NAQT ICT 2007 discussion

Old college threads.
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trphilli
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Post by trphilli » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:00 am

Leo Wolpert wrote: To clarify, my opponent didn't try to pass it off thusly, or offer any sort of explanation as to why "Scriblerist" was acceptable. I was offering "scriblerist may be a form of 'Scriblerus'" as a conjecture for why I was willing to let this slide at the time, even though I was pretty sure it was wrong (also, it was the one of the last games of the day, pretty much meaningless, and I was feeling surly and wanted to get the fuck out). Instead, I think they just kind of sat there not arguing with the moderator who was trying to give them the points. Here is how it went down, as I recall:

1) They get bonus. Last part is "Scriblerus" (perhaps not "Scriblerus club") and the captain says "Scriblerist."
2) The moderator accepts it and gives them 20 on the bonus, giving them the game.
3) I say "uhh, it's Scriblerus, not Scriblerist, I protest."
4) Moderator kind of waffles, then claims the answer was said correctly. Seeing as we had been through the exact same thing earlier in the day (how are we to know what he heard, maaaaaaaaannnnnnn?), and seeing the futility of the situation, I said "fuck it" and left.

Anyway, there was no attempt by the other team to claim that "scriblerist" was correct, nor was there a confirmation or denial that they said the right/wrong answer. They did what pretty much any team would do in that situation, that is, shut up and take their points and their win. Whatever, anyway, there's no need to call them liars, cheaters, or douchebags.
I will thank Leo for keeping my role in this anonymous. I was the moderator for this match.

It is possible, maybe likely that I made an error in this match. I heard many team discussions going on in relation to this bonus. The team then gave their final answer. In my mind it was a correct answer.

When Leo raised the possibility of an inccorrect pronounciation, I gave the other team the opportunity to admit the correct answer as is custom in my experience (Leo called this "waffling"). They offered no such concesion.

Without this I had to go with my initial judgment.

Unfortunately, this did negatively impact Virginia. We'd all like to live in a mistake-free perfect world. I don't know what Leo's opponent truly said. I only know what my brain perceieved. I'm sorry.

And on another note:
Matt Weiner wrote: There's nothing similar about knowing what the president of Belarus has been up to lately or who the Secretary of Agriculture is, as compared to knowing the names of store brands sold by Best Buy. Nothing at all. They do not belong in the same category and the latter just is not academic.
I'm sorry. I must disagree with you Matt. I have two degrees from the University of Illinois College of Business. I think that qualifies as academic. I will gladly share my report analyzing Best Buy vs. Circuit City to further emphasize my point.

My team didn't complain when a very similar clue at the 2006 ICT asking what company just bought Archipelago scored us 15 points. I will give you that this specific question was a difficulty-cliff. However, the answer and the Geek Squad clue were totaly appropriate.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:12 am

trphilli wrote:I'm sorry. I must disagree with you Matt. I have two degrees from the University of Illinois College of Business. I think that qualifies as academic. I will gladly share my report analyzing Best Buy vs. Circuit City to further emphasize my point.
Ok, fine, it's "academic" (or at least the answer can be, with different clues*) but it's not part of the liberal-arts Enlightenment education tradition that is denoted by the admittedly confusing shorthand of "academic" within quizbowl discussions.

*I think the problem is not just that it was a tossup on Best Buy, but that it ignored all the stuff that you might talk about in a business class in favor of the "this is where the geek squad is" clue, which one is much more likely to pick up from TV commercials or seeing those Volkswagens driving around

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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:16 am

mujason wrote:Can we lay off Damon Huard, please? He's gettable. He's backed up both Marino and Brady and did well with KC, so well that they're probably getting rid of Green. Go Chiefs!
DumbJaques wrote:I think Jason reminds us of an important point. We should remember that we have a lot of respect for one another as players/writers/people who hate Jason Mueller. So let's bring in Pat and Fred for a big special group hug and get back to mocking Jason for writing a bad Damon Huard tossup and for being a tool. We can all sit around a bonfire of CBI questions, hold hands, and power questions about the James Webb telescope.

It's a quizbowl miracle!
I really, really, really don't want to say this, but Jason's got a good point. Damon Huard is a decent answer to a sports question at a national tournament ----- with the right clues. As someone who wasn't at ICT, I don't know what the given clues were, but with a question like this (written to an assumed NAQT style, with the "figure it out" style clues):

His brother Brock lost his only two starts with Seattle in 2000. That same year, Dan Marino groomed him to be his successor, but lost the job to Jay Fiedler and moved to New England, and didn't encounter significant playing time until becoming a (possible power mark) Kansas City Chief. FTP, name this quarterback who, after taking over for the injured Trent Green, won 5 of his 8 starts in 2006.

I don't know if that works with ICT tossup length, but those are decent NAQT style clues. In my opinion, an easy way to take away the "figure it out" aspect would be to note that he's an NFL player in a lead-in before this tossup, perhaps noting his hometown, career best game, or something specific like that. Alternatively, Huard would be an excellent middle difficulty sports bonus part with the information after the FTP in my tossup, and is actually probably better suited in that form.

I think the point about the trash canon at ICT needing to be as "hard" as any other canon at ICT is a valid one. If the Huard tossup is being slammed for crappy clues, ok. If it's being slammed as inaccessible, I can't figure out why. He's in one of the big three sports, had success this past year, and it at least seemed to me to be talked about during his first half run because it was so unexpected.

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Post by dxdtdemon » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:20 am

One of the topics brought up earlier was why 14 Division I teams didn't show up. In our case, we had originally finished 4-8 at the SCT. After Chicago C was disqualified, our S-value went up to 30, which put us second on the revised waitlist, but we didn't find out about our bid until about March 10th or so. By then, only two members of our team would be willing to pay for the ICT out of pocket if we couldn't get funding from the university, and we didn't, so we had to decline the bid. What's strange is that when we do CBI, we count as an intramural sports team, and there is a really large intramural sports budget that covers our trip to CBI nationals when we go. However, when we do NAQT stuff, or other quizbowl things if we had the money, all the expenses have to come out of our academic team budget, or from a yearly extra allotment that was what was able to pay for the SCT. We are prohibited from hosting tournaments from 2002-2009 or 2010 because at first, most of the academic buildings were being renovated and there wouldn't be enough space at the student union, or in more recent years, the student union is being rebuilt and all the functions it would host on a weekend are now in academic buildings, and therefore, our club has very little money. We tried to find someway to usurp the prohibition and it wasn't successful, and then Wright State apparently had the same idea for a tournament that we did, so when we could host a tournament in three years, we'd have to come up with some other novelty.
As for who powers geography questions, I realize that some of the 30+ year old people who are still playing quizbowl instead of just being in the masters tournaments for some reason had not been in school when the Geography Bee existed. For many people 25 and younger who are in quizbowl, this was probably the first academic competition of any kind that they competed in. I think that if the NAQT questions were pyramidal versions of somewhat more advanced Geography Bee-like questions, there would be less complaints. I think the whole "this river flows into that lake" thing should only count for a small percentage of the geography distribution, but asking about certain areas of the world by the cultures that live there, or other things that I can't think of right now because I'm tired would be better.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:21 am

Huard is fine as one of the harder tossup answers at a national tournament; the problem is that it wasn't even close to the hardest tossup answer that came up in trash. There was a whole tier of stuff like Indian Wells and Ugly Betty Guy that went above and beyond.

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Post by mujason » Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:50 am

For the record, I did not write the Huard question. I am, however, a Chiefs fan.

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Post by Mr. Kwalter » Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:04 am

Jar Jar

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Trash Lits, Financial News

Post by Brian Ulrich » Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:09 am

Just a quick lit note: As far as the accusation about too much Trash lit, looking just at the D-2 set, where that complaint seemed to originate, I have to go all the way down to a Harry Potter bonus in packet 5 to find the first example. This is followed by a Charlie Chan bonus in packet 7, *possibly* the Miss Jean Brodie toss-up in packet 10 (I know only the title there, so can't judge), the America Gods toss-up in packet 12, and a Douglas Adams bonus in packet 19. That's it, except for a few borderline cases (Agatha Christie, for example.)

Also, while I'm conceding the difficulty slope argument, the people who put together financial news sections of important publications apparently feel best Buy is important, as the Speakeasy acquisition was a major story about the company's further extension of its services. To argue that financial news in and of itself isn't suitable for serious academic competition seems rather naive given the importance in the world of economics and investment. Is it also wrong to ask about, say, the Pullman Company as history? Best Buy may have been off the beaten canonical path, but I was tired of the same old airline bankruptcies and Carly Fiorina, and knew I could make that gettable by the end with what I thought at the time was a decent difficulty slope.

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Post by First Chairman » Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:32 am

"Business news" to me has usually been considered "general knowledge" in a current events way... but not necessarily just about current events. I do tend to write about how current major companies were started decades ago, and I do think that knowing that Ray Kroc bought McDonald's has more significance than perhaps how Ruth's Chris' Steak House got its name. It does get a bit difficult to call such a question more general knowledge the more recent the company is, but I think people should know about Apple, Microsoft, Sears, and Wal Mart as much as they should probably know about Home Depot, Best Buy, Amazon, or similar commercial outlets.
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Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:07 pm

As for who powers geography questions, I realize that some of the 30+ year old people who are still playing quizbowl instead of just being in the masters tournaments for some reason had not been in school when the Geography Bee existed. For many people 25 and younger who are in quizbowl, this was probably the first academic competition of any kind that they competed in.
Might I ask who these 30+ players are? If anything I think the trend has been for younger players to complain that NAQT's geography distribution is excessive.
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Re: Trash Lits, Financial News

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:08 pm

Brian Ulrich wrote:Also, while I'm conceding the difficulty slope argument, the people who put together financial news sections of important publications apparently feel best Buy is important, as the Speakeasy acquisition was a major story about the company's further extension of its services. To argue that financial news in and of itself isn't suitable for serious academic competition seems rather naive given the importance in the world of economics and investment.

Once again, the problem is that there wasn't enough "financial news" about Best Buy to write an academic tossup, and it turned very quickly into a buzzer race on a trash clue. People don't know "geek squad" from its financial significance, but from commercials and cars. If you only have one sort-of academic clue about a topic, and no way to less steeply arrange the clue, don't write on it.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:12 pm

bt_green_warbler wrote:Might I ask who these 30+ players are? If anything I think the trend has been for younger players to complain that NAQT's geography distribution is excessive.
There was, of course, exactly one person over the age of 30 at the ICT, and that person's team didn't make the top bracket nor did it have any particular opinion about the geography questions to my knowledge. I've learned that any comment that boils down to "there are too many people over age X in quizbowl/this format/this tournament" will inevitably prove to be made-up.

Also, speaking as one of those under-25 geography bee veterans myself, I have to say that I still don't care for geography questions, though I agree with what I think the gist of that post was, which is that cultural and economic geography is a potentially more interesting vein of writing than rivers and lakes.

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Post by grapesmoker » Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:13 pm

So I noticed the new NAQT survey is up. Credit to them for actually asking questions regarding the complaints that people have voiced; although I'm not sure why we're still debating whether computational tossups and word problems should return, I guess that doesn't matter so much. I would still prefer an actual discussion, but it's at least an improvement over last year's survey.
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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:58 pm

grapesmoker wrote:So I noticed the new NAQT survey is up. Credit to them for actually asking questions regarding the complaints that people have voiced; although I'm not sure why we're still debating whether computational tossups and word problems should return, I guess that doesn't matter so much. I would still prefer an actual discussion, but it's at least an improvement over last year's survey.
Yeah, this survey does seem like a vast improvement over last year's, although there still is some push polling, e.g.:
How do you feel about "one-fact" bonuses such as those that ask players to identify three novels from their main characters or three presidents from laws passed during their administrations? NAQT made a concerted effort to avoid such bonuses this year, which was one of the main reasons that significantly fewer tossups were read across the board.
I am particularly happy that there is a survey question about "guess-based" tossups; at least someone on the survey team seems to be listening to what the actual topics of discussion are, so that's some movement in the right direction.

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Post by geekjohnson » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:47 am

Only a handful of you will find this amusing, but here is a video of what Jonathan Thompson is truly capable of, directly from the ICT Hotel.

long link that makes the window fail to wrap

Give the video a moment and the monster shall emerge...

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Post by The Time Keeper » Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:09 am

geekjohnson wrote:Only a handful of you will find this amusing, but here is a video of what Jonathan Thompson is truly capable of, directly from the ICT Hotel.

long link that makes the window fail to wrap

Give the video a moment and the monster shall emerge...
Awesome.

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Post by theMoMA » Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:14 am

Only a handful?

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Post by Golden Tiger 86 » Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:16 am

I just don't think you understand how awesome that was, MoMA.

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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox » Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:01 pm

Way to scissor each other...

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Post by grapesmoker » Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:26 pm

I can't help but feel a little sorry for the poor bastard.
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Post by DVader » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:54 pm

As someone who knows both of them, I'm amused, a little shocked, but not particularly surprised.
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Post by Leo Wolpert » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:48 pm

allythin wrote:Way to scissor each other...
SCISSOR ME TIMBERS!

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Post by QuizBowlRonin » Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:01 pm

Someone please tell Jonathan that he doesn't have to wear ties to a tournament anymore.
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Post by grapesmoker » Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:51 pm

QuizBowlRonin wrote:Someone please tell Jonathan that he doesn't have to wear ties to a tournament anymore.
Why would you deprive us of entertainment?
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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:18 pm

If he has eyes and can see he's the only one in a tie, that should be hint enough.

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Post by jackflaps » Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:55 am

QuizBowlRonin wrote:Someone please tell Jonathan that he doesn't have to wear ties to a tournament anymore.
Let's not go around making crazy proclamations like this when his only true crime was wearing such a profoundly ugly tie.

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Post by Strongside » Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:09 pm

This is random, but in packet 20 of Division 2, the answer to tossup 19 is William Walker, the answer to tossup 21 is William Wright, and the answer to tossup 22 is William Williams.

3 tossups in a 4 tossup span about people named William W.
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Post by Kyle » Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:24 pm

bjb87 wrote:This is random, but in packet 20 of Division 2, the answer to tossup 19 is William Walker, the answer to tossup 21 is William Wright, and the answer to tossup 22 is William Williams.
I would have given you a dollar to buzz in on the first word of the next tossup with "Westmoreland."

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