George Oppen: Specific Question Discussion

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George Oppen: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:55 pm

Fire away. I will follow the precedent established by Rob Carson and Matt Jackson, and only post questions if you tell me why you want to see them.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:43 pm

Can you post the Manco Capac tossup? To my recollection, the question referred to the figure in question as a god and I've pretty much only heard Manco Capac referred to as a man, not a god, which confused me into negging. Was the word "god" used because of some later deification by Incas?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:51 pm

A bird that this god imprisoned in a cage was released by his great-grandson, who became a very wise man as a result. This was the most famous brother of a god who could knock down entire hills with a well-aimed sling-shot; this god tried to send that brother away with promises of a golden cup and a miniature pack animal. This god's brothers either turned into stone, or sprouted wings and gained the ability to terraform the landscape, upon escaping from a cave. In one story, this god, who isn't Tutay Quiri, gained ascendancy by impressing his subjects with dazzling sunlight-reflecting clothing. According to the chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, this god, Tocay, Pinahua, and Colla held dominion over the (*) "four quarters," or the Tawantinsuyu. This male god planted a golden staff in the ground to create civilization, alongside his sister and wife Mama Ocllo, following a great flood that Viracocha sent to ravage the area around Lake Titicaca. For 10 points, name this legendary first emperor of the Inca.
ANSWER: _Manco_ Capac [or Ayar _Manco_]
Some books I consulted when writing this tossup considered him a divine figure, so I used "god" (instead of "figure") and not "man" because I felt that might be confusing.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:58 pm

Could I see the tossup on "ecofeminism" please?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:12 pm

So, this tournament was a good example of why you shouldn't try to write 90% of a CO-level event by yourself. The relative lack of outside consultation really hurt. The first halves of 75% of tossups were extremely hard, even in areas like Greek myth that I feel I know really well; I think that's a result of Auroni trying too hard to go deep in areas in which he wasn't personally an expert. For the same reason, bonuses were wildly inconsistent and frequently pitiless. Auroni, I think this could have been a better tournament if you had taken on less of a burden and tried less hard to test us with stacks on stacks on stacks of insane clues. However, I was impressed that every category, including tough ones like music and economics, had some good questions on imaginative answers. The set wasn't bad given what Auroni had to do, it just really suffered from overabundant lead-ins, fickle bonuses, and some poor answer choices.

Although I could critique this specific set's successes and failings more thoroughly, and perhaps may later, I want to shift focus to another issue on which all of quizbowl needs to change its perspective. The trash in this tournament was not good. Dog with a Blog is just a weird quizbowl meta joke. Astrolounge is a pretty mystifying choice in 2015. Even the acceptably-written tossup on Brooklyn Nine Nine and the inspired question on Walter White's ricin were on topics that come up ridiculously often with respect to their importance.* And the bonuses were just brutal.

It's not just Oppen; editors often decide that because it's the trash distribution, they can just slot in garbage questions on stuff they like. In the words of Tracy Marrow, that's fucked up. It's ridiculous that 1 out of 20 questions in every match is allowed to be a joke. As I've argued before, popular culture has a place in quizbowl because (1) people know it, (2)** it's worth knowing, and (3) it allows for novel questions. Going by those reasons, you should avoid questions on impossible, stupid, or pet topics. Just like it's silly for players to say "My team should have done better on the TV bonuses even though we don't know trash," it's inexcusable for editors to decide "I don't have to make this question good because it's on trash."

*I know it sounds crazy to say this about Breaking Bad, which I realize is an all-time great TV drama. But just off the top of my head, I can think of eight academic tournaments since Spring 2012 with Breaking Bad content, and three this year. Compare that to equally well-regarded shows like The Sopranos and The Wire, then think of how many other good shows are on TV, and then consider that TV deserves about 20% of the 1/1 pop culture distribution. Quizbowl's Breaking Bad love is getting out of hand.

**(2) is harder to quantify, but with basic judgment you can rule out Dog with a Blog questions without getting into "JACKIE ROBINSON AND BOB DYLAN" territory.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:19 pm

To be fair, Breaking Bad is a bit more recent show than either The Sopranos and The Wire, and when I first started playing college quizbowl, The Wire came up a lot more. I agree it's come up a lot lately (although that ricin tossup was really neat, I thought).

Apparently the Dog with a Blog tossup was misattributed to me--I didn't write it.

I wrote, in an attempt to be interesting and accessible while still vanity, the tossups on Savage/Hogan, Jerry West, and Polo Grounds, and the three other sports bonuses (Eddie Waitkus, the Bos, and sideline reporters).

Also Astrolounge 4 life.

Lest I try to seem argumentative, I agree with Matt's point about trash questions maintaining quality.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:35 pm

vinteuil wrote:Could I see the tossup on "ecofeminism" please?
This was maybe my least favorite question in the set. Just not a good idea at all.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:39 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
vinteuil wrote:Could I see the tossup on "ecofeminism" please?
This was maybe my least favorite question in the set. Just not a good idea at all.
Janet Biehl criticized this movement for ignoring actual problems in her 1991 book about ~Rethinking [this movement's] Politics.~ A thinker in this movement argued that metaphors in science writing, such as those used by Francis Bacon, have been swept away by the objectivity introduced by the Scientific Revolution. Sallie MacFague introduced theology into this movement in her book ~The Body of God.~ Donna Haraway's essay ~A Cyborg Manifesto~ is often read as a rejection of this movement. This term was introduced by the radical French activist/science-fiction writer (*) Francoise d'Eaubonne. Key texts in this movement include a namesake one by Vandana Shiva, as well as Carolyn Merchant's ~The Death of Nature.~ A particularly stupid argument from this movement is that the medicalization of childbirth has eroded the natural, nurturing profession of midwifery. For 10 points, name this movement that links sexual exploitation to exploitation of the Earth.
ANSWER: _ecofeminism_ [accept word forms; accept _environmental feminism_ or _ecological feminism_ or similar answers; prompt on _feminism_; prompt on _ecology_]

This seemed Talked About in real life, so I thought a question on it might be reasonable; turns out that there's too much overlap with other movements.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:44 pm

I think this would have worked much better as a bonus part, where you could give some prominent ecofeminist names and then say something about the domination of nature/domination of women parallel. Trying to figure out on the fly where these thinkers all belong and which particular feminism one should give is a bit too much to ask of people, in my view.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:58 pm

May I see the representation theory bonus, please? I swear a little Clifford algebra, Frobenius reciprocity, or talk of the character table of PSL(2,7) can never hurt anyone, but who knows! I would love to see how challenging this famous bonus actually is, because I have yet to see it.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:00 pm

Identify the following tools that you might use if you were interested in representation theory, for 10 points each.
[10] Since rep theory concerns itself with matrices of different dimensions, you would use this matrix operation a lot. It equals the sum of the diagonal elements of a matrix, and it also equals the sum of its eigenvalues.
ANSWER: _trace_
[10] This function assigns to each element of a group the trace of its matrix in a given representation. Its values are often compiled in tables, with one row corresponding to each irreducible representation.
ANSWER: _character_ [do not accept "characteristic"]
[10] This theorem asserts that every representation of a finite group over a finite-dimensional vector space is a direct sum of irreducible representations.
ANSWER: _Maschke_'s theorem
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:22 pm

The King's Flight to the Scots wrote:Although I could critique this specific set's successes and failings more thoroughly, and perhaps may later, I want to shift focus to another issue on which all of quizbowl needs to change its perspective. The trash in this tournament was not good. Dog with a Blog is just a weird quizbowl meta joke. Astrolounge is a pretty mystifying choice in 2015. Even the acceptably-written tossup on Brooklyn Nine Nine and the inspired question on Walter White's ricin were on topics that come up ridiculously often with respect to their importance.* And the bonuses were just brutal.

It's not just Oppen; editors often decide that because it's the trash distribution, they can just slot in garbage questions on stuff they like. In the words of Tracy Marrow, that's fucked up. It's ridiculous that 1 out of 20 questions in every match is allowed to be a joke. As I've argued before, popular culture has a place in quizbowl because (1) people know it, (2)** it's worth knowing, and (3) it allows for novel questions. Going by those reasons, you should avoid questions on impossible, stupid, or pet topics. Just like it's silly for players to say "My team should have done better on the TV bonuses even though we don't know trash," it's inexcusable for editors to decide "I don't have to make this question good because it's on trash."
I heartily second all of this. The trash in this set really was far too self-indulgent, and way more so than SCT by any conceivable metric.

Some other specific thoughts:
  • You have two pretty similar bonuses mentioning Helen Frankenthaler, in I think rounds 4 and 6. Given the pretty wide ground covered by the tournament this was pretty strange. There was also some overlap on Heidegger / "Dasein" across a few questions in the set. Not major, but it's a thing I noticed.
  • Can we talk about the bonus part on "postmodernism" more? As I remember it, it lumped in the earlier author in the bonus, said some non-specific stuff about self-referentiality and non-linearity and other things that have existed since the Odyssey at least, and then said "David Foster Wallace is the most famous author in this tradition." Our team was really confused and said "hysterical realism" -- Wallace is often lumped in as a postmodern author, but usually by laypeople who are frustrated by him, from what I can tell? It might have been a decent idea to find a work specifically referring to "postmodern" in its name as a clue for this part, even if that meant crossing distributions a bit to drop in someone like Lyotard or Jameson -- there's a lot of overlap between postmodernism, poststructuralism, hysterical realism, intellectual showoffery, etc. and it's hard to point uniquely to just one of those.
  • I'm curious if the Lipitor bonus was Current Events or Biology; if the former, I think it was a really cool way to make that category more wide-ranging and interesting; if the latter, that's a little hokey.
  • The bonus part on "monism" was a good idea, but the execution was iffy. It seemed to be full of unsourced academic distinctions that some dude came up with late in the 20th century and posted on the (Internet|Stanford) Encyclopedia of Philosophy or wrote up in a summary article for some anthology. Can you post that part and explain where you found the clues in it about different types of monism / how well-established those are?
  • Can you post the Nash equilibrium bonus part? I think as written it says something like "this kind of equilibrium in which both players know the other player's strategy", and that seems like an incorrect description to me, though I admit I'm not an expert and the above may be equivalent to the more standard description in some formal sense.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:38 pm

Matthew Jackson wrote: Some other specific thoughts:
  • You have two pretty similar bonuses mentioning Helen Frankenthaler, in I think rounds 4 and 6. Given the pretty wide ground covered by the tournament this was pretty strange. There was also some overlap on Heidegger / "Dasein" across a few questions in the set. Not major, but it's a thing I noticed.
  • Can we talk about the bonus part on "postmodernism" more? As I remember it, it lumped in the earlier author in the bonus, said some non-specific stuff about self-referentiality and non-linearity and other things that have existed since the Odyssey at least, and then said "David Foster Wallace is the most famous author in this tradition." Our team was really confused and said "hysterical realism" -- Wallace is often lumped in as a postmodern author, but usually by laypeople who are frustrated by him, from what I can tell? It might have been a decent idea to find a work specifically referring to "postmodern" in its name as a clue for this part, even if that meant crossing distributions a bit to drop in someone like Lyotard or Jameson -- there's a lot of overlap between postmodernism, poststructuralism, hysterical realism, intellectual showoffery, etc. and it's hard to point uniquely to just one of those.
  • I'm curious if the Lipitor bonus was Current Events or Biology; if the former, I think it was a really cool way to make that category more wide-ranging and interesting; if the latter, that's a little hokey.
  • The bonus part on "monism" was a good idea, but the execution was iffy. It seemed to be full of unsourced academic distinctions that some dude came up with late in the 20th century and posted on the (Internet|Stanford) Encyclopedia of Philosophy or wrote up in a summary article for some anthology. Can you post that part and explain where you found the clues in it about different types of monism / how well-established those are?
  • Can you post the Nash equilibrium bonus part? I think as written it says something like "this kind of equilibrium in which both players know the other player's strategy", and that seems like an incorrect description to me, though I admit I'm not an expert and the above may be equivalent to the more standard description in some formal sense.
- This was a mistake, I didn't realize that I had overlapping content between the two bonuses in both cases.
- [10] Particularly with weird stories and novels like "The Babysitter" and Spanking the Maid, Coover put himself firmly in the canon of American authors in this tradition, characterized by self-reference, logic-defying plots, and fabulation. The best-known writer of this kind of fiction is probably David Foster Wallace.
ANSWER: postmodernism [accept word forms]

This was a case of me not thinking this through all the way. I felt as if postmodernism wouldn't be a slam dunk easy part unless Wallace was mentioned in some way (him frequently being referred to as a "postmodern author," but I agree that he's part of many distinct movements.)

- the Lipitor bonus was current events.
- [10] In his Ethics, Spinoza contradicted Descartes's theories and put forth a form of this philosophical view by claiming that all substances stem from God. This view says that all existing things can be explained as emanations of one substance, and comes in idealist, material, or neutral types depending on whether that thing is the mind, the physical, or neither.
ANSWER: monism [accept word forms]

I did indeed take the definition from some combination of IEP and/or SEP, but, like, how am I supposed to know that I'm not supposed to do that? Those are very widely used sources for understanding philosophical ideas, so that's what I went with.

- [10] On the other hand, if there is a strictly dominant strategy for each player in a two-player game, then there is only one unique equilibrium of this kind, in which each player knows the strategies of the other.
ANSWER: Nash equilibrium

This definition seems to recur in several places, what would you have gone with instead?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:06 pm

Auroni wrote:Identify the following tools that you might use if you were interested in representation theory, for 10 points each.
[10] Since rep theory concerns itself with matrices of different dimensions, you would use this matrix operation a lot. It equals the sum of the diagonal elements of a matrix, and it also equals the sum of its eigenvalues.
ANSWER: _trace_
[10] This function assigns to each element of a group the trace of its matrix in a given representation. Its values are often compiled in tables, with one row corresponding to each irreducible representation.
ANSWER: _character_ [do not accept "characteristic"]
[10] This theorem asserts that every representation of a finite group over a finite-dimensional vector space is a direct sum of irreducible representations.
ANSWER: _Maschke_'s theorem
Okay, so this is very easy from my perspective as I have taken a course in representation theory. I was expecting this bonus to be some sort of demon. An algebra student studying representations of groups will hear about character tables and Maschke's theorem during the first week of such a course, and there are certainly more devilish answerlines to pick from within the bounds of the subject. Maschke's theorem is a tool that is very useful in group/ring theory and its consequences are rather profound.

From a non-mathematician quizbowler's point of view, the last two parts are probably rather challenging. They're both extremely important concepts and either would suffice as a hard part in my opinion. If you plan to use character as the hard part, there are several different ways to make a fine middle part. The natural way (since a ton of intro representation theory deals with finite groups) is to pick a notable finite group, talk about its representation, and then maybe throw in a bone that would make an undergrad who has taken some abstract algebra course recognize that the question is talking about dihedral groups, symmetric groups, or what have you. Another easy way to get a middle part would have been to talk about conjugacy classes and have "conjugate" be your answerline because tons of quizbowlers have heard of that. Or if you want to take Maschke as your hard part it wouldn't be too difficult to talk about irreducible submodules with "irreducible" being your answerline and throwing in some easier clues for that.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Grace » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:12 pm

I'd like to see the Don Quixote ballet tossup, since I didn't get to hear it (and I've been on a bit of a ballet bender in the last few weeks).
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by setht » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:40 pm

Could I see the metamorphism tossup?

Thanks,
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by t-bar » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:05 pm

setht wrote:Could I see the metamorphism tossup?

Thanks,
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In round 4, I wrote:Pentti Eskola proposed a system for classifying the conditions under which this process occurs. The presence of the stishovite and coesite polymorphs of silicon dioxide may indicate the occurrence of a particularly violent type of this process. A saltwater-mediated hydrothermal type of this process that occurs at black smokers creates deep-sea deposits of copper and nickel ore. Akiho Miyashiro proposed the existence of parallel paired belts named for this process that have contrasting (*) mineralogy. The relative degree, or grade, of this process is measured by examining index minerals. Shearing forces during this process can result in foliation. This process, which occurs in "regional" and "contact" subtypes, starts with a protolith and results in products such as marble, slate, and gneiss. For 10 points, name this geological process in which the application of heat and pressure changes a rock from one type to another.
ANSWER: metamorphism
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:24 pm

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:Okay, so this is very easy from my perspective as I have taken a course in representation theory.
I mean...I guess that's a defense? But I don't think representation theory is often taught in that much depth in undergrad, and grad level classes aren't really a good basis for an entire bonus. We lucked out because character tables are also used in inorganic chemistry, so we skated away with 20, but that bonus just seemed really back-breakingly hard.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:31 pm

Grace wrote:I'd like to see the Don Quixote ballet tossup, since I didn't get to hear it (and I've been on a bit of a ballet bender in the last few weeks).
A non-title character from this ballet was one of the most popular roles of the Argentine bombshell Julio Bocca. This ballet contains a dream sequence in which the title character murders a gigantic spider, causing its web to transform into a magical garden. A completely unfaithful adaptation of this ballet, with music by Vladimir Nabokov's cousin Nicolas, starred Suzanne Farrell and George Balanchine in the lead roles. A new character called the Dryad Queen was added in a revival of this ballet by Alexander Gorsky, who spliced in the "Grand pas de (*) toreadors" from the choreographer's later ballet ~Zoraiya.~ The final scene of this ballet includes a grand pas de deux danced by the innkeeper's daughter Kitri and her barber lover Basilio, or Basil. Act II, Scene II of this ballet consists of the protagonist intimidating gypsies at a marionette theater performance, followed by him tilting at some windmills. For 10 points, name this collaboration between composer Ludwig Minkus and choreographer Marius Petipa, a ballet based on a Cervantes novel.
ANSWER: Don Quixote
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:48 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
The Ununtiable Twine wrote:Okay, so this is very easy from my perspective as I have taken a course in representation theory.
I mean...I guess that's a defense? But I don't think representation theory is often taught in that much depth in undergrad, and grad level classes aren't really a good basis for an entire bonus. We lucked out because character tables are also used in inorganic chemistry, so we skated away with 20, but that bonus just seemed really back-breakingly hard.
Yeah it's still a tough hard part for sure. Assuming we want to keep it as an answerline there are still responsible ways to reward 20 there while making the question draw almost entirely from representation theory. Out of curiosity, how did your team do on the fiber/kernel/Hopf fibration bonus, and do how difficult of a hard part do you think Hopf fibration is with respect to the "character" one? My impression is that it was also quite a bit on the tough side.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:51 pm

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:
The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
The Ununtiable Twine wrote:Okay, so this is very easy from my perspective as I have taken a course in representation theory.
I mean...I guess that's a defense? But I don't think representation theory is often taught in that much depth in undergrad, and grad level classes aren't really a good basis for an entire bonus. We lucked out because character tables are also used in inorganic chemistry, so we skated away with 20, but that bonus just seemed really back-breakingly hard.
Yeah it's still a tough hard part for sure. Assuming we want to keep it as an answerline there are still responsible ways to reward 20 there while making the question draw almost entirely from representation theory. Out of curiosity, how did your team do on the fiber/kernel/Hopf fibration bonus, and do how difficult of a hard part do you think Hopf fibration is with respect to the "character" one? My impression is that it was also quite a bit on the tough side.
Speaking of that bonus, we answered "preimage" for fiber, and I'm fairly certain that it was correct in context—could I see it?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by t-bar » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:06 pm

vinteuil wrote:Speaking of that bonus, we answered "preimage" for fiber, and I'm fairly certain that it was correct in context—could I see it?
In Round 8, I wrote:A collection of these objects whose topology locally resembles a product space is known as a bundle. For 10 points each:
[10] Name these mathematical objects, which are the inverse image of a single element under some map.
ANSWER: fibers
[10] For a linear map between vector spaces, this space can be described as the fiber of the zero element. This space, also known as the null space, is the space of vectors that map to zero.
ANSWER: kernel
[10] This fiber bundle maps a 3-sphere onto a 2-sphere, with circles as the fibers. Under a stereographic projection to Cartesian space, it looks like a collection of nested toruses. It is named for a German mathematician.
ANSWER: Hopf fibration
The first clue specifically identifies fibers, but preimages probably should have been prompted.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:07 pm

Also, I think the "Hercules" tossup has a factual error, or is at least non-unique in a way that makes the clue really actively unhelpful; by far the most prominent Roman emperor to have himself depicted as Hercules was Commodus (who was very often shown in a Nemean-esque lion skin once he came of age), not Caracalla.

Re: monism: Looking around I'm seeing that distinction in several different introductory sources, so it seems reasonable to infer that that's standard terminology akin to "libertarianism"/"compatibilism"/"determinism" for free will within the academic literature. One reason why you do have to be a bit skeptical of ripping straight from SEP in particular is that some of the more niche articles (as frankly an article on 'monism' is likely to be) often try proposing new distinctions for a spin, since they're more like academic papers presenting one scholar's view or interpretation, rather than a genuine/neutral summary of the existing literature for a layperson. My worry was that this distinction was likely to be just one academic's taxonomy and not standard. In this case, if you see it recapitulated across multiple sources you're probably safe, so I'm fine conceding that this was fine.

It remains a mystery how the apparent existence of multiple types of monism is dealt with by, um, actual monists.

The C. Kirchner tossup had a pretty awkward "this leader's country" in the first sentence, which could probably be reworded so "this leader" is much more clearly the thing being pointed to.
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:32 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:08 pm

t-bar wrote:
vinteuil wrote:Speaking of that bonus, we answered "preimage" for fiber, and I'm fairly certain that it was correct in context—could I see it?
In Round 8, I wrote:A collection of these objects whose topology locally resembles a product space is known as a bundle. For 10 points each:
[10] Name these mathematical objects, which are the inverse image of a single element under some map.
ANSWER: fibers
[10] For a linear map between vector spaces, this space can be described as the fiber of the zero element. This space, also known as the null space, is the space of vectors that map to zero.
ANSWER: kernel
[10] This fiber bundle maps a 3-sphere onto a 2-sphere, with circles as the fibers. Under a stereographic projection to Cartesian space, it looks like a collection of nested toruses. It is named for a German mathematician.
ANSWER: Hopf fibration
The first clue specifically identifies fibers, but preimages probably should have been prompted.
Whoops, there is indeed no such thing as a "preimage bundle."

Could I see the bonus on Passion Pit? I'm sure I misheard it, but I thought it said "this singer."
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by t-bar » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:16 pm

vinteuil wrote:Could I see the bonus on Passion Pit? I'm sure I misheard it, but I thought it said "this singer."
In round 11, I wrote:The chorus of this band's song "Little Secrets" repeats the phrase "higher and higher and higher." For 10 points each:
[10] Name this American indie pop band, who released their first album, Manners, in 2009. Their debut single, "Sleepyhead," samples Mary O'Hara's recording of the Celtic folk song "Oro Mo Bhaidin."
ANSWER: Passion Pit
[10] Passion Pit released this second studio album in 2012. It includes the song "Constant Conversations," as well as their biggest hit to date, "Take a Walk."
ANSWER: Gossamer
[10] In 2015, Passion Pit was featured on this mononymous French music producer's song "Pay No Mind," from his debut album Adventure. He first gained notoriety on YouTube for a 39-song mashup entitled "Pop Culture."
ANSWER: Madeon [or Hugo Pierre Leclercq]
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:20 pm

t-bar wrote:
vinteuil wrote:Could I see the bonus on Passion Pit? I'm sure I misheard it, but I thought it said "this singer."
In round 11, I wrote:The chorus of this band's song "Little Secrets" repeats the phrase "higher and higher and higher." For 10 points each:
[10] Name this American indie pop band, who released their first album, Manners, in 2009. Their debut single, "Sleepyhead," samples Mary O'Hara's recording of the Celtic folk song "Oro Mo Bhaidin."
ANSWER: Passion Pit
[10] Passion Pit released this second studio album in 2012. It includes the song "Constant Conversations," as well as their biggest hit to date, "Take a Walk."
ANSWER: Gossamer
[10] In 2015, Passion Pit was featured on this mononymous French music producer's song "Pay No Mind," from his debut album Adventure. He first gained notoriety on YouTube for a 39-song mashup entitled "Pop Culture."
ANSWER: Madeon [or Hugo Pierre Leclercq]
Yay for mishearing! (Passion Pit is a pretty rough easy part, but that was all of the trash at this tournament, really.)
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Sam » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:35 pm

Auroni wrote: - [10] On the other hand, if there is a strictly dominant strategy for each player in a two-player game, then there is only one unique equilibrium of this kind, in which each player knows the strategies of the other.
ANSWER: Nash equilibrium

This definition seems to recur in several places, what would you have gone with instead?
I think the part that usually gets emphasized is that the Nash equilibrium is the best response to to the strategy played by the other player(s), not that the players actually know what the strategies are. It's just kind of an odd part to focus on.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:46 pm

Matthew Jackson wrote:Also, I think the "Hercules" tossup has a factual error, or is at least non-unique in a way that makes the clue really actively unhelpful; by far the most prominent Roman emperor to have himself depicted as Hercules was Commodus (who was very often shown in a Nemean-esque lion skin once he came of age), not Caracalla.
It isn't unique but it is true, and I think "actively unhelpful" is awfully strong. Caracalla was way big into Hercules, to the extent that he commissioned this here awesome sculpture and other stuff we talked about at length when I took Roman Art. I don't remember exactly how the tossup went, but I was delighted.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Grace » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:34 am

Auroni wrote:
Grace wrote:I'd like to see the Don Quixote ballet tossup, since I didn't get to hear it (and I've been on a bit of a ballet bender in the last few weeks).
A non-title character from this ballet was one of the most popular roles of the Argentine bombshell Julio Bocca. This ballet contains a dream sequence in which the title character murders a gigantic spider, causing its web to transform into a magical garden. A completely unfaithful adaptation of this ballet, with music by Vladimir Nabokov's cousin Nicolas, starred Suzanne Farrell and George Balanchine in the lead roles. A new character called the Dryad Queen was added in a revival of this ballet by Alexander Gorsky, who spliced in the "Grand pas de (*) toreadors" from the choreographer's later ballet ~Zoraiya.~ The final scene of this ballet includes a grand pas de deux danced by the innkeeper's daughter Kitri and her barber lover Basilio, or Basil. Act II, Scene II of this ballet consists of the protagonist intimidating gypsies at a marionette theater performance, followed by him tilting at some windmills. For 10 points, name this collaboration between composer Ludwig Minkus and choreographer Marius Petipa, a ballet based on a Cervantes novel.
ANSWER: Don Quixote
Oh, I would have really enjoyed this (and would likely have gotten it within power at the Farrell/Balanchine clue)! I agree that the comments about difficulty are merited, but as Rob noted, Kitri is a flashy principal part that is very buzzable if you have a vague sense of ballet rep. That said--and please do correct me if I'm off-base about this--I do think that quizbowl does tend to ask less deeply about ballet than about most other theatrical arts; I'd argue that Don Quixote is about as important in ballet as, say, Jenufa is in opera, but no one would balk at a question about the latter at Nats-minus/Nats difficulty the way we seem to have responded to this Don Quixote question. (I use "we" here, because I probably would have been surprised to see "Don Quixote" as an answerline at George Oppen's advertised difficulty level, if not at its actual difficulty level.)

I also like the way in which performance/production history is highlighted in this question. I don't think that's a viable approach for all theatrical arts questions, and it might be particularly pertinent in dance, where different choreographer-performer groupings can completely "recompose" dance to the same music, but above a certain difficulty level, I do believe that asking about performance rewards at least one kind of deep interaction with a subject, and it's something that I wouldn't mind seeing in more theater (plays, opera, dance, etc.) questions. This bias is colored by my personal form of interaction with opera and opera history (I wouldn't recognize a score clue if it hit me in the face), but I think there is a sense that certain performances are historic and important as art in their own right and ought to be clued as regularly as "opera plot" or "ballet character."
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:18 am

I don't remember which packets they were in, but:

-The answer to that bonus on conservation of mass was rendered as "conversation of mass." And when I was reading it, it seemed like it was actually looking for conservation of mass and energy. Or maybe the words "and energy" were tacked on by mistake.
- I should have caught this in playtesting, but Dichterliebe is not a choral work; it only has one singer (easy fix, just change 'choral' to 'vocal').
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:34 am

I'd like to see that tossup on "prostitutes." I'm not sure if it meaningfully distinguishes between prostitutes and any other women who were forced to serve in the Magdalen Laundries.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:41 pm

grapesmoker wrote:I'd like to see that tossup on "prostitutes." I'm not sure if it meaningfully distinguishes between prostitutes and any other women who were forced to serve in the Magdalen Laundries.
Multiple members of this profession identified Lord Arthur Somerset in the Cleveland Street Scandal, and appear in a novel published under the pseudonym "Jack Saul." In 1993, a mass grave consisting of 133 corpses from members of this profession was discovered in Dublin. William Acton produced a landmark 1857 study on workers in this profession. These people were targeted by a series of laws passed in 1864, 1866, and 1869, which forced many of them to be placed in lock hospitals. William (*) Gladstone personally donated large sums of money to reduce the number of people working in this profession. Many members of this profession were committed to Magdalene laundries. Josephine Butler actively campaigned on behalf of workers in this profession, five of whom were the universally-acknowledged victims of Jack the Ripper. For 10 points, name this profession in Victorian England, held by lower-class women subject to the Contagious Diseases Act.
ANSWER: _prostitute_s [accept less polite synonyms]

It said "this profession" throughout, so I'm not sure what else the answer could be off that clue.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:40 pm

Auroni wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:I'd like to see that tossup on "prostitutes." I'm not sure if it meaningfully distinguishes between prostitutes and any other women who were forced to serve in the Magdalen Laundries.
Multiple members of this profession identified Lord Arthur Somerset in the Cleveland Street Scandal, and appear in a novel published under the pseudonym "Jack Saul." In 1993, a mass grave consisting of 133 corpses from members of this profession was discovered in Dublin. William Acton produced a landmark 1857 study on workers in this profession. These people were targeted by a series of laws passed in 1864, 1866, and 1869, which forced many of them to be placed in lock hospitals. William (*) Gladstone personally donated large sums of money to reduce the number of people working in this profession. Many members of this profession were committed to Magdalene laundries. Josephine Butler actively campaigned on behalf of workers in this profession, five of whom were the universally-acknowledged victims of Jack the Ripper. For 10 points, name this profession in Victorian England, held by lower-class women subject to the Contagious Diseases Act.
ANSWER: _prostitute_s [accept less polite synonyms]

It said "this profession" throughout, so I'm not sure what else the answer could be off that clue.
Yeah, ok, this isn't good. I didn't know the first clue, obviously, but did know the second one; it refers to the bodies of the women exhumed from a mass grave on the property of one of the Magdalen laundries. Since I knew it was a profession but couldn't divine what you were looking for, I said "laundresses" (which may not be a real word) and tried to explain that this referred to the women working for the laundries. Obviously I got negged. The problem here is that the clue as constructed could refer to any number of things. About half of the bodies exhumed from the grave were unidentified, so I don't see how anyone could plausibly claim that anyone knew they were prostitutes, since women got sent to the laundries for many different reasons (being an orphan, getting pregnant, just being too pretty), prostitution being only one of them. I shouldn't have to try and read your mind or list every possible profession that a woman in the laundries might have had to answer this question. I don't have anything against the rest of the clues, but that one is just a terrible hose.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:48 pm

I can't believe that Nazi women question hasn't been mentioned yet. Needless to say, that played horribly, and is horrible.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:27 pm

Tees-Exe Line wrote:I can't believe that Nazi women question hasn't been mentioned yet. Needless to say, that played horribly, and is horrible.
I am curious to hear more about how this went. Given the surfeit of clues about rewarding motherhood, was "Nazi mothers" accepted outright? (FWIW if you need my data point, I negged with "Hitler Youth" on a rather gunslinging lateral think buzz about midway through, but don't blame the question's content for that.)

It's a little hackneyed by now to include a question on "[nationality] _women_" in one's tournament just to show how on board the author is with the Creativity Revolution post-2011 VCU Open. Oddly enough, what was a daring original idea back then has now become a cliche.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:33 pm

In a children's book titled ~The Toadstool,~ one of these people quickly escapes from a doctor's office. These people were presented with a black neckerchief and brown leather knot to symbolize full membership in an organization abbreviated JM. The "Saxon Greeting" was a gymnastic routine frequently practiced by these people. In 1943, thousands of these people were recruited to work at flak batteries.These people followed by a slogan known as the "3 Ks," and were enrolled in a large organization abbreviated BDM, whose (*) "Faith and Beauty" section offered several vocational courses for them. These people especially were warned not to engage in ~Rassenschande,~ or "racial defilement." Although only 3,700 of them were employed as concentration camp guards, Nazi exploitation films abound with their sadistic sexual behavior with Jewish inmates. For 10 points, name these people in Nazi Germany who were expected to stay at home to raise perfect Aryan children.
ANSWER: Nazi women [or girls; or females; accept synonyms]

This question needed way more prompt instructions, but the fact is that "women in Nazi Germany" is an important enough topic to merit a tossup even if the answer is cliche.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by ProfessorIanDuncan » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:52 pm

Maybe this is just bias because I knew the answer, but didn't the C. Kirchner question seem relatively easy? I'm pretty sure that the lead-in was the same clue as a clue in the middle of an SCT tossup on Argentina and that seemed a bit off.
Also can I see the Wong Kar-Wai tossup?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Mewto55555 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:22 am

Can I see the question on the letter theta, from round five?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by t-bar » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:28 am

Mewto55555 wrote:Can I see the question on the letter theta, from round five?
In round 5, I wrote:For any real number x, a function denoted by this letter equals the sum of the logarithms of all prime numbers less than x. This letter is used to write the first Chebyshev function, as well as a "homogeneity operator" in the theory of Bessel functions equal to z times the derivative with respect to z. Another function named for this letter solves the one-dimensional heat equation with periodic boundary conditions, and can be expressed as a product using the triple product identity. This (*) non-Roman letter identifies a class of quasiperiodic functions whose most common example is named for Jacobi, as well as a non-continuous function equal to the integral of the Dirac delta function. In addition to denoting the Heaviside step function, this letter is paired with phi to indicate the polar and azimuthal angles in spherical coordinates. For 10 points, identify this Greek letter usually used to denote an angle measure.
ANSWER: theta
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Mewto55555 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:22 am

I'm curious what other people think about common-link letter functions. I've always found them to be pretty annoying, primarily because they aren't always standardized (for example, I've always written Heaviside with an H, many other people seem to use different letters -- obviously this isn't neg-bait here since you say non-Roman letter) and focuses on an extremely trivial aspect of the math; I don't know much about the early functions mentioned in the question, but the fact that theta is used to denote the Heaviside function sometimes seems incredibly unimportant relative to other facts about the Heaviside function, for example.

(The reason I asked for this question originally was because somehow both Eric and I thought the lead-in referred to the von Mangoldt function, but it looks like we both just misparsed the clue in the same way.)
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:48 am

Mewto55555 wrote:I'm curious what other people think about common-link letter functions.
I hate them.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:07 am

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:
Mewto55555 wrote:I'm curious what other people think about common-link letter functions.
I hate them.
Yeah, I don't like them much either. There are a few genuinely standardized functions that are almost always denoted by the same letter (the gamma function, Euler's totient, the Riemann zeta), but for the most part knowing letters is not that useful. For example, the prime theta function is also called the Chebyshev function, so if you encountered it with that name, you could know what's going on but not really be able to get the tossup because of a notational fluke. I don't think this was a terrible question or anything, but in general I think notation questions aren't great and should probably be avoided.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:08 am

I enjoyed the Nazi women question, and I don't think it "played horribly" at all--for example, I powered it by buzzing on a clue that I was very confident referred to a specific answer. I'm not sure what the issue is.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cody » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:19 am

Mewto55555 wrote:I'm curious what other people think about common-link letter functions. I've always found them to be pretty annoying, primarily because they aren't always standardized (for example, I've always written Heaviside with an H, many other people seem to use different letters -- obviously this isn't neg-bait here since you say non-Roman letter) and focuses on an extremely trivial aspect of the math; I don't know much about the early functions mentioned in the question, but the fact that theta is used to denote the Heaviside function sometimes seems incredibly unimportant relative to other facts about the Heaviside function, for example.
They're fine as long as they aren't trivial. I see them as analogous to tossups on constellations in Astronomy: there's a defined set of answers for which it is possible to write good questions if you know what you're doing, and I think this answer is one of them (not least because there are like three things called [x] theta function).

(we always used u(t) for the Heaviside step function tho. That specific clue is not great though the others are fine.)
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:32 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:I enjoyed the Nazi women question, and I don't think it "played horribly" at all--for example, I powered it by buzzing on a clue that I was very confident referred to a specific answer. I'm not sure what the issue is.
AYFKM? There are two categories of problem with that question: the fact that knowing what words to say relies on familiarity with quizbowl BS, and the fact that it's a terrible representation of social history on both a macro and micro level, for various reasons in each case.

I would have thought the first point would go without saying, and given that meta-knowledge is required to provide a correct answer, this question is a Bad Question if prior debate on the subject is any guide.

Here is what I have to say on the second set of points. "Nazi women" are not the same thing as "[ethnically German] women who lived in Nazi Germany," yet the question gives clues for both and accepts both as answers. The Nazis were a political party with an ideology of "Aryan" racial superiority. They won a plurality and then, in part by circumstance and in part through skilled political machination, installed themselves as an authoritarian regime with an expansionist foreign policy. Nazi is not a synonym for "German, between 1933-1945." The idea that it is is notoriously bad historiography, against which actual German people are reluctant to defend themselves because of historical baggage. It basically bullies them into silence, whereby the propagandists of our own day hold the floor.

Second, it's just a bad question, even ignoring all of that. There's no information about *actual* Nazi or German women, only various customs they theoretically engaged in and organizations they were supposed to have joined. The second to last clue is about latter-day pornography featuring concentration camp guards. And the giveaway says "these people were expected to bear Aryan children." So that's nice, but what about the women who presumably violated that myth in order to defend a crumbling empire (voluntarily or otherwise), or the actual reasons why actual women took jobs as concentration camp guards? There's nothing in the question about the experience of women living through World War II in Germany, whether Nazi or not. Just cliche, generalization, and pornography.

Third, and even more macro, that asking a question about "[nationality] women" is quizbowl's idea of social history following the Creativity Revolution is offensive. There's not "real history," which is every other question, and then "social history," which is the ladeez. The whole point of modern historical scholarship is that real history is only done well when it realizes that women (or nonwhite people, or whatever) are people too, which means both that their history is real history and that they shaped what we previously understood as real history. So let's have an actual Creativity Revolution, whereby we incorporate modern scholarship into all our history writing, rather than reserve one question per tournament for a terribly ill-conceived idea. The good news is that our revolution can be a lot easier than the revolution among professional historians, because they've already done all the work for us.

In closing, I'll say this: there's a good "[nationality] women" tossup to be written, but it hasn't been done yet. Stephanie McCurry and Drew Gilpin Faust have both written fantastic books about Confederate women that I'm sure contain more than enough clues to fill a tossup, and I bet there are other good books out there.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:53 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:I enjoyed the Nazi women question, and I don't think it "played horribly" at all--for example, I powered it by buzzing on a clue that I was very confident referred to a specific answer. I'm not sure what the issue is.
I'd say it fell victim to the "overlapping circles" problem, somewhat similar to the "prostitutes" tossup that Jerry lamented above. Once you got to a sufficient point where the direction in which all the clues was clear, it was fine. Before that, it wasn't unique enough to the one answer (although a smart player, like yourself, could probably piece it together well enough to answer early on).

If you're going to write about a category of things or people, it's very important to actually write about that category, as opposed to many things that fall within it that could also fall into other categories. If you don't, you're basically asking the players to read your mind about what the answer is, as opposed to pointing unambiguously toward one answer, as quizbowl questions should.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:17 pm

I have mixed feelings about your arguments.

I don't think it's strictly true that "meta knowledge" is required to answer this question--the argument that it's just impossible for a layperson to figure out that a question is asking about a broad category of people (be it "women during a specific historical period" or "coal miners" or whatever) has never struck me as particularly persuasive.
Tees-Exe Line wrote:There's no information about *actual* Nazi or German women, only various customs they theoretically engaged in and organizations they were supposed to have joined.
I also don't understand what the problem here is. A tossup is not required to be an in-depth historical survey; there's no reason any given tossup needs to include these clues but not those clues--given the caveat that the clues used apply with sufficient uniqueness to the answer.

That, then, is where I agree with you a little more--I buzzed on the "three Ks" clue and said "German women", and Zeke gave me the points. Until I read the thread I had no idea the desired answer was "Nazi women", and given that information I understand a bit more why you objected with such strength. "Women during the Nazi regime" seems like what the question was going for, and I think for most of the clues "Nazi women" is an okay form of the answer there, despite the fact that that's not technically correct (the best kind of correct). Most of the clues describe things that the Nazis expected girls and women to do; the fact that the historiography can't always be note-perfect is sometimes just going to be a thing one has to deal with in quizbowl. The Rassenschande and flak batteries clues seem like they suffer from non-uniqueness. The giveaway is hardly ideal historiographically, but again I think your demands in this area are too stringent. I don't think it's especially unfair in a quizbowl context to make the generalization that that's what the Nazis generally expected of women, and given that that's what most of the clues were about I don't see a quizbowl-specific problem. Amusingly, probably the most inaccurate clue was the one I buzzed on--my brief research suggested that it's unclear how much the Nazis actually used the slogan, which came from the late 19th century and certainly applies more to (cultural expectations of) German women generally than Nazi-era women specifically.

I certainly do agree with your more general point, Marshall, that there's better ways to do creativity and social history than writing a tossup on "____ women" for every tournament, but I think your historiography-related demands are too strict for quizbowl.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:21 pm

Tees-Exe Line wrote:Here is what I have to say on the second set of points. "Nazi women" are not the same thing as "[ethnically German] women who lived in Nazi Germany," yet the question gives clues for both and accepts both as answers. The Nazis were a political party with an ideology of "Aryan" racial superiority. They won a plurality and then, in part by circumstance and in part through skilled political machination, installed themselves as an authoritarian regime with an expansionist foreign policy. Nazi is not a synonym for "German, between 1933-1945." The idea that it is is notoriously bad historiography, against which actual German people are reluctant to defend themselves because of historical baggage. It basically bullies them into silence, whereby the propagandists of our own day hold the floor.

Second, it's just a bad question, even ignoring all of that. There's no information about *actual* Nazi or German women, only various customs they theoretically engaged in and organizations they were supposed to have joined. The second to last clue is about latter-day pornography featuring concentration camp guards. And the giveaway says "these people were expected to bear Aryan children." So that's nice, but what about the women who presumably violated that myth in order to defend a crumbling empire (voluntarily or otherwise), or the actual reasons why actual women took jobs as concentration camp guards? There's nothing in the question about the experience of women living through World War II in Germany, whether Nazi or not. Just cliche, generalization, and pornography.
I don't think it's particularly uncommon to see [or for laypersons to say] "Nazi women" as shorthand for "women living under the Third Reich" or "German women during the Nazi era," insulting though that may be to those women who resisted the Reich in some way. But other than that I agree that some actual clue choices in this particular tossup were suboptimal (if my buzzing experience was any inclination, it became very clear pretty early on that it was some 20th-century group of people being awarded stuff by a pretty harsh regime).
Tees-Exe Line wrote:Third, and even more macro, that asking a question about "[nationality] women" is quizbowl's idea of social history following the Creativity Revolution is offensive. There's not "real history," which is every other question, and then "social history," which is the ladeez. The whole point of modern historical scholarship is that real history is only done well when it realizes that women (or nonwhite people, or whatever) are people too, which means both that their history is real history and that they shaped what we previously understood as real history. So let's have an actual Creativity Revolution, whereby we incorporate modern scholarship into all our history writing, rather than reserve one question per tournament for a terribly ill-conceived idea. The good news is that our revolution can be a lot easier than the revolution among professional historians, because they've already done all the work for us.

In closing, I'll say this: there's a good "[nationality] women" tossup to be written, but it hasn't been done yet. Stephanie McCurry and Drew Gilpin Faust have both written fantastic books about Confederate women that I'm sure contain more than enough clues to fill a tossup, and I bet there are other good books out there.
It's also not necessary to underline _women_ in your answer line every time you draw on women's history for a question. For example, my tossup on the American Civil War for 2013 NASAT (which mentioned Drew Gilpin Faust), and the 2015 Regionals tossups on the Byzantine empire, South Africa, and the Ottoman harem all drew extensively on historical study of women in those times/places, without blaring "oh hey, I was on Evan Adams' side of that one thread in 2011" in such a blatant and frankly no-longer-necessary way. That battle has long since been won. Now it's time to look forward to more future questions which include the history of women and other non-men naturally as a part of what it means to write on a decent cross-section of human history at large. There are ways to do so in clues, bonus parts, etc. that are actually, well, creative, rather than repeating the process of "boot up computer | choose country | underline _women_ | pat self on back for inclusiveness".
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:31 pm

I'd offer that it's preferable to write on the regime or country itself, using clues about women or social history, instead of using answer lines like "Nazi women." Something like "Germany" or "the Nazi regime" or "Hitler" is always going to be an unambiguous answer that has no "overlapping circles" issues. Of course, it's important to take care that questions using clues like that aren't transparent, but as Matt Jackson notes, the "Nazi women" question was pretty transparent, too. The other shoe to drop in the "creativity revolution" is the realization that creativity comes from the clues, not the answer lines.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:52 pm

My objection to that tossup (I didn't play it) is that the answerline is woefully inadequate (as Auroni as himself indicated, so I don't want to seem like I'm piling on, but I also don't think Marshall is that off base here, as odd as that is to type). The first clue is about a book Julius Streicher wrote about a child named Inge who escapes a Jewish doctor. At this point, answers of Germans, German children, and little girls would all be basically accurate; I haven't read the book, but I would doubt Inge is actually a Nazi per se. The next clue is about the group JM, the League of German Girls, which is the girls wing of the Hitler Youth, so at this point Matt Jackson's neg of HItler Youth would be okay. I'll put on my MJ hat and say the challenge with such common link tossups is that you need to be very vigorous or accepting with prompts or alternate answers because frequently there are multiple answers for each clue, creating a different sort of scenario than tossups on Hitler or Germany, as Andrew pointed out. Rob is right that at some point the clues all basically coalesce into something that probably most people will say, but this can be pretty frustrating if you're going in on one particular clue.

One of my two senior theses was actually on _lesbians in Nazi Germany_, so look forward to that tossup at College History Bowl, fiends.
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