or insane middle parts. Carey isn't well known enough to justify both him and a work of his showing up in a bonus.

Also, I loved the insane difficulty of the final. I thought that it was very cool to see such good teams playing at such a high level.

I felt that there were too many "here are some book descriptions, now name the country that they are from tossups". While I really like those type of tossups, they were just everywhere.
Oscar and Lucinda was most likely a middle part, since that is probably Carey's best known work. Admittedly, the bonus part on Carey was hard.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:49 pm

I don't really have a problem with what was asked in the world lit distro. I have more of a problem with what wasn't asked. Other than Achebe, I can't think of any African lit tossups. You could probably get away with Cesaire, Gordimer, Soyinka, Coetzee (or Disgrace), Fugard (or "Master Harold and the Boys"), and maybe some others who I have forgotten. Am I being too optimistic in my evaluation of the knowledge of high school African lit fans?
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by intothenegs » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:52 pm

la2pgh wrote:I don't really have a problem with what was asked in the world lit distro. I have more of a problem with what wasn't asked. Other than Achebe, I can't think of any African lit tossups. You could probably get away with Cesaire, Gordimer, Soyinka, Coetzee (or Disgrace), Fugard (or "Master Harold and the Boys"), and maybe some others who I have forgotten. Am I being too optimistic in my evaluation of the knowledge of high school African lit fans?
Gordimer was a tossup, and there were bonus parts on Fugard and Soyinka if I remember correctly. Though those were in the regular difficulty packets.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by aestheteboy » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:53 pm

I thought this set was pretty exciting. I guess it was too difficult for a regular season tournament mirrored at a lot of different places, though; I felt pretty bad for one of the teams that I played that chose HFT mirror as the one non-VHSL tournament that it attends all year, and I kept on worrying that it would alienate the team forever from quizbowl.
The tossups were obviously really good, so I would have liked to play the difficult packets against some good teams. It probably would have worked out perfectly if it were one of the question sets for WoQ, especially because of the bifurcated packets.

As Matt Weiner already mentioned, bonus difficulty fluctuation was pretty hilarious. People who write tournaments should give themselves time to edit their set - at least, I'm guessing that's what the problem was here. But I suppose the theory that Andy Watkins is crazy is just as plausible. Also, I didn't like many of the common-link and general knowledge (?) tossups. I thought they were stupid, if you know what I mean.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:56 pm

intothenegs wrote:
la2pgh wrote:I don't really have a problem with what was asked in the world lit distro. I have more of a problem with what wasn't asked. Other than Achebe, I can't think of any African lit tossups. You could probably get away with Cesaire, Gordimer, Soyinka, Coetzee (or Disgrace), Fugard (or "Master Harold and the Boys"), and maybe some others who I have forgotten. Am I being too optimistic in my evaluation of the knowledge of high school African lit fans?
Gordimer was a tossup, and there were bonus parts on Fugard and Soyinka if I remember correctly. Though those were in the regular difficulty packets.
Confirming Gordimer, Fugard, and Soyinka. Also, there was a toss-up on Cry, the Beloved Country by noted South African Alan Paton.

Daichi's mentioning the common link TUs reminded me of the Russian spies TU. I really thought it was just plain bad. I was thinking "suspected communists" off pumpkin papers, and Greg negged with American communists not too long after that. There wasn't really a way to figure out what the question was going for until way late.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:57 pm

It seems utterly silly to me to actually spend all the time and effort required to write two different versions of a set so that you can change Humbert Humbert questions to Lolita questions, then have bonuses in the easy one (or, the hard one, for that matter) where you ask for Barthes and S/Z or Death of the Author or whatever. Seriously, people seem to journey vast distances to attend this tournament and it seems like it has major issues with something like this every year; I find it somewhat unbelievable that there's nobody at Harvard who can look at a set and note that you should not be having Roland Barthes bonuses or tossups on van der weyden at high school tournaments.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:59 pm

I just want to again drop in and respond to the assertion that Aime Cesaire (who isn't even African) would work in the HS canon with a firm answer of no!
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:59 pm

aestheteboy wrote:As Matt Weiner already mentioned, bonus difficulty fluctuation was pretty hilarious. People who write tournaments should give themselves time to edit their set - at least, I'm guessing that's what the problem was here. But I suppose the theory that Andy Watkins is crazy is just as plausible. Also, I didn't like many of the common-link and general knowledge (?) tossups. I thought they were stupid, if you know what I mean.
I think it's a combination of lack of time and my inherent inability to have rational expectations for other quizbowl teams. Time was a bigger issue, though, because if I had two hours to write a social science bonus my thought process would have been more thorough than "Barthes is pretty cool, he's cool enough that I bet high schoolers have read about him," which is apparently (regrettably!) untrue. Instead I had about two minutes at that point.

The GK you're referring to is what Kyle writes for trash. It gets mixed reviews pretty much every year. Some of them are neat ideas, I think.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by vcuEvan » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:59 pm

I don't think things should be tossed up that are too hard for third parts of bonuses in all regular season high school tournaments. Mankowski Space, Euler Totients, The Free Shooter, Gramsci, Friedel Crafts Acelation, Ruslan and Ludmilla, Billiards at Half Past Nine were all tossups in the finals round I saw. I know a bunch of these were converted, I just think they might be unnecessary. While I like the idea of making the finals more difficult, I'm unsure if this level of difficulty was needed. It seemed to me like the finals packet we read was more an exercise of which team was more familiar with the college canon than which was the better high school team. I think its possible to ramp up the difficulty without leaving the high school canon so much.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by grashid » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:02 pm

la2pgh wrote:
MLWGS-Gir wrote:Carey...isn't that hard for an Austrailian author.
Either Carey or Oscar and Lucinda is way too hard. Both of those are either hardish hard parts or insane middle parts. Carey isn't well known enough to justify both him and a work of his showing up in a bonus.

I felt that there were too many "here are some book descriptions, now name the country that they are from tossups". While I really like those type of tossups, they were just everywhere.
In the tournament at Georgia, the bonus answers were Carey, Oscar and Lucinda, and The True History of the Kelley Gang. This was in some round with Chris Paul and Henry I as TU answers that, I think, generated the lowest scores of the entire tournament (this packet was read in the prelims and the finals were easier, imo).

I may just be having memory lapses, but there did not seem to be any "country literature" TU.

Edit: corrected grammar.
Last edited by grashid on Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by The Laughing Man » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:05 pm

Re: the finals, I do want to know how they went over.

I thought that the questions definitely differentiated well. There were a few buzzer races, but all but one were late in the question and were probably inevitable given our similar knowledge on many subjects. On the vast majority of the questions Hunter got, they clearly had greater knowledge. The only misplaced clue I saw was the Kissinger clue on Zhou Enlai, which was too early I think. The bonus difficulty was more even than in the other rounds, however I thought that the Yeats and Rimbaud/Verlaine bonuses which we got were easy thirties(compared to the other bonuses anyway), but this may just be because of may lack of knowledge of many non-lit categories.

About whether the finals rewarded a mere knowledge of the college canon, I don't think so. I'll admit that I don't know much about Gramsci and got that one from reading finals packets, but I have read Billiards at Half Past Nine. Guy had a crazy power of Van Der Weyden and had really deep Abe knowledge too. I think generally, the buzzes on those topics were from legitimate knowledge
Last edited by The Laughing Man on Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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