2009 ICT discussion

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2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:21 pm

According to R., there will be a British tournament using this set, so if by some bizarre chance anyone at Oxford is reading this, please stop here.

For those of us on this side of the Atlantic, please feel free to share general or specific comments on the questions used at this tournament. Text of any individual question available on request; the distribution is that posted on naqt.com.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:36 pm

Just because it is literally the last question I listened to at all, I should point out that there should never be a common link tossup (or, that is, a question phrased like a common link) on "plays by Dryden." There is literally only one difference between that tossup and a Dryden tossup: the fact that all the clues are plays. And if you're buzzing on any of the clues, you almost inevitably know that it's a play, so it means nothing. And the common link phrasing "one of these plays" implies (at least to most players) that this is a nontrivial group of plays, i.e. that the grouping can't be asked about in any clearer way ("One novel by this author"). I won't pretend to know more about Dryden than Minnesota or Kyle, Ted, and Dallas, but I'm pretty sure I would have buzzed before Ted did if I knew what was going on, and I'm sure Minnesota (and Kyle, Ted, and Dallas, besides) feel the same way.

This is a problem when that question determined the undergraduate champion and it's still unclear who of those people might have gotten the tossup first had a very simple change been made.

More later, probably. Overall, I do want to thank Matt Keller for some great work on the biology and chemistry, whoever wrote that tossup on Chihuly for having done so, and some other stuff too.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Paul150 » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:20 pm

I'd have to say that in my mostly sitting on the side watching my team play, I didn't notice anything extremely bad question-wise at the tournament. I agree with some of my teammates that literature questions were too list-based; instead of rewarding in-depth knowledge about a work, the lit questions seemed to focus more on memorizing lists of works for an author. Other than that, the only big issue was the location/food situation (which was a much bigger deal than any of the question situations I noticed) for teams staying in the Hyatt who weren't able to rent a car.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:40 pm

Well, first let me say independently of location and any specific questions, thanks to NAQT for running a smooth event. It was also a real thrill to meet some people I had always wanted to, like Dan Passner, Mik Larsen, and George Berry.

As for the actual rounds, a lot of it is a blur. It's unfortunate that the UG title was decided on the "plays by Dryden" tossup. I would really need to look at that tossup again to get the specific wording down.

Some things I remember/think:

*A lot of these concept tossups seem to turn into fill in the blank with "Some Guy wrote a work called Civilization and this, while Some Dude wrote a work called The Making of this." I'm not a fan of this style of writing.

*In terms of sports tossups, while I still think they pop up too much, I thought they were scattered among the major sports enough, so that the troublesome hockey/soccer/whatever stuff didn't come up enough to annoy me.

*Goofy Stuff I Was Glad (?) to See Come Up: Allen Drury, Boss Tom Prendergast, Marie Roget, Tom Hayden

*The Panic of 1837 tossup was awful, saying "pet banks" in the lead-in. I should have buzzed in right away, but I didn't know if the wording was some goofy way of talking about the Specie Circular.

*There were a couple times I thought the answer lines were a little picky or should have allowed for more prompting. Obviously this affected our A team, but in the rounds we played, not allowing "Hap" for "Happy" for Willy Loman's son was not good.

*Some of my favorite powers: Spaceship Earth, The Dunder Mifflin Party Planning Committee, and Drew Gilpin Faust. Ha ha, a book I read in class (This Republic of Suffering) getting me fifteeeeeen.

*Worst Neg: "January's People" for "July's People." Well, either that or "psychologist" for "psychiatrist."
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:06 am

Cheynem wrote:It's unfortunate that the UG title was decided on the "plays by Dryden" tossup. I would really need to look at that tossup again to get the specific wording down.
packet 17 wrote:One of them features Isabinda and Captain Gabriel Towerson, and depicts the "cruelties of the Dutch to the English merchants." In addition to Amboina, another of them depicts Mr. Limberham, or the "kind keeper," while Don Sebastian, Almanzor, and Almahide appear in the titles of others. They include an adaptation of Paradise Lost called The (*) State of Innocence, and Aurengzebe. For 10 points--name this group of works that includes a version of Antony and Cleopatra called All for Love.

answer: _plays_ of John _Dryden_ (accept the _tragedies_ of John _Dryden_ or equivalents; prompt on the _works of Dryden_ or equivalents; do not accept _poems of Dryden_)
The Pendergast and Drew Gilpin Faust tossups were mine, so I'm glad you enjoyed (or perhaps just enjoyed (?)) them.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:16 am

Well, that does clear up the notion that the tossup actually used the word "plays."

I did enjoy the Drew Gilpin Faust tossup and I enjoyed (?) Boss Prendergast.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:21 am

I'd be curious to see the conversion rates of the Pendergast tossup. That strikes me as very hard.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:25 am

It comes up all the time as a clue, so I thought I could get away with it at ICT level. Or at the very least, it survived while a bunch of other stuff I wrote was getting kicked out or rewritten for excessive difficulty...
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:33 am

I admit I don't know anything about Prendergast's specific history, but I think it's at somewhat well known that he worked with Truman and was the political boss of Kansas City. I mean, I too have heard Prendergast used as a bonus part in political bosses bonuses several times. I just put the (?) because I couldn't tell if I enjoyed being confused out of my mind for several lines before the ending. That doesn't mean it's a bad tossup.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Paul150 » Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:50 am

Another tossup that was irritating was the extinction tossup. It had several clues that pointed in one direction (I believe in the context of psychology), and the last line was something along the lines of "...this is FTP what term that also describes a species that has been wiped out" and resulted in a buzzer race that rewarded knowledge not relevant to what the tossup was originally asking. Would it be possible to see the original wording of the question?

And again, it seemed like overall the questions were better in respect to fewer bad lead-ins (Panic of 1837 notwithstanding) and fewer buzzer racing clues at the giveaway that had no relevance to the original intent of the question.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:53 am

Paul150 wrote:Another tossup that was irritating was the extinction tossup. It had several clues that pointed in one direction (I believe in the context of psychology), and the last line was something along the lines of "...this is FTP what term that also describes a species that has been wiped out" and resulted in a buzzer race that rewarded knowledge not relevant to what the tossup was originally asking. Would it be possible to see the original wording of the question?
packet 6 wrote:It can be estimated along the line-of-sight to stars of known absolute magnitude and distance. The color excess, or reddening, is defined as the difference between its values in two magnitude bands. It falls off with wavelength as its causative agents do not effectively absorb (*) infrared light. For 10 points--identify this quantity, denoted capital A sub lambda, that measures dimming of starlight by interstellar dust and is the namesake of the ecological term for the disappearance of species.
Last edited by Important Bird Area on Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:01 am

That extinction question seems pretty hard. The first clue doesn't seem uniquely identifying and in general, I think few people would get that before the "species" clue. Also, a general comment on science questions: very often clues that talk about what symbol denotes a thing aren't all that useful, since notations differ, especially among physicists.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by cchiego » Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:14 pm

Logistics:
The hotel idea was fine in theory; everything is super-close and right next to the airport. In practice, we were essentially abandoned to the hotel's monopoly on food, which got really old after the first time forking over $2 for a coke and $5 for a very small muffin. I would much rather play at a rented-out Econolodge close to some basic fast-food than a glitzy hotel where bottled water retails for $4. In the future, I'd prefer cities with good mass transit systems (i.e. St. Louis or Chicago) even if the tournament's held at a hotel simply because it vastly increases the number of options that teams have for lodging and eating.

Format:
I'll echo what Chris R. said in another thread: why were 3 teams in the same initial bracket at the last ICT in the same initial bracket this year? Also, I feel bad for the teams from Penn's bracket who had to get up super-early to play extra games. Travel disasters happen, and I'd rather err on the side of letting a larger number of teams play a normal schedule than setting up a host of special accommodations (on the other hand, if a disaster affected a large school with many teams at the tournament like Chicago then I can see the argument for letting the team arrive). It's a tough call, but in light of the frequency of travel issues I'd like to see something in writing next time as a policy.

Questions:
Overall, pretty good. Some bonuses definitely seemed to be harder than others, which always seems to happen but in this case there seemed to be a good number of insanely difficult bonuses (many relating to Mexico from my anecdotal memory) and a bunch of easy 20s that any decent team would know.
There were some questions that had that stupid "NA-Cutie" ending, when a legitimately hard question became a buzzer race (i.e the extinction TU). Don't even include those; I'd rather miss something I've never heard of than have to try to anticipate what cutesy ending they'll come up with this time. I got a little bit tired to of "this word is used by ___ in the title of _____" or "this noun completes the title of ______" questions that I think must've been classified as general knowledge since they often crossed disciplines (although there were a good number of those from Philosophy/Social Science too). I just didn't see the need for all those when a question on a single subject would've done just as well and been less confusing to the player (plus it also led to buzzer-races when a very well-known work came up, I'm thinking of Spinoza's "Ethics" for example).

There were also a few very poorly-worded questions out there- mentioning "pet banks" in the first line I think of a question about the Panic of 1837 was just bad writing and I remember reading a very, very similarly-worded "Born in the USA" TU from an ICT not too long ago. But on the whole I thought the questions were good, with interesting ones like Gilpin Faust, shoe-throwing, constitutions of Kansas, Ishi, and the Gulf of Mexico being some of the more memorable ones.

Final Comments:
It was a good tournament, but I'm glad we had quick flights in and out of the airport because it would've sucked to have had to stay an extra night there (even though we had to miss watching the finals). Good to see people again and I look forward to future ICTs.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:54 pm

uga_chris wrote:There were also a few very poorly-worded questions out there- mentioning "pet banks" in the first line I think of a question about the Panic of 1837
I should have caught that. My apologies.
uga_chris wrote:I remember reading a very, very similarly-worded "Born in the USA" TU from an ICT not too long ago.
Text:
2009 ICT, packet 13 wrote:Among this album's singles was one written for Donna Summer that remarks "I've been branded a broken man." Another was John Kerry's campaign song, while a third notes, "You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart." The title track is about a man who "got in a little (*) hometown jam" after being "born down in a dead man's town." For 10 points--name this 1985 album featuring "Surrender," "Dancing in the Dark," and the title Bruce Springsteen song about an American parturition.
2006 ICT, packet 14 wrote:Alongside ~Thriller~ and ~Rhythm Nation 1814~, its seven Top 10 singles on the rock chart tie it for most-ever from one album. The first album to be released on an American-pressed CD, Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg is featured on vocals for (*) "Cover Me" and "No Surrender," which John Kerry used during his 2004 campaign. "I'm on Fire" and "My Hometown" also appear on--for 10 points--what 1984 album by Bruce Springsteen?
The only piece of information actually in common here is the Kerry campaign song clue, which is earlier in the more recent tossup because we're three years more distant from the 2004 election.

The 1984 date is correct in the 2006 tossup; I'll fix the 2009 tossup in our archive.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:05 pm

uga_chris wrote:insanely difficult bonuses (many relating to Mexico from my anecdotal memory)
I wrote both Mexican history bonuses in the ICT, so I'll go ahead and take responsibility for this one.
I wrote:For 10 points each--name these cities from Mexican history:

A. The Emperor Maximilian was executed on the Cerro de las Campanas outside this city in 1867.

answer: _Queretaro_

B. This city founded in 1546 became the center of colonial Mexico's silver industry, but was surpassed around 1730 by Guanajuato.

answer: _Zacatecas_

C. In 1876 Porfirio Diaz issued a plan of this Oaxacan city, which denounced the anti-constitutional abuses of Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada.

answer: _Tuxtepec_

For 10 points each--name these people from colonial Mexico:

A. He served under Hernan Cortes and later wrote a Historia verdadera narrating the conquest of New Spain.

answer: Bernal _Diaz_ del Castillo

B. While living in the Hieronymite Convent of Santa Paula she wrote the poem "Primero Sueno".

answer: Sor _Juana_ Ines de la Cruz (or _Juana_ Ramirez de Asbaje)

C. He was the Indian shepherd to whom the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared on the hill of Tepeyac in 1531.

answer: _Juan Diego_ (or Saint Juan Diego _Cuahtlatoatzin_; prompt on "Juan" or "Diego")
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:20 pm

Those are very difficult. I only know Juan Diego from partially listening in Catholic school up to 8th grade.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:49 pm

There was a wishbone episode about juan diego.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Gautam » Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:10 pm

I am going to be forthright and say that unless per packet distributions are instuted by NAQT, I am not interested in playing any combination of SCT/ICTb in the future. It was incredibly disappointing to play packet 3 and 13, both of which had around 6 (or more) tossups of CE/Trash/Geo.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Ken Jennings » Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:25 pm

I feel bad about my editing of the Dryden tossup in hindsight, knowing how it affected the outcome of the undergrad title. I did ponder changing the answer to "Dryden" at the time, wondering if the current format would lead to "Is that all they wanted?!?" reactions at the end of the tossup. (Not sure if there's a good QB vocab word like "transparency" to describe the "Is that all they wanted?" syndrome of answer vagueness.) Which is evidently what happened.

I finally decided (as did the author, evidently, one of our strongest lit writers, and other set editors who saw the question) that requiring the _plays_ part of the answer did add some new knowledge requirement to the question. For one thing, Dryden's poetic works get asked about much more than his dramatic work, which makes the "plays" answer choice (moderately) interesting. ("Plays by Marlowe," with "plays" required, would obviously be a dumb answer selection.) Secondly, the tossup doesn't explicitly state anywhere (not even in the giveaway) that these are dramatic works. That's left to the players' Dryden knowledge. Sure, we know from the start that they have characters and plots, but so do works in other genres...even poems, in the case of Dryden.

I knew I'd heard tossup answers of style "[SPECIFIC WORK TYPE] by [SPECIFIC ARTIST]" before, so I didn't think we were breaking new ground here. In particular, we got a (mostly) strong response to a "Bartok's string quartets" tossup at SCT. (Yes, I see why that's not perfectly analogous, but I think it's pretty close.)

Anyway, that was my rationale, even if it turned out to be misguided. I'm interested in any other responses to the lit and myth in the set (and "general knowledge"/miscellaneous, and film) and I'll be checking this thread for feedback.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:34 pm

Ken Jennings wrote:For one thing, Dryden's poetic works get asked about much more than his dramatic work, which makes the "plays" answer choice (moderately) interesting. ("Plays by Marlowe," with "plays" required, would obviously be a dumb answer selection.) Secondly, the tossup doesn't explicitly state anywhere (not even in the giveaway) that these are dramatic works. That's left to the players' Dryden knowledge. Sure, we know from the start that they have characters and plots, but so do works in other genres...even poems, in the case of Dryden.

I knew I'd heard tossup answers of style "[SPECIFIC WORK TYPE] by [SPECIFIC ARTIST]" before, so I didn't think we were breaking new ground here. In particular, we got a (mostly) strong response to a "Bartok's string quartets" tossup at SCT. (Yes, I see why that's not perfectly analogous, but I think it's pretty close.)
That's not unreasonable, I guess. My objection is that if you're buzzing off a title of a Dryden work (or, like, plot clues), then you're probably pretty sure whether it's a poem or a play, so it's not really a huge jump in knowledge. You're less likely to say "is that all it was?" when identifying string quartets by Bartok. I think this is in part because there have been tossups on things like "string quartets" in general, or "____ concertos" or whatever, whereas there aren't tossups on "plays." (There was one really good tossup on "the novel" in either a recent CO or ACF Nationals, but I think that was partially off crit clues on the idea of, like, the novel. A tossup on "the novel" where you talk exclusively plot points from decreasingly obscure novels would not go too well.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:57 pm

gkandlikar wrote:I am going to be forthright and say that unless per packet distributions are instuted by NAQT, I am not interested in playing any combination of SCT/ICTb in the future. It was incredibly disappointing to play packet 3 and 13, both of which had around 6 (or more) tossups of CE/Trash/Geo.
Gautam:

As I posted in one of the threads last month, we do use a per-packet distribution. (I posted the SCT distribution; the ICT distribution was not significantly different.)

What you may want is a reduction in the amount of CE/trash/geography in our sets, which is a widely shared opinion. I'll check on the actual numbers for the rounds in question.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:21 pm

gkandlikar wrote:It was incredibly disappointing to play packet 3 and 13, both of which had around 6 (or more) tossups of CE/Trash/Geo.
OK, checked up on these. Certainly true that each of these rounds had seven tossups of CE/pop culture/geography:

Round 3 (Cape Breton Island, Hungary, Carlos Quentin, Christopher Nolan, Cleveland Orchestra, shoe throwing, Spaceship Earth)

Round 13 (Chiapas, DR Congo, Cotton Bowl, Don't Mess with the Zohan, Born in the USA, T. Boone Pickens, Kwame Kilpatrick)

Edit: it was suggested in IRC just now that the issue of "trash literature" which has been discussed extensively around here might have contributed to this problem. It did not; there was 1/2 "trash lit" in the entire ICT, none of it in these two rounds. (TU on Ed McBain in round 15, bonus on Wizard of Oz stuff in round 5, bonus on London clubs in Wodehouse/Conan Doyle in round 2.)

The trouble is, though, that rounds with 7 such tossups are entirely to be expected within our distribution. I checked on the immediately succeeding rounds 4 and 14; each had 6 tossups within the categories specified.

So it's not at all obvious why playing these rounds in particular would have been "incredibly disappointing," barring two other concerns:

-we should (further) reduce the quantity of these categories, so that as an aggregate they come up 4-5 (or whatever number people would like to see) times per round rather than 6-7

or

-the individual questions in these rounds were of poor quality, so we should do a better job of editing our material.

Neither of those, though, would be changed in the slightest by tinkering with our distribution model. Am I missing something?
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Kyle » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:05 pm

I had a really good time this weekend in the municipality of DFW Airport and wanted to thank NAQT for a fun tournament.

It is quite possible that I'm misremembering things, but I can only think of one tossup on Middle Eastern history. It was about the Mamluks, it wasn't well written, and I heard four words of it before buzzer racing the other team to get 15 points. It is also possible that you will argue that the Ibn Khaldun tossup, which was also poorly written and which also led to a quick buzzer race for power, was intended as a Middle Eastern history tossup instead of social science. I asserted a few weeks ago in a thread about writing about historians that many historians are difficult to write tossups on and cited Ibn Khaldun as an example, but was promptly told by an NAQT editor that it is "easy" to write a pyramidal tossup on Ibn Khaldun. It is probably possible to find a lot of good clues about Ibn Khaldun and put them in pyramidal order, but I still haven't seen it done.

Anyway, Jeff, could you please post the list of tossup answers that were intended to fall under the Middle Eastern, African, South Asian, and East Asian history distributions? It seemed to me like the world history was even more underrepresented than usual. Perhaps that is merely a function of my memory, but I certainly remember what seemed like a disproportionate number of history tossups about the ancient world. I did appreciate several of the East Asian history questions, but will have to look back over the set before mentioning particular examples.

Also, Brian, Andy, Bruce, Ted, Dallas, and I were discussing the popular culture questions for HI in a recent series of emails in which we began making jokes about terrible questions we could write.
On February 24 at 6:54pm, Andy Watkins wrote:Kyle will just write five common link tossups on neckties (off clues about notable appearances in Middle Eastern sitcoms) and we'll be okay.
On February 24 at 6:57pm, Kyle Haddad-Fonda wrote:Will also write common link on throwing shoes at people.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:06 pm

bt_green_warbler wrote:The trouble is, though, that rounds with 7 such tossups are entirely to be expected within our distribution. I checked on the immediately succeeding rounds 4 and 14; each had 6 tossups within the categories specified.
I realize this is yet another discussion about the distribution, but this really needs to change. NAQT is ostensibly an academic quizbowl competition; for 1/3 of a round to be dependent on pop culture and geography is problematic regardless of anything else.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:07 pm

I have no idea if there was more, but the bonus on "Allen Drury and Advise and Consent" in the final packet of the day could also be considered trash lit.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:12 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
bt_green_warbler wrote:The trouble is, though, that rounds with 7 such tossups are entirely to be expected within our distribution. I checked on the immediately succeeding rounds 4 and 14; each had 6 tossups within the categories specified.
I realize this is yet another discussion about the distribution, but this really needs to change. NAQT is ostensibly an academic quizbowl competition; for 1/3 of a round to be dependent on pop culture and geography is problematic regardless of anything else.
Even though I don't enjoy geography really at all, I will fight part of Kyle's fight for him and make a heavily qualified argument: that is, that geography can be an academic discipline and cover important topics that should be asked about as much as, say, social science. And as such, it might not be appropriate to lump it in with the amount of unacademic content in the typical ICT round.

Again, I don't like geography, and one of the reasons is that it's not too often written in this way that Kyle says it can be written (and hopes to prove, with HI). So, why is this? Probably because it's hard to write it well--maybe harder to write well (or easier to write lazily, given that you can pick a river, find the names of five tributaries and two countries through which it flows, and have a tossup done) than most other categories. So while I may not support dismissing geography as inherently unacademic, I will certainly say this: unless it can be consistently written in a good way--and apparently it can't be, because there were a lot of boring geography tossups in ICT, in both my opinion and Kyle's--there should not be so much in ICT.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Kyle » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:26 pm

everyday847 wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
bt_green_warbler wrote:The trouble is, though, that rounds with 7 such tossups are entirely to be expected within our distribution. I checked on the immediately succeeding rounds 4 and 14; each had 6 tossups within the categories specified.
I realize this is yet another discussion about the distribution, but this really needs to change. NAQT is ostensibly an academic quizbowl competition; for 1/3 of a round to be dependent on pop culture and geography is problematic regardless of anything else.
Even though I don't enjoy geography really at all, I will fight part of Kyle's fight for him and make a heavily qualified argument: that is, that geography can be an academic discipline and cover important topics that should be asked about as much as, say, social science. And as such, it might not be appropriate to lump it in with the amount of unacademic content in the typical ICT round.

Again, I don't like geography, and one of the reasons is that it's not too often written in this way that Kyle says it can be written (and hopes to prove, with HI). So, why is this? Probably because it's hard to write it well--maybe harder to write well (or easier to write lazily, given that you can pick a river, find the names of five tributaries and two countries through which it flows, and have a tossup done) than most other categories. So while I may not support dismissing geography as inherently unacademic, I will certainly say this: unless it can be consistently written in a good way--and apparently it can't be, because there were a lot of boring geography tossups in ICT, in both my opinion and Kyle's--there should not be so much in ICT.
I am trying an experiment with the geography at HI. There will be 16 rounds, each with one geography tossup. The 16 geography tossups will all be tossups on human geography, not random rivers or mountains distinguished only by a series of other rivers and mountains few people care about. My goal, which I am announcing now, is for Jerry Vinokurov to judge each of the topics in the questions to be "important" for someone living in the United States in the 21st century to know something about. Note that this is not the same as him knowing the answers. Jerry, are you up for this task? I think that I can write tossups that I can make you care about and would like to prove it to you at HI.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Ken Jennings » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:30 pm

Cheynem wrote:I have no idea if there was more, but the bonus on "Allen Drury and Advise and Consent" in the final packet of the day could also be considered trash lit.
Yeah! Pulitzer-winning trash lit!
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:31 pm

Kyle wrote:
everyday847 wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
bt_green_warbler wrote:The trouble is, though, that rounds with 7 such tossups are entirely to be expected within our distribution. I checked on the immediately succeeding rounds 4 and 14; each had 6 tossups within the categories specified.
I realize this is yet another discussion about the distribution, but this really needs to change. NAQT is ostensibly an academic quizbowl competition; for 1/3 of a round to be dependent on pop culture and geography is problematic regardless of anything else.
Even though I don't enjoy geography really at all, I will fight part of Kyle's fight for him and make a heavily qualified argument: that is, that geography can be an academic discipline and cover important topics that should be asked about as much as, say, social science. And as such, it might not be appropriate to lump it in with the amount of unacademic content in the typical ICT round.

Again, I don't like geography, and one of the reasons is that it's not too often written in this way that Kyle says it can be written (and hopes to prove, with HI). So, why is this? Probably because it's hard to write it well--maybe harder to write well (or easier to write lazily, given that you can pick a river, find the names of five tributaries and two countries through which it flows, and have a tossup done) than most other categories. So while I may not support dismissing geography as inherently unacademic, I will certainly say this: unless it can be consistently written in a good way--and apparently it can't be, because there were a lot of boring geography tossups in ICT, in both my opinion and Kyle's--there should not be so much in ICT.
I am trying an experiment with the geography at HI. There will be 16 rounds, each with one geography tossup. The 16 geography tossups will all be tossups on human geography, not random rivers or mountains distinguished only by a series of other rivers and mountains few people care about. My goal, which I am announcing now, is for Jerry Vinokurov to judge each of the topics in the questions to be "important" for someone living in the United States in the 21st century to know something about. Note that this is not the same as him knowing the answers. Jerry, are you up for this task? I think that I can write tossups that I can make you care about and would like to prove it to you at HI.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:40 pm

Kyle wrote:I can only think of one tossup on Middle Eastern history. It was about the Mamluks, it wasn't well written, and I heard four words of it before buzzer racing the other team to get 15 points.
There is only supposed to be one; yes, I agree that there should be more (2/1 or 1/2?).
round 13 wrote:This dynasty, divided into "Bahri" and "Circassian" periods, began when the sultana Shajarr al-Dur married Aybak to bolster her power. It ended with al-Ghawri's defeat at Marj Dabiq by Selim the Grim, who proceeded to hang (*) Tumanbey from one of Cairo's gates. Its notable rulers included Qalawun and Baybars, who drove the Crusaders and Mongols from Palestine. For 10 points--name these slave soldiers of medieval Egypt.
At least the material after the power mark is obviously more famous than the Bahri period; the part before the power mark may indeed be misordered.
Kyle wrote:It is also possible that you will argue that the Ibn Khaldun tossup, which was also poorly written and which also led to a quick buzzer race for power, was intended as a Middle Eastern history tossup instead of social science. I asserted a few weeks ago in a thread about writing about historians that many historians are difficult to write tossups on and cited Ibn Khaldun as an example, but was promptly told by an NAQT editor that it is "easy" to write a pyramidal tossup on Ibn Khaldun. It is probably possible to find a lot of good clues about Ibn Khaldun and put them in pyramidal order, but I still haven't seen it done.
round 5 wrote:This man played a role in Damascus' surrender to Tamerlane, whom he thought could marshal the 'asabiyya to begin a new age. 'Asabiyya, the tribal solidarity that leads to civilization, was a concept from the "new science" this man used to explain the past. The idea that (*) socio-economic developments were critical to understanding history was developed by--for 10 points--which North African author of the Muqaddimah?
Social science, so outside of my direct responsibility. Agreed that this leadin is more well-known than is ideal for ICT play.
Kyle wrote:Could you please post the list of tossup answers that were intended to fall under the Middle Eastern, African, South Asian, and East Asian history distributions? It seemed to me like the world history was even more underrepresented than usual. ... I did appreciate several of the East Asian history questions, but will have to look back over the set before mentioning particular examples.
Song Dynasty, Tokugawa Shogunate, kingdom of Gandhara, Bengal, Xian, 21 Demands, Mamlukes, Julius Nyerere.

Yes, that goes back and forth between ACF Fall level answers and Westbrook-Experiment level answers. I hope the clues were interesting and non-transparent.

Kyle wrote:Perhaps that is merely a function of my memory, but I certainly remember what seemed like a disproportionate number of history tossups about the ancient world.
This is an ongoing problem that will need attention from future set editors. I tried my best to fix it for this ICT, but probably came up short.

I agree that SCT and ICT should have more non-western history and will be recommending this to R.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:41 pm

Ken Jennings wrote: Yeah! Pulitzer-winning trash lit!
Something winning a prize (even the Pulitzer, really) does not automatically mean that it's legitimate literature. While I don't actually think that Advise and Consent is really trash literature (being a fairly important work in literary history, at least), I think this is terrible reasoning to outright classify questions. Also, if I had just helped write the tournament that you had, I would not be responding to someone neutrally wondering about a question's possible category with dismissive sarcasm.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Brian Ulrich » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:42 pm

First, I'll agree with Kyle that geography could be an interesting category, but tends to degenerate into toponym-bowl. I've occasionally tried to write more involved geography questions, as well as to introduce some geographical terms into the lexicon, but have never really put enough into it to have an impact.

I also wrote both the Ibn Khaldun question and the Mamluks question. I submit that Ibn Khaldun was pyramidal, though more suitable for a lower level. It was written before NAQT increased the length limits, and the bit right before the FTP doesn't seem to add much, so if doing it now specifically for ICT I'd tighten that and add more to the lead-in.

I won't defend the Mamluks question - am I right that the Bahri/Circassian divide is more well known than I assumed? It looks like I wrote this to fill a lingering need in the 2008 SCT. My unfamiliarity with how these topics are being treated on the circuit today is one reason I hardly ever write for the college level anymore. I don't remember writing this, but suspect I was trying to avoid linguistic fraud.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:45 pm

Kyle wrote:I am trying an experiment with the geography at HI. There will be 16 rounds, each with one geography tossup. The 16 geography tossups will all be tossups on human geography, not random rivers or mountains distinguished only by a series of other rivers and mountains few people care about. My goal, which I am announcing now, is for Jerry Vinokurov to judge each of the topics in the questions to be "important" for someone living in the United States in the 21st century to know something about. Note that this is not the same as him knowing the answers. Jerry, are you up for this task? I think that I can write tossups that I can make you care about and would like to prove it to you at HI.
Kyle, unfortunately due to a research commitment I won't be able to attend HI, except perhaps by Skype (negotiations with Andy Watkins pending). However, I am definitely game for judging these questions and I do my best to be open-minded about them.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:51 pm

Hey, I love Advise and Consent. I've read all of the Drury stuff. I'm just saying that the Pulizer Prize cannot be used as a criteria for deciding whether or not something is "trash lit" or not. The fluffy comedy Harvey won a Pulitzer Prize for Best Drama, but I think most quizbowlers would object to a tossup on Elwood P. Dowd as being classified as "American literature." The work that preceded Advise and Consent in winning the Pulitzer was "The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters," another work that I'm not sure is appopriate to ask about in quiz bowl.

And "trash lit" should be not seen as necessarily perjorative--I meant it to reflect "popular" literature that is on the fringe of being considered academic. I am genuinely not sure if A&C should be trash lit or not, that's why I brought it up.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:53 pm

grapesmoker wrote:Kyle, unfortunately due to a research commitment I won't be able to attend HI, except perhaps by Skype (negotiations with Andy Watkins pending). However, I am definitely game for judging these questions and I do my best to be open-minded about them.
Have Eric bring a laptop; Skype Eric, have an object that makes a unique noise when you hit it on hand so moderators can distinguish it from the buzzers and judge who buzzed in first just in case, and we have a dealio.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Kyle » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:58 pm

Thanks, Jeff, for posting this. I didn't get to play the 21 Demands question and am now sad to have missed it. I'm going to go ahead and assert that there should be more than one Middle Eastern history question in 18 packets of 26 questions. Seriously. This is a problem.

Re: Mamluks, Bahri was mispronounced in our room so the first clue was "Circassian," which prompted about four people to buzz. The problem is that not only was there a "Circassian period," but during that period the most important Mamluks themselves were Circassians. It's too well-known for the lead-in.

Re: Ibn Khaldun, in my opinion, there are several problems. The first is that the lead-in is pretty well known, but also the lead-in is a historical clue, not a social science one. If this tossup is classified as social science, then probably the first clue should be about his theories. The second problem is that the end of the first sentence and the entire second sentence are simply a very vague summary of his general theory. The clues are (1) the first mention of 'asabiyya, (2) "beginning a new age," (3) mentioning 'asabiyya again for the people who weren't listening the first time and defining it as "tribal solidarity," and (4) mentioning "new science." I don't think that these clues are of particularly different difficulty, although if anything "new science" should be axed as useless in favor of working in the words "nomad" or "cyclical" or "Berber." Basically, you have just taken 43 words (from "whom" to "history") to give a vague description of his theory which, in my opinion, boils down to a single big clue. (And you have essentially finished your description entirely before the power mark!)
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:06 pm

I submit that Ibn Khaldun was pyramidal, though more suitable for a lower level.
I submit that your Ibn Khaldun tossup was terrible, and would be an equally bad question at any level. This tossup has a couple of words that could maybe get you a buzz off biography knowledge (the first step to a poor social science question!), but which are so brief anyway that you'd almost certainly wait a second to contextualize, even if you really know your stuff. What does the tossup do then? It name drops the single most famous concept associated with Ibn Khaldun. It would be analogous to putting "Invisible Hand" as the first substantive clue in an Adam Smith tossup. Aren't you the person who told Kyle how easy you thought it would be to write a good Ibn Khaldun tossup? Seriously, if you think this is a good tossup then you lack a fundamental understanding of the current standards of quizbowl.

Also, just philosophically, bad tossups are going to be bad tossups at any level - while I might not expect many high schoolers or DII players to buzz in off of Asabiyyah, I wouldn't really expect many to know Ibn Khaldun at all, and those who do probably know what Aabiyyah is.

T. My unfamiliarity with how these topics are being treated on the circuit today is one reason I hardly ever write for the college level anymore
So, my theory on what continues to cause the annual hatefest that is ICT question reaction (sans last year, for obvious reasons) is because some not insignificant number of question contributors are accurately described by this statement. Things have changed extraordinarily rapidly over the last few years, and I wonder how many people in NAQT's senior leadership even have a grasp on the realities of the game right now. I'd be interested to know who took point on editing for the tournament, how that setup worked, and who edited specific categories, etc. If I'm just way off base about this being the situation, then perhaps there is some other reason why tossups on the First Crusade mention Fulcher of Chartres and Guibert of Nogent in the first line, why there are tossups on The Garden of Earthly Delights that looks like it was ripped right out of an IS set, or why some bonuses seem simply not to care about the easy-medium-hard guidelines.

I realize most people who have posted so far in this thread have said they liked the questions; well, I liked plenty of questions, but I do not think this tournament was well-written (at least, a substantial enough portion of it was not). And considering the conversations I had and observed over the course of this weekend, a whole lot of people don't think so either. I want to get more specific (and constructive - although I do believe the question about who's doing the writing and how in touch they are is pretty pertinent) about certain topics later, but I really disagree with the assessment that this tournament was pretty good. This tournament was nowhere near as good as last year's, was actually the first NAQT event I've been to which seemed poorly managed, and occurred at an absolute travesty of a location. I think last year's ICT represented a really high point of NAQT's college involvement, and after the steps taken via Jeff to interact more with the community this year, I had high hopes for this event. It just seemed extremely disappointing.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Brian Ulrich » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:15 pm

Kyle wrote:Thanks, Jeff, for posting this. I didn't get to play the 21 Demands question and am now sad to have missed it. I'm going to go ahead and assert that there should be more than one Middle Eastern history question in 18 packets of 26 questions. Seriously. This is a problem.

Re: Mamluks, Bahri was mispronounced in our room so the first clue was "Circassian," which prompted about four people to buzz. The problem is that not only was there a "Circassian period," but during that period the most important Mamluks themselves were Circassians. It's too well-known for the lead-in.

Re: Ibn Khaldun, in my opinion, there are several problems. The first is that the lead-in is pretty well known, but also the lead-in is a historical clue, not a social science one. If this tossup is classified as social science, then probably the first clue should be about his theories. The second problem is that the end of the first sentence and the entire second sentence are simply a very vague summary of his general theory. The clues are (1) the first mention of 'asabiyya, (2) "beginning a new age," (3) mentioning 'asabiyya again for the people who weren't listening the first time and defining it as "tribal solidarity," and (4) mentioning "new science." I don't think that these clues are of particularly different difficulty, although if anything "new science" should be axed as useless in favor of working in the words "nomad" or "cyclical" or "Berber." Basically, you have just taken 43 words (from "whom" to "history") to give a vague description of his theory which, in my opinion, boils down to a single big clue. (And you have essentially finished your description entirely before the power mark!)
On the second one, what you say is basically what I meant about needing to tighten it and add to the beginning. My sense is that more people will know about "tribal solidarity" than the Arabic term. I'm not sure what I was doing on "new science," but "explain the past" also indicates we are talking about someone who had a theory of history. "Leads to civilization" was also a clue. Compressing some of that would have been good, and given the new length limits (this was written in 2007), I could add some other aspect of his thought to the beginning, which is the change most needed. If the lead-in is well known that's a problem, though I'm less worried about its category relevance since Ibn Khaldun straddles the line anyway.

I have no control over power mark placements, and would have put this one much earlier.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Brian Ulrich » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:20 pm

DumbJaques wrote:. Aren't you the person who told Kyle how easy you thought it would be to write a good Ibn Khaldun tossup? Seriously, if you think this is a good tossup then you lack a fundamental understanding of the current standards of quizbowl.
Yes, and I still think this. I wasn't thinking of any specific Ibn Khaldun question at the time.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:21 pm

DumbJaques wrote:I'd be interested to know who took point on editing for the tournament, how that setup worked, and who edited specific categories, etc.
Andrew Yaphe, Matt Keller, and I all did substantial work on this tournament. (No prizes for guessing which of us was primarily responsible for which big-three category.)
DumbJaques wrote:If I'm just way off base about this being the situation, then perhaps there is some other reason why tossups on the First Crusade mention Fulcher of Chartres and Guibert of Nogent in the first line, why there are tossups on The Garden of Earthly Delights that looks like it was ripped right out of an IS set, or why some bonuses seem simply not to care about the easy-medium-hard guidelines.
Just how hard is Guibert of Nogent? This was his first appearance in the NAQT database, and he turns up once in packet search at (noted for its extreme difficulty) 2005 ACF nationals.
round 11 wrote:One history of this endeavor was produced by Guibert of Nogent, who rewrote a work by Fulcher of Chartres. The major account of it, Albert of Aachen's Historia Hierosolymitana, was written around 1130. The Treaty of Devol was signed after it by (*) Alexios Comnenos and Bohemund of Antioch. It captured Nicaea from Kilij Arslan, despite the poor quality of Peter the Hermit's army. For 10 points--name this crusade called by Pope Urban II in 1095.
Now, if I'd been powermarking this, I would have gone (*) Hierosolymitana, or maybe I should have heavily restructured this to move the Treaty of Devol forward in the question. But it's not at all obvious to me that this is transparent, particularly because several other crusades are tossupable at ICT level.
round 3 wrote:On the left of this painting one can see a cat carrying off a mouse, a unicorn drinking from a pool, an elephant, a giraffe, and a pink-robed God instructing Adam and Eve. On the right a white tree with human-like legs stands supported by two boats in a river. Near that creature are a pig dressed as a (*) nun, a pair of enormous ears carrying a knife, and a multitude of naked sinners suffering in Hell. For 10 points--name this triptych with a frolicsome central panel by Hieronymus Bosch.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Ken Jennings » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:21 pm

DumbJaques wrote:I think this is terrible reasoning to outright classify questions.
I'm pretty sure NAQT has no policy of using Pulitzer Prizes to classify its literature questions. I was just pointing out an obvious counter-argument to the possible argument that Advise and Consent shouldn't fill a lit distribution. I have no strong opinion either way, but don't see that it matters much. I probably should have clarified that I didn't engage more with Mike's original comment because I didn't really understand it. "There was at least one tossup in at least one packet that might arguably be categorized as non-academic" is a true statement regarding the ICT, but as far as feedback goes, it doesn't give us much to work with. Was there too much trash lit? Too much non-academic stuff in that packet? Help me out here.
Also, if I had just helped write the tournament that you had, I would not be responding to someone neutrally wondering about a question's possible category with dismissive sarcasm.
"If I had just helped write the tournament that you had"? Most of the feedback here about ICT question quality (so far) actually seems pretty positive and sensible. If you have a different opinion, I'd love to discuss specific questions. But that's beside the point. I don't think any NAQT set, no matter how good, would justify rude posts after the fact, and I certainly didn't intend my Pulitzer joke as "dismissive sarcasm."
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by jagluski » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:27 pm

uga_chris wrote:
Format:
Also, I feel bad for the teams from Penn's bracket who had to get up super-early to play extra games.

Penn only played one makeup game in the morning (against Alabama). Their other two makeup games were played Friday night after the remainder of the preliminary rounds (Yale and someone else I can't remember off the top of my head). Considering that the Saturday rounds were supposed to begin at 8:30am (before all prelim rounds were moved to Friday night), I don't consider one 9am match to be super-early.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:30 pm

DumbJaques wrote:This tournament was nowhere near as good as last year's, was actually the first NAQT event I've been to which seemed poorly managed, and occurred at an absolute travesty of a location. I think last year's ICT represented a really high point of NAQT's college involvement, and after the steps taken via Jeff to interact more with the community this year, I had high hopes for this event. It just seemed extremely disappointing.
For reference, here's last year's ICT thread.

Something quite prevalent last year (and almost nonexistant this year) was complaint about the quality of ICT science. I think that's an obvious improvement, and believe this to be a reflection of Matt Keller's hard work writing and editing over the past months. Chris, if you believe the history and geography in the 2009 set were much worse than the 2008 versions, I'd love to hear specifics.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:31 pm

All I meant by my comment was that Jeff Hoppes said in regards to the distribution subdiscussion that there were only 1/2 trash lit during ICT (he was attempting to figure out specific problems with the distribution). I (me personally) saw nothing really wrong with "trash lit" at this tournament, but wanted to suggest another possible appearance of "trash lit." I admit my comment wasn't really helpful in terms of you guys editing, I just wanted to further expand upon Jeff's statement. I should have made it clearer who I was responding to.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Ken Jennings » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:36 pm

Ah, got it. I read Jeff's comment before he added that parenthetical edit about trash lit. I can't think of any other "borderline" cases from the lit in the ICT, but I'll take a look.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Kevin » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:37 pm

The biggest problem I had with the set was the tiebreaker packet (Packet 8's) balance between the first and second half. There were five flat-out trash questions (three toss-ups, two bonuses) in the first 13 toss-ups/bonuses, and the two bonuses were, I think, in the first ten or eleven questions. In the second half there was what I imagine was no trash at all (though there were current events and general knowledge toss-ups--back-to-back, as a matter of fact). It didn't affect the half-game we played against Oklahoma--they were beating us on the trash and academic questions in that half-packet, and it wouldn't have affected the outcome of the game--but I find it inexcusable that such a poor balance would occur in a packet that is going to be used for tie-breaking half-games. I don't really have a problem with the amount of pop culture/sports--maybe one fewer question a game would be nice, but I'm certainly not clamoring for 1/0 or 0/1 per packet--but tiebreaker packets should be better balanced.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:41 pm

Yes, and I still think this. I wasn't thinking of any specific Ibn Khaldun question at the time.
I actually do agree that it's possible to write a good Khaldun tossup. I don't think that the 2009 ICT tossup on Khaldun was good, and that was more the point of what I was trying to say.
Just how hard is Guibert of Nogent? This was his first appearance in the NAQT database, and he turns up once in packet search at (noted for its extreme difficulty) 2005 ACF nationals.
Eh, perhaps harder than I had thought - I think Fulcher of Chartres is pretty well known, though. There are plenty of other issues I'd identify with that question alone - for one thing, Bohemund is mentioned after the Treaty of Devol (which is almost certainly better-known than he is) and Alexios (who is certainly better-known). It also strikes me as dominated by list-type leadins - mentioning an important chronicler is one thing, but making the entire opening portion of the question essentially a list of people who wrote about it seems like a bad idea to me.

I mean, I understand that writing tossups with the NAQT character limits will lead to the tossups not looking like how they'd look if the same people had written them to their own ideal standards. Perhaps this is something of a fundamental problem, and I'd be interested in what you, Andrew, and Matt think of the length requirements, game time issues, etc.
I probably should have clarified that I didn't engage more with Mike's original comment because I didn't really understand it.
I don't think any NAQT set, no matter how good, would justify rude posts after the fact, and I certainly didn't intend my Pulitzer joke as "dismissive sarcasm."
Well, I certainly don't understand what you were trying to say in response to Mike's post - it doesn't communicate anything to him (particularly, it gives no indication that, as you say, you were perplexed by what he was asking), and really, how can "Yeah! Pulitzer Prize-winning trash lit!" possibly be read as something that isn't sarcasm?
Most of the feedback here about ICT question quality (so far) actually seems pretty positive and sensible. If you have a different opinion, I'd love to discuss specific questions.
The comments I heard during the tournament were not positive. Objectively, there was a lot (certainly way more than a majority) of stuff in this tournament that ranged exclusively from just fine to excellent. But to me, hitting a rate of 20% of questions that people universally deride as poorly written, too hard, on trivial things, or bad for whatever reason is just unacceptable for a national tournament. If you want to count two people from one team saying they thought the event overall was well-written as "most of the feedback being positive," well, go right ahead, but there was an unacceptable amount of stuff at this event that was decidedly not positive.

EDIT:
Chris, if you believe the history and geography in the 2009 set were much worse than the 2008 versions, I'd love to hear specifics
Something actually seems to have devoured our Division I questions (possibly, they were flown out over the ocean and drowned by Mike Bentley), but I would be happy to do this when I can get my hands on a copy.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:46 pm

Ken Jennings wrote:
Cheynem wrote:I have no idea if there was more, but the bonus on "Allen Drury and Advise and Consent" in the final packet of the day could also be considered trash lit.
Yeah! Pulitzer-winning trash lit!
Do you understand the concept of customer service and the fact that as a known ICT editor anything you post about it is, to the public, representing NAQT? Whether or not your statement was intended to sound as snotty as it does, it sure sounds snotty, and that is something that can't possibly help how the public views NAQT.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:46 pm

Bohemund is a pretty famous dude. He also comes up as a clue for another famous dude by being related to him. I'd bet that he is far better known than the Treaty of Devol.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:55 pm

Bohemund is a pretty famous dude. He also comes up as a clue for another famous dude by being related to him. I'd bet that he is far better known than the Treaty of Devol.
Sure, why not (although a quick search returns two hits for each, with Bohemund only ever being a clue and Devol once being a bonus answer, which might theoretically indicate a greater degree of knowledge if it constituted any real degree of sample size). The epic Bohemund vs. Devol battle aside, I think I'm safe in saying that Alexios is better-known than both, and I was just tossing it out as one of a few example (didn't you recently note in another thread how it annoys you when people disregard an entire post to disagree with one example?). In any event, I think my life seems to be Bohemund-deficient at the moment, which is clearly a personal challenge I'll be focused on overcoming, as he seems pretty cool.
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