The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

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The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun May 10, 2009 4:06 pm

Well, I played IS-85 at the Kentucky NAQT Championship, and personally enjoyed it. I did well on the set (as I normally do with NAQT questions) because of the history, current events, and sports questions, which are absolutely my best subjects. I can see the reasoning behind having less sports and pop culture questions, and the same has to be said with Computer Science. These are questions that only a certain type of player would get right, and it has less to do with actually studying that being interested in something specific like Sports or Computers. But there is some academic value, because it is still knowledge.

If I were to be a sportswriter (which I would love to do if I ever lose interest in becoming a teacher) I would need to know things about sports. I won't need Fine Arts knowledge. Conversely, a future Art Critic would need to know less about sports. I see these things as equal in importance simply because Art, Sports, Pop Culture, and Computers all can lead to careers, but are nothing more than hobbies for the average Quiz Bowl player in High School, and most of us won't be Sportswriters or Art Critics later in life.

The core knowledge of Quiz Bowl (Social Studies, Language Arts/Lit, and Science/Math) are things that our Education system is based upon, and where most careers and college studies will be focused. To say Sports or Modern Music are "trash" means you'd have to call anything outside the three main areas of knowledge that same thing, and that would include things like Fine Arts. If we're going to keep one, we have to keep the other, although I think we should focus about 3/4 of the questions on the core knowledge while dividing up the remainder between other subjects. For our team, we are strong in both Fine Arts and Sports, so the balance between the two doesn't hurt us or help us.

Now, our problems with Science and Math are what hurt our team normally. Computational Math is a touchy subject in Quiz Bowl circles, but having played Governor's Cup in Kentucky for 7 years, I can tell you that some people can do a lot of math in a short period of time. I don't like seeing it, but only because I'm bad at Math. Others can figure this problem out, I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other on its place in Quiz Bowl.

As for the high amount of Current Events in NAQT, I see this as vital (not only because it's my specialty) because people need to pay attention to the world around them. They are squarely in the realm of Social Studies, but you'd be surprised to know how many High School Quiz Bowl players completely ignore Current Events outside of what Jon Stewart tells them is going on (don't get me wrong, I love The Daily Show, but because it's humorous, I don't see it as a legit news source) The only flashpoint here is how to be unbiased. Referencing MSNBC or Fox News in a question about politics is certain to create some sort of bias, and gives an advantage of players of one political ideology over another.


EDIT: I apologize for having written a DBQ instead of a normal response over this.
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun May 10, 2009 4:13 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:If I were to be a sportswriter (which I would love to do if I ever lose interest in becoming a teacher) I would need to know things about sports. I won't need Fine Arts knowledge. Conversely, a future Art Critic would need to know less about sports. I see these things as equal in importance simply because Art, Sports, Pop Culture, and Computers all can lead to careers, but are nothing more than hobbies for the average Quiz Bowl player in High School, and most of us won't be Sportswriters or Art Critics later in life.
Maybe this would make sense for a vocational school's intramural set, but this doesn't make sense as a standard to be applied to any kind of universal quizbowl.
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Sun May 10, 2009 4:17 pm

Last I checked, Quizbowl is not supposed to be a reflection of academic coursework or real life. Otherwise we'd be seeing 3/3 Foreign Language or 2/2 Celebrity Gossip.
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun May 10, 2009 4:20 pm

You seem to be mistaken if you think real world applicability has anything to do with how quizbowl's distribution should be set up.
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun May 10, 2009 4:22 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:To say Sports or Modern Music are "trash" means you'd have to call anything outside the three main areas of knowledge that same thing, and that would include things like Fine Arts.
No, you wouldn't. Sports and "Modern Music" are called trash because they are pop culture. Fine Arts is an academic subject. Therefore, I would say the greatest distinction lies between academic questions and "trash," or pop culture, questions, and not, as you would have it, between "the three main areas of knowledge" and "anything outside."
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun May 10, 2009 4:41 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:
soaringeagle22 wrote:To say Sports or Modern Music are "trash" means you'd have to call anything outside the three main areas of knowledge that same thing, and that would include things like Fine Arts.
No, you wouldn't. Sports and "Modern Music" are called trash because they are pop culture. Fine Arts is an academic subject. Therefore, I would say the greatest distinction lies between academic questions and "trash," or pop culture, questions, and not, as you would have it, between "the three main areas of knowledge" and "anything outside."
Yeah, looking back at this, this is just ludicrous. Why does calling Ludacris and Arnold Palmer trash entail calling Raphael trash, and why doesn't it entail calling literature trash. Is Ezra Pound trash? After all, he both wrote poems and composed two operas. Is Leonard Nimoy? He both wrote poems and was the original Spock. Not only do you offer no justification for imposing this dichotomy, it appears to be an absolutely terrible dichotomy because it requires us to ask strange questions about what is "academic."
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun May 10, 2009 6:06 pm

What I was trying to say is that neither should be considered "trash" because you can't really determine whether or not something is more important than another without using some sort of double standard. The point comes down to where do you replace the questions that you remove. If you call Sports or Pop Culture trash and then replace it with more Fine Arts, what's to say that somebody doesn't consider that "trash" and demand you replace it with sports? I'm not that interested in Art, but I don't want to see it removed from Quiz Bowl. I understand that Picasso and Da Vinci did some great things artistically, but that doesn't have more or less effect than the 1995 South African National Rugby team or the history of the New Orleans Saints. I picked those two topics simply because of the great impact that they have had on human history, roughly similar to Guernica or The Last Supper (the painting, not the actual event, which had a huge impact on human history) As for Art being an academic subject, I can get a college degree in Art History or Sports Management. And why not include questions on Foreign Language? We have so many questions talking about words and their Latin or Greek roots, I'd just consider another part of Language Arts.

To sum up the crucial point of both of my posts:

I believe that neither Art nor Sports are "trash" and that saying one is more important than another is, in my opinion, a double standard. I think NAQT is right in including both, and would gain nothing by removing Sports or Pop Culture questions to replace them with more Fine Art. Furthermore, "trash" does exist, but only in the form of questions that either everybody would know (such as how many years are in a millennium, an actual question we had in a league game this year) or that nobody would know the answer to. As long as the questions on Pop Culture, Sports, Fine Art, or anything else that is not part of the core knowledge of Quiz Bowl are well written and do not infringe on the set's ability to test a wide set of knowledge (i.e., having more Sports than Literature, which would be completely irrational) than I believe it all should stay.



Anyway, this is only a minor point of contention (one that I wouldn't be focusing on at all if I had a more active Sunday), and I congratulate the Tournament officials on running a tournament that apparently went very, very well from all accounts on this board.
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun May 10, 2009 6:08 pm

Look, it's called National ACADEMIC Quiz Tournaments. If you can make the argument that sports and top 40 music and whatever else that's in trash are "academic" subjects, then we'll listen. But you've yet to do that.
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun May 10, 2009 6:16 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:What I was trying to say is that neither should be considered "trash" because you can't really determine whether or not something is more important than another without using some sort of double standard. The point comes down to where do you replace the questions that you remove. If you call Sports or Pop Culture trash and then replace it with more Fine Arts, what's to say that somebody doesn't consider that "trash" and demand you replace it with sports? I'm not that interested in Art, but I don't want to see it removed from Quiz Bowl. I understand that Picasso and Da Vinci did some great things artistically, but that doesn't have more or less effect than the 1995 South African National Rugby team or the history of the New Orleans Saints. I picked those two topics simply because of the great impact that they have had on human history, roughly similar to Guernica or The Last Supper (the painting, not the actual event, which had a huge impact on human history) As for Art being an academic subject, I can get a college degree in Art History or Sports Management. And why not include questions on Foreign Language? We have so many questions talking about words and their Latin or Greek roots, I'd just consider another part of Language Arts.

To sum up the crucial point of both of my posts:

I believe that neither Art nor Sports are "trash" and that saying one is more important than another is, in my opinion, a double standard. I think NAQT is right in including both, and would gain nothing by removing Sports or Pop Culture questions to replace them with more Fine Art. Furthermore, "trash" does exist, but only in the form of questions that either everybody would know (such as how many years are in a millennium, an actual question we had in a league game this year) or that nobody would know the answer to. As long as the questions on Pop Culture, Sports, Fine Art, or anything else that is not part of the core knowledge of Quiz Bowl are well written and do not infringe on the set's ability to test a wide set of knowledge (i.e., having more Sports than Literature, which would be completely irrational) than I believe it all should stay.



Anyway, this is only a minor point of contention (one that I wouldn't be focusing on at all if I had a more active Sunday), and I congratulate the Tournament officials on running a tournament that apparently went very, very well from all accounts on this board.
Look, it's not a double standard to declare that sports are trash and arts isn't. Indeed, it's one, single standard. If someone comes to me and says "no, no, sports aren't trash" I will look at him confused. It's pretty simple! If you're saying that you can't define what's academically important ever because someone else might come up with a different definition that is inherently equally valid, well, no, that's wrong.

Also, keep in mind that not only is it irrelevant to the canon what you can get a college degree in, but a sports management degree probably focuses less on anecdotes about Manny Being Manny and more about business, which is academically important and receives as much attention as it reasonably can (given that it's hard to write a whole lot of questions that are on business/accounting and much easier to write on ec).
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by dtaylor4 » Sun May 10, 2009 6:25 pm

Trying to put the Springboks' win in '95 up there with Picasso and da Vinci? Seriously? I challenge you to write a pyramidal question on such that would be considered academic by any standard.

Using your logic, I could argue that accounting is extremely relevant to history, hold up Al Capone's arrest for tax evasion, and argue for more tax and accounting questions.

If you have so much free time today, please take some more of it and think over the lines of reasoning you've put forth here. It might do you some good.

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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Kouign Amann » Sun May 10, 2009 6:31 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:I understand that Picasso and Da Vinci did some great things artistically, but that doesn't have more or less effect than the 1995 South African National Rugby team or the history of the New Orleans Saints.
YOUR ARE WRONG

More seriously: You need to understand that quizbowl is not, nor is it intended to be, an extension of the curriculum of any educational institution or group thereof, but a game unto itself, played under its own internally defined set of guidelines.
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Self-incompatibility in plants » Sun May 10, 2009 7:05 pm

I think NAQT is right in including both, and would gain nothing by removing Sports or Pop Culture questions to replace them with more Fine Art.
Fine, but do you also agree in NAQT having more Pop Culture (not even including sports) than Fine Arts? The general issue that people have with the distribution, as far I am aware, is not the fact that there are sports and pop culture, but rather that is more than Fine Arts, which indeed is too much.

Here is the distribution for your reference: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5165
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun May 10, 2009 7:36 pm

How about this question for you (keep in mind that I'm not an expert question writer): "After defeating Western Samoa and France, they faced New Zealand in the Championship game of the World Cup. This country's national team had been barred from the two previous(*) Rugby World Cups for political reasons, but won their first title in front of a home crowd in Ellis Park Stadium. Having once been hated by many of their countrymen, the national team of what country, also known as the "Springboks" were presented the 1995 Rugby World Cup Trophy by Nelson Mandela."


Overall, I understand I'm not going to convince anyone of my point, and that's OK. There probably should be more Fine Arts than Pop Culture, but I still think that Sports and other similar subjects are academic to a point, because they have an impact on life, just like Art. Knowledge is knowledge, and I see no harm in having a well rounded subject distribution. None of these subjects are much more than hobbies to anyone in Quiz Bowl, and I don't think either are more or less important than another.
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Kouign Amann » Sun May 10, 2009 7:41 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:None of these subjects are much more than hobbies to anyone in Quiz Bowl, and I don't think either are more or less important than another.
I'm sure at least a few people here might be pursuing a degree or career in art. Just a guess.

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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by dtaylor4 » Sun May 10, 2009 8:12 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:How about this question for you (keep in mind that I'm not an expert question writer): "After defeating Western Samoa and France, they faced New Zealand in the Championship game of the World Cup. This country's national team had been barred from the two previous(*) Rugby World Cups for political reasons, but won their first title in front of a home crowd in Ellis Park Stadium. Having once been hated by many of their countrymen, the national team of what country, also known as the "Springboks" were presented the 1995 Rugby World Cup Trophy by Nelson Mandela."


Overall, I understand I'm not going to convince anyone of my point, and that's OK. There probably should be more Fine Arts than Pop Culture, but I still think that Sports and other similar subjects are academic to a point, because they have an impact on life, just like Art. Knowledge is knowledge, and I see no harm in having a well rounded subject distribution. None of these subjects are much more than hobbies to anyone in Quiz Bowl, and I don't think either are more or less important than another.
Your use of the phrase "academic to a point" highlights the flaws in your argument. Also, I happen to know several people who are art majors (both studio and history), as well as talented musical performance majors. Sports management, as well as RST (Recreation, Sport, and Tourism), are seen here as relatively joke majors compared to others.

Also, that question sucks. Honestly, unless you drop other clues that point to the answer, few players (especially in high school) are going to get questions related to rugby.

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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun May 10, 2009 8:28 pm

^ That's why I'm not an expert writer.

Either way, many of you seem to be of the opinion that Art is more important and Sports are less important, while I believe both are equally important. This seems to be an irreconcilable difference, and I say we should all just agree to disagree.

Maybe we can all agree that NAQT is better than :chip: and hope that Quiz Bowl continues to improve over time.
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Re: Virginia NAQT Championship May 9 (Richmond)

Post by Kouign Amann » Sun May 10, 2009 8:36 pm

I don't think I can judge the real world importance of the arts or sports; it's different for everyone, just like you've been saying. However, this is not the real world. This is quizbowl. In quizbowl, the arts are more important than sports, and that's not going to change. Separate yourself from the real world when you think of the distribution.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by at your pleasure » Sun May 10, 2009 9:27 pm

I am told by some that the distributions is based upon this thing called "liberal arts and sciences". If memory serves, the liberal arts emphasizes noteworthy achievments of western civilization. Since the Springboks are not a noteworthy achivement of western civilization(however good at rugby they may be), and Messrs. Raphael and Pound were responsible for noteworthy achivements of western civilization, it follows that we ought to emphasize Messrs. Raphael and Pound over the Springboks.
Actually, Donald Taylor's satirical proposal for more buisness tossups would be better-found than your defense of sports,since historical buisiness-related laws are discussed in basic history classes.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Sir Thopas » Sun May 10, 2009 9:33 pm

Anti-Climacus wrote:Actually, Donald Taylor's satirical proposal for more buisness tossups would be better-found than your defense of sports,since historical buisiness-related laws are discussed in basic history classes.
As are the Nika Revolts, dude. And probably Jackie Robinson as well.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by AdamL » Sun May 10, 2009 9:47 pm

dtaylor4 wrote:Sports management, as well as RST (Recreation, Sport, and Tourism), are seen here as relatively joke majors compared to others.
Wow dude, really?
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by gaurav.kandlikar » Sun May 10, 2009 10:12 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:But there is some academic value, because it is still knowledge.
This is SCIENCE!
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun May 10, 2009 10:18 pm

Many people view Art as important and academic, but many hold the belief it is not, and that was a belief of many in the academic community for many years. Thankfully, that's no longer the case.

Many people view Sports as important and academic, but many in the academic community hold the belief they are not.

I see them both as relatively equal forms of entertainment for humans, and have been a very good representative of the psychology, sociology, and history of the human race. People use both Art and Sport as outlet, and while neither are MAJOR subjects of study and are simply hobbies for many of us, they have been influential and important to people for a long time, and evoke the very emotion and fire that the human world is built upon. People have rioted, voted, thought, and based their lives upon both of these subjects, and have left their mark on every area of society and also left behind an amazing amount of knowledge and theory based on Art and Sports. That is why I view them both as Academic, and equal.

We should be open to the real world in Quiz Bowl, lest we forget that we are a part of it. I'm not saying we should make Sports a centerpiece of the game, but I see no problem with a mere 2 or 3 out of 26 questions in an IS being based upon something that has been such a huge influence on humans throughout history. The Fine Arts (just visual and performing, not literature, which is completely separate in my opinion) should have similar numbers. Heck, to decrease the influence of Pop Culture, include it in Fine Arts since current music and movies is at least able to be included in visual and performing arts. Maybe 6 questions each about Social Studies, Science, and Language Arts, and then 4 about the new super Fine Arts/Pop Culture, with the 2 for Sports. Then you have 2 questions to play with each round, maybe increase one of the "Big 3" or add a Fine Arts question every once in a while to make sure it has more influence than Pop Culture.


Edit for my poor math skills.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun May 10, 2009 10:30 pm

See, in the real world you need to back up what you say, like
soaringeagle22 wrote:Many people view Art as important and academic, but many hold the belief it is not, and that was a belief of many in the academic community for many years.
People used to hold no fine arts in high regard, and now we hold all fine arts in high regard? Sure.
soaringeagle22 wrote:Many people view Sports as important and academic, but many in the academic community hold the belief they are not.
Please enlighten me to these people, unless you mean that you can write a (terrible) math tossup on win shares.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by at your pleasure » Sun May 10, 2009 10:35 pm

We should be open to the real world in Quiz Bowl, lest we forget that we are a part of it.
I doubt anybody would disagree that we are part of the real world save an idealist philosopher. It does not follow that we should base distributions on a nebulous and questionable measure of "value in the real world".
that was a belief of many in the academic community for many years.
Do introduce me to these people.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun May 10, 2009 10:39 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:Many people view Art as important and academic, but many hold the belief it is not
This is where you are mistaken. I think you're confusing the production of art with the study of art. Creating art is not really an academic pursuit. However, studying art is undeniably academic. I don't think anyone thinks that studying art is not an academic pursuit.

On the other hand, neither the playing nor the studying of sports is really academic (unless you count that UGA basketball class under Jim Herrick and his son). As in, scholars write articles about the Mona Lisa in academic journals. Breakdowns of the Thrilla in Manilla and other sports events are not found in academic journals, but rather on TV, in sports magazines, and sometimes in sports books. Can you point out someone who has the title Professor of Sports History?
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Sun May 10, 2009 10:57 pm

Here's my criteria for what's academic: If something would be significant after, say, 100 years, it's probably academic. So The Last Supper would be significant, while Jay-Z wouldn't. It's not perfect, but I find it's a good benchmark.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun May 10, 2009 11:01 pm

^A lot of people do consider Art to be Academic, we've seen that here. As for people who don't, before Thomas Jefferson revolutionized the American education system with the University of Virginia, many colleges still based their curriculum off of the old "Liberal Arts" curriculum, that didn't always include fine art. In fact, medieval Europe dismissed it with the exception of music. And many colleges served to educate you in Literature, History, Theology, and Occasionally Science. And really, not everyone accepts art today. Look at the first subject to ever be subjected to funding cuts in budget crises: art. Many schools will cut art to support sports teams, although I don't advocate that because sports teams are extra-curricular. If our school were to cut art education and sports education (we normally have 6 or 7 classes based on sports ranging from Sports Marketing and Sports Literature to your basic PE classes) equally, that'd be OK. Conversely, cutting PE for Art Club would be wrong.

So, who doesn't support art throughout history: at times The Church (unless it reaffirmed doctrine), many schools in the past and present, and many people dismiss art as being stupid and high-fallutin' even today. Just talk to my Papaw sometime.

As for Sports, I'm not the only one who view at as Academic. I have to admit that Grayson County culture is different than your's most likely, and we view Sports as Academic around here, so maybe it's where I come from. But you could look at "Hidden Intellectuallism" by Gerald Graff, or one of the hundreds of books talking about Baseball and its influence on American history. Heck, my current coach knows more about Baseball history and statistics than any of us on the team know about any subject. Even the AP European History Test featured a DBQ on sports in Europe during some time period (may have been 1800s) a few years ago, and AP English Composition (known as AP English III to many) has had essays on boxing. If AP says it's academic, than most people I know accept that.

Also, as for a Sports History Professor, this guy from Penn State is pretty interesting:

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/19 ... 03-001.htm

Also reminds me of how the Olympics have played such a huge role in International Relations, and definitely in Ancient Greece. Heck, the Marathon is based off of a battle which we all know the story of.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun May 10, 2009 11:16 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:^A lot of people do consider Art to be Academic, we've seen that here. As for people who don't, before Thomas Jefferson revolutionized the American education system with the University of Virginia, many colleges still based their curriculum off of the old "Liberal Arts" curriculum, that didn't always include fine art. In fact, medieval Europe dismissed it with the exception of music. And many colleges served to educate you in Literature, History, Theology, and Occasionally Science. And really, not everyone accepts art today. Look at the first subject to ever be subjected to funding cuts in budget crises: art. Many schools will cut art to support sports teams, although I don't advocate that because sports teams are extra-curricular. If our school were to cut art education and sports education (we normally have 6 or 7 classes based on sports ranging from Sports Marketing and Sports Literature to your basic PE classes) equally, that'd be OK. Conversely, cutting PE for Art Club would be wrong.
Ah, I thought you meant "people whose views on the subject are still considered okay today." Like, I get that what you're trying to say is "people used to consider art unacademic, and right now we consider sports unacademic--maybe our views will be equally laughable in some time!" But the fact that people have been terribly wrong before isn't evidence to suggest that we're terribly wrong now, and one problem is that your argument could be equally applied to remove all science (since maybe in five hundred years people will have some other opinion). So that's terrible. Moreover, the fact that public school systems make horrible policy decisions is not a reason to suggest that fine arts are of questionable academic merit; they're a reason to burn your superintendent alive. (note: not an actual endorsement.)
soaringeagle22 wrote:So, who doesn't support art throughout history: at times The Church (unless it reaffirmed doctrine), many schools in the past and present, and many people dismiss art as being stupid and high-fallutin' even today. Just talk to my Papaw sometime.
Your Papaw notably doesn't set a consensus for determining what is academic, so I don't need to.
soaringeagle22 wrote:Heck, my current coach knows more about Baseball history and statistics than any of us on the team know about any subject.
See, the ability to know things about a thing doesn't make it academic. This is why we have trash tossups, but we call them trash tossups, not "academic tossups on baseball statistics."
soaringeagle22 wrote:Even the AP European History Test featured a DBQ on sports in Europe during some time period (may have been 1800s) a few years ago, and AP English Composition (known as AP English III to many) has had essays on boxing. If AP says it's academic, than most people I know accept that.
Unless the essay asked you to grapple with the ideas that come up in the academic study of boxing, I don't see this as remotely relevant; this just means that you can analyze essays that deal with most anything. If there's some important social theorist who talks about boxing, then that's great but irrelevant. Also, the AP is not actually god.
soaringeagle22 wrote:Heck, the Marathon is based off of a battle which we all know the story of.
Crazy how that battle is academic history and the Olympic event isn't!
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun May 10, 2009 11:22 pm

These arguments are so much of a stretch that Stretch Armstrong is offended.

I have to give it to you, though, dude: you're a hell of a troll.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Mon May 11, 2009 12:02 am

There is an irreconcilable difference here. I believe Sports can be a worthy academic pursuit, while the rest of this particular message board doesn't. That's OK, but while I can't convince you to even consider my point, I will not accept yours either.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot » Mon May 11, 2009 12:14 am

soaringeagle22 wrote:There is an irreconcilable difference here. I believe Sports can be a worthy academic pursuit, while the rest of this particular message board doesn't. That's OK, but while I can't convince you to even consider my point, I will not accept yours either.
You remain wrong. May I suggest this website for you?
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by cornfused » Mon May 11, 2009 1:11 am

soaringeagle22 wrote:There is an irreconcilable difference here. I believe Sports can be a worthy academic pursuit, while the rest of this particular message board doesn't. That's OK, but while I can't convince you to even consider my point, I will not accept yours either.
Notice how your own high school disagrees with you? Sports has no department (except for Health/PE/Driver's Ed, which should really be hinting at something about your argument,) while music and art do.

Also, if you a) don't expect to convince anyone to even consider your point and b) refuse to even consider anyone else's point, why did you even make the original point?

I find it remarkable how you basically keep stating your original argument over and over with no regard to the fact that it's been crushed from multiple angles.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon May 11, 2009 1:42 am

cornfused wrote:I find it remarkable how you basically keep stating your original argument over and over with no regard to the fact that it's been crushed from multiple angles.
Well, I suppose that if he seriously thinks that there's no preordained way to decide what is academic and what isn't, he won't accept anyone's assertion that this is the way. But since he clearly maintains that some things are more academic than others, he'd have to accept why he holds literature in higher regard than fine arts (since obviously his beliefs aren't couched in size of answer space or anything that has to do with quizbowl).

The only thing that's really been crushed is the idea that a highly abstract argument about how definitions of "academic" may not exclude absolutely anything can be memorized that occasionally relies on subpoints like "politicians have recommended that art education be downsized in the past; this is clearly equivalent to academics saying that memorizing baseball statistics is not as academic as the study of fine arts and to the fact that universities have art departments but no runs created department, meaning that both things must be equally academic" should ever, ever be applied to determining a quizbowl distribution.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon May 11, 2009 7:15 am

I agree that sports can be academic--there is no doubt that lots of wonderful books have been written that involve sports. I also agree that sports can be a great reflection of the psychology and sociology of humankind.

However, something should not be made 2/2 in the distribution because it can be academic. If we took every subject in the world that could be academic and made it 2/2, then each match would go on for several hours, if not several days. Instead, the Quizbowl distribution needs to prioritize the few subjects that are central to what we think well-educated people know. The canon would have a gaping hole if it did not focus on some of the greatest achievements in the history of humankind, and painting the Sistine Chapel qualifies ahead of being a sucky team in the NFC South or winning a Rugby Championship in a given year.

A Quizbowl match should make some effort to determine which team knows more about academic material. It is possible to write an academic work on the South African Rugby Team--in fact, there are several possible approaches you could take towards writing an academic work on the South African Rugby Team, and it wouldn't surprise me if it's already been done--but questions like the one you wrote above don't really help us determine which of the two teams in a match has more academic knowledge, while a pyramidal question on Michelangelo or Mozart might.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon May 11, 2009 10:43 am

I hope you don't take this thread the wrong way--the people on this board have strong opinions about Quizbowl, and they generally don't agree with your proposal. That doesn't mean you're a bad person or that we think you're a bad person. You can find many threads in which the people arguing with you here are arguing with each other on various topics.

However, let me give you two scenarios.

In one scenario, you decide to spend a day becoming a better quizbowler in the area of sports. You spend the day looking at each major franchise and making sure you know about some of their top current and former players. You read about each Olympics and make sure you know where it was and what the major stories were. For some minor sports, you learn about who the best known people/teams are and what they have done.

In the other scenario, you decide to spend a day becoming a better quizbowler in the area of fine arts. You go through a list of the fifty most mentioned works of art and the fifty most mentioned compositions, looking information up about the artists/composers and other works they have done and movements they were associated with. You find pictures of the paintings/sculptures/architectural works and listen to some of the musical pieces.

I'm not going to deny the fact that you will learn some academic content in the first scenario--it's hard to avoid when you are looking up the 1936 Olympics, to name one example. I'm also not going to deny the fact that you can learn something useful--maybe you'll be better able to befriend Pirates fans later in life after having gained some perspective on the amount of failure they have had to put up with. However, I'm pretty sure that you'll learn more academic content in the second scenario. Though the purpose of Quizbowl is somewhat nebulous and varies from person to person, I think the second scenario is more in line with it.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Gautam » Mon May 11, 2009 12:52 pm

Dude, you're starting off with too many random assumptions about what knowledge is and isn't and it looks like you're leaving it up to us to decipher what those assumptions are. e.g. For some reason, 'Fine Arts and Computer Science are hobbies' has to be among the false-est statements out there, though you are taking it for granted.

Please clarify those assumptions, and maybe we can begin to have some reasonable discourse.

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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by cvdwightw » Mon May 11, 2009 4:09 pm

I thought the original post sounded familiar

I think you're missing a giant picture in the whole thing, and that is that whoever came up with this distribution used a very highbrow, elitist definition of "academic," and we hold this definition in the highest regard. Every time there's something that falls on the border of that definition, we have giant debates over whether or not such a thing meets quizbowl's definition of "academic." Some things (e.g. jazz, pop art, H. Alger) make it in, due to/in spite of their merits/demerits. Other things (e.g. some mystery/science fiction, the Beatles) fall just outside, until someone is able to make a compelling case for canon inclusion that sways the minds of that quizbowl generation's most prolific and respected writers/editors. Yet other things (e.g. anime, Tolkien mythology) are considered so far outside the academic canon that there should not even be reasonable debate over their inclusion, regardless of any academic merit or relevance they might possibly possess. Finally, there are things (e.g. math calculation, spelling, foreign language) that are certainly academic, but cannot be tested using well-written, pyramidal tossups; these subjects have been largely excised from the canon or relegated to bonuses, even if they were once common.

Using this elitist definition of academic, it would be ludicrous to believe that all of sports makes it into that first category; it is perhaps possible that tangentially-sports-related questions (e.g. the Nika revolt or the Soccer War) make it in. Certainly some culturally relevant sports makes it into that second category, where it's possible to make a case that it belongs in, though you would have a hard time convincing others. However, most sports belongs in that anime category - it's just so far removed from being academic that it's nigh-impossible to justify it belonging in the academic canon.

Then, I suppose, your other argument is that if sports is not academic, then arts must not be either. Let me assure you that this is not the case - for whatever reasons, which probably includes the fact that a lot of rich and important people thought it important that their kids learned to appreciate art and music, arts fits that highbrow definition of "academic" that some quizbowlers long ago decided to use. We can rehash the debates over some of the more "lower-class" stuff like jazz and pop art, but we've had those debates before and we've agreed that they fit.

I agree with Gautam that this debate can't really go anywhere unless you look at the underlying assumptions behind your argument and clarify/expand on them. Otherwise, this just looks like another Papool-esque post in which someone with essentially zero writing/editing experience and essentially zero circuit respect/influence is asking why the distribution can't be tailored more to his likes/dislikes.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Mon May 11, 2009 5:49 pm

The Fine Arts and Computer Science point is that no high school quiz bowl player is currently pursuing that as more than a hobby, and the people who are considering those things as a career (which is a minority) are most likely not actually doing a large amount of paid work in the field yet. Same thing with Sports. Just because someone plays Soccer or Baseball, or is in the Art Club or Computer Club doesn't mean this is what they will do with their lives, thus, most Quiz Bowl player will see it as no more than a hobby. Either way, this is a very secondary argument.

The core point of what I'm saying is that everything is academic, and saying one thing is academic while another is not is, well "elitist". That was the word I was trying to avoid using, but since someone else introduced it into the conversation, I will say that the idea does reek of a form of elitism. I don't think Fine Arts are in anyway un-Academic, because they have had a great impact on human society, just like Sports.

This debate focuses on (in my opinion) the relative importance of topics that may come up in Quiz Bowl, and also the ability to include it in a well rounded test of knowledge without being too easy or too difficult. Just like we don't anticipate some obscure theoretical physics law that isn't taught until Graduate School being a possible answer, we can't go off and make people know the batting average in Hank Aaron's 3rd Season. However, it is prudent to know who Hank Aaron is because he achieved a great accomplishment in the Sport of Baseball, and inspired plenty of people along the way. This doesn't mean I think Hank Aaron is more important than Abraham Lincoln, but he has as much (in my opinion again) importance as Peter Paul Reubens.

Neither Fine Arts or Sports are something vitally important for a basic education, but this is Quiz Bowl, where we test knowledge. It would be unfair to have Fine Art and no Sports, and also unfair to have Sports and no Fine Arts, because neither a Sports Fan like me, or an Art Enthusiast as the 2nd leading scorer on my team need to be disenfranchised because people think our interest is un-Academic. You can't cover every topic in the world in every set, but you can get knowledge on things like Science, Literature, and History, and also things like Fine Arts and Sports to a lesser degree that have less impact than the previous 3, but still a large influence on human society. This will provide for a meaningfully well rounded test of knowledge that allows teams to showcase their large amount of knowledge about the world, in a competitive format.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon May 11, 2009 5:52 pm

Can we finally just start yelling "you are an idiot," moderators?
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by TheKingInYellow » Mon May 11, 2009 6:11 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:The Fine Arts and Computer Science point is that no high school quiz bowl player is currently pursuing that as more than a hobby, and the people who are considering those things as a career (which is a minority) are most likely not actually doing a large amount of paid work in the field yet.
As far as I'm aware, not too many high schoolers are doing paid work as authors, physicists, or historians either. Also, and this is just a personal pet peeve, but would you mind not not capitalizing every subject?
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon May 11, 2009 6:14 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:Neither Fine Arts or Sports are something vitally important for a basic education, but this is Quiz Bowl, where we test knowledge.
You continue to make sweeping statements like this, but you provide no evidence. Going by your reasoning (or mostly lack thereof), it is possible to simply wish away any part of the canon not to your liking. I could say that science isn't vital to an education. I don't back that up with any educational philosophy, but neither do you (Note: science is actually important). Besides, in high school, microbiology is just a hobby to everyone, right? Anything can be a hobby, and this being quizbowl, we tend to care about academic pursuits, not Hank Aaron's batting average.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Mon May 11, 2009 6:28 pm

I'm a bit of a capitalizing freak, sorry about that.

Anyway, how many schools do you know that require something like 3 Credits in Fine Arts or 2 Credits in Sports for graduation? :wink:

Of course they're not important for a basic education, one of the central points of the American education system is to prepare you for life, college, and the workforce. Having a grounding knowledge in Math, Science, Language Arts, and Social Studies allow you to utilize skills to succeed, and also understand how the world around you works. If you didn't know this, maybe everyone should have a nice long talk with the school board about the missions of your school system. You don't necessarily need to know things like Fine Arts or Sports to succeed in life, unless you're going to work in those fields specifically. But they are still Academic, and contain knowledge.

However, this is Quiz Bowl, where we test knowledge. I'm not saying these subjects are vital to existance, just are academic and deserve a place in NAQT Distribution, because of their relative importance. I see neither Fine Art knowledge nor Sports knowledge as more or less important than the other, but both as important enough to warrant a couple questions about them per match.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Mon May 11, 2009 6:34 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:Sports...are still Academic
No, they are not.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by dtaylor4 » Mon May 11, 2009 6:38 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:I'm a bit of a capitalizing freak, sorry about that.

Anyway, how many schools do you know that require something like 3 Credits in Fine Arts or 2 Credits in Sports for graduation? :wink:

Of course they're not important for a basic education, one of the central points of the American education system is to prepare you for life, college, and the workforce. Having a grounding knowledge in Math, Science, Language Arts, and Social Studies allow you to utilize skills to succeed, and also understand how the world around you works. If you didn't know this, maybe everyone should have a nice long talk with the school board about the missions of your school system. You don't necessarily need to know things like Fine Arts or Sports to succeed in life, unless you're going to work in those fields specifically. But they are still Academic, and contain knowledge.

However, this is Quiz Bowl, where we test knowledge. I'm not saying these subjects are vital to existance, just are academic and deserve a place in NAQT Distribution, because of their relative importance. I see neither Fine Art knowledge nor Sports knowledge as more or less important than the other, but both as important enough to warrant a couple questions about them per match.
How are sports academic? You've continually tried to put down fine arts, but have not put forth one shred of credible evidence that sports are academic. I'm not counting your pathetic examples of the '95 Springboks or Hank Aaron, as your use of them as examples merely makes your argument all the more pathetic.

There have been a number of calls for actual evidence to back up your side. The more you put down fine arts, the more it appears that you have zero credible evidence to back up your assertions.

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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Cheynem » Mon May 11, 2009 6:38 pm

1. Hey, sports contain knowledge. True. I love sports. I watch sports all the time. I've done sports history. I've written on sports. I've never studied sculpture, painting, or classical music. BUT SPORTS ARE NOT ACADEMIC. Type in any baseball or basketball player in an academic database and then type in a painter or a composer and see which gets the most hits. Barring a lopsided matchup of the most important baseball players (some of which are academically important) and minor painters or composers, the comparison is obvious.

2. You don't need to know a lot of stuff to succeed at life. Quiz bowl has nothing to do with an educational mission or being a better person. It's about demonstrating academic knowledge. It may be "elitist" in your definition, but quiz bowl (or Good Quiz Bowl, if you will) values academic knowledge (Fine Arts) more over popular culture knowledge (Sports).

3. Anyway, put aside fine arts for now. What makes you think we should ask about sports in general? (i.e., use a justification argument, not a comparison argument)
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon May 11, 2009 6:57 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:Of course they're not important for a basic education, one of the central points of the American education system is to prepare you for life, college, and the workforce. Having a grounding knowledge in Math, Science, Language Arts, and Social Studies allow you to utilize skills to succeed, and also understand how the world around you works. If you didn't know this, maybe everyone should have a nice long talk with the school board about the missions of your school system. You don't necessarily need to know things like Fine Arts or Sports to succeed in life, unless you're going to work in those fields specifically. But they are still Academic, and contain knowledge.
Evidence please. Why are math, science, language arts, and social studies so much more important to success than the fine arts? If you're working in a gas station or flipping burgers your whole life, you're probably not going to need detailed knowledge of any of the above. Other professions will require some combination of skill sets. There are plenty of jobs in which science is much less useful than literature (ex: writer), literature is less important than science (ex: chemist), and in which art is more important than them both (ex: artist). Your premises are so arbitrarily defined, your arguments just don't work.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by cdcarter » Mon May 11, 2009 7:22 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote: Anyway, how many schools do you know that require something like 3 Credits [sic] in Fine Arts [sic] or 2 Credits [sic] in Sports [sic] for graduation? :wink:
Mine.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Mon May 11, 2009 7:29 pm

Social Studies: explains our society and allows people to understand why things exist and why our society is the way it is. Also, Economics come in quite handy when it comes time to pay the bills, and Civics is vital for the health of our liberty. Psychology, Sociology, and Human Geography allow you to deal with other people and society. Geography is definitely handy in dealing with business, travel, or communication.

Math: Do I need to explain why you need to know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. A good basic math education allows you to manage money correctly, and also can keep you in tune with important info pertaining to nutrition and medication, among other things. Also, Geometry is important in many different ways from Carpentry to Fire Fighting.

Science: Biology and Chemistry both allow you to understand how the human body works, and can help you maintain yourself and the world around you. Ecology explains why we MUST take care of our environment. I don't particularly understand Physics. BASIC Computer Science (we're talking Microsoft Office, not Java Language) is a required job skill in most white collar positions. Also, even ordinary housework and car care rely on different forms of Science.

Language Arts: This is the art of communication, something you must know how to do to get a job, or even buy groceries. Proper English skills allow you to communicate correctly, and get you ahead in life. Literature is an extension of the world itself, and can range from a Welding Safety Manual to Historical Fiction. It also helps explain the world. And Language is vital if you go into the many career fields that deal with people at some point.

Fine Arts is an appreciation of something that is, well let's face it, entertainment and a way to express emotion. Here, you have to determine on your own opinion what is important, and while you may get base your moral being on a Haydn symphony, others may base it on how "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and "Amazing Grace" form the rock of their values of love and faith. This is human nature; you can't learn how to be a good artist. On the other hand, you can't learn to enjoy something you find boring or uninspiring. Sports invoke the same forms of entertainment and emotion in a large amount of people. There will be another artist as talented as Bach, and there will be another Basketball player as talented as Lebron James. Does that mean we should dismiss either for further academic study? No.

Again, this is Quiz Bowl. We're testing a well rounded amount of knowledge. In my opinion, Sports deserve a place here because of the impact they've had on humans. The way they affect our history, psychology, our cultures and customs. The way they prove the laws of Physics and Geometry, and can disprove Superstition and incorrect theories. The way they can inspire works of Art about them, from literature to film and music. The way they hold sway over billions of people worldwide, and can cause no less than the leader of the Free World, the President of the United States, to take an active interest in them at the same time someone who is at the bottom of the food chain like me can be cheering on the same or opposing team.

Sports have such an impact on so many people in the same way Art impacts you, and both are worthy releases from the cares of everyday life. I see beauty, love, and every form of emotion and respect in Sports, and view people like Patrick Patterson (passing up money and dreams for loyalty and a good education) and Jackie Robinson (you all know the story from, you guessed it, SCHOOL) as heroes. These people are important to me, and billions of others. Just because you believe this isn't "academic" and your interests are, doesn't mean I have to accept that. I am not making you say Fine Art is un-important, and I agree that it isn't.

Argue the point from here on out folks, and stop hiding behind your crumbling Ivory Towers.


Edit for cdcarter's post: Kentucky sees credits differently, I should have said 2 or 3 years of classes, not 3 Credits, which is only one year at your high school. My bad.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Mon May 11, 2009 7:40 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote: EDIT: I apologize for having written a DBQ instead of a normal response over this.
I'll refute the one thing I know, conclusively, is wrong.

This ain't a DBQ- a Document Based Question- because you don't cite any documents.

Studying for APs has paid off.

EDIT: Also, what exactly is the rationale for discounting most modern music into the trash category? Does it boil down, pretty much, to "More people know it?"
Last edited by Nine-Tenths Ideas on Mon May 11, 2009 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Relative Importance of Art and Sports

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon May 11, 2009 7:41 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote: Just because you believe this isn't "academic" and your interests are, doesn't mean I have to accept that. I am not making you say Fine Art is un-important, and I agree that it isn't.

Argue the point from here on out folks, and stop hiding behind your crumbling Ivory Towers.
The point is that we don't care what your particular interests are. Just because something is important does not mean it is worthy of canon inclusion. You are correct when you say we don't think sports are academic and we think arts are, and if you want to keep on playing quizbowl and trying to tweak the system delusionally, we don't care either. You don't have to accept anything we say; this is a free country, and you are free to take your definition of "academic" elsewhere where it can be more appreciated. I believe Charlie already recommended a website that may better cater to your interests.
la2pgh wrote:You remain wrong. May I suggest this website for you?
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