EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

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EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Nice hockey Cote d'Azur » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:23 am

Thanks to everyone for playing EFT, I hope you enjoyed the tournament. The production of this set was not exactly smooth, since Joey abandoned the project a few weeks ago, so there are many people to thank for rescuing this set.

First of all, thanks to Ike Jose, who ended up writing the most questions in the set including nearly all of the philosophy and significant parts of the lit and other science; Will Nediger, who wrote much of the art and lit; Billy Busse, who wrote all of the physics and edited most of the science; Eric Mukherjee, who wrote much of the bio; Jacob Reed, who wrote and edited most of the music; Kenji Shimizu, who wrote questions across various categories; Andrew Hart, who wrote several history questions; Rob Carson, who helped out with the myth, and Auroni Gupta who wrote several religion tossups.

Thanks as well to Jordan Brownstein, Ryan Humphrey, Benji Nguyen, Andrew Wang and Jason Zhou for freelancing questions.

Also, thanks to my fellow editors Dylan Minarik and Ryan Rosenberg for seeing the set through and to Ewan MacAulay, Young Fenimore Lee and Kady Hsu for writing many excellent questions. Dylan edited religion, myth, other science and US History; Ryan edited literature and social science; and I edited non-US history.

Thanks to Alex Damisch for writing many arts questions as well as for her logistics work and for running the Discord mirror.

Please discuss general thoughts about the set here.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by gyre and gimble » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:09 pm

I thought that the set was pretty solid overall. Some questions dropped clues too early, but I'm sure the writers are already aware of those instances because people invariably complain in-game.

The literature in general was much more stingily powermarked than the rest of the set (I thought science was the most generous). Knowing secondary plot elements of Joseph Conrad short stories should not be a requirement for getting 15 at this difficulty. The Wolf Hall tossup felt similarly stingy--if people know any plot elements from that book without names of famous historical figures, they should probably get power because that's already a pretty hard answerline. Meanwhile, knowing that knockout mice exist, or the basic math behind the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, got me 15.

The poetry in this set was harder, at least in the first half of tossups, than a lot of regular difficulty tournaments. Half the questions seemed to just list a couple items of secondary literature before dropping a famous line right after the power mark. In general this set seemed too heavy on scholarship and criticism in literature and art.

I did appreciate the use of scholarship in the history distribution, though, as it's been underused in the past. That said, this set had the right amount. People should not take this as encouragement to do a lot more.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Fuddle Duddle » Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:14 pm

Several thoughts:
1) The art distribution seemed very very 15th-17th century-heavy, with modern art suffering as a result
2) Some hard parts seemed borderline impossible (that one Siamese monarch and the Reservoir de Manicougin come to mind)
3) Middle part difficulty seemed to vary quite a bit; I'd be interested in seeing if the advanced stats bear me out on that
4) There was a pretty big clump of questions on Soviet art and literature in the first couple packets. It's not a huge issue, but the set would be more aesthetically pleasing if those were spread out.
5) The Earth Science seemed to skew a bit easy
6) The history was very well done. I liked it a lot.
7) I appreciated the incorporation of more female composers and artists into the FA distro.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by ryanrosenberg » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:51 pm

gyre and gimble wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:09 pm
The literature in general was much more stingily powermarked than the rest of the set (I thought science was the most generous). Knowing secondary plot elements of Joseph Conrad short stories should not be a requirement for getting 15 at this difficulty. The Wolf Hall tossup felt similarly stingy--if people know any plot elements from that book without names of famous historical figures, they should probably get power because that's already a pretty hard answerline. Meanwhile, knowing that knockout mice exist, or the basic math behind the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, got me 15.

The poetry in this set was harder, at least in the first half of tossups, than a lot of regular difficulty tournaments. Half the questions seemed to just list a couple items of secondary literature before dropping a famous line right after the power mark. In general this set seemed too heavy on scholarship and criticism in literature and art.
I'll be going through the literature this week and looking at questions with low power rates and evaluating whether the power mark should be moved down. There were a couple of questions, including the Conrad question, that I did that for this past week.

Re: an overabundance of secondary material in literature, I'm curious to know if other people felt this way. I used very little secondary sourcing in my questions (and generally don't like using it), but Joey and Will both use it quite a bit. If there's a general sense that it went too far in this set, I'll look to replace the most gratuitous examples for future mirrors.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by a bird » Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:00 pm

An Economic Ignoramus wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:14 pm
Several thoughts:
1) The art distribution seemed very very 15th-17th century-heavy, with modern art suffering as a result
I think this is an interesting point, and I agree that the painting tossups skewed towards pre 19th century art (with the exception of Russian constructivism and abstract expressionism). On the other hand it seemed like the other arts category included many more 20th century topics (especially architecture). Was this a conscious choice? While I generally prefer more 20th century art, I wouldn't mind seeing a concrete subdistribution and rationale for how this set turned out.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Guile Island » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:31 pm

I was the primary editor for the Religion, Mythology, and US History in this set, and edited some of the Other Science with the assistance of Ike Jose. Special thanks to Young Lee for writing some RM, Tejas for writing a majority of the US History, Auroni for writing some Religion, and Rob Carson for writing some Myth when we were getting close to the deadline.

Unfortunately, between deciding to join the editing team for the set and the first mirrors, I had to deal with starting a new job and moving, both which took up a ton more time than I could anticipate. In the end, a good amount of this is my fault for not being proactive and starting early, but I didn't get as much time to go over my categories with a fine comb/apply some sort of grand editorial vision as I wanted. In the end, I think I did an alright job of hitting an appropriate difficulty (Religion/Myth were apparently the two easiest categories at least bonus-wise, but the numbers didn't seem terrible) while managing to avoid ideas that have become stale at this level. As always, feel free to contact me privately about your experience playing my categories!
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:31 pm

I want to single out this set for praise, because it's actually quite a difficult thing to write a good "regular-minus" set, and the editors did a pretty solid job with this one. I have some concerns that it inched a bit too close to regular and away from minus - I suppose we'll get more data on that thanks to the advanced stats as more mirrors happen. But all in all, it felt pretty well done. I hope this sort of EFT continues to be a mainstay of the college calendar.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by jmarvin_ » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:52 pm

I had a lot of fun playing this set. As with anything, there were some nits that could be picked, but they were seldom. I appreciated the difficulty control and enjoyed getting some really obscure knowledge rewarded by pretty simple answerlines. My team agreed that there seemed like an overabundance of questions asking for countries (understandable perhaps as a way to ask about things at controlled difficulty) and especially asking for specific years. We had some sad negs and lost bonus parts on being like, one year off.
An Economic Ignoramus wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:14 pm
2) Some hard parts seemed borderline impossible (that one Siamese monarch and the Reservoir de Manicougin come to mind)
For the record, I think that Lake Manicouagan is not at all impossible; I couldn't pull the name in-game, but I could see it in my head and very much knew exactly what the question was asking for - the lake is super important as the largest example of the massive Hydro Quebec infrastructure which people from my home area (NH, VT, ME) know is one of our primary sources of power. Even the city of Boston is in large part powered by the system of dams of which Lake Manicouagan's is the flagship!
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Here Comes Rusev Day » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:03 pm

I moderated yesterday at the UCF site (a slightly overall weaker field than most other sites besides 2-3 teams i'd imagine), and thought this set played incredibly well for newer players and experienced alike. A couple points below:

1) I thought the history was some of the best I've seen from a below regular difficulty tournament and not just more standard quizbowl nonsense that's regurgitated at every tournament during the year (Finnish Neutrality and the French social history bonus of the 1960's from a feminist lens come to mind)

2) I think the science asked about interesting, specifically very real-world and practical things (mining, diagnosing thyroid conditions based on heart activity) that don't get their piece of the pie. The astronomy specifically did a good job of asking about planetary science without having to bail itself out but just doing more space geography as well.

3) The Fine Arts visual category seemed to have a ton of bias towards Renaissance and High Renaissance stuff, and I think this is fine if we are choosing a period of art to mainly focus on, but other periods certainly suffered as a result. The music questions also seemed much more difficult and left some shaking their heads, but I think that's because not many (besides one person for sure) are familiar with the early and middle music theory clues.

4) The stats program really helped the tournament throughout the day and we got through 10 rounds of quizbowl in 6 1/2 hours time (wont count lunch here). If you have the time, please give thanks those for developing a program that has made the process of running quizbowl tournaments that much easier.

Difficulty is probably the most important part about writing a set like this, and it did a phenomenal job in that aspect. Like some in here, I was very concerned when I saw the "regular-minus" label and just assumed it might end up going from novice to Nationals minus levels. It didn't do that, and the editors did an awesome job. Thank you for producing a great set!
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by The Billiards Fool » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:22 pm

EFT was awesome. Thanks for the set! My thoughts are best summed up as Chris':
Chris Ray wrote:I want to single out this set for praise, because it's actually quite a difficult thing to write a good "regular-minus" set, and the editors did a pretty solid job with this one. I have some concerns that it inched a bit too close to regular and away from minus
A few more specific thoughts:
1. The Classical Music felt incredibly difficult for a regs- set. A lot of questions felt like 70% score clues which seems uniquely punishing on newer players. I know little Music so maybe that impression isn't helpful, but it felt very hard.

2. The set felt a bit tough overall, which I think is backed up a bit by a cursory glance at lower and middle bracket teams' power rates from last year compared to this year. Maybe this isn't a great metric, but it felt like the set was hard to power. For example, at the Yale site almost every team outside the top 8 (aka in the bottom 20) hovered around the .5 powers per game mark (this pattern seems consistent across other sites from a brief glance). That feels a bit punishing for EFT.

3. Adding to the last point, there were 1-2 questions per round that seemed a bit difficult for EFT. This isn't a criticism as much as an observation (since I generally thought it was cool to have occasionally tougher questions), though I imagine it'd be a bit tough for lower bracket teams. Maybe alot of this comes from my view of EFT as a good "tough but good introduction to standard-difficulty college quizbowl" but it felt a bit tough.

4. I should preface this by saying I loved alot of the literature yesterday and am a huge fan of criticism clues. That said, maybe at EFT level a little less would be useful. I think this is doubly true when tossing up authors that are a bit tougher (For example: I'm not sure Raymond Chandler needs 2-3 lines of his lit theory given that he is already probably on the hard side for this tournament).

5. The Art, as already pointed out, skewed older. Even though this isn't really my cup of tea quizbowl-wise I enjoyed the art alot (that Diderot first line was fun and I think a great example of criticism's use in questions even at this level. It rewarded knowledge of pretty famous crit, helped those who knew some stuff about Diderot's art views, and would be amusing and interesting to players who are hearing it for the first time).

6. I thought some questions could have used some first line rephrasing. This was probably even rarer than I recall it being but, for example, the Nigeria and Sudan questions both could've used some restructuring so you're not sitting on substantive clues wondering what the question is asking for.

7. As has been said before, alot of the lit was tough (especially in power) and felt very "hard, hard, hard, very famous line" (especially the poetry).

8. As has probably become clear at this point I think the set could use being a bit easier, but alot of that could just come from my perception of EFT's role which may be unfair.

This is my first time providing actual general feedback so I hope it's helpful and I hope it doesn't come off too negative. I thought this set was better than most I've played and I had a ton of fun playing it yesterday. Just figured I'd chip in some general notes off the top of my head. If any of this is not borne out by statistics or if anything is inaccurate because one or two questions stuck out in mind and I overgeneralized, I apologize. The categories I'm relatively solid at—history, vis. fa, some lit—were a ton of fun and I'm super thankful for the work the EFT team put in to this set.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Slightly Less British » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:40 pm

Most of what I wanted to say has already been said better by others, but I'd like to especially congratulate the social science in this set. None of the answerlines were inaccessible as far as I was concerned, and this is pretty much the only regular-minus set I've ever read that included a significant amount of well-done polsci content at the same difficulty as the rest of the set. I had issues with the populism tossup, but those are both minor and best saved for the specific question thread. Overall, I think this set shows that polsci can be done well at a lower difficulty, and hope other sets follow its example. The rest of the social science was also well done as far as I was concerned, with the economics being notably, and sadly rarely, well done.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by The Abydos Helicopter » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:17 pm

I enjoyed playing this set, and would like to particularly praise the history, which seemed to sit nicely within the overlapping circles of "accessible" and "interesting to experienced players".
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by warum » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:03 pm

I really enjoyed playing this set!
It did seem like the visual art was skewed toward pre-19th century stuff. The Earth science bonuses seemed too easy.
I was impressed with how the score clues in music tossups were well-chosen and clearly described, which is not the case in some tournaments.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by rahulkeyal » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:35 pm

I had a ton of fun playing this set! Huge props to the editors/writers for pretty consistently interesting ideas across the board that still felt difficulty-appropriate (most of the time) in their execution. In general, it seemed like most questions had enough middle clues to differentiate between teams, but maintained interesting/tough leadins and giveaways that one would expect at this level. In addition, most questions were quite easy and natural to parse, which really demonstrates the care taken by the editors in crafting a polished set.

I really enjoyed the literature in the set, which I thought had a good mix of tougher answerlines (e.g Wolf Hall and Adichie) with more standard fare, along with many creative common links (like _translators_). I somewhat agree with other comments regarding the excess of criticism clues at this level, although I think there were some tossups that felt like they did a good job incorporating criticism in more accessible ways (e.g _Jane Eyre_or _Turn of the Screw_), and others that didn't seem as successful (e.g the Chandler tossup that spent two sentences on "The Simple Art of Murder"). In general, I really enjoyed the variety of approaches and material used in selecting clues, as well as the mix of fresh answerlines and core content.

I agree with previous sentiments that the painting seemed to skew somewhat older, although it might just feel that way since it plays against my strengths.

I'm not the best judge, but some of the music (primarily tossups) felt a fair bit tougher than other categories in the set. Questions like _Winterreise_, which emphasized score clues, and flute/Poulenc/Chaminade, were both quite interesting, but also felt like they were close to being appropriate at regionals difficulty? It's possible that I'm cherry-picking the more egregious examples.

As usual, there were occasional variations in bonus difficulty, but this wasn't ever a major issue. Overall, I really enjoyed playing this set, and am thankful for the editors' hard work.

Also, could the detailed stats from Stanford's site be added soon?
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by justinfrench1728 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:25 am

While the set had a reasonable amount interesting content, the consensus at the UCLA site seemed to be that the questions were not particularly well written.

First, a good deal of answerlines should not have been answerlines at this tournament. "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," "Wolf Hall," "Winterreise," and "Edward III" are four that stuck out in particular. At this difficulty level, there is no reason to tossup Winterreise instead of tossing up Schubert. In addition, the 14th century probably would have made for a more convertible answerline than Edward III. All of these tossups played poorly and were received poorly at UCLA.

Furthermore, a good deal of questions focused on hard stuff for much longer than necessary. Toni Morrison, Chile, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, and New Zealand all fit this pattern. A set that is supposed to be at least partially targeted to newer players should not avoid clueing well-read books like Beloved and The Bluest Eye; rather deep cuts from these books would make great early clues that are both challenging for experienced players and accessible to new players. Similarly, I don't know why the tossup on Chile had to have so many clues from a tertiary Heinrich von Kleist work in comparison to The House of the Spirits, which many people actually read.

A lot of bonuses had a lot of unnecessary clues. There's no point of listing a hard-to-parse formula for the energy levels of a particle in a box if the bonus part is going to clue the definition of it anyway. At one point in the tournament, the whole room broke out laughing after a lead-in went on and on about difficult Velázquez works before stating "name this painter of Las Meninas."

On the positive side, I think the tournament's use of score clues was a good idea. While score clues are difficult, they do not become easier with more quiz bowl experience, so they are ideal for early clues at tournaments targeted to both new and old players.

Overall, the I think tournament overshot its difficulty way too much. It is especially unfortunate that this happened to a set like EFT, since as there are very few tournaments targeted even in part to new players it's important that the few that are hit their target difficulty.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by women, fire and dangerous things » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:49 pm

EFT wrote: 15. A man gives a thumbs up while inclining his head towards the viewer in this artist’s painting The Lunch, whose composition is similar to his Farmers’ Lunch. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this Spanish artist of Las Meninas.
ANSWER: Diego (Rodríguez de Silva y) Velázquez
[10] The aforementioned genre paintings belong to Velázquez’s early period in this city, where he was born. In another painting from the same period, a waterseller in this city gives a glass of water with a fig in it to a boy.
ANSWER: Seville [or Sevilla]
[10] Paintings like The Lunch and The Waterseller of Seville are often compared to these Spanish still-life paintings of pantry items, exemplified by Zurbarán’s Still Life with Pottery Jars.
ANSWER: bodegón (“boh-day-GOHN”) [or bodegones]
I wouldn't say that that bonus leadin goes "on and on," but in any case it's hardly unnecessary - the bonus is about Velazquez's genre works, and Las Meninas is there because it needs an easy part. Besides, even if it were, isn't it cool to learn new things?
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by AGoodMan » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:35 pm

women, fire and dangerous things wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:49 pm
EFT wrote: 15. A man gives a thumbs up while inclining his head towards the viewer in this artist’s painting The Lunch, whose composition is similar to his Farmers’ Lunch. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this Spanish artist of Las Meninas.
ANSWER: Diego (Rodríguez de Silva y) Velázquez
[10] The aforementioned genre paintings belong to Velázquez’s early period in this city, where he was born. In another painting from the same period, a waterseller in this city gives a glass of water with a fig in it to a boy.
ANSWER: Seville [or Sevilla]
[10] Paintings like The Lunch and The Waterseller of Seville are often compared to these Spanish still-life paintings of pantry items, exemplified by Zurbarán’s Still Life with Pottery Jars.
ANSWER: bodegón (“boh-day-GOHN”) [or bodegones]
I wouldn't say that that bonus leadin goes "on and on," but in any case it's hardly unnecessary - the bonus is about Velazquez's genre works, and Las Meninas is there because it needs an easy part. Besides, even if it were, isn't it cool to learn new things?
Isn't the "hard but interesting clue" bonus leadin + easy first part a relatively common thing that happens in quiz bowl questions? I feel like it's generally okay, and like Will said, it's cool to learn about new things.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by justinfrench1728 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:45 am

AGoodMan wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:35 pm
women, fire and dangerous things wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:49 pm
EFT wrote: 15. A man gives a thumbs up while inclining his head towards the viewer in this artist’s painting The Lunch, whose composition is similar to his Farmers’ Lunch. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this Spanish artist of Las Meninas.
ANSWER: Diego (Rodríguez de Silva y) Velázquez
[10] The aforementioned genre paintings belong to Velázquez’s early period in this city, where he was born. In another painting from the same period, a waterseller in this city gives a glass of water with a fig in it to a boy.
ANSWER: Seville [or Sevilla]
[10] Paintings like The Lunch and The Waterseller of Seville are often compared to these Spanish still-life paintings of pantry items, exemplified by Zurbarán’s Still Life with Pottery Jars.
ANSWER: bodegón (“boh-day-GOHN”) [or bodegones]
I wouldn't say that that bonus leadin goes "on and on," but in any case it's hardly unnecessary - the bonus is about Velazquez's genre works, and Las Meninas is there because it needs an easy part. Besides, even if it were, isn't it cool to learn new things?
Isn't the "hard but interesting clue" bonus leadin + easy first part a relatively common thing that happens in quiz bowl questions? I feel like it's generally okay, and like Will said, it's cool to learn about new things.
The point isn't about that specific question, but rather that the set had a lot of bonus parts that listed lots of hard things before dropping something easy.

Separately, I would advocate against putting hard clues in the easy part, since for players that do not know very many clues it is disheartening to have one of the few hard clues they can get be rendered useless by some (often tangentially related) easy clue.
Last edited by justinfrench1728 on Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:13 am

justinfrench1728 wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:45 am
AGoodMan wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:35 pm
women, fire and dangerous things wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:49 pm
EFT wrote: 15. A man gives a thumbs up while inclining his head towards the viewer in this artist’s painting The Lunch, whose composition is similar to his Farmers’ Lunch. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this Spanish artist of Las Meninas.
ANSWER: Diego (Rodríguez de Silva y) Velázquez
[10] The aforementioned genre paintings belong to Velázquez’s early period in this city, where he was born. In another painting from the same period, a waterseller in this city gives a glass of water with a fig in it to a boy.
ANSWER: Seville [or Sevilla]
[10] Paintings like The Lunch and The Waterseller of Seville are often compared to these Spanish still-life paintings of pantry items, exemplified by Zurbarán’s Still Life with Pottery Jars.
ANSWER: bodegón (“boh-day-GOHN”) [or bodegones]
I wouldn't say that that bonus leadin goes "on and on," but in any case it's hardly unnecessary - the bonus is about Velazquez's genre works, and Las Meninas is there because it needs an easy part. Besides, even if it were, isn't it cool to learn new things?
Isn't the "hard but interesting clue" bonus leadin + easy first part a relatively common thing that happens in quiz bowl questions? I feel like it's generally okay, and like Will said, it's cool to learn about new things.
The point isn't about that specific question, but rather that the set had a lot of bonus parts that listed lots of hard things before dropping something easy. Perhaps the Velázquez bonus was not too egregious, but

Separately, I would advocate against putting hard clues in the easy part, since for players that do not know very many clues it is disheartening to have one of the few hard clues they can get be rendered useless by some (often tangentially related) easy clue.
Is... this a serious comment?
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:50 am

Perhaps there is an effect similar to bathos when a bonus prompt prattles on about hard clues before dropping something very easy, and perhaps it is worth avoiding the potential frustration or ridiculousness that such a construction could cause players to feel. That said, the example offered seems poor, because the rest of the question is themed around the hard clue offered in the bonus lead-in.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:16 pm

theMoMA wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:50 am
Perhaps there is an effect similar to bathos when a bonus prompt prattles on about hard clues before dropping something very easy, and perhaps it is worth avoiding the potential frustration or ridiculousness that such a construction could cause players to feel. That said, the example offered seems poor, because the rest of the question is themed around the hard clue offered in the bonus lead-in.
I agree that this bonus isn't a good example of this. A good bonus strikes a balance between being both interesting and succinct. I'd like to see more tournaments impose very strict length caps on bonuses to both keep the tournament moving and to avoid situations where new teams can get lost in a 300 character easy part where is sandwiched in the middle.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Ike » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:33 pm

I think a more accurate complaint is that the bonus as written is very abrupt -- if you do not know those first two paintings, there is nothing to indicate Las Meninas is the next thing being described. Ironically, I think the solution is to be a bit more prolix so we can give a bit more about Velazquez or the painting before the title drop.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by justinfrench1728 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:49 pm

I'm looking at advanced stats for earlier mirrors of EFT and I'm seriously questioning why it was necessary to take them at all. The stats confirm unequivocally things that should have been obvious to the editors: T.S. Eliot was far too easy, the 1400s were far too fraudable, and Winterreise was far too difficult (the end of power clue for Winterreise was the same clue— just less evocative— as the CMST leadin). The advanced stats should have got the editors to fix this nonsense, but at the time of the SoCal mirror (in December!) none of these tossups were fixed.

Having to take advanced stats is a significant burden on hosts, since it requires more staffers and slows down games. When advanced stats are used to fix questions, they are worth the burden. However, when they only exist so that elite players can flex the first buzzes they got because they remembered a clue from Chicago Open four years ago, advanced stats are nowhere near worth the burden. If the editors are not going to use advanced stats to fix egregiously bad question, then the requirement for small hosts to take them is, quite frankly, actively harmful to the community.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:24 pm

I'm not sure if the editors had time to incorporate advanced stats (which would have been based on the sample size of one or two sites) into possible revisions of questions. That said, I find the stats very interesting and helpful to me as a writer--it helps me see if certain intuitions I had when writing were accurate and what I could do better in the future. The stats are also extremely helpful for discussing the playability of questions and assessing player performance. And they're simply cool to look at and analyze. If your opinion is that advanced stats are not helpful unless they are used for the specific purpose of improving questions for future mirrors of the same set, I think you're being very narrow minded, not to mention doing a great disservice to the work that people have put in to develop and implement these measures.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by ryanrosenberg » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:05 pm

justinfrench1728 wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:49 pm
I'm looking at advanced stats for earlier mirrors of EFT and I'm seriously questioning why it was necessary to take them at all. The stats confirm unequivocally things that should have been obvious to the editors: T.S. Eliot was far too easy, the 1400s were far too fraudable, and Winterreise was far too difficult (the end of power clue for Winterreise was the same clue— just less evocative— as the CMST leadin). The advanced stats should have got the editors to fix this nonsense, but at the time of the SoCal mirror (in December!) none of these tossups were fixed.

Having to take advanced stats is a significant burden on hosts, since it requires more staffers and slows down games. When advanced stats are used to fix questions, they are worth the burden. However, when they only exist so that elite players can flex the first buzzes they got because they remembered a clue from Chicago Open four years ago, advanced stats are nowhere near worth the burden. If the editors are not going to use advanced stats to fix egregiously bad question, then the requirement for small hosts to take them is, quite frankly, actively harmful to the community.
I changed a number of questions based on advanced stats from the Discord mirror (and, to a lesser extent, the 9/29 mirrors). The advanced stats were very informative for that, and I have no doubt that the set was much more balanced and playable as a result of recording them. In the future, I would advise hosting playtesting mirrors well in advance (like SGI and SHT did) and soliciting a diverse field of playtesters in order to get the most use out of playtesting stats.

Addressing the specific tossup on T.S. Eliot: the tossup was certainly too easy for this level, and that's my fault for mis-estimating the difficulty of the quotes from Four Quartets. However, I don't think that that was necessarily apparent from the Discord mirror stats. The players that powered the Eliot tossup were Stephen Liu, Itamar, Caroline Mao, and Derek So: three elite college lit players and a very good HS lit player. That doesn't jump out to me as "too easy". Similarly, all of the players that powered the tossup at 9/29 mirrors are strong lit players. This is a good example of how advanced stats are not a perfect tool for assisting editing teams; it seems probable that good players' buzzes were shadowing other players, and that the clues were much more well-known than anticipated.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by touchpack » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:48 am

justinfrench1728 wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:49 pm
I'm looking at advanced stats for earlier mirrors of EFT and I'm seriously questioning why it was necessary to take them at all. The stats confirm unequivocally things that should have been obvious to the editors: T.S. Eliot was far too easy, the 1400s were far too fraudable, and Winterreise was far too difficult (the end of power clue for Winterreise was the same clue— just less evocative— as the CMST leadin). The advanced stats should have got the editors to fix this nonsense, but at the time of the SoCal mirror (in December!) none of these tossups were fixed.

Having to take advanced stats is a significant burden on hosts, since it requires more staffers and slows down games. When advanced stats are used to fix questions, they are worth the burden. However, when they only exist so that elite players can flex the first buzzes they got because they remembered a clue from Chicago Open four years ago, advanced stats are nowhere near worth the burden. If the editors are not going to use advanced stats to fix egregiously bad question, then the requirement for small hosts to take them is, quite frankly, actively harmful to the community.
Justin, here's some unsolicited life advice:

I get that you're upset that these 3 questions were not great. Ideally, every question would be great. But a difficulty miscalibration on 3 out of several hundred questions is not a socially acceptable reason to angrypost. You may think you're making some grand rhetorical point, but you're really just embarassing yourself and coming off as a total asshole. This post is the HSQB equivalent of throwing a temper tantrum at McDonalds because they put pickles on your burger after you asked for no pickles. Take a deep breath, throw the pickles in the trash, and move on with your life like an adult.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Ike » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:03 am

touchpack wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:48 am
justinfrench1728 wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:49 pm
I'm looking at advanced stats for earlier mirrors of EFT and I'm seriously questioning why it was necessary to take them at all. The stats confirm unequivocally things that should have been obvious to the editors: T.S. Eliot was far too easy, the 1400s were far too fraudable, and Winterreise was far too difficult (the end of power clue for Winterreise was the same clue— just less evocative— as the CMST leadin). The advanced stats should have got the editors to fix this nonsense, but at the time of the SoCal mirror (in December!) none of these tossups were fixed.

Having to take advanced stats is a significant burden on hosts, since it requires more staffers and slows down games. When advanced stats are used to fix questions, they are worth the burden. However, when they only exist so that elite players can flex the first buzzes they got because they remembered a clue from Chicago Open four years ago, advanced stats are nowhere near worth the burden. If the editors are not going to use advanced stats to fix egregiously bad question, then the requirement for small hosts to take them is, quite frankly, actively harmful to the community.
Justin, here's some unsolicited life advice:

I get that you're upset that these 3 questions were not great. Ideally, every question would be great. But a difficulty miscalibration on 3 out of several hundred questions is not a socially acceptable reason to angrypost. You may think you're making some grand rhetorical point, but you're really just embarassing yourself and coming off as a total asshole. This post is the HSQB equivalent of throwing a temper tantrum at McDonalds because they put pickles on your burger after you asked for no pickles. Take a deep breath, throw the pickles in the trash, and move on with your life like an adult.
Fully agree with this -- and yeah, given that the options for the tournament were either "have some X bad questions" or "no tournament at all," this is a pretty preposterous line to take. You are free to make whatever point you want Justin, but if you're going to play a tournament, and then condescend and demean the editors who saved the tournament* when you do not like it, you should consider just not playing the tournament.

*In particular the editors of those questions did a lot of last minute work to save the tournament, sacrificing what spare time they had.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by justinfrench1728 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:48 pm

touchpack wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:48 am
Justin, here's some unsolicited life advice:

I get that you're upset that these 3 questions were not great. Ideally, every question would be great. But a difficulty miscalibration on 3 out of several hundred questions is not a socially acceptable reason to angrypost. You may think you're making some grand rhetorical point, but you're really just embarassing yourself and coming off as a total asshole. This post is the HSQB equivalent of throwing a temper tantrum at McDonalds because they put pickles on your burger after you asked for no pickles. Take a deep breath, throw the pickles in the trash, and move on with your life like an adult.
I'm not mad that three questions were bad, or even that a good portion of the tournament was bad. Lots of tournaments are bad. If you read what I said, I'm mad that the editors required that hosts take advanced stats, and then (read closely, since this is the important part) did nothing with them! I'm sure all you editors were heroic in saving EFT or whatever, but I'm sure EFT could have been saved without forcing hosts to recruit almost double the number of staffers.
Ike wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:03 am
Fully agree with this -- and yeah, given that the options for the tournament were either "have some X bad questions" or "no tournament at all," this is a pretty preposterous line to take. You are free to make whatever point you want Justin, but if you're going to play a tournament, and then condescend and demean the editors who saved the tournament* when you do not like it, you should consider just not playing the tournament.

*In particular the editors of those questions did a lot of last minute work to save the tournament, sacrificing what spare time they had.
If the editors had so little time that they were under pressure to edit the tournament at all, then surely these editors would have been aware in advance that they would not have time to fix questions after seeing advanced stats. If the tournament was falling apart and needed to be saved by people who did not have enough time to make it good, so be it. Shit happens. But if the editors knew in advance that they would not have time to edit the tournament based on advanced stats, and then still required advanced stats, then that is bad.

Also, for the record, I did not play the tournament. I staffed the tournament and saw these and other questions have tangible negative effects on the newer players to which this tournament is supposedly targeted.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by sephirothrr » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:56 pm

justinfrench1728 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:48 pm
If you read what I said, I'm mad that the editors required that hosts take advanced stats, and then (read closely, since this is the important part) did nothing with them!
ryanrosenberg, an editor of this set wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:05 pm
I changed a number of questions based on advanced stats from the Discord mirror
justinfrench1728 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:48 pm
read closely, since this is the important part
justinfrench1728 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:48 pm
read closely
:thinking:
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Fuddle Duddle » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:00 pm

justinfrench1728 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:48 pm
I'm not mad that three questions were bad, or even that a good portion of the tournament was bad. Lots of tournaments are bad. If you read what I said, I'm mad that the editors required that hosts take advanced stats, and then (read closely, since this is the important part) did nothing with them! I'm sure all you editors were heroic in saving EFT or whatever, but I'm sure EFT could have been saved without forcing hosts to recruit almost double the number of staffers.
I would be far more sympathetic to this point if it were like, 2017 and no one knew how to use advanced stats, but they've been standard for well over a year now. Finding people who can run a room with advanced stats alone in a timely manner really shouldn't be that difficult. Also, your posts make it sound like enabling people to see how they did after a tournament isn't a worthy end in itself. If that isn't the case, why do we keep even the regular kind of stats?
Last edited by Fuddle Duddle on Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by High Dependency Unit » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:00 pm

Justin, do you think 2018 ACF Regionals required advanced stats to help the editors with fixing questions? To go off that obviously rhetorical question, people like looking at advanced stats to see how players and teams from across the country compare. Having mirrors without advanced stats fucks with the point of having advanced stats in the first place. I don't know how it got in your head that the sole purpose of advanced stats is to fix questions, but that ain't it, chief.

Side note: You don't need double the staff to run advanced stats, as Uconn ran a competent Regionals site last year (albeit ending finals around 9:30 because there were 16(!) rounds of play) with one staffer in most rooms.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Ike » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:11 pm

For the record, I found the advanced stats for this and other tournaments I have worked on to be informative, like Andrew Hart. I too, made a small handful of changes to my questions in this tournament based on the advanced stats. But, I think that advanced stats are useful in getting the big picture for the next time I write. You can understand what "angles" to questions are more likely to generate the distribution of buzzes you are aiming for.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Santa Claus » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:17 pm

justinfrench1728 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:48 pm
If you read what I said, I'm mad that the editors required that hosts take advanced stats, and then (read closely, since this is the important part) did nothing with them!
Are you just ignoring the statements of the editors and writers who have stated that they made use of advanced stats to make improvements to the tournament or am I not reading closely enough?
I'm sure EFT could have been saved without forcing hosts to recruit almost double the number of staffers.
I don’t understand why you would need twice as many staffers to enter advanced stats unless you were planning on having no dedicated scorekeepers anyways. Even if you were, many readers have shown that they are up to the task of entering advanced stats as they go, even when having to also keep score.
I'm sure all you editors were heroic in saving EFT or whatever
If the editors had so little time that they were under pressure to edit the tournament at all, then surely these editors would have been aware in advance that they would not have time to fix questions after seeing advanced stats. If the tournament was falling apart and needed to be saved by people who did not have enough time to make it good, so be it. Shit happens.
You don’t seem very grateful to the editors of EFT for saving a tournament played at over 15 sites by over a hundred teams, I wonder why that is.
Also, for the record, I did not play the tournament.
Oh.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by justinfrench1728 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:41 am

High Dependency Unit wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:00 pm
To go off that obviously rhetorical question, people like looking at advanced stats to see how players and teams from across the country compare. Having mirrors without advanced stats fucks with the point of having advanced stats in the first place. I don't know how it got in your head that the sole purpose of advanced stats is to fix questions, but that ain't it, chief.
We have two nationals to compare teams across the country. Asking for every site to take advanced stats just so that 20 or so nationally competitive teams can compare is ridiculous.
An Economic Ignoramus wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:00 pm
Also, your posts make it sound like enabling people to see how they did after a tournament isn't a worthy end in itself. If that isn't the case, why do we keep even the regular kind of stats?
Regular stats are comparatively much easier to record than buzz-points.
Santa Claus wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:17 pm
Even if you were, many readers have shown that they are up to the task of entering advanced stats as they go, even when having to also keep score.
An Economic Ignoramus wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:00 pm
Finding people who can run a room with advanced stats alone in a timely manner really shouldn't be that difficult.
Please send these staffers to Southern California so that they can help staff tournaments.
Santa Claus wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:17 pm
Are you just ignoring the statements of the editors and writers who have stated that they made use of advanced stats to make improvements to the tournament or am I not reading closely enough?
Okay, let me advise my statement. They didn't do nothing with the advanced stats; they did very little.
sephirothrr wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:56 pm
justinfrench1728 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:48 pm
If you read what I said, I'm mad that the editors required that hosts take advanced stats, and then (read closely, since this is the important part) did nothing with them!
ryanrosenberg, an editor of this set wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:05 pm
I changed a number of questions based on advanced stats from the Discord mirror
justinfrench1728 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:48 pm
read closely, since this is the important part
justinfrench1728 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:48 pm
read closely
:thinking:
I like your style.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by heterodyne » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:03 am

Detailed statistics are useful to any team trying to identify their weaknesses and improve, as well as any team attempting to compare their knowledge base to opponents they were not playing in a given game. Suggesting that their utility for player analysis only applies to the top 20 teams is misleading.
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Re: EFT 2018 - Thanks and General Discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:45 am

Are you seriously telling me Socal doesn't contain people who can switch between tabs, click on words and paste things?
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