The (Im)Moral Values of CBI

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Post by evilmonkey »

Awehrman wrote:3D Lemmings, can you change your club's constitution?
We're working on it. However, any attempt to get rid of the CBI paragraphs will probably seen as hostile. When I was trying to get support for a high school tourney earlier this semester, the student activities office tried to force me to work with the school's CBI representative.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

rylltraka wrote:I, for one, am unapologetic about going. It's free for us (we have a good rep in student affairs and run an intramural through them), it's fun, and I prefer timed tournaments. I've long since reconciled with CBI's faults.
This is definitely on the short list of things one should "apologize" for.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Matt Weiner »

deep_friar wrote:Washington University in St. Louis participated in Regionals and expects to be at Nationals
They should stop doing this.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by DumbJaques »

Washington University in St. Louis participated in Regionals and expects to be at Nationals rather than take up ACF's offer. I personally am going to retire from College Bowl after that with a year of eligibility left unused.
Sorry, that's bullshit. A program like WashU, who is clearly not in the dark about the truths of the quizbowl world has no justifiable reason to attend CBI. How about you retire now? CBI is a horrible company guilty of god knows how much horrible shit and for teams like WashU to continue to legitimize them with their presence at tournaments is crap. Come on Gordon do it for the kids.

I say this to everyone else who knows better, too: Stop attending CBI. If you don't agree with how we define good quizbowl, if you enjoy the funn and stupid crap of CBI, that's fine - but you ought to draw the line at the hilarious ethical violations and general attempt to destroy quizbowl. If, like KGeee, anyone has any untold CBI asshole stories, I'll also issue a request that they be brought to the light of day.
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Post by NoahMinkCHS »

dcf07 wrote:
NoahMinkCHS wrote:
wd4gdz wrote:I'm going to CBI just to spite UGA
Haha, not sure I understand how that works, but since you brought it up...
Since we beat y'all at ACF Fall, and you beat us at SCT... doesn't that make CBI the effective regular-season tiebreaker? I mean, kind of?
Not to burst your bubble but at ACF Fall you lost to a team of Freshmen from FSU in the finals bracket oOoO.
Actually, at ACF Fall, my team felled the Fabulous Freshmen of Florida State... it was the so-called "UGA A" (that I had nothing to do with) that perpetrated that indignity. But I suppose I could've been clearer.

Anyway, "congrats" on winning the rubber-match. See you at ICT...
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Auks Ran Ova »

deep_friar wrote:
Bruce wrote:So who's left on the mainstream circuit that still plays CBI? Minnesota? UCLA?
Washington University in St. Louis participated in Regionals and expects to be at Nationals rather than take up ACF's offer. I personally am going to retire from College Bowl after that with a year of eligibility left unused.
Seriously dude? Cut that shit out. $1! How can you refuse such a deal?
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by cvdwightw »

strifeheart wrote:
deep_friar wrote:
Bruce wrote:So who's left on the mainstream circuit that still plays CBI? Minnesota? UCLA?
Washington University in St. Louis participated in Regionals and expects to be at Nationals rather than take up ACF's offer. I personally am going to retire from College Bowl after that with a year of eligibility left unused.
Seriously dude? Cut that shit out. $1! How can you refuse such a deal?
But CBI Nationals is $0, and remember that shitty questions cost more than good questions, so CBI's still the better deal.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox »

strifeheart wrote:
deep_friar wrote:
Bruce wrote:So who's left on the mainstream circuit that still plays CBI? Minnesota? UCLA?
Washington University in St. Louis participated in Regionals and expects to be at Nationals rather than take up ACF's offer. I personally am going to retire from College Bowl after that with a year of eligibility left unused.
Seriously dude? Cut that shit out. $1! How can you refuse such a deal?
Not that anyone is actually owed an explanation (and NO ONE is owed an explanation for why one team chooses one format over another, despite what some of you might believe), but no one from WUSTL went to ACF regs. You have to go to regs to go to nats, unless the rules have changed. I don't blame them for having taken a weekend off since it would have made 4 in a row of quizbowl for most of them with exams, studying, having a life, etc. occurring in the meantime.

And if the rules for qualifying for ACF nats have changed, there's absolutely no reason WUSTL couldn't send a team to ACF as well as CBI. We have that many people, so it's not exactly an either/or situation.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by grapesmoker »

allythin wrote:Not that anyone is actually owed an explanation (and NO ONE is owed an explanation for why one team chooses one format over another, despite what some of you might believe), but no one from WUSTL went to ACF regs. You have to go to regs to go to nats, unless the rules have changed. I don't blame them for having taken a weekend off since it would have made 4 in a row of quizbowl for most of them with exams, studying, having a life, etc. occurring in the meantime.

And if the rules for qualifying for ACF nats have changed, there's absolutely no reason WUSTL couldn't send a team to ACF as well as CBI. We have that many people, so it's not exactly an either/or situation.
The rules changed some time ago. And while no one "owes" anyone an explanation for their choice of tournaments, to me it reflects pretty poorly on WUSTL, especially considering their history and the fact that they have people on board who should know better. Somewhere out there, Raj Bhan is crying himself to sleep.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by DumbJaques »

You have to go to regs to go to nats
Lies.
And if the rules for qualifying for ACF nats have changed, there's absolutely no reason WUSTL couldn't send a team to ACF as well as CBI. We have that many people, so it's not exactly an either/or situation.
Hope to see you there.
Not that anyone is actually owed an explanation (and NO ONE is owed an explanation for why one team chooses one format over another, despite what some of you might believe)
Nobody was demanding an explanation - WUSTL has the right to do what ever they want, just like everyone else. We also have the right to (rightfully) deride anyone from a team like WUSTL for skipping out on ACF nats to attend CBI. What I'm personally calling you out on is not "preferring one format over another," either - that's the same tired argument CBI defenders have always used. CBI is terrible quizbowl whether you enjoy (m)ACF style questions (and ACF Nationals difficulty) or not. A lot of people who do CBI don't have the resources or awareness of the circuit to do anything else, and I think it's pretty clear we're moving in a positive direction on that. For a well-funded team, a circuit regular like WUSTL to skip out on ACF Nationals (and in my opinion to attend CBI at all, but I'll get to that in a minute) is a ridiculous pussy move and should be derided as much as possible.

Now, if you're talking about just going to CBI not in lieu of anything, the only thing I'd say to that is that CBI is a corrupt, horrible organization which is clearly doing everything it can (which used to be a considerable amount) to prevent people from enjoying quizbowl outside of CBI. They don't care about players, they don't care about being racist, they overcharge in what at the very least is an unscrupulous scheme with the campus tournaments, and they're just generally a horrible organization. What's more, this year the circuit as a whole has a chance to send a nice little message to CBI by having regional winners turn down nationals saying "we want to play ACF instead." More importantly, it would probably send an even bigger message to the other, non-circuit teams that do CBI. So yeah, when WUSTL is in a perfect position to do something positive for the circuit instead of continuing to support something that's poisoning it, you deserve to be called out for it. You can explain or not, that's up to you, but I'd really ask you to think long and hard about what kind of a decision you're making, because writing it off as some crap like "we like easy questions" is a huge line of bullshit.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Susan »

Has it ever been a rule that one had to attend Regionals to attend Nationals?
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Krakki »

DumbJaques wrote:
Now, if you're talking about
just going to CBI not in lieu of anything, the only thing I'd say to
that is that CBI is a corrupt, horrible organization which is clearly
doing everything it can (which used to be a considerable amount) to
prevent people from enjoying quizbowl outside of CBI.
I am unaware of any practice CBI is currently implementing that prevents people from enjoying quizbowl outside of CBI.
They don't care
about players
What evidence exists that other formats care about players, and how does CBI demonstrates that they do not?

they overcharge in
what at the very least is an unscrupulous scheme with the campus
tournaments,
Agreed, but CBI doesn't charge anything for regionals or nationals at least (although ACUI charges money for RCT which goes where?), so teams don't view attending these tournaments as any sort of fleecing.
What's
more, this year the circuit as a whole has a chance to send a nice
little message to CBI by having regional winners turn down nationals
saying "we want to play ACF instead." More importantly, it would
probably send an even bigger message to the other, non-circuit teams
that do CBI. So yeah, when WUSTL is in a perfect position to do
something positive for the circuit instead of continuing to support
something that's poisoning it, you deserve to be called out for it.
A team declining its bid doesn't send any such message to CBI. What is that team supposed to do, email CBI and say, "we decline your offer because CBI sucks and we're going to play ACF instead"? I am not sure CBI would care that much. Likewise, the non-circuit teams that play CBI probably wouldn't understand the protest either or simply view it as pointless, if they even caught wind of it. They would probably just think someone was turning down their bid because they could not travel or did not want to go. Why is ACF so focused on gaining teams at the expense of CBI? I don't believe this works at all. If you can prove that ACF attendance is up this year because so many teams quit CBI to play ACF then let's see it. Why do ACF's proponents spend as much time shitting on CBI as they do promoting their own format? Rather than simply scheduling tournaments on dates when CBI takes place in hopes of forcing teams to choose (How many teams actually had to make this choice anyway, and how many chose ACF vs. CBI?), ACF should be more focused on presenting its product for schools to play on and lettting them decide which they prefer. Try running a campus IM tournament in ACF format and see how it flies. ACF very well might prevail. I don't know either way, but you can't just say "CBI is horrible. Don't play it. ACF is actual, good quizbowl" without presenting a product that new players and non-circuit teams actually want to play.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by grapesmoker »

myamphigory wrote:Has it ever been a rule that one had to attend Regionals to attend Nationals?
It did, a long time ago. I think this is something that was abolished at least as far back as 2004, but possibly before that.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by DumbJaques »

I am unaware of any practice CBI is currently implementing that prevents people from enjoying quizbowl outside of CBI.
one of the many people wronged by CBI wrote wrote:I may or may not have questioned CBI's ability to select schools to attend Nationals based off of their own set rules (You "MUST" turn in all paperwork by such and such a date to even be considered to attend Nationals. Five teams with late paperwork were selected over four teams that had their paperwork in on time) and an official called our coordinator and stated how they give us grants (American Honda does, not CBI) and that I should watch what I say and be grateful like all of the other good little boys and girls. So I guess it wasn't so much of a threat as an imperative suggestion.
Like all those fucking times when CBI tried to prevent Honda Classic schools from competing anywhere else
the huge ass of a CBI rep I encountered at ASU wrote:(clearly assuming he was talking to someone with no real quizbowl knowledge): There aren't really any national competitions besides CBI.
I'm serious about this last one, too. When I pressed him about it (playing along, saying things like "I heard about something called. . . NAQT?), he responded that they did "high school" stuff and made the standard derogatory comments about old basement-dwellers who split from CBI to establish their own group where they could play against each other and exclude other people. Anyway, if you've been around for as long as I think you have and you're under the impression that CBI is a positive forced in encouraging the expansion of quizbowl, you're delusional.
What evidence exists that other formats care about players, and how does CBI demonstrates that they do not?
I personally, as you do, know that pretty much everyone associated with ACF has reached out and offered to help new programs/programs or individuals new to legitimate competition in almost every imaginable way. From running tournaments to improving players to organizing teams - a huge amount of people have contributed to these kind of things. Now of course NOT doing that doesn't necessarily imply that a group doesn't give a shit, but I think it's pretty clear CBI is all about making money and are willing to resort to horrible tactics - like those described above - to achieve that goal. Said goal is ridiculously down the totem pole of ACF (and to a lesser degree NAQT) goals, and even if it weren't, I can fucking guarantee you that nobody from acf would seek to get programs in trouble or ban them from doing other things, or would deliberately mislead people. Simply, they don't have to mislead people anyway, because CBI's product is shit, not their's.
Agreed, but CBI doesn't charge anything for regionals or nationals at least (although ACUI charges money for RCT which goes where?), so teams don't view attending these tournaments as any sort of fleecing.
Well then those teams are being fucking ignorant. So all of the overcharging gets done at the beginning? I guess that makes it ok! If they charged you $200 for a couple shitty packets for the MANDATORY intra-campus tournament, $200 more for regionals, and $200 for nationals, would that be any different? I guess it would to CBI, since they'd make less money. And it would make a difference to teams that didn't make the cut for nationals. . . they'd have more in the budget for other things. Why does such a situation occur? Oh, right, because CBI ONLY GIVES A FUCK ABOUT MAKING MONEY.
A team declining its bid doesn't send any such message to CBI. What is that team supposed to do, email CBI and say, "we decline your offer because CBI sucks and we're going to play ACF instead"? I am not sure CBI would care that much. Likewise, the non-circuit teams that play CBI probably wouldn't understand the protest either or simply view it as pointless, if they even caught wind of it. They would probably just think someone was turning down their bid because they could not travel or did not want to go. Why is ACF so focused on gaining teams at the expense of CBI? I don't believe this works at all. If you can prove that ACF attendance is up this year because so many teams quit CBI to play ACF then let's see it. Why do ACF's proponents spend as much time shitting on CBI as they do promoting their own format? Rather than simply scheduling tournaments on dates when CBI takes place in hopes of forcing teams to choose (How many teams actually had to make this choice anyway, and how many chose ACF vs. CBI?), ACF should be more focused on presenting its product for schools to play on and lettting them decide which they prefer. Try running a campus IM tournament in ACF format and see how it flies. ACF very well might prevail. I don't know either way, but you can't just say "CBI is horrible. Don't play it. ACF is actual, good quizbowl" without presenting a product that new players and non-circuit teams actually want to play.
CBI probably wouldn't care - they don't care that they're already a fucking joke among all but a few actual circuit schools. But I will disagree that the CBI-only teams wouldn't notice. It's clear to me that, more and more, "CBI only" teams are at least starting to watch this board. Maybe if they start going "hey, isn't odd how all the regional winners turned down their bids," they will also note that said teams are competing elsewhere. Is this going to trigger some mass exodus? No, but if even a single team can make a transition into playing actual circuit quizbowl it's a very positive thing.

Also, you're doing a great job of the whole "you hate CBI, and thus are an evil member of the ACF cabal" crap argument. I'm not associated with ACF in any way except for the fact that I'ved played at an ACF tournament, so I'm pretty sure I'm no more associated with ACF than you are. I don't care if CBI only teams start attending ACF in particular. I care that they are kept ignorant of what's going on in the quizbowl world and are having their potential sucked away by people who would seek to keep them in such a state. My goal is not to increase ACF Nats attendance or anything, it's to help these teams. If every team had total knowledge of the entire quizbowl community and decided they liked blowing 5 times as much money to play horrible joke questions, then that's fine, I'll disagree with that but won't go on a campaign to "turn" them or anything - it's their choice. It's ludicrous to make the argument that even a small number of CBI only teams really have that kind of awareness, so I'll keep doing what I'm doing, such that it is (because of that, and the fact that CBI is a fucking evil corporation that goes against most everything I love about quizbowl).

As to your last point - meandering pointlessly about how ACF isn't providing an opportunity for people to see it's product. Well, part of the reason is because CBI makes concerted efforts to stop that. ACF fall this year was extremely accessible and I think ACF as a company has its mind set on reaching out to those teams in the future - I wouldn't know since IM NOT ACF. On a related note, you seem to think that by describing "good qb" I of course only mean ACF because I am an ACF partisan. Hey, if people want to play NAQT (even if they just want to play IS) instead of ACF, that's fine with me. If they want to play any of the NUMEROUS open events that CBI teams don't ever hear about, these are the things I'm trying to promote. I'm not sure what you're interested in promoting. . . maybe it just has something to do with the fact that
krakki wrote:I actually found the CBI tournament at Jacksonville to be pretty fun
Of course, if you are such a CBI PROPONENT it would be awfully hypocritical of you to decry "ACF proponents" for just saying "CBI = bad, ACF = good" when you've just made a post offering absolutely no good reason why CBI is by any standard "good" (hint: They don't exist!)
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by grapesmoker »

Krakki wrote:I am unaware of any practice CBI is currently implementing that prevents people from enjoying quizbowl outside of CBI.
CBI has, in the past, repeatedly threatened the independent circuit with lawsuits, falsely accused it of racism, and at least once essentially cheated a team out of the prize they promised them for winning CBI NCT. I'm sure Matt can offer more examples as he actually keeps track of this sort of thing.
What evidence exists that other formats care about players, and how does CBI demonstrates that they do not?
See above. Other formats tend to care by not insulting your intelligence in questions and also by not treating you like a 5-year-old child during tournaments. In other words, you're our friend and equal, not a cash cow to be exploited.
A team declining its bid doesn't send any such message to CBI.
Sure it does. It sends the message that "hey, we want to go to a better tournament than the one you're putting on."
What is that team supposed to do, email CBI and say, "we decline your offer because CBI sucks and we're going to play ACF instead"?
I hope so. That's exactly what I advocate doing.

And believe me, enough defections and CBI will notice. For example, no CBI nationals winner can say that en route to the title they beat Harvard or Chicago or Berkeley or most of the other big-name schools. That's significant in the long run.
Why is ACF so focused on gaining teams at the expense of CBI?
While I don't speak for everyone in ACF, I'm pretty sure no one in the membership would disagree with me that our goal is the promotion of good quizbowl. CBI is dedicated to promoting crap, and doing it in such a way as to stifle the competition from better formats.
I don't believe this works at all. If you can prove that ACF attendance is up this year because so many teams quit CBI to play ACF then let's see it. Why do ACF's proponents spend as much time shitting on CBI as they do promoting their own format?
Come on, dude, this is the one CBI thread that I remember from this school year. I assure you, we spend a lot more time promoting ACF by writing and editing tournaments than we do thinking about CBI.
Rather than simply scheduling tournaments on dates when CBI takes place in hopes of forcing teams to choose (How many teams actually had to make this choice anyway, and how many chose ACF vs. CBI?), ACF should be more focused on presenting its product for schools to play on and lettting them decide which they prefer. Try running a campus IM tournament in ACF format and see how it flies. ACF very well might prevail. I don't know either way, but you can't just say "CBI is horrible. Don't play it. ACF is actual, good quizbowl" without presenting a product that new players and non-circuit teams actually want to play.
Running a campus tournament on ACF questions is not the best idea because those questions are in short supply. We don't produce sets that are just for intramural play because we are limited in manpower. But on the plus side, for free any team can pull any ACF Fall set off the archive and practice on it. You don't need us to do that.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Matt Weiner »

Nobody should ever play College Bowl, and the quizbowl community has every right to question why its members would endorse an activity which has used legal means, disinformation campaigns, and racism in an ongoing attempt to destroy quizbowl.

WUSTL, as a quizbowl team which is fully aware of all of this, has a moral obligation to stop participating in College Bowl.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Susan »

Jerry wrote:
myamphigory wrote:Has it ever been a rule that one had to attend Regionals to attend Nationals?
It did, a long time ago. I think this is something that was abolished at least as far back as 2004, but possibly before that.
Ed claimed that such a rule was before his time, which would make it very old indeed.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by NoahMinkCHS »

jhn31 wrote:I made sure to get email addresses of all of the teams that did nothing but CBI so I can let them know about upcoming NAQT/ACF events, and they all seemed interested.
This is a good thing that productively enlarges the circuit.
CHRIS RAY, essentially, wrote:CBI IS EVIL! ANGRY! SMASH!
This isn't.

For what it's worth, even if all 2-3 circuit teams that won CBI Regionals declined their bids "to go to ACF", I doubt it would really have that much of an effect. If somehow 10-15 of the RCT winners did, that would be something, but even then, since most CBI customers are student activities people who deal with quizbowl at most once a year, I don't see that really influencing anyone; who keeps up with that stuff anyway? It's not like CBI would (or should) go out of their way to put that fact on their website.

Didn't a bunch of teams make a big to-do about de-affiliation awhile back? CBI is no doubt weaker, but still hanging in there. If people really want to get rid of CBI, I'd suggest looking at the high school game and :chip: who has had many of the same issues with his product (although, IMHO, Chip is much worse than CBI). Chip's tournaments are on the down-swing now primarily because NAQT has taken off as an affordable, higher-quality alternative. If NAQT chose to heavily market its own intramural package, or if circuit teams make a serious effort to bring new programs into the fold by talking about advantages of non-CBI quizbowl, then CBI might have a problem. But I believe that's what it will take. A couple teams turning down a trip to St. Paul to go to Boston is... just a couple teams turning down a trip to St. Paul to go to Boston.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Matt Weiner »

No one team or ten teams is going to drive College Bowl into bankruptcy. But it's not about some grand economic strategy; it's about the individual obligation to stop fraternizing with, funneling money to, and legitimizing College Bowl, because they do things which are just plain immoral (fraud, racism, deception) as well as things which are directed at destroying quizbowl, which, as a member of the quizbowl community, is the one thing other people really have a legitimate claim on asking you to stop doing.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by DumbJaques »

CBI IS EVIL! ANGRY! SMASH!
Yeah, right, that's what I said. Such a summation certainly encompasses my step by step response to Krakki's questions and assertions, as well as the reasoning I used to back it up. Also, you made a post claiming that my post was a baseless, childish rant that hurts the circuit while simultaneously failing to provide any base for your argument that my post hurts the circuit. Your post said what, say that a few teams shouldn't take a stand because it won't matter so much to the people who are wronging everyone? Great philosophy you've got there - I mean, Chip Beal is still around so fuck it, boycotting didn't work, let's all go back to NAC! Also, I'm pretty sure you've broken a forum rule or two by ignoring this little thing called rhetoric.
No one team or ten teams is going to drive College Bowl into bankruptcy. But it's not about some grand economic strategy; it's about the individual obligation to stop fraternizing with, funneling money to, and legitimizing College Bowl, because they do things which are just plain immoral (fraud, racism, deception) as well as things which are directed at destroying quizbowl, which, as a member of the quizbowl community, is the one thing other people really have a legitimate claim on asking you to stop doing.
Fucking exactly. You can try to take a step back and paint my arguments with some "CHRIS RAY ANGRY" brush or whatever, but the fact is, Noah, that if you're going to argue that it's wrong for us to call upon these teams to refuse CBI, or to berate CBI the way in which we've done, you have to actually answer to the moral questions (and all the other ones we raised, as well), rather than just writing off a mountain of legitimate points and generally bringing down the discussion.

Incidentally, assuming FSU rejects their invitation to CBI (which I'm sure they will unless they send the B team in their place), Georgia looks to be next on the list. Would you, then, be going to ACF or CBI?
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by NoahMinkCHS »

OK, Chris, I admit I shortchanged your post with my "summary". It was more of a general impression than anything, but I apologize for that. I did read your post, and you made some good points -- but a lot of it also seemed more angry than anything else. I intended to make the point that what Harry (I think?) is doing is productive, while just berating people for supporting CBI isn't really likely to produce the positive change you seek. Never said you were "hurting the circuit", just that you weren't particularly helping it. Also, I never said that the existence of NAC means people should support that or CBI or whatever; I actually said that the only way people could really hit CBI where it hurts, if they're so inclined, would be to spread good quizbowl (rather than bitch about bad quizbowl to people who already know the difference)... the same way NAC was hurt when NAQT stepped up its marketing.

I also didn't tell any team whether they should or shouldn't go to CBI Nationals; all I said was that people here making those assertions shouldn't forget that the actual impact on CBI would be negligible. Urging teams to stop going to CBI for the reasons Matt gave makes sense; urging teams to stop going because it will materially harm CBI probably doesn't.

I would not be surprised if FSU tried to attend both nationals, but if they do decline their CBI bid, I can't say right now what we would do. We had not been planning on going to ACF Nationals either way, though all of that is of course subject to change.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by DumbJaques »

Well, I can appreciate most of what you're saying, although I disagree that teams turning down bids would have no effect at all. I'm not particularly declaring it will have an effect on CBI, but I do think it makes a difference for the other teams, for the reasons Jerry and Matt and other people have brought up, here and before.

I do take particular exception to
rather than bitch about bad quizbowl to people who already know the difference
Well, I'm pretty sure I'm NOT bitching to people who know the difference - if people knew the difference I don't think they would have challenged my assertions in such a clueless way that provoked the tone of that post. I guess it's more accurate to say that I'm bitching at people who SHOULD know the difference, but for whatever reason are still defending the validity (moral, or quizbowl-wise) of CBI, going to CBI instead of ACF when it's a fucking joke for their teams to do so (WUSTL), etc. So yeah, I think most of us making these comments here have done plenty (on this board, and elsewhere) to try to spread good quizbowl. I don't think choosing to call people out about CBI in the way we've done necessarily precludes (or has any connection at all, actually) to doing the good, productive things you called for, which is what really bothered me about the way you categorized and compared my arguments.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by AKKOLADE »

Chris, Krakki, watch the tone of your posts and the mano a mano crap.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Matt Weiner »

Krakki wrote:I will believe you that this doesn't happen that often, but that was my fear and my character was certainly attacked along with my argument.
If you deny, minimize, or endorse the immoral behavior on College Bowl's part, then sure, I'll question your character for doing that. That's a far cry from "everyone who disagrees with the mythical consensus about anything gets called names here!"
As to what I am promoting: letting people play the questions they find most amusing, whatever those may be.
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The (Im)Moral Values of CBI

Post by Awehrman »

Krakki wrote:
DumbJaques, the main reason I avoid posting on this board is that when anyone presents a contrary opinion, he often gets slammed with an ad hominem attack.

Let me ad-hominem attack you here by saying that this is incorrect.
Honestly? I wonder if you were to poll all members of the board (not just usual suspects) and ask if they have ever felt they have been treated with undue derision (different perhaps from an ad hominem attack), I'd bet you would get more than a few affirmatives.

More to the point, I pretty much agree with everything Noah posted.
CBI IS EVIL! ANGRY! SMASH!

Yeah, right, that's what I said. Such a summation certainly encompasses my step by step response to Krakki's questions and assertions, as well as the reasoning I used to back it up. Also, you made a post claiming that my post was a baseless, childish rant that hurts the circuit while simultaneously failing to provide any base for your argument that my post hurts the circuit.
Do you think before you post, Chris? Or do you think we are all sitting around a bar somewhere having a chat where expletive-laden expositions are encouraged? Would you walk up to a team that has heretofore only played CBI, but are beginning to show interest in joining the quizbowl community and say this:
For a well-funded team, a circuit regular like WUSTL to skip out on ACF Nationals (and in my opinion to attend CBI at all, but I'll get to that in a minute) is a ridiculous pussy move and should be derided as much as possible.
I don't know you that well, but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't. You've done a lot of good things for quizbowl, especially on the high school level, but nuance may not be your best attribute. Suppose a new team president, campus activities person, or curious faculty member came upon your posts. Do you think they would be more or less likely to embrace what the quizbowl community is selling after reading what you wrote there and elsewhere? I think the other posters on this thread were making some pretty good progress coming up with ways in which to expand quizbowl without coercion or putting unnecessary pressure on undergraduates to do it all themselves. The issue requires some subtlety not childish name-calling and middle school bullying.

I also agree that coercing a few teams not to play CBI Nationals is a foolish way to beat the system. Teams have been dropping out of CBI for the last 10 years. It's not just big-name programs either. Plenty of schools that do not play quizbowl also no longer play CBI, yet CBI continues rolling along. I don't fault any team that plays CBI. I agree that the questions are lacking and some of their practices abhorrent, but many universities have their funding wrapped up in CBI, and it's a very difficult process to get that reversed. We need to be reaching out to universities and campus activities personnel with alternative products that will release teams from College Bowl's grip. There are thousands of colleges and universities, and I believe each one deserves to have a quizbowl program. The only way to make that happen is to work both from the top down and from the bottom up. Along the way the fewer people we alienate the better.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by grapesmoker »

Awehrman wrote:I also agree that coercing a few teams not to play CBI Nationals is a foolish way to beat the system. Teams have been dropping out of CBI for the last 10 years. It's not just big-name programs either. Plenty of schools that do not play quizbowl also no longer play CBI, yet CBI continues rolling along.
To be fair, none of us actually know the internals of CBI's accounting. They "keep rolling along," as you say, in the sense that they still exist, but I don't see how they could continue existing if no one was buying their product. The fact that they're still out there means that they've managed to hoodwink a non-insignificant portion of the collegiate population into shelling out for their crappy-ass product.

Personally, I think that as high schoolers who have played NAQT rise through the ranks, College Bowl will die because people will be acclimated to something better from the start of their quizbowl careers. It may not happen tomorrow, but it's in the cards.
I don't fault any team that plays CBI. I agree that the questions are lacking and some of their practices abhorrent, but many universities have their funding wrapped up in CBI, and it's a very difficult process to get that reversed.
See, I don't understand how you can square that first sentence with the second one. If your funding is wrapped up in CBI, it would seem that you can't actually use it for anything else anyway, so if you give up CBI, it's not like you're giving up money that could be used to attend proper quizbowl tournaments. If you wanted to do that, you'd have to go the route that all other circuit programs go, which is to petition your student government, hold tournaments, and build your squad. It seems to me that the teams that are most inclined to play CBI are those which don't have any good institutional memory and just get together a couple times a year to play in RCT or whatever.
We need to be reaching out to universities and campus activities personnel with alternative products that will release teams from College Bowl's grip. There are thousands of colleges and universities, and I believe each one deserves to have a quizbowl program. The only way to make that happen is to work both from the top down and from the bottom up. Along the way the fewer people we alienate the better.
You keep talking about "alternative products" as though we all have some kind of product line that we're going to pitch to... who, exactly? Student governments? Administrations? Let's face it, CBI is a bunch of old people in suits, and we're not. NAQT is in some ways also a bunch of people (not as old) in suits, so that gives them a little more credibility, but if NAQT tried to lock schools into playing ICT through an ACUI contract, that would be just as unacceptable as the current situation (note: I don't believe NAQT actually wants to do this). No, the only realistic way of expanding the circuit is to convince individual teams to abandon CBI. Once that's done, teams as a rule don't go back.

Finally, to harp on it some more: outreach is all well and good, but I think it's actually damaging to the cause when a program like WUSTL skips out on a quality tournament to attend CBI Nationals. I'm not into castigating new programs, but this is a group that should know better, end of story.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by grapesmoker »

barnacles wrote:I think perhaps one of the main problems is that the rhetoric is so strong that this board has fostered a chilling effect on any opinions that run contrary to what the 5-6 most vocal members say. I several times thought about posting that I played in my first CBI tournament last weekend (after playing only ACF and NAQT the past three years) and, knowing what it was going into it, enjoyed the experience, especially since my team was having more fun than, say, when I took them to ACF Nationals last year and we averaged 26 ppg. However, since that apparently makes me subject to moral condemnation according to the rhetoric of this board, I initally decided not to post anything to avoid what would inevitably be either an outright dismissal of my opinion or some longwinded debate that I don't particularly care enough to worry about. The only reason I'm posting this now is because I think it makes a point about the culture of this board, because I certainly wouldn't want to get caught up in some grand CBI debate just because I played in one tournament and didn't have a terrible time.
Enjoying silly things is not what makes someone subject to moral condemnation. I enjoy some things that are probably thought of as pretty stupid by most people (myself included), but that doesn't make me, or anyone else, a bad person. However, what is problematic is when engaging in some activity lends support to an unscrupulous corporation like CBI. I argue that anyone who supports this organization, in light of their past history, should stop doing so. Maybe it would be good if someone were to post a list of the various crap that CBI has pulled in the past so that people can educate themselves.

Now, the second question I have for you is: what exactly did you and your teammates find enjoyable about CBI? I mean, all issues of CBI's moral failings aside, their questions blow in the sense that they require nothing more than knee-jerk buzzes and riddle solving. Do you just enjoy hitting the buzzer a bunch of times, or being treated like a middle-schooler, or having your intelligence insulted? I would think not, and yet CBI does all of those things, whereas neither of the legitimate knowledge-based formats do so.

As for the culture of the board, well, the 80-20 rule applies. I can't plead innocence to writing a lot of words about quizbowl, but it's not like you have to take my word as gospel. But when you say you don't want to get involved in a "longwinded debate that I don't particularly care enough to worry about," what that says to me is that you're not really amenable to being persuaded that CBI actually does suck and that you should not play it. I hope I'm mistaken about that.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Awehrman »

See, I don't understand how you can square that first sentence with the second one. If your funding is wrapped up in CBI, it would seem that you can't actually use it for anything else anyway, so if you give up CBI, it's not like you're giving up money that could be used to attend proper quizbowl tournaments. If you wanted to do that, you'd have to go the route that all other circuit programs go, which is to petition your student government, hold tournaments, and build your squad. It seems to me that the teams that are most inclined to play CBI are those which don't have any good institutional memory and just get together a couple times a year to play in RCT or whatever.

You keep talking about "alternative products" as though we all have some kind of product line that we're going to pitch to... who, exactly? Student governments? Administrations? Let's face it, CBI is a bunch of old people in suits, and we're not. NAQT is in some ways also a bunch of people (not as old) in suits, so that gives them a little more credibility, but if NAQT tried to lock schools into playing ICT through an ACUI contract, that would be just as unacceptable as the current situation (note: I don't believe NAQT actually wants to do this). No, the only realistic way of expanding the circuit is to convince individual teams to abandon CBI. Once that's done, teams as a rule don't go back.

Finally, to harp on it some more: outreach is all well and good, but I think it's actually damaging to the cause when a program like WUSTL skips out on a quality tournament to attend CBI Nationals. I'm not into castigating new programs, but this is a group that should know better, end of story.
I understand what you mean, Jerry, but I don't believe that we should put this kind of pressure on groups of undergraduates to cast off CBI on their own. It's my sense that teams who sever ties with CBI in this way often sever ties with their campus activities personnel and it hamstrings them in terms of future funding. Sure, they can host tournaments and earn money, but this is difficult for new teams (a bit different in Wash U's case, I agree) and forces them to look outside of university funding. Student fees exist to promote the interests of students and institutions. I don't think that quizbowl teams should turn away from this source of revenue. I think that it is in the interest of people who promote quizbowl to make both sides understand the issues. I used the term "alternative products" as a nod to campus activities lingo. I realize that we do not have strong corporate identities or product lines (but some of us do have suits and are old), but it's more about appearance than substance for most of these people. Attending a few conferences, getting on some message boards, sending some emails to campus activities listserves, advertising in campus activities newsletters, creating a centralized source for payments, and other such methods will do more for the state of college quizbowl than bullying a handful of teams to withdraw from CBI.

The other question is if CBI does fold as a result of teams voting with their feet, as it were, what's going to take its place? If that happened do you think campus activities folks would begin searching for alternative trivia outlets? Would they then stumble upon ACF or NAQT and start promoting those at their schools? I think they would probably just stop funding quizbowl entirely, but what if instead ACUI embraced NTN trivia or something else even worse than CBI? As I argued before I think NAQT is in the best position to do something about it. I don't think they should align with ACUI, which has some large problems of its own, but rather with NACA. I also suggested that NAQT should foster more open competition and awareness of ACF and other organizations and promote these as well. I do not think they should or would lock any teams in the way that CBI does, but could provide better campus questions and lead schools into a better form of academic competition.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Matt Weiner »

Awehrman wrote: I think they would probably just stop funding quizbowl entirely, but what if instead ACUI embraced NTN trivia or something else even worse than CBI?
How is that any worse than College Bowl? It's a lot of trash and trivia and it's not quizbowl--so far, a wash. But, it has no moral baggage and no interest in dissuading its participants from also playing quizbowl. People who want to go form clubs at their school for playing NTN, Trivial Pursuit, or riddles found on popsicle sticks are no skin off my nose, and perhaps some of the people in those groups would be good people to invite into quizbowl--and, unlike College Bowl participants, they would be in a position to take us up on the offer. They would also not be endorsing a group of immoral racists, fraudsters, and liars.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by barnacles »

I'm sure there's plenty of improprieties committed by CBI, I've heard of several myself. I'm sure you could make similar arguments against doing immoral things like shopping at Walmart, eating at McDonalds, paying taxes to the US government, doing drugs, downloading thousands of dollars worth of illegal software, music, movies, games, porn, etc., I'm just not the kind of person that cares too much about other people's moral proclamations, especially in regards something as frivolous as quizbowl. So no, I don't have any special moral qualms with the evil corporation of CBI.

And yes, CBI questions are not good at measuring depth or breadth of knowledge. But I knew that going in, and though I was frustrated with some hoses, I still found myself enjoying the tournament. Maybe my best analogy might be multiplayer Goldeneye for N64. Every once in a while me and my friends would turn on slappers only, that is, only using a short-ranged melee attack that didn't do much damage. And we'd run around in circles trying to hit each other without getting hit. It didn't reward skill or anything of the sort, but it was still fun on some basic level because it was simple and silly and we weren't terribly invested in winning. That's kind of how I look at CBI. I didn't feel like my intelligence was insulted or anything like that. They were just asking silly questions and me and my teammates had a pretty good time because the rounds moved quickly and we got to play a bunch of teams we've never seen before. It's not my preferred format, and it costs a lot of money, but the school gave us money for it and I found the tournament enjoyable and wouldn't mind doing it once a year.

And that brings me to my final point, I guess, that I look at all quizbowl as pretty arbitrary and mental masturbation than anything else. Which is not to say that I don't enjoy it, just that I probably don't take it as seriously as most people here. And I find these high and mighty moral assessments pretty heavy handed and silly. You can decry bad quizbowl, or even call it non-quizbowl if you like, but passing off moral judgment just seems trite and, honestly, it's not something I'm ever going to take seriously.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Matt Weiner »

barnacles wrote:I'm sure there's plenty of improprieties committed by CBI, I've heard of several myself. I'm sure you could make similar arguments against doing immoral things like shopping at Walmart, eating at McDonalds, paying taxes to the US government, doing drugs, downloading thousands of dollars worth of illegal software, music, movies, games, porn, etc., I'm just not the kind of person that cares too much about other people's moral proclamations, especially in regards something as frivolous as quizbowl. So no, I don't have any special moral qualms with the evil corporation of CBI.
Forums poster barnacles says "racism, fraud, and lying are a-ok with me."
And yes, CBI questions are not good at measuring depth or breadth of knowledge. But I knew that going in, and though I was frustrated with some hoses, I still found myself enjoying the tournament. Maybe my best analogy might be multiplayer Goldeneye for N64. Every once in a while me and my friends would turn on slappers only, that is, only using a short-ranged melee attack that didn't do much damage. And we'd run around in circles trying to hit each other without getting hit. It didn't reward skill or anything of the sort, but it was still fun on some basic level because it was simple and silly and we weren't terribly invested in winning. That's kind of how I look at CBI. I didn't feel like my intelligence was insulted or anything like that. They were just asking silly questions and me and my teammates had a pretty good time because the rounds moved quickly and we got to play a bunch of teams we've never seen before. It's not my preferred format, and it costs a lot of money, but the school gave us money for it and I found the tournament enjoyable and wouldn't mind doing it once a year.
Forums poster barnacles has not read about the teams who skipped ACF Regionals because there were too many tournaments being scheduled in a row, and doesn't see how bad tournaments necessarily detract from good tournaments.
And that brings me to my final point, I guess, that I look at all quizbowl as pretty arbitrary and mental masturbation than anything else. Which is not to say that I don't enjoy it, just that I probably don't take it as seriously as most people here. And I find these high and mighty moral assessments pretty heavy handed and silly. You can decry bad quizbowl, or even call it non-quizbowl if you like, but passing off moral judgment just seems trite and, honestly, it's not something I'm ever going to take seriously.
Forums poster barnacles is an expert at using O'Neal's Handwave.

Overall, forums poster barnacles is under the false impression that there is still some sort of debate going on about the illegitimacy of College Bowl, and that it is not a closed question.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by barnacles »

barnacles wrote: I initally decided not to post anything to avoid what would inevitably be either an outright dismissal of my opinion or some longwinded debate that I don't particularly care enough to worry about.
Forums poster barnacles is deeply affected by the disapproval of forums poster Matt Weiner.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by Matt Weiner »

barnacles wrote:
barnacles wrote: I initally decided not to post anything to avoid what would inevitably be either an outright dismissal of my opinion or some longwinded debate that I don't particularly care enough to worry about.
Forums poster barnacles is deeply affected by the disapproval of forums poster Matt Weiner.
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Re: CBI Regionals!

Post by The Logic of Scientific Disco »

Matt Weiner wrote:
Forums poster barnacles has not read about the teams who skipped ACF Regionals because there were too many tournaments being scheduled in a row, and doesn't see how bad tournaments necessarily detract from good tournaments.
Maybe I've missed something, but who does this apply to specifically with CBI? ACF Regionals was in fact the fifth week in a row of actual quality tournaments (TIT, Penn Bowl, Cardinal Classic, SCT [at the very least, a legitimate tournament], then Regionals), so I'm not sure this point makes sense. Of course, if there were a couple of teams who didn't go to Regionals because of CBI the next weekend, my point is moot.
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Re: The (Im)Moral Values of CBI

Post by aestheteboy »

I came here from "hsqb moderation" thread in the hs section. Having skimmed through those two threads, I have one point I'd like to make.

The one arguement that I did not understand was the "You should know better" logic. Indeed, if CBI is as horrible an organization as some people claim it is, then it would be unethical to support it by attentding its tournaments. But I wasn't convinced by the arguement that they are actually that bad. In fact, there was no arguement - there were some vague mentions of racism, fraud, corruption etc. I think the assumption was that everyone who was reading the thread already knew about the specific cases, but that would be a faulty assumption; I didn't know about the ethical problems of CBI at all before I read the thread.
I understand that you weren't addressing a high school player, but frankly I am among the best-informed high school players and probably "know better" than non-forum attenders(I wander around the college section more often than I should). It would be unreasonable to expect, for example, a CBI-only team who randomly came across this forum to search deeply through the archives to learn about the evils of CBI, especially if it doesn't know about them to begin with.

I would appreciate it a lot, and the qb community would benefit a lot, if someone could make a complete list of the abominations that CBI was involved in, with specific details, and outside sources/reference to corroborate those claims (and have this list stickied in a very visible place). No arguement, in my opinion, is strong enough without solid facts.
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Re: The (Im)Moral Values of CBI

Post by Matt Weiner »

I'll be working on a QBWiki article to point people to sometime soon.
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Re: The (Im)Moral Values of CBI

Post by Sir Thopas »

aestheteboy wrote:I understand that you weren't addressing a high school player, but frankly I am among the best-informed high school players and probably "know better" than non-forum attenders(I wander around the college section more often than I should). It would be unreasonable to expect, for example, a CBI-only team who randomly came across this forum to search deeply through the archives to learn about the evils of CBI, especially if it doesn't know about them to begin with.
I guess you missed the multiple times in that thread where the accusers handwaved the accusations, stating that they would list them for CBI-only players if necessary, then.
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Re: The (Im)Moral Values of CBI

Post by AKKOLADE »

Matt Weiner wrote:I'll be working on a QBWiki article to point people to sometime soon.
Thanks for doing this. As someone's who been around for awhile, even though I'm not exactly what one would call a collegiate circuit participant at any point, I recall vague things that CBI did wrong but no specifics.
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Re: The (Im)Moral Values of CBI

Post by Mr. Kwalter »

So, I should start by saying that nobody at ACF is under the delusion that scheduling ACF nationals against CBI nationals is going to be a dagger to the heart of CBI. Hell, "screwing CBI" was far from the only motivation for putting ACF nationals on the 26th. What we wanted to say was, "Hey, if you pick us over them, we'll appreciate that gesture enough to knock your entry fee down to $1." One of the reasons we appreciate it so much is that we don't approve of CBI. You can read about the "moral wrongdoings" of CBI in Weiner's article, whenever he finishes it, but at least for me, the reason is that CBI's question and general tournament philosophy is completely antithetical to that of ACF. Let's do a quick comparison:

CBI -

Short, sometimes deliberately anti-pyramidal questions.
Distribution relatively low on academic topics as opposed to pop culture topics.
"Academic" questions with clues from non-academic disciplines.
Uneven and therefore unfair question structure within packets.
Absurd adherence to useless dogmatic practices (requiring specific table adornments to be in place before matches start, etc).
Staffing based on cronyism rather than skill and alacrity (the examples of this I've heard have all been at RCTs rather than NCT, but still).
Complete intolerance of Charles Meigs' stench.

ACF -

Longer, deliberately pyramidal questions.
Distribution that is A) uniform and B) primarily academic with the focus on things the academic significance of which is demonstrable.
Academic questions with academic clues.
Completely uniform question structure.
(No counterpart to team tablecloths...that's just retarded).
Staffing based on skill, alacrity, enunciation, and familiarity with the format (to the best of our ability).
Appreciation of all things related to Charles Meigs.

So why are we offering a huge discount? To say hey, we have an event that is demonstrably more legitimate as a national academic competition championship, it's on the same day, and unlike the other guys, we actually care that you come.
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Re: The (Im)Moral Values of CBI

Post by setht »

Guys, what are you trying to accomplish here? It sounds to me like the most you can possibly hope to achieve by posturing in this thread is convincing 1-3 circuit teams to decline their bids to NCT; it also sounds like this won't send any real message to CBI, to the other teams attending NCT, or to school representatives across the land. I'm not 100% sure about this, but I'm guessing the 1-3 circuit teams with invites to NCT won't sign up for ACF Nationals if only they decline the NCT bid: it sounds like they have their travel/lodging fees covered if they go to NCT. I know ACF Nats has the $1 offer, but realistically, that's not the main cost for these people. These people aren't choosing between "A crappy tournament that unjustifiably bills itself as a national tournament, which will cost them nothing out of pocket" and "A really good, truly national tournament, which will cost them nothing out of pocket": ACF Nats will cost them hundreds of dollars out of pocket--I'm estimating it'd be something like $350/person for WUStL people to attend, given the $1 entry fee.

Putting up some sort of laundry list of CBI's improprieties will hopefully help dissuade future generations of quizbowlers, but it seems like rising levels of question quality awareness on the high school circuit are already doing a pretty good job of that. I don't really know much about CBI, but it seems to me that people that are really passionate about crusading against CBI could be directing their energies much more productively by trying to spread awareness of the circuit (and in particular NAQT*) to more clubs, and to more school reps. I suppose this board can help with that, but I doubt its effectiveness.

In the meantime, some of you are starting to sound as over-the-top as Brian Rostron's stuff about how NAQT is morally bankrupt because they employ a Mormon. I'm perfectly willing to believe that CBI actually employs lots of people that do bad things in its name, but why are you yelling at Gordon/WUStL? If you're trying to convince one individual, or one club, to change their minds about CBI, why are you posting on a public board excoriating them, rather than emailing them privately?

-Seth

* as several people have noted, NAQT is in the best position to challenge CBI by reaching out to lots of schools, affiliate with NACA, etc. Actually, I think those sound like great moves for NAQT to make regardless of their effect on CBI, and I hope NAQT goes for it.
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Re: The (Im)Moral Values of CBI

Post by Matt Weiner »

Sorry, this is not the same thing as being too vehement about NAQT's distribution or Charlie Steinhice's editorial capabilities. This is an issue that is larger than quizbowl, and asking everyone to get along is not an option. College Bowl is an immoral organization, whose goal has always been to destroy quizbowl. Their aggression demands an appropriate response.

Gordon, WUSTL, and everyone else needs to stop playing College Bowl.
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Re: The (Im)Moral Values of CBI

Post by setht »

Matt Weiner wrote:Sorry, this is not the same thing as being too vehement about NAQT's distribution or Charlie Steinhice's editorial capabilities. This is an issue that is larger than quizbowl, and asking everyone to get along is not an option. College Bowl is an immoral organization, whose goal has always been to destroy quizbowl. Their aggression demands an appropriate response.

Gordon, WUSTL, and everyone else needs to stop playing College Bowl.
Okay, I think Matt and I and various other people have mostly hashed this out elsewhere, but I guess it bears posting here: people that want to see CBI go away should spend their time working on things like reaching out to schools that don't know about real quizbowl, encouraging NAQT to look into affiliating with NACA, etc. Posting on this board will almost certainly do nothing that CBI cares about, and it may (or may not) be sending uninformed readers the false message that the circuit is full of unpleasant people.

Matt (or anyone else), if I'm mistaken in thinking that we've agreed to abandon the "yell at teams that play CBI" enterprise, feel free to correct me.

-Seth
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Re: The (Im)Moral Values of CBI

Post by Awehrman »

For my part, I'm also a bit frustrated that this thread degenerated in the way that it did, since we are all in basic agreement that we would like to see more schools playing non-CBI quizbowl. It seems that we really just disagree in terms of methodology and degree. I am going to contact NAQT directly about looking into some of these ideas. A NACA affiliation might take some time, but I think that a centralized payment system might be able to be put together by fall '08. I, at least, don't really know what NAQT's strategic vision is, so I'm interested to hear their reactions.
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