ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Old college threads.
User avatar
Pilgrim
Tidus
Posts: 637
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:20 pm
Location: Edmonton

ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Pilgrim » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:18 pm

This set is cleared for discussion, and I have sent it to George Berry to be posted. I want to thank my co-editors Will Butler (science), Auroni Gupta (European + world lit, RMP), John Lawrence (arts), and Guy Tabachnick (European + world history, social science, geography). I edited American and British lit, American history, and trash/other myself. I also want to thank Jonathan Magin, Susan Ferrari, Matt Lafer, and the Illinois team for their help proofreading the packets.

I'm pretty happy with how this tournament turned out in general, but we definitely could have done a better job with bonus difficulty. It was somewhat inconsistent at times, and almost certainly too difficult overall.
Trevor Davis
University of Alberta
CMU '11

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

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Papa's in the House » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:05 pm

Was there a particular reason there was so much Judaism/Old Testament in this set?
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
Auroni
Auron
Posts: 2998
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:15 pm

Papa's in the House wrote:Was there a particular reason there was so much Judaism/Old Testament in this set?
Everyone submitted non-repeating questions on Judaism and the Old Testament.
Auroni Gupta
UIUC
ACF

User avatar
Fond du lac operon
Wakka
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Fond du lac operon » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:15 pm

There were weird things that came about due to the head editor not removing duplicate answer lines, like two tossups on "time" in consecutive rounds (one in computer science and one in philosophy), plus another physics TU on "time reversal" later. IIRC, Alexander the Great was also the answerline twice that we heard. This is probably fine, but it's a little confusing -- our opponents weren't sure the second time Alexander came up (in a bonus), because they'd already heard it once...

Overall, I really liked the quality of the tournament, although it was definitely a few degrees harder than I was anticipating. I'm not sure that it's a great thing to have DI SCT getting noticeably easier (or so I heard, anyway), while ACF Regionals gets noticeably harder. But I guess we play what we submit.
Harrison Brown
Centennial '08, Alabama '13

"No idea what [he's] talking about."

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6556
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:22 pm

I don't see the problem with duplicate answer lines unless they repeat clues. I don't know about time (although it seems like they didn't repeat), but Alexander the Great didn't repeat clues.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

User avatar
cornfused
Auron
Posts: 2160
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:22 pm
Location: Des Moines, IA

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by cornfused » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:32 pm

Cheynem wrote:I don't see the problem with duplicate answer lines unless they repeat clues. I don't know about time (although it seems like they didn't repeat), but Alexander the Great didn't repeat clues.
Most people generally rule out answer lines that have already come up, though, don't they? At least in the first few rounds...?
Greg Peterson

Northwestern University '18
Lawrence University '11
Maine South HS '07

"a decent player" - Mike Cheyne

User avatar
Fond du lac operon
Wakka
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Fond du lac operon » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:32 pm

Well, the problem is that people don't realize answer lines are going to be duplicated, so (in theory) they say Philip II of Macedon for the bonus part on Alexander, because Alexander has already come up.
Harrison Brown
Centennial '08, Alabama '13

"No idea what [he's] talking about."

touchpack
Rikku
Posts: 327
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:25 am

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by touchpack » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:15 pm

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:There were weird things that came about due to the head editor not removing duplicate answer lines, like two tossups on "time" in consecutive rounds (one in computer science and one in philosophy), plus another physics TU on "time reversal" later.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with this, considering the concepts involved in all 3 TUs are completely disjoint.
Billy Busse
Illinois '14
President, ACF
Writer/Subject Editor/Set Editor, NAQT

User avatar
The Ununtiable Twine
Yuna
Posts: 997
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:09 pm
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:53 pm

touchpack wrote:
What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:There were weird things that came about due to the head editor not removing duplicate answer lines, like two tossups on "time" in consecutive rounds (one in computer science and one in philosophy), plus another physics TU on "time reversal" later.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with this, considering the concepts involved in all 3 TUs are completely disjoint.
There's nothing wrong with it in theory, but it was kind of peculiar to have the same answerline appear in consecutive rounds. It's fine in general - I suppose the packets could have been read in a different order, but that's me being very nitpicky.
Jake Sundberg
Louisiana '04-'10, '14-'16, '18-'xx
Alabama '10-14
President, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Club for Academic Competition

User avatar
Smuttynose Island
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 482
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:07 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Smuttynose Island » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 pm

cornfused wrote:
Cheynem wrote:I don't see the problem with duplicate answer lines unless they repeat clues. I don't know about time (although it seems like they didn't repeat), but Alexander the Great didn't repeat clues.
Most people generally rule out answer lines that have already come up, though, don't they? At least in the first few rounds...?
Eliminating potential answers in completely different categories is a player's choice and is not a great strategy (it is if you are hearing questions in the same category). I fail to see why editors should attempt to correct for players playing sub-optimally.
Daniel Hothem
TJHSST '11 | UVA '15 | Oregon '??
"You are the stuff of legends" - Chris Manners
https://sites.google.com/site/academicc ... ubuva/home

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

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:21 pm

Serious Games Showcase and Challenge wrote:
touchpack wrote:
What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:There were weird things that came about due to the head editor not removing duplicate answer lines, like two tossups on "time" in consecutive rounds (one in computer science and one in philosophy), plus another physics TU on "time reversal" later.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with this, considering the concepts involved in all 3 TUs are completely disjoint.
There's nothing wrong with it in theory, but it was kind of peculiar to have the same answerline appear in consecutive rounds. It's fine in general - I suppose the packets could have been read in a different order, but that's me being very nitpicky.
Let's not forget that the ordering of the rounds was arbitrary and based on the specific site, so talking about anything happening in consecutive rounds isn't really a useful point.
Guy Tabachnick
Hunter '09
Brown '13

http://memoryofthisimpertinence.blogspot.com/

User avatar
The Ununtiable Twine
Yuna
Posts: 997
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:09 pm
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:36 pm

Sir Thopas wrote:
Serious Games Showcase and Challenge wrote:
touchpack wrote:
What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:There were weird things that came about due to the head editor not removing duplicate answer lines, like two tossups on "time" in consecutive rounds (one in computer science and one in philosophy), plus another physics TU on "time reversal" later.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with this, considering the concepts involved in all 3 TUs are completely disjoint.
There's nothing wrong with it in theory, but it was kind of peculiar to have the same answerline appear in consecutive rounds. It's fine in general - I suppose the packets could have been read in a different order, but that's me being very nitpicky.
Let's not forget that the ordering of the rounds was arbitrary and based on the specific site, so talking about anything happening in consecutive rounds isn't really a useful point.
Of course the order the packets were read in is arbitrary, it was just peculiar, not wrong. It's really the moot point of moot points.
Jake Sundberg
Louisiana '04-'10, '14-'16, '18-'xx
Alabama '10-14
President, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Club for Academic Competition

User avatar
The King's Flight to the Scots
Auron
Posts: 1451
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:11 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:52 pm

The set seemed generally decent. I don't think there were very many questions that were outright bad, which is always a plus. The main issues seemed to be with managing subdistributions and balancing cross-category difficulty. For example, I think there ended up being something like 6 Civil War related questions and then more 19th century American History, which is probably a good thing to keep an eye on while you're editing.

I'm going to take a small detour to critique a specific question now, because it's done something I've seen other questions on the subject do. The tossup on El Senor Presidente (which was very well-written if a little bit hard) contained a pronunciation guide instructing the moderator to pronounce "Angel Face" as "an HELL fah SAY." This is nonsensical, because the Spanish is "Cara de Angel," and the English translation "Angel Face" is meant to be read exactly the way it looks. I have no idea where this needlessly counterintuitive trend came from, but people, please stop doing that. In general, if you're going to bother putting pronunciation guides in, please don't make them bizarrely incorrect.
Matt Bollinger
UVA '14, UVA '15
Communications Officer, ACF

User avatar
Fond du lac operon
Wakka
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Fond du lac operon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:04 am

touchpack wrote:
What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:There were weird things that came about due to the head editor not removing duplicate answer lines, like two tossups on "time" in consecutive rounds (one in computer science and one in philosophy), plus another physics TU on "time reversal" later.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with this, considering the concepts involved in all 3 TUs are completely disjoint.
I think I agree -- people shouldn't rule out time in philosophy because it's a different thing than time in computer science, or physics. Similarly, I don't think it's a problem to have tossups on Nobel laureate Patrick White and the color white in the same packet. (Although if you'd thrown in one about former WVU quarterback Pat White, it might have been a bit much.) But having two questions on the Macedonian ruler and military leader Alexander in the same set seems like it might confuse people with an expectation that things are going to be asked about once.
Harrison Brown
Centennial '08, Alabama '13

"No idea what [he's] talking about."

Black-throated Antshrike
Rikku
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:47 am

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Black-throated Antshrike » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:22 am

Cernel Joson wrote:The set seemed generally decent. I don't think there were very many questions that were outright bad, which is always a plus. The main issues seemed to be with managing subdistributions and balancing cross-category difficulty. For example, I think there ended up being something like 6 Civil War related questions and then more 19th century American History, which is probably a good thing to keep an eye on while you're editing.
Did anyone else think that there was an awful lot of poetry in this set? I seem to remember that the distribution of it wasn't very spread out (I forget which packet, but the first one played at our mirror seemed to be almost all poetry). What were people's impressions of the science, because I thought it shaded on the harder side?

Disclaimer: my memory sucks, and doing optics problems for the past few hours has left my mind garbled so I might not be recalling anything accurately.
Joe
Delaware

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

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:22 am

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:But having two questions on the Macedonian ruler and military leader Alexander in the same set seems like it might confuse people with an expectation that things are going to be asked about once.
Again, I don't see why that's an assumption that needs catering to.
Guy Tabachnick
Hunter '09
Brown '13

http://memoryofthisimpertinence.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Fond du lac operon
Wakka
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Fond du lac operon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:32 am

Because it's an expectation that exists in the field?

Like, maybe we should just do more to disabuse people of that assumption, but we shouldn't just say "FUCK THEM IF THEY DON'T KNOW HOW ACF WORKS," because that's not a strategy that will get a lot of new teams coming back. Not that I'm saying that's you, Guy (really I'm guilty of strawman arguing, oh noes), but I think my point is still pretty clear.
Harrison Brown
Centennial '08, Alabama '13

"No idea what [he's] talking about."

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

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:44 am

Cernel Joson wrote:The set seemed generally decent. I don't think there were very many questions that were outright bad, which is always a plus. The main issues seemed to be with managing subdistributions and balancing cross-category difficulty. For example, I think there ended up being something like 6 Civil War related questions and then more 19th century American History, which is probably a good thing to keep an eye on while you're editing.
Yeah, I think this was the biggest thing that hurt the quality of this set. We didn't have a central Google Doc to keep each other real (and our difficulty in check), so there were many instances of bonuses without a discernible easy part (the bonuses where deterministic finite automata and Kinderszenen served that role come to mind).

I was also a bit hasty in dismissing the complaint of too much Judaism. My approach toward editing this tournament was to edit whatever I got, as long as it was within an acceptable range of difficulty and didn't repeat with a question I had already edited or with an editor's question. I agree that at some point I should have scrapped the nth question on a book of the Bible or a prophet and written some interesting common links or fun questions. I did end up having a little bit of time to do that, so this conservative approach to editing was a mistake on my part.
I'm going to take a small detour to critique a specific question now, because it's done something I've seen other questions on the subject do. The tossup on El Senor Presidente (which was very well-written if a little bit hard) contained a pronunciation guide instructing the moderator to pronounce "Angel Face" as "an HELL fah SAY." This is nonsensical, because the Spanish is "Cara de Angel," and the English translation "Angel Face" is meant to be read exactly the way it looks. I have no idea where this needlessly counterintuitive trend came from, but people, please stop doing that. In general, if you're going to bother putting pronunciation guides in, please don't make them bizarrely incorrect.
This one is entirely my fault. I put that in because I knew that the word "angel" exists in Spanish, so I made a stupid assumption. Sorry if that was bizarre or weird to anyone else.

Re: all the complaints about Alexander the Great:

I guess I should have checked in with Guy to see if he'd already had a question on Alexander the Great, but I think that this line of argumentation is a bit silly. This is a game where you recognize things that you know and say the answer. I also needed a bonus part that would be easy enough for many teams to get 10 on (and that wasn't a typical "ask for the country" thing that people do all the time). I think the net positive of me using such a bonus part and enabling people to get points on the bonus outweighs whatever momentary confusion people might have over a repeated answer (that might not even have been a repeated answer, depending on the packets your site used.)
Last edited by Auroni on Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
Auroni Gupta
UIUC
ACF

Ras superfamily
Wakka
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:21 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Ras superfamily » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:57 am

I was disappointed to see that a couple of my questions were actually made incorrect through editing. I don't know if people edit without fact-checking that often, but I would like to emphasize that editors probably should not try to correct factual errors in submitted questions without the source material as a reference.
Saajid Moyen
Penn '15

User avatar
Smuttynose Island
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 482
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:07 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Smuttynose Island » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:10 am

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:Because it's an expectation that exists in the field?

Like, maybe we should just do more to disabuse people of that assumption, but we shouldn't just say "FUCK THEM IF THEY DON'T KNOW HOW ACF WORKS," because that's not a strategy that will get a lot of new teams coming back. Not that I'm saying that's you, Guy (really I'm guilty of strawman arguing, oh noes), but I think my point is still pretty clear.
People have no reason to make that assumption so I fail to see why we should pander to that assumption. If it exists in the field then it is the field's fault. Additionally this idea that new teams are automatically going to assume that something that has come up already won't come up is also a bad assumption to make. You probably have no idea what new teams are going to do even if you've seen it happen once or twice as that hardly constitutes a valid sample size. This is however a minor issue (That's not to say that this would be a minor issue if a significant number of the answerlines had been repeats) that really doesn't merit much discussion (but have at it if you like), if you believe that one thing is the right answer, say that regardless of how many times it has come up as an answer in the tournament.
Daniel Hothem
TJHSST '11 | UVA '15 | Oregon '??
"You are the stuff of legends" - Chris Manners
https://sites.google.com/site/academicc ... ubuva/home

User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5686
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:16 am

This was one of the better regular-season tournaments this year. Minor issues with target bonus difficulty aside, I can't think of anything I noticed repeatedly while playing the tournament. I'd like to see people do a better job managing the difficulty of their submissions to tournaments like this, because it was pretty clear that the submissions drove the difficulty (especially middle and hard parts of bonuses) into an area where it didn't really need to go. I thought that the science and the fine arts drifted into above-regular difficulty the most.

I don't mind a little fluctuation in hard parts, because those can range from "humanities hard part on an easier work without the creator and/or most famous clues" to "thing that's actually important to the topic at hand but may not be answerable to all but a few teams." But the middle parts are where conversion happens, and I felt like the middle parts at this tournament were, in many instances, too difficult. Future writers and editors should keep their middle parts in mind especially when considering what constitutes a "regular difficulty" bonus. In my mind, you're writing so that the knowledgeable teams will be able to get the middle part almost all of the time, and the hard part a substantial part of the time. It's probably helpful to keep in mind that things always seem easier when you're writing them than as they're played, so it's important to adjust for this effect as well.

Finally, everyone still discussing the fact that things came up with unique clues more than once, remember that editors put insane amounts of work into their tournaments; it's really disheartening when the only response to all that hard work is "I have to keep harping on this one minor complaint!" over and over again. The fact is that college quizbowl tournaments are typically of the mind that answers can come up multiple times so long as clues are not repeated. Start a thread about that if you're really interested in discussing that quizbowl practice, but it seems to me that this discussion has played out here.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

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

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:25 am

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:Because it's an expectation that exists in the field?

Like, maybe we should just do more to disabuse people of that assumption, but we shouldn't just say "FUCK THEM IF THEY DON'T KNOW HOW ACF WORKS," because that's not a strategy that will get a lot of new teams coming back. Not that I'm saying that's you, Guy (really I'm guilty of strawman arguing, oh noes), but I think my point is still pretty clear.
Perhaps I'm just being argumentative, but is it? I'm pretty sure I've seen new players neg with answers that have already come up, which tells us that (a) new players don't have that assumption, (b) they're worse at keeping track of what's already come up, or (c) they forget all of that in the heat of the moment. If any of those three is true, having the same topic come up isn't really a problem.

But even if it's not, is it really that big of a deal? Are new players really going to stop playing just because they lost ten points in this sort of scenario? I can't really see this as a persistent problem: worst case, the player perceives this, makes a mental note that that's how the way things are, and changes their assumption. Quizbowl writing and gameplay have a fair amount of conventions that take a bit of getting used to; it's just part of the learning curve.
Cernel Joson wrote:In general, if you're going to bother putting pronunciation guides in, please don't make them bizarrely incorrect.
See also the bonus on Czeslaw Milosz. The only way "mee-LOSH" could have possibly arisen is if someone with precious little knowledge of Polish phonology and orthography looked at the name and thought, "Hmm, I bet it's pronounced like that." Moderators can do that just as well as writers and editors can, guys.

Here's my take* on pronunciation guides, which perhaps deserves its own post: Only use them when (a) a moderator making a reasonable approximation of the word would not successfully communicate the word to a player who recognizes it, or (b) a correctly pronounced answer would not be recognized as such by a moderator. I guess you could also have (c) the word is really forbidding, but I'm a big proponent of placing interpuncts at syllable breaks to effect this instead, because it's far less intrusive. Note that this would lead to far more pronunciation guides on answer lines than within the text of the question, which is for the best anyway since, again, pronunciation guides are really intrusive.


* Longtime readers may remember that I'm a big proponent of having a somewhat strongly worded quizbowl style guide whose primary aim is to increase brevity and clarity. Consider this a component of the style guide.
Guy Tabachnick
Hunter '09
Brown '13

http://memoryofthisimpertinence.blogspot.com/

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

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:28 am

I don't mind a little fluctuation in hard parts, because those can range from "humanities hard part on an easier work without the creator and/or most famous clues" to "thing that's actually important to the topic at hand but may not be answerable to all but a few teams." But the middle parts are where conversion happens, and I felt like the middle parts at this tournament were, in many instances, too difficult. Future writers and editors should keep their middle parts in mind especially when considering what constitutes a "regular difficulty" bonus. In my mind, you're writing so that the knowledgeable teams will be able to get the middle part almost all of the time, and the hard part a substantial part of the time. It's probably helpful to keep in mind that things always seem easier when you're writing them than as they're played, so it's important to adjust for this effect as well.
I agree 100% with this view. Many of my middle parts were actually on easy answers with clue withheld for this reason. There were a few dumb instances of things that bucked the trend, for example a part on "philosophy of identity" that was probably an additional hard part, which I stubbornly kept despite being advised to change it to the Ship of Theseus. That kind of thing was probably converted by nowhere near 50% of all the teams that heard it, which was my goal otherwise.

This leads me to a point I was going to make about my easy parts. I chose the vast majority of them so that they could conceivably be tossup answers at ACF Fall, excepting some obvious stuff like completing the Santayana quote. (But maybe some aspiring writer will submit a tossup on that quote, how exciting would that be?) What do people think of this as a standard for how to choose easy parts at this level?

EDIT:
See also the bonus on Czeslaw Milosz. The only way "mee-LOSH" could have possibly arisen is if someone with precious little knowledge of Polish phonology and orthography looked at the name and thought, "Hmm, I bet it's pronounced like that." Moderators can do that just as well as writers and editors can, guys.
I put in that guide, because I know that many people freeze when reading whenever they come across a Polish word. The point of adding that was to give them something reasonable to work with, but not necessarily the most accurate pronunciation, so as to not disrupt the flow of the game.
Auroni Gupta
UIUC
ACF

User avatar
Nine-Tenths Ideas
Auron
Posts: 1549
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:14 pm
Location: MD

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:16 am

I know plenty of people don't have the expectation of non-repeats; while there was a little grousing when "Egypt" showed up as an answerline three times, no one really was all that bothered by it, and one of my teammates negged a question with something that had already come up as a tossup in OUR packet.
Isaac Hirsch
University of Maryland '14
Never Gonna Play Again

bradleykirksey
Wakka
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:09 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by bradleykirksey » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:14 am

Maybe I'm just griping, but it seemed to me like the difficulty was all over the place. We lost a game because our opponents had The Interpretation of Dreams" (And I think I remember that "The Interpretation of" was given to them in the clue) and then Freud in the same bonus to end the game. Maybe it's because I'm a psych student, but I thought that was a lot easier than the clue on Italian soccer.

Or maybe I'm just griping. It was run a lot better than if I tried to do it. I'm sure of that.
Bradley Kirksey
Mayor of quiz bowl at the University of Central Florida (2010-2015)

User avatar
Chimango Caracara
Wakka
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:29 pm
Location: Hanover, NH
Contact:

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Chimango Caracara » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:23 am

TheCopleyIndian wrote:I was disappointed to see that a couple of my questions were actually made incorrect through editing. I don't know if people edit without fact-checking that often, but I would like to emphasize that editors probably should not try to correct factual errors in submitted questions without the source material as a reference.
I wrote a Richard Wright tossup that mentioned him burning his house in Black Boy and the one that was used implied that this happened in one of his novels, which confused me.
Nick Jensen
Dartmouth College 2011-2015

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:34 am

Blanford's Fringe-fingered Lizard wrote: We didn't have a central Google Doc to keep each other real (and our difficulty in check)
Why not?? Didn't people raise the same concern after ACF Fall - namely, that there's no reason to not have editors look at one another's work? It only makes sense for editors to know what the other editors are doing (especially in cases where, say, the science editor is also a lit player or whatever), and it would result in better, more difficullty-consistent tournaments (with more judicious answer-repeat choices, even) if ACF mandated an editorial structure in which every editor could view each other editors' documents.

My major issues with Regionals itself have been brought up already (difficulty inconsistencies across editors, overly-hard hard parts sprinkled throughout), so there's no reason for me to belabor them. My ideal ACF Regionals difficulty would be somewhat lower than this one, more in line with Regionals '11 or SCT '12 to ensure higher-scoring games at the lower end of the field, but the stats bear out that this was at a playable difficulty for teams across the whole range, so I can't really object to the level at which this Regionals was pitched on empirical grounds.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Sailing away on my copper boat

User avatar
Steeve Ho You Fat
Yuna
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:48 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:06 pm

Therizinosaurus wrote:
TheCopleyIndian wrote:I was disappointed to see that a couple of my questions were actually made incorrect through editing. I don't know if people edit without fact-checking that often, but I would like to emphasize that editors probably should not try to correct factual errors in submitted questions without the source material as a reference.
I wrote a Richard Wright tossup that mentioned him burning his house in Black Boy and the one that was used implied that this happened in one of his novels, which confused me.
I've read quite a bit of Richard Wright and didn't recognize anything in this tossup until it went on a buzzer race at chopping the girl's head off. I'm not sure if that was my fault or the question's, though.

On the whole though I liked this tournament. The vast majority of the tossups were pretty good. I was mildly disappointed there was not a single current events question in the rounds I heard with the exception of the one I wrote, but I guess that's just because people would rather write trash than CE in their submissions.
Joe Nutter
PACE Treasurer
Michigan State University '14
Walnut Hills High School '11

User avatar
Fond du lac operon
Wakka
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Fond du lac operon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:21 pm

As a player way below Matt Jackson's level, I'll say that the problem for my team was less overly-hard hard parts (we wouldn't get more than a quarter of those anyway), and more the wild difficulty swings in the middle parts. I know Bradley already mentioned the "Irma's injection"/dream/Freud bonus, which, when contrasted with questions like Shakuntala/Sanskrit/Urvashi or the Higgs boson/symmetry breaking/LHC experimental setup bonuses, seems like it should be from a novice tournament or DII SCT while the latter two are almost more Nationals-level, albeit with easier easy parts.
Harrison Brown
Centennial '08, Alabama '13

"No idea what [he's] talking about."

User avatar
The King's Flight to the Scots
Auron
Posts: 1451
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:11 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:39 pm

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:As a player way below Matt Jackson's level, I'll say that the problem for my team was less overly-hard hard parts (we wouldn't get more than a quarter of those anyway), and more the wild difficulty swings in the middle parts. I know Bradley already mentioned the "Irma's injection"/dream/Freud bonus, which, when contrasted with questions like Shakuntala/Sanskrit/Urvashi or the Higgs boson/symmetry breaking/LHC experimental setup bonuses, seems like it should be from a novice tournament or DII SCT while the latter two are almost more Nationals-level, albeit with easier easy parts.

Given that this has been a problem with several tournaments in the recent past, "What makes a middle part?" could probably be a fruitful discussion topic.
Matt Bollinger
UVA '14, UVA '15
Communications Officer, ACF

nadph
Rikku
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:21 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by nadph » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:50 pm

I got the strange impression while playing this tournament that there was a significant excess of tossups on people in categories like philosophy/SS than there were on works or concepts; I'd be happy to be proven wrong, though. In the same vein, there seemed to be a very reduced number of common-links; I do not know enough about them to evaluate this as good or bad.
Nikhil Desai
Bellarmine College Prep '12
Stanford '12-'15, '18

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

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:04 pm

nadph wrote:I got the strange impression while playing this tournament that there was a significant excess of tossups on people in categories like philosophy/SS than there were on works or concepts; I'd be happy to be proven wrong, though. In the same vein, there seemed to be a very reduced number of common-links; I do not know enough about them to evaluate this as good or bad.
In SS, at least, teams submitted a ton of tossups on people of borderline difficulty, but I probably could have done more to turn some of these into work or concept tossups.
Guy Tabachnick
Hunter '09
Brown '13

http://memoryofthisimpertinence.blogspot.com/

User avatar
DumbJaques
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 3078
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:21 pm
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:34 pm

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:As a player way below Matt Jackson's level, I'll say that the problem for my team was less overly-hard hard parts (we wouldn't get more than a quarter of those anyway), and more the wild difficulty swings in the middle parts. I know Bradley already mentioned the "Irma's injection"/dream/Freud bonus, which, when contrasted with questions like Shakuntala/Sanskrit/Urvashi or the Higgs boson/symmetry breaking/LHC experimental setup bonuses, seems like it should be from a novice tournament or DII SCT while the latter two are almost more Nationals-level, albeit with easier easy parts.
I agree that this tournament had serious middle part issues, though I don't think these bonuses are quite the best example of it. The physics bonus in particular did not seem anywhere near as unmerciful as some of the science middle/hard parts in this set, a few of which were just egregiously hard and led to teams with wildly varying science competencies all earning a dismal 10 on the same bonus.
Chris Ray
OSU
University of Chicago, 2016
University of Maryland, 2014
ACF, PACE

User avatar
Steeve Ho You Fat
Yuna
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:48 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:04 pm

DumbJaques wrote:
What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:As a player way below Matt Jackson's level, I'll say that the problem for my team was less overly-hard hard parts (we wouldn't get more than a quarter of those anyway), and more the wild difficulty swings in the middle parts. I know Bradley already mentioned the "Irma's injection"/dream/Freud bonus, which, when contrasted with questions like Shakuntala/Sanskrit/Urvashi or the Higgs boson/symmetry breaking/LHC experimental setup bonuses, seems like it should be from a novice tournament or DII SCT while the latter two are almost more Nationals-level, albeit with easier easy parts.
I agree that this tournament had serious middle part issues, though I don't think these bonuses are quite the best example of it. The physics bonus in particular did not seem anywhere near as unmerciful as some of the science middle/hard parts in this set, a few of which were just egregiously hard and led to teams with wildly varying science competencies all earning a dismal 10 on the same bonus.
Yeah, I guess I'm not really a good judge of this because it is what I do research in, but all three of those parts are really important and mentioned all the relevant clues. I guess symmetry breaking was supposed to be the hard part, but the Higgs has been in the news a bunch just since December when they announced how much evidence they have for it, and if you paid any attention to that story, which was widely reported even in non-scientists media, you should know that and at least one of CMS and ATLAS. Symmetry breaking was also mentioned in my high school physics textbooks, for what it's worth, although I guess they didn't discuss it too well.
Joe Nutter
PACE Treasurer
Michigan State University '14
Walnut Hills High School '11

User avatar
Fond du lac operon
Wakka
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Fond du lac operon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:12 pm

I don't really feel qualified to comment on the hardness of the bio and chem bonuses, because I am turrible at those subjects. But there were definitely some really hard-seeming ones, with stuff I'd never heard of coming up as (presumably) middle and hard clues...

As for the Higgs bonus, I imagined CMS/ATLAS was meant to be the hard part -- unless you're a physicist or otherwise science-inclined, you're not going to memorize small details of science stories. People know what the LHC is (although I'd say a good deal of that is due to the end-of-the-world fearmongering), but specific experiments at the LHC are going to get maybe one perfunctory mention in mainstream news articles. Anyway, I don't know that asking for "science current events" answerlines is a great idea in any case, as it makes the set less useful for future study/practice. Symmetry breaking was maybe an okay middle part, but it shaded to the hard side, definitely.

There were also some really pretty easy 20s on science bonuses, like phytoplankton (which prompts on just plankton)/diatoms/bilateral symmetry, or fugacity/Gibbs free energy/Lewis-Randall rule. Plus stuff like the econ bonus on demand/Slutsky/Giffen goods, which one could learn in a decent Intro to Micro class and has no business being in the same tournament as a tossup on Gunnar Myrdal.
Harrison Brown
Centennial '08, Alabama '13

"No idea what [he's] talking about."

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

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:34 pm

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:Anyway, I don't know that asking for "science current events" answerlines is a great idea in any case
Depends on the answerline...
as it makes the set less useful for future study/practice
What?!
Plus stuff like the econ bonus on demand/Slutsky/Giffen goods, which one could learn in a decent Intro to Micro class and has no business being in the same tournament as a tossup on Gunnar Myrdal.
I'm just dying to hear the logic behind this conclusion.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Steeve Ho You Fat
Yuna
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:48 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:26 pm

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:I don't really feel qualified to comment on the hardness of the bio and chem bonuses, because I am turrible at those subjects. But there were definitely some really hard-seeming ones, with stuff I'd never heard of coming up as (presumably) middle and hard clues...

As for the Higgs bonus, I imagined CMS/ATLAS was meant to be the hard part -- unless you're a physicist or otherwise science-inclined, you're not going to memorize small details of science stories. People know what the LHC is (although I'd say a good deal of that is due to the end-of-the-world fearmongering), but specific experiments at the LHC are going to get maybe one perfunctory mention in mainstream news articles. Anyway, I don't know that asking for "science current events" answerlines is a great idea in any case, as it makes the set less useful for future study/practice. Symmetry breaking was maybe an okay middle part, but it shaded to the hard side, definitely.

There were also some really pretty easy 20s on science bonuses, like phytoplankton (which prompts on just plankton)/diatoms/bilateral symmetry, or fugacity/Gibbs free energy/Lewis-Randall rule. Plus stuff like the econ bonus on demand/Slutsky/Giffen goods, which one could learn in a decent Intro to Micro class and has no business being in the same tournament as a tossup on Gunnar Myrdal.
I don't want to start beating a dead horse here, but not only does Jerry point out why your point about studying is kind of not the point of playing quizbowl, but I thought this bonus did a good job of asking about things that are really really important in actual science, but that still are more accessible to the general public because of their current relevance. And I'd hardly call ATLAS or CMS a "small detail" when ATLAS, for example, cost half a billion dollars and has over 5,000 people working on it, I think. It's at least a name that was mentioned in the media several years ago during the LHC commissioning stuff, and came up again just two months ago. It's not like it was asking for TOTEM or MoEDAL or something that noone in the general public knows.

And I, like Jerry, have no idea what intro econ class talks about Slutsky or Giffen goods, because mine sure didn't, although I agree that tossing up Myrdal might have been excessive.
Joe Nutter
PACE Treasurer
Michigan State University '14
Walnut Hills High School '11

nadph
Rikku
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:21 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by nadph » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:52 pm

Is Myrdal discussed all that much in contemporary economics? I, for one, knew about him only because of An American Dilemma, which is discussed in many American history texts for its influence on race relations from 1945 onwards and seems more important as a work of sociology.
Nikhil Desai
Bellarmine College Prep '12
Stanford '12-'15, '18

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:06 pm

nadph wrote:Is Myrdal discussed all that much in contemporary economics? I, for one, knew about him only because of An American Dilemma, which is discussed in many American history texts for its influence on race relations from 1945 onwards and seems more important as a work of sociology.
Does it matter where people learn him, assuming he's famous enough to be asked and he fits better in the economics/sociology part of the distribution than the history part? I worry that the implicit assumption here (things must be currently studied within a modern discipline to be askable within that category) would sharply reduce the amount of questions we could ask on important historical figures that people can and do read in less clear-cut contexts (bye-bye psych questions on Freud, Maslow, etc.; bye-bye Malthus, Ricardo, Adam Smith, etc.) and eliminate some categories altogether (mythology, which people largely learn from childhood interest, literature, or non-academic references.)

Harrison: Thank you for mentioning the middle parts thing. I did notice it when playing but feel kinda silly for not bringing it up.
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Sailing away on my copper boat

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

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:12 pm

Plan Rubber wrote:And I, like Jerry, have no idea what intro econ class talks about Slutsky or Giffen goods, because mine sure didn't, although I agree that tossing up Myrdal might have been excessive.
Just to clarify, I have no knowledge of what intro econ does or does not talk about; let's take it for granted that it does talk about Slutsky goods and what have you. It does not follow from this assumption that this question can't be in the same tournament as a Myrdal tossup. That's just a faulty inference, if I'm being generous, and complete nonsense if I'm not. You could argue that Myrdal is too hard for ACF Regionals; I'd disagree, but that's at least coherent. This isn't.

For what it's worth, I was actually asked about whether I thought Myrdal was ok for this tournament; I said that I thought it was. So I guess that I can be indirectly blamed for this, or something.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Fond du lac operon
Wakka
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Fond du lac operon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:25 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:Anyway, I don't know that asking for "science current events" answerlines is a great idea in any case
Depends on the answerline...
as it makes the set less useful for future study/practice
What?!
I mean, nobody's going to know/ask about CMS and ATLAS in ten years when some bigger supercollider gets built *crosses fingers*. Really, after the Higgs is certified to within whatever confidence we want, people who aren't hard-core theoretical physicists are going to stop talking about them, too, and asking about them will be not very much different from asking about the YBJ cosmic ray observatory, to take a random example from hep-ex. A question on the LHC is going to look very different very soon, presumably, just like a hypothetical question written in 1989 about Fleischman and Pons would look very different from one written in 1991.

I'll grant that this should be like 50th on the list of things to consider when writing a set. But unless you're actually reading papers on hep-ex and stuff -- i.e., unless you are actually a physicist -- CMS and ATLAS will have no meaning to you. Which makes it, I think, maybe too hard for a middle part that we want about half the field to convert.
Plus stuff like the econ bonus on demand/Slutsky/Giffen goods, which one could learn in a decent Intro to Micro class and has no business being in the same tournament as a tossup on Gunnar Myrdal.
I'm just dying to hear the logic behind this conclusion.
Okay, I was probably being overzealous. But I think that's a rather extreme range of difficulty, and not even in the right direction. (FWIW, I don't think Slutsky was actually discussed in my intro class, but I'd bet it was in the textbook. Giffen goods I knew about in high school.) Fall-level bonuses + tossups which even majors in the relevant field would have trouble converting before the giveaway is not a great formula to reward teams with more knowledge of the subject.
Harrison Brown
Centennial '08, Alabama '13

"No idea what [he's] talking about."

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

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:32 pm

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:I mean, nobody's going to know/ask about CMS and ATLAS in ten years when some bigger supercollider gets built *crosses fingers*. Really, after the Higgs is certified to within whatever confidence we want, people who aren't hard-core theoretical physicists are going to stop talking about them, too, and asking about them will be not very much different from asking about the YBJ cosmic ray observatory, to take a random example from hep-ex. A question on the LHC is going to look very different very soon, presumably, just like a hypothetical question written in 1989 about Fleischman and Pons would look very different from one written in 1991.
You literally have no idea what you're talking about. This is one of the most important, maybe the most important experimental physics effort ever conducted. This is like every wonder of the ancient world rolled into one. Just to give you some examples, landmark experiments from not-that-long ago, such as WMAP, routinely come up (as they should) because they are really, really important, your ignorance nonwithstanding.
Okay, I was probably being overzealous. But I think that's a rather extreme range of difficulty, and not even in the right direction. (FWIW, I don't think Slutsky was actually discussed in my intro class, but I'd bet it was in the textbook. Giffen goods I knew about in high school.) Fall-level bonuses + tossups which even majors in the relevant field would have trouble converting before the giveaway is not a great formula to reward teams with more knowledge of the subject.
I don't know about "extreme range of difficulty" but even so, you're wrong. Myrdal is a reasonably famous dude; maybe this question is somewhat harder than the bonus but you have to evaluate that in light of how many people are actual economists in quizbowl, vs. those who have heard of Myrdal from other sources (e.g. me, a person who would probably get a tossup on Myrdal but not know anything about Slutsky goods). It's not by any means a crazy variation in difficulty, but even if it were, I'm not sure it would mean anything; if the bonuses are consistent throughout, what does it matter that there's a harder tossup in there somewhere?
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Fond du lac operon
Wakka
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Fond du lac operon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:37 pm

grapesmoker wrote:You literally have no idea what you're talking about. This is one of the most important, maybe the most important experimental physics effort ever conducted. This is like every wonder of the ancient world rolled into one. Just to give you some examples, landmark experiments from not-that-long ago, such as WMAP, routinely come up (as they should) because they are really, really important, your ignorance nonwithstanding.
Jean-Pierre Serre was maybe the most important mathematician of the 20th century, one of the most important of all time in terms of the amount of groundbreaking work he did. That doesn't mean he'd be a good middle part (or even hard part) for a bonus at ACF Regionals.
Harrison Brown
Centennial '08, Alabama '13

"No idea what [he's] talking about."

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

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:41 pm

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:Jean-Pierre Serre was maybe the most important mathematician of the 20th century, one of the most important of all time in terms of the amount of groundbreaking work he did. That doesn't mean he'd be a good middle part (or even hard part) for a bonus at ACF Regionals.
There are far more major mathematicians in the 20th century than there are major experimental physics undertakings. I don't know of any substantive way to evaluate whether Serre is the most important or not (though he clearly is important, and I wouldn't actually have any problem with him being a hard bonus part) but there's really very little doubt that the LHC is the culmination of experimental particle physics.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Fond du lac operon
Wakka
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Fond du lac operon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:01 pm

grapesmoker wrote:I'm not sure it would mean anything; if the bonuses are consistent throughout, what does it matter that there's a harder tossup in there somewhere?
Suppose we have four players: A, B, C, and D. A is you: a not-great econ player, but one who can get someone like Myrdal on a giveaway thanks to quizbowl experience. B is someone who has had intro to econ classes but doesn't know that much otherwise. C is me: someone who's an econ minor or double-major, but isn't going to convert harder questions early. D is some insanely good econ player who will get everything 5 words in.

Everyone has about a 50% chance of hearing the easy econ bonus. Let's say A gets 10 on it, and B, C, D all get 30. Now the tossup on Myrdal is read; D will get it 5 words in, but A, B, C will only be able to convert it at the very end and so each have a 50% chance of getting it. So based on their econ knowledge:

A scores 0.5*10 + 0.5*(10+15) = 17.5 points.
B scores 0.5*30 + 0.5*(10+15) = 27.5 points
C scores 0.5*30 + 0.5*(10+15) = 27.5 points
D scores 0.5*30 + 10 + 15 = 40 points

So this part of the econ distribution has failed to distinguish between B and C, and hasn't much distinguished between A/C or B/D either. I guess you could say that I'm conflating two separate problems, which is a good point, but still: this is, basically, why variances in difficulty should be relatively low. Which Slutsky-as-hard-part to Myrdal is not.
Harrison Brown
Centennial '08, Alabama '13

"No idea what [he's] talking about."

Notably Not Pierre
Lulu
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 10:59 am

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Notably Not Pierre » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:06 pm

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:Jean-Pierre Serre was maybe the most important mathematician of the 20th century.
No.
Matt Menard

UChicago '12, '13

User avatar
Smuttynose Island
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 482
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:07 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Smuttynose Island » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:08 pm

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:You literally have no idea what you're talking about. This is one of the most important, maybe the most important experimental physics effort ever conducted. This is like every wonder of the ancient world rolled into one. Just to give you some examples, landmark experiments from not-that-long ago, such as WMAP, routinely come up (as they should) because they are really, really important, your ignorance nonwithstanding.
Jean-Pierre Serre was maybe the most important mathematician of the 20th century, one of the most important of all time in terms of the amount of groundbreaking work he did. That doesn't mean he'd be a good middle part (or even hard part) for a bonus at ACF Regionals.
So because I can see why someone might have trouble understanding why mapping the CMBR is such an important scientific achievement, I'm going to try to reformulate Jerry's analogy and compare the significance of finding the Higgs Boson to that of discovering atoms or the electron, with the small caveat that finding the Higgs Boson is somewhat less important, but not unreasonably so as to break the analogy. Finally knowing what causes mass is a huge deal in physics as it underpins our entire world view, otherwise mass is just this thing that exists for no reason. Realizing that matter is made up of atoms was similarly important as it let us finally say "so this is what things are made up of." Sure realizing that atoms are the building blocks of matter has more practical applications than the discovery of the Higgs Boson, but both will go down as monumental achievements that many people do and will continue to care about in the future. In the year 2050 will most people know what a Higgs Boson is or the experiments that found them? Probably not, but will almost all physicist and people with an interest in physics? Probably so, although less will know the later, just as less people know that J.J. Thompson discovered the electron.
Last edited by Smuttynose Island on Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Daniel Hothem
TJHSST '11 | UVA '15 | Oregon '??
"You are the stuff of legends" - Chris Manners
https://sites.google.com/site/academicc ... ubuva/home

User avatar
Smuttynose Island
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 482
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:07 pm

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by Smuttynose Island » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:13 pm

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:I'm not sure it would mean anything; if the bonuses are consistent throughout, what does it matter that there's a harder tossup in there somewhere?
Suppose we have four players: A, B, C, and D. A is you: a not-great econ player, but one who can get someone like Myrdal on a giveaway thanks to quizbowl experience. B is someone who has had intro to econ classes but doesn't know that much otherwise. C is me: someone who's an econ minor or double-major, but isn't going to convert harder questions early. D is some insanely good econ player who will get everything 5 words in.

Everyone has about a 50% chance of hearing the easy econ bonus. Let's say A gets 10 on it, and B, C, D all get 30. Now the tossup on Myrdal is read; D will get it 5 words in, but A, B, C will only be able to convert it at the very end and so each have a 50% chance of getting it. So based on their econ knowledge:

A scores 0.5*10 + 0.5*(10+15) = 17.5 points.
B scores 0.5*30 + 0.5*(10+15) = 27.5 points
C scores 0.5*30 + 0.5*(10+15) = 27.5 points
D scores 0.5*30 + 10 + 15 = 40 points

So this part of the econ distribution has failed to distinguish between B and C, and hasn't much distinguished between A/C or B/D either. I guess you could say that I'm conflating two separate problems, which is a good point, but still: this is, basically, why variances in difficulty should be relatively low. Which Slutsky-as-hard-part to Myrdal is not.
This makes the arguably, and I'm pretty sure that this is what Jerry is saying, false assumption that B is going to get a thirty on that bonus. You have, outside of yourself, no evidence that a significant portion of intro to econ classes or textbooks teach Slutsky goods! You also have, outside of yourself, at the moment no evidence that C will convert that Myrdhal TU only at the end or that even B will do so! It's bad form to make claims without presenting a wealth of evidence and you probably aren't going to convince very many people without presenting good evidence, so trying to prove a point without good evidence is really just a waste of time, so it's probably preferable to not do so until you accumulate more evidence. If you want to waste your time by arguing without evidence though then be my guest.

Your model also fails to take into account people with an interest in history who will study Myrdhal for historical purposes (An American Dilemma was extremely influential in how Americans viewed race relations at a time when they were at the center of arguably the most important political debates of the era. It also had a fairly large impact on Brown v. Board of Education). For instance, I'd solidly fit into your "A" category, but would have gotten Myrdhal somewhere in the middle due to US History knowledge and it's not entirely inconceivable that that would happen for others as well.
Last edited by Smuttynose Island on Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Daniel Hothem
TJHSST '11 | UVA '15 | Oregon '??
"You are the stuff of legends" - Chris Manners
https://sites.google.com/site/academicc ... ubuva/home

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

Re: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:15 pm

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:I'm not sure it would mean anything; if the bonuses are consistent throughout, what does it matter that there's a harder tossup in there somewhere?
Suppose we have four players: A, B, C, and D. A is you: a not-great econ player, but one who can get someone like Myrdal on a giveaway thanks to quizbowl experience. B is someone who has had intro to econ classes but doesn't know that much otherwise. C is me: someone who's an econ minor or double-major, but isn't going to convert harder questions early. D is some insanely good econ player who will get everything 5 words in.

Everyone has about a 50% chance of hearing the easy econ bonus. Let's say A gets 10 on it, and B, C, D all get 30. Now the tossup on Myrdal is read; D will get it 5 words in, but A, B, C will only be able to convert it at the very end and so each have a 50% chance of getting it. So based on their econ knowledge:

A scores 0.5*10 + 0.5*(10+15) = 17.5 points.
B scores 0.5*30 + 0.5*(10+15) = 27.5 points
C scores 0.5*30 + 0.5*(10+15) = 27.5 points
D scores 0.5*30 + 10 + 15 = 40 points

So this part of the econ distribution has failed to distinguish between B and C, and hasn't much distinguished between A/C or B/D either. I guess you could say that I'm conflating two separate problems, which is a good point, but still: this is, basically, why variances in difficulty should be relatively low. Which Slutsky-as-hard-part to Myrdal is not.
Not only does this not make sense (since bonuses and tossups are independent and therefore should not be mixed this way) but your own math shows that you're wrong! By your own design, you have the best econ player, D, getting 40 expected points, while A gets the lowest amount. And not just lowest by a small amount, but by 10 points, which is actually quite a bit. The only degeneracy that isn't broken is one between B and C, but as I've argued before, this isn't necessarily problematic, provided the question is otherwise generally solid, because unlike in your hypothesis, one cannot control who winds up playing which opponent and therefore cannot write a question that accounts for every possible permutation of players playing on it. As I've argued, pretty convincingly, I think, in past threads, you cannot write questions under this assumption; it isn't even theoretically possible, so why you are pursuing this useless exercise in pretend-game theory is beyond me. All I'd like you to do is to stop making hyperbolic assertions (e.g. "no one will care about the LHC in 10 years," "these two things shouldn't be in the same tournament,") and drawing quizbowl-related conclusions from them.
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: ACF Regionals 2012 Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:22 pm

Smuttynose Island wrote:This makes the arguably, and I'm pretty sure that this is what Jerry is saying, false assumption that B is going to get a thirty on that bonus. You have, outside of yourself, no evidence that a significant portion of intro to econ classes or textbooks teach Slutsky goods! You also have, outside of yourself, at the moment no evidence that C will convert that Myrdhal TU only at the end or that even B will do so! It's bad form to make claims without presenting a wealth of evidence and you probably aren't going to convince very many people without presenting good evidence, so trying to prove a point without good evidence is really just a waste of time, so it's probably preferable to not do so until you accumulate more evidence. If you want to waste your time by arguing without evidence though then be my guest.
This assumption is almost certainly false, but I grant it for the sake of argument because what I'm saying has nothing to do with it. Even taking that argument at face value, it fails pretty horribly. The reason it does so has everything to do with the distribution of econ knowledge among quizbowlers; since questions have to be written with that assumption in mind, arguing that this question doesn't correctly split the difference between two people with varying degrees of undergraduate experience in econ misses the point. At some level, that task is going to prove nigh-impossible. For a different example, compare me and you (you being Dan Hothem). We both know some physics, pretty varying amounts probably, but I'm guessing (from having seen you play) that you know a fair bit. Probably enough to 30 a physics bonus at ACF Regionals. I'm pretty sure I know enough physics to 30 a physics bonus at ACF Regionals. If we can both 30 the same bonus, am I cheated when you 30 it in a match against me? No, of course not; this is just what happens in the game. Of course it's possible to construct a really shitty bonus which someone who knows nothing could 30 and I couldn't, but we're not talking about that here.

I didn't think this thread would devolve into having to reargue the basic principles of quizbowl, but maybe this is a great prophylactic exercise to prevent such threads in the future.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

Locked