Who wrote what

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Who wrote what

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:38 pm

Sarah Angelo wrote 12 questions (all of the Greco-Roman myth).
George Berry wrote 99 questions (most of the visual art, some auditory art, all of the current events, nearly all of the trash).
Auroni Gupta wrote 49 questions (nearly all of the American literature, all of the other myth, a few trash).
Daniel Hothem wrote 126 questions (nearly all of the history and a few literature).
Cody Voight wrote 181 questions (all of the science, all of the film, all of the geography, nearly all of the auditory art, a few trash) and took the lead on scheduling and assembling the set.
I wrote 164 questions (nearly all of the British, European, and world literature, all of the religion, all of the philosophy, all of the social science, and a few history and American literature).
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Smuttynose Island » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:22 am

I'd like to thank Eric Mukherjee and Saul Hankin for submitting TUs on the 8888 Uprising and intifadas, respectively.
Daniel Hothem
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:21 am

I was really looking forward to this tournament, because VCU Open's 2010 and 2011 were great, but this tournament was an awful mess.

First of all, this tournament was advertised as followed: "Difficulty will be very similar to the 2011 incarnation". Having written the set yourselves, how could you possibly imagine that this would be the case? No one broke 20 PPG at either site, in spite of the fact that Virginia A attended. VCU Open 2011 was a hair harder than Regionals; this set was of Nationals-level difficulty, and that should have been plain from reading/writing it.

The main problem was not that this tournament was too hard, but rather that it had no difficulty. It was of every difficulty, including CO. Looking at the bonuses in this tournament, I have absolutely no idea what the hell this tournament was aiming for.

If I had to sum up the problems this tournament had with bonuses, I could show these two bonuses, which were two apart in the same packet:
This law was deemed unconstitutional in the E.C. Knight case. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this law that established the "rule of reason" test. The Danbury Hatters case, also known as Loewe v. Lawlor, established that secondary boycotts were illegal under this law.
ANSWER: Sherman Antitrust Act
[10] The Sherman Antitrust Act was used to break up this oil monopoly. It was founded by John Rockefeller.
ANSWER: Standard Oil
[10] This was the first company to be broken up by the Sherman Antitrust Act. This holding company was created by James Hill.
ANSWER: Northern Securities Company
This bestselling composer of chamber music was instructed on the piano by Kumiko Tamura. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this inspiration for characters in Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness, My Deluged Soul, and Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age!
ANSWER: Hikari Oe [prompt on Oe]
[10] In this novel, dealing with the birth of a character based on Hikari Oe, the protagonist rejects Himiko's suggestion to cause his child's death and run away to Africa.
ANSWER: A Personal Matter [or Kojinteki na taiken]
[10] Hikari Oe, who did not speak as a child, first vocalized these sounds while walking, an incident fictionalized in Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age!
ANSWER: bird songs [or equivalents]
How are these in the same tournament?

You have bonuses like this, which characterize maybe half of the bonuses in this set:
Institutions in this country include the Hotel Liberty in the capital, Jacksonburg, where foreign visitors tend to stay, and the Pension Dressler, where Katchen learns that this country's president has been locked inside his palace. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this fictional country, with two competing embassies in London, and where Mr. Baldwin's mineral interests eclipse both Soviet and German maneuvering.
ANSWER: Ishmaelia
[10] Ishmaelia appears in this novel, in which The Daily Beast mistakenly sends John Boot, the dilettante author of the nature column "Lush Places," on a foreign correspondent's assignment.
ANSWER: Scoop
[10] Scoop debuted two years after this less fictionalized memoir based on the same events, in which the author recounted his own assignment by the Daily Mail to report on Mussolini's invasion.
ANSWER: Waugh in Abyssinia
Scoop is not an easy part, especially not without giving Waugh! Even at Nats, this would be middle-middle-hard.
Five men try to maintain control of the sails in this painting while the rest sit calmly surrounding a single figure. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this painting that depicts an excerpt from Mark 4, and is still missing after being taken in the 1990 Gardner robbery.
ANSWER: The Storm on the Sea of Galilee
[10] This artist of a portrait of Saskia van Uylenburgh and of A Polish Nobleman painted The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.
ANSWER: Rembrandt van Rijn
[10] In this painting by Rembrandt an attendant wipes clean the foot of the title figure which replaces a traditional tower in the background with a letter being read.
ANSWER: Bathsheba at her Bath [or Bathsheba with King David’s Letter]
Two preposterously obscure Rembrandt paintings, and Rembrandt himself off of no well-known clues except the name of his wife.
This man contributed to the Oxford movement controversy with his book The Anglican Career of Cardinal Newman, and his other theological writings include The Kernel and the Husk and Philochristus. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this author of Shakespearean Grammar who caused an 1889 kerfuffle with his critically minded article on "The Gospels" in the Encyclopedia Britannica.
ANSWER: Edwin Abbott Abbott
[10] Edwin Abbott is best known for writing this "romance of many dimensions" under the pseudonym "A. Square." In it, the square narrator converses with an evangelical sphere about the caste structure in his society, in which squares give birth to pentagons and women are lines.
ANSWER: Flatland
[10] The square recounts this important event in the history of Flatland, during which isosceles triangles impersonated many-sided polygons and the namesake characteristic was outlawed as a result, leading to a violent reaction.
ANSWER: the Color War
An all Flatland bonus, with Flatland as an easy part?! We're supposed to know about Abbott's non-Flatland career for a middle part?!
This woman was courted by a river god who appeared, according to various traditions, to either his rival or her father as a bull, a snake, and a man. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this woman who later accidentally killed her husband with the blood of another river-dweller.
ANSWER: Deianeira
[10] This river god lost a horn while fighting Heracles for the right to marry Deianeira. Some sources consider him the father of the Sirens.
ANSWER: Achelous
[10] This member of the Epigoni was freed from the Furies, who pursued him after the murder of his mother Eriphyle, when he found a recently-created island at the mouth of the river Achelous.
ANSWER: Alcmaeon
Deianeira is the easy part?

Compare that to these three:
This ruler exempted Quechua speakers from taxation. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this son of Viracocha who defeated the Chanca invasion of Cuzco. The sun temple Coricancha, and possibly Machu Picchu, were built by this ruler.
ANSWER: Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui [or Cusi Yupanqui]
[10] Pachacuti greatly expanded this Andean empire that was divided into four suyu. Its final ruler, Atahualpa, was defeated by Francisco Pizarro.
ANSWER: Incan Empire [or Tawantinsuyu]
[10] This was the title given to the head of each ayllu in the Incan Empire. This person was in charge of divvying up the ayllu's land and labor.
ANSWER: curaca
George Moore made himself out to be a real asshole when he mocked a woman in this painting,
exclaiming “Heavens! What a slut!” though he did apologize for those remarks in Modern Painting. For 10
points each:
[10] Name this painting in which a woman looks despondently as she sits with a drink in front of her.
ANSWER: L’Absinthe [or Glass of Absynthe, do not accept “The Absinthe Drinker”]
[10] This painter was, along with Marie Braquemond and Berthe Morisot, considered one of “les trois grandes dames” by Gustave Geffroy who painted herself in a white dress and floral bonnet as she reclines in her Self-Portrait.
ANSWER: Mary Cassatt
[10] Both L’Absinthe and a Portrait of Mary Cassatt were painted by this artist that also had a creepy thing for painting young ballerinas.
ANSWER: Edgar Degas
This character, an incredibly difficult role for an actor, who must remain on stage continuously for about three and a half hours, twice strikes a cruciform pose as he attempts to fix a light fixture. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this character, a lawyer who sits alone on a chair as if on trial, as people from his past arrive and leave from a three-story stone tower.
ANSWER: Quentin
[10] Quentin verbalizes his guilt over two failed marriages in this play, which largely alienated an American audience too distraught over the "probable suicide" of Marilyn Monroe.
ANSWER: After the Fall
[10] This author of After the Fall achieved more critical success with The Crucible and Death of a Salesman.
ANSWER: Arthur Asher Miller
These two categories of bonuses both contain bonuses consisting of three things: of these three things, one of is easier than the other two, and one is harder than the other two. After that, all resemblance ends. There seems to be absolutely no criteria for what constitutes the easy, medium, or hard part. Any of the easy parts of the first set could be middle parts of the second set, and their middle parts are equivalent to second category's hard parts. Getting a bonus in this set was a roll of the dice to see whether you were completely fucked or got easy points. I regret having pointed out the slight inconsistencies in WIT and Chicago Open's bonuses lest it cloud what I'm saying now. Those were good tournaments, with some small issues with consistency control. On the other hand, this tournament had not control whatsoever. This is particularly surprising because this is a housewrite tournament; you have no submissions screwing this up. All the ACF and NAQT college tournaments, which have questions from a huge range of writers, were more consistent and regularized than this. Actually, I think every tournament this season, including Chicago Open, managed this better.

There were some very poorly executed tossups too. Haven't we learned by now that tossups like that Anatole France tossup on short-stories only and the Bulgakov tossup on plays only turn into speed-checks in almost all rooms? You're writing 9 line tossups; if you love France's short stories or Bulgakov's plays so much, then write 6 or 7 lines on them, but actually include some late middle clues on things people are expected to know about! Come on, you are all experienced writers. This is Quizbowl Writing 101!

The music and auditory arts at this tournament were particularly terrible. First, the distribution had the worst skew I've seen. In the 12 rounds we played, over one third of the music questions (5 tossups and 4 bonuses) were Baroque or earlier. Once again, this is not a packet submission tournament where you can throw your hands up and say that the submission determined the distribution (not that packet submission editors should ever use this excuse, either). It takes a couple of minutes to sit down and work out a subdistributional plan so that this kind of thing doesn't happen. Second, the answer-line selection was crazy. Tossups on: Linz Symphony, Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony, and Josef Suk? Of these, only maybe Suk should ever be tossed up, and only at CO. Do writers no longer remember that a tossup should test subjects where there is a spread of knowledge? You don't just pick a piece or composer because it exists. And there were some really stupid bonuses. The hard part of the opera bonuses are the name of the disguise Don Alvaro uses in The Force of Destiny (in a bonus where The Force of Destiny without the composer is the easy part!) and The Second Woman from Dido and Aeneas. Are you fucking kidding me? You couldn't think of anything actually interesting or important to ask about for these topics? Third, even those answer-lines that were potentially good were marred by bad writing. A common-link on music written for coronations is a good idea. But you don't write that by dropping the name of three of the most major English composers from different eras in the first couple of lines, thus causing a massive game of chicken as everyone realizes that you're looking for a kind of event that keeps happening over centuries of British music. "Cherokee" is thought my many to be the first bebop recording and most historically important Charlie Parker recording. It is not the lead-in of a high-difficulty Parker tossup. Etc., etc. I could go on.

There were many good individual tossups and bonuses scattered throughout the set. Mixed in with the stupid ideas were smart or cool ideas, like tossing up the ship Narcissus, so none of us had to say the N-word, or tossing up the animal's rules from Animal Farm. And the use of the English language was certainly above average: sentences flowed well and were free from quizbowlese.

But if "editing" refers to the quizbowl elements of editing and not just copy editing, then this was one of the worst edited sets I've played.
John Lawrence
Yale University '12
King's College London '13
University of Chicago '19

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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cheynem » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:24 pm

This is presumably more of a "general discussion" thread post, but since John got the ball rolling, I'll say this:

I enjoyed a lot of the questions in this set, but there were two main problems with it and two secondary problems.

1. I agree with John that the bonus structure was incredibly out of whack. I remember when playing the Scoop bonus, for example, and recognizing that the first part was a country from Scoop which I couldn't pull. I got Scoop without Waugh as the second part and assumed Waugh was the easy part. Nope, apparently Scoop without Waugh was the easy part. Horns.wav. Now, if this is the superhard tournament you're writing, then, sure, fine, that's cool. But it seemed like the history and myth editors, for example, weren't on the same page as this and this led to frustration.

I will say that I don't agree with all of John's examples--I'm not an art expert, but that Rembrandt bonus is definitely hard but not super obscure--we knew what was going on but bolloxed up the first part, got Rembrandt, and didn't know the last part.

2. Tossups that just did not gradate very well. I'll check out my notes a bit, but it seemed like there were a lot of questions that just got to a giveaway-esque clue (Odysseus' men were punished for doing this on an island for "killing cattle," His nickname is "bird-related" for Charlie Parker, etc.) before the For 10 points.

The secondary problems:

1. Sub-distribution got wacky. At least in the packets we played, which I think was all of them, film absolutely DOMINATED the other arts distribution. There was more film in this set than any other tournament I've played. They were good film questions (maybe not "tracking shot"), they were interesting, but whoa, there was a lot of it. There were a couple other topics that seemed to get plumbed over quite a bit for a non packet submission tournament--Irish literature, recent live-action Disney movies, comic books, Schiller plays, etc.

2. Randomization was poor. A couple packets kept pairing tossup and bonus from the same category over and over. Sometimes clues or topics would appear 1/1 in packets, which is more bad feng shui than anything awful.

Anyway, this set had some excellent ideas and was very fun to play, but it also felt a little unpolished and unbalanced in terms of difficulty.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cody » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:47 pm

Hopefully Matt can split these posts off into a general discussion post, but in the meantime:
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:The music and auditory arts at this tournament were particularly terrible. First, the distribution had the worst skew I've seen. In the 12 rounds we played, over one third of the music questions (5 tossups and 4 bonuses) were Baroque or earlier. Once again, this is not a packet submission tournament where you can throw your hands up and say that the submission determined the distribution (not that packet submission editors should ever use this excuse, either). It takes a couple of minutes to sit down and work out a subdistributional plan so that this kind of thing doesn't happen.
For the record, a subdistributional plan was worked out for music, just like the rest of my large categories. 4/3 20th C; 3/3 Romantic; 3/3 Classical; 4/3 Baroque; 1/2 Renaissance; 1/1 Medieval. There was intentionally more emphasis on early music (2/3 total), but I'm very confused about your bizarre grouping of "Baroque or earlier." Anyway, if you didn't like the distribution, I can't help you because it was definitely within reason.

Outside the above and your characterization of all the auditory arts at this tournament as "particularly terrible", which is certainly not true, I largely agree with your critique vis a vis the music category.
Cheynem wrote:1. Sub-distribution got wacky. At least in the packets we played, which I think was all of them, film absolutely DOMINATED the other arts distribution. There was more film in this set than any other tournament I've played. They were good film questions (maybe not "tracking shot"), they were interesting, but whoa, there was a lot of it. There were a couple other topics that seemed to get plumbed over quite a bit for a non packet submission tournament--Irish literature, recent live-action Disney movies, comic books, Schiller plays, etc.
There was 6/5 film in regulation, with no more than one question per packet.
Cheynem wrote:2. Randomization was poor. A couple packets kept pairing tossup and bonus from the same category over and over. Sometimes clues or topics would appear 1/1 in packets, which is more bad feng shui than anything awful.
This is my fault. I only really had time to proofread for content, not topic repeats or distribution of questions inside packets.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:34 am

Renesmee LaHotdog Voight wrote: For the record, a subdistributional plan was worked out for music, just like the rest of my large categories. 4/3 20th C; 3/3 Romantic; 3/3 Classical; 4/3 Baroque; 1/2 Renaissance; 1/1 Medieval. There was intentionally more emphasis on early music (2/3 total), but I'm very confused about your bizarre grouping of "Baroque or earlier." Anyway, if you didn't like the distribution, I can't help you because it was definitely within reason.
"Baroque or earlier" is not a remotely bizarre grouping; it is in fact one of the two definitions of the term "early music", which means the beginning of music through Baroque either inclusively or exclusively. I guess you are using the term "early music" to mean just Renaissance and Medieval, which is perfectly fine and perfectly common, but it doesn't make my grouping (which is, for example, how most early music ensembles define their repertoire) "bizarre".

Regardless, my grouping is not the point. While I'm glad to hear that you did, in fact, have a subdistributional plan, the point is that it is quite skewed. Giving equal weights to each of the eras from the 17th century to the present is a mistake. It would be a mistake not only in music, but in painting, literature, philosophy, etc. In none of these disciplines do people engage with these eras equally, whether we are discussing the academy or just discussing the realities of everyday life in which intellectually curious people engage with the material casually.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cheynem » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:50 am

6/5 film is still quite a bit, although with the expanded arts, I guess more logical. I may have been misidentifying some film questions that were actually the trash questions? Are you telling me The Muppets is trash?
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cody » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:59 am

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:Regardless, my grouping is not the point. While I'm glad to hear that you did, in fact, have a subdistributional plan, the point is that it is quite skewed. Giving equal weights to each of the eras from the 17th century to the present is a mistake. It would be a mistake not only in music, but in painting, literature, philosophy, etc. In none of these disciplines do people engage with these eras equally, whether we are discussing the academy or just discussing the realities of everyday life in which intellectually curious people engage with the material casually.
I agree that people do not engage with these areas equally, but I disagree the category was THAT skewed (even in principle, from giving them about equal weight), especially when you consider the four common links that cover quite a few different periods. Baroque, in particular, is easily one of the, like, top two most well-known and rich musical periods from which you could draw (and it's not like I went down the rabbit hole or anything). Different tournaments are going to have different subdistributions for their various categories; if you want to put forth your ideal subdistribution, that's great, but I'm not obligated to follow it (unless I'm doing something stupid like making the majority of the questions 20th century music).

edit: I do want to note that Baroque+early music is an extremely bizarre grouping for quizbowl, though. The level of engagement the general population, or any population, has with Baroque music is several orders of magnitude different from their engagement with Renaissance or Medieval music.
Cheynem wrote:6/5 film is still quite a bit, although with the expanded arts, I guess more logical. I may have been misidentifying some film questions that were actually the trash questions? Are you telling me The Muppets is trash?
Correct. The art film was: tracking shot, Some Like It Hot, Nosferatu, Dreyer, Brando, Vertov; Hou/Zhang/Hong Kong; Nair/motel/Altman; Haskell/Mulvey/Hitchcock (bonus 21); deep focus/Bazin/400 Blows; Gish/Way Down East/UA; Searchers/Yojimbo/a well.
Last edited by Cody on Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cheynem » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:09 pm

The bonuses, aside from being a little hard (but in a good way if that's the tournament you wanted), were pretty interesting. I thought all of the tossups were quite good except tracking shot (which seemed sort of meatless in my opinion--did it actually describe the scene in Weekend?), Brando (not bad but cliffs quite abruptly), and Vertov (again, not bad, but seemed to rely more on "figure it out clues" as lead-ins than anything else). The Nosferatu tossup was excellent.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:00 pm

I have mixed feelings about this tournament. I had similar expectations to John coming into this tournament in terms of difficulty, but was not unhappy with it being shifted to a difficulty comparable to Nationals.

On the one hand, I thought the history was pretty good - both tossups and bonuses. There were a few difficulty outliers, but these were mostly on the easy side (for example the Mysore/Maratha/British East India Company and Chandragupta/Porus/Chanakya bonuses seemed really easy in comparison to the other history; at the very least they lacked a true hard part) and I think isn't as bad as having things lean too hard, as happened a lot with other categories.

In general, I think the history, religion, and myth tossup answerlines were somewhat more restricted and the questions were more accessible than the other categories (though, as John showed, some of the myth bonuses were pretty rough). Conversely, several of the other categories seemed fairly hard in comparison. Of course, since I'm a relatively specialized player, other categories usually seem hard to me, but I think the non-history categories were somewhat harder and my teammates' performances seemed to be affected by this.

The current events weren't that great and a lot of them ended up as buzzer-races when an easily identifying name showed up in the middle of the question (for example, Prime Ministers of Pakistan on "Rawalpindi" and Georgia on "Shevardnadze"). The McDonalds tossup also produced a first-line buzzer race and the Myanmar tossup mentioned violence against Muslim minorities very early. The Detroit bonus seemed like it was lacking an easy part, but to be fair I don't know a lot about the specific people involved in the fiasco over there.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:20 pm

Just to revive discussion of this a bit: I looked through the packets again and there's definitely some good stuff, particularly in the religion/mythology and the American/British lit categories. "Rules of Animal Farm" was a particularly good idea. In the end, it turned out all right; our team agreed that this set wasn't a travesty or KABO or something. Unfortunately, however, I have to agree with John that this set really lacked a governing philosophy for difficulty, in tossups and especially in bonuses. To me, the most disappointing element of the set was the number of questions that were just obviously bad but were not fixed. If you're going to have inexperienced writers working on large portions of the set, that's great, but you do have to look for badly misplaced clues and wildly off-kilter bonuses. Unusually, this tournament didn't really need a better editing philosophy; it just needed a lot more editing.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cody » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:15 pm

As I haven't done so before, I'd like to extend some overdue thanks to all the people who generously volunteered their time to playtest my questions; the non-exhaustive list includes: Auroni Gupta, Eric Mukherjee, Billy Busse, Susan Ferrari, Stephen Eltinge, Seth Teitler, Andrew Wang, Ian Lenhoff, Ike Jose, Aaron Rosenberg, Saul Hankin, Brian McNamara, Jeff Hoppes, Joe Nutter, Mik Larsen. I'm very sorry if I missed anyone.

I'd also like to thank Will Butler for his help in figuring out some packet compilation issues.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:40 pm

I agree with what's been said so far, pretty much. Some good ideas, inconsistent difficulty, needed more editing. It was kind of frustrating at times but mostly fun and playable.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by theMoMA » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:20 am

Between the trash and other arts, film comprised more than 1/1 per packet in the set. As John pointed out, the classical music slanted heavily to older stuff. There was more circuit physics in this tournament than at the past half-dozen events combined. And on and on. It's one thing for a tournament to take on the flavor of its writers and editors, but this set went well beyond that. All other issues aside, you really can't choose your answers the same way a seven-year-old would make a grocery list (ice cream, ice cream, and more ice cream!), because it gets really old really fast for everyone else.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cody » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:26 am

I would never ever count trash and art film together, but were one to do so, one would find 9/9 (incl. TB) across 15 packets, which is certainly not 1/1, much less more than that.

The music, likewise, was not "heavily" slanted towards early stuff; I already posted my distribution up thread, so you can see that isn't true.

Lastly, for the oddest criticism, there was barely any circuit physics at all in the set. We're one to count "antennas" (I wouldn't) and the thermoelectric effect bonus (I wouldn't because it was mostly not on that), that would make for a grand total of like 1/2 "circuits" in physics, which is not terribly unreasonable. More accurately though, there was 0/1 circuits, which is certainly not at all out of whack or more than probably the last event.

I don't want to straight up dismiss people's criticisms because the set clearly had problems (and plenty of them), but c'mon.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cheynem » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:57 pm

Don't forget to count the times film intersected with other answers as a clue-the Bokassa tossup, for example, begins with a film clue.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cody » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:36 pm

That doesn't count as a film question, though.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cheynem » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:52 pm

Yeah, I know, but it's still related to film. It's not just what's being classified as "film questions" but the amount of film-related content.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cody » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:57 pm

Yes, multiple categories can intersect and appear in a tossup or bonus. That doesn't shift the overall distribution or make it somehow noteworthy or something to complain about. If you (general you, not you specifically, Mike) think there was too much film, just up and say it (and be ignored), but this stealth criticism of the distribution by talking about "film-related" content doesn't really hold any water with me.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cheynem » Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:03 pm

I think there was too much film. I said this way upthread.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:09 pm

Cody, 6/6 of the 15/15 other arts questions were film. My team probably benefitted from this more than any other, but that doesn't change the need to balance out subdistributions. It's poor practice to give one area of the vast category of other arts over a third of the distribution and try to cram photography, architecture, opera, jazz, sculpture, and dance into what remains.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cody » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:50 pm

Sure, maybe my choice of words wasn't quite correct wrt "ignoring" people. The high amount of art film was done intentionally to show that the category can support a lot of meaningful, knowable, and well-written questions, unlike the film in a lot of tournaments (if they even have more than a token question). Would I try to do it for every tournament? Of course not. If you disagree, well that's fine, but we're at a bit of an impasse. (Side note: there was 6/6 film across 17/17 other arts and 6/5 film in regulation. It's a small difference, but it is why there was so much. I don't think any other arts category got particularly shafted over the inclusion of so much art film, especially when there really isn't anything resembling a standard distribution for it and there was a full 1/1 other arts.

What I do strenuously object to is trying to lump trash film or film clues in other categories together with the art film to try to make a point. They don't really have any relevance to the art film content, and just serve to distract from the real issue.

(another sidenote: my above post wasn't really aimed at you, Mike; you've said your piece up thread in an understandable matter)
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Kouign Amann » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:59 pm

Renesmee LaHotdog Voight wrote:I don't think any other arts category got particularly shafted over the inclusion of so much art film
I dunno about this. As far as I could tell, there was literally one architecture question in this entire tournament (Koolhaas). Sure, you could argue that film is more important or makes better questions or needs more exposure than architecture, or whatever argument you'd like to make about why this (lack of) sub-distribution existed, and I'd be happy to hear those arguments. But is film really so important within "other arts" that it needs twelve times as many questions as another medium?
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Ike » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:01 pm

Renesmee LaHotdog Voight wrote:Yes, multiple categories can intersect and appear in a tossup or bonus. That doesn't shift the overall distribution or make it somehow noteworthy or something to complain about. If you (general you, not you specifically, Mike) think there was too much film, just up and say it (and be ignored), but this stealth criticism of the distribution by talking about "film-related" content doesn't really hold any water with me.
Actually I think it does. A lot of people at our site complained about that one round at MO 2012 had three tossups on Greco-Roman content. Is there anything in ACF rules that say you shouldn't do that? No not really, but it's bad feng shui and you should probably spread the Greco-Roman love around. One of the things about classics is that if you know one area of classics you are more likely to know the other, e.g. classical myth is taken from Ovid, whom you know a lot about if you are a classical literature enthusiast. Similarly, if you are using a film clue lead-in to a history tossup, the question can probably be answered on that clue by someone who engages with film like they do with films in your normal film tossups, hence the complaints. I do get your argument that categories intersect and sometimes quizbowl suffers for having such rigid distinctions, but what people are complaining about was that film was at the heart of these intersections, in addition to there being a whole lot of film in the arts.

It seems to me that a lot of the criticisms of this tournament are based on perceptions (grounded in evidence) - "it felt that there was too much film in this tournament, so much early music, etc." Personally, I might have enjoyed that aspect of this tournament had I played it, since I do share a lot of enthusiasm for Baroque and Renaissance music. But at the same time, you have to be prepared for the majority of people to not be happy about your distributional skews. Furthermore, they will invariably complain about incidental clues that confirm their distaste of such skews. You are certainly allowed to argue that their arguments are exaggerations, but I think if you want to please more people with your tournaments it's better to pick a sub-distribution that is more balanced, and watch out for how often you throw in a clue from another category.

EDIT: God, I am dumb! "through" means "throw."
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cody » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:34 pm

Kouign Amann wrote:I dunno about this. As far as I could tell, there was literally one architecture question in this entire tournament (Koolhaas). Sure, you could argue that film is more important or makes better questions or needs more exposure than architecture, or whatever argument you'd like to make about why this (lack of) sub-distribution existed, and I'd be happy to hear those arguments. But is film really so important within "other arts" that it needs twelve times as many questions as another medium?
There was 2/2 architecture in VCU Open, of which 1/2 was in regulation. There was no "lack" of a subdistribution, just like there wasn't in music. I'm not sure I get your criticism that the other arts subdistribution doesn't match "real world importance" or whatever; I've never made the claim that our subdistribution does, and I'd imagine most tournaments with a different subdistribution would also not attempt to make such a claim.

(I'll have a longer post in response to Ike tomorrow or Wednesday since what I want to say cant be adequately typed up on a mobile device)
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cody » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:04 am

Okay, sorry this took so long!

I think there is a huge, huge difference between something like having three (...or four, or five...) tossups in classics versus the preponderance of film in VCU Open. Classics tossups nearly always give a big advantage to classicists (as they should!), so having a lot of them in a single packet creates an imbalance/unfairness. Now, (as I've argued in the past), this is not to say that 3/etc. classics questions shouldn't appear in packets (though you could probably distribute a little better to make sure more packets had some), but rather it is the collection of classics tossups in a single packet that is the problem. Having 2/1 classics, or even 0/3 classics, shouldn't create a stir at all.

Now, back to the film. While film certainly intersected more than the usual number of questions in this tournament, the bulk of the intersection was in bonuses, which doesn't create a necessarily unfair situation. [from a rudimentary search] I only see an actual film clue in all of two non-film tossups: Bokassa & Camille Paglia. It was rather unfortunate that the Bokassa tossup lent itself to 2/0 Herzog in a packet, but the clue also seems knowable from a historical perspective (or even from the perspective of watching the film in a history class), rather than strictly from a Herzog-obsessed perspective, which is how such clues should go.
Ike wrote:But at the same time, you have to be prepared for the majority of people to not be happy about your distributional skews. Furthermore, they will invariably complain about incidental clues that confirm their distaste of such skews. You are certainly allowed to argue that their arguments are exaggerations, but I think if you want to please more people with your tournaments it's better to pick a sub-distribution that is more balanced, and watch out for how often you throw in a clue from another category.
I agree entirely with this part of your post (I'm sure I've done the same). I was even quite well-prepared for remarks about the film and early music (though certainly not this odd vendetta against Baroque music, of all things), though I again point people to above posts with what the point of such subdistributions were—tournaments have similar things in the past, for good reason. The real reason I'm upset is that it seems to have become one of the most prominent recurring criticisms of the tournament rather than, you know, actual problems.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cheynem » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:30 am

I would argue that an unbalanced subdistribution is something of a real problem. I also have a bit of a problem with 0/3 classics or 2/1 classics. I realize sometimes it's unavoidable (a 1/1 Greco-Roman myth and then a question on ancient Greek literature, sure, that could happen and it's probably okay), but a little bit of packet readjustment could help. I also don't understand this idea that limiting clues to bonuses makes things fairer--if you are a really good film player, you will have an advantage on tossups and bonuses then.

In terms of what was there, I think people have hashed out the big problems of the set--the way unbalanced bonuses for one. As I said, the majority of the film questions were good.

Let me expand on my problem with the tracking shot question. You say it is "famously used in Weekend." Indeed, it is--the long tracking shot scene where the carhorn makes that noise for like ten minutes straight is very famous. I did not buzz on it because there was no description of it and I wondered if there was some other famous film technique on display in this film. I think this question would have benefited with a descriptive clue, like "Famously used in Weekend in conjunction with a honking car."
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cody » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:42 pm

Cheynem wrote:I would argue that an unbalanced subdistribution is something of a real problem. I also have a bit of a problem with 0/3 classics or 2/1 classics. I realize sometimes it's unavoidable (a 1/1 Greco-Roman myth and then a question on ancient Greek literature, sure, that could happen and it's probably okay), but a little bit of packet readjustment could help. I also don't understand this idea that limiting clues to bonuses makes things fairer--if you are a really good film player, you will have an advantage on tossups and bonuses then.
You have an advantage on bonuses, but the bonuses you are good at aren't guaranteed to come to you. It's specifically unfair for tossups because the point swing is far, far bigger (up to 80 [well, 85] points per tossup) than for bonuses (up to 30 points) and everyone is guaranteed to hear every tossup. Limiting subdistributional quirks to bonuses truly does have a much, much smaller effect on the game (which is why there was 2/3 early music rather than 3/2 or something).

An unbalanced subdistribution can be a real problem, (I didn't mean to imply otherwise—though this does necessitate a definition of unbalanced†); however, (a) despite how much film there was, no other arts category got truly shafted (excepting maybe photography, which only got 1/1) because there was a lot of other arts in the tournament, (b) the subdistributions weren't an actual problem with the tournament, as compared to the other problems.
Cheynem wrote:Let me expand on my problem with the tracking shot question. You say it is "famously used in Weekend." Indeed, it is--the long tracking shot scene where the carhorn makes that noise for like ten minutes straight is very famous. I did not buzz on it because there was no description of it and I wondered if there was some other famous film technique on display in this film. I think this question would have benefited with a descriptive clue, like "Famously used in Weekend in conjunction with a honking car."
Sure; I've agreed with this criticism since you first presented it. Both the Weekend clue and the Passenger clue needed more description to be viable.

†For example, some might call the following distribution unbalanced [well, I certainly wouldn't], but (at least as I recall/from a quick search), it received absolutely no complaints (or even mentions) at all, at the time:
Other Arts—17/19 (15/15 regulation)
Regulation—Sculpture 1/5; Architecture 5/3; Photography 1/1; Film 3/1; Jazz 2/1; Opera 3/3; Ballet 0/1
TB—Architecture 1/4; Sculpture 1/0

I'm sure many, many other tournaments have similar subdistributional quirks in other arts (or other categories), but they almost never get mentioned, which is why I'm puzzled that it keeps coming up here.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cheynem » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:57 pm

I wonder if the way that film is less easier to answer than history, geo, or other art knowledge may be one factor in it being noticed this time (I'm not saying this is a right or wrong perspective).
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by theMoMA » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:00 pm

Combined with the trash, there was a film tossup in nearly every packet. That's a lot of movies, and it was extremely noticeable in a way that asking about an extra ballet here at the expense of an architecture bonus there simply isn't. (I think trash and art film are a little like classical myth and classical literature; a person who knows one is pretty likely to know the other, because people who enjoy the activity of "watching movies" will have watched a lot of both "art film" and "trash film," usually without thinking to themselves "hey, I'm going to watch an art film now!")
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cody » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:11 pm

theMoMA wrote:Combined with the trash, there was a film tossup in nearly every packet. That's a lot of movies, and it was extremely noticeable in a way that asking about an extra ballet here at the expense of an architecture bonus there simply isn't. (I think trash and art film are a little like classical myth and classical literature; a person who knows one is pretty likely to know the other, because people who enjoy the activity of "watching movies" will have watched a lot of both "art film" and "trash film," usually without thinking to themselves "hey, I'm going to watch an art film now!")
Combined with trash, there was a film tossup in slightly over half the packets (60%). I disagree that trash and art film are as close as classical myth and classical literature - in the abstract that may be true, but if you compare the trash film and art film in this set, they are extremely different and reward completely different segments of the film-watching population. This is often true of the trash film in tournaments.
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by Cheynem » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:35 pm

Counting trash tossups, there were:

One: Tracking Shot
Two: Some Like It Hot
Three: The Lone Ranger
Four: None
Five: Nosferatu
Six: John Carter
Seven: None
Eight: Marlon Brando
Nine: North Korea
Ten: Dreyer
Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen: None
Fifteen: Vertov

9 out of 15 packets had a film tossup. Andrew's opinion may be slightly colored because if you read them in order, then 7 of the first 9 packets had a film question.

I also want to take the opportunity and complain about that Don West knock knock joke tossup. I buzzed on the clue about "the man who did this took a selfie with his daughters eating ice cream." This clue applies to literally everything Don West has done in his life. In fact, he took the selfie the day he engaged in a notably contentious cross examination with Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon Martin's friend, which is what I negged with. I realize all the other clues do not apply to the knock knock joke, but on a more extreme level, this is writing a tossup on JFK's inaugural address and saying "the man who delivered this speech would later die in Dallas in 1963."
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Re: Who wrote what

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:40 pm

I think there are borderline cases where a film could arguably go under either art or trash, such as the trash tossup on Network from ACF Regionals 2013; in those cases an editor has to take care not to let that area take over. In this case, I suspect that someone interested in Werner Herzog's Nosferatu might actually be less likely than an average member of the population to care about John Carter or The Lone Ranger. For that reason, I don't think the number of film tossups in the trash distribution particularly mattered, even though I agree that the explicit 6/6 film within the other arts was far too much to begin with.
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