ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

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The King's Flight to the Scots
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ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:09 pm

Hello,
First, I'd like to thank everyone who helped make this tournament happen. My editing team was Diana Gerr (Literature), Stephen Liu (RMP), Daniel Hothem (European History, Physics, Other Science), Jasper Lee (Fine Arts, Biology, and Chemistry), and Jarret Greene (American History, World History, Trash, Geo, SS). I ended up doing a lot of editing on this set, but I was generally happy with their work.

I'd also like to thank Jerry Vinokurov and Susan Ferrari for all their work on the logistics of this tournament. As an editor to whom logistical thinking does not come naturally, I could not have done any of that on my own, and they were an invaluable help.

Finally, I'd like to thank all the different quizbowl people who helped with the proofreading and randomizing of the set. In no particular order, Matt Jackson, Mike Cheyne, Will Butler, Susan Ferrari, Auroni Gupta, Eric Mukherjee, Daniel Hothem, Jasper Lee, Evan Adams, Matt Weiner, and Sarah Angelo all volunteered their time to get the questions into packets.

Discuss away.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:10 pm

The set will be here once the upload is approved.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:29 pm

Is question specific discussion allowed or should I wait until the last mirror is done?
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:17 pm

Cheynem wrote:Is question specific discussion allowed or should I wait until the last mirror is done?
You're free to discuss specific questions.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:27 pm

The Laughing Cavalier wrote:The set will be here once the upload is approved.
Could you put all the files into a .zip file? Thanks!
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Kyle » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:42 pm

At the risk of starting off with a relatively minor point, I'd like to say that I think you need to be much more careful about putting full answer lines with all acceptable answers. One player from Oxford is a Singaporean of Chinese ethnicity who was educated mostly in Singapore, so he answered several bonuses about Chinese history with Chinese names that weren't written down as alternate answers. "Sanguo" is a perfectly reasonable alternate answer for "Three Kingdoms," especially since that bonus part referred to the main characters in a book originally published as Sanguo yanyi, and he shouldn't have been penalized for giving that answer (fortunately for him, I was the moderator, so he wasn't). This was also a problem with the Sino-Soviet split bonus, which also didn't provide an alternate answer in Chinese for the part about the Cultural Revolution. Doing so isn't actually just a theoretical exercise, or at least it wasn't in the case of our Singaporean.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:47 pm

Kyle is absolutely right; this is by far my biggest complaint about this set, which in general seemed like a pretty solid set (the literature, in particular, seemed excellent for this level of difficulty).
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:51 pm

Masked Canadian History Bandit wrote:
The Laughing Cavalier wrote:The set will be here once the upload is approved.
Could you put all the files into a .zip file? Thanks!
.zip file is now up pending approval. Sorry; I've not used this part of the database before (and actually forgot until you asked that I knew how to make .zip files...hooray computers!). It was also brought to my attention that when I put the writing credits back into the packets they'd been removed from during editing, I accidentally didn't change Cornell's from the previous packet header I'd copied over as a template (UCSD B). That's been fixed in the posted version. My apologies, confused California site and Cornell guys!
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:52 pm

I agree with Mike, I thought the literature was excellent, and the history and arts seemed really solid as well.

Would someone post the tossup on alkynes? One of my teammates negged with alkenes, and he swears the reaction he negged with happens with alkenes.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:48 pm

Georgia Tech B Packet wrote: 19. When treated with mercury (II) cations in water, these compounds produce ketones after a tautomerization. Hot potassium permanganate cleaves this functional group into two carboxylic acids. Sodium amide can be used to deprotonate these compounds, because they contain the most acidic hybridization of carbon. Hydrogenation of this functional group can produce a trans product through a radical mechanism or a cis product using Lindlar’s catalyst. Compounds with this functional group contain carbons with sp hybridization, and the simplest one is acetylene, which has formula C2H2. For 10 points, name these hydrocarbons, which have a carbon-carbon triple bond.
ANSWER: alkynes
The leadin refers to oxy-mercuration, which occurs with both alkenes and alkynes. BUT, only in alkynes does it produce ketones after tautomerization. It's also traditionally taught with alkenes first and alkynes much later. It's kind of a "gotcha" clue the way its phrased, but its a fine use of the reaction.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:53 pm

Overall the tournament seemed pretty good. I did have a few criticisms, though.

Reading the tournament, it seemed like the bonuses were slightly harder than I recall ACF Fall being in the last couple of years.

Here are some examples of bonuses in the first few packets I thought were a little tough:
1. One theory about this formation is that it was built to align with the summer solstice sunset. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this 411 meter long archaeological formation that features a spiral tail and an open mouth.
ANSWER: Great Serpent Mound
[10] The builders of the Great Serpent Mound are believed to have developed independently of this set of similar cultures, which flourished in the 1st century AD and connected the American Southeast to the Northeast economically.
ANSWER: Hopewell tradition or cultures
[10] The Great Serpent Mound is located in Adams County in this state, which is also home to Hopewell ceremonial cities in the Scioto River valley which runs past this state’s capital of Columbus.
ANSWER: Ohio
I think this may be something of a product of my high school history classes never going over much pre-Columbian stuff in North America, but I suspect that this isn't a very strong area of knowledge for your average ACF Fall player.
10. They were the grandchildren of Scipio Africanus. For 10 points each:
[10] Name these Roman brothers, tribunes during the 2nd century BC, who enacted land reform laws before being assassinated.
ANSWER: Gaius and Tiberius Gracchus [accept Gracchi brothers, prompt on first names]
[10] Support for the Gracchi often came from this part of the Roman population, which struggled with the patricians.
ANSWER: the plebs [or plebeians]
[10] Gaius Gracchus was massacred according to one of these decrees that gave the consul unlimited power to preserve the Republic.
ANSWER: senatus consultum ultimum [or final decree of the senate]
This last part seems pretty hard for ACF Fall. I get that this is a "real thing" that "real historians" might know, but I think it's too much of a stretch for this tournament, especially compared to other bonuses in the packet.
3. Using a wooden gun darkened with shoe polish, this man once escaped from Crown Point jail. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this “Public Enemy Number 1” who robbed over two dozen banks and 4 police stations before finally being gunned down outside a theatre.
ANSWER: John Herbert Dillinger Jr.
[10] As head of the FBI, this man coordinated the efforts to capture Dillinger as well as gangsters like Al Capone and Babyface Nelson before trying to subvert civil rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr.
ANSWER: J. Edgar Hoover
[10] In exchange for preventing her deportation to Romania, brothel madam Anna Sage agreed to help the FBI corner Dillinger, which she did in part by wearing this color as a signal to agents.
ANSWER: red [or The Woman in Red]
I've never heard of this 3rd thing, but it seemed highly prone to guessing as red would be the color one would probably wear to stand out in a crowd.
5. He popularized the idea that development of belief in one’s own success is the greatest indicator of future success, an idea called self-efficacy, which is different from confidence. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this Stanford psychologist and social learning theorist who wrote Social Foundations of Thought and Action.
ANSWER: Albert Bandura
[10] Bandura conducted this experiment which showed that children descend into aggressive behavior after observing adults exhibit aggression towards the title object after being deprived of the toys like a spinning top and a truck after 2 minutes.
ANSWER: Bobo Doll experiment
[10] Social learning theory is an advancement over this other psychological theory, whose “radical” variety was researched by B.F. Skinner. It holds that human activity should be considered as a mechanical response to stimuli.
ANSWER: Behaviorism
Asking about Bandura without giving you Bobo Dolls seems quite difficult for ACF Fall. I think even the Bobo Doll Experiment is pushing it for a middle part.

Let's look at two history bonuses in this same packet:
14. In this period, Kukai began popularizing Shingon Buddhism. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this period of Classical Japanese history during which Lady Murasaki wrote The Tale of Genji. It was ended by the Genpei War.
ANSWER: Heian period [or Heian jidai]
[10] After the Genpei War, Minamoto Yoritomo founded the first instance of this form of Japanese dictatorship, named for its capital at Kamakura. Later instances of this form of government were named for Ashikaga and Tokugawa.
ANSWER: shogunate
[10] During the Heian period, most of the power was wielded not by the emperor but by members of this family through their occupancy of the offices of sessho and kampaku.
ANSWER: Fuijwara clan

19. This man supposedly charged into enemy forces that surrounded his father at the Battle of Ticinus. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this Roman general who defeated Hannibal Barca at the Battle of Zama.
ANSWER: Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus [prompt on “Scipio;” do not accept “Scipio Africanus the Younger” or “Scipio Aemilianus”]
[10] Scipio Africanus’ victory at Zama ended this war against Carthage. Earlier in this war, Hannibal Barca killed 75,000 Roman soldiers with the use of pincer tactics at the Battle of Cannae.
ANSWER: Second Punic war
[10] This region was the site of Scipio Africanus’ victory at Ilipa, where he used “Reverse Cannae” tactics. This region of the Roman Empire was also the site of the Battle of Saguntum, which started the Second Punic War.
ANSWER: Hispania [or Spain]
These bonuses are probably around the same level of difficulty if you make the assumption that people have equal familiarity with Roman and Japanese history. However, I suspect that many of the newer players attending this tournament have much more experience with the former, as that's a pretty fundamental part of the high school history canon whereas the latter gets maybe a week at best in a world history class. I'd like to make the more general point here of always remembering that these easier fall tournaments are first are foremost always serving to introduce new players into college quizbowl and we shouldn't be assuming a large amount of prior quizbowl knowledge. This connects with the earlier comment about Bandura as well. I suspect that the vast majority of people in quizbowl get their knowledge about Bandura from non-primary sources (i.e. writing a tossup on Bandura or looking him up on Wikipedia because you've heard him come up a few times) rather than their studies. This is not a problem in itself, but for tournaments geared towards new players, we should probably not be requiring this type of quizbowl knowledge to get 20 points on the bonus.

On another note, across the packets we played, this tournament seemed to have a large amount of South African and Japanese literature. I understand why easier tournaments often go this route, but I wonder if ACF Fall and other easier tournaments would be better served by dropping the world lit to 0.5/0.5 so you don't need to over-represent these areas of the canon.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by ryanrosenberg » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:27 pm

The first sentence of the tossup on French seems not uniquely identifying.
Evidence of Germanic influence on this language can be seen in its practice of inverting to form questions, which is unique among Romance languages.
You flip the order of the subject and the verb to form a question in Spanish, which seems to be very similar to what French does, and something that could reasonably be described as a "practice of inverting".
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:38 pm

Mike Bentley wrote:
3. Using a wooden gun darkened with shoe polish, this man once escaped from Crown Point jail. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this “Public Enemy Number 1” who robbed over two dozen banks and 4 police stations before finally being gunned down outside a theatre.
ANSWER: John Herbert Dillinger Jr.
[10] As head of the FBI, this man coordinated the efforts to capture Dillinger as well as gangsters like Al Capone and Babyface Nelson before trying to subvert civil rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr.
ANSWER: J. Edgar Hoover
[10] In exchange for preventing her deportation to Romania, brothel madam Anna Sage agreed to help the FBI corner Dillinger, which she did in part by wearing this color as a signal to agents.
ANSWER: red [or The Woman in Red]
I've never heard of this 3rd thing, but it seemed highly prone to guessing as red would be the color one would probably wear to stand out in a crowd.
I'm pretty sure that's a well known thing, I remember my grandparents telling me about The Woman in Red and I'm pretty sure that many of the movies, books, and other media about Dillinger usually mention it.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:12 pm

No, that's totally a thing which is pretty famous.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by nobthehobbit » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:16 pm

There was a tossup about capacitance in the VCU pack and a tossup about capacitors in the Michigan A pack.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Fond du lac operon » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:32 pm

From my limited perspective as a reader both this year and last year, I want to commend the editing team for making a set which, it seemed to me, was considerably better at a cosmetic level -- i.e., fewer typos, fewer sentences that were hard to parse on-the-fly, fewer obvious factual boners (although there are fortunately never that many of those.) It's possible that some of this is my increased reading experience, but I doubt it entirely is.

Re accepting alternate foreign-language answers: While it would indeed suck if someone missed the Three Kingdoms bonus part by saying 三国*, it didn't seem that widespread of a problem to me. For instance, 义和团 was acceptable for the Boxer Rebellion, and, happily, las Malvinas was acceptable for the bonus part on las Malvinas.

Anyway, things people in my room complained about:

UCSD A, Tossup 10: Okay, not something they complained about, but something I'm curious about: is there a difference between a prolation and a mensuration canon? And what is a "double" mensuration canon?

UCSD A, Tossup 17: They claimed that "feldspars" should have been acceptable, not just promptable, at least early on (I think right after the first mention of Bowen's reaction series; since a cursory Googling confirms that some feldspars exhibit the Schiller effect, they seem to have a case).

UCSD B, Tossup 13: They buzzed after Chargaff's rules with "nucleotides" and claimed that there should have been at least a prompt. I have no idea how correct this is.

UCSD B, Tossup 18: The first clue, on Beethoven's violin concerto, came up earlier in the tournament (with the bit about the timpani opening and everything).

Washington, Bonus 15: "Propyl alcohol" is not listed as an acceptable answer early for the part on propanol, although I ended up taking it after both teams in my room acceded to my taking it.

Illinois, Bonus 12: The null set part of the tossup seemed a little bit hard and misleading to me -- "null set" is often used outside of measure theory in informal mathematical conversation as a synonym for "empty set," but it's true that it has a more technical meaning. Nevertheless, while I'm not a measure theorist, I almost always hear people refer to a set of measure 0 as a "set of measure 0" (in fact, there's an old joke involving the ubiquity of this phrase as a counterexample in analysis). Without taking a measure theory course -- which I don't think we should expect in a Fall packet -- the measure-0 clue is probably just going to be confusing. I'd have tried to write this part on just the empty set, personally.

Anyway, five issues in seven packets seems pretty good to me.

* I got a Chinese test tomorrow, and I'm going to take my study opportunities where I find them.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:54 pm

UNC wrote:12. G.C. Pimental has attempted to bond this element with two fluoride atoms. This element’s yellow spectral lines were first observed during a solar eclipse by Pierre Janssen. Two atoms of this element can be combined to form Beryllium, and ultimately Carbon-12. This element’s most common isotope does not have a triple point where gas, liquid, and solid phases coexist in equilibrium. This element forms the basis for the triple-alpha process, and it can be created by the fusion of hydrogen. For 10 points, name this element with atomic number two, the lightest of the Noble gases.
ANSWER: Helium
Two times what number gives me 4? This clue seems just a wee bit easy to place at this part of the question even at ACF Fall.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by An Intergalactic Puzzlepalooza » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:11 pm

In the ER tossup, this may have just been moderator error, but one of our players was negged for an answer of reticulum, which given that the question talked about the sarcoplasmic reticulum as well, it feels like the tossup should be clear to at least prompt on.

On the positivism bonus, the only thing I can find that makes falsifiability unacceptable for verifiability is that Popper was only loosely associated with the Vienna Circle instead of being a straight up member. Not sure if that's a problem or not. Pretty sure it's not actually, I'm just annoyed for crossing this up on myself.

The Paul tossup's lead-in seems really, really easy, especially in comparison to, say, the tossups on Moses, Genesis, Ruth, and Aaron.

The minimalism bonus talks about John Adams, and then later we're asked John Adams in a tossup that asks about this minimalist.

Sun and Moon was an answer line twice, both as myth clues. I think one of them was under the geography distribution, but still.

There was one packet that I thought was frontloaded with science (I thought we had had 3/5 before question 10), but that was because somehow we ended up reading the extra bonus (Not sure why) and because I forgot psychology isn't science.

But yeah, overall I really enjoyed playing this. There weren't any particularly flashy answer lines, but there probably shouldn't be given the goal of the tournament.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:17 pm

An Intergalactic Puzzlepalooza wrote:On the positivism bonus, the only thing I can find that makes falsifiability unacceptable for verifiability is that Popper was only loosely associated with the Vienna Circle instead of being a straight up member. Not sure if that's a problem or not. Pretty sure it's not actually, I'm just annoyed for crossing this up on myself.
I have not looked at this question, so I may be putting my foot in my mouth, but falsificationism is not at all the same thing as verificationism, and is often seen as a reaction against it (and a critique of corresponding aspects of positivism). I cannot imagine a question on verifiability where falsifiability would be acceptable.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Fond du lac operon » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:26 pm

An Intergalactic Puzzlepalooza wrote:On the positivism bonus, the only thing I can find that makes falsifiability unacceptable for verifiability is that Popper was only loosely associated with the Vienna Circle instead of being a straight up member. Not sure if that's a problem or not. Pretty sure it's not actually, I'm just annoyed for crossing this up on myself.

The minimalism bonus talks about John Adams, and then later we're asked John Adams in a tossup that asks about this minimalist.
Positivism bonus wrote:[10] The Vienna Circle formulated this criterion of meaning, which rejected metaphysical and theological arguments that could not be proven scientifically. Problematically, this principle can’t be proven itself.
Considering one of the big advantages to falsifiability is that it doesn't need to prove itself, I think that bonus part does sufficiently distinguish between the two. Also, while I haven't read Logic of Scientific Discovery (although I'm planning on getting around to it), my impression is that Popper is mainly concerned with the philosophy of science, which doesn't entail getting rid of unfalsifiable but non-scientific fields of inquiry like metaphysics. The positivists very much did want to do away with metaphysics and other unverifiable branches of philosophy.

And the minimalism thing is silly. There are lots of minimalists out there -- Glass, Reich, Riley, Young, Nyman, Part, Gorecki are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head besides Adams. Far more troubling, I think, was the clue in the Saarinen question that mentioned how his only skyscraper was in NYC, followed by the clue in the NYC tossup that mentioned how Saarinen's only skyscraper was in this city.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by An Intergalactic Puzzlepalooza » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:37 pm

The Eighth Viscount of Waaaah wrote: I have not looked at this question, so I may be putting my foot in my mouth, but falsificationism is not at all the same thing as verificationism, and is often seen as a reaction against it (and a critique of corresponding aspects of positivism). I cannot imagine a question on verifiability where falsifiability would be acceptable.
4. Answer the following about the philosophical movement of logical positivism, for 10 points each:
[10] One concern of logical positivism was how to create a language unambiguous enough to be used properly in this field of study. Its namesake “method” involves devising hypotheses and then testing them experimentally.
ANSWER: science [or equivalents]
[10] Logical positivism arguably began with a “Circle” of intellectuals named for this city. Also called the Ernst Mach Society, their members included leader Moritz Schlick and a young Kurt Gödel.
ANSWER: Vienna [or Wien]
[10] The Vienna Circle formulated this criterion of meaning, which rejected metaphysical and theological arguments that could not be proven scientifically. Problematically, this principle can’t be proven itself.
ANSWER: verification principle [or verifiability; or word forms]
There was no definition given. As I understand it, you're right about the history behind the two, since they are competing standards.

Harrison's explanation makes sense though, and my understanding on that area is only enough to make that mistake possible, so yeah.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:50 pm

Just for clarity, this tournament didn't have anywhere near 1/1 World Lit. The bonuses were somewhat difficult at times, and the Japanese history bonus was on the hard end.

EDIT: Also, I do apologize for the repeats. Some of them were egregious and we caught, others were more subtle and we didn't catch, and a sad few were egregious and we sadly did not catch. John Lawrence actually pointed the Beethoven thing out to me and I removed it, but accidentally used the wrong version in the final packets.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by women, fire and dangerous things » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:08 pm

The leadin to the phoneme tossup is far from being uniquely identifying. Optimality Theory has been applied to subfields of linguistics other than phonology, and even within phonology, the clue could apply to a lot of different things.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Susan » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:13 pm

Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. wrote:Just for clarity, this tournament didn't have anywhere near 1/1 World Lit. The bonuses were somewhat difficult at times, and the Japanese history bonus was on the hard end.

EDIT: Also, I do apologize for the repeats. Some of them were egregious and we caught, others were more subtle and we didn't catch, and a sad few were egregious and we sadly did not catch. John Lawrence actually pointed the Beethoven thing out to me and I removed it, but accidentally used the wrong version in the final packets.
In case anyone was curious, the literature distribution for all ACF tournaments is:

American literature: 1/1
British literature: 1/1
European literature from 500 CE onwards: 1/1
World (anything not covered above and not originally written in English): 1/0 or 0/1
Anything you want, including ancient European literature, more of any category above, or combinations of categories above: 1/2 or 2/1
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by jmannor2 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:54 pm

The only thing that I can think of that really stuck out to me was the Silicate question. I thought it wasn't worded well, even though I guess it did specifically say this "mineral class," it was still confusing and pretty misleading towards someone saying feldspar early on. I feel like feldspar probably should have been acceptable up until right after the question mentions plagioclase. Also, this part of the question: "Some minerals in this class include microcline, a type of feldspar, and quartz." If someone was reading this and didn't know what microcline was, they would probably read it like it was a straight list of things, and not realize that "a type of feldspar" is adding more information to microcline. It was read in the list way to us, and that lead to even more confusion on at least my behalf because I know that microcline is a type of feldspar, but the way it was written made it sound like it wasn't a feldspar, and that the class the question was asking for only included one type of feldspar.

Other than that, I thought that the questions overall were fantastic. This is probably in my top 3 favorite tournaments I have played over my quiz bowl career. Thanks for a great set of questions!
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Unicolored Jay » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:11 am

Fond du lac operon wrote:
UCSD A, Tossup 10: Okay, not something they complained about, but something I'm curious about: is there a difference between a prolation and a mensuration canon? And what is a "double" mensuration canon?
From what I can find on the subject, there is no difference between a prolation and a mensuration canon. A double mensuration canon is when you have two lines of the melody, both being played at different speeds, instead of just one.


UCSD B, Tossup 13: They buzzed after Chargaff's rules with "nucleotides" and claimed that there should have been at least a prompt. I have no idea how correct this is.
My understanding is that nucleotides refer to the base, sugar, and phosphate group all together. I tried to make the tossup so that it only refers to the base; the first several clues were based off reactions that only the bases undergo, and the clue after that talks about joining the bases to the sugar and phosphate to form the nucleotide, so I'd say no. I could have added a prompt on "nucleobase" or just "base," however.
Washington, Bonus 15: "Propyl alcohol" is not listed as an acceptable answer early for the part on propanol, although I ended up taking it after both teams in my room acceded to my taking it.
Whoops, sorry about that.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Sam » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:47 am

An Intergalactic Puzzlepalooza wrote: But yeah, overall I really enjoyed playing this. There weren't any particularly flashy answer lines, but there probably shouldn't be given the goal of the tournament.
I think it could actually have stood to have a couple more flashy answer lines. Many of the bonuses especially seemed not so much easy as predictable. For instance, the bonus on Kafka works:
ACF Fall 2012, Buffalo wrote: Identify the following works by Franz Kafka, for 10 points each:
[10] The title character withers away through fasting and is replaced by a panther after his death in this Kafka story.
ANSWER: "A Hunger Artist" [or “Ein Hungerkünstler"; or “A Fasting Artist”; or “A Starvation Artist”]
[10] This Kafka novel tells of Josef K, who dies “like a dog” after being accused of an unknown crime by an inscrutable legal system.
ANSWER: The Trial [or Der Prozess]
[10] Gregor Samsa awakens to find he has transformed into a cockroach in this well-known novella by Kafka.
ANSWER: The Metamorphosis [or Die Verwandlung]
Kafka's pretty widely-read, and I think it's possible to come up with a clear "easy-medium-hard" structure that goes beyond "hard work-author-easier work" which would still be accessible to someone who's read The Metamorphosis. Similarly, the psychology bonus in the same packet:
ACF Fall 2012, Buffalo wrote: 18. Identify the following psychologists from their inhumane experiments, for 10 points each.
[10] This psychologist used devices like the “rape rack” and the “pit of despair” on monkeys in experiments showing that really, everyone just wants to be loved.
ANSWER: Harry Harlow
[10] This behaviorist showed that humans can be classically conditioned in an experiment where Little Albert was made to fear a white lab rat, as well as similar furry white objects.
ANSWER: John Watson
[10] In his Robber’s Cave experiments, this man pitted two groups of campers against one another; they united to drive off a common enemy, to rebel against the experimenters, or to achieve a common goal.
ANSWER: Muzafir Sherif
Ignoring the difficulty of this bonus (which is probably slightly above the target), this is a mostly surface treatment of three mostly unrelated experiments that really just tests whether you've heard of these things. I wouldn't be surprised if someone who's been playing quiz bowl for three years would have a better chance of 30-ing this than someone who's taken a psychology class.

I'm not complaining about clues being too easy or even clues being "stock," whatever that actually means. Rather, I think in many places difficulty was determined less by "how likely is it someone in the general population has heard of this" and more "how often has a quiz bowler heard about this." It's of course easier to be hilariously wrong in determining difficulty if the former method is used, but a greater variance in difficulty seems like a fair trade for more interesting questions.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by tiwonge » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:34 am

Minor point, but Malchus (Cornell, bonus 12) was not a soldier, but the slave of a high priest (John 18:10). I liked the idea, though.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:00 am

Sam wrote:I'm not complaining about clues being too easy or even clues being "stock," whatever that actually means. Rather, I think in many places difficulty was determined less by "how likely is it someone in the general population has heard of this" and more "how often has a quiz bowler heard about this."
One example of this that I felt was particularly egregious was the Columbia anthropologists question. I have actually read both The Myth of the Negro Past and Theodora Kroeber's book on Ishi, but I negged that question, and I'm guessing that most people with an interest in anthropology who have never played quiz bowl before would have found that question more difficult than a question on Ishi or Herskovits.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:36 am

Sam wrote:
An Intergalactic Puzzlepalooza wrote: But yeah, overall I really enjoyed playing this. There weren't any particularly flashy answer lines, but there probably shouldn't be given the goal of the tournament.
I think it could actually have stood to have a couple more flashy answer lines. Many of the bonuses especially seemed not so much easy as predictable. For instance, the bonus on Kafka works:
ACF Fall 2012, Buffalo wrote: Identify the following works by Franz Kafka, for 10 points each:
[10] The title character withers away through fasting and is replaced by a panther after his death in this Kafka story.
ANSWER: "A Hunger Artist" [or “Ein Hungerkünstler"; or “A Fasting Artist”; or “A Starvation Artist”]
[10] This Kafka novel tells of Josef K, who dies “like a dog” after being accused of an unknown crime by an inscrutable legal system.
ANSWER: The Trial [or Der Prozess]
[10] Gregor Samsa awakens to find he has transformed into a cockroach in this well-known novella by Kafka.
ANSWER: The Metamorphosis [or Die Verwandlung]
Kafka's pretty widely-read, and I think it's possible to come up with a clear "easy-medium-hard" structure that goes beyond "hard work-author-easier work" which would still be accessible to someone who's read The Metamorphosis. Similarly, the psychology bonus in the same packet:
ACF Fall 2012, Buffalo wrote: 18. Identify the following psychologists from their inhumane experiments, for 10 points each.
[10] This psychologist used devices like the “rape rack” and the “pit of despair” on monkeys in experiments showing that really, everyone just wants to be loved.
ANSWER: Harry Harlow
[10] This behaviorist showed that humans can be classically conditioned in an experiment where Little Albert was made to fear a white lab rat, as well as similar furry white objects.
ANSWER: John Watson
[10] In his Robber’s Cave experiments, this man pitted two groups of campers against one another; they united to drive off a common enemy, to rebel against the experimenters, or to achieve a common goal.
ANSWER: Muzafir Sherif
Ignoring the difficulty of this bonus (which is probably slightly above the target), this is a mostly surface treatment of three mostly unrelated experiments that really just tests whether you've heard of these things. I wouldn't be surprised if someone who's been playing quiz bowl for three years would have a better chance of 30-ing this than someone who's taken a psychology class.

I'm not complaining about clues being too easy or even clues being "stock," whatever that actually means. Rather, I think in many places difficulty was determined less by "how likely is it someone in the general population has heard of this" and more "how often has a quiz bowler heard about this." It's of course easier to be hilariously wrong in determining difficulty if the former method is used, but a greater variance in difficulty seems like a fair trade for more interesting questions.
I mean, I'm not really sure what you want from me here. If a bonus is submitted to me that has a decent medium/easy/hard structure and where, as far as I can tell, all three parts are reasonably important, I'm not going to waste limited time editing it to be super-exciting. When you say that "it's possible to come up with a clear "easy-medium-hard" structure that goes beyond "hard work-author-easier work" which would still be accessible to someone who's read The Metamorphosis:" I really don't know what you mean. If you're asking for a bonus where all three parts are on aspects of the Metamorphosis, sure, I could have done that, but Diana gave me a bonus on three Kafka stories that are all widely-read. I think that's a perfectly reasonable way to test knowledge, so I didn't mess with it.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by jmannor2 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:59 am

Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. wrote:
Sam wrote:
An Intergalactic Puzzlepalooza wrote: But yeah, overall I really enjoyed playing this. There weren't any particularly flashy answer lines, but there probably shouldn't be given the goal of the tournament.
I think it could actually have stood to have a couple more flashy answer lines. Many of the bonuses especially seemed not so much easy as predictable. For instance, the bonus on Kafka works:
ACF Fall 2012, Buffalo wrote: Identify the following works by Franz Kafka, for 10 points each:
[10] The title character withers away through fasting and is replaced by a panther after his death in this Kafka story.
ANSWER: "A Hunger Artist" [or “Ein Hungerkünstler"; or “A Fasting Artist”; or “A Starvation Artist”]
[10] This Kafka novel tells of Josef K, who dies “like a dog” after being accused of an unknown crime by an inscrutable legal system.
ANSWER: The Trial [or Der Prozess]
[10] Gregor Samsa awakens to find he has transformed into a cockroach in this well-known novella by Kafka.
ANSWER: The Metamorphosis [or Die Verwandlung]
Kafka's pretty widely-read, and I think it's possible to come up with a clear "easy-medium-hard" structure that goes beyond "hard work-author-easier work" which would still be accessible to someone who's read The Metamorphosis. Similarly, the psychology bonus in the same packet:
ACF Fall 2012, Buffalo wrote: 18. Identify the following psychologists from their inhumane experiments, for 10 points each.
[10] This psychologist used devices like the “rape rack” and the “pit of despair” on monkeys in experiments showing that really, everyone just wants to be loved.
ANSWER: Harry Harlow
[10] This behaviorist showed that humans can be classically conditioned in an experiment where Little Albert was made to fear a white lab rat, as well as similar furry white objects.
ANSWER: John Watson
[10] In his Robber’s Cave experiments, this man pitted two groups of campers against one another; they united to drive off a common enemy, to rebel against the experimenters, or to achieve a common goal.
ANSWER: Muzafir Sherif
Ignoring the difficulty of this bonus (which is probably slightly above the target), this is a mostly surface treatment of three mostly unrelated experiments that really just tests whether you've heard of these things. I wouldn't be surprised if someone who's been playing quiz bowl for three years would have a better chance of 30-ing this than someone who's taken a psychology class.

I'm not complaining about clues being too easy or even clues being "stock," whatever that actually means. Rather, I think in many places difficulty was determined less by "how likely is it someone in the general population has heard of this" and more "how often has a quiz bowler heard about this." It's of course easier to be hilariously wrong in determining difficulty if the former method is used, but a greater variance in difficulty seems like a fair trade for more interesting questions.
I mean, I'm not really sure what you want from me here. If a bonus is submitted to me that has a decent medium/easy/hard structure and where, as far as I can tell, all three parts are reasonably important, I'm not going to waste limited time editing it to be super-exciting. When you say that "it's possible to come up with a clear "easy-medium-hard" structure that goes beyond "hard work-author-easier work" which would still be accessible to someone who's read The Metamorphosis:" I really don't know what you mean. If you're asking for a bonus where all three parts are on aspects of the Metamorphosis, sure, I could have done that, but Diana gave me a bonus on three Kafka stories that are all widely-read. I think that's a perfectly reasonable way to test knowledge, so I didn't mess with it.
For whatever it's worth, while playing I thought that Kafka bonus was a perfect representation of easy-medium-hard structure of a literature bonus in ACF Fall level difficulty. I don't really see how "A Hunger Artist" is predictable. If anything, The Metamorphosis would be, but that's only because it's his most famous work, and it's ACF Fall level difficulty, so what do you expect?
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Sam » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:08 am

Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. wrote: I mean, I'm not really sure what you want from me here. If a bonus is submitted to me that has a decent medium/easy/hard structure and where, as far as I can tell, all three parts are reasonably important, I'm not going to waste limited time editing it to be super-exciting. When you say that "it's possible to come up with a clear "easy-medium-hard" structure that goes beyond "hard work-author-easier work" which would still be accessible to someone who's read The Metamorphosis:" I really don't know what you mean. If you're asking for a bonus where all three parts are on aspects of the Metamorphosis, sure, I could have done that, but Diana gave me a bonus on three Kafka stories that are all widely-read. I think that's a perfectly reasonable way to test knowledge, so I didn't mess with it.
Okay, that's fair. I was trying not to fall into the "I've heard of this so it must be terrible" fallacy, but on reflection I suspect I did. What does seem like more of a problem is the second example and the Bandura bonus Mike Bentley quoted above, where quiz bowl familiarity seemed to be the metric used for determining ease.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:30 am

The Columbia University tossup struck me as an interesting idea that I'm not sure how it played. It's important that all of the people in the question went to Columbia--Kroeber was the first ever recipient of a doctorate in anthro from Columbia and (I think) they all studied directly under Boas, so the importance and clue selection seemed okay. However, if you are aware that Columbia's anthro department is a big deal, it seems like it would be kind of easy to fraud (maybe UChicago would be an alternate guess?), as the question basically just kept saying "These anthropologists went there." Also, when boiled down to it, as I think Alex is suggesting, the question was basically just testing knowledge of one thing--"do you know that anthropologists went to Columbia?" At some point, you're either buzzing with it or probably not at all. In my opinion, it's something that works better as a bonus part or if spiffed up and made coyer, a tossup at a harder tournament.

Of course, the person playing the question doesn't know that all of the clues are going to be on anthropologists, so maybe the transparency point is silly.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:13 pm

Sam wrote:
Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. wrote: I mean, I'm not really sure what you want from me here. If a bonus is submitted to me that has a decent medium/easy/hard structure and where, as far as I can tell, all three parts are reasonably important, I'm not going to waste limited time editing it to be super-exciting. When you say that "it's possible to come up with a clear "easy-medium-hard" structure that goes beyond "hard work-author-easier work" which would still be accessible to someone who's read The Metamorphosis:" I really don't know what you mean. If you're asking for a bonus where all three parts are on aspects of the Metamorphosis, sure, I could have done that, but Diana gave me a bonus on three Kafka stories that are all widely-read. I think that's a perfectly reasonable way to test knowledge, so I didn't mess with it.
Okay, that's fair. I was trying not to fall into the "I've heard of this so it must be terrible" fallacy, but on reflection I suspect I did. What does seem like more of a problem is the second example and the Bandura bonus Mike Bentley quoted above, where quiz bowl familiarity seemed to be the metric used for determining ease.
This could be. The Bandura bonus part I think was gettable, particularly compared to the bonus part it replaced on "reciprocal determinism," but it probably was quizbowl-y. I've never taken a psych class and kind of had to go off of what I knew rather than pick something that looked important but I'd never heard of.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by PeterB » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:44 pm

I can't actually be bothered to find which questions I'm referring to, but there was a toss-up on wavelength, I think, which mentioned Raleigh scattering, and then a bonus later which gave the same clues in the toss-up asking for Raleigh as an answer. Also, the lead-in to the Elgar question wasn't uniquely identifying, since at least Mendelssohn also wrote works when he went on holiday to Italy.

Repeats aside, I had a really fun day, and thought it was a pretty well-written tournament, so thanks to everyone involved! Also thanks to Kyle, Edmund and John (and anyone else I may have missed out) for Briticising it (at somewhat short notice, I gather) for the Warwick mirror!
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Cody » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:44 pm

It was Rayleigh criterion.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Smuttynose Island » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:09 pm

Although I suppose you are certainly welcome to post anything that you want to, I will say that, as first time college editor who is looking for constructive criticism on his work, it is extremely unhelpful when people post "Question A repeated clues from Question B." While this is certainly bad, this set isn't going to change and the editors aren't gaining anything from this sort of post. Because of this, those posts are effectively useless, and just become obnoxious to read.

I should probably be clear and state that posts which make overarching critiques and use specific questions to support said overarching critique ARE helpful, provided that other people haven't made them already. In other words, posts like Mike Bentley's posts are helpful, because they give criticism that can be used to improve ones editing skills and offer concrete examples of where editors fail, so that they can then see how to identify a given type of failure.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:16 pm

I don't see how saying "pay attention to repeats" is unhelpful to first time (or repeat) editors.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Smuttynose Island » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:24 pm

Fred wrote:I don't see how saying "pay attention to repeats" is unhelpful to first time (or repeat) editors.
Saying "pay attention to repeats" is helpful, to any editor for that matter, but what is not helpful is having x number of people individually point out y number of questions that used repeat clues, especially when no one is discrediting the idea that a set had too many repeats. The latter phenomenon leads to a one-sided, repeating, and lengthy discussion thread that accomplishes no more than the first post which stated "This set had a lot of repeats. Here are a few examples. And now here are some ways that you can fix this."
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:31 pm

I see where Daniel is coming from, but as a moderator, let me gently remind tournament editors that it's best to promote the sort of discussion you want, rather than telling people how to post.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Unicolored Jay » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:34 pm

PeterB wrote:Also, the lead-in to the Elgar question wasn't uniquely identifying, since at least Mendelssohn also wrote works when he went on holiday to Italy.
The tossup mentions that the piece in question, In the South, was dedicated to Leo Schuster. This is before Italy is mentioned. I don't think that would apply to Mendelssohn (or whoever) along with the visit to Italy. If there is another example fitting both criteria, then it's definitely a problem, but I think it's okay given the clue placement.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:39 pm

What was the motivation to use solely single-author packets?
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Smuttynose Island » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:42 pm

merv1618 wrote:What was the motivation to use solely single-author packets?
Although I can't speak on behalf of why Matt did this, I can say that, as a TD, this was extremely helpful. Having packets authored solely by one team made it easier to make schedules as it was much easier to avoid having teams playing on a packet that they contributed to.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:47 pm

My impression of this set was largely positive. I do think that it seemed a little sloppy around the edges, as others have noted. There appeared to be several little typos, repeats, and most detrimentally, relatively few alternate answers. Answer lines are perhaps the most important part of a question because they can have a huge impact on game outcomes and player experiences. It's simply not acceptable to systematically fail to list answers (or prompts) that a player is likely to give. All that said, this was a quality accessible set, and I think the editors did a fine job with it.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:02 pm

theMoMA wrote:My impression of this set was largely positive. I do think that it seemed a little sloppy around the edges, as others have noted. There appeared to be several little typos, repeats, and most detrimentally, relatively few alternate answers. Answer lines are perhaps the most important part of a question because they can have a huge impact on game outcomes and player experiences. It's simply not acceptable to systematically fail to list answers (or prompts) that a player is likely to give. All that said, this was a quality accessible set, and I think the editors did a fine job with it.
Thanks, Andrew. I think those are fair criticisms and I'll pay more attention to alternate answers and repeats in the future.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:40 pm

Yeah, sorry if it sounded like I was taking it out on the editors of this tournament only. I've noticed a lot of answer-line issues with recent tournaments (and not-so-recent tournaments).
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:12 pm

On the subject of repeats, I want to mention the "spider" repeat: the spider mythology common-link tossup in the Florida packet and the spider literature bonus part in the Georgia Tech B packet, both of which mention Arachne. I mention this not as part of the piling on about the repeats (which Daniel is rather belligerently decrying), but to discuss this as a different phenomenon than the Beethoven violin concerto clue repeating in a bonus and a tossup within the same category. The latter simply should not and usually does not happen when an editor is keeping track of what things have come up in his own category. (No further commentary necessary.) However, the former (repeats across categories) happen really frequently, because too many tournaments rely on the head editor (or proofreaders) to catch these, which rarely happens.

Subject editors, when you get a question that potentially overlaps with something in another category, you should alert the editor for that category and/or the head editor to let him know about this. For example, last year, while arts editing Regionals, I received a Britten tossup that used clues about his opera adaptation of The Turn of the Screw and a Strauss tossup that used clues about Also Sprach Zarathustra. Before editing them, I first checked with the literature and RMP editors (Trevor and Auroni) to make sure that those works hadn't appeared in the set yet, and to warn them that I was planning on including clues on those, so they knew to delete any references to them that might come in future submissions. Subject editors, bear this in mind as you edit, and you will decrease the number of repeats that slip by the head editor. I find that Ancient Greek and Roman history and mythology are particular areas to beware, because of how much literature and philosophy tends to draw on them, and how fluidly they permeate the different disciplines of the humanities.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:23 pm

Smuttynose Island wrote:Although I suppose you are certainly welcome to post anything that you want to, I will say that, as first time college editor who is looking for constructive criticism on his work, it is extremely unhelpful when people post "Question A repeated clues from Question B." While this is certainly bad, this set isn't going to change and the editors aren't gaining anything from this sort of post. Because of this, those posts are effectively useless, and just become obnoxious to read.
As not a first time editor, I also find these kinds of posts extraordinarily annoying (people seem to think there is a cash prize for pointing out relatively minor errors in questions, as if tournaments were textbooks from the 1950's), but I've learned to treasure them: if all people can complain about are small errors, that must mean that you didn't make any profound mistakes with the set.

But if you constantly receive the same petty criticism tournament after tournament, perhaps there's a glitch in your mechanics that you can work out. Even a bad post can be helpful in the same way that smoke is.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:44 pm

Positivism bonus wrote:[10] The Vienna Circle formulated this criterion of meaning, which rejected metaphysical and theological arguments that could not be proven scientifically. Problematically, this principle can’t be proven itself.
A hypothetical bonus part on falsifiability wrote:[10] The Vienna Circle formulated this criterion of meaning, which rejected metaphysical and theological arguments that could not be DISproven scientifically. Problematically, this principle can’t be proven itself.
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Re: ACF Fall 2012 Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:50 pm

That's missing the forest for the trees; verificationism is largely about the elimination of metaphysics from philosophy, whereas falsifability is about demarcating science from pseudoscience. That you could, in theory, use verificationism against pseudoscience or falsifiability against metaphysics is sort of looking at the letter of the law without a true understanding of what these positions were intended to accomplish by their creators. As you may guess from me saying that, the quizbowl implications here are that we should take a dim view of protests or complaints that arise from technicalities which only exist in the context of broad misinterpretations of the substantive material.
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