Stuff that is not related to Ghetto Warz or Moon Pie

Old college threads.
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Your Genial Quizmaster
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Stuff that is not related to Ghetto Warz or Moon Pie

Post by Your Genial Quizmaster » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:46 am

Oh, this is rich.
Matt wrote:
I don't know dude, it seems that Swarthmore somehow got the impression that "I" did the above. They could be horribly distorting the facts as many people in quizbowl are wont to do, but I'm getting kind of tired of being blamed for shit I had nothing to do with.
This from one of the two people who blasted me personally for "Sword Bowl" 2006 at Penn, which was actually played on a partially edited beta version of Sword Bowl. Not one complaint came from UTC or the other two sites (Oklahoma and Drake) that played on the final set. One of Jerry's posts mentioned a particular error that had been caught and edited out of the final set. I brought that info into the discussion, then waited patiently for you and/or Jerry to temper your remarks (which I didn't expect) or for Penn to acknowledge their error (which I did expect, but they never did.)
The arguments about 5-10-15 are rock solid. There is no reason to use it, ever. 30-20-10 is more of a stylistic preference and if you want to keep writing the laziest bonuses possible I guess that's your prerogative. But if you keep using 5-10-15s it just seems like you are intentionally writing demonstrably bad questions just to spite those highfalutin' Internet Yankees who have the gumption to tell you how to do things.
Actually, I don't much care for the 5-10-15 myself. I stopped writing them and have taken to editing most of them out when they're submitted. The point is that I do so because I think they're a bad idea, not because you do. I like 30-20-10's more in the trash format than in academic, but the occasional academic one won't hurt. Now I'm tempted to add more, just to spite anyone (Northern or otherwise) who presumes he or she has the authority to "tell" rather than recommend such a change. (Actually, "gumption" says it quite nicely.)
Also, who is David Moore other than some guy at UTC? Has he ever written a good question in his life? Who are these editors you've lined up? How many people who have never written a good question do you think need to be piled on a tournament in order to make it good?
David may be a new editor, but he is an experienced question writer, and a good one. He's played for three colleges (UTC, Memphis, UTK) and was active in this game before you were. I'm sorry if you don't know his name or his work, but I never felt I had to submit someone's credentials to you for approval before I accepted his or her gracious offer of help. I can't recall ever seeing a similar challenge issued to anyone else's credentials when they started writing or editing tournaments, including yours. I will not name the rest of the crew publicly at this point, just so you'll have to wait to challenge or attack them by name.

There are not enough people in quizbowl willing to put in the time and effort as it is. The persistent negative tone in this forum would make anyone reluctant to enter the fray. I have spent years and countless hours trying to build this game; this discussion board seems more interested in tearing it down. If you want fewer tournaments with fewer attendees, keep it up.
You say this board is for discussion but you seem to be unaware of how we keep discussing how terrible your tournaments are and exactly why this is the case. Why don't you just mirror Terrapin, MLK, Penn Bowl, or another good tournament with controlled difficulty that takes place in January instead of foisting another Sword Bowl on the innocent quizbowl public?
OK, you asked for it. Because when we have, the actual teams who actually attend our tournaments have pointedly told us that the questions were awful and asked us never to do that again. And yes, Matt, that includes yours.

For Moon Pie 2005 we joined in the J'Accuse/Blast/Bergeron/etc. combined effort and passed along raw packets for you & the others in that cohort to edit. I offered to help and was told it wasn't needed. That was OK with me -- it's not like I needed more tournaments to edit. But I should have reconsidered when I sought you out at the NAQT ICT at Tulane just to personally thank you for it, only to be brushed off as if I was selling Amway.

The reaction we got to that tournament from the attendees was worse than any tournament we've ever hosted (with one exception -- also a straight mirror that we didn't edit.) We were told by more than one established team that if we did it again, they would not attend. And I didn't throw you under the bus, did I? No, I have never once stated that in this forum, and wouldn't do so now, except that you asked.

Given the choice between pleasing the frequent posters on this board or pleasing the schools who actually attend our tournaments, we'll go with our core constituency. Rip me all you want, it only seems to boost our turnout.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:58 am

Oh no, a bunch of trash players who can't tell a good question from a hole in the ground didn't like a good question set that I worked on and would rather play the crap you produce so they can buzz on "quanta" halfway through a biography question on Max Planck or on the six trash questions in your "academic" rounds and feel good about knowing stuff without having to learn a whit of information above what they did in high school quizbowl. That's not an indictment of my editing, it's a reflection of the massive damage you have done to quizbowl in the southeast. I know how to produce accessible question sets that stick to an academic distribution and distinguish among both good and bad teams; you don't. Your unedited, half-trash yo-yo difficulty questions may be popular with the rest of the uninformed teams in your region, but this isn't a democracy.

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Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Apr 30, 2007 2:57 am

Matt Weiner wrote:P.S.
Principal ores with this element include tincal and kernite. A metalloid with a +3 oxidation state, it can form icosahedral crystals in pure form, but it typically exists as a hydrated compound used in fiberglass, adhesives, and detergent. Mined from the Mojave Desert, this is, FTP, what element with 5 protons in its nucleus?
Amen.

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Post by Rothlover » Mon Apr 30, 2007 3:08 am

ToStrikeInfinitely wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:P.S.
Principal ores with this element include tincal and kernite. A metalloid with a +3 oxidation state, it can form icosahedral crystals in pure form, but it typically exists as a hydrated compound used in fiberglass, adhesives, and detergent. Mined from the Mojave Desert, this is, FTP, what element with 5 protons in its nucleus?
Amen.
If you write a tossup on actual science in a pyramidal way so as to reward knowledge, teams will walk out in protest and they may or may not eat your babies.

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Post by NoahMinkCHS » Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:16 am

Many thanks to ToStrikeInfinitely and Rothlover for their oh-so-substantive comments.

If you can't actually contribute to the active (and contentious) discussion, it might be helpful to go somewhere else. My apologies for derailing to make this point.

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Post by Captain Sinico » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:03 am

NotBhan wrote:Er ... do forgive me, but I'm totally missing the point of your quoting this question. Is this supposed to be an example of a bad question or a good one or what?
Yes, I think this relatively clue-poor, short tossup on an element is a good example of a sub-par science tossup. That said, it's not, like, offensively terrible or anything, just not so good.
NoahMinkCHS wrote:Many thanks to ToStrikeInfinitely and Rothlover for their oh-so-substantive comments.
If you can't actually contribute to the active (and contentious) discussion, it might be helpful to go somewhere else. My apologies for derailing to make this point.
Take your own advice, maybe, dude? Also, let the moderators moderate.

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Re: What you don't know...

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:34 am

Your Genial Quizmaster wrote:Having read through many of the originals, I can vouch for the fact that David did clean things up considerably from the raw material. While moderating Saturday, I saw several problem questions and repeats that I missed on my read-through -- and so did David. He is interested in constructive criticism, as he's enough of a glutton for punishment that's he's agreed to take on editorship of COTKU this fall.
This, as the meme runs in this thread, is rich. I don't understand how these questions could have been worse unless your submitters were illiterate and just mashed their keyboards or something and sent that in. You saw several problem questions? Just several? Not, like, a whole tournament's worth?

Also, I'm calling bullshit on "constructive criticism" because constructive criticism is for people who accept the ideas behind good question writing and want to improve. You, and pretty much everyone from your region who has ever been called out on shitty editing and writing, use the concept of constructive criticism as a way of saying, "how dare you criticize our preference for shitty questions!" I'll be more than happy to take apart a packet or two or ten of Moon Pie, but I'm not going to pretend that they didn't suck, and I'm also not going to rewrite the tournament for you so you can see how to do it right.
The #1 problem with Moon Pie may sound familiar, but it was even worse than usual: We got too few packets from too few teams at too late a date. We received a whopping two packets by the official deadline, one of which we opted to set aside for high school use due to degree of difficulty.
Oh shit, the problem with every tournament ever and then some! I don't know what the problem with your region is, but I suspect it's because everyone knows UTC hardly does any editing anyway and since apparently a total of 2 teams care about good quizbowl at all, this is what you get.
It appears that the old days of packet submission are virtually dead, and if it hadn't been for the writing efforts of our partners (Boston U. St. Olaf, and especially Oklahoma) and a swap of raw materials with Ghetto Warz, Lord knows what we'd have done. That also accounts for some of the repeats, which were between Ghetto Warz rounds and the original Moon Pie set.
It's funny how the old days of packet submission are apparently dead despite the fact that packet-sub tournaments are actively being played virtually everywhere in the country. Anyway, all this is no excuse, just like it wasn't an excuse last time.
So we've redesigned our entire tournament process to move past the packet submission issue in the future. This was in the works before Moon Pie and finalized Saturday night at Provino's after the tournament, and was not a response to anything posted here. We've lined up a different editor for each of our three collegiate tournaments for 2007-08. We've also assigned assistant editors for each tournament, including some with a science background (something no one at UTC claims to be strong at) and some who will be editing for sentence structure and readability only. We will invite but not require packet submission, and we anticipate that the bulk of the writing will be done by us and possible partner sites -- pretty much what Moon Pie wound up being, only from now on we'll be expecting it. Other schools that would be interested in sharing the load and running concurrent events in 2007-08 are invited to e-mail us at utcquizbowl [at] gmail [dot] com.
This is all meaningless because none of you understand how to produce quality questions. Your reorganization doesn't accomplish anything because on this evidence everyone at UTC is a terrible writer, and if you're to be believed, everyone who submitted packets to you is even worse. The solution is not to rearrange deck chairs and call it a success; the solution is to learn how to write and then do whatever you need to do to produce a decent set.

Like I said before, the southeast is a circuit that by and large does not hold shitty writers accountable; so, you get what you ask for, I guess. I personally warned my teammates that this would blow chunks, but they demanded to go anyway. I hope that instead of spreading out to other circuits, the craptacularity that is UTC's tournaments remains confined to the region where apparently people clamor for such things. Stop mirroring this nonsense and pretending to yourself that it constitutes good quizbowl; if you're interested in getting some help for a tournament you want to run, contact an experienced and competent editor.
I will personally edit only one collegiate tournament next year, Sword Bowl, to be held in January 2008. It will be geared for less experienced teams, smaller colleges, and junior college teams.
That's shocking and an innovation no one has thought of before. A tournament geared towards new teams, you say?! Revolutionary, please help me find my monocle.
It will be canonical and will contain some answers you have heard of even outside of quizbowl.
What the hell does this even mean? Will there be more tossups on interstate highways (cue entrance of one of the Lyons, noted defender of interstate highway questions)?
It will not include eight-sentence tossups, or bonus answers who weren't among Robert Trent's 15 favorite Nigerian authors, so I'm sure it will not meet the standards of some. If you consider such tournaments to be beneath you, feel free to stay away.
How's beating up on that strawman working out for you? Good exercise, I'm sure. Because, you see, no one has ever produced six-line pyramidal questions with accessible bonus answers! Oh no, Charlie Steinhice will be the first to do that!

Quit fucking pretending that this is about Robert Trent complaining about not enough Okigbo questions or whatever latest fallacy you're trying to propagate. You got called on that shit last time, and it's just as false today as it was a year ago. Most of the answer selections at Moon Pie were passable (although a good number were not); the core issue remains the crappiness of the questions themselves, not the difficulty of the answers. Also, I find it amusing that you don't see the irony of setting up the difficulty strawman when this tournament included bonus parts on Charles Chesnutt characters and demanded that we identify characters from The Bridge of San Luis Rey.
I find it amusing that people have posted criticism to this forum, and then declare that the existence of these posts means "we've established repeatedly on this board"... anything. This board is a very useful forum and I learn a lot from the exchange of ideas. But it is a discussion board, not a governing body. The act of posting your opinion here and having a few of your friends agree is not the quizbowl equivalent of rapping the gavel and declaring a new man law. It does not mean that the 30-20-10 or 5-10-15 bonus, or questions on geography/military history/history of science/etc., or anything else you don't like is therefore considered verboten. Get over yourselves.
Oh waah, you hurt my feelings. You know what? When I say that "we've established," I mean that the people who actually know two shits about writing questions and editing tournaments have established. I don't poll the populace to find out if they think evolution or the Big Bang is true, and I sure as shit am not going to poll the field of a typical UTC tournament to attempt to derive a quizbowl consensus. Maybe you should be the one getting over yourself, because you're the one who is consistently out of sync with what's considered a quality tournament. Sounds a lot like arrogance to me!
Actually, I don't much care for the 5-10-15 myself. I stopped writing them and have taken to editing most of them out when they're submitted. The point is that I do so because I think they're a bad idea, not because you do. I like 30-20-10's more in the trash format than in academic, but the occasional academic one won't hurt. Now I'm tempted to add more, just to spite anyone (Northern or otherwise) who presumes he or she has the authority to "tell" rather than recommend such a change. (Actually, "gumption" says it quite nicely.)
The South will rise again! How nice that you came to the same conclusion using independent means. I have news for you: it's not an issue of "because we (Weiner, me, etc.) say so." It's an issue of what makes good quizbowl.
David may be a new editor, but he is an experienced question writer, and a good one. He's played for three colleges (UTC, Memphis, UTK) and was active in this game before you were.
I've never played on a tournament edited by David Moore. Judging from his current output, he's an experienced question writer much like I am the Crown Prince of Wales. Also, by my count, you've been active in the game at least twice as long as I've been, if not longer, and you still don't know what you're doing, so I'm forced to conclude that longevity is no indicator of competence.
I'm sorry if you don't know his name or his work, but I never felt I had to submit someone's credentials to you for approval before I accepted his or her gracious offer of help. I can't recall ever seeing a similar challenge issued to anyone else's credentials when they started writing or editing tournaments, including yours. I will not name the rest of the crew publicly at this point, just so you'll have to wait to challenge or attack them by name.
Well, you sure have spited us by not telling us their names, not that this would mean doodley squat to anyone. Of course, no one is demanding credentials, but when you say things like "experienced question writer" after asking that people be gentle because it was his first tournament, I'm inclined to say that this is a load of crap. No one is demanding credentials; we want good questions and if this tournament had been a roaring success, we would have all gone, "wow, that David Moore dude sure knows what he's doing." Of course that didn't happen. You (collective you) put out a shitty tournament, you get criticized; I know because I've been there as recently as last year. Unlike you, I didn't contort myself into believing that what I did was right, I took a fucking hint and did better next time.
There are not enough people in quizbowl willing to put in the time and effort as it is. The persistent negative tone in this forum would make anyone reluctant to enter the fray. I have spent years and countless hours trying to build this game; this discussion board seems more interested in tearing it down. If you want fewer tournaments with fewer attendees, keep it up.
I guess the negative tone drives away people who have issues with reading comprehension, because there's been an extensive effort (of which my short novella on question writing is the latest installment) on this board to elucidate just what is meant by good quizbowl. I love how people who persistently ignore these points get all huffy when called on it and claim that the negativity is driving them away. Well, if you'd bothered to read what other people are saying once in a while and think about it, maybe you wouldn't be producing crap and getting pilloried for it.
OK, you asked for it. Because when we have, the actual teams who actually attend our tournaments have pointedly told us that the questions were awful and asked us never to do that again. And yes, Matt, that includes yours.
Wonderful, the incompetent sitting in judgment over our work. I give no creedence to the idea that a bunch of schools that play CBI and NAQT IS series questions while pretending that this approximates collegiate quizbowl know anything about what constitutes a good question. I can only imagine the complaints: "We didn't know the answer on the first clue! There were too many clues! The bonuses had things I didn't learn in 10th grade!"
The reaction we got to that tournament from the attendees was worse than any tournament we've ever hosted (with one exception -- also a straight mirror that we didn't edit.) We were told by more than one established team that if we did it again, they would not attend. And I didn't throw you under the bus, did I? No, I have never once stated that in this forum, and wouldn't do so now, except that you asked.
Do it, I dare you. Let's hear every quibble about that tournament. I don't even care that it's been two years since, if you think it sucks a bag of donkey cocks, why don't you come out and say so? Present the arguments and let people consider them, instead of this passive-aggressive bullshit.
Given the choice between pleasing the frequent posters on this board or pleasing the schools who actually attend our tournaments, we'll go with our core constituency. Rip me all you want, it only seems to boost our turnout.
Enjoy being the one circuit in the country that doesn't play on good questions and whose teams (with the exception of clubs like Vanderbilt and Kentucky of yore, and maybe one or two others who actually write good stuff and go to quality tournaments) will never be competitive with anyone from outside the region.

To sum it all up, this discussion is dumb because Moon Pie sucked. If you want to know how not to suck, read the suggestions knowledgeable people post in the discussion threads. If you continue to suck, don't be surprised when you are the target of some rage, and also don't be surprised when people stop mirroring your stupid tournaments.
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Post by quo.vadio » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:00 pm

One more thing. When I said I would take the advice of this forum, I meant the cumulative whole. I do not intend to be overly influenced by the opinions of any single person.

That is to say, I am not interested in the number of steps you think I've taken, forward or back.

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Post by grapesmoker » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:52 pm

quo.vadio wrote:IBut, just to be fair, there are several things I disagree with, but the particular example on my mind when I said that originally was this: I personally object to phrases such as "actual knowledge." Any thing that is known is knowledge.
Yes, this is technically true. However, in the absence of some sort of guideline to what represents important knowledge (Max Planck's radiation law) and what represents superficial almanac knowledge (He was born in Kiel! In 1858!), this argument reduced to the absurdity that pretty much anything can go into a quizbowl question. Of course, if you think this kind of knowledge relativism is just fine and dandy, then I can see why this set has the problems it does.
I understand that questions about Sexual Reassignment Surgery and the Grafenberg Spot ride the edge of what some people consider "academic."
Without knowing anything about biology, I can confidently say that the G-spot question was bad. While the first clue might be moderately useful (there are many things named after German scientists in the body), the next clue is from Seinfeld and the clue after that is from a Time article from 1983! That's some crappy writing, right there. And then, vaginal wall. That question was dumb as a rock and was probably written by some immature clown who thought it would be funny to make someone buzz in and say the words "G-spot."
But for the entire 10 years that I have been involved with quiz bowl, I have seen questions about diseases, body parts, and medical procedures.
Yes, these questions contain clues which have to do with science and the importance of these structures. I suggest you take a look at those questions.
If and when I feel I can adequately express any further disagreements, and as I learn more about my own editing philosophy I will share those thoughts with this forumn. However, I will not allow myself to be drawn into catty slapfests. I enjoy quizbowl, no matter the nature of my involvement. I would like to continue enjoying it.
I'm not sure what qualifies as a catty slapfest, but people have been presenting issues of substance on this board since it existed. There have also been many disagreements and over time, a sort of consensus has formed on some issues. I hope that you take the time to read and understand this consensus.
One more thing. When I said I would take the advice of this forum, I meant the cumulative whole. I do not intend to be overly influenced by the opinions of any single person.

That is to say, I am not interested in the number of steps you think I've taken, forward or back.
Whatever floats your boat dude. I've learned some time ago that apparently I'm a horrible monster who should pray for death and that no one takes me seriously.
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Post by grapesmoker » Mon Apr 30, 2007 1:47 pm

Oh hay, I missed this the first time around.
Your Genial Quizmaster wrote:This from one of the two people who blasted me personally for "Sword Bowl" 2006 at Penn, which was actually played on a partially edited beta version of Sword Bowl.
Did you or did you not edit Sword Bowl 2006? Did you or did you not send the set, in whatever condition, to Penn Bowl? If the answer to both questions is "yes," as I am given to understand, then I don't care about anything else; you are in fact responsible for it.
Not one complaint came from UTC or the other two sites (Oklahoma and Drake) that played on the final set. One of Jerry's posts mentioned a particular error that had been caught and edited out of the final set. I brought that info into the discussion, then waited patiently for you and/or Jerry to temper your remarks (which I didn't expect) or for Penn to acknowledge their error (which I did expect, but they never did.)
I don't care if the error was caught in the final set or not, because it wasn't caught in the set that you sent to Penn, and you were supposed to do that as editor. I'm not sure why Penn was expected to correct whatever it is that they missed, but even if they had done so, it would have changed nothing. I see no reason to temper anything, particularly since for every one thing that I apparently got wrong as a result of either not being privy to whatever was going on behind the scenes or not having the questions in front of me at the moment (which I did acknowledge, by the way, in the one instance when this was relevant), I was so very right about 10 other things.
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Post by vandyhawk » Mon Apr 30, 2007 2:09 pm

grapesmoker wrote: I don't care if the error was caught in the final set or not, because it wasn't caught in the set that you sent to Penn, and you were supposed to do that as editor. I'm not sure why Penn was expected to correct whatever it is that they missed
I don't really feel like weighing in on this general discussion, esp. since we've never made it to Moon Pie due to Vandy's school schedule, but I will say that Charlie explained this particular occurrence to me at a tournament one time. He sent the partially edited set to a bunch of people, including Penn, to help him catch repeats, etc., then sent out the final set, but somehow Penn used the partially edited one instead of the final one, which they received. Not sure how much that would have changed your opinion of the set, but thought I should point that out.

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Post by cvdwightw » Mon Apr 30, 2007 2:26 pm

wd4gdz wrote:...and I wish they had been used instead of the one with questions on the Koran and left-handedness...
Based on this I'm assuming you're talking about our packet. Yes, it had its inherent problems, so if you want to call us out for having crappy answer choices, go ahead. If you want to call us out for the complete lack of physics and substantive mythology, well, we attempted a theme packet and there was absolutely nothing in the theme that fit into either the physics or mythology category. If you want to call us out for the high amount of trash, I apologize; first of all, Ghetto Warz has always been closer to a hybrid tournament than an ACF tournament (in terms of distribution, there were more trash questions required than art or RMP), and second, one of our writers decided to include a film clue (okay, in some instances, multiple) in every single tossup he wrote, which I blame on myself deciding the theme and then farming out questions to people who had no interest in writing on those answer choices and then being too lazy to rewrite all those film questions that flooded in. If you want to blame us for being apyramidal and transparent, I don't see where you're coming from; I think even our crappy questions were more pyramidal and less transparent than a lot of other questions in the set, and inevitably on things people have heard of (I would honestly be surprised if most rooms did not convert at least 80% of the tossups regardless of skill level); USC even shored up some of our worse questions to make them more "acceptable". USC did about as good a job with our packet as they could have, except for inexplicably dropping all of our science bonuses from the final product (I swear we submitted them). So, based on some other statements in this thread, I assume that (1) USC sent Moon Pie our packet in the raw, unedited state and (2) USC did a far better job of editing than UTC.

I will also note that we did not expect this swap and so made some of our questions Ghetto Warz-centric. For example, I apologize to anyone else who had to hear the Sherpa bonus, that is a long running in-joke between us, USC, and whoever else heard the complaint about a bonus from Aztlan Cup II that there are no Sherpas in the Pamirs.

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Post by No Rules Westbrook » Mon Apr 30, 2007 3:18 pm

I really think that we don't take enough time here to recognize when people do things well. We should be less reluctant to bestow accolades on acts of individual achievement - in that benevolent spirit, I'd like to congratulate Jerry for his marvelous post responding to Charlie. Truly terrific.

Oh, Moon Pie? It sucked. Stop flattering yourself by calling this a catfight; there are cats and mice here. There are no "different but equal" viewpoints in this thread, just as the culture of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East is not equally valid as modern culture. This is not reasonable disagreement, it's a clash of qb civilizations.

Oh, is it obvious from this invective that I'm not sold on Sorice's constructive criticism paradigm?

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Post by Mr. Kwalter » Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:02 pm

Seriously, Charlie, since when do you go mouthing off about ACF tournaments including the 16th most famous Nigerian author and tossups with 8 SENTENCES in them when you know for a fact that that's just idiocy? Your arguments here make you look like a child whose candy has been stolen and nothing else, and you wonder why your constituents behave the same way? Stop perpetuating "ACF IS IMPOSSIBLE" and maybe your teams won't think it. I'm fully aware that you have come through for ACF many times with tournament sites and moderator services, which makes your behavior here all the more puzzling. Who cares if you host ACF Regionals every year if you're just telling your teams it's too hard for them anyway? After all, I hear that after the southeast plays ACF Regionals they have to "detox" with a shitty trash tournament run by you.

I'm surprised no one else has echoed the one most salient point that's been made this entire time: Charlie has spoiled the Southeast rotten with shitty questions. I think we're being too hard on David Moore here. "Experienced question writer" or not, it's hard being a first-time editor, and while he produced a terrible set, he seems at least marginally willing to accept that and see what he can do to improve the next one. So I don't blame David for the set. I blame Charlie. If a first-time editor comes out and says, "Hey, I'd like to create a tournament and plan it ahead of time, announce it, do the whole thing," that's terrific. It really is. We need more people who will do that, and those who do are regularly applauded on this board. But if you're in a bind and find yourself unable to edit a tournament, get an old hand to take care of it. There's a huge difference between having experience writing questions and having experience editing tournaments. Find someone else. There are plenty of people with editing experience who don't have ACF on their business cards (since that seems to be your real objection here). Put out a call on this board for an editor. You'll get responses from most of the much-despised usual subjects (Jerry, Weiner, me, whoever) and maybe even (if you're lucky since you hate us) someone not-so-usual. You shouldn't be putting a brand new editor in a position to fail so miserably.

I really don't see the huge difference between Penn Bowl 2007 and your average tournament except what we view as quality. The questions were short, the difficulty was not Fall but certainly reasonable, and the distribution had space for both trash and current events. So what is it that shitty teams like so much more about your excrement on paper? Maybe if it's something demonstrable and reasonable we can think about creating tournaments that incorporate both the aspects they like and "good questions." Or maybe it's that on real questions they are going to lose almost all their games against better teams, while on yours anyone can win because the questions are so terrible. There's nothing I or any other reasonable person can do about that, they're just stupid. I mean, is it the case in sports that a better player or team should have a huge chance of losing to an inferior one because the rules of the game suddenly disappear? Sure, there are upsets in sports, and there are upsets in real quizbowl too. Sometimes you just have a packet that really goes your way or the other team tanks. But should that be the norm?

I'm willing to accept that teams like those in the Southeast who love your crap like trash. So put 3/3 trash in the packet and write good questions. I think everyone here would be willing to see the distro suffer a bit if it meant you started producing real quizbowl tournaments. Maybe I'm on the extreme side here but I will come out and say that I think a well-written hybrid tournament would be far preferable to what you're currently producing. By well-written I just mean tossups of 6 lines 10 pt font or fewer with good, appropriate, identifying clues in order from hardest to easiest. Is that really so prohibitively alien to your sense of quizbowl aesthetics?

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Post by drollins » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:09 pm

[quote="Matt Weiner"]Oh no, a bunch of trash players who can't tell a good question from a hole in the ground didn't like a good question set that I worked on and would rather play the crap you produce so they can buzz on "quanta" halfway through a biography question on Max Planck or on the six trash questions in your "academic" rounds and feel good about knowing stuff without having to learn a whit of information above what they did in high school quizbowl. That's not an indictment of my editing, it's a reflection of the massive damage you have done to quizbowl in the southeast. I know how to produce accessible question sets that stick to an academic distribution and distinguish among both good and bad teams; you don't. Your unedited, half-trash yo-yo difficulty questions may be popular with the rest of the uninformed teams in your region, but this isn't a democracy.[/quote]

I find the sheer amount of mental m@$turbation on this site to be astounding.

You say that Charlie and his Southeast crew are destroying the game? Brother, lay off of the pipe please. Charlie is only building on a tradition of programs in the Southeast (started by Gordon Carper and continued by Don Windham and Carol Guthrie) who keep the game alive by making the content accessible to players of all skill levels.

If the game had to rely on the type of questions that you and your cronies deem as "acceptable" then the only people playing would all be pasty white Skolnicks who's knowledge would be dwarfed only by their complete lack of social skills.

And I even haven't begun to even mention the implied discrimination in what you and your colleagues have said. Charlie has been very successful in getting collegiate teams from all areas and formats (ie Honda) involved
in his tournaments. If we had to work under your Draconian system then players you deem as unworthy would be completely left out, which would include players from Historically Black colleges, who from your snide inferences belong in the back of the academic bus. To steal a line from Wanda Sykes, "Yeah, I said it!!"

Also, you do conveniently omit that even though Charlie is a "glorified trash player" he did happen to be a key member of a team from UTK who went on to win ACF nationals, and is still today one hell of an academic player. But then again Charlie is humble enough not to have bring that up to bolster his argument.

I love this game. I have made more friends and more memories from my association with it than just about any other endeavor. I'll be damned if I let you and your thuggish, sycophantic little pi$$sant friends bring it down. If you want a brawl you've got one.

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Post by Your Genial Quizmaster » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:14 pm

Hoss Cartwright wrote:
Charlie has spoiled the Southeast rotten with shitty questions.

Interesting, considering your reaction to the last tournament I edited:

http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3562

I wasn't completely satisfied with that set myself, but if you actually read all the packets we've generated over the past nine years, I think you'd find a lot more like those, not like the four-days-before-we-finished-editing proof copies of Sword Bowl 2006 that my entire contribution to quizbowl seems to have been distilled down to.

And if you read the raw submissions for most of those tournaments, you'd wonder why I didn't quit years ago -- like virtually all of my contemporaries. There are other people in their thirties and forties who still love the game they once played, but will have nothing to do with it because these days it's too contentious to be worth their time. It may sound paradoxical, given that I'm writing long and rambling defenses of myself, but I have a thicker skin than they do -- you've already driven many of them away for good.

grapesmoker wrote:
I don't know what the problem with your region is, but I suspect it's because everyone knows UTC hardly does any editing anyway and since apparently a total of 2 teams care about good quizbowl at all, this is what you get.
Talk about the argument of the straw man... did "everybody" personally report this fact to you? You have no idea how much actual editing I've done. Would you like for me to send you copies of "before" and "after" packets that I've edited? Or are you going to continue to use the Sword Bowl beta set from 2006 as your smoking gun, regardless of the facts?

OK, I'm going to give in and throw Penn under the bus. Here's the full story. You say in a later post:
I don't care if the error was caught in the final set or not, because it wasn't caught in the set that you sent to Penn, and you were supposed to do that as editor. I'm not sure why Penn was expected to correct whatever it is that they missed, but even if they had done so, it would have changed nothing. I see no reason to temper anything, particularly since for every one thing that I apparently got wrong as a result of either not being privy to whatever was going on behind the scenes or not having the questions in front of me at the moment (which I did acknowledge, by the way, in the one instance when this was relevant), I was so very right about 10 other things.
Matt was kind enough to offer this:
Charlie explained this particular occurrence to me at a tournament one time. He sent the partially edited set to a bunch of people, including Penn, to help him catch repeats, etc., then sent out the final set, but somehow Penn used the partially edited one instead of the final one, which they received. Not sure how much that would have changed your opinion of the set, but thought I should point that out.
That's true, but that's not the whole story. The deal on Penn/Sword Bowl 2006 was that I'd handle the central editing and packet assembly for free, as long as Penn would contribute or solicit at least five rounds' worth of questions and would also help proof the questions. I especially told them that I'd need help editing the science, since my scientific knowledge was dated. That was the agreement we made, after Penn approached me to ask for my help. I then made similar agreements with Oklahoma and Drake.

Beginning the Saturday before the tournament, I started sending beta versions -- packets that had been assembled and first-pass edited -- to Oklahoma, Drake, and Penn for review, usually two or three at a time. In the meantime I continued to revise them myself, including editing out the alternate answer of Longshanks for Edward III. As promised, Oklahoma and Drake did review the beta versions, and they (especially Oklahoma) found several duplications, errors, and ambiguities. I inadvertently left out one of the beta packets, UNC B; it contained more duplications than the rest of the final set combined, and those are completely my fault. Apart from that one packet, I actually think the final Sword Bowl set was pretty good, although not as good as this year's.

Meanwhile, Penn did not live up to their end of the deal. They did not offer any editing or proofing notes, presumably did not even review the packets, and never once responded to those e-mails. They didn't respond when I sent out the final set, nor did they respond to a separate "did you get them?" message.

My greatest fear was that somehow the e-mails had never made it through, and after Sword Bowl was over I came to this forum to make sure there had actually BEEN a Penn Bowl. When I saw the reaction here, I was stunned -- had the questions really been THAT bad? Until the Longshanks error was mentioned, I didn't know what had happened. When I posted a message to that effect, I made a point of making the message as neutral as possible, not imputing blame on Penn, and I foolishly expected them to step up to the plate to acknowledge the error, or to explain if there was some problem with the e-mail of the final set (which Oklahoma and Drake did get, and did play on.) Needless to say, it never happened, and Penn even took what I read as a backhanded swipe at me with the text of their Penn Bowl 2007 announcement.

So, thanks to Penn's diligent fulfillment of their promised duties, and the gracious understanding of vocal members of this board, my entire career is now officially crap and I've ruined quizbowl for us ignorant barefoot Southerners. Nice.

I just keep reminding myself that most of those who post in this arena are in their early-to-mid '20's. I also knew everything there was to know when I was that age, and I knew that anyone who saw otherwise was indefensibly wrong and probably dishonest too, but luckily I've become less omniscient since then. To my chief critics, I say: file these remarks away, for when the next generation of ingrates goes after you.

P.S. ACF is not impossible. ACF is not impossible. ACF it not impossible. I have never once said ACF was impossible. Please stop putting words in my mouth. I have been among the most vocal defenders of ACF in the South for several years, and have consistently pushed UTC teams to attend ACF Fall, ACF Regionals, and even ACF Nationals. We hosted ACF Regionals for seven years in a row -- sometimes losing money on it because I couldn't persuade enough teams to come back for a second time. Yet somehow every debate I get dragged into, I get told: "Stop saying ACF is impossible!"

I have said this before, but I will say it again:

ACF questions in the past few years have been too long for my taste, but that's a matter of taste. I do think ACF is hard and can be daunting to entry-level teams, and that it would be a mistake for the entire circuit to aim for that level. I've been pleased to see an increase in the number of ACF-style independent tournaments with a lesser degree of difficulty, and I think those make a good gateway to the more rarefied atmosphere ACF should and does occupy. UTC will continue to support and attend ACF to the best of our abilities, no matter how little you think of us.

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Post by grapesmoker » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:41 pm

drollins wrote:You say that Charlie and his Southeast crew are destroying the game? Brother, lay off of the pipe please. Charlie is only building on a tradition of programs in the Southeast (started by Gordon Carper and continued by Don Windham and Carol Guthrie) who keep the game alive by making the content accessible to players of all skill levels.
I'll go over this again: accessible content does not equal bad questions. One can have both accessible content and good questions, and please, please stop pretending that any of us are demanding that community college teams answer tossups on impossible topics. In fact, if you look at the current set, you will find contained in it a tossup on Faddeev-Popov ghosts. Seriously, no joke, a tossup on some hardcore quantum field theory at a tournament ostensibly geared towards newer players. Here's something you should know: there's no way that would have gotten through any decent editor at any normal tournament.
If the game had to rely on the type of questions that you and your cronies deem as "acceptable" then the only people playing would all be pasty white Skolnicks who's knowledge would be dwarfed only by their complete lack of social skills.
Yes, if the game had quality, we would all be ruined!

First off, I find the assumption that I lack social skills pretty insulting to me personally, but that's ok because I have a pretty thick skin. What I don't think is acceptable is that in a post in which you bizarrely accuse Matt and others of somehow discriminating against HBCUs (which must be the most out-of-left-field thing anyone has posted in this thread), you also use what seems to me to be a synonym for "Jew." Maybe you don't really mean that, in which case you should try and avoid using language which conveys the possibility of that kind of message; in any case, it's pretty offensive.
And I even haven't begun to even mention the implied discrimination in what you and your colleagues have said. Charlie has been very successful in getting collegiate teams from all areas and formats (ie Honda) involved in his tournaments. If we had to work under your Draconian system then players you deem as unworthy would be completely left out, which would include players from Historically Black colleges, who from your snide inferences belong in the back of the academic bus. To steal a line from Wanda Sykes, "Yeah, I said it!!"
You might have said it, but you still don't make any sense. I can't understand for the life of me how having tournaments on questions that don't suck could possibly keep out either HBCUs or anyone else. Who here but you has implied that they belong in the back of the academic bus? In contrast to your unsubstantiated claims, I happen to know that Matt has repeatedly made efforts to get HBCUs to come to regular tournaments, and in fact, it is the segregation imposed on such institutions by organizations like CBI which constitutes real discrimination.
Also, you do conveniently omit that even though Charlie is a "glorified trash player" he did happen to be a key member of a team from UTK who went on to win ACF nationals in 1991, and is still today one hell of an academic player. But then again Charlie is humble enough not to have bring that up to bolster his argument.
I fixed that for you. If you think a victory at ACF Nationals 1991 means anything today, please mosey on over to the ACF website and check out the questions from the 1991-92 Regionals. That's what people were playing on back then; things don't seem to have changed all that much in some places.
I love this game. I have made more friends and more memories from my association with it than just about any other endeavor. I'll be damned if I let you and your thuggish, sycophantic little pi$$sant friends bring it down. If you want a brawl you've got one.
lol internets tough guy
Talk about the argument of the straw man... did "everybody" personally report this fact to you? You have no idea how much actual editing I've done. Would you like for me to send you copies of "before" and "after" packets that I've edited? Or are you going to continue to use the Sword Bowl beta set from 2006 as your smoking gun, regardless of the facts?
That's my working hypothesis, after playing on various and sundry UTC-produced sets.

See, the thing is that I know what it takes to produce a decent set and how much work that requires. I've had to do this several times now, so I know exactly how much effort goes into editing. I don't know what the original submissions were like, but then again, it doesn't really matter all that much. The point remains that the end product was bad, so even if you started with something that was even worse, that's no excuse, because you (or David Moore or whoever) are the editor, and that's the editor's job, to edit packets.
OK, I'm going to give in and throw Penn under the bus. Here's the full story...
You know what dude? You have my sympathies. Whatever the other faults of that tournament were, if what you describe is the case then Penn took a huge, steaming shit on you.

edit:
P.S. ACF is not impossible. ACF is not impossible. ACF it not impossible. I have never once said ACF was impossible. Please stop putting words in my mouth. I have been among the most vocal defenders of ACF in the South for several years, and have consistently pushed UTC teams to attend ACF Fall, ACF Regionals, and even ACF Nationals. We hosted ACF Regionals for seven years in a row -- sometimes losing money on it because I couldn't persuade enough teams to come back for a second time. Yet somehow every debate I get dragged into, I get told: "Stop saying ACF is impossible!"
We say this because you keep bringing up weird things like talking about Robert Trent and Nigerian authors and whatever. What does that bit mean anyway? No one advocates that, we're looking for good question on accessible topics, which is something that can be done in 5 or 6 lines and without all the shortcomings that have plagued the last two Sword Bowl sets.
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Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:05 pm

Attn: Dren and anyone else recycling bullshit about GOOD QUESTIONS ARE IMPOSSIBLE and calling me a racist for god knows what reason. I have a specific, constructive suggestion about how you can make quizbowl better: kill yourself. Borrow some bleach from a neighbor (it's the stuff non-trash players use to clean their clothes once in a while, you may have heard of it) and drink it. Take the $300 replica of the sword from Inuyasha off the wall rack you've installed under your Boondock Saints poster and fall on it. Take your copy of the Foosball Encyclopedia and have someone throw it on your head from a great height. Please don't limit yourself to my demanding and close-minded ideas of what good suicide should be--by all means, show us how creative the southeast can be, and come up with a means of killing yourself that's even more bizarre than your tossup answer selection.

You people are such whiny goddamn children. You brush off any criticism of something as ultimately inconsequential as quizbowl tournaments, no matter how minor, how justified, or how couched in praise that criticism is, as a personal attack, and then you turn around and call people racists? Are you fucking high? How many sitcoms do you have to watch per day before you get dumb enough to think that this is acceptable behavior for an adult human being?

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Post by Mr. Kwalter » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:16 pm

post of the year

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Post by cvdwightw » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:22 pm

I think it's rather apropos to make some kind of comparison here to Illinois' novice tournament and its mirrors back in March. Both were intended for players who don't necessarily have the knowledge of Matt or Jerry. Both were intended to have short (<6 lines) tossups, generally on things people have heard of. Both were rife with grammatical errors, likely a result of having to edit practically the entire tournament in less than a week, and more likely than not in both cases a majority of the editing was done less than 72 hours before the tournament due to writers getting their stuff in ridiculously late. Both also had a bonus with notably incorrect answers (Orhan Pamuk as a Swedish economist? Hohenzollerns ruling England and Habsburgs in Prussia?).

So, why all this criticism of Moon Pie and a more balanced discussion of the Illinois tournament? I can think of three reasons.

The first is simply reputation. While Illinois Open may have been down this year as well, the vast majority of tournaments run by Illinois have met with some sort of acclaim. Also, it is more or less universally acknowledged that Mike knows what the heck he's doing when he's writing and editing questions. Meanwhile, the UTC folks have produced a bunch of tournaments of widely varying quality, and Charlie just does not have the same kind of respect among the academic quiz bowl community (outside the Southeast) that Mike does.

Second is the issue of non-grammatical question quality, namely transparency and difficulty. While there were occasional clunkers like "This chief god of Babylon" in the Illinois set, this was almost entirely confined to at most one every other packet, and there were I believe only 2 repeats in the entire 16-packet set. I think Moon Pie had more repeats among the 5 packets we heard (not including the Ghetto Warz packets), so unless USC unknowingly picked the 5 packets in the set, that just happened to have all sorts of repeats, I can't imagine how many repeats there actually were. I don't have the Moon Pie packets, so I can't give any specific examples of things that were actually from there and not from the set originally from Ghetto Warz, but it seemed like a question that was so transparent people could buzz without a uniquely identifying clue averaged somewhere over one per packet.

Also, difficulty. For a tournament like Moon Pie, if it hasn't come up at, say, ACF Fall before, it probably isn't a good idea to write about it. While the only concrete example I can think of off the top of my head is "mish metal" from one of the UCI packets, I am positive several examples of this came up in the actual Moon Pie rounds. If someone has an example from the Illinois tournament of something ridiculously non-canonical that slipped through, feel free to let me know. I know stuff too hard for that tournament was submitted as one of our freshmen submitted a tossup on a Camus work that was far too hard for that tournament (showing up as the middle part of an ICT bonus, I believe).

Third, there is the reaction to tournaments. When ECSO sucked last summer, Jerry acknowledged it, and aside from maybe throwing Mr. Kwalter under the bus, didn't complain about the criticism. Heck, even despite getting two crappy packets and one mediocre one, Ghetto Warz made a huge improvement this year, building off their small improvements from I to II to III. The issue is that (1) UTC tournaments don't seem to be getting noticeably better, and (2) when people bring this up, there's an immediate non-response of "if we wrote better questions people wouldn't show up", which may be true, but if it is, then the Southeast is in far worse shape than the West, where the last major epidemic of horrible questions occurred (we like to thing we're on the road to recovery). Then this just devolves into the stupid irrational ad hominem attacks that have come to characterize the thread.

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Post by Rothlover » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:37 pm

drollins wrote: I find the sheer amount of mental m@$turbation

lay off of the pipe please.

pasty white Skolnicks

lack of social skills.

ACF lynches 22 African-American gentleman a day


I, Dren Rollins, think I am in the cast of Roadhouse.
Seriously, where is all this crap (notice I don't use @$&U(#* in words, because thats inherent idiocy and you can feel free to call me a mentally masturbating elitist for that) coming from. Charlie is a pretty decent guy whose worst misdeeds tend to be making SE teams lazy with regards to writing decent/balanced question and distribution, always "losing" computer disks and feeding his staffers overpriced Italian food. Of these, the first is really the only remotely troubling part, and I really don't think Steinhice stands in the way of the SE calendar generally being loaded up with ACF-caliber events, I cut him slack. As long as he continues to help provide the South East access to the good events, I can live with them having unfettered access to as much unbalanced crap and LOLZ ACF DETOXORS as they wish.


Now, all this shit Dren is saying (and its the sort of stuff you tend to get from the Sorenson/Flaxman [read: trash partisan/cbi apologist] crowd,) is the really awful stuff, and its the sort of ignorant invective you'd expect out of noted wackjob something or other Septemberday (I forgot that crazy person's name.)

1. Skolnick is a historically jewish name, and I'm pretty sure you, Dren Rollins, have the idea that someone who writes GOOD questions or is acceptable+ at mACF quizbowl is a 112 lb nebbish in a bubble (Billy Beyer nothwitstanding.) Its pretty clear to me that there is all sorts of "that jewish cabal with its loving of knowledge of concepts and such impinges on our FUNN," in that sentence, but lets look at it factually. Almost everyone I've associated with in ACF was, at the least athletic to varying degrees. I played four sports in HS (even if I've really gone to shit,) and that sort of thing is par. Good quizbowlers can walk up several flights of stairs, which is something I've seen tax many people at UTC trash events. They are also NOT anti-social misfits. I am pretty sure most of these mental masturbators you allude to have many friends in AND out of quiz bowl. The fact that I read 200 books a year doesn't preclude my ability to discuss shit casually with people who have no idea what the fuck quizbowl is. I honestly can't imagine its different with anyone else you imagine as these "punks" you want to throw down with, who are also somehow simultaneously "pasty Sklonicks."


As far as invective: Is it really right for you to complain about the appearance of a non-existant strawman "ACF person" when you yourself look like a fat Droopy Dog? Couldn't I just as easily state that your weight is indicative of the archetypal trash player and/or the standard issue deep fried lard eating southerner?

Seriously, stop saying Steinhice is both 40 acres AND a mule for the african-american quizbowler. I've played with and against black people at ACF and trash events, and I most assuredly never heard one of them say "I would quit this game were it not for my knowing that soon there will be another installment of 'Travels With Charlie'."

I am sure Charlie does a lot to try and get HCASC teams to play. I know other TD's who do as well. I don't think anyone is keeping anyone else out of the game (other than Richard Reid.) Charles Steinhice is not Thurgood Marshall and Matt Weiner is not Orval Faubaus.

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Post by drollins » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:40 pm

[quote]What I don't think is acceptable is that in a post in which you bizarrely accuse Matt and others of somehow discriminating against HBCUs (which must be the most out-of-left-field thing anyone has posted in this thread), you also use what seems to me to be a synonym for "Jew." Maybe you don't really mean that, in which case you should try and avoid using language which conveys the possibility of that kind of message; in any case, it's pretty offensive.[/quote]


For our TRASH-impaired friends reading this, the term "Skolnick" is taken from the character Lewis Skolnick who was played by Robert Carradine in Revenge of the Nerds (1984). Any attempt to link said reference to Antisemitism is completely misguided and an obvious dodge by certain parties to intelligently respond to the point that was originally made.

Shalom!

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Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:53 pm

The original thread with discussion of the recent Ghetto Warz & Moon Pie events is here.

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Post by Rothlover » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:57 pm

drollins wrote:
What I don't think is acceptable is that in a post in which you bizarrely accuse Matt and others of somehow discriminating against HBCUs (which must be the most out-of-left-field thing anyone has posted in this thread), you also use what seems to me to be a synonym for "Jew." Maybe you don't really mean that, in which case you should try and avoid using language which conveys the possibility of that kind of message; in any case, it's pretty offensive.

For our TRASH-impaired friends reading this, the term "Skolnick" is taken from the character Lewis Skolnick who was played by Robert Carradine in Revenge of the Nerds (1984). Any attempt to link said reference to Antisemitism is completely misguided and an obvious dodge by certain parties to intelligently respond to the point that was originally made.

Shalom!

A. I've seen all four revenge of the nerds, it didn't slip past me that that was the POTENTIAL ALLUSION.

B. It doesn't make a lick of difference. Say I were to start talking about a bunch of Sambo's, and then, when people got upset, I'd note that I was talking about a near defunct regional chicken franchise whose name has nothing to do with blackness.

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Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:59 pm

Passner posted this in the actual discussion thread before I started chopping things up and stuff.

Edit: nevermind it is now above me

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Post by Mr. Kwalter » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:00 pm

Rothlover wrote:
drollins wrote:
What I don't think is acceptable is that in a post in which you bizarrely accuse Matt and others of somehow discriminating against HBCUs (which must be the most out-of-left-field thing anyone has posted in this thread), you also use what seems to me to be a synonym for "Jew." Maybe you don't really mean that, in which case you should try and avoid using language which conveys the possibility of that kind of message; in any case, it's pretty offensive.

For our TRASH-impaired friends reading this, the term "Skolnick" is taken from the character Lewis Skolnick who was played by Robert Carradine in Revenge of the Nerds (1984). Any attempt to link said reference to Antisemitism is completely misguided and an obvious dodge by certain parties to intelligently respond to the point that was originally made.

Shalom!
A. I've seen all four revenge of the nerds, it didn't slip past me that that was the POTENTIAL ALLUSION.

B. It doesn't make a lick of difference. Say I were to start talking about a bunch of Sambo's, and then, when people got upset, I'd note that I was talking about a near defunct regional chicken franchise whose name has nothing to do with blackness.
Not only that, you were referring to people who, in your mind, clearly fit a Jewish stereotype. Pedantic, unathletic, uppity social misfits. It's more like using Sambo to describe a black person in a way that involves relevant stereotypes then saying but I'm just talking about an old representation that embodies all of those things. We met at TRASHionals last year, you were nice to me, introduced yourself. Was I not wearing my Jewish star that day? Next time I attend an event anywhere near the southeast I'll be sure to give my name as "jewboy" to make sure everyone knows I'm one of the ones trying to stop HBCs from playing quizbowl.

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Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:48 pm

I want to make it clear that I don't have a dog in the whole Steinhice-Weiner race. Both people are fine with me. Both can be criticized fairly for things they have done. Anyone can, and to some extent should be. I think that both have made positive contributions to quizbowl and that needs to be remembered. Don't misconstrue this as "Don't criticize"; it's anything but. All I'm saying is

I also want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that while everything does go as far as pure language is concerned in the college level, I'd like to see a little less vitrol in the arguments. And by a little less, I mean a pretty large amount.

However, this....
drollins wrote:And I even haven't begun to even mention the implied discrimination in what you and your colleagues have said. Charlie has been very successful in getting collegiate teams from all areas and formats (ie Honda) involved in his tournaments. If we had to work under your Draconian system then players you deem as unworthy would be completely left out, which would include players from Historically Black colleges, who from your snide inferences belong in the back of the academic bus. To steal a line from Wanda Sykes, "Yeah, I said it!!"
This, I do have an issue with.

This goes beyond me asking for adults to be a little more polite to each other. This is utterly unacceptable on any level imaginable. I don't care if you would be targeting Weiner, Steinhice or Chip Beall. Let me put this is as plainly as possible: accusing someone of racism because they hold different beliefs about something like the definition of a quality academic event is outright unacceptable. I'll repeat, just in case anyone plans on repeating this masterstroke move: accusing someone of racism because they hold different beliefs about something like the definition of a quality academic event is outright unacceptable.

First off, you start by trying to simultaneously smeer someone and demean his argument by summarily dismissing it with a totally unrelated issue. Then, you completely trivalize the entire issue of racial strife by using it to insult someone you disagree with. This is an utter insult to anyone who has ever had to actually deal with racism. And I mean real racism, not "I am incapable of actually putting together an argument to defend my stance so now I'm just going accuse you of racism" racism.

I would really, really like to ban you right now for this paragraph alone. The fact is, I'm not going to for two reasons. One, in hopes that you will come back here and read other posts about how irresponsible and idiotic this behavior and maybe get a clue. Two, in hopes that you will publicly apologize to Matt for pulling this. If you plan on doing neither of these, then I suggest you get your troll ass out of here.

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Post by pray for elves » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:54 pm

I'm just curious how much longer it will be before someone attempts to Godwin.

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Post by Rothlover » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:04 pm

leftsaidfred wrote:I want to make it clear that I don't have a dog in the whole Steinhice-Weiner race. Both people are fine with me. Both can be criticized fairly for things they have done. Anyone can, and to some extent should be. I think that both have made positive contributions to quizbowl and that needs to be remembered. Don't misconstrue this as "Don't criticize"; it's anything but. All I'm saying is

I also want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that while everything does go as far as pure language is concerned in the college level, I'd like to see a little less vitrol in the arguments. And by a little less, I mean a pretty large amount.

However, this....
drollins wrote:And I even haven't begun to even mention the implied discrimination in what you and your colleagues have said. Charlie has been very successful in getting collegiate teams from all areas and formats (ie Honda) involved in his tournaments. If we had to work under your Draconian system then players you deem as unworthy would be completely left out, which would include players from Historically Black colleges, who from your snide inferences belong in the back of the academic bus. To steal a line from Wanda Sykes, "Yeah, I said it!!"
This, I do have an issue with.

This goes beyond me asking for adults to be a little more polite to each other. This is utterly unacceptable on any level imaginable. I don't care if you would be targeting Weiner, Steinhice or Chip Beall. Let me put this is as plainly as possible: accusing someone of racism because they hold different beliefs about something like the definition of a quality academic event is outright unacceptable. I'll repeat, just in case anyone plans on repeating this masterstroke move: accusing someone of racism because they hold different beliefs about something like the definition of a quality academic event is outright unacceptable.

First off, you start by trying to simultaneously smeer someone and demean his argument by summarily dismissing it with a totally unrelated issue. Then, you completely trivalize the entire issue of racial strife by using it to insult someone you disagree with. This is an utter insult to anyone who has ever had to actually deal with racism. And I mean real racism, not "I am incapable of actually putting together an argument to defend my stance so now I'm just going accuse you of racism" racism.

I would really, really like to ban you right now for this paragraph alone. The fact is, I'm not going to for two reasons. One, in hopes that you will come back here and read other posts about how irresponsible and idiotic this behavior and maybe get a clue. Two, in hopes that you will publicly apologize to Matt for pulling this. If you plan on doing neither of these, then I suggest you get your troll ass out of here.
Since this thread is really apropos of nothing but itself at this point, Fred is most everyone's hero.

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Post by Morton's Fork » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:05 pm

Guru Guru Pon-chan wrote:I'm just curious how much longer it will be before someone attempts to Godwin.
Shut up you damn nazi.

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Post by grapesmoker » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:13 pm

cvdwightw wrote:Also, difficulty. For a tournament like Moon Pie, if it hasn't come up at, say, ACF Fall before, it probably isn't a good idea to write about it. While the only concrete example I can think of off the top of my head is "mish metal" from one of the UCI packets, I am positive several examples of this came up in the actual Moon Pie rounds.
Faddeev-Popov ghosts, Uncle Julius, characters from Bridge of San Luis Rey, The Myth of the Birth of the Hero, Instrumentalism, Agrarian Justice, determiners, mischmetal, Cordeliers, anomalous monism, ballet positions, Gross National Happiness, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. All of these are things which are way too hard for the level of this tournament, and some of them would be hard parts of bonuses at ACF Nationals.

Also, UCI's packet also claims that cosmological expansion violates the laws of thermodynamics, which is news to me.
Jerry acknowledged it, and aside from maybe throwing Mr. Kwalter under the bus, didn't complain about the criticism.
My recollection is that Mr. Kwalter threw himself under the bus with his first post after the fiasco.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:19 pm

It is my sad duty to announce that Eric Kwartler died on June 25, 2006, after being thrown under the bus by Jerry Vinokurov. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you send pyramidal tossups to the remaining editors of ACF Fall.

Requiescat in pace, Eric.

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Post by vandyhawk » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:39 pm

grapesmoker wrote:The Myth of the Birth of the Hero.... All of these are things which are way too hard for the level of this tournament, and some of them would be hard parts of bonuses at ACF Nationals.
That actually was the hard part of an Otto Rank bonus I wrote and was included in our ACF Nats packet, which went unused. That just struck me as something I wanted to share. Carry on...

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Post by theMoMA » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:59 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
cvdwightw wrote:Also, difficulty. For a tournament like Moon Pie, if it hasn't come up at, say, ACF Fall before, it probably isn't a good idea to write about it. While the only concrete example I can think of off the top of my head is "mish metal" from one of the UCI packets, I am positive several examples of this came up in the actual Moon Pie rounds.
Faddeev-Popov ghosts, Uncle Julius, characters from Bridge of San Luis Rey, The Myth of the Birth of the Hero, Instrumentalism, Agrarian Justice, determiners, mischmetal, Cordeliers, anomalous monism, ballet positions, Gross National Happiness, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. All of these are things which are way too hard for the level of this tournament, and some of them would be hard parts of bonuses at ACF Nationals.
I kind of like the idea of questions on The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and characters from the Bridge of San Luis Rey (and I like the idea that things I know would come up at ACF Nats), but they are too hard for the target difficulty.

It's also pretty hilarious that Wharton was described as a naturalist in one question.

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Post by Leo Wolpert » Tue May 01, 2007 12:12 am

Hoss Cartwright wrote:
It is my sad duty to announce that Eric Kwartler died on June 25, 2006, after being thrown under the bus by Jerry Vinokurov. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you send pyramidal tossups to the remaining editors of ACF Fall.

Requiescat in pace, Eric.

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just because this thread needs to be shitted up a bit further...

MY GIRLFRIEND!!

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Post by Mr. Kwalter » Tue May 01, 2007 12:23 am

Liber de Coquina wrote:I kind of like the idea of questions on The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and characters from the Bridge of San Luis Rey (and I like the idea that things I know would come up at ACF Nats), but they are too hard for the target difficulty.
Now, are we talking about the book by Oliver Sacks here? Or are we talking about the chamber opera by Michael Nyman, the video version of which, according to Wikipedia, is "a popular bootleg favorite?"

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Post by cvdwightw » Tue May 01, 2007 2:31 am

"The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" was not a tossup answer at Ghetto Warz; it was instead used as a low-level clue in a tossup on prosopagnosia. Both of these are discussed in Pinel's Basics of Biopsychology, which is currently being used in UCLA's GE-level Introductory Psychobiology course (prosopagnosia taking up much more text and containing clues that could make an actually decent quiz bowl question). That said, even with it being in a GE course, even prosopagnosia was probably a little too hard for the tournament.[/i]

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Post by AKKOLADE » Tue May 01, 2007 2:44 am

Leo Wolpert wrote:
Hoss Cartwright wrote:
It is my sad duty to announce that Eric Kwartler died on June 25, 2006, after being thrown under the bus by Jerry Vinokurov. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you send pyramidal tossups to the remaining editors of ACF Fall.

Requiescat in pace, Eric.

Eric Kwartler's Girlfriend Proxy
just because this thread needs to be shitted up a bit further...

MY GIRLFRIEND!!
:sad:

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Post by grapesmoker » Tue May 01, 2007 11:14 am

cvdwightw wrote:"The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" was not a tossup answer at Ghetto Warz
It was definitely a tossup at Moon Pie; it referred to the Sacks book. Which I've read and liked, but it's still way hard for the level of the tournament.
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Post by No Rules Westbrook » Tue May 01, 2007 12:02 pm

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is probably halfway defensible; I remember hearing about it in high school. Cordeliers and characters from San Luis Rey are also not egregious...if you've even dabbled in reading San Luis, it's a quick 20, although of course the problem is that many haven't.

Still, I often feel (maybe I'm partly responsible for this) like we let discussing appropriateness of difficulty get in the way of discussing sheer crappiness (not that we haven't discussed the sheer crappiness of this set amply, I'm just making a general point). It's like our dear friend Vetovian in the other thread who wants to discuss how giveaway-ey a giveaway should be by citing his ever-popular curved yellow fruit example and the NY Times and then talk about the finer points of writing river tossups - it's pretty unimportant minor stuff. If someone wants to drop one or two tus on shit like Myth of the Birth of the Hero into a packet meant for lower-level competition, that seems fine to me, it might make one person at the tournament happy and the rest can just move on. One or two tossups going dead ain't the worst thing in the world (with bonuses, obviously you get consistency issues which are very important). Besides, we really should be sending a clear unfiltered message with these tournaments: the writing sucks, irrespective of difficulty or formatting issues or whether you distributed a "how-to" guide giving your editors a tutorial on typing or any of those other ancillary lesser issues...bottom line: the writing sucks.

That's our main message, let's hammer it home, troops.

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Post by vetovian » Thu May 03, 2007 4:00 am

grapesmoker wrote: When I say that "we've established," I mean that the people who actually know two shits about writing questions and editing tournaments have established. I don't poll the populace to find out if they think evolution or the Big Bang is true, and I sure as shit am not going to poll the field of a typical UTC tournament to attempt to derive a quizbowl consensus. Maybe you should be the one getting over yourself, because you're the one who is consistently out of sync with what's considered a quality tournament. Sounds a lot like arrogance to me!
The trouble with the analogy of "evolution or the Big Bang" is that those are issues of facts about the world. What constitutes "quality" quizbowl is an aesthetic judgment, not a factual one based on evidence. Using your descriptions, if a poll of the field at a typical UTC tournament shows that they have a quizbowl consensus that is "out of sync with what's considered a quality tournament" (by some different set of people), then it would actually make sense for UTC to prefer to go with the consensus in its field.
Ryan Westbrook wrote: our dear friend Vetovian in the other thread who wants to discuss how giveaway-ey a giveaway should be by citing his ever-popular curved yellow fruit example and the NY Times
Every tossup has what Jerry and others call a "giveaway" clue. The issue of how easy to make the "giveaway" comes up every time anyone writes any tossup. Therefore it is an important issue.

As for the "curved yellow fruit" giveaway cited by the NYT, notice that nobody gave a straight answer to my question: Is it fair to say that today's "purists" have the exact opposite point of view about "giveaways"? MaS said that it depends on the difficulty level of the previous clues. But that's not the point; that's not why people have been talking about "curved yellow fruit" for decades: the previous clues in the tossup never made it into the legend that was passed on, and it's only the three-word final clue that has been cited to make fun of College Bowl.

If today's authorities on good question writing believe that "curved yellow fruit" is a perfectly good way to end a tossup about bananas, then they should let everyone know, just to show they're honest and interested in getting the point across. On the other hand, if they don't think "curved yellow fruit" should ever have been the final clue to a tossup about bananas, they should give some explanation. I haven't seen one.
Ryan Westbrook wrote: Still, I often feel (maybe I'm partly responsible for this) like we let discussing appropriateness of difficulty get in the way of discussing sheer crappiness [...]
we really should be sending a clear unfiltered message with these tournaments: the writing sucks, irrespective of difficulty or formatting issues or whether you distributed a "how-to" guide giving your editors a tutorial on typing or any of those other ancillary lesser issues...bottom line: the writing sucks.

That's our main message, let's hammer it home, troops.
The message I'm getting in this discussion is that some people are more interested in attacks on persons and in obedience to their agenda than they are in persuading others to accept their judgments on rational grounds or even to let us know how (in sufficient detail) they came to those judgments on a particular tournament set. Most readers here have not heard the questions. If you really want your troops to hammer home the message that "the writing sucks", the only effective way to do that is to copy particular examples of complete questions and then say what's wrong with them, the way Jerry and Leo did with my tossups from VETO last year.

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Post by Captain Sinico » Thu May 03, 2007 12:16 pm

vetovian wrote:...What constitutes "quality" quizbowl is an aesthetic judgment, not a factual one based on evidence.
How does Steven Colbert say it? No! No, no, no, no. No. Good quizbowl is quizbowl designed in the way most likely to reward deeper knowledge. Within those parameters are certain aesthetic preferences and practical considerations that guide the game (and these, too, are important), but the core of most every criterion for questions is a judgment of whether following it will make questions more likely to reward knowledge better or in a more uniform way. That, in a way, is exactly analogous to science (the search for a set of rules that best explains observations.)

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Post by grapesmoker » Thu May 03, 2007 12:27 pm

vetovian wrote:The trouble with the analogy of "evolution or the Big Bang" is that those are issues of facts about the world. What constitutes "quality" quizbowl is an aesthetic judgment, not a factual one based on evidence. Using your descriptions, if a poll of the field at a typical UTC tournament shows that they have a quizbowl consensus that is "out of sync with what's considered a quality tournament" (by some different set of people), then it would actually make sense for UTC to prefer to go with the consensus in its field.
There are many things about quizbowl that are not issues of aesthetics, but are instead consequences of the basic premise that the team that knows more should win. If you accept that premise, then a whole lot of things, including the way packets ought to be written, follow from that.

UTC can do whatever it wants, but I'm not going to pretend that it constitutes good quizbowl if it doesn't.
Every tossup has what Jerry and others call a "giveaway" clue. The issue of how easy to make the "giveaway" comes up every time anyone writes any tossup. Therefore it is an important issue.
Easy enough that you think most teams will be able to convert it. The issue of adequately easy giveaways is about the least problematic thing about question writing.
As for the "curved yellow fruit" giveaway cited by the NYT, notice that nobody gave a straight answer to my question: Is it fair to say that today's "purists" have the exact opposite point of view about "giveaways"? MaS said that it depends on the difficulty level of the previous clues. But that's not the point; that's not why people have been talking about "curved yellow fruit" for decades: the previous clues in the tossup never made it into the legend that was passed on, and it's only the three-word final clue that has been cited to make fun of College Bowl.
We make fun of CBI because a) CBI is a stupid, corrupt organization, and b) CBI questions cannot in any sense be used to distinguish between teams with different amount of knowledge. One could write a tossup on bananas (maybe bananas in art or something) that included the curved yellow fruit giveaway; it would be slightly gimmicky, but it's possible to do it in a not-totally-shitty way. The problem with CBI is that the infamous giveaway was the only possible thing anyone could get the question on because the rest of the tossup was filled with useless or very obscure information (which, for all I know, isn't even uniquely identifying).

I don't understand the point of this discussion. Are you trying to catch me in some sort of logical contradiction or something? Since I wrote the question writing guide, I'll just change the text referring to giveaways to read that giveaways should be sufficiently easy that someone who has some basic familiarity with the subject will answer the tossup. Is that better?
If today's authorities on good question writing believe that "curved yellow fruit" is a perfectly good way to end a tossup about bananas, then they should let everyone know, just to show they're honest and interested in getting the point across. On the other hand, if they don't think "curved yellow fruit" should ever have been the final clue to a tossup about bananas, they should give some explanation. I haven't seen one.
Can we please stop focusing on something stupid from CBI from many years ago? Why does every discussion you participate in have to go back to something that happened in the late '90s as if this were somehow an argument for or against anything? If you want to write a tossup on bananas, write one, and use the curved yellow fruit giveaway if you really really have to. I would avoid it because as I said, I think it's gimmicky (i.e. if you're writing about bananas in art or in songs you don't have to know anything about any of those things to answer the question with that giveaway, and I don't like that) but if there's no other way around it, then sure.
The message I'm getting in this discussion is that some people are more interested in attacks on persons and in obedience to their agenda than they are in persuading others to accept their judgments on rational grounds or even to let us know how (in sufficient detail) they came to those judgments on a particular tournament set. Most readers here have not heard the questions. If you really want your troops to hammer home the message that "the writing sucks", the only effective way to do that is to copy particular examples of complete questions and then say what's wrong with them, the way Jerry and Leo did with my tossups from VETO last year.
Sweet Jesus on a pogo stick, I just wrote a goddamn novel over in the other thread about question writing. What more do you want? My life story, or how I came to love pyramidal tossups? Am I going to have to write a definitive theory of quizbowl questions to satisfy your demand for sufficient detail?

As for dissecting the questions, I'm going to get to that at some point soon; I would have done so already but I have had a lot of work recently.
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Post by Captain Sinico » Thu May 03, 2007 12:28 pm

vetovian wrote:...[the precipitous drop in difficulty from its earlier clue to its giveaway is] not why people have been talking about "curved yellow fruit" for decades...
Not so. The vagueness or difficulty of the earlier clues made it so that nobody buzzed on them, effectively shortening the question to "FTP, name this curved yellow fruit." Again, if you had to write a question on bananas for some reason and you wrote one that had an appropriate-length series of clue-dense passages that gradually tapered down to "name this curved yellow fruit," then it seems like that would be an okay "banana" tossup. In short, your question "Is it fair to say that today's "purists" have the exact opposite point of view about "giveaways" [namely, that they shouldn't be the easiest thing about the answer]?" doesn't have a straight answer because it's loaded: it implies that people previously held the view that the giveaway should be easy as it can be regardless of the previous clues. I don't know anyone who's ever thought that and cared to say so (evidently, CBI might think so...)
vetovian wrote:...the previous clues in the tossup never made it into the legend that was passed on, and it's only the three-word final clue that has been cited to make fun of College Bowl.
Again, not so. It's clear from every story I've heard about that question that the previous clues were useless so that the question was effectively reduced to "FTP, name this curved yellow fruit." Were the previous clues not useless, then the judgment of the question might have been different.
vetovian wrote:...the only effective way to do that is to copy particular examples of complete questions and then say what's wrong with them, the way Jerry and Leo did with my tossups from VETO last year.
I really didn't find that particularly effective, dude. It takes a prohibitively long time and is susceptible to writers endlessly quibbling with every single idea for a correction that anyone has about every single questions (not that anyone ever does that...) At the same time, I don't think a categorical statement that a tournament sucked is all that useful... but anyway, I think your claim here is wrong again.

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Post by wasprsilds » Thu May 03, 2007 12:35 pm

ImmaculateDeception wrote:Good quizbowl is quizbowl designed in the way most likely to reward deeper knowledge. Within those parameters are certain aesthetic preferences and practical considerations that guide the game (and these, too, are important), but the core of most every criterion for questions is a judgment of whether following it will make questions more likely to reward knowledge better or in a more uniform way. That, in a way, is exactly analogous to science (the search for a set of rules that best explains observations.)

MaS
But even as there is disagreement among philosophers of Quiz Bowl, there is disagreement among philosophers of science. ImmaculateDeception's viewpoint applies if you agree with instrumentalism (a toss-up at the MP Classic), but not all philosophers of science agree with that.

Perhaps just as there is no definitive answer on what science is, maybe there is no consensus on what quiz bowl is.

Drawing an analogy to scientific realism, maybe questions are more or less "right" because they currently prevail. Although, since different types of questions currently prevail, we may be in a state of revolution. [/rambling]
Last edited by wasprsilds on Thu May 03, 2007 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by DumbJaques » Thu May 03, 2007 1:43 pm

I can't see this ending badly at all.

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Post by No Rules Westbrook » Thu May 03, 2007 1:46 pm

MLafer wrote in another thread that might as well be this one:
I hate so much about the things you choose to be


Really, your equivocating relativism will get you nowhere here. I'm not going to debate with you the inherent subjectivity of wrods like "good" or "science." Questions should seek to reward the team or player who knows the most about the topic of the question - this is an axiom, either accept it or reject it. There are reasonable disagreements to be had among people about what constitutes the best type of quizbowl - this is not one of them. And just like that Women's Studies professor who won't let you in her class if you don't agree that all sex is rape, rejection of said axiom places you outside of the discussion. [/b]

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Post by setht » Thu May 03, 2007 2:02 pm

grapesmoker wrote:Also, UCI's packet also claims that cosmological expansion violates the laws of thermodynamics, which is news to me.
I think this is a reference to non-conservation of energy in an expanding universe. The energy density associated with matter scales as one over a cubed, for scale factor a, so the total energy in matter doesn't change with expansion. The energy density associated with radiation scales as one over a to the fourth (photon number density decreases, just as with matter, but there's an extra one over a due to redshift), so the total energy in radiation goes down as one over a. The energy density associated with the cosmological constant is constant, so the total energy in the cosmological constant goes up as a cubed. So in some sense, energy is not conserved in an expanding universe. I think energy conservation gets replaced by some other conservation law in GR (this link probably explains this, I didn't bother reading it through), so I don't know if I'd say that cosmic expansion breaks the laws of thermodynamics (to clarify: the usual statement of the first law of thermodynamics evidently doesn't hold, but I think there is a more sophisticated equivalent, appropriate to GR, that does still hold in an expanding universe).

I have heard professors say that energy conservation goes out the window, and it's probably appeared in lots of books, so I'm guessing that's where the bit from the UCI packet came from. I guess Jerry would have been less confused if the question in the UCI packet had given more detail, but getting bogged down in careful definitions probably wouldn't make for a good quizbowl question. I think it's a somewhat interesting factoid, so I think it's fine that they tossed it in without meticulous backup.

I think the important point here is that Jerry learned some interesting physics from a UCI packet. Huzzah for quizbowl.

-Seth

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Post by Captain Sinico » Thu May 03, 2007 2:17 pm

wasprsilds wrote:But even as there is disagreement among philosophers of Quiz Bowl...
Okay. Who disagrees in what way with what I said and why? Saying "all points of view are equal" really doesn't get us anywhere towards having better questions (by any definition).

Also, to try and remove the lead pipe you've laid across the thread's train tracks, I don't think that the statement I made for the purpose of science is susceptible to negation by differing philosophies of science. On the contrary, I'm pretty sure that the differences among current philosophies of science are at a far lower level than what I said, a level involving the meaning of truth and whether or not a theory can be true. My statement has nothing to do with truth and doesn't even suppose that such a thing exists.
In short, if you're not trying to relate observation and theory in some way (e.g. by trying to come up with a theory that fits observations or trying to make predictions by theory to be tested later by observation or something along those lines), it seems to me that you're not doing science. If someone (of any philosophy) has a different definition of science, I'm not aware of it. Philosophies of science come down to what those theories and observations mean on a lower level, not whether a theory that explains observations better is better than one that does not.
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
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grapesmoker
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Post by grapesmoker » Thu May 03, 2007 3:00 pm

setht wrote:I think the important point here is that Jerry learned some interesting physics from a UCI packet. Huzzah for quizbowl.
Well, it's more like I learned from your explanation plus my own research into my textbooks. I think that bonus part would have made plenty more sense if it said "the usual form of this thermodynamic law does not hold for expansion with a cosmological constant." Otherwise, it makes it look like all the laws are invalid, which is not the case. This is actually a good example of a topic of interest which makes for a fine answer and provides new information, but is phrased poorly.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
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