wit results

Old college threads.
Locked
Ray
Lulu
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 10:29 pm
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

wit results

Post by Ray »

Chicago A went undefeated to win; Stanford A was second; Chicago B walked it out to take third despite being under .500. The tournament was slightly less horrendous than one might have expected, with the obvious exception of my UCLA namesake's "I am a fucking tool and love theme rounds" packet. Thanks for nothing, jackhole.

Rothlover
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 8:41 pm
Contact:

Post by Rothlover »

Care to explain why the cited packet sucked? Odd theme? Answer choices? Plain Ol' bad writing?

Kyle
Auron
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Ifrane, Morocco / Oxford, UK / Issaquah, WA

Post by Kyle »

Just a quick warning: please wait until after our mirror of the WIT tomorrow to discuss the questions in any detail. Thanks!

User avatar
plujan
Lulu
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 10:21 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA

Post by plujan »

Ah, crap. I forgot to announce that at the tournament -- but yes, please no discussion of actual questions until tomorrow.

Anyhow, slightly more detailed results:
Chicago A 6-0 + 3-0 playoff upper bracket = 9-0, 1st place
Stanford A 4-2 + 2-1 playoff upper bracket = 6-3, 2nd place
Chicago B 3-3 + 1-2 playoff upper bracket = 4-5, 3rd place
Berkeley B 3-3 + 0-3 playoff upper bracket = 3-6, 4th place
Berkeley C 2-4 + 2-0 playoff lower bracket = 4-4, 5th place
Berkeley A 3-3 + 1-1 playoff lower bracket = 4-4, 6th place
Stanford B 0-6 + 0-2 playoff lower bracket = 0-8, 7th place

Top individual scorers: Andrew (Chicago A), Brendan (Berkeley A), Juliana (Berkeley B), Kevin (Stanford A), Nick (Berkeley C).

Full SQBS-ified stats will be up tomorrow.

User avatar
recfreq
Wakka
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:11 pm
Location: Japan.

Re: wit results

Post by recfreq »

Ray wrote:Chicago A went undefeated to win; Stanford A was second; Chicago B walked it out to take third despite being under .500. The tournament was slightly less horrendous than one might have expected, with the obvious exception of my UCLA namesake's "I am a fucking tool and love theme rounds" packet. Thanks for nothing, jackhole.
Even though I don't remember who you are, you are clearly not Indian. May be you're that guy who likes to cuss. Still, I defend each individual question in my packet, not having seen the final result. If you don't like it, feel free to walk out on UCLA packets in the future. Better yet, write your own packets and play on them.

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Post by grapesmoker »

Having played the mirror at Harvard, I want to just say that I had a pretty good time and I thought the questions were generally pretty decent. While I would say that many of them tended to be a little too easy right off the bat, for the most part they didn't suffer from most of the problems that have plagued various suckfests in the past. While there were a few clunkers, I thought most of the packets were generally ok, and a couple, written by the more experienced teams, were pretty good. Thanks to Harvard for going to the trouble to put on the mirror; they ran a very efficient tournament and had us out of there before 6.

Kyle
Auron
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Ifrane, Morocco / Oxford, UK / Issaquah, WA

Post by Kyle »

Jerry did not mention in his post that Brown A ran the table at 9-0 (3-0 playoffs). Dartmouth A finished second at 6-3 (2-1), while two of the Harvard house teams finished tied at 5-4 (1-2, 0-3). Jerry was the leading individual scorer by a large margin, followed by Julia from Harvard, if memory serves. I'll get SQBS stats online promptly.

Thanks to Paul and the rest of Berkeley for all of their work and for letting us mirror their tournament. I think everyone had a good time today.

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Post by grapesmoker »

Oh yeah, sadly we didn't get to play the theme packet, though I would be surprised if it isn't better than at least one or two of the other packets that did get played. I guess I'll have to wait to hear it in practice.

User avatar
plujan
Lulu
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 10:21 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA

Post by plujan »

OK, full results post.

Seven teams descended upon the lovely UC-Berkeley campus November 18 to play the 14th installment of WIT: Scientific Progress Goes Boink! The teams played a full round-robin, followed by breaking into playoff brackets of 4 and 3 in which another round robin was played.

Chicago A (Andrew, Seth, Selene) went a perfect 9-0 to claim the overall title, while Stanford A (Brian, Kristiaan, Arnav, Kevin) was second place with a 6-3 record. Andrew also captured the overall scoring title, followed by Brendan (Berkeley), Juliana (Berkeley B), Nick (Berkeley C), and Kevin (Stanford A).

Thanks to: Matt Bruce and Paul Reverdy for moderating, Matt Weiner for writing some badly needed freelance questions, Kyle Haddad-Fonda for running the Harvard mirror, Seth Teitler and Selene Koo for providing prizes, Juliana Froggatt for obtaining food, and of course everyone who wrote questions and came out and played!

SQBS stats are:

Preliminary rounds
Full results

As always, these and all other results can be found from our tournament results page.

User avatar
recfreq
Wakka
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:11 pm
Location: Japan.

Post by recfreq »

I put the India packet here if you're interested. Constructive comments are welcomed.

User avatar
Birdofredum Sawin
Rikku
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:25 pm
Location: Mountain View

Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

recfreq wrote:I put the India packet here if you're interested. Constructive comments are welcomed.
Any packet with 1/1 on Virginia Woolf works is prima facie inept. If the Virginia Woolf tossup happens to be on the protagonist of a minor Woolf novel, the packet is even worse. The rest of the packet is also subpar for all the usual reasons theme packets suck (e.g. "it's an India theme packet; the first sentence makes clear that this is a contemporary social scientist; I'll guess that it's Sen").

User avatar
recfreq
Wakka
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:11 pm
Location: Japan.

Post by recfreq »

It's actually a Woolf character name TU and a bonus part on a different Woolf work in a bonus that asks for two other non-Woolf works, but I agree that the bonus part ought to be changed. BTW The Waves cannot be a minor Woolf work; it's often said to be her greatest.

The packet was written so that the theme is disclosed before it's read, and it should not help you much. There were questions that start with an Indian clue but didn't ask for an Indian-related answer, as well as questions that start with an Indian clue and still asked for an Indian-related answer. I'm still testing, e.g. that you can get Ashoka and not neg with Akbar or Humayun, and that you know what Khorana synthesis is, and that you know Lane-Emden for Chandrasekhar limit, that Amritsar is also a treaty, that Renoir's The River has a one-legged Capt John, etc, etc. If you got Sen on the mere fact it was a social science question, good for you. While playtesting it, people got it on "narrowed conditions for impossibility theorem." I probly should have put the "his writings on philosophy include ..." earlier.

But I'm guessing these comments don't apply to the bonuses. Let me know if you think they suck. No packet is perfect, but I didn't think people would cuss out on it.

Yeah, I agree theme packets are limited, but I was bored with the usual format, so I gave it a try; if it wasn't fun, sorry. Would people go for the notion that theme packets are inherently bad, however? Thanks for the comments. Send me a email if you have more to add; don't want to turn this into further discussion on a single packet. Thanks.

User avatar
Chris Frankel
Rikku
Posts: 369
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 12:52 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Post by Chris Frankel »

I skimmed the packet just now, though I'm too lazy to go to the trouble of an e-mail. General observations are that most of the questions, per se, are decently written, and that this packet as-is would not be totally out of place at a TTGT11-type theme deal.

That said, I'd be pretty annoyed to be playing this for a match that counted at a standard tournament. It's one thing to foist theme rounds on players in a situation that doesn't call for it, but it gets even worse when the theme completely overrides any sense of balance that should be provided in a general academic tournament (i.e. not a subject-specific tournament). You have 2/2 (out of 4/4) Indian history and both geography, trash, and religion questions concerning India/Indians. Even in topics with a non-India-specific dominance, there is a real lack of balance across subject distributions: 3 of the 4 lit tossups are British, and you have no substantive European history (a scattered Cold War tossup and a classics bonus on Asia Minor are fringe at best). Another common problem with theme packets that shows up in this one is that you really have to reach in some areas to incorporate the theme into every question, resulting in tossups with pointless leadins (Google seems to show only one place referring to "India's My Lai," so I wouldn't call that some sort of substantive popular consensus that people should know), tossups that completely stray from from the main question subject (there's no myth until the giveaway of a Ulysses tossup that was counted as mythology), and bonuses that have little-no connection to the distribution subject (why is that literature bonus on Indian Summer counted as arts?).

Anyway, Andrew already covered the usual transparency issues (can you think of a major opera with an Anglo-Indian relations theme that's not Lakme? The only other vaguely Indian-themed opera I can think of off the top of my head is Pearl Fishers, and that's set in Ceylon) , so my chief complaint is that the packet is way too unbalanced to be used at any tournament not specifically designed to center on theme packets. The advice here is that your writing would have produced a satisfactory/good packet had you concentrated your efforts in writing a well-rounded set of solid, direct questions instead of on trying to surprise people with the novelty of piecing together an India theme.
"They sometimes get fooled by the direction a question is going to take, and that's intentional," said Reid. "The players on these teams are so good that 90 percent of the time they could interrupt the question and give the correct answer if the questions didn't take those kinds of turns. That wouldn't be fun to watch, so every now and then as I design these suckers, I say to myself, 'Watch this!' and wait 'til we're on camera. I got a lot of dirty looks this last tournament."

User avatar
recfreq
Wakka
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:11 pm
Location: Japan.

Post by recfreq »

OK, I can see your pt if you think that this is inappropriate for a tourney where all other packets are not theme packets. To be honest, given that that was the theme, there had to be some unbalance, though I tried hard to keep it moderately balanced w/o having too many "stretch" clues. But I get the impression that basically the advise is to never write theme packets for a "real" tournament at all. If that's Ray's complaint, I can see what he means, minus the garbage.

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Post by grapesmoker »

Andrew and Chris have covered most of the issues with your packet, Ray. I think that individually, every question is pretty good (although Percival is quite hard, in my opinion, even for Nationals) but the problem is the way they're put together into a packet. Transparency issues and the distribution just make it an awkward packet overall.

If you (collective you) are going to write a theme packet, I suggest doing it the old-fashioned way, where you had tossups linked together by some theme that was not known beforehand. Even so, I think those types of packets are better saved for guerilla tournaments than serious packet-submission events.

kevinatcausa
Lulu
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2003 12:03 am
Location: Atlanta

Post by kevinatcausa »

If you're going to use a clever theme in a packet, why not save it for the bonuses instead of the tossups? The balance issues still remain, but there won't be any problems where people fraud tossups off of figuring out the theme.

User avatar
Birdofredum Sawin
Rikku
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:25 pm
Location: Mountain View

Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

This post is just full of wrong-headed statements. So full, in fact, that I'll devote some time to arguing against them.
recfreq wrote:It's actually a Woolf character name TU and a bonus part on a different Woolf work in a bonus that asks for two other non-Woolf works, but I agree that the bonus part ought to be changed. BTW The Waves cannot be a minor Woolf work; it's often said to be her greatest.
Yes, The Waves can be a "minor Woolf work." It is a minor work in the world of quizbowl because it a) rarely comes up and b) is not so well-known to the world at large that people can be expected to know it, even though it almost never comes up in the game. Major Woolf works, in the quizbowl world, include To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway, and A Room of One's Own, all of which (by the way) were answers at WIT. They come up all the time, and people can be expected to know about them. The fact that Woolf scholars allegedly claim that The Waves is Woolf's greatest achievement means nothing, in the world of quizbowl. If you like the book, make it a bonus part or describe it in the early clues of a tossup to which the answer is "Virginia Woolf"; maybe it'll catch on.

I'll offer an analogy which might help you understand this point. In the world of Wallace Stevens scholarship, "The Auroras of Autumn" is a major work -- and perhaps the most important of Stevens' poems -- while "The Emperor of Ice Cream" is a minor bagatelle. In the world of quizbowl, "The Auroras of Autumn" cannot be a tossup answer because it has never (to the best of my knowledge) been asked about, while "The Emperor of Ice Cream" can be a tossup answer, because it comes up and people know about it. If you think that the worlds of Wallace Stevens scholarship and quizbowl need to be brought into closer alignment, there is a gradualist solution: begin asking about "The Auroras" in bonuses about Stevens poems, or poems about autumn, or whatever, and hope it catches on. Don't just start dropping tossups on it out of the blue, which nobody save fellow Stevens experts will answer, and then lecture the community post hoc about the importance of the work.
recfreq wrote:The packet was written so that the theme is disclosed before it's read, and it should not help you much. There were questions that start with an Indian clue but didn't ask for an Indian-related answer, as well as questions that start with an Indian clue and still asked for an Indian-related answer. I'm still testing, e.g. that you can get Ashoka and not neg with Akbar or Humayun, and that you know what Khorana synthesis is, and that you know Lane-Emden for Chandrasekhar limit, that Amritsar is also a treaty, that Renoir's The River has a one-legged Capt John, etc, etc. If you got Sen on the mere fact it was a social science question, good for you. While playtesting it, people got it on "narrowed conditions for impossibility theorem." I probly should have put the "his writings on philosophy include ..." earlier.

Yeah, I agree theme packets are limited, but I was bored with the usual format, so I gave it a try; if it wasn't fun, sorry. Would people go for the notion that theme packets are inherently bad, however? Thanks for the comments. Send me a email if you have more to add; don't want to turn this into further discussion on a single packet. Thanks.
Yes, theme packets are "inherently bad." In fact, if there was ever a place in the game for Weinerian knee-jerk intolerance, this is clearly it. Writing these packets require you to disregard the distribution, as you yourself admit. In a significant number of cases -- like Sen, or Ashoka -- they allow the player instantly to narrow down the field of potential tossup answers to a very few possibilities, and in some cases immediately to intuit the proper answer ("social scientist + India = Sen"). If you're "bored" with the usual format, too bad for you; maybe it's time for you to stop attending conventional tournaments.

Of course, this isn't entirely your fault. The packet should never have been used; the fact that it was included in the set at all, rather than returned to the writer as unplayable, is on the editors of the tournament. Hey guys, why bother setting out a distribution if you're going to pass along packets which blatantly flout it?

Finally, an additional point. This packet contained two Virginia Woolf questions and one Henry Adams question. Practically every packet I've heard by this writer contains questions on Woolf and Adams. I get it: you like them. That's not a good reason to write on them EVERY SINGLE TIME you produce a packet. In fact, it's a good reason to lay off them. Again, I would expect Matt Weiner, given his concern about younger players not being unfairly disadvantaged when playing grizzled veterans, to be piping in on this topic. Because I've played so many Ray Luo packets, I know to expect questions on Woolf and Adams, because he loves them so. This gives me a huge advantage over players who haven't been around the community as long as I have, and who are blissfully ignorant of the insane proclivities of particular question writers. If I hear something remotely "Woolfian," I can say "Well, this guy loves Woolf and is incapable of writing a packet without asking about her, so let me discard any other possible answers and start thinking about Woolf works," just because I know you're gaga for this one author.

In conclusion, I encourage all future editors to take a long, hard look at packets submitted by Ray Luo. If they don't adhere to the distribution -- perhaps because he's "too bored" to follow it -- please send them back. If they include questions on his beaten-into-the-ground pet topics, like Woolf and Adams, please remove them from the final packet, so the youngsters have a chance. Please, think of the children!

conker
Lulu
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:11 am

Post by conker »

Results from the Harvard mirror of the WIT are now up:

http://free.9cy.net/harvard_wit/index_standings.html
Dennis Sun
Shanghai American School '06
Harvard '10
Stanford '15

User avatar
recfreq
Wakka
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:11 pm
Location: Japan.

Post by recfreq »

Birdofredum Sawin wrote:Yes, The Waves can be a "minor Woolf work." It is a minor work in the world of quizbowl because it a) rarely comes up and b) is not so well-known to the world at large that people can be expected to know it, even though it almost never comes up in the game.
I suppose I must thank you for pointing out the (lack of) prevalence on questions on The Waves; I was under a wrong impression; it has not come up as much as I thought it did.
Birdofredum Sawin wrote:Yes, theme packets are "inherently bad." In fact, if there was ever a place in the game for Weinerian knee-jerk intolerance, this is clearly it. Writing these packets require you to disregard the distribution, as you yourself admit. In a significant number of cases -- like Sen, or Ashoka -- they allow the player instantly to narrow down the field of potential tossup answers to a very few possibilities, and in some cases immediately to intuit the proper answer ("social scientist + India = Sen"). If you're "bored" with the usual format, too bad for you; maybe it's time for you to stop attending conventional tournaments.
I gave it a shot, that's all; I'm sorry it didn't match your criteria for what's good; I'll try to do better.
Birdofredum Sawin wrote:Of course, this isn't entirely your fault. The packet should never have been used; the fact that it was included in the set at all, rather than returned to the writer as unplayable, is on the editors of the tournament. Hey guys, why bother setting out a distribution if you're going to pass along packets which blatantly flout it?
Actually, Paul pointed this out to me; I argued that the distro close enough to the original, and given the field, it was not going to change the result of the tournament.
Birdofredum Sawin wrote:Finally, an additional point. This packet contained two Virginia Woolf questions and one Henry Adams question. Practically every packet I've heard by this writer contains questions on Woolf and Adams.
Illinois Open 06 freelance pack: no Woolf or Adams, ACF fall 06 UCLA A pack: no Woolf or Adams, CMU tourney 06 UCLA N pack: no Woolf or Adams, freelance pack that was never used for Chicago Mill: no Woolf or Adams, ACF nats 06 UCLA pack: no Woolf or Adams, Maryland Wirt and Jerry's singles tournies: no Woolf or Adams, ACF regs 06 UCLA: no Woolf or Adams, Parfait 2005 freelance: no Woolf - a lead-in clue on Adams that provides only background info, Terrapin freelance 05: no Woolf or Adams, Illinois Open 05 freelance: no Woolf or Adams, COTKU 05: no Adams - bonus part on To the Lighthouse, WIT 05 UCLA (a tourney Chicago attended last year): no Woolf no Adams, ACF fall 05 UCLA: no Woolf no Adams, Questions on the Crum 05: no Woolf no Adams, etc, etc, etc, need I continue?

No offense, but I don't know where you're coming from. There's a perception that I write about them, but at worst, I only use them as clues, and even then, very rarely. I will not consciously avoid using them when they fit a theme, if that's what you're suggesting. You're paying too much attention to my reading habits. All the new people on my own team do not know of this so-called proclivity for Woolf and Adams. I will also not consciously avoid writing about, say (meaning no offense) Albania, or geology, or contemporary philosophy, although I will keep things more broad and less predictable in the future just because there's that perception out there.
Birdofredum Sawin wrote:Please, think of the children!
Children like questions that are entertaining.
[/quote][/code]

User avatar
Birdofredum Sawin
Rikku
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:25 pm
Location: Mountain View

Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

recfreq wrote: I gave it a shot, that's all; I'm sorry it didn't match your criteria for what's good; I'll try to do better.
Man, I'm feeling more and more like Matt Weiner as this proceeds. Adhering to the distribution, and not writing tossups that are immediately guessable due to the nature of the packet, are not "my" criteria for what's good. They aren't optional. They aren't things about which "reasonable people can disagree." If you say "I'm bored with the way the game is played, and I felt like doing something different" you're spitting in the face of people who show up at a tournament and expect to hear questions that adhere to the announced standards.
recfreq wrote: Actually, Paul pointed this out to me; I argued that the distro close enough to the original, and given the field, it was not going to change the result of the tournament.
Again, this is ludicrous. For one thing, there was a mirror of WIT. Do their feelings not count? Even if there weren't a mirror, though, this would be totally unacceptable. If this line of "reasoning" were viable, it would be justifiable for someone to submit a packet full of anti-pyramidal tossups, or factual errors, or CBI-esque hoses. After all, if the tournament features a dominant team they'll be able to absorb one loss on a crappy packet; so what's the big deal? The "result of the tournament" won't change just because one packet is out of line. And won't it be more "funn" if that dominant team gets upset by a much worse team on a terrible packet?

Seriously, have we learned nothing since 1994?
recfreq wrote: Illinois Open 06 freelance pack: no Woolf or Adams, ACF fall 06 UCLA A pack: no Woolf or Adams, CMU tourney 06 UCLA N pack: no Woolf or Adams, freelance pack that was never used for Chicago Mill: no Woolf or Adams, ACF nats 06 UCLA pack: no Woolf or Adams, Maryland Wirt and Jerry's singles tournies: no Woolf or Adams, ACF regs 06 UCLA: no Woolf or Adams, Parfait 2005 freelance: no Woolf - a lead-in clue on Adams that provides only background info, Terrapin freelance 05: no Woolf or Adams, Illinois Open 05 freelance: no Woolf or Adams, COTKU 05: no Adams - bonus part on To the Lighthouse, WIT 05 UCLA (a tourney Chicago attended last year): no Woolf no Adams, ACF fall 05 UCLA: no Woolf no Adams, Questions on the Crum 05: no Woolf no Adams, etc, etc, etc, need I continue?

No offense, but I don't know where you're coming from. There's a perception that I write about them, but at worst, I only use them as clues, and even then, very rarely. I will not consciously avoid using them when they fit a theme, if that's what you're suggesting. You're paying too much attention to my reading habits. All the new people on my own team do not know of this so-called proclivity for Woolf and Adams. I will also not consciously avoid writing about, say (meaning no offense) Albania, or geology, or contemporary philosophy, although I will keep things more broad and less predictable in the future just because there's that perception out there.
Somehow, I have received the impression that you're cuckoo for Woolf and Adams. And amazingly, this impression was reinforced with the 1/2 on these two authors in your WIT packet. Where, then, did I get this idea? Was it from the hours and hours the two of us have spent gabbing about literature? Those classes we took together on 20th-century British fiction? More likely, it's an impression I've acquired simply by dint of being a relatively active member of the quizbowl community. I've read your posts in which you revel in mentions of Adams at a given tournament, I've seen discussions of things like your unfortunate tossup on Woolf's "An Unwritten Novel," etc.

Note that there's a difference between writing on broad topics like "geology" and "philosophy," and dwelling on such particular figures as Henry Adams. The former is fine and dandy and unnoticable; the latter is dubious and quickly gets picked up by people.

User avatar
No Rules Westbrook
Auron
Posts: 1226
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:04 pm
Contact:

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

After taking time to actually read the packet, albeit very quickly, I want to say that I think Andrew overstates his argument (gosh, and I'm supposed to be an intolerant knee-jerk ideologue...I guess none of us are feeling ourselves these days).

I share the reservations about foisting theme packets on a non-theme tourney, and it's definitely something that need not be encouraged, and probably nipped right damn well in the bud. Heavens knows, I wouldn't want a bunch of squirrely dudes out there to start taking license and getting all straight-up wacky and creative with their packets. And, I agree that a character from the Waves is really hard and the distro is a little off.

But, all in all, these questions are pretty good. The distribution doesn't miss by all that much and most questions aren't terribly transparent (Sen aside). I don't see this packet at all as a good example to cite as being one that lets dominant teams get upset. And, I'm just guessing, but maybe the "result of the tournament" argument is less despicable in this case than you're assuming. Saying "oh, it won't matter if a good team loses on just this packet - hey, maybe that'll even be funn" is a lot different than saying "the distro is a little off and a few questions maybe transparent, but I can't see it really affecting the outcome of any match"

In short, I agree with all of the criticisms that have been made here, but for some crazy-odd reason, I felt the need to jump to Ray's defense a little bit. Ah well, now it's off to strangle some nuns and restore the anomie of my existence.

User avatar
recfreq
Wakka
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:11 pm
Location: Japan.

Post by recfreq »

OK, I don't want to take this further; your comments have been noted, and I genuinely understand your concern. The distro issue is mainly due to the nature of the theme packet, and I don't plan on a theme packet anytime soon. I'll be more careful in the future, but I'm done apologizing and don't like being called out, much less being called an asshole (but not by you).

In regards to favorite topics, I also love Kobe Bryant, Henry James novels, Eugene O'Neill plays, Wittgenstein, Berkeley's Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision, Joan of Arc, Henry VII, twelf-tone school, Bela Bartok, neuroscience, statistics, Thorstein Veblen, Roe v. Wade, etc, with almost equal passion, some of which have made it into packets, some have not, depending on when I felt like writing about them. I have made one post total about liking the Henry Adams TU in the past, but also mentioned how great the glutamate question was, that's it. If my opinions are counterproductive to the distro of my packet, feel free to ignore them; I certainly don't plan on making many comments in the future, particularly in my areas of expertise, which, BTW may also include the topics above.

Any how, I see where you're coming from, but I'll volunteer to stop this discussion now.

User avatar
Birdofredum Sawin
Rikku
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:25 pm
Location: Mountain View

Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

Ryan Westbrook wrote:After taking time to actually read the packet, albeit very quickly, I want to say that I think Andrew overstates his argument (gosh, and I'm supposed to be an intolerant knee-jerk ideologue...I guess none of us are feeling ourselves these days).

I share the reservations about foisting theme packets on a non-theme tourney, and it's definitely something that need not be encouraged, and probably nipped right damn well in the bud. Heavens knows, I wouldn't want a bunch of squirrely dudes out there to start taking license and getting all straight-up wacky and creative with their packets. And, I agree that a character from the Waves is really hard and the distro is a little off.

But, all in all, these questions are pretty good. The distribution doesn't miss by all that much and most questions aren't terribly transparent (Sen aside). I don't see this packet at all as a good example to cite as being one that lets dominant teams get upset. And, I'm just guessing, but maybe the "result of the tournament" argument is less despicable in this case than you're assuming. Saying "oh, it won't matter if a good team loses on just this packet - hey, maybe that'll even be funn" is a lot different than saying "the distro is a little off and a few questions maybe transparent, but I can't see it really affecting the outcome of any match"

In short, I agree with all of the criticisms that have been made here, but for some crazy-odd reason, I felt the need to jump to Ray's defense a little bit. Ah well, now it's off to strangle some nuns and restore the anomie of my existence.
My argument is not that this particular packet is the worst theme packet ever, but that theme packets are in general inappropriate for regular tournaments, and that the rationales offered on their behalf are flawed. I will happily concede that this theme packet was not as risible as the theme packet on "the brain" to which teams were subjected at a previous Berkeley tournament. It doesn't follow that this "India" theme was a good idea for a packet. I don't recall whether a big fuss was made about the brain packet at the time, but my motivation throughout this discussion has been: If a big fuss isn't made about this theme packet nonsense at some point, people will just keep perpetrating these things.

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Post by grapesmoker »

recfreq wrote:In regards to favorite topics, I also love Kobe Bryant, Henry James novels, Eugene O'Neill plays, Wittgenstein, Berkeley's Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision, Joan of Arc, Henry VII, twelf-tone school, Bela Bartok, neuroscience, statistics, Thorstein Veblen, Roe v. Wade, etc, with almost equal passion, some of which have made it into packets, some have not, depending on when I felt like writing about them.
I think it's safe to say that however many packets Andrew has played on that Ray had a part in, I've played on more, simply by virtue of having been his clubmate for many years. Unfortunately, I'm quite aware of these preferences, and in retrospect, it would have been somewhat unfair for me to have played on that packet against East Coast teams that are not.

I agree with Ryan that most of the questions themselves, taken in the abstract, are fine. But no one should be able to derive an advantage from knowing the writer of the packet. In practice, of course, you learn after some time what kind of things various people on the circuit like, but good writers tend to try and correct for that by not being predictable and writing on topics that they haven't written on before.

We all make mistakes in question writing, but there's no need to make mistakes more likely by attempting to shoehorn questions into an ill-conceived theme or ignoring the distribution. That's just a recipe for disaster.

Locked