Historature 2018: Thanks and General Discussion

Elaborate on the merits of specific tournaments or have general theoretical discussion here.
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Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Auron
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Historature 2018: Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:34 pm

Hi folks,

Thank you all for playing Historature. This tournament means a lot more to me than just the content - every one of you who played is contributing to a cause I care about deeply, and so I thank you a lot. Thanks also go to my co-writers Sameen, Eric, Jaimie, and Ankit, whose great questions added a lot of diversity and interesting content to the set that almost certainly helped things overall.

The distribution was meant to try to dig up a lot of topics that often don't get asked as much in quizbowl, such as authors' biographies, the intersection of authors and history, and archaeology (I think historiography is asked plenty often right now, and possibly too much). I don't think all of these categories need to come up more, but it was an editorial decision to try and explore things that are ignored as part of orthodox writing practice. I preferred to push these "angles" rather than provide, say, a 50-50 mix of history and literature clues, though doubtless "history players" were able to get some lit tossups with their history knowledge and vice versa. Hopefully the "standard" topics provided the same level of engagement.

I know that folks said the tournament turned out a bit "too" accessible, or perhaps moreso than is ideal for a skilled side event audience. Personally, I do think several tossups were a bit on the transparent side / dropped a few clues too early and could stand to be improved, and we'll be doing that. But on the whole, the stats and power numbers seem to suggest that we generally hit our difficulty goals, while giving a wide range of very accessible answers that could be appropriate as a challenge for some stronger high school players and a more general Skype audience.

I probably won't be head editing any tournaments for the next few years, if again. It's been a pleasure, but I think it's time to relax a bit - I'm a bit exhausted, I feel the quality of my work has been going down for some time now, and I think I've unfairly let commitments become an excuse for having unreasonable expectations and not being as diligent as I should be as an editor. I don't anticipate this to affect writing side events / subject editing / helping out in general.

Thanks again, and discuss away.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

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Cheynem
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Re: Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:17 pm

One thing I thought this tournament did well was rewarding what I'd call "an interest in history" that may or may not be the academic study of history, like the Oklahoma tossup that clued David Gramm's book Killers of the Flower Moon.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

RexSueciae
Rikku
Posts: 322
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Re: Thanks and General Discussion

Post by RexSueciae » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:28 am

Cheynem wrote:Killers of the Flower Moon.
I saw that in an airport bookstand! It was located near a staggering number of quizbowl-notable books (mostly modern literature that had come up at recent practices).

I actually don't remember very much of the main event after the first few rounds due to being very tired, but I did have fun.
Vasa Clarke

Maggie Walker '14
Virginia '18
William and Mary '21

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CPiGuy
Tidus
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Re: Thanks and General Discussion

Post by CPiGuy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:32 pm

I liked this tournament. It was a lot of fun. I might have something to say about specific questions, but probably not. It was a good time -- thanks for writing!
Conor Thompson
Bangor HS (Maine) '16
Michigan '20

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