Search found 2096 matches

by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:31 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: The 70 Greatest Players of the Last Eight Years: A Ranking
Replies: 56
Views: 27964

Re: The 70 Greatest Players of the Last Eight Years: A Ranki

56. RICHARD MASON (Yale): Perhaps the most forgotten player to win Chicago Open in recent years, Rich and John Lawrence formed the 1-2 punch of the Yale Renaissance, and for a brief period, I thought Rich was the better player. However, his peak was kind of short and he didn't improve as dramatical...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:44 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Abolish The Mythology Category (Or Reduce & Revamp It)
Replies: 22
Views: 8679

Re: Abolish The Mythology Category (Or Reduce & Revamp It)

Putting two and two together here, do you see this as reason enough to make mythology less than 1/1 of the distribution? No. I acknowledge the central point of this thread: that mythology has such a small body of sources, that coming up with fresh questions is uniquely challenging there. There's no...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:05 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Would You Recommend Working for NHBB?
Replies: 75
Views: 39252

Re: Would You Recommend Working for NHBB?

In terms of actually working for NHBB or other Maddenverse organizations, I have no complaints. I was always paid promptly. Dave Madden was always nice to me. They always have plenty of polos for NHBB moderators and seem to treat staff well during NHBB itself. The pay is good compared to the rest of...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:01 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Would You Recommend Working for PACE?
Replies: 7
Views: 3359

Re: Would You Recommend Working for PACE?

I used to compare PACE to the Stanford Prison Experiment, except with a corporate bureaucracy instead of a prison. Perfectly normal quizbowl people would get elected to PACE and then, especially if they were the Communications Officer, they would cease to talk like human beings, and start talking li...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:53 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Would You Recommend Working for NAQT?
Replies: 22
Views: 6523

Re: Would You Recommend Working for NAQT?

I've never written or attempted to write for NAQT before. I hear they have a comprehensive editing process and once had a major question security breach. They're also the only surviving "legacy" quizbowl organization that seems to actually have multiple employees/members who make all or a substantia...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Abolish The Mythology Category (Or Reduce & Revamp It)
Replies: 22
Views: 8679

Re: Abolish The Mythology Category (Or Reduce & Revamp It)

It's interesting that when I first started playing quizbowl, I was very offended by many of the Norse myth questions I heard. It seemed like questions existed for no other reason than the fact that Norse culture had the quirk of every damn object having a given name. There's some HSQB post from 2005...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: The base fee for college qb tournaments should be higher
Replies: 14
Views: 4006

Re: The base fee for college qb tournaments should be higher

Look I'm sure there are challenging things about editing hard tournaments and challenging things about editing easy tournaments. As somebody who exclusively edited hard tournaments, I would rather go to the dentist once a day for an entire week than edit an easy tournament like ACF Fall. Perhaps it ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:49 am
Forum: Collegiate Announcements & Results
Topic: CO "History Bee" (2018)
Replies: 15
Views: 5653

Re: CO "History Bee" (2018)

I'm retired from quizbowl and have no stake in this, but I'd in general love to see more serious academic side events or serious academic open tournaments adopt rules variations from outside of the mACF world. It would have been really fun to play an academic summer open on Ann B. Davis rules, for e...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:47 am
Forum: New High School Teams
Topic: What to do to improve for history
Replies: 8
Views: 5498

Re: What to do to improve for history

If you want to learn a specific time period that you are not very familiar with, I found it useful to read multiple books on the same topic, and seeing what gets mentioned in multiple books. Also a helpful way to not get misled by the various biases (or pet theories/viewpoints of the author) that bo...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:45 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: Writing Good History Questions
Replies: 35
Views: 15557

Re: Writing Good History Questions

So I think a lot of it boils down to "can I describe what I am looking for easily", i.e., does this answer line easily turn into a pronoun. Some creative answerlines do better here than others. Back in the day, I wrote a lot of navy tossups. The answerlines would be things like "The American Navy", ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:45 am
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Writing Good History Questions
Replies: 35
Views: 13271

Re: Writing Good History Questions

So I think a lot of it boils down to "can I describe what I am looking for easily", i.e., does this answer line easily turn into a pronoun. Some creative answerlines do better here than others. Back in the day, I wrote a lot of navy tossups. The answerlines would be things like "The American Navy", ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:56 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Writing Good History Questions
Replies: 35
Views: 15557

Re: Writing Good History Questions

Back in the day, I wrote a lot of "creative" type answerlines - "Finnish fascists", things like that. I regret it. There is nothing you can accomplish by writing a tossup with the answerline "Finnish fascists" that you cannot accomplish by writing a tossup on "Finland" where all the clues happen to ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:56 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Writing Good History Questions
Replies: 35
Views: 13271

Re: Writing Good History Questions

Back in the day, I wrote a lot of "creative" type answerlines - "Finnish fascists", things like that. I regret it. There is nothing you can accomplish by writing a tossup with the answerline "Finnish fascists" that you cannot accomplish by writing a tossup on "Finland" where all the clues happen to ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:47 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Question providers for TV tournaments
Replies: 8
Views: 2513

Re: Question providers for TV tournaments

Not only are NAQT questions good, but NAQT is probably the most professional and reliable question writing company in existence.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:10 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: NSC 2016 Set Discussion
Replies: 32
Views: 11669

Re: NSC 2016 Set Discussion

Look I'm not alleging that Cuba was not a key theater of the Spanish-American war or that there was not a "Cuban campaign" in the technical, military strategy sense of the term. I'm simply stating that writing a tossup on "The Cuban Campaign of the Spanish American War" creates opportunities for pla...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:49 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: NSC 2016 Set Discussion
Replies: 32
Views: 11669

Re: NSC 2016 Set Discussion

I'm not involved in NSC in any way, and I certainly didn't play it, but as an outside observer "Cuban theater of the Spanish-American War" sounds like an extremely cumbersome answerline and I'm not sure what is being accomplished that could not be accomplished with a tossup where the answer was "Cub...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon May 16, 2016 1:58 pm
Forum: Collegiate Announcements & Results
Topic: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016
Replies: 45
Views: 24711

Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

For reference, I don't believe the announcement for ACF Fall had any explicit or even implicit language in it this year discouraging good players from playing it:

http://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewto ... =8&t=17524
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon May 02, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here
Replies: 88
Views: 33774

Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Another argument against three-team games is that it penalizes teams of generalists by potentially exposing them to two sets of specialists at the same time.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:50 pm
Forum: New Collegiate Teams
Topic: Map of Quiz Bowl
Replies: 21
Views: 10198

Re: Map of Quiz Bowl

Quizbowl must realize its manifest destiny and tame the mountain west.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:37 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Make your questions interesting!
Replies: 9
Views: 3644

Re: Make your questions interesting!

I'll add that I find "interesting" questions much more enjoyable to write than the alternative. Back when I was writing hundreds of questions a year, I probably would have gone insane if all I was writing was the boring ones. Inserting interesting clues, "amusing" commentary, etc., was a life-affirm...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:36 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: 25 for 25: A Definitive List of the Greatest ACF Players
Replies: 29
Views: 16570

Re: 25 for 25: A Definitive List of the Greatest ACF Players

I know this is an ACF thread, but let's remember that Minnesota led by Carson/Hart/Byrne beat Harvard at the 2010 ICT despite the fact that somebody on the other team had all of the answers. This is an underrated achievement by that group. That late 2000's Harvard team might have won a few things le...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Buzzers | You
Replies: 22
Views: 8048

Re: Buzzers | You

How does NHBB store and transport 100+ buzzers?
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here
Replies: 88
Views: 33774

Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Content repetition. I'll hold off discussing the actual answerlines until that gets cleared, but there were clear instances in the bowl of the same answer appearing two, and possibly three, times. If the eligible pool of answers is "anything that has happened in the past", as it has once been worde...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:47 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2016 Discussion
Replies: 74
Views: 20489

Re: ACF Nationals 2016 Discussion

Fear not, though - I will lose that battle handily, and quizbowl in 2025 will certainly demand that all tossups contain citations to major university syllabi. The lamps are going out all over the Canon, and we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime. And yet even in this dystopia, Plato will b...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:04 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Open Human-Computer Tournament in Socal, Early June
Replies: 14
Views: 6423

Re: Open Human-Computer Tournament in Socal, Early June

What, if any, are the logistical obstacles and limitations preventing your computer from, say, playing Chicago Open? (Other than the field being full).
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: How to deal with a failed HS QB career?
Replies: 11
Views: 5082

Re: How to deal with a failed HS QB career?

Failure is a terrible feeling; many great quizbowl players have said here (or elsewhere) they they were motivated by a distaste for failure as much as (or even more so than) an enjoyment of victory. Unfortunately, in any high-stakes competitive activity worth its salt, more people will fail than suc...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:08 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Personal Quizbowl Endgame Scenarios
Replies: 3
Views: 3100

Re: Personal Quizbowl Endgame Scenarios

I first fell in love with quizbowl as a high school student circa 2001. Here was an activity that rewarded me for what I was already doing: reading books, paying attention in class, visiting museums in my spare time, etc. At the time, both Illinois and the league my high school played in used crappy...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Today is the Anniversary of Watkinsgate
Replies: 18
Views: 8025

Re: Today is the Anniversary of Watkinsgate

I wouldn't say that I knew Andy Watkins "well", but being his teammate for three years I probably know him a bit better than most of you. The rumors that Andy cheated began almost immediately after the 2010 ICT (and perhaps earlier, but that was the first time I noticed them). I was very skeptical a...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:25 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Buzzing In Too(?) Early
Replies: 11
Views: 3751

Re: Buzzing In Too(?) Early

I strongly agree with Cody that problem #2 is being caused entirely by clunky, non-pyramidal giveaways, rather than by a flaw or problem with the rules. There's no way you could write a rule protecting players from that situation: there's no way to tell that they actually were buzzing with "possessi...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:28 pm
Forum: New High School Teams
Topic: Over-Buzzing Problem
Replies: 13
Views: 9067

Re: Over-Buzzing Problem

Anyway, some more serious advice below: (1) this may be a grass is greener problem for you. You may be beating yourself up for negging too much, but I assure you there are people out there beating themselves up for not buzzing or for being too cautious. I was never an aggressive player, and if I wer...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:17 pm
Forum: New High School Teams
Topic: Over-Buzzing Problem
Replies: 13
Views: 9067

Re: Over-Buzzing Problem

In college I had a teammate who was notorious for negging excessively. I experimented with various techniques to help him. Once, I made him sign an index card saying "I promise not to neg". He negged the very next tossup he heard after signing that card. I had more luck with a system where I would t...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:00 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: How to nail down clues
Replies: 7
Views: 3824

Re: How to nail down clues

What about prior clues that eliminate other answers.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: You Gotta Know Holy Roman Emperors
Replies: 5
Views: 4236

Re: You Gotta Know Holy Roman Emperors

As Matt J. alluded to, at some point (relatively early in its history) the Holy Roman Empire becomes a formality, and the Holy Roman Emperors worth knowing about are only famous for their non-HRE accomplishments. Learn a lot about Charlemagne - he did so much, I think I once wrote 4 Charlemagne toss...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:13 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Announcement: "stanford housewrite"
Replies: 21
Views: 15346

Re: Announcement: "stanford housewrite"

Why the hang-up among the tournament's editors about field size at mirrors? What difference does it make if the tournament is played at two locations with 16 teams each, or four locations with 8 teams each, or six locations with 5.3 teams each?
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:34 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: Automatic question reading?
Replies: 3
Views: 2611

Re: Automatic question reading?

lack of moderators is a much more limiting problem for quizbowl than moderator error: you should be thinking about fully automating the moderator role
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:19 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: Just what is "business casual" dress, and how do I wear it?
Replies: 52
Views: 21930

Re: Just what is "business casual" dress, and how do I wear

Overall, I think Joe errs a bit on the side of conservatism in dress, but he is 100% right when he says that people will judge you based on the way you dress, and that you will be treated with more respect by adults if you dress neatly and professionally. It's very analogous to how people will likew...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:53 pm
Forum: New Collegiate Teams
Topic: Is it worth the hassle?
Replies: 5
Views: 6516

Re: Is it worth the hassle?

Tournament sizes are growing in college. Hundreds of teams are playing ACF Fall, dozens of teams played Penn Bowl, even ACF Nationals is larger than it has ever been. Very few of the schools playing all of these tournaments have substantial institutional support, and many of them didn't have a team ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Summa contra potestates
Replies: 16
Views: 6341

Re: Summa contra potestates

So depending on your view of powers, the detailed conversation of game theory above is either proof that they provide, as Andrew put it, "strategic intrigue", or that they distract some of the best and brightest in quizbowl away from learning facts and cause games to be decided by non-knowledge fact...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:47 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Summa contra potestates
Replies: 16
Views: 6341

Re: Summa contra potestates

The incentive to vulch to pad ones own stats is always there, and all that powers do is give the person doing it an extra excuse of "oh, I was trying to get power" - but this is a super flimsy excuse, except in a few close games where this actually creates the strategic intrigue Andrew cites as a be...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:21 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: Pronunciation Guides
Replies: 16
Views: 8091

Re: Pronunciation Guides

I'm sure there exist foreign words where most people are familiar only with the common English mispronunciation, and not with the actual pronunciation. I suspect that, e.g., names from Welsh and Irish mythology may fall into this category, where the reader pronouncing it correctly may actually cause...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:13 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Protesting against your own team
Replies: 15
Views: 6730

Re: Protesting against your own team

If I were a player and this happened to my team, my reaction would be "well, the coach was acting within his rights, and probably did the right thing in some larger moral sense, but I'm annoyed that he acted against the immediate self-interest of the team he leads and represents". An analogous situa...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:31 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: How to study packets?
Replies: 12
Views: 6349

Re: How to study packets?

What I've seen a lot of people do is read the questions in the categories they want to focus on, mark (honestly) where they would have buzzed on the question, and look up all the clues prior to that point to learn about them.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:03 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Adjusting to College Quizbowl
Replies: 6
Views: 3877

Re: Adjusting to College Quizbowl

Attend as many practices and play as many tournaments as you can, and don't be intimidated if you don't do as well as you'd like at first. You will learn things from hearing the questions, you will learn things from chit-chat between questions, you will learn things from conversations in the hallway...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:42 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: A unified theory of bonus leadins
Replies: 8
Views: 3507

Re: A unified theory of bonus leadins

Wasn't the "One character in this novel...for 10 points each" bonus format largely popularized by early iterations of ACF Fall, for the express purpose of teaching more clues to novice players? Even if that's just an urban legend (and what a lame urban legend to start), I'd like to plug the ability ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:26 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Resetting [pt. 5 of 6]: How We Treat Each Other
Replies: 40
Views: 16281

Re: Resetting [pt. 5 of 6]: How We Treat Each Other

I also find it tasteless when people are visibly upset at losing a buzzer race to one of their own teammates.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:48 am
Forum: New Collegiate Teams
Topic: Army Quizbowl
Replies: 4
Views: 3892

Re: Army Quizbowl

There definitely has been an Army quizbowl team before, I remember encountering one at an event in MIT circa 2008 or 2009. Anyway, it is fantastic to hear that you are starting a team, and I hope you can make it out to a lot of New England tournaments this fall. You will want to attend a tournament ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:27 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Chicago Open Weekend Length
Replies: 16
Views: 5102

Re: Chicago Open Weekend Length

And yet people continue to go to CO year after year and sign up for all of these side events, suggesting they are OK with it.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:17 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: "This Things I Believe"
Replies: 44
Views: 14328

Re: "This Things I Believe"

Whenever I need to explain the ethos of the hardcore ACF player to somebody, I bring up the fact that at the most elite college quizbowl tournaments, the prizes are tattered old books. Its a great illustration of the ideals of the quizbowl community, that demonstrating knowledge of things is its own...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:06 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Could High-Level College Quizbowl Stand to be Easier?
Replies: 25
Views: 8143

Re: Could High-Level College Quizbowl Stand to be Easier?

There's a difference between something like ACF Nationals, where the goal is to crown a national champion, and something like Chicago Open or a Chicago Open Side Event, where the goal is to give a bunch of crack addicts their high. Granted, it's no fun to lose a tournament like CO because the questi...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:27 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: questions about Judaism
Replies: 15
Views: 5854

questions about Judaism

Split from the 2015 CO thread --Mgmt. Grammatical clarity aside, though, I was really impressed by this submission: it was actually a good high-level question on a Jewish holiday. Rather than just spitting out names of songs for leadins like run-of-the-mill Jewish holiday tossups, this one tested k...