General Discussion

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General Discussion

Post by touchpack » Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:06 pm

Post commentary about the set in general, trends across it, etc. here.

I'd like to thank Ike for writing way more questions than he said he would initially--the set certainly would be worse off were it not for his contributions.

Discuss!
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:03 am

We'd like to extend our thanks to our corps of playtesters: Tristan Willey, Zack Moser, Greg Baboukis, Alex Pandya, Alex Fregeau, anyone I'm forgetting, and especially Mike Sorice, who provided invaluable help balancing out the difficulty and overall quality of the tournament.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:35 pm

I felt like this tournament was almost exactly like WIT in terms of difficulty, if a tad harder because the questions were not strictly length-capped at seven lines, due to varying power lengths. To be a bit more specific:

1. This tournament felt very "regular" in that there weren't a whole lot of cool answerlines or real difficulty outliers. This was good in the sense that there weren't a whole lot of bad ideas (with a few exceptions that I'll discuss in another thread), but at the same time I feel like I could have powered several questions simply based on "this is always what this kind of question asks about". After getting screwed by trying to apply such a strategy at Penn Bowl, I felt kind of disappointed by this tournament rewarding that sort of strategy.
2. The placing of power-marks seemed pretty good in general. Clue ordering was occasionally a bit weird, but I generally felt I deserved the number of points I got for a tossup, with a few exceptions.
3. The way this tournament played out in general seemed to do a good job of indicating teams' relative strengths, allowing for some variation. With the exception of our disastrous game against Columbia, I felt that game outcomes generally reflected the relative strengths of teams we played against. For example, I think a full Dartmouth team is probably about as strong as a full MIT team, and at this tournament (where we had half of our normal A-team and MIT had most/all of their normal A-Team) I felt generally outmatched but still fairly competitive, which makes sense given our teams' composition.
4. Most bonuses handed any semi-competent team an instant 20, which doesn't really seem to jive with what "medium" part is supposed to mean. Especially on literature, "medium" seemed to mean "do you recognize an obvious plot description of X author's second-or-third best known work" (or sometimes, for a less famous author, their best-known work) while easy meant "name X author of the book(s) we just mentioned". I get that this is an easy format for bonus construction, but I don't know if this is really distinguishing teams' knowledge.

EDIT: I think this was an extremely biased and also rather dismissive/rude thing to say on my part, and apologize for doing so. I did not mean to imply that people who weren't nailing the easy and medium parts of these bonuses is incompetent. What I should say is that it often seemed like the jump from easy to medium was much smaller than the jump from medium to hard, and I don't think this should be the case.

5. Hard parts were all over the place - at this tournament, hard really seemed to mean "some hardish-medium difficulty and up" rather than a defined range of deep knowledge.

I also have a few general observations about the question content:

1. The medieval/early modern European history was pretty good overall and I felt like my knowledge of the subject was rewarded pretty consistently. It was a bit predictable, though - to reiterate, I think I could have gotten quite a few more powers based on "this is what this kind of question asks about, though I do not have 100% positive knowledge of the clues".
2. The world history was solid, if also fairly predictable.
3. The myth questions seemed extremely skewed towards European myth, especially towards Celtic/Britannic and classical myth. This reflected itself in our team's performance on myth, normally one of our best subjects - we only powered a single myth question in the entire tournament, as opposed to powering roughly a fourth or third of the myth at other regular tournaments (granted, the field WAS pretty tough, but that's the northeast in general). I get that this has to do with Ike Jose's philosophy of rewarding reading of texts and stories in myth systems with deeper canons, but this seemed very inconsistent with the philosophy of the rest of the tournament, where solid-but-not-amazingly-deep knowledge could get you a fair few powers.
4. Trash wasn't a bunch of stupid 1980s sports history, which I appreciated, though there seemed to be a lot of video games. As always, I'm a fan of questions that test knowledge of other cultural trends, like fashion and food (even though I'm not that good at such questions) and especially general knowledge of other nations' cultures, and I wish I saw more of those questions at this tournament.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:11 pm

I thought this was a good set. One thing I liked was that it rewarded knowledge about important works and people who tend to show up in easier tournaments. I know that Ike has harped on the fact that quiz bowlers get a lot more social capital for reading exotic books than for knowing culturally important and canonical books well. I felt like having more difficult tossups on answer lines like Crime and Punishment, Kant, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, The Last Supper, and others kind of mitigated this problem, though I can't evaluate how well these tossups worked in practice.

Where's the promised "quizbowl brat playground" subforum? I want to make twenty posts about how all the bonuses were too hard/too easy/inconsistent based on one or two examples, and how all the clues were stock clues and should never be used.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:38 pm

0/1 Current Events/Geography is not all that helpful to my team, but what we did hear was interesting. Was the PAC/soft money/527s bonus classified as CE?
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:46 pm

Sulawesi Myzomela wrote:Was the PAC/soft money/527s bonus classified as CE?
Yes, that was CE (or general knowledge, if you prefer).
gamegeek2 wrote:1. This tournament felt very "regular" in that there weren't a whole lot of cool answerlines or real difficulty outliers. This was good in the sense that there weren't a whole lot of bad ideas (with a few exceptions that I'll discuss in another thread), but at the same time I feel like I could have powered several questions simply based on "this is always what this kind of question asks about". After getting screwed by trying to apply such a strategy at Penn Bowl, I felt kind of disappointed by this tournament rewarding that sort of strategy.
The conservative answer choice (in the history at least) was by design. This was my first time writing euro and world history on such a large scale, so when I sat down to pick out the answers, I told myself it would be best if I wrote on canonical topics and gave it my all to find deep clues for solid, pyramidal, engaging tossups. My goal was quality first and 'coolness' second.

Will, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this, but you're good at quizbowl, and part of that means being able to place questions based on their context. Yes, in retrospect I wish there were a few more answers in the set towards the upper end of the difficulty spectrum. But this specifically billed as a regular-difficulty tournament. There is a canon, and I believe following it at regular difficulty is a better way to make a tournament fun for the whole field than throwing in a bunch of harder tossup answers.

Speaking of which:
gamegeek2 wrote:Most bonuses handed any semi-competent team an instant 20
I'm sure there were a few bonuses that played out that way. But the stats don't indicate that most of them were like that:

Average Points Per Bonus across All Sites: 13.9
Median: 13.97
Standard Deviation: 5.9
Histogram attached
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:58 pm

OK, that's totally fair. I guess I'm judging by the standards of competitive Northeast quizbowl, which is probably not the most objective standard to use.
gamegeek2 wrote:1. This tournament felt very "regular" in that there weren't a whole lot of cool answerlines or real difficulty outliers.
I should qualify this statement by noting that a lot of the "regular" history answerlines were still quite good questions, or were asked about in neat ways - I mentioned a few of them in the other thread. I greatly appreciated this, and in general think you did a good job.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by bag-of-worms » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:37 am

gamegeek2 wrote:The myth questions seemed extremely skewed towards European myth
I take this to mean that your team desires myth from the Americas, Africa, Asia. Of the 30 myth questions, 8 were from those categories. This proportion is actually greater than the proportion of the World Literature questions in the Literature distribution. Perhaps you think that is low, too?
gamegeek2 wrote:This reflected itself in our team's performance on myth, normally one of our best subjects - we only powered a single myth question in the entire tournament, as opposed to powering roughly a fourth or third of the myth at other regular tournaments (granted, the field WAS pretty tough, but that's the northeast in general).


Your team heard 11 myth tossups. If your team powers 1/3 or 1/4 of them, that's about 3. That's not a very significant variation.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Cody » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:39 am

gamegeek2 wrote:OK, that's totally fair. I guess I'm judging by the standards of competitive Northeast quizbowl, which is probably not the most objective standard to use.
10 of the 16 teams at your site were well under 20 PPB. This tournament was definitely not just handing out 20s.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:03 am

Renesmee LaHotdog Voight wrote:10 of the 16 teams at your site were well under 20 PPB. This tournament was definitely not just handing out 20s.
All right, I retract my previous statement as being rather baseless and biased. It was also kind of rude and I apologize for that. I guess my general point is that the leap from "medium" to "hard" seemed higher than the leap from "easy" to "medium" in most cases.
bag-of-worms wrote:I take this to mean that your team desires myth from the Americas, Africa, Asia. Of the 30 myth questions, 8 were from those categories. This proportion is actually greater than the proportion of the World Literature questions in the Literature distribution. Perhaps you think that is low, too?
I don't pay much attention to quizbowl literature and therefore have a poor understanding of accessibility in the subject (my above retraction being related), and I don't really have a strong opinion on it. That being said, I definitely don't think the same regionally based quotas should be applied across all areas of the distribution. For example, I think the non-European history and religion are more accessible and better known than non-European philosophy or painting, and the actual distribution of questions in quizbowl seems to reflect this pretty well.

As for myth, I would indeed like more myth questions from those areas. Having only 8/30 myth from non-European sources gives the majority of the world's people and their collective mythologies about a fourth of the distribution, which I think is unfair, especially considering how some of these areas, like India, have very extensive written legends and mythologies. I get that you're going to run into issues with canon depth if you simply decide to mine every possible clue out of the Popol Vuh, and I understand that tossing up a bunch of crazy Aztec or Chinese things that many newer players may be unfamiliar with might discourage people. At the same time, I personally think you can strike a better balance between accessibility/playability and myth system diversity than this tournament did. It seems to me that the myth category allows for a lot of common-link and similar types of questions that can help avert this sort of problem, though those do have their drawbacks as well.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:43 am

I'd like to comment on a couple of recent trends that I've noticed with recent tournaments (particularly here and in TIT). In each tournament, there seem to be a small handful of tossups on creative ideas, or tossups that unify clues in an interesting way, but the easiest clue of the bunch is still not easy enough for the giveaway, so some random quasi-academic stuff is shoehorned in to provide a giveaway. Here are some tossups that I think exemplified this trend in this set:

17. Mark Prendergast wrote a book subtitled “How <this good> Transformed the World.” Gabriel de Clieu is credited with introducing this good to Martinique. The Dutchman Pieter van den Broeck smuggled a shipment of this substance from Yemen to Holland where it was cultivated before spreading to Indonesia. During the second half of the 19th century, this substance formed the mainstay of the Brazilian economy, and it’s not (*) sugar but Brazil remains the largest producer today. According to legend, it was discovered by the Ethiopian goatherd Kaldi, and Americans supposedly declared this substance their national drink in 1773. For 10 points, identify this cash crop and beverage whose retailers now include Folgers and Starbucks.
ANSWER: coffee

5. This medium is used extensively in the artwork To Piet Mondrian, Who Lacked Green, which was created by Dan Flavin, an artist who specializes in using it. In collaboration with the MAS, John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi created a memorial that displays 88 columns of it. Two slabs of silky smooth concrete that are cut at a 15 degree angle comprise an (*) Osaka chapel named for this entity, which was designed by Tadao Ando. The construction of clerestories and oculi were medieval ways of incorporating it into buildings. On September 11 of every year since 2001, two lines of it are shot into the sky as a memorial to those who died. For 10 points, name this substance that is usually incorporated into buildings by windows.
ANSWER: light [Accept any type of light, such as “green light” “sunlight” or “natural light,” etc.]

17. In a Christopher Marlowe play, one of these personas is the child of a chimney sweeper and an oyster wife. That one wishes all books to be burnt since he cannot read, while another compares himself to Ovid’s flea. These characters follow the World and the Flesh, who help attack a building placed in the center of the stage, The Castle of Perseverance. In Confessio Amantis, the character of Genius explains the relevance of these figures to Amans. (*) Lucifer introduces these figures to the title character in scene 6 of Doctor Faustus. A common trope of medieval morality plays was to have the protagonist reject personified forms of these figures, having them accept their counterparts, the virtues. For 10 points, name this heptad of vices, which typically includes gluttony and pride.
ANSWER: Seven Deadly Sins

1. Note to moderator: Please read all of the alternate answers to this question to yourself before reading the question itself aloud to the teams
One institution of this type was founded by Guy of Montpellier in his home city and later spurred the establishment of the Order of the Holy Ghost by Innocent III. The Buktishu family served as longtime directors of one of these places in the city of Jundishapur in the Sassanid Empire. Places of this type were called bimaristans in Persia, while the Romans called them (*) valetudinaria. Al-Zahrawi compiled the Kitab al-Tasrif based on his work in one of these institutions, while Rhazes, or Al-Razi, directed institutions of this type in Rey and Baghdad. The oldest institution of this type in the United States was established at the New York City Almshouse and is called Bellevue. For 10 points, name these institutions which include Massachusetts General.
ANSWER: hospitals [or clinics or places for treating the sick or obvious equivalents. Also accept medical school or teaching hospital since all of the places mentioned in this tossup also served that function to some degree]

In each of these cases, the best teams will have no problem getting the question somewhere in the progression of clues before the dropoff, but everyone else will be buzzing on the giveaway. I think that a good way to assess if a particular creative idea is worthwhile or not is to look at the last academic clue and ask yourself what the conversion rate will be if it stood on its own as a giveaway. If the answer is not to your liking, then save that idea for a harder set.

Here's a related phenomenon where a few questions where the easiest clue was easy enough to be a giveaway, but some trivial or extracategorical swerve-type clue was tacked on to boost conversion:

7. James Sadler began his first balloon flight in this city, and William Laud wrote a set of statutes for one organization here. Thomas Fairfax took control of Headington Hill to bring an end to a siege of this city. This city was the location of a debate where one participant asked the other whether it was through his grandmother or grandfather that he claimed (*) descent from an ape. This city was Charles I’s base during the English Civil war. The Huxley-Wilberforce debate on evolution took place in this city, which is also the namesake of a series of reforms forced by Simon de Montfort and his fellow barons on King Henry III. For 10 points, name this city which lent its name to some “Provisions” in 1268 and is home to a university founded about the same time as Cambridge.
ANSWER: Oxford

13. This action is the defining practice of the Soshigateli sect of Russian Old Believers. The twenty-third chapter of the Lotus Sutra recounts that the Medicine King did this after swallowing various items for twelve hundred years. Gayatri Spivak’s “Can the Subaltern Speak?” closes by stating that the British misunderstood this practice. A wave of this practice was launched by (*) Buddhist monks in South Vietnam, starting with Thich Quang Duc. Five supposed practitioners of Falun Gong performed this action in Tiananmen Square in 2001. Indian women would sometimes do this after their husband’s death, a practice known as Sati which was outlawed by the British. For 10 points, identify this action which usually turns the person performing it into a crisp.
ANSWER: self-immolation or setting oneself on fire [accept sati or descriptions thereof before mention, prompt on “burning” or “getting burned”, do not accept “going to hell” at any point]

13. In his opinion on a case from this state, Justice Powell cited a lack of evidence that suggested asymmetric punishment for African-American murderers in McLeskey vs. Kemp. This state’s attempt to extend capital punishment to rapists was thwarted in Coker. A 1972 case from here ruled the death penalty cruel and unusual, an opinion that was overturned by a case in this state. Tom C. Clark wrote the majority opinion of a court case that began in this state, writing that Congress could prohibit (*) racial discrimination in certain public places under the commerce clause. The Furman and Gregg cases occurred in this state, where New Echota postmaster Samuel Worcester opposed Indian Removal. For 10 points, name this state, of origin of the Heart of Atlanta Motel case.
ANSWER: Georgia

7. David Madsen wrote a scatological novel narrated by a Gnostic one of these figures that travels across 16th century Europe. One of these figures decapitates a kitten while it is in the arms of his sleeping employer; another example of this type of character is afraid of the Black Witch and the Black Cook. One of these figures is forced to pose nude for Maestro Bernardo and secretly poisons the enemies of an unnamed prince - that one is named (*) Piccoline. This type of figure titles a novel by Pär Lagerkvist. Another one of these figures finds the finger of Sister Dorothea, one of his love interests. That one can shatter glass with his voice and is named Oskar Matzerath. For 10 points, name this type of figure exemplified by the protagonist of The Tin Drum, which are usually diminutive.
ANSWER: dwarfs [or dwarves, accept anything indicating that these are diminutive characters.]

Here, I think deleting the trivial information at the end will produce a fairer tossup for most teams, since nobody, not even the worst teams (or Chris Ray), likes buzzer racing on a solidly-written history tossup on binary-matching geography clues that boil down to "name this state with capital Atlanta." I think that deleting the last bit would make the Georgia and Oxford tossups among the harder ones in the history category, but still within an acceptable range of conversion, and the self-immolation and dwarf tossups should still be pretty reasonable to answer for most teams.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by bag-of-worms » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:19 am

gamegeek2 wrote:
Renesmee LaHotdog Voight wrote:10 of the 16 teams at your site were well under 20 PPB. This tournament was definitely not just handing out 20s.
I don't pay much attention to quizbowl literature and therefore have a poor understanding of accessibility in the subject (my above retraction being related), and I don't really have a strong opinion on it. That being said, I definitely don't think the same regionally based quotas should be applied across all areas of the distribution. For example, I think the non-European history and religion are more accessible and better known than non-European philosophy or painting, and the actual distribution of questions in quizbowl seems to reflect this pretty well.

As for myth, I would indeed like more myth questions from those areas. Having only 8/30 myth from non-European sources gives the majority of the world's people and their collective mythologies about a fourth of the distribution, which I think is unfair, especially considering how some of these areas, like India, have very extensive written legends and mythologies. I get that you're going to run into issues with canon depth if you simply decide to mine every possible clue out of the Popol Vuh, and I understand that tossing up a bunch of crazy Aztec or Chinese things that many newer players may be unfamiliar with might discourage people. At the same time, I personally think you can strike a better balance between accessibility/playability and myth system diversity than this tournament did. It seems to me that the myth category allows for a lot of common-link and similar types of questions that can help avert this sort of problem, though those do have their drawbacks as well.
I agree that regionally based quotas should not span the distribution. I made the myth/lit comparison because of the way myth has influenced works of literature, and because some sources of myth are considered literature.

I thought you were trying to advocate the "crazy Aztec or Chinese" type of questions, and I'm glad that this is not the case. Please tell us what myth questions that had accessibility issues or did not play well and why.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:31 am

I wasn't really able to play effectively on most of the myth questions in the set, since I'm awful at classical and Celtic/Arthurian myth - I know a lot more about "crazy Aztec or Chinese" stuff (which probably has something to do with my disappointment, I'll admit). Similarly, I don't know a whole lot about classical and Arthurian myth topics, so I don't feel particularly qualified to make effective judgements of tossup difficulty (bonus difficulty is somewhat different). However, while playing the set, I didn't notice any questions playing particularly poorly except for the tossup on the Waste Land.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:56 pm

I had a pleasant experience playing this set, which contained many solid questions and remained largely accessible to lower-level teams.

Several questions in this set gave me trouble trying to figure out what sort of thing the question was asking for. Between many newish demonstrative phrases such as "this prize," "this motif," and "this medium", the use of "these," "this," "their," etc. as standalone phrases pointing to the answer, and lots of tossups which dropped the use of "This ____" mid-tossup to just use "it" or "its" midway through, I think there could be some work done on shoring up the clarity of just what sort of thing is being asked for in any given sentence. I'd also avoid constructions that nest too far without getting specific (made-up example: "One of this author's plays' characters warns another character of a location catching fire..."), though I remember them happening when I played far more often than i'm finding them reading through the set again. Did others notice this issue?
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:45 pm

Well this is a surprising twist. Two days since the tournament and not a single music comment (is that a good thing?).

I have mixed thoughts about Auroni's argument regarding those types of giveaways. I agree that some of those questions may have been a bit too top-heavy, thus leading to more buzzer races on the giveaway. And yeah, some of those giveaways seemed condescending to the top teams. But what is the purpose of a giveaway? It's to prevent the tossup from going dead. So in principle, I don't see a problem with ultra-easy giveaways as long as they are used sparingly (for most answerlines, they don't even exist).

Meanwhile, I don't see a problem at all with interdisciplinary giveaways (provided the other category used is not trash - and while one could argue that Starbucks' and Folgers' are trash, they're still major players in the market for coffee). Sometimes, the answer line is best known for something outside of the category it belongs to (that's why I mentioned Robert Graves in the giveaway of the Claudius tossup).

This could possibly use another thread on 'How Much Creativity does a Regular Tournament Need?' On a lighter note:
Kenneth Widmerpool wrote:13. This action is the defining practice of the Soshigateli sect of Russian Old Believers. The twenty-third chapter of the Lotus Sutra recounts that the Medicine King did this after swallowing various items for twelve hundred years. Gayatri Spivak’s “Can the Subaltern Speak?” closes by stating that the British misunderstood this practice. A wave of this practice was launched by (*) Buddhist monks in South Vietnam, starting with Thich Quang Duc. Five supposed practitioners of Falun Gong performed this action in Tiananmen Square in 2001. Indian women would sometimes do this after their husband’s death, a practice known as Sati which was outlawed by the British. For 10 points, identify this action which usually turns the person performing it into a crisp.
ANSWER: self-immolation or setting oneself on fire [accept sati or descriptions thereof before mention, prompt on “burning” or “getting burned”, do not accept “going to hell” at any point]
I thought you of all people would have appreciated that question.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:16 pm

Is that because Auroni is a subaltern?
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:27 pm

I'm not trying to say that you shouldn't use giveaways from another academic category to make questions easier. I'm trying to suggest that if you have to deviate from packed academic material to some sort of trivial general knowledge (as in that coffee question), then it might not be an appropriate question to write at that difficulty level at all, since more than half the field is going to buzzer race on the last clue. Also, it's a frowned-upon practice to try to use a capital-matching very last clue in a non-geography question, since again that causes lots of people to stack buzzes at the very end. I admit that the Seven Deadly Sins example might not have been well-chosen, since the stuff at the end there is academic, but there's a huge cliff between the last literature clue and that stuff.

I don't think there's any reason to give people clues like "this substance that is brought in by windows" or "name this action which usually turns the person performing it into a crisp."
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Unicolored Jay » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:37 pm

RyuAqua wrote:I had a pleasant experience playing this set, which contained many solid questions and remained largely accessible to lower-level teams.

Several questions in this set gave me trouble trying to figure out what sort of thing the question was asking for. Between many newish demonstrative phrases such as "this prize," "this motif," and "this medium", the use of "these," "this," "their," etc. as standalone phrases pointing to the answer, and lots of tossups which dropped the use of "This ____" mid-tossup to just use "it" or "its" midway through, I think there could be some work done on shoring up the clarity of just what sort of thing is being asked for in any given sentence. I'd also avoid constructions that nest too far without getting specific (made-up example: "One of this author's plays' characters warns another character of a location catching fire..."), though I remember them happening when I played far more often than i'm finding them reading through the set again. Did others notice this issue?
I believe I noticed a number of tossups that began with just a pronoun when asking for a person, but I could be wrong, since I don't have the set in front of me.

Aaron, I liked the music! I felt like pretty much all of the clues in the tossups were helpful and buzzable off of when playing, and it didn't have much of the theory/score clues that were very present in other sets this year, which for me really helps since I can't often parse that on the fly (unless it's something really significant/unusual/ingrained in my head).
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:54 pm

Cheynem wrote:Is that because Auroni is a subaltern?
Perhaps, but my joke was referring to this
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Galadedrid Damodred » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:55 pm

I liked the set overall, but it didn't seem to have a consistent philosophy of whether to be more "canonical" or more "creative." I lean toward preferring the latter kind of question, but it really doesn't matter unless there are major differences in style across categories. In the case of DRAGOON, I would say there was roughly a 50/50 split between categories with mostly "canonical" questions and categories with mostly "creative" questions. (I am using quotes because I don't particularly like those words as descriptors, but they have been used by others and are the easiest way to express the dichotomy that I noticed.) Here is my personal opinion on which categories were which:

Literature - "canonical"
History - "canonical"
Science - "creative"
RMP - "canonical"
Social Science - "creative"
Fine Arts - "creative" (I'm terrible at FA, so this is based on my teammates' reactions to questions)
Trash/Geography/CE - "creative," although it's always rare to have a lot of repeats in this category

As a result of this split, the set felt less cohesive than most housewritten tournaments. In the end, the vast majority of the questions were quite solid, so this is mainly a high-level critique. I'll refrain from discussing bonuses, since that always seems to end in arguments over whether certain medium parts were too hard or too easy. I'll end by expressing my appreciation of the Sham-Wow joke question (both the fact that a joke question existed and that it was about Sham-Wow) and complaining in true quizbowl fashion that I would have powered it had the answerline been OxiClean or Billy Mays!
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Ike » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:39 pm

As for myth, I would indeed like more myth questions from those areas. Having only 8/30 myth from non-European sources gives the majority of the world's people and their collective mythologies about a fourth of the distribution, which I think is unfair, especially considering how some of these areas, like India, have very extensive written legends and mythologies. I get that you're going to run into issues with canon depth if you simply decide to mine every possible clue out of the Popol Vuh, and I understand that tossing up a bunch of crazy Aztec or Chinese things that many newer players may be unfamiliar with might discourage people. At the same time, I personally think you can strike a better balance between accessibility/playability and myth system diversity than this tournament did. It seems to me that the myth category allows for a lot of common-link and similar types of questions that can help avert this sort of problem, though those do have their drawbacks as well.
My interest is in actually doing mythography, not in what the majority of the world believes. More scholarly mythography has been produced on The Iliad and Mallory in the world than any other "system of myth;" much of English literature is incomprehensible without understanding the Bible or Arthurian Legend. If we were to "represent populations proportionally," 1/3 of our questions would be on Chinese myth, and we would have questions on some obscurata from The Investiture of the Gods, which not only is too hard, but which hasn't had as much an impact overall. I understand the subaltern arguments for including more questions on those categories, and I feel that we are adequately compensating for it.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Ike » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:03 pm

Several questions in this set gave me trouble trying to figure out what sort of thing the question was asking for. Between many newish demonstrative phrases such as "this prize," "this motif," and "this medium", the use of "these," "this," "their," etc. as standalone phrases pointing to the answer, and lots of tossups which dropped the use of "This ____" mid-tossup to just use "it" or "its" midway through, I think there could be some work done on shoring up the clarity of just what sort of thing is being asked for in any given sentence. I'd also avoid constructions that nest too far without getting specific (made-up example: "One of this author's plays' characters warns another character of a location catching fire..."), though I remember them happening when I played far more often than i'm finding them reading through the set again. Did others notice this issue?
So, one of my beliefs is that you should use pronouns to help narrow down the answer, which is why they should shift. So "this prize" is the pronoun phrase I'm sure I used for the tossup on gold, (with the most of clues referring to Fafnir's horde") before using other pronouns. Also, I HATE it when someone rights a tossup on someone like Hera, and uses "This goddess" or "This figure" the entire way through. You have to mix it up a bit so that the writing doesn't sound stilted.

In my view, using These, This, or Their, as a substantive is perfectly fine, as long as you are not being coy. If the tossup is obviously on an object, like a shield for my example, and you say "Thetis watched Hephaestus made one," the use of "one" in this tossup is shouldn't cause any confusion.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:18 pm

I actually really disagree with that. There's a difference between avoiding stilted repetition (through combining sentences or using other-but-perfectly acceptable pronouns, like "This deity" instead of "this goddess") and just plain making it more difficult to buzz. The gold tossup seemed okay (pronoun-wise) in this, but there were plenty of other examples in which it was difficult to determine what was being looked for, especially at the beginning of tossups.

I will say that at the beginning of tossups, you should always use "this [clearest pronoun]" to identify what you're looking for. In doing so, you also make it fairer for non experienced teams. You and I may know that when a lit tossup begins "At the beginning of it," it is looking for the work, but why not just say it? I will also say that I do not think using "one" is a good enough pronoun for most quizbowl questions. In saying "Hephaestus made one," it's a more confusing way of saying "Hephaestus made one of these objects," which to me more clearly points to what is being asked for. Keep in mind that people hear questions at quizbowl speed from not always the most skilled moderators--making it clear all the time what's being sought after is I think important.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Cody » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:22 pm

Ike wrote:In my view, using These, This, or Their, as a substantive is perfectly fine, as long as you are not being coy. If the tossup is obviously on an object, like a shield for my example, and you say "Thetis watched Hephaestus made one," the use of "one" in this tossup is shouldn't cause any confusion.
I agree that one can use "one" and "it" appropriately to mix things up (as long as you have a real pronoun every other sentence or so), but there's never a situation where you can't use something better than "this", "these", or "their". I (almost) always have at least two pronouns to start a question, move to something like "it", "one", or "them" and then switch back and forth as appropriate. That avoids the stilted effect without compromising on telling the player what you're looking for (because we forget things easily, including what the question is looking for).
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Ike » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:31 pm

Cheynem wrote:I actually really disagree with that. There's a difference between avoiding stilted repetition (through combining sentences or using other-but-perfectly acceptable pronouns, like "This deity" instead of "this goddess") and just plain making it more difficult to buzz. The gold tossup seemed okay (pronoun-wise) in this, but there were plenty of other examples in which it was difficult to determine what was being looked for, especially at the beginning of tossups.

I will say that at the beginning of tossups, you should always use "this [clearest pronoun]" to identify what you're looking for. In doing so, you also make it fairer for non experienced teams. You and I may know that when a lit tossup begins "At the beginning of it," it is looking for the work, but why not just say it? I will also say that I do not think using "one" is a good enough pronoun for most quizbowl questions. In saying "Hephaestus made one," it's a more confusing way of saying "Hephaestus made one of these objects," which to me more clearly points to what is being asked for. Keep in mind that people hear questions at quizbowl speed from not always the most skilled moderators--making it clear all the time what's being sought after is I think important.
Unsurprisingly, I will disagree (mostly) with the second paragraph. If you say "At its beginning" or "At the beginning of it," the answer can really only be a work of literature, a movie, etc, if you give the context that follows in the next clues. Theoretically, it might be something else that's odd - like if you were describing an eel, you might also say "At the beginning of it, is a mouth..." or something similar. But the context from the rest of the clues should make it eminently clear what the question is looking for. In the Hephaestus example, when you say "Hephaestus made one," it can only be a few things, all of which are objects; there's no real need to say objects. I agree that we should make make it fairer for new teams, but I will give you a doughnut, Mike Cheyne, if any team really thought that the tossup that began "At the beginning of it" was anything other than an artistic work.

Edit: A lot of what you guys are saying is that it's not hurting anyone by being more verbose with "This object." I agree, but I also contend that you don't lose anything by elision. Moderators who are bad do many things a lot worse that make the question unparseable.

Side note: The examples that Matt Jackson he were confused by "This medium" for "light" and "This motif" for The Wasteland, probably confused him because he's never thought about light or The Wasteland in the context of either being a light or a motif before, (which is an issue for discussion in its own right) and not because the pronouns were lacking.

Edit 1: Oops, I left out a key phrase that makes what I'm saying nonsense. Sorry!
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Mewto55555 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:39 pm

One thing I like a lot about "this X" is it's pretty easy to hear/latch onto regardless of moderator quality. When I'm reading I always like to put a bit of extra emphasis on the first instance of a pronoun so it's clear for everyone, but it's a lot harder to do that in any meaningful way with just "it" (and it's incredibly easy, especially with worse moderators, for that it to just disappear somewhere in a jumble of words and leave everyone confused). I don't think you can't mix it up later, but I find it preferable when it is made very clear at the outset what the question wants, even if the nature of the question means you have to be somewhat coy about it with a "this thing".
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Cody » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:40 pm

Ike wrote:Unsurprisingly, I will disagree (mostly) with the second paragraph. If you say "At its beginning" or "At the beginning of it," the answer can really only be a work of literature, a movie, etc. Theoretically, it might be something else that's odd - like if you were describing an eel, you might also say "At the beginning of it, is a mouth..." or something similar. But the context from the rest of the clues should make it eminently clear what the question is looking for. In the Hephaestus example, when you say "Hephaestus made one," again it can only be a few things, all of which are objects; there's no real need to say objects. I agree that we should make make it fairer for new teams, but I will give you a doughnut, Mike Cheyne, if any team really thought that the tossup that began "At the beginning of it" was anything other than an artistic work.
Whoa, dude, you are very wrong. You should ALWAYS start a tossup with multiple uses of a pronoun that specifies what you are looking for. The usage of the phrase "this x" is a signal to the player at what to hone in on and saving seven characters by saying "it" instead of "this work" just has the potential to confuse players (though you shouldn't use work for other reasons). It's way, way better to overuse pronouns than underuse them because players get lost less often.

Your argument also makes no sense in light of you thinking "that you should use pronouns to help narrow down the answer". If you begin a tossup by saying "at the beginning of it" could refer to, say, an opera or a novel. You lose nothing by referring to it as an opera or novel instead, you make sure the player is aware of what you're looking for, and you've automatically narrowed the answerspace from every artistic work to a novel. Just this little bit of specificity is a huge help (for an example, just think about the ACF Regs '11 TU that referred to a play as a novel [or vice versa] - at our site, this led to people not buzzing because the answer wasn't a play. That, of course, was an error, but it illustrates why including a solid pronoun at the beginning of a tossup is very useful).
Last edited by Cody on Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:42 pm

"At the beginning of it" could refer to almost anything. At the beginning of...a novel? A film? A song? A comic book? A television show? A symphony? An opera? A play? A short story? A historical battle? A war? A presidential administration? A B-SHIRT? You get the idea. You just don't gain anything by not saying "at the beginning of this book" or what have you.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:11 pm

Two broad impressions about this set, which I found enjoyable for the most part:

1) It really struggled with clarity about what is being asked on a lot of questions, leaving me searching for a specific pronoun for a few lines. Using "it" is a bad idea, as is describing The Waste Land (which is itself a dubious answer selection) as an "entity." I don't know what the intent was behind some of that, but it didn't work.

2) Holy hell what was up with the trash? Were these questions written in 2006 and then forgotten until a few weeks ago? Almost none of these things were remotely interesting.

EDIT: and yes, I understand that trash taste is subjective blah blah, but who in 2013 cares or thinks about the Battlestar Galactica reboot or a song off of American Idiot?
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:24 pm

Inkana7 wrote: EDIT: and yes, I understand that trash taste is subjective blah blah, but who in 2013 cares or thinks about the Battlestar Galactica reboot or a song off of American Idiot?
Enough people for both of those to get powered in several rooms, that's who.
Inkana7 wrote:1) It really struggled with clarity about what is being asked on a lot of questions, leaving me searching for a specific pronoun for a few lines. Using "it" is a bad idea, as is describing The Waste Land (which is itself a dubious answer selection) as an "entity." I don't know what the intent was behind some of that, but it didn't work.
I'm more inclined to agree with this.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Ike » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:42 am

Kenneth Widmerpool wrote:I'd like to comment on a couple of recent trends that I've noticed with recent tournaments (particularly here and in TIT). In each tournament, there seem to be a small handful of tossups on creative ideas, or tossups that unify clues in an interesting way, but the easiest clue of the bunch is still not easy enough for the giveaway, so some random quasi-academic stuff is shoehorned in to provide a giveaway. Here are some tossups that I think exemplified this trend in this set:
I disagree with most of this. So the tossups I wrote of the first four you mentioned are the following:
This medium is used extensively in the artwork To Piet Mondrian, Who Lacked Green, which was created by Dan Flavin, an artist who specializes in using it. In collaboration with the MAS, John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi created a memorial that displays 88 columns of it. Two slabs of silky smooth concrete that are cut at a 15 degree angle comprise an (*) Osaka chapel named for this entity, which was designed by Tadao Ando. The construction of clerestories and oculi were medieval ways of incorporating it into buildings. On September 11 of every year since 2001, two lines of it are shot into the sky as a memorial to those who died. For 10 points, name this substance that is usually incorporated into buildings by windows.
ANSWER: light [Accept any type of light, such as “green light” “sunlight” or “natural light,” etc.]

In a Christopher Marlowe play, one of these personas is the child of a chimney sweeper and an oyster wife. That one wishes all books to be burnt since he cannot read, while another compares himself to Ovid’s flea. These characters follow the World and the Flesh, who help attack a building placed in the center of the stage, The Castle of Perseverance. In Confessio Amantis, the character of Genius explains the relevance of these figures to Amans. (*) Lucifer introduces these figures to the title character in scene 6 of Doctor Faustus. A common trope of medieval morality plays was to have the protagonist reject personified forms of these figures, having them accept their counterparts, the virtues. For 10 points, name this heptad of vices, which typically includes gluttony and pride.
ANSWER: Seven Deadly Sins
In both of these cases, you actually have to know something about the previous content of the clues to be able to buzz. For example, someone who doesn't know that they shoot light at the WTC might say something like "fresh air" or "wind." I get that the point of the giveaway isn't to insult teams by setting the bare so low, but we're not doing that. If you aren't buzzing at the WTC clue, and you buzz on the giveaway, you probably will think "Oh, I should have known about the WTC clue because I recall they honor those who died in that way now."
In each of these cases, the best teams will have no problem getting the question somewhere in the progression of clues before the dropoff, but everyone else will be buzzing on the giveaway. I think that a good way to assess if a particular creative idea is worthwhile or not is to look at the last academic clue and ask yourself what the conversion rate will be if it stood on its own as a giveaway. If the answer is not to your liking, then save that idea for a harder set.

Here's a related phenomenon where a few questions where the easiest clue was easy enough to be a giveaway, but some trivial or extracategorical swerve-type clue was tacked on to boost conversion:
I disagree with a lot of these criticisms as well.
7. James Sadler began his first balloon flight in this city, and William Laud wrote a set of statutes for one organization here. Thomas Fairfax took control of Headington Hill to bring an end to a siege of this city. This city was the location of a debate where one participant asked the other whether it was through his grandmother or grandfather that he claimed (*) descent from an ape. This city was Charles I’s base during the English Civil war. The Huxley-Wilberforce debate on evolution took place in this city, which is also the namesake of a series of reforms forced by Simon de Montfort and his fellow barons on King Henry III. For 10 points, name this city which lent its name to some “Provisions” in 1268 and is home to a university founded about the same time as Cambridge.
ANSWER: Oxford
The university of Oxford is obviously a university of great historic importance, it can be rightly argued that this is a history giveaway. Unless you want to argue that writing a tossup on North Dakota and mentioning its capital is Bismarck is not fair for a geography tossup, I don't see how you can make the same line of argument.
13. This action is the defining practice of the Soshigateli sect of Russian Old Believers. The twenty-third chapter of the Lotus Sutra recounts that the Medicine King did this after swallowing various items for twelve hundred years. Gayatri Spivak’s “Can the Subaltern Speak?” closes by stating that the British misunderstood this practice. A wave of this practice was launched by (*) Buddhist monks in South Vietnam, starting with Thich Quang Duc. Five supposed practitioners of Falun Gong performed this action in Tiananmen Square in 2001. Indian women would sometimes do this after their husband’s death, a practice known as Sati which was outlawed by the British. For 10 points, identify this action which usually turns the person performing it into a crisp.
ANSWER: self-immolation or setting oneself on fire [accept sati or descriptions thereof before mention, prompt on “burning” or “getting burned”, do not accept “going to hell” at any point]
Well, I can't argue here!
13. In his opinion on a case from this state, Justice Powell cited a lack of evidence that suggested asymmetric punishment for African-American murderers in McLeskey vs. Kemp. This state’s attempt to extend capital punishment to rapists was thwarted in Coker. A 1972 case from here ruled the death penalty cruel and unusual, an opinion that was overturned by a case in this state. Tom C. Clark wrote the majority opinion of a court case that began in this state, writing that Congress could prohibit (*) racial discrimination in certain public places under the commerce clause. The Furman and Gregg cases occurred in this state, where New Echota postmaster Samuel Worcester opposed Indian Removal. For 10 points, name this state, of origin of the Heart of Atlanta Motel case.
ANSWER: Georgia
So geography and history are very much interlinked, and I don't really mind this giveaway. A lot of tossups in every tournament feature a number of giveaways like "FTP, name this state, with capital at Columbus." If you don't want to use this clue as a giveaway what would you want in its place?
7. David Madsen wrote a scatological novel narrated by a Gnostic one of these figures that travels across 16th century Europe. One of these figures decapitates a kitten while it is in the arms of his sleeping employer; another example of this type of character is afraid of the Black Witch and the Black Cook. One of these figures is forced to pose nude for Maestro Bernardo and secretly poisons the enemies of an unnamed prince - that one is named (*) Piccoline. This type of figure titles a novel by Pär Lagerkvist. Another one of these figures finds the finger of Sister Dorothea, one of his love interests. That one can shatter glass with his voice and is named Oskar Matzerath. For 10 points, name this type of figure exemplified by the protagonist of The Tin Drum, which are usually diminutive.
ANSWER: dwarfs [or dwarves, accept anything indicating that these are diminutive characters.]
Again, it's not like you can completely not know anything and buzz on the "tacked-on giveaway." If you're unattentive, or brain-dead until the last phrase, you could conceivably say gnomes, pygmies, or children. You have to know something before that last phrase in order to buzz.
Here, I think deleting the trivial information at the end will produce a fairer tossup for most teams, since nobody, not even the worst teams (or Chris Ray), likes buzzer racing on a solidly-written history tossup on binary-matching geography clues that boil down to "name this state with capital Atlanta." I think that deleting the last bit would make the Georgia and Oxford tossups among the harder ones in the history category, but still within an acceptable range of conversion, and the self-immolation and dwarf tossups should still be pretty reasonable to answer for most teams.
Before we do so, I actually want to hear teams complain about this from a first-hand point of view. I thought this tournament was a bit on the easy side, but then I saw the stats at some of the sites and was convinced I was wrong. I can't imagine that making any of the giveaways harder is a good thing all around. Some tossups lend themselves to having giveaways like the ones I mentioned, I see no problem with that.

Addendum: What's bizarre, is that I don't think this was the first or second tournament that did this. I actually thought it was 2013's WIT. For example that tournament has a lit tossup on boxing that has a giveaway like "For 10 points, name this profession practiced by Robert Cohn in The Sun Also Rises and the central character in “Fifty Grand,” a gloved sport taught to Ezra Pound by Ernest Hemingway. Ironically, this is a perfect example of your criticism, as you literally need to know nothing to name a "gloved sport" in the last clause. Again, I don't mind that type of giveaway every now and then as long as the rest of the clues are gettable, e.g., if you're writing on something absolutely impossible, "For 10 points, name this title figure of a novella by John Polidori, an example of which is Dracula" you're doing it wrong.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Habitat_Against_Humanity » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:10 pm

So I read for this tournament and noticed a few things that might (or might not) merit some attention/discussion:

First, I'd like to say that the Sham-Wow thing was a terrible and stupid idea. At Yale, we started a little bit behind schedule and I remember being really miffed that I had to read that. Was there any good or logical reason not to stick that in the trash distribution?

Secondly, while alternate answerlines are usually helpful, I think this tournament may have overdone it on a small number of questions. The time derivative tossup was the most glaring example of this. In addition, instructions to moderators can be a gamble. It seemed like there were a number of bonuses that involved not revealing some aspect of one part before the next part. While this is not a real problem in theory, by the time 3 or 4 PM rolls around, I'm not as sharp on these sorts of things and having to figure out what I'm not supposed to say interrupts my flow and resulted in me accidentally revealing the info at least once. The same goes for having to go through 3 or more alternate answerlines and trying to figure out what or what not to prompt on.

A pet peeve of mine: I notice that at least a few of the math/physics questions had clues like "...this phenomenon produces a solution equal to a constant times momentum raised to the minus one-half power times the exponential of i over h-bar times the position integral of momentum." (From the quantum tunneling question). In the packet this clue takes up nearly two lines. I know it's not just me who finds these sorts of things nearly useless. In my experience, trying to parse equation of formula clues is an exercise in futility. Unless there's some unexpected term in the equation or something that makes it specifically remarkable, I don't think these sorts of clues do much, especially when read quickly. I know other people share this annoyance, so I'm curious if anyone actually finds these clues useful.

Finally, a quick quirk. I noticed a lot of references to Orpheus in this set. I remember counting between 5 and 6 in the first six packets. Orphism (duh) and Offenbach featured this among others. Other times, it was just a passing mention in the question. Not complaining, just thought it was a very interesting quirk.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:59 pm

We had a discussion about the helpfulness of equation clues after MFT. I don't think there was a clear consensus against them, at least. I personally find them helpful and rewarding of real knowledge - I buzzed on the tunneling equation clue based on stuff I learned in quantum mechanics class, and if you just write equations down as they're being said they aren't that hard to parse.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Ike » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:27 pm

So I read for this tournament and noticed a few things that might (or might not) merit some attention/discussion:

First, I'd like to say that the Sham-Wow thing was a terrible and stupid idea. At Yale, we started a little bit behind schedule and I remember being really miffed that I had to read that. Was there any good or logical reason not to stick that in the trash distribution?
How on earth is it the editors' fault if you guys don't start on schedule? I mean sure, if you don't like "gag" tossups, we get that, and you can post about it as much as you want in the question specific thread.
Secondly, while alternate answerlines are usually helpful, I think this tournament may have overdone it on a small number of questions. The time derivative tossup was the most glaring example of this. In addition, instructions to moderators can be a gamble. It seemed like there were a number of bonuses that involved not revealing some aspect of one part before the next part. While this is not a real problem in theory, by the time 3 or 4 PM rolls around, I'm not as sharp on these sorts of things and having to figure out what I'm not supposed to say interrupts my flow and resulted in me accidentally revealing the info at least once. The same goes for having to go through 3 or more alternate answerlines and trying to figure out what or what not to prompt on.
I agree that moderators do make mistakes, and that editors have to account for imperfect moderators, but I disagree that being extra careful is something to avoid because you might tire out the moderator or the moderator is already tired. The reason why Billy Busse expanded that answer line was that so that real knowledge isn't penalized. There have been many tossups and bonuses in the past that begin "Note to moderator...," this tournament is no different.
A pet peeve of mine: I notice that at least a few of the math/physics questions had clues like "...this phenomenon produces a solution equal to a constant times momentum raised to the minus one-half power times the exponential of i over h-bar times the position integral of momentum." (From the quantum tunneling question). In the packet this clue takes up nearly two lines. I know it's not just me who finds these sorts of things nearly useless. In my experience, trying to parse equation of formula clues is an exercise in futility. Unless there's some unexpected term in the equation or something that makes it specifically remarkable, I don't think these sorts of clues do much, especially when read quickly. I know other people share this annoyance, so I'm curious if anyone actually finds these clues useful.
These equations (when carefully selected) are incredibly helpful. Ever since I started playing next to Sorice, he would make use of them; I've seen many other good science players make use of them too. Sure it takes up a lot of space and sounds like noise to some players, but I think that people who know the actual equations and have the ability to perform dimensional analysis finds them incredibly useful.
Finally, a quick quirk. I noticed a lot of references to Orpheus in this set. I remember counting between 5 and 6 in the first six packets. Orphism (duh) and Offenbach featured this among others. Other times, it was just a passing mention in the question. Not complaining, just thought it was a very interesting quirk.
Heh, this wasn't intentional at all. Aaron wrote the Beethoven piano concerti tossup, I wrote the Orphism question, and I wrote the Plague question right after reading it. I can't remember any other Orpheus clues, but the impact of Orpheus is obviously huge in the humanities.
Ike
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Guile Island » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:47 am

The Negritude tossup talked about the Sartre essay Black Orpheus, but I don't know if it was dropped because it got buzzed on the description in my room.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:32 pm

After playing the rest of the packets and thinking about it a bit more, I have to say that overall the history in this set was pretty solid - I think I may just have been frustrated by my performance when I posted my earlier critique. The clues were occasionally misplaced but for the most part well-chosen, and I think Aaron did a very good job for his first time writing history questions on a large scale. Sorry that I don't have much more to add, I just wanted to express appreciation after my earlier comments.
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Lagotto Romagnolo
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:55 pm

gamegeek2 wrote:Sorry that I don't have much more to add, I just wanted to express appreciation after my earlier comments.
I very much appreciate your appreciation. Glad that people have enjoyed the set.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:37 pm

Yeah, Aaron, you did a fine job with the history. The only thing I found problematic was the wording of that one clue in the Sweden/Russia tossup in your room. Otherwise, well done.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:39 pm

Ah, thanks for the reminder. I should be able to re-word that without too much trouble.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:54 pm

The set is clear. Mods, you can make these threads public.
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