Illinois Open Discussion

Old college threads.
User avatar
Ike
Yuna
Posts: 917
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:01 pm
Contact:

Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Ike » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:43 pm

All mirror of Illinois Open have concluded and we never made a private discussion forum, so this is your place to discuss all things Illinois Open. You should thank:

Michael Hausinger, who wrote all of the chemistry
Surya Sabhapathy, who wrote all of the biology
Jeremy Eaton, who wrote all of the physics, earth science, mathematics, astronomy,

I did the computer science and wrote all of the other questions, with the exception of two music questions that Shantanu Jha contributed.

I will be sending the set for archival pretty soon, but in the meantime feel free to discuss this tournament. I think I'll begin by saying that while it certainly was fun and exhausting for me to write this much, it lead to some "editor's pet topics" that Bruce mentioned.

Discuss.
Ike
UIUC 13

User avatar
Auroni
Auron
Posts: 2998
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:59 pm

You should probably be ashamed of yourself for attempting to lecture me about the difficulty and importance of my THUNDER answers now that you've written the majority of this set. On the other hand, hats off to Surya, Michael, and Jeremy for both writing about important and interesting topics AND for making sure that they were of reasonable difficulty.
Auroni Gupta
UIUC
ACF

User avatar
Alejandro
Wakka
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:39 pm
Location: Redmond, WA

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Alejandro » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:04 pm

A couple of points.
1) The giveaway for the queue tossup is misleading. A "horizontal stack" does not describe a queue since a horizontal stack would still be a last-in, first-out data structure (unlike a queue, which is first-in, first-out).
2) There were too many tossups asking for "Xs of Ys." Answers of this form tend to unnecessarily increase the difficulty by muddling what the question is looking for. Some examples of answers that could've been simplified were "Essays of Twain" and "Tombs of Canova."
Alejandro
Naperville Central '07
Harvey Mudd '11
University of Washington '17

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:58 pm

This tournament was all kinds of awful.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5640
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:29 am

[10] This Indian post-colonial thinker, formulator of “contrapuntality”, and descendant of Mohammed Gandhi wrote the popular Postcolonial Theory: An Introduction. Based out of University of Chicago, you can call hit her up for office hours with the phone number (773) 702-3178.
ANSWER: Leela Gandhi or [L. Gandhi]
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

User avatar
Not That Kind of Christian!!
Yuna
Posts: 847
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:36 pm
Location: Manhattan

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:00 am

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:
[10]Mohammed Gandhi
Is this person distinct from Mohandas Gandhi, or is this an error?
Hannah Kirsch
Brandeis University 2010
NYU School of Medicine 2014

"Wow, those Scandinavians completely thorbjorned my hard-earned political capital."

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:06 am

I would like to commend the authors of this set for their fine work in satirizing everything that is wrong with quizbowl today.

From the use of the word "while" to jam together multiple two-line-long phrases that refer to events taking place three centuries apart, to the boatloads of outright made-up clues, to the frequent descent of the question texts into indecipherable word salad, the mysterious humorists who produced this work of high comedic art hit the nail on the head and had everyone at the Maryland site roaring with laughter in their uncomfortable desk-chairs.

If I have one criticism with this lovingly crafted parody, it is that it sometimes exaggerated the faults of the modern tournament to an unrealistic degree. Repeatedly including untrue clues that were clearly not taken from any reliable reference source and instead written from a faulty memory happened so often that it seemed somewhat over the top. I especially felt that the joke was worn out when a quote from a movie was falsely attributed to the book on which that movie was based, in which it does not appear. No diligent writer would ever really make such a basic error as writing a literature clue from their hazy recollection of a film--perhaps we can excuse that particular joke as comedic license.

Among the more spot-on brickbats that this lighthearted romp launched was the mixture of severe under-underlining and novice-like over-underlining that repeatedly tripped up veteran and green players alike, the frequent mixture of questions on things that are neither important in academia nor resident in the quizbowl "canon" with first-line buzzer races on well-trod topics, and the repeated mentioning of the answers to questions within the questions themselves or within previous parts of the same bonus. The overall aesthetic of the set, i.e. a deaf Martian crashing his spaceship into the packet archive and lashing together a lean-to with the wreckage, provided an appropriately surreal feel to the playing experience. This achievement in absurdist humor was in line with the best years of George Herriman's Krazy Kat or the second hour of a Stephen Wright standup set.

As an utter waste of the players' time, this sendup of tournaments really shines. As I was constantly playing chicken due to things like dropping "Swedish father" in the second line of an Anna Christie tossup, I realized that this tournament's jokesmiths have mastered the type of satire-packet needed to make me think that the question authors have absolutely no sense of what their work will sound like when read aloud and seem to lack the ability to put themselves in the shoes of the players. By getting so totally inside the mindset of the bad question writer just to amuse us, this group of humorists really demonstrated their commitment to generating chuckles all around. The many expletives and pens that were flying around today were a familiar expression of comedic delight in American culture.

All in all, this packet set was a puckish satire of contemporary mores, and I give it an A+ as a demented parody of what quizbowl should be. I await the announcement of when the real Illinois Open 2011 will be held.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
Auks Ran Ova
Forums Staff: Chief Administrator
Posts: 4042
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:00 am

Not That Kind of Christian!! wrote:
Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:
[10]Mohammed Gandhi
Is this person distinct from Mohandas Gandhi, or is this an error?
your optimism is adorable.
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
Member, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer and Editor, NAQT

User avatar
Capricious
Lulu
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:55 am

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Capricious » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:07 am

Has this set been altered since the Irvine mirror? I distinctly remember not having heard
for four performers by composer of the Eroic Symphony for Beethoven's string quartets
Dead Christ for Mantegna
The Ray for Chardin
Not Hebrides for Orkneys
leader of Soviet Union for Stalin
Joe Yu
ASU

User avatar
Bartleby
Rikku
Posts: 315
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:45 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Bartleby » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:39 pm

Matt Weiner wrote: I especially felt that the joke was worn out when a quote from a movie was falsely attributed to the book on which that movie was based, in which it does not appear. No diligent writer would ever really make such a basic error as writing a literature clue from their hazy recollection of a film--perhaps we can excuse that particular joke as comedic license.
Having not played the tournament myself, I'm curious as to about what book/film this error was made.
Brian McNamara
Western University '13
University of Waterloo '14
Temple University '20

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:12 pm

Gotta start somewhere. Might as well start here.

There were several major problems with this tournament that I'll address in a very general manner. I'll have some examples when I feel like it, but overall I just don't have the time to devote to major tournament criticism right now.

First of all, this tournament had a serious problem with the distribution. Like many recent events, it suffered from an egregious predominance of classics. I don't know what it is with people not being able to write questions on other periods of history, but whatever it is it showed up double in this tournament. One might plausibly attribute this to the writers in a packet-submission event but in a house-write it's completely inexcusable. Also, according to people in the IRC, "this tournament had 1000000x the pseudoscience of last years' tournaments combined." I tend to agree with this evaluation.

Second, this tournament was hard. Like, really hard, and not in any good way. Speaking as someone who enjoys hard tournaments, I don't mind getting schooled if I'm really learning something; instead, I often felt like the aim of many of the questions was just not to make it possible to get 30, or sometimes 20, or sometimes even 10 points. More often than not these questions had a "stump-the-chump" feel to them. Don't know this random post-colonialist professor at Chicago? Fuck you! Don't know avant garde Czech filmmakers? Fuck you twice! Of course this leads to colossal difficulty swings; if you're lucky enough to get a bonus that can be converted you're going to be in way better shape than your opponents that just got boned by an impossible bonus on ceramics.

The last major problem with this tournament was, of course, the way the tossups were written. First of all, many of the constructions employed in the writing did grievous harm to the English language. Especially confusing are formulations which require you to go back and reverse-engineer which thing is being referenced with the "that" that the question just dropped, or which "aforementioned" is the one being talked about. See the Theseus tossup in one of the early rounds for a good illustration. These sorts of things abounded in both tossups and bonuses; questions in general tended to be full of confusing phrases and phrases that were simply filler and did not help anyone arrive at the answer. Tossups tended to either give the game away entirely early on or try to be super-coy about giving any kind of useful information at all, which led to many of them being full of clues that were not really buzzable. Even more problematic than that was the fact that there were outright mistakes and even intra-tournament contradictions (compare the aforementioned Theseus tossup with the tossup on Zeus) in many places throughout the set.

That is the trident by which this tournament is skewered. This was simply not a well-written event and playing it was kind of painful at times.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
No Rules Westbrook
Auron
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:01 pm

I don't have the will to elaborate a ton right now, but I'm kind of surprised by the immediate reaction to this event.

I didn't think this was the best event in the history of qb, and it sure was hard - but I definitely would've called it an tourney of above-average quality, all in all. Bonus difficulty fluctuated from oasis 30s to social sciencey "10s-if-anything" more than it should, I agree.

It may be that I'm biased by having played on a superteam with Teitler and Sorice, who could fend off what otherwise might have been more frustrating moments, but I'm pretty sure the above posts by Weiner and Jerry are overreactions.
Ryan Westbrook, no affiliation whatsoever.

I am pure energy...and as ancient as the cosmos. Feeble creatures, GO!

Left here since birth...forgotten in the river of time...I've had an eternity to...ponder the meaning of things...and now I have an answer!

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Auron
Posts: 5781
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:13 pm

No Rules Westbrook wrote:I don't have the will to elaborate a ton right now, but I'm kind of surprised by the immediate reaction to this event.

I didn't think this was the best event in the history of qb, and it sure was hard - but I definitely would've called it an tourney of above-average quality, all in all. Bonus difficulty fluctuated from oasis 30s to social sciencey "10s-if-anything" more than it should, I agree.

It may be that I'm biased by having played on a superteam with Teitler and Sorice, who could fend off what otherwise might have been more frustrating moments, but I'm pretty sure the above posts by Weiner and Jerry are overreactions.
Yeah I probably fell more into this camp than the Weiner/Jerry camp. I had fun, although there were clearly some problems with the set (grammar, bonuses not agreeing at all on the target difficulty). I think it was certainly worth playing, and I thank Ike and the other writers for their hard work in producing this house-written set.

I'd be curious to see the full text of the two questions Alejandro mentioned, Essays of Mark Twain and Tombs of Canova.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
Jeaton1
Wakka
Posts: 105
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:24 am

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Jeaton1 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:15 pm

I am sorry to hear that this event was not very well received. However, I am very interested in hearing feedback on the questions I wrote as this is the first (academic) tournament I had a significant part in writing and am always looking to improve.

As a recap of sorts, I wrote:

Physics: dielectrics, Kepler's third, beta decay, DFTs, quarks, Brillouin, total internal reflection, Stern-Gerlach, Noether's theorem, strain tensor, BCS theory, Abraham-Lorentz force, partition function, time dilation, speed of sound

Bonuses: diffraction, Brownian motion, magnetic monopoles, torque, non-Newtonian fluids, ladder operators, circuit noise, strings, Bloch functions, Hamiltonian mechanics/phase-space, alternative formulations of QM, phase transitions, neutrino detection, scattering, GR metrics

Math: Weierstrauss, ideals, Cauchy Integral theorem, Laplace transform

Bonuses: second-order differential equations, cosets, Diophantine equations, special functions

Astronomy: BB Nucleosynthesis, ring systems, Callisto (which is definitely not a planet...sorry I didn't catch that), ellptical galaxies

Bonuses: distance ladder methods, "U" astronomy potluck, white dwarfs

Earth Science: inner core, rivers, obsidian

Bonuses: ionosphere, amusingly named minerals, cave science, dinosaur paleontology

I wrote the tossup on "aerogels" as well, but classified it into an "other science" category.

I'd appreciate any tips or criticism that you'd like to give. Thanks!
Jeremy Eaton
Maryland Academic Quiz Team

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:52 pm

The Pound-Rebka experiment was definitely a measurement of the gravitational redshift. I did not enjoy being negged on that. Also, there was nothing in that FET bonus part to distinguish a MOSFET from any other kind; they all have gates, sources, and drains. MOS just refers to the manufacturing technology.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Papa's in the House
Tidus
Posts: 594
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:43 pm
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Papa's in the House » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:58 pm

first topic of my post wrote:
Bentley Like Beckham wrote:I'd be curious to see the full text of... Essays of Mark Twain and Tombs of Canova.
2011 Illinois Open, Round 01 wrote:7. A later one of these, published in 1889 includes a proposal to use “Simplified Spelling.” They include one addressed to children about using pictures to make history dates stick, as well as one that discusses the decline of the tenth muse or the fourth grace – the art of lying. Instructions to delay the publication of one of them – “The United States of Lyncherdom” was given to Albert Bigelow Paine, and they can be found in volumes like “What is Man?” and “30,000 Dollar Bequest.” One of them grew out of the author’s visit to Heidelberg castle and includes many inflections of the phrase “Mein guter freund,” while another chastises Wilkie Collins for having not read the titular author and claims that the latter has scored a 114 out of a 115 possible points against literary art. For 10 points, identify these works which include “The Awful German Language” and “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses.”
ANSWER: essays by Mark Twain [accept equivalents] [take things like Twain’s opinions, or Twain’s articles]
2011 Illinois Open, Round 04 wrote:10. One work in this group of structures, made for a poet, shows two tragic masks on the corner of each side, and a portrait medallion that is partially obscured by the draperies of Italia, who is weeping. A relief form in this genre by this sculptor was made for Marquis Haro’s daughter and depicts two weeping winged figures below the busts of three men. This group of works includes a sculpture whose top contains a man bending and praying, a woman with a cross and her hand outstretched on the left looking toward the seated winged figure, whose leg rests on the back of a lion. Another one of these works - made for that aforementioned dedicatee’s successor, shows the titular papal figure’s hand outstretched and two women below him. For 10 points, identify these (*) funerary monuments made for figures like Clement XIV and Pius VI, all of which were made by a neoclassical Venetian sculptor.
ANSWER: The Tombs of Antonio Canova [accept equivalents]
On a completely separate topic, while there are grammar issues in this tournament, I found it easier to read than EFT and far easier to read than THUNDER II.
Charles Martin Jr.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Academic Buzzer Team | President
B.S. in Accountancy, August 2011
B.S. in Finance, August 2011
MAS Program, Class of 2012

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:10 pm

It's kind of tragic that that tossup didn't bother much to mention that he wasn't Wilde, who also wrote a notable essay on the decay of the art of lying.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:28 pm

Here's a concrete example:
Roy Schapansky was unable to regain his job after this incident because of an MSPB review. Gary Eads filed for bankruptcy because of this event, which led to the so-called “Chicago Debacle” after this event about whether due process was properly applied. Drew Lewis organized the training efforts of various people to alleviate this event, which saw a Robert Poli led organization demand for higher wages. The President of the United States during this event noted that he too was a life time member of the (*) AFL-CIO, but there is a difference between the private sector and the public sector. This event led to the formation of the NATCA, because PATCO had violated a union law that was a part of the Taft-Hartley Act. For 10 points, name this incident under Ronald Reagan’s administration that saw a bunch of people associated with airplanes lose their jobs.
ANSWER: Air Traffic Control Strike [accept equivalents]
Problems with this question: first off, the first two names that appear here are pretty unhelpful. I unearthed them by googling them together with "air traffic controllers," but the way they're used in this question doesn't really give you any understanding of what the context of their actions might be. Nothing concrete emerges for "Chicago debacle," at least, again, not in any way that makes it meaningful contextually to what's going on. It would have been helpful at some point to mention that Lewis was secretary of Transportation; not early in the question but somewhere near the end. A third time, the way that his involvement is phrased is meaningless to people who don't know exactly who Drew Lewis is (which I'm guessing is everyone). Taken together, the first half of this question is very hard, poorly phrased, and doesn't really give you any useful information about the involvement of any of these people (and you're not going to know who Schapansky or Eads are anyway).

From the same packet:
In one speech, this politician claimed people from the state of Ohio are the ones that know best “Resistance to tyrants is the state of God.” In one of his books, he claims that what’s wrong with the world today “the modern editions of Greek idiotism … heap up the gold in the world.”Deak, the so-called Wisest Man of the Nation claimed credit for authoring the Manifesto of the Opposition, even though this man actually authored it. The future leader of the Confederate Navy Stephen Mallory worried that this man was an impersonator when he applied for entrance into the U.S. He was given the job portfolio of finance by Batthyany but after he fled his country he toured and lectured on Shakespeare in England and then settled in Italy. He fell from power after Arturo Gorgey surrendered at Vilagos, thus ending his country’s revolution of 1848. For 10 points, name this revolution of Hungary in the 1800’s.
ANSWER: Lajos Kossuth
Ok, so first we have a speech of Kossuth which people aren't going to know anyway; that's fine for a leadin, but then the question goes on to quote one of his books. Perhaps that book is the later-mentioned Manifesto of the Opposition, although this isn't clear. Ferenc Deak's first name is concealed to prevent linguistic fraud, which is ok, but the problem is that I'm almost certain that every moderator read that as "Deek" and not "Dee-ak" so now I'm trying to come up with some dude named Deek who only has one name? Yeah. Some thoughts on Kossuth by Mallory, whose relevance isn't terribly clear; the Batthyany clue is salient but is it particularly important the he lectured on Shakespeare and settled in Italy? I can't see how that helps anyone who hasn't already buzzed with "famous Hungarian guy."

I think these two questions are a good illustration of the problems of this tournament. Flat, context-free writing, odd sentences scattered throughout the questions that don't help people answer them, and weird emphasis on marginalia.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Sir Thopas
Auron
Posts: 1330
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:10 pm
Location: Hunter, NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:41 am

grapesmoker wrote:Ferenc Deak's first name is concealed to prevent linguistic fraud, which is ok, but the problem is that I'm almost certain that every moderator read that as "Deek" and not "Dee-ak" so now I'm trying to come up with some dude named Deek who only has one name? Yeah.
A side note: this specific problem could have been avoided by a judicious, targeted use of diacritics. "Deak" could easily be mispronounced; his correct name, "Deák", much less so. Just something to keep in mind when such solutions present themselves.
Guy Tabachnick
Hunter '09
Brown '13

http://memoryofthisimpertinence.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Auks Ran Ova
Forums Staff: Chief Administrator
Posts: 4042
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:57 am

grapesmoker wrote:is it particularly important the he lectured on Shakespeare
It's a reasonably-well-known chestnut that Kossuth learned English from studying Shakespeare; maybe the question was hinting (unnecessarily obliquely) at that?
grapesmoker wrote:It's kind of tragic that that tossup didn't bother much to mention that he wasn't Wilde, who also wrote a notable essay on the decay of the art of lying.
Ugh, yeah, I got hosed so hard on that.
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
Member, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer and Editor, NAQT

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:24 am

Ukonvasara wrote:It's a reasonably-well-known chestnut that Kossuth learned English from studying Shakespeare; maybe the question was hinting (unnecessarily obliquely) at that?
Maybe I'm just a senile old man at this point and my memory is going, but having been playing quizbowl for a while and having also written my share of tossups on Kossuth, I do not remember this at all. It apparently came up in 2008 ACF Nationals and might well have come up elsewhere too, I suppose. But even so, this is a horrible way of obliquely referencing a "known" chestnut.

edit: It occurs to me that if you really want to focus on Kossuth's time in America, as this question did, you can talk about the way in which Seward tried to use him as a pawn in the election of 1852, for example.
Last edited by grapesmoker on Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Tees-Exe Line
Tidus
Posts: 622
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:02 pm

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:32 am

I thought this tournament was pretty good, though I found the predominance of theoretical social science a little excessive. Altogether I enjoyed this tournament; I think the cutting remarks above are way over the top.

With regard to Jerry's comment that there seems to be a predominance of classics, I don't know why that's so terrible. It had always seemed like there was a strong pro-classics contingent on Chicago, which is why we set the Sack of Antwerp distribution as we did, and I think that's true of other teams as well.
Marshall I. Steinbaum

Oxford University (2002-2005)
University of Chicago (2008-2014)

Get in the elevator.

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:58 am

Tees-Exe Line wrote:With regard to Jerry's comment that there seems to be a predominance of classics, I don't know why that's so terrible. It had always seemed like there was a strong pro-classics contingent on Chicago, which is why we set the Sack of Antwerp distribution as we did, and I think that's true of other teams as well.
I'm not sure how the second part is relevant to the first part. Why does it matter what the size of the pro-Classics contingent at Chicago is? A predominance of classics is bad because it gives an undue advantage to anyone who studies a particular time period; by contrast, apparently modern Europe doesn't even exist insofar as IO is concerned. For what it's worth, I thought the Sack of Antwerp distribution was problematic for exactly the same reason. It might have worked to my advantage because I was playing with Seth, but nonetheless it's a bad thing.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:03 am

Also: I don't know if writing "Whales" for "Wales" is supposed to be some kind of hilarious joke that's presumably funny to people who are still 13 years old, but it's either a really dumb attempt at humor or just plain illiterate.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Skepticism and Animal Feed
Auron
Posts: 3174
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:20 am

Sir Thopas wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:Ferenc Deak's first name is concealed to prevent linguistic fraud, which is ok, but the problem is that I'm almost certain that every moderator read that as "Deek" and not "Dee-ak" so now I'm trying to come up with some dude named Deek who only has one name? Yeah.
A side note: this specific problem could have been avoided by a judicious, targeted use of diacritics. "Deak" could easily be mispronounced; his correct name, "Deák", much less so. Just something to keep in mind when such solutions present themselves.
I would be remiss if I did not condemn this post and instead suggest the use of a bracketed pronunciation guide. Or the rendering of the German or English form of the name.

As for Illinois Open, there's no question that this was a flawed set with many quirks, mistakes, and high crimes against distribution. But there wasn't much anger against it at the UIUC location. The general consensus there seemed to be "this is really wacky, but we're all having fun here". Is this Ike's first time editing a major tournament by himself?
Bruce
Harvard '10 / UChicago '07 / Roycemore School '04
ACF Member emeritus
My guide to using Wikipedia as a question source

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:35 am

Morraine Man wrote:As for Illinois Open, there's no question that this was a flawed set with many quirks, mistakes, and high crimes against distribution. But there wasn't much anger against it at the UIUC location.
This tournament was awful but Seth Teitler totally failed to murder anyone as a result, therefore....?
The general consensus there seemed to be "this is really wacky, but we're all having fun here". Is this Ike's first time editing a major tournament by himself?
Yes, if you don't count the literature tournament at whatever open it was at.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
MLafer
Tidus
Posts: 520
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 7:00 pm

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by MLafer » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:19 am

I agree with basically everything that Jerry said in his 2nd post. But to call this tournament everything that is wrong with modern quiz bowl seems to be an amazing bit of hyperbole.

The questions were for the most part, pyramidal, and of appropriate length. There were a lot of interesting answer lines in both the tossups and bonuses and some interesting clues; a lot of fun stuff that hasn't come up in a long time. As far as I can tell, they differentiated between top teams appropriately. I don't think teams at our site would have run a draft and played an additional 5 rounds of questions if it were truly an "utter waste of the players' time". I certainly don't regret attending (though I do regret eating lunch at Pizza Hut) and am glad that Ike (and Chicago for Sack of Antwerp) provided fogies like myself some amusing, idiosyncratic, upper-difficulty tournaments to play in the winter.
Matt Lafer
Plymouth Salem 1997-2001
University of Michigan 2001-2005

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Auron
Posts: 5781
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:46 am

Some questions in this tournament that I felt were not so great:

The Quasi War - This tossup was very poorly executed. It begins by describing naval engagements in the Carribean and then quickly goes on to name drop people in the late 18th century. Without necessarily knowing anything about the specific people involved in what's being described, this one was extremely easy to guess.

Portraits by John Singleton Copley - This tossup pretty much began by saying that these were works done of American and English people in the late 18th century, limiting the answer choice down to just two people (Copley and West) without requiring any actual knowledge of these individual works.

An arts tossup on Urbino seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Were other people buzzing here before the description of Venus of Urbino? Perhaps it's just my lack of being able to tell anything in the Italian renaissance apart.

The tossup on the Very Rich Hours of the Duke de Berry was also very poor. I don't see where this was going after it mentioned that there were 12 of them and they depicted people working in fields through different seasons--all of which was in the first few lines of the tossup.

On the other hand, tossups on stuff like Unsafe at Any Speed, The Trial of Charles I and the Air Traffic Controller strike (even if the last wasn't executed very well) were pretty neat ideas that I don't recall hearing before.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:55 am

MLafer wrote:I agree with basically everything that Jerry said in his 2nd post. But to call this tournament everything that is wrong with modern quiz bowl seems to be an amazing bit of hyperbole.

The questions were for the most part, pyramidal, and of appropriate length. There were a lot of interesting answer lines in both the tossups and bonuses and some interesting clues; a lot of fun stuff that hasn't come up in a long time. As far as I can tell, they differentiated between top teams appropriately. I don't think teams at our site would have run a draft and played an additional 5 rounds of questions if it were truly an "utter waste of the players' time". I certainly don't regret attending (though I do regret eating lunch at Pizza Hut) and am glad that Ike (and Chicago for Sack of Antwerp) provided fogies like myself some amusing, idiosyncratic, upper-difficulty tournaments to play in the winter.
So yeah, I would agree with this in the sense that I thought there was some interesting material in this tournament. But there's a way to cover that material in a reasonable way and this tournament didn't do that. Like, let me take the Czech filmmakers bonus, which I'm picking on because a discussion of it is still fresh in my mind. After the tournament, I consulted an encyclopedia of international film to see if I could pull up these guys. I bet you're all shocked to learn that I could not. Later, discussing this with noted Czechophile Guy Tabachnick, I was asked whether Jiri Menzel was part of the bonus; he was not, although I located an entry for him in the aforementioned encyclopedia. So here, not only do we have someone with a legitimate interest in Czech culture and film not having heard of the answers, but also a reputable scholarly work doesn't mention them despite being dedicated to cataloguing such individuals and including a representative example of Czech film. Basically, this bonus has two parts no one can answer, not even someone who has legitimately explored the topic in some depth. Needless to say no one got more than the pity 10 for the Forman part on that.

I don't know if everything in this tournament is everything that's wrong with quizbowl, but it sure does serve as an exacerbated example of bad tendencies. It really does feel like a tournament produced without much regard to how it would sound or play, and I think a lot of the problems with it stem from that failure.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
MLafer
Tidus
Posts: 520
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 7:00 pm

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by MLafer » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:17 am

Yeah, that was the most annoying part for me as well. I don't care how hard the tournament is supposed to be, Bessie Head is not an easy part. Neither is Odilon Redon, or "This be the Verse" (especially when you don't give that poem's most famous line), or Witold Gombrowicz.

Also, speaking of film questions, I don't remember any tossups on film at all, and only one other bonus which wasn't really on film (the one with Eisenstein & Guy Debord as answers)
Matt Lafer
Plymouth Salem 1997-2001
University of Michigan 2001-2005

User avatar
pray for elves
Auron
Posts: 1047
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:58 pm
Location: 20001

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by pray for elves » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:03 pm

I thought the RMP skewed very Christian. I don't think I heard a single Islam or Judaism question in the 11 rounds I heard. Again, this is symptomatic of the larger problem of Ike's favorite areas being overrepresented.

Pretty much everything else I might say has already been offered above.
Evan
Georgetown Law Alum, Brandeis Alum, Oak Ridge High Alum
Ex-PACE, Ex-ACF

User avatar
Skepticism and Animal Feed
Auron
Posts: 3174
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:10 pm

Hilarius Bookbinder wrote:I thought the RMP skewed very Christian. I don't think I heard a single Islam or Judaism question in the 11 rounds I heard. Again, this is symptomatic of the larger problem of Ike's favorite areas being overrepresented.

Pretty much everything else I might say has already been offered above.
Not just Christian, but Catholic.

EDIT: There was a tossup on noted Bahai text "The Seven Valleys", though, but you might not have heard it at UMD.
Bruce
Harvard '10 / UChicago '07 / Roycemore School '04
ACF Member emeritus
My guide to using Wikipedia as a question source

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:16 pm

Morraine Man wrote:EDIT: There was a tossup on noted Bahai text "The Seven Valleys", though, but you might not have heard it at UMD.
Stop doing that!
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6557
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:54 pm

We were joking if Ike had converted to Catholicism or something because there seemed to be a lot of it and the old kind at that.

I didn't really care for this set--I think labeling it what's wrong with quizbowl today is a little too peppy, but this felt like a Sun 'N Fun tournament made harder and flung upon the world during the regular season. There were some good aspects of the set, but for me, I felt it was a shame that this very hard, vanity-esque event replaced the IO of two years ago (a tick harder than regular but still accessible set) or a year ago (combined with TIT, one of the best regular events of the year).
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

User avatar
naturalistic phallacy
Auron
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:27 pm

Cheynem wrote:We were joking if Ike had converted to Catholicism or something because there seemed to be a lot of it and the old kind at that.
Yeah, the religion in this tournament seemed to be on par with what medieval-loving Catholic Studies majors cream over (which isn't really a common major to offer), not what people spend a lot of time on in contemporary Religious Studies departments, or even most religion classes at Catholic schools.

I really didn't like this tournament, to be honest. There were very few redeeming features that made it worth my time to play, even in a relaxed scrimmage. Yes, there were some interesting ideas. Yes, there were some things that I was glad to see mentioned. But when all of that is obfuscated by bizarrely unintelligible English of ambiguous veracity and overwhelmed by an answer selection that skewed far too hard and far too Ike, it really doesn't matter.
Bernadette Spencer
University of Minnesota
MCTC
Event Manager, PACE

Father, among these many souls / Is there not one / Whom thou shalt pluck for love out of the coals?

User avatar
No Rules Westbrook
Auron
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:16 pm

I think labeling this tournament as Sun n'Fun Winter is really underselling it (no offense, Ahmad, because I do appreciate your work in creating SnF). But, this tourney was not THAT kind of quirky and off-center. The overall quality of this event was a lot higher than this thread lets on, I believe.

Personally, I don't have a problem with making easy parts be things like Witold Gombrowicz - as long as you acknowledge that, in doing so, you're creating a tourney that caters almost exclusively to experienced players, and moreso to experienced teams who are usually going to find those answers in their collective knowledge pools. But, you have to limit the impossible bonus parts and the oasis 30s like "name some mythological dragons that everyone in qb loves."

I don't disagree with many other points in this thread, especially to give up on the Seven Valleys already. For Pete's sake.
Ryan Westbrook, no affiliation whatsoever.

I am pure energy...and as ancient as the cosmos. Feeble creatures, GO!

Left here since birth...forgotten in the river of time...I've had an eternity to...ponder the meaning of things...and now I have an answer!

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:25 pm

I stand by everything I said. I can't think of any fault that SNF at its worst had that this tournament didn't have in spades, other than the 6/6 pomo nonsense distribution. If this event was labeled the Kansas State Fun Bowl written by four people you'd never heard of and not the Illinois Open written by Ike Jose, I do not believe anyone would be defending it.

Playing this event simply was not fun, even though I was surrounded by people I like all day and won the tournament. I honestly wish the VCU contingent had gone home after MUT rather than subjected ourselves to the chore of wading through this nonsense. I do not understand what anyone could legitimately see as the value of an event where jerkoff difficulty spiral bullshit meets illiteracy on a field of supremely poorly structured tossups.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
naturalistic phallacy
Auron
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:29 pm

No Rules Westbrook wrote:Personally, I don't have a problem with making easy parts be things like Witold Gombrowicz - as long as you acknowledge that, in doing so, you're creating a tourney that caters almost exclusively to experienced players, and moreso to experienced teams who are usually going to find those answers in their collective knowledge pools.
I'm not really convinced that that's the case. Sure, you liked this tournament, that's fine. But when there are plenty of posts from experienced players that clearly express a dislike for this tournament that extends beyond their personal tastes, I think the tournament's shortcomings were more than not announcing itself correctly.

It's not as if most people aware of Ike went into this tournament expecting a harder version of ACF Fall 08 - he has a particular vision of quizbowl that he's not afraid of expressing. It's more that this tournament was far, far worse than expected. Not only was it far more difficult than announced, it blatantly ignored many conventions that have become standard over the past few years (see the insanely unbalanced religion distribution). Answerlines aside, the tournament was full of questions that were virtually impossible to parse correctly. When writers announce that a tournament has been completed far ahead of schedule, it's only fair to expect something that's been at least fact-checked and checked for unintelligible grammar. Had any one of these things been acceptable, I think the reaction would be far less extreme; however, the combination of factors really pushed it over the edge into, as Matt pointed out, complete self-parody.
Bernadette Spencer
University of Minnesota
MCTC
Event Manager, PACE

Father, among these many souls / Is there not one / Whom thou shalt pluck for love out of the coals?

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6557
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:38 pm

I should add that I wasn't impugning Sun 'N Fun, Ahmad, or USF by my comment. I was merely attempting to analogize what this tournament felt like using a well known example of a somewhat vanity tournament.

Also, perhaps I have lower standards, but I think some of the assertions about questions "being impossible to parse" seem a bit exaggerated. I can't recall many times where I was like I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS QUESTION WANTS. I do recall plenty of instances in which sentences featured awkward construction and some grammatical problems. These are annoying and troublesome, but I didn't feel like they were confounding me as much as the actual answer lines, clues, and question structures being used.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

User avatar
Auroni
Auron
Posts: 2998
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Auroni » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:49 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:If this event was labeled the Kansas State Fun Bowl written by four people you'd never heard of and not the Illinois Open written by Ike Jose, I do not believe anyone would be defending it.
If it was the Kansas State Fun Bowl, I don't think it would have gotten nearly the same negative response that it has gotten in this thread. I personally would be somewhat happy that a college in Kansas is writing rigorous academic questions, however hackneyed they may be. But Ike Jose, you should know way better. Several people have at several points in your writing career repeatedly warned you to:

1) rein in the difficulty of your questions
2) write them in proper English
3) stop cobbling things together from the packet archive

Some people have even spent a great deal of personal expense to get to sites where your tournament was played, only to find that you have blatantly disregarded all three to different degrees.
Auroni Gupta
UIUC
ACF

User avatar
No Rules Westbrook
Auron
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:36 pm

I guess most of my reaction stems from what Lafer and Bruce mentioned - the reaction at the Illinois site to this set seemed to be general enjoyment, to the point of wanting to do a draft and play five more rounds (with the usual intermittent groans at a few tus here and there). I'm confident that would not have happened had we been playing Kansas State Fun Bowl.
Ryan Westbrook, no affiliation whatsoever.

I am pure energy...and as ancient as the cosmos. Feeble creatures, GO!

Left here since birth...forgotten in the river of time...I've had an eternity to...ponder the meaning of things...and now I have an answer!

User avatar
cvdwightw
Auron
Posts: 3446
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Southern CA
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by cvdwightw » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:16 pm

No Rules Westbrook wrote:I'm confident that would not have happened had we been playing Kansas State Fun Bowl.
You're missing the point here. "Kansas State Fun Bowl" is the same exact tournament as Illinois Open, with a different attribution. Matt's contention is that there would be zero defenders of this tournament if it was not a name tournament with a name head writer/editor. This tournament was, objectively, not a good tournament. Doesn't matter who wrote it. It was an ambitious effort with some good and a whole lot of bad. That's not a good tournament.

Look, I don't know who Ike Jose is. I don't think I've met him. But I do know who Ike Jose is by reputation. And from what I know of Ike Jose's reputation, he (1) has seriously warped ideas about difficulty and (2) writes in some sort of pseudo-grammar in which words and sentences are jammed together for no reason. This tournament served to reinforce those parts of Ike's reputation, rather than change them.
Dwight Wynne
socalquizbowl.org
UC Irvine 2008-2013; UCLA 2004-2007; Capistrano Valley High School 2000-2003

"It's a competition, but it's not a sport. On a scale, if football is a 10, then rowing would be a two. One would be Quiz Bowl." --Matt Birk on rowing, SI On Campus, 10/21/03

"If you were my teammate, I would have tossed your ass out the door so fast you'd be emitting Cerenkov radiation, but I'm not classy like Dwight." --Jerry

User avatar
Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat
Rikku
Posts: 435
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:16 pm
Location: Midland, MI

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:35 pm

Well, this thread is about a page long and I haven't seen much related to what I wrote. Any specific comments on the chemistry?
There were probably more clues / answer lines related to polymers and industrial chemistry than normal, since those are topics I find especially interesting, but I don't think I skewed the distribution too unreasonably. Did those questions (TU: crystallization, acetic acid, electrolysis; bonuses: Bhopal, syngas, scrubbers, and to some extent Warfarin) play ok, or were they full of cliffs and unreasonably hard parts for people with other backgrounds?
Was anything else in chemistry an especially good or terrible idea to write about?
Michael Hausinger
Coach, Bay City Western High School
formerly of University of Michigan and East Lansing High School

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:50 pm

Michael, for what it's worth, I think people were less upset about the science than other things. There were some wacky bonus parts that seemed overly hard to me in the physics distro (the departure function and the BCH theorem seemed unnecessarily hard) but the sciences seemed to adhere to the accepted convention better than the other categories.

I disagree with Matt insofar as I don't think this set was a waste of time. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I was sure it was going to be wacky going in. The issue is not necessarily any one of the things I pointed out, in isolation; rather it's their constellation that made this tournament hard to enjoy.

At least one problem for this tournament is that it's something that might have looked ok back in 2004 but is being judged by contemporary standards. And those standards are higher, as they should be, because we assume that once people have figured out good heuristics for how to write questions and what to write them about, those will be passed on. When that process of passing on accumulated information breaks down, we're all naturally pretty irritated. As I'm inclined towards generosity tonight, I'm going to offer a more sympathetic reading of Ryan's posts by conjecturing that he's probably taking the long view; sure, this tournament was kind of bad, but things used to be even worse! So it's not all that bad by historical standards. I don't buy this argument, but I think that's at least partially Ryan's angle here.

On reflection, my biggest frustration with the questions was the difficulty of understanding them. Yeah, there were some really unfortunate answer selections (do we really need bonus parts on Castoriadis or more tossups on "Can the subaltern speak?") but there were some good ideas too. Like, the air traffic controllers' strike is nominally a great idea for a question. The problem is that the way those questions were executed made them extremely frustrating to play. There was a lot of information that was dropped without any real context and that was just not helpful at all in answering the questions. There were bonus parts on very difficult things that didn't give you the best-known clue for those things. It read, I repeat, like a tournament whose author had not really given much thought to how it would sound to those playing it. And one thing we as a community have largely been ignoring (because we've had other demons to battle) was how to write questions that sound good. Most people tend to just figure it out by playing good tournaments and listening, but when someone fails to do that, it poses a stark contrast to those of us who are used to good writing.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Tees-Exe Line
Tidus
Posts: 622
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:02 pm

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:55 pm

If this event was labeled the Kansas State Fun Bowl written by four people you'd never heard of and not the Illinois Open written by Ike Jose, I do not believe anyone would be defending it.
As I'm inclined towards generosity tonight, I'm going to offer a more sympathetic reading of Ryan's posts by conjecturing that he's probably taking the long view; sure, this tournament was kind of bad, but things used to be even worse!
I get that you two did not enjoy playing this tournament. You're entitled to your opinion, but guess what? We don't share it, and it's not because we secretly thought it was bad and are only praising it because of subservience to Ike or excessive respect for the University of Illinois.
Marshall I. Steinbaum

Oxford University (2002-2005)
University of Chicago (2008-2014)

Get in the elevator.

User avatar
Frater Taciturnus
Auron
Posts: 2463
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:26 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:07 am

Tees-Exe Line wrote:
If this event was labeled the Kansas State Fun Bowl written by four people you'd never heard of and not the Illinois Open written by Ike Jose, I do not believe anyone would be defending it.
As I'm inclined towards generosity tonight, I'm going to offer a more sympathetic reading of Ryan's posts by conjecturing that he's probably taking the long view; sure, this tournament was kind of bad, but things used to be even worse!
I get that you two did not enjoy playing this tournament. You're entitled to your opinion, but guess what? We don't share it, and it's not because we secretly thought it was bad and are only praising it because of subservience to Ike or excessive respect for the University of Illinois.
Yeah, I mean if anyone enjoyed this tournament it would have to be the producers of Sack of Antwerp in gratitude that someone else had made something so bad everyone would forget about how bad their set was for a while.

But yeah to echo Matt, this set was almost entirely poor ideas written using google translate, and the only thing that made this set playable was the spirit of fraternity sparked by knowing that the rest of my team and the other teams were suffering through the same bombed-out hellscape I was.
George Berry
georgeberry.vcu@gmail.com
--------------
J. Sargeant Reynolds CC 2008, 2009, 2014
Virginia Commonwealth 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,
Douglas Freeman 2005, 2006, 2007

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:11 am

Tees-Exe Line wrote:I get that you two did not enjoy playing this tournament. You're entitled to your opinion, but guess what? We don't share it, and it's not because we secretly thought it was bad and are only praising it because of subservience to Ike or excessive respect for the University of Illinois.
Marshall, I don't know how long you've known Ryan. I've known him for a while, so I'm not conjecturing idly. I don't pretend that I know you well enough to impute any motivations to you, but I think my inference on what Ryan is trying to say is motivated by a history of debating him on these matters. I'm not trying to psychologize anyone or suggest people hold opinions opposite to ones they claim to hold; regardless, there's are dynamics at work that drive people to either excessively criticize something or avoid criticizing it, against which none of us are proof. I certainly believe you enjoyed this tournament but what's under debate here is not whether you or I enjoyed it but whether it was good or not. As someone who has liked some generally dumb things, I'm not terribly inclined to give heavy weight to the "I enjoyed it" argument.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Tees-Exe Line
Tidus
Posts: 622
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:02 pm

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:20 am

Yeah, I mean if anyone enjoyed this tournament it would have to be the producers of Sack of Antwerp in gratitude that someone else had made something so bad everyone would forget about how bad their set was for a while.
Brilliant! Some more idle speculation about the sinister, true motives underlying the opinions other people claim to possess. A few more posts of this type and this very thread might stand up as a bonus part in a future po-mo nonsense distribution.
Marshall I. Steinbaum

Oxford University (2002-2005)
University of Chicago (2008-2014)

Get in the elevator.

User avatar
at your pleasure
Auron
Posts: 1670
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:56 pm

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by at your pleasure » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:40 am

Bentley Like Beckham wrote: An arts tossup on Urbino seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Were other people buzzing here before the description of Venus of Urbino? Perhaps it's just my lack of being able to tell anything in the Italian renaissance apart.
I vaugely remember getting it off the portrait of Frederico Da Monfeltro. The ducal court at Urbino was fairly noteworthy Renaissance-arts wise, but it still seems like something that would make a better bonus part.
Douglas Graebner, Walt Whitman HS 10, Uchicago 14
"... imagination acts upon man as really as does gravitation, and may kill him as certainly as a dose of prussic acid."-Sir James Frazer,The Golden Bough

http://avorticistking.wordpress.com/

User avatar
Frauny Von Smiley
Wakka
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:54 am

Re: Illinois Open Discussion

Post by Frauny Von Smiley » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:46 am

I can safely say this was the least fun I've had at a Quizbowl Tournament. The poor grammar and atrocious inconsistency in bonus difficulty left me extremely frustrated from the first round. I can't really say I got anything out of it, and I think it was really an unfortunate tournament.
Last edited by Frauny Von Smiley on Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sean Smiley

VCU '13

William & Mary Law '16

Locked