EFT Discussion

Old college threads.
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EFT Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:07 pm

Thanks to Matt Weiner, Susan Ferrari, Evan Nagler, Jonathan Magin, Ryan Westbrook, and assorted others for playtesting/improving the questions and for some contributions, and thanks to everyone that showed up to play, at Brown and elsewhere. Feel free to discuss the set, as all mirrors are now complete.

The questions can be found at collegiate.quizbowlpackets.com
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by cdcarter » Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:10 pm

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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by rylltraka » Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:24 pm

I feel the set, or at least what I was exposed to (the first 10 packets) was generally excellent.

The only important complaint I had was about the length of the bonuses: often, they were excessively verbose and further slowed down play, leading to a long day despite a relatively small number of rounds.

Beyond that, there were some minor difficulty swings in the bonuses, which are probably inevitable, but nothing particularly egregrious by my understanding.

My appreciation for a quality set.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:29 pm

Given that I react to pretty much everything with bitterness, my lack of criticism of this set should be enough for everyone!

Seriously, though, there were some things that were absolutely fantastic about EFT, and they totally outweighed my minor gripes, which had to do mostly with transparency and what I thought were possibly misplaced clues (but since I acquire clues in random order, by no means proceeding from least to most obscure or vice versa, it's possible that I can't really talk).

Once I write an essay and learn about the six new nitrogen-based functional groups I learned all about in orgo on Friday, I'll say more. For now--let's just say that I haven't been this pleased with a set ever. Maybe, like, sophomore year HSNCT, before I knew better.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by yoda4554 » Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:37 pm

There was a lot of really good stuff about this tournament. I saw lots of younger players getting tossups, and not just people like Doug and Guy at our site who've probably spent as much time on the game as many top-tier college players, but lots of freshmen from the various programs who are not familiar names already. At the same time, those of us old people had competitive games and were challenged; we got a lot of tossups early, which is as it should be with good players, but there were no more than the expected number of buzzer races in most cases. The tossup selection was not particularly creative, but it was consistently solid and appropriate, at least as far as I can remember.

The minor quibbles, which demonstrate the general goodness of the set because they're most of what I have to whine about:

I'm really glad that people are trying to write substantive music tossups theoretically describing works. You have to be really careful about this, though, because it's hard to translate music into words in a way that is both uniquely-identifying and comprehensible. For instance, on the Leningrad Symphony tossup (and btw, everyone, please write on other Shosty symphonies, because there are a bunch that are as important as and higher quality than this one), the clue "The final movement of this piece is marked allegro non troppo and ends with the woodwinds and violins building to an ambiguous climax" is not only not unique amongst all music, it's not even unique amongst Shostakovich symphonies (in fact, I'd say it fits 5 a lot better than 7). Similarly, the clue-sequence about an orchestral entry that leads to a cymbal crash and the featured instrument's first solo in the Rhapsody in Blue tossup fits many other concerti just as well (Grieg's Piano Concerto, for instance).

Also, while I'm glad people try to generally provide some description of works before naming them, there's not much point if the description is vague. For instance, "he wrote about his views on religion in The Varieties of Religious Experience" is in no way more helpful than "he wrote The Varieties of Religious Experience"; while I'm looking at the Leningrad tossup, I'll note that "its first movement has a notable snare drum accompaniment" can apply to so many works as to be useless.

Here's a difficult point for very good players trying to write a relatively accessible tournament: since you're supposed to get 20s and 30s on bonuses at hard tournaments, your perspective on what constitutes "easy" can get, relativistically, a bit wacky. This is okay on tossups (though it shows up in the difficulty cliffs on things like the Hamlet tossup), but more of a problem for bonuses. For instance, on a bonus you'll try to write an "easy" part, a part that's a bit harder, and then a hard part. The problem is, from the perspective of those of us who have been around for a while, that may seem to describe a bonus which is structured as "name the losing Republican candidates of 1960 and 1964, then something harder" as well as it does "name some works by Don DeLillo" (that's not exactly what is was, but not far); I have a strong suspicion that for your target audience of new players, these difficulty levels are quite different.

In general--I'd like it if people would, for common link tossups or other tossups referring to "sections of this work," allow a lot of leeway and prompting. For instance, in the last round we had someone buzz on "Sinbad the Sailor" off the "Old Man of the Sea" clue in the 1001 Nights and be ruled incorrect, as well as someone buzzing on "London Symphonies" off a clue relating to a London Symphony in the Haydn symphonies tossup and be similarly judged. These were both cases where people clearly knew what they were talking about in re: the clue on which they buzzed. If there could be some broad, qb-wide policy statement on this, that'd be good, I think.

Also, two X-Men tossups in an academic tournament is probably too much, as is three Kurosawa questions in any tournament.

EDIT: I should be more positive, because there was lots of good stuff; it's just harder to talk about stuff with which all goes right. I'll say the Stephen Dedalus tossup was really good, in that it avoided the many stock clues for him (though doesn't he explain his theories in detail to Cranly, not Lynch?) while still being pretty pyramidal, as was that on "The Nose" and a number of other topics that aren't immediately coming to mind.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling » Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:27 pm

yoda4554 wrote:the clue "The final movement of this piece is marked allegro non troppo and ends with the woodwinds and violins building to an ambiguous climax" is not only not unique amongst all music, it's not even unique amongst Shostakovich symphonies (in fact, I'd say it fits 5 a lot better than 7)
Neel thanks this writer for his new environmental health textbook: "ambiguous climax" + "war" + "shostakovich" = 9th symphony => -5 for me = one more on the day than Mr. Dees

Wash U. played packets from the 2007 EFT in practice the couple of weeks before the tournament, and the number of repeat topics in this year's surprised me a little.

Also, there were a couple packets close to the end that forgot to mention James II, and I think that threw us off enough to be blamed for our losses after the rebracketing.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:41 pm

The Golden Trough wrote:Wash U. played packets from the 2007 EFT in practice the couple of weeks before the tournament, and the number of repeat topics in this year's surprised me a little.
You could say the same thing about 2008 MUT. The novice canon isn't gigantic, so generally things will continue to come up.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by ecks » Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:39 pm

**I'd like to note that while I try to be as thorough as possible, I'm a high-novice level player at best, so my knowledge of what are appropriate clues/answers is sometimes lacking; if I'm simply falling into the "I haven't heard of this, so it's hard" fallacy please let me know. Also, I loved this set overall and want to thank Brown for producing some awesome questions.**

In some other threads from EFT mirrors, there have been comments about the inordinate difficulty of some of the PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH. While no one could produce any one example, I think I may have one that seemed to me to be significantly harder than other PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH at the tournament (I just remember thinking this one was a doozy).
Packet 6 wrote:Despite having the really cool gift of a foldable ship called Skidblanir, he had to fight the giant Beli with an antler. FTPE:
[10] Name this Norse god, a member of the Vanir, who gives away an awesome magic sword to marry Gerd and notably had a sister who was part of the Vanir as well.
ANSWER: Freyr
[10] Frey owned this golden boar, forged by Brokk and Eitri to match the gift of Skidbladnir given to Frey by the sons of Ivaldi. It had glow-in-the-dark bristles!
ANSWER: Gullinbursti
[10] At Ragnarok, Frey is defeated by this fire giant, the ruler of Muspelheim.
ANSWER: Surtr
I used two question databases (http://www.gyaankosh.com/ and http://www.carloangiuli.com/acfdb/index.php) to see if and when those answers had come up before. Here's what I came up with:

Frey—came up in bonus of 2008 FICHTE (extra clue of being first to be killed at Ragnarok) and tossup 2001 ACF Nationals ( contained every clue except name of giant killed).
Gullinbursti—PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH of 2008 VCU Open and 2008 FICHTE (all same clues except the one about Ivaldi).
Surt—tossup of 2008 William Gaddis Experiment (mentions all three clues) and bonus of 2008 Penn Bowl (mentions two of the three clues).

The difficulty of the tournaments the answers came up in before are: VCU: CO difficulty; FICHTE: NAQT Nats difficulty; ACF Nats: ACF Nats difficulty; Penn Bowl: “Regular” difficulty; William Gaddis: More difficult than ACF Nats. So it seems like these answers have only come up in tournaments that are, to say the least, much more difficult than "novice" level.

But, like I said, this is just one example from a sea of awesomeness. So yeah.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:38 am

Um. Frey is not a hard answer by any stretch of the imagination and has come up as an answer dozens of times. Examples from less-hard tournaments include 2007 Titanomachy (easy part of a bonus), 2005 ACF Fall (hard part? medium part? something? of a bonus), 2001 DSHIT (tossup), and 2006 Wirt (easy part of a bonus). I'll agree that that bonus overall was a little harder than most, but Frey is certainly not as hard as "FICHTE bonus part/01 ACF Nats tossup" would indicate. Anyway...

The biggest complaint I had about this set was the disproportionate amount of questions on comic books and/or graphic novels. Three or four questions on this same niche area seems a little excessive, even for noted vanity category trash.

That said, if that's the biggest complaint I have, I think it's obvious that I loved the set and had a great time at the tournament. There were some other issues, like a godawful tossup on "P2P applications" that nearly provoked violence, as well as a few awkward factual repeats, but I'm assuming those were ironed out of the final set and, regardless, they didn't have such an effect as to ruin my day.

So yeah, rambling aside, great job guys.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by BuzzerZen » Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:22 am

Ukonvasara wrote:"P2P applications"
Yeah, really, what was this? I sure hope this wasn't classified as computer science.

In general though, great set. I like good questions I can score lots of points on. Yep. I'm the least helpful poster in the history of ever, I'm afraid. I really liked the tossup on "the frontier"; oughta mention that one.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Wall of Ham » Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:35 am

BuzzerZen wrote:I really liked the tossup on "the frontier"; oughta mention that one.
Hey, that question was pretty awesome; our infamous APUSH teacher always talked about Frederick Jackson Turner, and analyzed a lot of US history through his Frontier thesis.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:48 am

BuzzerZen wrote:Yeah, really, what was this? I sure hope this wasn't classified as computer science.
Sure it was.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:59 am

This was a great tournament that all teams could both enjoy and learn from, and more regular-season events should look like this.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Pilgrim » Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:12 am

Things I noticed about this tournament that somewhat annoyed me:

-There were a lot of bonuses that seemed like carbon copies of 2007 EFT bonuses with the hard part switched around. I realize the novice cannon is somewhat small, so repeats are inevitable, but this still seemed like it happened more than it should have.

-As Rob said, comic books/graphic novels being overrepresented

-The amount of common link tossups in the philosophy and social science distributions seemed to be a little excessive. I don't really like these questions because they often seem to devolve into "fill in the blank" in a title you know, as the descriptions are often not enough to get you to buzz. In addition, even when you do know what work the question is going for, it can lead to guessing games about what word is wanted (for example, I knew we were talking about Ayer, but had no idea which of Language, Truth, or Logic was going to be the answer before the others were mentioned).

Things about this tournament that were good:

-Literally everything else. This tournament was really, really good. Thanks to the Brown team for the awesome set.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:27 am

yoda4554 wrote:For instance, on the Leningrad Symphony tossup (and btw, everyone, please write on other Shosty symphonies, because there are a bunch that are as important as and higher quality than this one), the clue "The final movement of this piece is marked allegro non troppo and ends with the woodwinds and violins building to an ambiguous climax" is not only not unique amongst all music, it's not even unique amongst Shostakovich symphonies (in fact, I'd say it fits 5 a lot better than 7).
This may be so, but the first clue about the winds repeating the violin theme and the third movement's original name being Our Country's Wide Spaces would make it unique to Leningrad.
yoda4554 wrote:Similarly, the clue-sequence about an orchestral entry that leads to a cymbal crash and the featured instrument's first solo in the Rhapsody in Blue tossup fits many other concerti just as well (Grieg's Piano Concerto, for instance).
Again, the other clues that come before this one uniquely identify the answer, I think. I'm not a big composition person, but I would think it would be unique by the middle of the question.
yoda4554 wrote:In general--I'd like it if people would, for common link tossups or other tossups referring to "sections of this work," allow a lot of leeway and prompting. For instance, in the last round we had someone buzz on "Sinbad the Sailor" off the "Old Man of the Sea" clue in the 1001 Nights and be ruled incorrect, as well as someone buzzing on "London Symphonies" off a clue relating to a London Symphony in the Haydn symphonies tossup and be similarly judged. These were both cases where people clearly knew what they were talking about in re: the clue on which they buzzed. If there could be some broad, qb-wide policy statement on this, that'd be good, I think.
I'm not sure about the City of Brass thing in the Arabian Nights tossup, but I know story about Yunan and Daban is not in any of the Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor. If the Old Man of the Sea had been mentioned first, a prompt would be completely justified if they buzzed in before it mentioned other stories that aren't in Sinbad's Voyages; however, the fact that the first stories mentioned have nothing to do with Sinbad makes it incorrect. The London Symphonies answer given would also be incorrect, considering that the first two works mentioned are both Paris Symphonies and none of the London Symphonies are even mentioned until the next-to-last sentence.

A big thanks to everyone who contributed to this set, no complaints here.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by yoda4554 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:13 am

AndyShootsAndyScores wrote:
yoda4554 wrote:For instance, on the Leningrad Symphony tossup (and btw, everyone, please write on other Shosty symphonies, because there are a bunch that are as important as and higher quality than this one), the clue "The final movement of this piece is marked allegro non troppo and ends with the woodwinds and violins building to an ambiguous climax" is not only not unique amongst all music, it's not even unique amongst Shostakovich symphonies (in fact, I'd say it fits 5 a lot better than 7).
This may be so, but the first clue about the winds repeating the violin theme and the third movement's original name being Our Country's Wide Spaces would make it unique to Leningrad.
yoda4554 wrote:Similarly, the clue-sequence about an orchestral entry that leads to a cymbal crash and the featured instrument's first solo in the Rhapsody in Blue tossup fits many other concerti just as well (Grieg's Piano Concerto, for instance).
Again, the other clues that come before this one uniquely identify the answer, I think. I'm not a big composition person, but I would think it would be unique by the middle of the question.
yoda4554 wrote:In general--I'd like it if people would, for common link tossups or other tossups referring to "sections of this work," allow a lot of leeway and prompting. For instance, in the last round we had someone buzz on "Sinbad the Sailor" off the "Old Man of the Sea" clue in the 1001 Nights and be ruled incorrect, as well as someone buzzing on "London Symphonies" off a clue relating to a London Symphony in the Haydn symphonies tossup and be similarly judged. These were both cases where people clearly knew what they were talking about in re: the clue on which they buzzed. If there could be some broad, qb-wide policy statement on this, that'd be good, I think.
I'm not sure about the City of Brass thing in the Arabian Nights tossup, but I know story about Yunan and Daban is not in any of the Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor. If the Old Man of the Sea had been mentioned first, a prompt would be completely justified if they buzzed in before it mentioned other stories that aren't in Sinbad's Voyages; however, the fact that the first stories mentioned have nothing to do with Sinbad makes it incorrect. The London Symphonies answer given would also be incorrect, considering that the first two works mentioned are both Paris Symphonies and none of the London Symphonies are even mentioned until the next-to-last sentence.

A big thanks to everyone who contributed to this set, no complaints here.
Here's the problem with this logic. Let's take the Shosty example as the case for the rest. If we get to the clue about the ambiguous climax in the allegro non troppo, that means that no one buzzed on Our Country's Wide Spaces (or the wind/violin thing, but again, that can apply to so many works as to be meaningless), which means that, in all likelihood, no one recognized that clue and will find it unhelpful for anything but a very broad narrowing of answer space (e.g., "this is probably by somebody with a strong sense of nationalism, or at least pretending to such"). Thus if the next clue is so broadly applicable as to require knowledge of the first clue (which we've established no one has) to be buzzable, then it's a pretty useless clue. Furthermore, it's likely to punish knowledge, because someone who is more familiar with one work to which it applies and less so with others might buzz, believing it to be unique (or at least unique enough to want to avoid holding still while someone else capitalizes on a later clue).

Same goes for the others--for instance, if we get to the Old Man of the Sea, we already know no one has recognized Yunan and Daban. From the way the question is phrased, it's eminently conceivable that it's some minor excursion in the Sinbad story, and I see no reason to neg someone because they recognize a middle clue and not the first early lines; in fact, that's what's supposed to happen with middle clues, since, after all, very few people should recognize early clues, even at a tournament like this.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by olsb25 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:39 am

No soccer questions!!!

But seriously, even though we had to leave early (long story, but basically I had to drive the whole way to and from), and we did not play as well as we would have liked, great set and tournament. This was definitely the best set I have played on so far in college, and you guys got the difficulty just right.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by kactigger » Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:22 pm

What Dave Letzler is complaining about is sloppy thinking leading to sloppy writing in music questions, particularly when written by people who don't know anything about music.
first clue about the winds repeating the violin theme and the third movement's original name being Our Country's Wide Spaces would make it unique to Leningrad.
This is the sort of sloppy writing that is annoying- it says two clues are unique to Leningrad- the original name of the third movement (no doubt true, but one could be a veteran concert-goer and never heard that clue) but the first clue "the wind repeating the violin theme" is unqiue to lots of works of music- in other words, an irrelevant clue, really at any point in any conceivable music tossup.
There are two conceivable problems with the "wind repeating the violin theme" comment- either a very sloppy piece of writing and thinking in a post (hardly an original sin) or that someone really thinks that phrase is useful in a music question, not just as a leadin, but anywhere in it. Its not.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:51 pm

This was a great tournament for a collegiate novice like me. I thought overall the difficulty was of a reasonable level. Thanks to those in charge of putting it on.

As a dork, I appreciated the comic book questions, even though two X-Men questions, I admit, are pushing it. How about a question on Obadiah Stane?
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:00 pm

kactigger wrote:What Dave Letzler is complaining about is sloppy thinking leading to sloppy writing in music questions, particularly when written by people who don't know anything about music.
Okay, so prove it. Use your purported neat thinking through purported superior musical knowledge to write a tossup on the "Leningrad" Symphony that uses musical clues and doesn't have the issues this one purportedly has, or I call bullshit on you.

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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat » Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:14 pm

I thought that this was a very good set, and it was a lot of fun to play on. A couple things I noticed:
1) I think there was only one geography tossup in the 11 rounds we heard: the one on Madagascar. I would have liked to hear somewhere close to a typical ACF distribution, which I think is 1/24 tossups.
2) I know it has been said, but there seemed to be an especially large number of common link TUs. They generally seemed to be on fine topics, but I would have preferred not to have more than one in a round.

3) A couple of the mods at the Vandy site thought there was excessive use of the word "titular." I'm not sure why, and I thought there was nothing strange about it, but I figured it should be mentioned.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:16 pm

squareroot165 wrote: 3) A couple of the mods at the Vandy site thought there was excessive use of the word "titular." I'm not sure why, and I thought there was nothing strange about it, but I figured it should be mentioned.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat » Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:18 pm

Whig's Boson wrote:
squareroot165 wrote: 3) A couple of the mods at the Vandy site thought there was excessive use of the word "titular." I'm not sure why, and I thought there was nothing strange about it, but I figured it should be mentioned.
Welcome to quizbowl.
That was pretty much my thought.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by BuzzerZen » Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:19 pm

Whig's Boson wrote:
squareroot165 wrote: 3) A couple of the mods at the Vandy site thought there was excessive use of the word "titular." I'm not sure why, and I thought there was nothing strange about it, but I figured it should be mentioned.
Welcome to the polity of quizbowl.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by pray for elves » Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:40 pm

Next thing you know, people will be claiming that "eponymous" is overused in quizbowl, too.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:01 pm

Words mean things, question writers use those words to mean those things, people should stop getting so excited about unfamiliar words. Yes?
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:01 pm

I'm glad the EFT discussion has gotten underway. Like Eric said, thanks to everyone who helped playtest the questions, and thanks to Jonathan Magin for providing some much-needed writing help at literally the 11th hour. I'm glad that people seem to have enjoyed this latest edition of EFT, and I want to comment on various parts of the set and give my own opinions of it, which, while not intended to prejudice other people's reviews, may help explain some of the aspects of this tournament.

First of all, in my opinion this was a pretty good set with some minor flaws. One obvious problem was the 5 or 6 repeats that plagued the October 4 mirrors and the problems with grammar. This was due to the fact that we didn't have time to do a final read-through (although we did do one the week before), and that was obviously a problem, so my apologies for that. Those issues were fixed for the October 11 mirrors, but they shouldn't have been a problem in the first place. The second problem is that some of the bonuses for the October 4 mirrors ended up being a lot harder than we had intended, so we had to make a couple of changes there as well. There were definitely a few instances in one of my packets where the bonuses were just too hard for the field.

With that in mind, I'd like to engage in some meta-commentary in order to give context to certain editing decisions.
rylltraka wrote:The only important complaint I had was about the length of the bonuses: often, they were excessively verbose and further slowed down play, leading to a long day despite a relatively small number of rounds.
I'm trying to understand what exactly was "excessively verbose" about these bonuses. Almost no bonus went over 2 lines per part, which is par for the course in virtually every tournament. If it's plausible to suppose that each bonus took about 5 seconds longer to read because of the length (relative to what, exactly?), it looks like the time to read a round would be extended by about 2 minutes. Over the course of the whole day this is maybe half an hour that could be attributed to question length, though frankly I'm pretty skeptical that even this much time is actually eaten up by reading these supposedly long bonus parts. I'm also frankly puzzled by the remark about the "relatively small number of rounds." There were 14 rounds in this set, which, while not nearly as impressive as Chicago Open's 19 rounds this year, is in no way "relatively small," at least if a typical tournament is being used as a benchmark.

The more important thing to note here is that bonus parts and leadins have a purpose beyond just getting you to answer them and score points. They have a didactic purpose as well, which increases their length. For example, a leadin/first bonus part that reads
Answer some questions about an American author, for ten points each.
[10] Identify this author of Moby Dick
is certainly short, but it teaches you nothing at all about Melville that the typical high school student doesn't know. However, a part that reads,
Among his non-fiction works is an account of a trip to the Galapagos Islands entitled The Encantadas, and he wrote of the title character's exploits on a Mississippi steamboat in The Confidence Man. For ten points each:
[10] Identify this author, perhaps better known for his short novella about a "foretopman," Billy Budd.
is infinitely more useful for learning something about the works of Melville. In particular, it mentions two works which are not typically well known to people whose only Melville background comes from the high school canon and hopefully encourages you to seek them out (if you like Melville). Note that there are any number of clues that could go into the leadin, including critical clues, clues about the appearance of Melville in other works of literature, and so on. All of this is designed to teach you something about the subject at hand, and of course telling you that this guy is the author of Billy Budd also enables those who don't know The Confidence Man to answer the question at the end. The point being, none of this is just filler inserted because we love typing. This actually ties in to some remarks I have about listening to questions and how you ought to do so, which I'll make further down.

On the subject of music tossups, I can't really provide any specific insight as I know next to nothing about music. I only hope that at a tournament clearly designed for novice players no one is buzzing and giving Grieg's Piano Concerto as an answer. In general, I'm not sure what to think about writing a tossup describing a piece of music, as I understand the ambiguity that can creep into the question in those situations. I like Jonathan's suggestion of writing about concrete bases of works and specific orchestrations and such things.
yoda4554 wrote:Here's a difficult point for very good players trying to write a relatively accessible tournament: since you're supposed to get 20s and 30s on bonuses at hard tournaments, your perspective on what constitutes "easy" can get, relativistically, a bit wacky. This is okay on tossups (though it shows up in the difficulty cliffs on things like the Hamlet tossup), but more of a problem for bonuses. For instance, on a bonus you'll try to write an "easy" part, a part that's a bit harder, and then a hard part. The problem is, from the perspective of those of us who have been around for a while, that may seem to describe a bonus which is structured as "name the losing Republican candidates of 1960 and 1964, then something harder" as well as it does "name some works by Don DeLillo" (that's not exactly what is was, but not far); I have a strong suspicion that for your target audience of new players, these difficulty levels are quite different.
I'm trying to figure out what this means. If you're an experienced player and you're playing in a tournament that doesn't stray from the novice canon, wouldn't every bonus sound like "something easy, something easy, something a little harder?" With that DeLillo bonus, for example, Libra was obviously the hard part, although a clue was provided that was intended to help people get that part, but I would think both DeLillo and White Noise are both sufficiently well known that a middling team could get 20 on that bonus and most others could get 10.
yoda4554 wrote:In general--I'd like it if people would, for common link tossups or other tossups referring to "sections of this work," allow a lot of leeway and prompting. For instance, in the last round we had someone buzz on "Sinbad the Sailor" off the "Old Man of the Sea" clue in the 1001 Nights and be ruled incorrect, as well as someone buzzing on "London Symphonies" off a clue relating to a London Symphony in the Haydn symphonies tossup and be similarly judged. These were both cases where people clearly knew what they were talking about in re: the clue on which they buzzed. If there could be some broad, qb-wide policy statement on this, that'd be good, I think.
I have to strongly disagree with this. If the question is asking for "1001 Arabian Nights" and you buzz on the Sinbad clue (which came at the end of the tossup) and say "Sinbad" you will be negged and you should not be prompted, and likewise on the symphonies of Haydn. I view this the same way that I would view someone buzzing in on Dubliners and giving Two Sisters as an answer on a clue about that story. In fact, I would find a tossup on Sinbad the work rather than the character to be somewhat confusing, since, as a folk tale, it does not really have a canonical title. But more importantly, it doesn't make sense to prompt on a more specific answer than what is being sought, whereas it makes perfect sense to prompt on a more general one. That is, since "1001 Arabian Nights," is a strict superset of "stories about Sinbad," most things that are true of "Nights," (e.g. clues of the variety, "In one section of this work this happens, in another section that happens.") will be true of Sinbad as well. If we wanted to ask about Sinbad, the reasonable thing to do would be to either ask about the character or to mention at the outset that it is a subset of a larger work.

Moreover, I find the premise articulated in a later post by Dave that if we got to clue number n that means no one knows the answer on clue number n-1 to be incorrect; indeed, anyone listening to the question in this way is making a mistake in their approach to the tossup. First of all, it may well be the case that someone recognizes clue n-1 but cannot place it immediately; this happens to me all the time. Second, it should not be assumed that because a question was not answered on clue n that this clue does not help the listener. For example, if I were reading you a tossup on some battle that mentioned Stonewall Jackson and you buzzed on a clue which might have also identified a European battle (say, the maneuvers were identical, or it was fought near an identically named town; this is a hypothetical) and gave that as an answer that would be a dumb thing to do regardless of whether or not the clue you buzzed on was correct. In other words, even if you don't know the previous clues, they nevertheless establish a context for what the answer is going to be like. In the case of "1001 Nights," you know that what is being sought is a work with a definite title which contains many sections which tell various stories. It's possible to stretch one's imagination to have this description include the stories about Sinbad (though certainly not to include Dubliners) but, it's a much more tenuous connection than "1001 Nights." Anyone who knows anything at all about Sinbad knows that it's a subset of that collection, so even if you think the answer is "Sinbad," you should still say "1001 Nights," given the words that were used to describe the desired answer.

This is what I mean when I say you should be listening to the question attentively; if you reflex-buzz, you will be right some of the time, but if you think while listening to the question and narrow down the possibilities based on other things you know, you will be right much more often. Andrew Yaphe once outlined this process very well in one of his posts, which you would all do well to consult for an explanation of how to reason during a tossup. I don't think it's asking too much for people to be cognizant of the words being used to describe the answer while the tossup is being read and to pick the answer that best suits that description.

This partially ties in with my response to Trevor:
Pilgrim wrote:The amount of common link tossups in the philosophy and social science distributions seemed to be a little excessive. I don't really like these questions because they often seem to devolve into "fill in the blank" in a title you know, as the descriptions are often not enough to get you to buzz. In addition, even when you do know what work the question is going for, it can lead to guessing games about what word is wanted (for example, I knew we were talking about Ayer, but had no idea which of Language, Truth, or Logic was going to be the answer before the others were mentioned).
One thing that's important to recognize is that the philosophy and social science canon at this level is actually quite small. Since I'm bored to death by tossups about Heraclitus and very few people are going to be answering tossups on The City in History, the common link tossups are a good middle ground that introduces new material while remaining answerable. I get the "fill-in-the-blankness" feel of some of these questions, but it should be obvious that if we're going for a definite answer, the best way to identify this answer is to link it to a title (though, for example, the "language" tossup used Wittgenstein's discussion of private languages in a later clue). That way, there is no ambiguity about what is being sought. In so far as anyone figured out the Ayers title but didn't know which of the three things to pick, if you had been listening to the question, it would have been pretty easy to discount "truth" as a possible answer (since the title "Truth of Thought" seems like a pretty unlikely book name). You can also rule out "logic" since the previous clue is about Mill's A System of Logic which is explicitly mentioned. If you have enough knowledge to identify the Ayers work from description and you've been listening to the tossup carefully, you'll know to buzz there and say "language."
squareroot165 wrote:1) I think there was only one geography tossup in the 11 rounds we heard: the one on Madagascar. I would have liked to hear somewhere close to a typical ACF distribution, which I think is 1/24 tossups.
2) I know it has been said, but there seemed to be an especially large number of common link TUs. They generally seemed to be on fine topics, but I would have preferred not to have more than one in a round.
3) A couple of the mods at the Vandy site thought there was excessive use of the word "titular." I'm not sure why, and I thought there was nothing strange about it, but I figured it should be mentioned.
Regarding point 1, I'm sorry about that; we had budgeted 1/1 geography per round, but somehow it seemed to all get eaten up by trash. There should have probably been a few more geography tossups here and there (I take it you did not hear my "Bishkek" question). About point 2, I've explained the rationale for common-link tossups; I see no reason to have a quota for how many to have per round. Point 3... well, like others have said, welcome to quizbowl.
Ukonvasara wrote:There were some other issues, like a godawful tossup on "P2P applications" that nearly provoked violence,
I'm curious about this: is it the tossup itself or the answer choice that got people riled up? Because I'll be the first to admit that it was by no means the Platonic ideal of tossups on "P2P applications" but I will defend the answer choice since it's a legitimate thing that people in computer science actually work on. I can provide a cite to the source I used for the question if you doubt that assertion. Anyway, I'll agree that it wasn't a very good question which is too bad since I think it's an interesting topic.

Ok, that's a lot of words and I want to just emphasize that the point behind all of them is to explain why certain editing choices were made and not others, and not at all to criticize the critics, as it were. All feedback is welcome and useful and again, I'm glad that people enjoyed the questions.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:20 pm

I had no problem with the level of geography; while I'm no avid student of the subject and suck at it, it's fun to listen to and think about (Kyle has converted me a little, I suppose) but there was a fun tossup on South Africa that you're not remembering, Trevor. Probably other stuff; I can't remember.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by kactigger » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:28 pm

Okay, so prove it. Use your purported neat thinking through purported superior musical knowledge to write a tossup on the "Leningrad" Symphony that uses musical clues and doesn't have the issues this one purportedly has, or I call bullshit on you.

MaS
The only point I was making was that "the winds repeating the violin theme" is a useless clue, but this is a relevant question, so I got out a reference book and a copy of the score. There are various musical references- to the Merry Widow, Deutschland uber alles, and Lady Macbeth. The march based on the Merry Widow is played twelve times (according to the reference book- I only count ten in the score). Those are good musical references. Now my "purported superior musical knowledge" with regard to the question was used solely for the idea that "the winds repeating the violin theme" is a useless clue, as it helps me to remember other examples of the same thing- hell, yesterday in the Met HD broadcast of Salome there was an example of that. My point is that a clue like that is never useful, even if there has been previously unique info, because its so common. Its like having a Tom Brady question saying, this guy wears a helmet and has touched a live ball during a regular season game during the last ten years, and saying that's unique.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:29 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
Ukonvasara wrote:There were some other issues, like a godawful tossup on "P2P applications" that nearly provoked violence,
I'm curious about this: is it the tossup itself or the answer choice that got people riled up? Because I'll be the first to admit that it was by no means the Platonic ideal of tossups on "P2P applications" but I will defend the answer choice since it's a legitimate thing that people in computer science actually work on. I can provide a cite to the source I used for the question if you doubt that assertion. Anyway, I'll agree that it wasn't a very good question which is too bad since I think it's an interesting topic.
I definitely support the assertion that P2P applications are an important thing in computer science, and could be a fine answer, but the execution of the tossup was definitely subpar, as you agreed. It seemed that if one didn't have first-hand experience working with P2P systems, the tossup was a vague description of some type of application and then fell facefirst off a cliff when it started listing stuff like eDonkey and Kazaa.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:29 pm

The set was a delight to play, but it really did feel at times more like a regular difficulty tournament, with stuff like "amu shinrikio", "marcel mauss", and the meyerbeer bonus.

There were also some critical things passed over at the oct 4 site which aren't an issue anymore (furies not being in the answer line for "erinyes"), but that should be avoided in the future.

I loved all the japan stuff in the tournament, but did think that it was getting a bit excessive.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:42 pm

grapesmoker wrote:On the subject of music tossups, I can't really provide any specific insight as I know next to nothing about music. I only hope that at a tournament clearly designed for novice players no one is buzzing and giving Grieg's Piano Concerto as an answer. In general, I'm not sure what to think about writing a tossup describing a piece of music, as I understand the ambiguity that can creep into the question in those situations. I like Jonathan's suggestion of writing about concrete bases of works and specific orchestrations and such things.
You may be right when it comes to the Grieg Piano Concerto not being generally in the novice quizbowl canon, but in the classical world it's really well known (probably top-5 among piano concertos). I wouldn't hesitate to buzz with that answer in any level college tournament if I thought it was right.

(EDIT: Continuing the subject of music question difficulty, Auroni is right about Meyerbeer not being a good novice subject IMHO. He's historically important, but just about nobody ever listens to his work anymore.)

As for getting actual musical details into tossups, I'm all for an increased focus on the music itself. But it is really hard to translate auditory details into words, which means that there are a lot of works that don't have realistically buzzable descriptions of themes or details, and trying to include descriptions is just a waste of typing. A couple possible ideas: a) find subjects that actually have really unique bits (difficult but it can be done), b) write common-link tossups on the detail/theme itself that uses clues from many different pieces. We don't need to exclusively write questions whose answers are works or composers (I'm not saying we do, of course).

I also wonder if, with the advent of tournaments that read off of laptops instead of printing packets, it might be feasible or desirable to try including the occasional auditory bonus. (e.g. "Name the symphony from these five-second clips of their main theme", or somesuch) What do people think?
Last edited by Theory Of The Leisure Flask on Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:45 pm

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:I also wonder if, with the advent of tournaments that read off of laptops instead of printing packets, it might be feasible or desirable to try including the occasional auditory bonus. (e.g. "Name the symphony from these five-second clips of their main theme", or somesuch) What do people think?
There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but in my experience people have tended to throw proper difficulty structure out the window when writing such questions. If there was a concerted effort made to make sure the scoring distribution on audio bonuses was the same as on ordinary bonuses (in addition, of course, to avoiding technical difficulties) then sure, they have an occasional place at non-institutional tournaments.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:47 pm

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:I also wonder if, with the advent of tournaments that read off of laptops instead of printing packets, it might be feasible or desirable to try including the occasional auditory bonus. (e.g. "Name the symphony from these five-second clips of their main theme", or somesuch) What do people think?
I would be wary of doing this since it requires the use of a laptop, which may not be always possible.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:48 pm

Laptop speakers also have a tendency to not be very good.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:10 pm

kactigger wrote:The only point I was making was that "the winds repeating the violin theme" is a useless clue, but this is a relevant question, so I got out a reference book and a copy of the score. There are various musical references- to the Merry Widow, Deutschland uber alles, and Lady Macbeth. The march based on the Merry Widow is played twelve times (according to the reference book- I only count ten in the score). Those are good musical references.
I think these are all good suggestions. The main obstacle is having such a reference work available, which I do not, but I'll try to track one down.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:58 pm

Looks like Jerry has answered everything else, so:
jpn wrote:I loved all the japan stuff in the tournament, but did think that it was getting a bit excessive.
This issue was actually ironed out during the second edit. What ended up happening, I think, is that the Asian content was not evenly distributed between packets, so it would spike here and there. Hopefully this addressed the problem.

RE: The comic books issue. I'll freely admit that one was my fault; what ended up happening is that at 3AM we needed 1/1 trash for the finals, so I ended up writing one Marvel and one DC bonus, simply because they were easiest for me to write; you'll notice that in the prelims, there was only 1/0 comics throughout. This brought the grand total to 2/2 (because of the aforementioned tossup by me and one bonus by Aaron). I've definitely seen tournaments with 2/1 videogames over 14 or so packets - is that more acceptable simply because comic books are more of a niche subject?
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:14 pm

You miss the point, my unsigned friend. I don't think anyone's asserting that repetition of a violin theme by strings is an unique clue; I certainly am not. What I am asserting is that its non-uniqueness doesn't make it useless - I charge that you're implicitly positing a false dichotomy between "uniquely identifying clues" and "useless clues."
I further assert that there are no (or very nearly no) uniquely identifying musical clues that are also not trivial. To take up your example, the "Leningrad" Symphony's quotation of other works could be said to be trivial (or not musical per se.) If you agree with me here, you must acknowledge that there's a trade-off between musical clues per se and uniquely identifying clues. If you disagree, I continue to challenge you to come up with even one useful, uniquely identifying clue about the music itself of the "Leningrad" Symphony.
I believe that musical clues, though almost never properly uniquely identifying, are still useful. I understand that it's important to try to limit the number of works a clue applies to (so it's not like "The score for this work uses violins" that applies to, like, tens of thousands of works.) However, a clue that a knowledgible person can use to narrow a question down to one of a few answers has precisely that use. If it is properly placed (like, not as the lead-in, for example,) I see nothing wrong with it.

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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by alkrav112 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:20 pm

Our teams noted a distinct excess of what we called "typical guy trash." I know that's probably a sexist designation, but I don't mean to say that girls didn't get a lot of these questions (one of our girls got "The Wire," and another 30ed a video games bonus by herself); rather, I mean that these questions were in areas which are typically associated with guys. Comics and video games made up the excess of the tournament's TRASH distro, with one sports bonus (men's tennis, which I will be the first to admit was my favorite bonus of the day), a TV tossup on "The Wire" (police drama), TV bonus on "24" (FBI/police drama). The only two TRASH questions that I thought did not fall exclusively into "guy trash" were the Pride and Prejudice bonus and the Clark Gable TU (which I have to say was a little transparent after his only Oscar-winning performance came up in the first line). I haven't had a chance to examine the entire set yet, though.

That aside, I really enjoyed playing this tournament for the first time. Thanks to everyone who made this happen.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:20 pm

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:(EDIT: Continuing the subject of music question difficulty, Auroni is right about Meyerbeer not being a good novice subject IMHO. He's historically important, but just about nobody ever listens to his work anymore.)
I do. Also, it's on the radio not infrequently where I live.
Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:... write common-link tossups on the detail/theme itself that uses clues from many different pieces.
I appreciate this idea, but I don't think it's a very practicable one. I can't really think of any themes that would make good tossups at any level.

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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:24 pm

Trash in academic tournament written by guys allegedly skewed towards stuff guys are interested in! Story at 11.

MaS

PS: This is meant to be a way of making the point (for the nth time) that beefing on the subdistribution of the trash distribution at an academic tournament isn't going to lead anywhere good with some levity.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:27 pm

alkrav112 wrote:the tournament's TRASH distro
The only two TRASH questions
I don't believe TRASH had anything to do with this set, as they are presumably busy working on their Regionals questions for next month.

I guess I can see where the stereotype of geek trash as "male" comes from, even if I question its accuracy. I'm not sure why the TV shows you listed would be gender-biased, nor am I clear on what sort of "female trash" should be written to replace those questions, if I grant your premise that this is a problem.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:38 pm

Well, there was that bonus about CW dramas...is that "girl trash"?
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:50 pm

alkrav112 wrote:Clark Gable TU (which I have to say was a little transparent after his only Oscar-winning performance came up in the first line)
That question also had wrong information. It said Clark Gable won an Oscar for Mutiny on the Bounty when he was only nominated.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by alkrav112 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:52 pm

First of all, my bad on the TRASH/pop culture distinction.

In response to Sorice, obviously pop culture questions don't have MUCH of an effect on an academic tournament, but as long as they continue to be a part of an academic packet, I think it's valid to criticize how they are distributed tournament-wide as much as someone else who criticizes an over-emphasis on a certain country's or time period's literature, or on a certain era of history, etc. In hindsight, the gendered term was a misnomer especially with regard to the TV shows, but our team, expecting pop culture questions other than geek trash, found the emphasis on such questions frustrating. As long as geek trash is seen as socially "male," I think there should at least be a sprinkling of "popular among girls" trash to balance it (to address Matt's concerns, for every "stoner comedy that comes up like "Pineapple Express" or "Harold and Kumar," there should be a "Sex and the City: The Movie" or "Mamma Mia!," which were equally successful at the box office, and probably more widely influential.) People shouldn't be afraid to put things like Bravo/Food Network programming or boy bands under the pop culture banner. These things are culturally important.

I understand that, for a tournament that has, ostensibly, a 12/12 pop culture distribution, balance is nearly impossible to achieve. And, as long as quiz bowl is a primarily male activity, the pop culture distribution will be written to reflect/cater to that crowd. But I think that as quiz bowl begins to achieve gender parity, pop culture questions should/will begin to reflect topics that are typically more relevant to women.

That said, (a) of course these are minor critiques of a vastly unimportant question type, but they come with the territory of a beautifully-written tournament, (b) all of the geek trash questions were written very well, and (c) the tournament was a great success due in large part to those questions. I just feel that the pop culture questions within a tournament, despite their minimal effect on the final outcome of a game, should be examined with regard to distribution just as, say, philosophy or geography, which presumably have the same mathematical outcome.

Also, I just saw Cheynem's comment. We did not hear that question, but I believe that would ostensibly be "girl trash." And, in response to Andy, the question in our room only got to "It Happened One Night," which was his real Oscar-winning performance. I was not aware of that wrong information, but I still liked the question.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:14 pm

Captain Scipio wrote:I further assert that there are no (or very nearly no) uniquely identifying musical clues that are also not trivial. To take up your example, the "Leningrad" Symphony's quotation of other works could be said to be trivial (or not musical per se.) If you agree with me here, you must acknowledge that there's a trade-off between musical clues per se and uniquely identifying clues. If you disagree, I continue to challenge you to come up with even one useful, uniquely identifying clue about the music itself of the "Leningrad" Symphony.
I'm not going to dispute that no such clues exist for the "Leningrad" symphony, and I'll agree that many pieces don't have them, but there are musical clues that aren't trivial, and for all practical purposes uniquely identifying. A couple relatively easy examples off the top of my head:

"second movement consists of only two chords which make a false cadence" = Brandenburg Concerto #3
"coda modulates from C Major to E Major and features trombone glissandi" = Bolero
"two major triads a tritone apart" = Petroushka
Captain Scipio wrote:I can't really think of any themes that would make good tossups at any level.
Technically it's also a separate piece, but what about the Dies Irae? Or tossups where the answer is an instrument, or an effect, or a musical form. I agree that it would be impossible to write a TU on something like "secondary theme".
Last edited by Theory Of The Leisure Flask on Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by dschafer » Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:20 pm

Thanks to the writers / editors / anyone else involved with the creation of this set. This was easily one of the most enjoyable sets I've ever played on.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:21 pm

alkrav112 wrote:to address Matt's concerns, for every "stoner comedy that comes up like "Pineapple Express" or "Harold and Kumar," there should be a "Sex and the City: The Movie" or "Mamma Mia!," which were equally successful at the box office, and probably more widely influential.
I have not seen any of these movies, but considering only these film versions (i.e. not counting previous incarnations of Sex and the City and Mamma Mia!), I would say that Harold and Kumar is the most influential, but maybe that's just because it has the advantage of being a few years old (oh no, not another discussion on influence and importance based on how old a movie/book/song/thing is).

Anyway, there should be a good variation of trash topics (as with the other academic categories), but there should be no active attempt to designate a certain amount of questions as "girl" topics or whatever. I am female, and I'd say that most of the trash questions I have written/plan to write wouldn't be considered "girly". Not that I'd refuse to, say, write a bonus set on cosmetic companies, but I see no need to tell question writers what exactly to write about when it comes to trash.

fsb, who just discussed the influence of really trashy movies, good lord

Edit: Also, anything about a high-register bassoon solo introduction has to be The Rite of Spring.
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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:34 pm

Damnit, sleeping dog? Will I never learn to let you lie?!

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Re: EFT Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:40 pm

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:"second movement consists of only two chords which make a false cadence" = Brandenburg Concerto #3
"coda modulates from C Major to E Major and features trombone glissandi" = Bolero
"two major triads a tritone apart" = Petroushka
I would just question how sure you are that these are, in fact, uniquely identifying. For example, this article (WARNING: may be complete lies) claims that at least a couple major works employ the device you claim is unique to Petroushka.

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