2013 ICT DI general set discussion

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2013 ICT DI general set discussion

Post by setht » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:50 am

Was the DI set too hard? Too easy? Were middle parts of bonuses too variable? Did tossup answers range too widely in difficulty, or not widely enough?

Here's the thread to talk about that kind of stuff.

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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:07 am

I'm not sure where to post this, but has NAQT considered making sure that packet 8 (which is always used for tiebreakers) is properly distributed? This is the second year in a row I've played a tiebreaker and been frustrated at how the packet was distributed (I unfortunately can't remember anything about the packet's distribution off of the top of my head, so I'm afraid I'm not much help with specific examples).
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:11 am

We absolutely need to do that. I'll ask R. about it in June.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:41 pm

Enjoyable set. A few observations:

1. The biggest criticism I have is that the difficulty swings got a little weird. The idea of what was a hard part and what was an easy (or middle) part was a little unclear sometimes, especially across categories. Was the easy part going to give you lots of clues (like, say, the Grieg easy part), or was it going to assume you could figure out the easy part from one clue? That sort of thing. How hard was the hard part going to go?

2. Trash was...also weird. I greatly enjoyed bonuses where the '90s TV show Millennium is the middle part (?) or tossups that spend 2 lines on the aliases of Boris Badenov, but I'm not sure if they're the most useful things in the world for the majority of people playing the set. On the other hand, I respect this set immensely for not going for the obvious and writing on the trash du jour of the day.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by kayli » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:54 pm

I had fun playing the set overall, but I was wondering if other people also had complaints about the trash. It seemed the trash distribution seemed skewed towards the 90s and early 2000s or towards neckbeardia, which is fine for people born in the late 80s but a bit frustrating for us youngins.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Gautam » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:39 am

So, a quick note-

That tossup on "Heaven" which has already been dissected in the other thread was tossup #20 or 21 in that packet. Are we still undecided on whether or not to put trash questions this late into a packet? I feel like people have complained about this for ages (though I can't recall any specific discussion.)

It was really unfortunate to watch Mich State lose that game on that tossup; that "Heaven" TU was the last TU we read that round. In many of the tournaments for which I've compiled packets I've always tried to put the trash before TU 15. I hope that the NAQT packet-making algorithms can be tweaked to do the same. The exact point can be arbitrary, but it allows for players to form better expectations on the likelihood of trash showing up in the end of a packet.

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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:06 am

Eccles cake wrote:neckbeardia
What does this mean?
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:52 am

Gautam wrote: It was really unfortunate to watch Mich State lose that game on that tossup; that "Heaven" TU was the last TU we read that round.
For the record, in protest resolution we threw that tossup out (resulting in tied-after-19 and then MIT powered the replacement tossup, which was history).
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:21 pm

Gautam wrote:Are we still undecided on whether or not to put trash questions this late into a packet? I feel like people have complained about this for ages (though I can't recall any specific discussion.)

It was really unfortunate to watch Mich State lose that game on that tossup; that "Heaven" TU was the last TU we read that round. In many of the tournaments for which I've compiled packets I've always tried to put the trash before TU 15. I hope that the NAQT packet-making algorithms can be tweaked to do the same. The exact point can be arbitrary, but it allows for players to form better expectations on the likelihood of trash showing up in the end of a packet.
NAQT does not share this concern; we do not anticipate that we will ever restrict popular culture questions to particular parts of packets.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by tiwonge » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:10 pm

Gautam wrote:So, a quick note-

That tossup on "Heaven" which has already been dissected in the other thread was tossup #20 or 21 in that packet. Are we still undecided on whether or not to put trash questions this late into a packet? I feel like people have complained about this for ages (though I can't recall any specific discussion.)

It was really unfortunate to watch Mich State lose that game on that tossup; that "Heaven" TU was the last TU we read that round. In many of the tournaments for which I've compiled packets I've always tried to put the trash before TU 15. I hope that the NAQT packet-making algorithms can be tweaked to do the same. The exact point can be arbitrary, but it allows for players to form better expectations on the likelihood of trash showing up in the end of a packet.

--Gautam
Wouldn't this have the effect of increasing the trash distribution, since all questions before 15 will get read, but some questions after, say, 18 or 20 might not get read?
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:46 pm

Yeah, ultimately I don't think it matters much where the trash comes up. It feels kind of unfortunate when a trash tossup you don't know ends up being the deciding tossup in a game, but ultimately every other tossup in the match bore an equivalent impact on outcome of the game. Trash is an expected part of the format--you could just as fruitlessly complain that a science tossup or a philosophy tossup or another tossup on something you don't know decided the match, but them's the breaks. Mandating that the trash appear in a specific part of the packet seems like it would just introduce further problems.

(Bad tossups with inexplicably-chosen, ambiguous clues are a different matter, of course--those shouldn't be in any match!)
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:57 pm

Yeah, in a packet of 20/20, a trash TU (or any category) can go anywhere in the first 20 and it won't possibly affect the outcome; a lot of people like the feng shui of not having it late, so it's probably good to have the trash in the first half or early second-half. After all, it won't actually make a difference.

In timed NAQT, the placement of the trash (or any category) can affect the outcome, as placing it later decreases the probability it will be read; therefore, ensuring trash (or any category) is read in the first x tossups is actually counter-productive if you want that category to be marginalized.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:30 pm

in on these shenanigans wrote:In timed NAQT, the placement of the trash (or any category) can affect the outcome, as placing it later decreases the probability it will be read; therefore, ensuring trash (or any category) is read in the first x tossups is actually counter-productive if you want that category to be marginalized.
On the other hand, placing it late in the packet means that it's more likely to come up at a crucial moment in down-to-the-wire games between top teams, where all the tossups are being read. If your assumption is that the occurrence of a trash tossup is always a negative (which assumption I'm not really big on--NAQT has trash in it; you (the general you) are best served Dealing With It), there's no optimal solution.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:18 am

Ukonvasara wrote:On the other hand, placing it late in the packet means that it's more likely to come up at a crucial moment in down-to-the-wire games between top teams, where all the tossups are being read. If your assumption is that the occurrence of a trash tossup is always a negative (which assumption I'm not really big on--NAQT has trash in it; you (the general you) are best served Dealing With It), there's no optimal solution.
Under that assumption, the idea that "every tossup is weighted the same, it's just a psychological effect that makes it more annoying when tossup 24 is a bad question than when tossup 2 is bad" is still present, which means that it's better to toy with some people's emotions and put the trash last than it is to put the trash early and make everyone suffer in a way that merely feels less malignant.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:59 am

To back up one level: Do people still want the ICT to have trash at all? If so, why? If not, why not? It seems like people who only see the placement of trash as a psychological problem between top teams should be easily attracted to the proposition that there should be no trash to place anywhere in the packet at all.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:04 am

RyuAqua wrote:To back up one level: Do people still want the ICT to have trash at all? If so, why? No one in this thread seems to be thinking of trash as anything other than a psychological demerit.
As a corollary, at the very least, the trash should be things that the field could have directly experienced. I'm one of the older people in the field now, and I think Magnum PI was cancelled the same year I was born and Karateka was popular before I was even alive. At least with something like Kid Icarus you could have been exposed to it via Super Smash Brothers Brawl or the new Kid Icarus: Uprising for Nintendo DS.

On the other hand, the question on Kerrigan was one of my favorites all day (I didn't get it).
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:15 am

RyuAqua wrote:To back up one level: Do people still want the ICT to have trash at all? If so, why? If not, why not? It seems like people who only see the placement of trash as a psychological problem between top teams should be easily attracted to the proposition that there should be no trash to place anywhere in the packet at all.
I'm sort of surprised that, conditional on wanting trash in ICT, there's a general belief that the trash should be of recent vintage. Why not establish the same standard as in EVERY OTHER category: the subject matter should be determined by some function of importance, influence, inherent quality, and playability?
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:33 am

Tees-Exe Line wrote:Why not establish the same standard as in EVERY OTHER category: the subject matter should be determined by some function of importance, influence, inherent quality, and playability?
We...don't do that now?
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Cheynem » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:41 am

1. I think ICT should still have trash. I believe the presence of trash makes the NAQT distro different than ACF and thus an unique, interesting experience.

2. The trash in this set could probably stand to have been slightly more "recent," especially the television. From my own experiences, I think TV ends up being one of the more ephemeral trash topics, despite the fact that with the Internet and DVDs, people can watch all the old TV they want. I don't see anything wrong with asking about older music, sports, and film, as it's quite easy and expected for people with an interest to learn about or experience those things (i.e.. I'm cool with sports questions rewarding knowledge of some World Series in the 1970's or a music question about the 1984 song Summer of 69, preferably with common link aspects to make them more palatable). Perhaps NAQT could strive some sort of internal balance in regard to time period for its trash.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:42 am

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
Tees-Exe Line wrote:Why not establish the same standard as in EVERY OTHER category: the subject matter should be determined by some function of importance, influence, inherent quality, and playability?
We...don't do that now?
I wouldn't say we do... is that deluded? It seems to me (and I'm basically the least knowledgeable person ever) that trash is dominated by recent, fleeting musical acts and contemporary sports (from this and the last couple of seasons). Why not ask about really important popular music, for instance?
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:49 am

Cheynem wrote:2. The trash in this set could probably stand to have been slightly more "recent," especially the television. From my own experiences, I think TV ends up being one of the more ephemeral trash topics, despite the fact that with the Internet and DVDs, people can watch all the old TV they want. I don't see anything wrong with asking about older music, sports, and film, as it's quite easy and expected for people with an interest to learn about or experience those things (i.e.. I'm cool with sports questions rewarding knowledge of some World Series in the 1970's or a music question about the 1984 song Summer of 69, preferably with common link aspects to make them more palatable). Perhaps NAQT could strive some sort of internal balance in regard to time period for its trash.
Along with this, I think older trash should mostly be selected from things that people still remember and consume often, or at least things that were highly influential. While it can be disputed whether "Summer of '69" has aged well, it still plays on the radio all the time. Some media (maybe video games, TV?) tend to have a shorter shelf-life than others.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:50 am

Cheynem wrote:Perhaps NAQT could strive some sort of internal balance in regard to time period for its trash.
We do try to balance trash by era. (On our distribution page, note the split between "modern" and "any time period" popular culture questions. For sports, music, and movies, "modern" is within the last ten years; for TV and miscellaneous, within the last five.)
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Cheynem » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:54 am

I don't recall a ton of questions on contemporary sports or recent musical acts at this ICT.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:01 pm

Cheynem wrote:I don't recall a ton of questions on contemporary sports or recent musical acts at this ICT.
I was talking about trash in general, not even at ICT let alone this ICT. I admit I don't pay a lot of attention to the sub-distribution, but in general I'm pushing back on the idea that what's wrong with trash-at-ICT is that its coverage is **too old**.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:04 pm

Contemporary sports:

tossups: Albert Pujols, Denver Broncos (this one had older clues in the leadin), steals, Nancy Lieberman, arena football

bonuses: gambling scandals, MLS bonus

Recent musical acts:

tossups: Fiona Apple, Insane Clown Posse, System of a Down

bonuses: collaborators with Alicia Keys, Raekwon the Chef, The Decemberists
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by marnold » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:36 pm

Let me put on my NostradamusLAFFO hat. This will get split off into a new thread, then Jerry (or, Matt Jackson as new-Jerry, or whoever else) says trash should go away, then some other people say it shouldn't because it makes NAQT unique, then someone points out the clock is unique, then the first group of people bitch about the clock, then it's accurately observed that all their desired changes to NAQT are "make it ACF," then in 360 days the exact fucking thing happens again because this has happened annually the last 5 years.

Anyway, the trash was fine, the set was fine.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:00 pm

marnold wrote:Let me put on my NostradamusLAFFO hat. This will get split off into a new thread, then Jerry (or, Matt Jackson as new-Jerry, or whoever else) says trash should go away, then some other people say it shouldn't because it makes NAQT unique, then someone points out the clock is unique, then the first group of people bitch about the clock, then it's accurately observed that all their desired changes to NAQT are "make it ACF," then in 360 days the exact fucking thing happens again because this has happened annually the last 5 years.

Anyway, the trash was fine, the set was fine.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by kayli » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:07 pm

Is there any reason trash should come up at ICT? NAQT already has a unique distribution so trash isn't the only distinguishing factor between ACF and NAQT, and I find it kind of funny that any time someone wants to get rid of trash there are scores of people whining about how trash can be written about culturally important phenomena like Bob Dylan but instead we're given System of a Down and Insane Clown Posse. There are two solutions I see for ICT (which is supposed to be a legitimate, academic national tournament): 1) get rid of trash for the thousands of reasons people have outlined before or 2) cut the trash significantly and replace it with a "modern culture" category, which should incorporate culturally important phenomenon as well as things like film theory.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Cheynem » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:39 pm

What is wrong with System of a Down and Insane Clown Posse (the latter of which is amazingly culturally important)?
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:12 pm

in on these shenanigans wrote:
Ukonvasara wrote:On the other hand, placing it late in the packet means that it's more likely to come up at a crucial moment in down-to-the-wire games between top teams, where all the tossups are being read. If your assumption is that the occurrence of a trash tossup is always a negative (which assumption I'm not really big on--NAQT has trash in it; you (the general you) are best served Dealing With It), there's no optimal solution.
Under that assumption, the idea that "every tossup is weighted the same, it's just a psychological effect that makes it more annoying when tossup 24 is a bad question than when tossup 2 is bad" is still present, which means that it's better to toy with some people's emotions and put the trash last than it is to put the trash early and make everyone suffer in a way that merely feels less malignant.
Well, no, because putting it late means it affects high-scoring games between top-tier teams more. My primary point was that "trash is an inherently 'bad' thing that causes 'suffering' and thus the questions must be hidden somehow" is a silly argument.
Eccles cake wrote:culturally important phenomena like Bob Dylan
This argument is made at least once a year and it's still stupid, not least because everyone who ever suggests it can apparently only think of one to five things that rate (Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, and Elvis--what a thrilling pop culture distribution!).
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:21 pm

Cheynem wrote:Insane Clown Posse (the latter of which is amazingly culturally important)?
ICP literally encapsulates everything that is wrong with humanity.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:40 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
Cheynem wrote:Insane Clown Posse (the latter of which is amazingly culturally important)?
ICP literally encapsulates everything that is wrong with humanity.
Which, in part, is why they are so important!
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:41 pm

NAQT is not ACF and (hopefully for the sake of variety) will never be ACF. What ACF is doesn't have to be what quizbowl is "supposed" to be. There's nothing wrong with trash, or geography, or the clock. ICT and ACF Nationals are very different tournaments, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Now instead of recycling the same old "i think trash bad" discussion, can we talk about things that were actually good or bad about this tournament? For example, those tossups on "Rome Declaring War" and "The Canadian Great Depression" were really bad ideas (especially the latter!) and we should try to avoid that.

EDIT: I also was a little concerned with how well, "all over the place" ppbs were, but I have no clue whether or not that is nothing to worry about or an actual issue with ICT's bonuses, which I felt were pretty consistent while playing them.
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Cheynem
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by Cheynem » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:02 pm

I don't think the idea of "The Great Depression [in Canada]" is inherently bad, I don't think it was super well executed. It dropped a famous Canadian's name early, made it clear it was a response to bad economic stuff, and then right out of power is a comparison to FDR doing something.
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by kayli » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:12 pm

Inkana7 wrote:NAQT is not ACF and (hopefully for the sake of variety) will never be ACF. What ACF is doesn't have to be what quizbowl is "supposed" to be. There's nothing wrong with trash, or geography, or the clock. ICT and ACF Nationals are very different tournaments, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Will getting rid of trash (or perhaps replacing it with an exciting "culture and criticism" category) turn NAQT into ACF? The answer is clearly no since NAQT is far from just being ACF with trash. It's possible to retain NAQT-ness without trash as I hope will happen.
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The Ununtiable Twine
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Re: DI general set discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:14 pm

After looking at the set, I couldn't help but notice that the three tossups on Japanese things that were included in the set (at least in the packets we heard) were all tossup 24 in their respective packets. I'm not advocating having more than three questions on these particular topics in the set, however it would have been nice if they wouldn't have all migrated to the very end of the packets so that we could have heard at least one or two of them.
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