Man, does CBI suck...

This is the holding pen for the best threads containing quiz bowl talk.

Postby rdunlap » Thu May 05, 2005 12:16 am

One of the points Nathan mentioned in passing needs to be re-emphasized. College Bowl has a different metric for success -- its goal is to be a spectator sport, just as it once was, and that guides the way they structure the game. They're looking for a fast-paced game that keeps an audience interested, and they've succeeded there (as can be attested to by my wife, a non-player who married into the quiz bowl community). And, because that's their goal, the sports analogies apply... including the fact that the best team will not always win the championship.

That's a choice CBI has made, and everyone has a right to disagree with that choice. But if a millionaire shows up to invest in a professional quiz bowl circuit (the wish of an earlier poster), or if quiz bowl returns to a national audience in some other way, CBI is well-positioned to reemerge.

Barring a major change in American culture, ACF couldn't become a spectator sport, and I don't think that's an objective of its partisans. NAQT is a different matter entirely, and I'm not sure who would win out if NAQT and CBI went head to head as spectator sports. CBI has 50+ years of history and experience, while NAQT has rules innovations like the power that make the game more exciting to watch as well as question difficulty that, truthfully, is closer to the College Bowl of the television era in difficulty than the current CBI questions -- what's unclear is how modern society would react to the College Bowl of the 50s and 60s. Certainly, NAQT's presence in local television markets at the high school level gives them some credence here.

In summary: I believe that CBI (and NAQT to a certain extent) have long-term business goals for decisions they're making that go well beyond the money they get from packet sales to campus programs. Maybe insted of moaning about how bad CBI is, you should redirect that effort into changing the long-term business environment (aka society) so that CBI will have a reason to move their product the direction you prefer.

Before I sign off, just to put the torch to Matt's strawmen:
1) The vast majority of schools still playing CBI are having zero money drained from their quizbowl team by CBI... in many cases, (as was the case at Cornell, for example), quiz bowl team funding and CBI funding come from completely different budgets. In those situations where it was a financial drain, I don't have a problem with teams dropping CBI... but don't cry about the legitimacy of something you chose not to compete in. (And if you did choose to compete, by all means fire away, keeping in mind that CBI may have a fundamentally different paradigm).

2) CBI's been at this for 50 years, and they're the only quiz bowl format to have been on national television on a regular basis. In the absence of a governing organization for quizbowl a la the NCAA, they've actually got the best credentials for awarding a national championship. On this issue, the NCAA/NIT sports analogy is the best, however -- all the NCT's have a claim to legitimacy.

3) Matt's griping about the HBCU's is old ground, and Tom's done a great job of putting into the electronic record precisely how the situation with the HBCU's unfolded. Matt, how about finding an HBCU that feels it was discriminated against to tell its side of the story, and then we'll have facts to compare instead of Tom's facts against your blustering?
rdunlap
emerge from subterranean time
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:58 pm
Location: Alpharetta, GA

Postby Matt Weiner » Thu May 05, 2005 12:25 am

I was going to type up a detailed reply to that until I realized that it can all be answered as follows:

25% of it may be dismissed by noting that your constant insistence that CBI is something fundamentally different from regular quizbowl is not in opposition to what I'm saying; in fact, it's exactly what I'm saying.

50% of it can be taken care of by reminding you that it is not 1995.

25% of it can be answered by reading this statement over and over again until one passes out from laughter.

CBI's been at this for 50 years, and they're the only quiz bowl format to have been on national television on a regular basis. In the absence of a governing organization for quizbowl a la the NCAA, they've actually got the best credentials for awarding a national championship.


The fact is that CBI is composed of horrible human beings and its questions do not reward knowledge. Nothing you say can change that, even if the things you say are true (and Tom Michael posting what seems to be the chronicle of an acid trip, complete with the exponentially absurd spectacle of "YOU are racist because CBI was at the forefront of the civil rights movement and black people never fly on planes!", is about the farthest thing from "truth" I can think of). Thus, no one who respects quizbowl or ethical behavior or any combination of the two should play CBI, period.
User avatar
Matt Weiner
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 8196
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Postby NoahMinkCHS » Thu May 05, 2005 12:45 am

Upon further review, NoahMinkCHS still can't believe he wrote:(However, while I do agree pyramidial questions are the best tests of knowledge, and my favorites, I don't think they're necessarily the only legitimate questions. Hoses, of course, should be unacceptable, but short questions with one or two facts that turn into speed tests are not, innately, bad. Isn't speed, like knowledge, one of many components of quiz bowl that can be emphasized? If you don't want to play them, or feel they're against your idea of quiz bowl, that's your business.)

Sorry to jump back in, quite sure you're all sick of hearing me in this thread, but I have to atone for that statement. Trust me, I know -- and I hope, after three years (of, I think, mostly non-moronic posts) here, you know -- that I know better than to say crap like that.

I'll stand by a lot of what I've said in this thread -- for better or, probably, worse -- but there's no excuse for that parenthetical paragraph (or at least anything after the word "favorites"). Though I wasn't on any mind-altering substances at the time, that'd be the only reason I can think of why I'd say that. So, apologies for whatever got into me. Now I'll leave this thread alone for awhile...
NoahMinkCHS
iceman of Andean tears
 
Posts: 827
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Athens, GA / Macon, GA

Postby Chris Frankel » Thu May 05, 2005 1:11 am

I have to question the NCAA/NIT analogy; first off, the NIT is older by a year, so shouldn't tradition be on its side? Yet, it isn't just the NCAA's governing policies that give it legitimacy over its older rival; it's the teams that make the tournament, not the other way around. Look who competed in the NCAA tournament (the best of the best ranked teams from the season) versus the NIT, who only fielded midlevel teams.

I think anyone would be hardpressed to claim the NCAA tournament had produced a worthy national champion this year if North Carolina, Illinois, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, and the other top 10-15 teams chose to skip it or sent their JV/freshman squads to play for them (I could also make the analogy of having the hoops at only 3 feet high or something silly to point out how far off CBI is from mainstream competition, but that's besides the point). Likewise, if all of those teams had gone to the NIT instead, I think it would be obvious who the legit champion is. Likewise, Michigan, Chicago, Berkeley, Texas A&M, Princeton, Virginia Commonwealth, Harvard, Yale, etc... didn't bother to show up at CBI.

The field difference was slightly less drastic because Stanford, Illinois, and Rochester did show up, but the facts remain that both by the virtue of the relatively weak field and Minnesota's own demonstrated inability to rise past the bottom bracket at a national quiz bowl tournament with a field truly featuring superior players and team, there is absolutely no way anyone could claim that they are a legitimate national champion at quiz bowl. They didn't play the best, and they got beaten by the best, the good, the decent, the mediocre, and the subpar at NAQT. Not to tear into the Minnesota team, but the facts speak for themselves that CBI just does not produce a legitimate national quiz bowl champion. "Tradition" doesn't hold up here, and just as in morality debates, relativism is the refuge of those who cannot back up their arguments with facts and truth. If CBI produced a true national champion, you would be giving us reasons why it is superior to ACF and/or NAQT instead of retreating to a corner and saying, "everybody's right."

Second, I don't see anything "precise" about an individual (i.e. Tom Michael) who hasn't participated in an academic quiz bowl circuit tournament for years spouting unsubstantiated hearsay about events involving unnamed people from unnamed programs allegedly committing offensive acts at unnamed tournaments that occurred when 99.99% of the circuit was middle school or high school aged. Never mind that there's no substantiating information about how these events 10 years ago even have the slightest link towards the state of the circuit after years of nigh-complete rotations of personalities involved (i.e. the ones actually playing the game and the ones whose opinions actually matter). And much like Cephalus in the Republic, he conveniently disappeared from the scene when actually called on to explain himself and cite current, relevant specifics (not to mention his disgustingly patronizing attitude towards Honda participants). That post he made on collegequizbowl.org has been left waiting for his response for nearly a month; his failure to even attempt to address the questions raised in his sweeping statement has not gone unnoticed.
User avatar
Chris Frankel
torrent of sunbursts
 
Posts: 369
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 12:52 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Postby Captain Sinico » Thu May 05, 2005 2:28 am

rdunlap wrote:One of the points Nathan mentioned in passing needs to be re-emphasized. College Bowl has a different metric for success -- its goal is to be a spectator sport, just as it once was, and that guides the way they structure the game. They're looking for a fast-paced game that keeps an audience interested, and they've succeeded there (as can be attested to by my wife, a non-player who married into the quiz bowl community).

No, they haven't, because they're not a spectator activity. Discounting officials and persons associated with the teams, there was on average less than one person per match watching the games I played at NCT. Discounting one team’s “cheering section,â€
User avatar
Captain Sinico
groom of totemic guanacos
 
Posts: 2649
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Postby Ray » Thu May 05, 2005 3:38 am

In 1997, the venerated John Sheahan posted to the now-sadly-defunct alt.college.college-bowl newsgroup a dishearteningly well-reasoned explication of CBI's seeming immunity to market pressures exerted by the will of the top-tier circuit teams. His post is available thanks to Google's Usenet archive, and can be read here.

In his analysis, he makes strong devil's-advocate arguments against many of the points raised in this thread. Definitely worth reading and thinking about.

ImmaculateDeception wrote:CBI questions are systematically terrible, and intentionally so,
MaS

Carthaginem esse delendam!
Ray
potter wasted among his clays
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 10:29 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby Scipio » Thu May 05, 2005 10:28 am

Ray wrote:
Carthaginem esse delendam!


Cato the Elder wrote:
Carthago delenda est!


I think the latter makes a little more sense in this context, since the former is in indirect discourse but without a finite verb delimiting it.

Mike Sorice, Matt Weiner, Sudheer Potru, Seth Kendall, and the hundreds of active and retired quiz bowl players who have played CBI are suggesting:
CBI is horrible, and no one should play it anymore!


I believe the latter is the most correct of all.
Seth Lyons Kendall
University of Memphis, 1993-1997
University of Kentucky, 1997-1999, 2000-2008
User avatar
Scipio
mason high on your treacherous scaffolding
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 4:12 pm

Postby iamsam » Thu May 05, 2005 4:07 pm

Immaculate Deception wrote:CBI questions are systematically terrible, and intentionally so
I have never played CBI (I'm a junior in high school), and from what I read, I most likely never will; however, from what I have read so far--if I am completely wrong, fine crucify me--, I don't understand why there is an argument. This is far worse than the argument about '...those awful keegan questions...'. , and I thought that argument ended up extremely pointless. If everyone seems to agree that the CBI questions are bad, they treat you like children, etc., then what is the point of trying to justify why its bad? There isn't one. If I had to consistently play against bad questions, I quite frankly couldn't care less why the questions sucked. If I murder someone for their left shoe as opposed to their right shoe, does it make the crime any worse? No. The only people who seem to be arguing that CBI has to have bad questions because they are trying to be a spectator sport have no real basis in their arguments, they just seem to skirt around the fact that they got stuck in the position of defending CBI, and have no real evidence to support themselves with.
Carpe Cerevisi
User avatar
iamsam
potter wasted among his clays
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 5:51 pm

Postby grapesmoker » Thu May 05, 2005 7:17 pm

Quizbowl at any level will never be a spectator sport again. Nobody (in the world outside the circuit) cares, it's just that simple. So let's stop this talk about entertainment for spectators and all the attendant bullshit.

I can't speak for others, but I am sure that I am not wrong in saying that most of those who play this game (I mean on the established circuit) do so because they are genuinely interested in learning something new and interesting from it. I know that's why I do it. Winning is fun, and winning requires learning, ergo learning is fun. If you play CBI, you may be entertained by the competition (if you have a perverse sense of humor) but you won't be learning anything. For many people, sadly, that's fine. They don't care, they just want to show up once in a while, play some faux-qb, and go home. Those people will always outnumber people who are actually interested in getting better and will always provide CBI with a customer base. I agree that we should try to win them over, but realistically, until an experienced grad student arrives on such a campus and corralls people into playing on quality questions, it's just not going to happen. People (like rdunlap) who should really know better than trying to defend CBI as a worthwhile endeavor should instead apply themselves to convincing those who don't already know it that CBI sucks balls and encouraging them to participate in real quizbowl.

Jerry
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
groom of totemic guanacos
 
Posts: 5809
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Postby Chris Frankel » Thu May 05, 2005 7:17 pm

iamsam wrote:I have never played CBI (I'm a junior in high school), and from what I read, I most likely never will; however, from what I have read so far--if I am completely wrong, fine crucify me--, I don't understand why there is an argument. This is far worse than the argument about '...those awful keegan questions...'. , and I thought that argument ended up extremely pointless. If everyone seems to agree that the CBI questions are bad, they treat you like children, etc., then what is the point of trying to justify why its bad? There isn't one. If I had to consistently play against bad questions, I quite frankly couldn't care less why the questions sucked. If I murder someone for their left shoe as opposed to their right shoe, does it make the crime any worse? No. The only people who seem to be arguing that CBI has to have bad questions because they are trying to be a spectator sport have no real basis in their arguments, they just seem to skirt around the fact that they got stuck in the position of defending CBI, and have no real evidence to support themselves with.


If you look up the basic information on every (or at least 99.9% of them) vocal CBI partisan, you'll find that everyone has either a direct affiliation with CBI (e.g. Tom Michael) or has reaped some substantial benefit (e.g. publicity, a psuedo-title, etc) from the disparity caused by the dumbing down of the questions and the field at tournaments that they would not have been able to achieve had they been competing on real knowledge-rewarding questions against a full strength field (e.g. the Minnesota effect that CBI produces). That's not a personal attack like Mr. Michael's eloquent, "DURR YOU GUYS ARE ASSHOLES," but it is something that can be verified in the case of the vast majority of vocal partisans, and hints at motivations that extend well beyond whatever they claim the reasons for their support of CBI.
Last edited by Chris Frankel on Sun May 08, 2005 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
"They sometimes get fooled by the direction a question is going to take, and that's intentional," said Reid. "The players on these teams are so good that 90 percent of the time they could interrupt the question and give the correct answer if the questions didn't take those kinds of turns. That wouldn't be fun to watch, so every now and then as I design these suckers, I say to myself, 'Watch this!' and wait 'til we're on camera. I got a lot of dirty looks this last tournament."
User avatar
Chris Frankel
torrent of sunbursts
 
Posts: 369
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 12:52 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Postby grapesmoker » Thu May 05, 2005 7:25 pm

Chris Frankel wrote:e.g. the Minnesota effect that CBI produces


Ooh, a new addition to the lexicon. Strong work.
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
groom of totemic guanacos
 
Posts: 5809
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Postby ezubaric » Thu May 05, 2005 8:39 pm

Chris Frankel wrote:you'll find that everyone has either a direct affiliation with CBI (e.g. Tom Michael) or has reaped some substantial benefit (e.g. publicity, a psuedo-title, etc)


Although to be fair, the frequenters of the fora where CBI is discussed are circuit regulars (usually). You won't find too many CBI weekend warriors in places like this.
Jordan Boyd-Graber
UC Boulder
UMD (College Park, MD), Faculty Advisor 2010-2014
Princeton '09
Caltech '04
Ark Math & Science '00

Annotate QB Questions for science, fun, and profit:
http://qb.umiacs.umd.edu/tutorial.php
User avatar
ezubaric
mason high on your treacherous scaffolding
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: boulder, co

Postby Nathan » Fri May 06, 2005 12:59 pm

"Quizbowl at any level will never be a spectator sport again. Nobody (in the world outside the circuit) cares, it's just that simple. So let's stop this talk about entertainment for spectators and all the attendant bullshit."

you're conflating two points -- one of which is mine (your first statement) and attempting to use that to refute something else.
QB will never be a spectator sport.
CBI is a spectator sport on many campuses. As Sheahan pointed out sometime ago, much of the action (and financial renumeration) for CBI is in the intramural contests -- on many campuses they hold 40-60 team events, often with spectator/participants. It's often part of inter-fraternity competitions and the like.

However, CBI is not quizbowl. Period. CBI questions are horrible quizbowl questions. They are excellent CBI questions. They lead to the most "fun" for the most participants, thus making money for CBI.
There is no reason why CBI should be discussed on a quizbowl forum, it doesn't belong here. and btw, they don't care what you think, why should they?

only one reason has been pointed to as to why anyone in QB should ever care about CBI -- because it sometimes takes funding away from QB -- just like the chess club.
in other words, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. there are 2000 plus institutions of higher education in this country granting 4 year degrees and I guarantee you there are 2000 plus different set-ups for student organization and activity funding.

I realize that it's standard practice for some college undergrads to generalize from the unique practices of the bureaucracy at their institution -- but this really does simply vary from school to school.
(I've often wondered if a little creativity couldn't remove the funding conflicts with CBI within a given school -- like changing your name -- not using the words "college bowl" or "quiz bowl", etc.

my 3 cents
Nathan
mason high on your treacherous scaffolding
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 11:42 am

Postby grapesmoker » Fri May 06, 2005 4:02 pm

Nathan wrote:you're conflating two points -- one of which is mine (your first statement) and attempting to use that to refute something else.
QB will never be a spectator sport.
CBI is a spectator sport on many campuses. As Sheahan pointed out sometime ago, much of the action (and financial renumeration) for CBI is in the intramural contests -- on many campuses they hold 40-60 team events, often with spectator/participants. It's often part of inter-fraternity competitions and the like.


I didn't mean on college campuses, which don't really count. I mean to an audience at large, as in spectator sport on TV, which is what I was getting at. I was responding to an earlier claim that if quizbowl were to become a spectator sport again to a wide audience, CBI would be in pole position to take advantage of it. Sorry I wasn't more clear.

However, CBI is not quizbowl. Period. CBI questions are horrible quizbowl questions. They are excellent CBI questions. They lead to the most "fun" for the most participants, thus making money for CBI.
There is no reason why CBI should be discussed on a quizbowl forum, it doesn't belong here. and btw, they don't care what you think, why should they?


There's every reason, because as far as the world outside the circuit is concerned, if it looks vaguelly like quizbowl, it is quizbowl, even if we (by which I mean you and me and the rest of the folks on this board) don't consider it as such. Therefore, if we're going to make any headway against CBI, and I feel that we ought to do our best to achieve that, it's definitely worthwhile to consider how CBI functions and what tactics can be used against them. Better yet, what tactics could we use to convince people to join us instead of them? I find these things important, personally.

only one reason has been pointed to as to why anyone in QB should ever care about CBI -- because it sometimes takes funding away from QB -- just like the chess club.
in other words, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. there are 2000 plus institutions of higher education in this country granting 4 year degrees and I guarantee you there are 2000 plus different set-ups for student organization and activity funding.

I realize that it's standard practice for some college undergrads to generalize from the unique practices of the bureaucracy at their institution -- but this really does simply vary from school to school.
(I've often wondered if a little creativity couldn't remove the funding conflicts with CBI within a given school -- like changing your name -- not using the words "college bowl" or "quiz bowl", etc.


You marginalize this reason but I don't see why. Isn't it the case that something like 180 schools are affiliated with CBI through ACUI? That means that when the local student government or whatever powers that be apportion money for quizbowl (and remember, to your average student gov't flunky, CBI = ACF = NAQT = quizbowl) they do so because CBI is a nationally recognized corporation that has a history. They don't know or care about format wars. The point I'm trying to make here is that CBI affiliation creates funding conflicts just by being present. Those of you who are claiming that the funding comes from "different sources" would be correct if and only if said funding actually came from a source OUTSIDE the university. As long as your student fees (which are a standard way of funding student groups all over the country) or your administration are paying for whatever competition you are participating in, they're taking money from the same pot and that means that whatever money is earmarked specifically for CBI activities is now lost to QB. Now, imagine coming to your student government and saying, "These guys want to play CBI, but we think it blows so we'd like to start a new student group that plays a different kind of quizbowl and we want you to fund us like you fund them." Although typically requests for funding are honored with some token sum, you wouldn't get more than a fraction of the money the CBI people would get because in the eyes of student government, why should they give you more money for an identical (in their eyes) activity.

So that's why this is worth talking about and why we should all care.

Jerry
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
groom of totemic guanacos
 
Posts: 5809
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Postby iamsam » Fri May 06, 2005 5:49 pm

Chris Frankel wrote:
iamsam wrote wrote:I have never played CBI (I'm a junior in high school), and from what I read, I most likely never will; however, from what I have read so far--if I am completely wrong, fine crucify me--, I don't understand why there is an argument. This is far worse than the argument about '...those awful keegan questions...'. , and I thought that argument ended up extremely pointless. If everyone seems to agree that the CBI questions are bad, they treat you like children, etc., then what is the point of trying to justify why its bad? There isn't one. If I had to consistently play against bad questions, I quite frankly couldn't care less why the questions sucked. If I murder someone for their left shoe as opposed to their right shoe, does it make the crime any worse? No. The only people who seem to be arguing that CBI has to have bad questions because they are trying to be a spectator sport have no real basis in their arguments, they just seem to skirt around the fact that they got stuck in the position of defending CBI, and have no real evidence to support themselves with.



If you look up the basic information on every (or at least 99.9% of them) vocal CBI partisan, you'll find that everyone has either a direct affiliation with CBI (e.g. Tom Michael) or has reaped some substantial benefit (e.g. publicity, a psuedo-title, etc) from the disparity caused by the dumbing down of the questions and the field at tournaments that they would not have been able to achieve had they been competing on real knowledge-rewarding questions against a full strength field (e.g. the Minnesota effect that CBI produces). That's not a personal attack like Mr. Michael's eloquent, "DURR YOU GUYS ARE ASSHOLES," but it is something that can be verified in the case of the vast majority of vocal partisans, and hints at motivations that extend well beyond whatever they claim the reasons for their support of CBI.


Alright, that makes sense then.
Carpe Cerevisi
User avatar
iamsam
potter wasted among his clays
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 5:51 pm

Postby NotBhan » Fri May 06, 2005 7:41 pm

iamsam wrote:
Chris Frankel wrote:
If you look up the basic information on every (or at least 99.9% of them) vocal CBI partisan, you'll find that everyone has either a direct affiliation with CBI (e.g. Tom Michael) or has reaped some substantial benefit (e.g. publicity, a psuedo-title, etc) from the disparity caused by the dumbing down of the questions and the field at tournaments that they would not have been able to achieve had they been competing on real knowledge-rewarding questions against a full strength field (e.g. the Minnesota effect that CBI produces). That's not a personal attack like Mr. Michael's eloquent, "DURR YOU GUYS ARE ASSHOLES," but it is something that can be verified in the case of the vast majority of vocal partisans, and hints at motivations that extend well beyond whatever they claim the reasons for their support of CBI.


Alright, that makes sense then.


Not really. This part of the argument is pretty lame. There are people who like CBI, some of whom are affiliated with it, some who aren't. Big deal. The non-pyramidal question structures, the high cost, the topic selection, and the 'spirit' of the tournament described elsewhere are the key detracting factors one should consider in assessing CBI, not the stuff quoted above.

--Raj Dhuwalia
NotBhan
torrent of sunbursts
 
Posts: 375
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 12:30 pm
Location: Parts Unknown

Postby Matt Weiner » Fri May 06, 2005 7:48 pm

NotBhan wrote:Not really. This part of the argument is pretty lame. There are people who like CBI, some of whom are affiliated with it, some who aren't. Big deal. The non-pyramidal question structures, the high cost, the topic selection, and the 'spirit' of the tournament described elsewhere are the key detracting factors one should consider in assessing CBI, not the stuff quoted above.


When all the factual/anecdotal evidence in favor of CBI comes from their employees, it does matter. Is it possible to be a giant CBI fan if you're not benefitting from it financially or in tournament wins? I suppose so, although I haven't see any such people lately. Is it possible to offer a nonbiased account of an incident purportedly showing that the circuit is more racist than CBI, if you work for CBI and the purpose of your post is to defend CBI against allegations of racism? The cynic or historian's view of human nature would say that it's highly unlikely.
User avatar
Matt Weiner
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 8196
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Postby rdunlap » Sat May 07, 2005 11:05 pm

Wander away from the board for a few days, and all heck breaks loose... :-) Let's get to as much as my 10-month old will allow me to before demanding attention...

[quote="Matt Weiner"]I was going to type up a detailed reply to that until I realized that it can all be answered as follows:

25% of it may be dismissed by noting that your constant insistence that CBI is something fundamentally different from regular quizbowl is not in opposition to what I'm saying; in fact, it's exactly what I'm saying.

50% of it can be taken care of by reminding you that it is not 1995.

25% of it can be answered by reading this statement over and over again until one passes out from laughter.

[quote="rdunlap"] CBI's been at this for 50 years, and they're the only quiz bowl format to have been on national television on a regular basis. In the absence of a governing organization for quizbowl a la the NCAA, they've actually got the best credentials for awarding a national championship.[/quote][/quote]

Interesting debate tactic -- throw out three non sequiturs and ask me to apply them to the right place in an argument... something I never let teams get away with in my days as a high school policy debater and judge. And I'll pretty much ignore them as non-responsive here, except to clarify that we do agree that CBI and ACF are fundamentally different, but that I would classify them both under the broader heading of "quiz bowl". As you could tell from my original post, I see CBI and NAQT as close cousins.

[quote="Matt Weiner"]The fact is that CBI is composed of horrible human beings...[/quote]

Well, let's stop right here for a moment. How many CBI *employees* have you personally met, Matt? (I won't get into whether or not you were trying to tar all CBI *volunteers* (like Tom Michael) with that very broad brush.) Since I'm pretty sure I know the answer, what is your basis for classifying them as "horrible human beings" Having had a fair amount of intereaction with their employees, both as a player and now as a moderator, I'd call them anything *but* horrible human beings. They're simply human, just like you and I, and they will make mistakes, like you and I.


[quote="Matt Weiner"]...and its questions do not reward knowledge.[/quote]
I'll grant that they do not always reward the same *depth* of knowledge as other formats... OTOH, a criticism of ACF I've heard from current players is that it's often times "get past the clues no one knows to the reasonable clues". There's room for variation in the sport. At the same time, I think CBI does a better job than the other formats of rewarding lateral thinking (i.e. "where could this question be going?") -- and whether that belongs in quiz bowl, and to what degree, is probably a topic best spawned onto a separate thread if folks weant to pursue it.

[quote="Matt Weiner"]Thus, no one who respects quizbowl or ethical behavior or any combination of the two should play CBI, period.[/quote]

No reasonable evidence that either one of those two should stop folks from playing CBI. Nyssa's getting edgy... let's move on to another post.

On to the NCAA/NIT analogy. (No offense intended to Chris, but with your post, I thikn the ideas are coherent enough for me to discuss them without quoting, if that's OK.) One important clarification -- when I think about that analogy in terms of quiz bowl, I'm thinking about the days when teams played in *both* fields -- up until the NCAA's became truly prominent in the 1950's, either champion could call themselves "the national champion"... but not all teams competed in both.

The Minnesota example is a striking one... but it does reflect a team choice regarding which format to focus on, as well as the talents of the individual players. In my days as a player, it was not unusual to see a playoff-caliber team at the invitational formats from which NAQT grew go sub-.500 at ACF (before Eric Tentarelli came to Cornell, *we* were such a team). That a team would perform so differently at CBI and NAQT, though... well, I'll admit I'm still thinking about that one... it's unexpected (especially in light of the number of times I saw CBI and NAQT questions this year that I would swear were written from the same article :-) ).

In defense of Tom, I'll note that no one else, to my knowledge, has devoted the time and interest to the history of quiz bowl that Tom has. And that history is particularly relevant when looking at relations with quiz bowl organizations that are coach-driven rather than player-driven... as is the case at many HCASC schools, even if current players were not a part of it. He's earned his credibility, at least with the rest of the still active old-timers.

ImmaculateDeception notes that CBI is not currently a spectator activity, and he's correct... but the point is that it once *was*, and they are maintaining a position to be so again. That's a goal that each quiz bowl organization chooses to emphasize in its own way... it's a non-goal for ACF, I believe it's a partial goal of NAQT, and I don't have a clue if TRASH sees that as a goal or not (for this one piece of the discussion, TRASH is relevant).

Moving on...
[quote="ImmaculateDeception"][quote="Yet later, rdunlap"]… NAQT has rules innovations like the power that make the game more exciting to watch as well as question difficulty that, truthfully, is closer to the College Bowl of the television era in difficulty than the current CBI questions...
[\quote]So, you're trying to tell me that CBI's questions were more like NAQT's (and therefore, more likely to let the most knowledgeable… best, to use your term… team win) back when they had an audience, but now that there are no spectators, they use questions less likely to let the best team win to keep the game exciting for the spectators? Dude, what?
[\quote]
My original comment has provoked some private side discussions, and I think I have firmer evidence on the way to compare old era CB and modern era CB.

But the big picture is, society has changed since the 50's and 60's, when College Bowl could be a top-rated television show and Charles Van Doren could be a national celebrity for answering *hard* questions (albeit it dishonestly), and people involved with quiz bowl are simply geeks (a badge I proudly wear :-) ). Again, an interesting separate thread would be whether Millionaire and Ken Jennings are emblematic of a swinging of the pendulum back in the direction where quiz bowl can reemerge. If one's objective is to remain accessible to spectators, adjustments due to changes in society may be necessary.

[quote="ImmaculateDeception"]Maybe instead of making asinine arguments on the internet against what you yourself deem to be purposeless, baseless, and pointless "moaning," you should devote yourself to a more profitable activity. For example, NOT trying to interfere in an activity you have no stake in.[/quote]
Factual discussions of the problems with any quiz bowl format (because they all have problems) are beneficial. Characterizing people as "horrible human beings" and making other such inflammatory comments without cause serves no end.

And since I've chosen to stay actively involved in quiz bowl as a moderator (and certainly, you aren't implying that all moderators should be active players, with the problems that would cause at any NCT), I'll gladly stick my nose in to influence the direction of the sport, thank you very much. I still plan to be around quiz bowl ten years from now, influencing the sport for the involvement of my kids twenty years from now... will you still be discussing quiz bowl then, or are you concerned only with your short-term enjoyment and glory?

ImmaculateDeception and I have different experiences with where CBI funds would go if they weren't spent on CBI, based on different funding structures -- at Cornell, CBI was a student union activity, while other quiz bowl funding came through an independent student organization. This is a good place for other current CBI schools to chime in about where their dollars for other tournaments come from. For now, I'm going to stand by my assertion that, if schools stop particpating in CBI, for the *majority* of schools involved, that money would go to some other intramural activity, and not to the quizbowl team where one exists. That *is* a consequence of the CBI/ACUI connection, but it's not CBI's fault -- it's because the primary mission of student unions is to support campus life, not intercollegiate competition.

[quote="ImmaculateDeception"]How am I supposed to talk to an HBCU team to get its side of any story? The only tournaments they go to are ones that I'm barred from competing in because I go to Illinois. [\quote]
Matt was simply the latest to mention HBCU's -- I remember your earlier discussion as well. Anyhow... if you were paying attention to Charlie Steinhice in the Yahoo! thread on this subject, you'd know HBCU's show up in Chattanooga periodically. Nothing's stopping you from coming to one of those tournaments. :-)

[quote="Scipio"]Mike Sorice, Matt Weiner, Sudheer Potru, Seth Kendall, and the hundreds of active and retired quiz bowl players who have played CBI are suggesting...[\quote]
Careful with that last brush -- despite its problems, some (many) of those retired quiz bowl players have fond memories of CBI. Don't assume a consensus you probably don't have.

To iamsam, I think the point I'd make is that CBI questions are *different*, not "systematically bad". Not every format is to everyone's taste... that doesn't mean you call for its demise. Back in "the day", I clearly enjoyed CBI and the NAQT-precursors more than ACF, but I've never seen ACF as a blight that should be wiped off the face of the earth.

Skipping along now, since the hour is getting late, I have a two-hour drive in the morning...

[quote="Chris Frankel"]If you look up the basic information on every (or at least 99.9% of them) vocal CBI partisan, you'll find that everyone has either a direct affiliation with CBI (e.g. Tom Michael) or has reaped some substantial benefit (e.g. publicity, a psuedo-title, etc) from the disparity caused by the dumbing down of the questions and the field at tournaments that they would not have been able to achieve had they been competing on real knowledge-rewarding questions against a full strength field (e.g. the Minnesota effect that CBI produces).[\quote]
Heck, if I have a "direct affiliation" with CBI, I also have a "direct affiliation" with NAQT (for whom I've moderated an equal number of events this season, and Sectionals three of the last four years) and TRASH (since I moderated at Trashionals last year). More likely is that I'm in the .1% -- which means at least 1000 CBI partisans(!), or an exaggerated percentage.

I think the rest of the posts are mostly rehash, and this post provides plenty of grist for the mill as is. Here's hoping I got all the quote tags closed correctly... :-) Later.
rdunlap
emerge from subterranean time
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:58 pm
Location: Alpharetta, GA

Postby Scipio » Sat May 07, 2005 11:30 pm

Richard Dunlap, commenting on one of my posts, said this:

Careful with that last brush -- despite its problems, some (many) of those retired quiz bowl players have fond memories of CBI. Don't assume a consensus you probably don't have.


I didn't believe I was asserting that every last former CBI player was calling for teams to stop playing it, though in review I can see where my wording might have led to that impression. What I was saying was that I, Weiner, Sorice, Sudheer, and the hundreds of other circuit players, past and present, who have also played CBI and, like us, find it sadly wanting, are saying that CBI is horrible, and no one should play it anymore.

Sorry for the confusion; I certainly know better than to claim that there is no former or current circuit player who has a fondness for CBI, since clearly there are. I certainly am not speaking for the whole.
Seth Lyons Kendall
University of Memphis, 1993-1997
University of Kentucky, 1997-1999, 2000-2008
User avatar
Scipio
mason high on your treacherous scaffolding
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 4:12 pm

Postby Matt Weiner » Sun May 08, 2005 1:28 am

rdunlap wrote:Interesting debate tactic -- throw out three non sequiturs and ask me to apply them to the right place in an argument


The last one, in particular, is very relevant. CBI is the MOST legitimate national championship? How can you claim that you are not arguing against real quizbowl, if you are arguing that CBI is not just legitimate but SUPERIOR to it?

Well, let's stop right here for a moment. How many CBI *employees* have you personally met, Matt? (I won't get into whether or not you were trying to tar all CBI *volunteers* (like Tom Michael) with that very broad brush.) Since I'm pretty sure I know the answer, what is your basis for classifying them as "horrible human beings" Having had a fair amount of intereaction with their employees, both as a player and now as a moderator, I'd call them anything *but* horrible human beings. They're simply human, just like you and I, and they will make mistakes, like you and I.


I met almost all of their employees in my two years of playing CBI from 2000 to 2002. They are not "making mistakes," they are intentionally creating situations where the lesser team is guaranteed to win or has their chance of winning artificially inflated for various reasons, including spiting CBI's critics and creating "drama" for the television audience that they are hallucinating.

This has been in the public record since 1987, anyone who denies it is a CBI toady.:

"They sometimes get fooled by the direction a question is going to take, and that's intentional," said Reid. "The players on these teams are so good that 90 percent of the time they could interrupt the question and give the correct answer if the questions didn't take those kinds of turns. That wouldn't be fun to watch, so every now and then as I design these suckers, I say to myself, 'Watch this!' and wait 'til we're on camera. I got a lot of dirty looks this last tournament."


I myself was on the short end of a fixed match in 2001. That was also the year I found out that the moderator's refusal to read questions for 15 seconds after one team pulls ahead is not protestable.

They engage in fraud: any team that paid money for the 1997 CBI series in the hope of winning the promised trip to England, that was revoked post-hoc, would have great basis for a lawsuit.

I'll grant that they do not always reward the same *depth* of knowledge as other formats


Hearing a list of anagrams and having to respond with "anagrams" (first tossup of finals match, CBI Nationals 2005) isn't about factual knowledge at all unless we are assuming that knowing the definition of an anagram is so uncommon as to be worthy of testing between the "two best teams" in the country. It's a riddle question, and a horrible one at that.

a criticism of ACF I've heard from current players is that it's often times "get past the clues no one knows to the reasonable clues".


Really? Which players? Was this at ACF Fall, which statistically is the easiest tournament of the year? Perhaps at ACF Regionals, which is statistically only 5% harder than NAQT Sectionals? Maybe at ACF Nationals, where I did not see you in attendance?

Or, like Tom Michael's assertion about racist remarks by an unnamed player to an unnamed team at an unnamed tournament at an unnamed time, am I to conclude that you will be silent on this topic when asked for any sort of corroborating details whatsoever?

rdunlap wrote: At the same time, I think CBI does a better job than the other formats of rewarding lateral thinking (i.e. "where could this question be going?") -- and whether that belongs in quiz bowl, and to what degree, is probably a topic best spawned onto a separate thread if folks weant to pursue it.


In other words, CBI is not about rewarding knowledge, but about making a psychic connection to the writer since even a player with perfect knowledge can't figure out what the hell is being asked for half the time. Glad we agree on that.

No reasonable evidence that either one of those two should stop folks from playing CBI.


If they did on TV what they do at the non-televised nationals, in terms of the fraudulent prize promises and the fixing of matches, CBI would be shut down and some of its executives would be subject to heavy federal penalties in the form of jail or fines.

The Minnesota example is a striking one... but it does reflect a team choice regarding which format to focus on, as well as the talents of the individual players.


Yes, some of us are more talented at answering questions that reward knowledge about academic topics, and some of us are more talented at answering tossups on "Altoids" where the first clue is "this peppermint-flavored mint" (championship match, CBI Nationals 2005).

In defense of Tom, I'll note that no one else, to my knowledge, has devoted the time and interest to the history of quiz bowl that Tom has. And that history is particularly relevant when looking at relations with quiz bowl organizations that are coach-driven rather than player-driven... as is the case at many HCASC schools, even if current players were not a part of it. He's earned his credibility, at least with the rest of the still active old-timers.


He's a CBI lackey who tells wild stories with not a shred of supporting evidence, including but not limited to the racist comment allegation and the hypothesis that people criticizing CBI questions on the board is keeping HCASC teams away from real quizbowl. Also, all of his former players loathe him. What does that tell you?

ImmaculateDeception notes that CBI is not currently a spectator activity, and he's correct... but the point is that it once *was*, and they are maintaining a position to be so again.


NAQT has a better bottom line, more of the top teams, and better moderators, an important TV factor. Since ACF is not interested in getting on TV, I'd give the edge to NAQT here.

But the big picture is, society has changed since the 50's and 60's, when College Bowl could be a top-rated television show and Charles Van Doren could be a national celebrity for answering *hard* questions (albeit it dishonestly), and people involved with quiz bowl are simply geeks (a badge I proudly wear :-) ).


I thought hard questions were the provence of EVIL ACF? Is CBI good because its questions don't get bogged down with that whole "rewarding uncommon knowledge" thing, or is it a noble academic endeavor because it requires uncommon knowledge to play? Pick one indefensible position and pretend to defend it, instead of tackling two.

Factual discussions of the problems with any quiz bowl format (because they all have problems) are beneficial.


And what exactly does "CBI is the most legitimate national championship" have to do with being factual?

Characterizing people as "horrible human beings" and making other such inflammatory comments without cause serves no end.


I'd appreciate if you'd stop implying that I'm a liar, especially in the midst of a statement chastisting people for ad-hominem attacks. I've laid out exactly what I base my evaluation of CBI's ethics on, and if you don't think those charges are a serious concern, then you are as amoral as any Jason Mueller strawman.

To iamsam, I think the point I'd make is that CBI questions are *different*, not "systematically bad".


See Reid quote. See the questions. You cannot defend this.

http://www.collegebowl.com/games/samples.asp

Not every format is to everyone's taste... that doesn't mean you call for its demise.


Stop pretending this is a subjective format war. NAQT and ACF are there to cater to people who like timed v untimed, a significant trash quota versus a minimal one, et cetera. CBI is a negative influence on the existence of quizbowl in general, and by arguing for its fundamental principles, which are 180 degrees across from those of every other tournament, you are necessarily arguing against regular quizbowl and calling for its demise. There does have to be a winner and a loser in the CBI v. real quizbowl confrontation, and I am going to do everything I can to make sure CBI is the loser.
User avatar
Matt Weiner
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 8196
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Postby Baron Jacobi » Sun May 08, 2005 2:01 am

Matt Weiner wrote:[Tom Michael is] a CBI lackey who tells wild stories with not a shred of supporting evidence, including but not limited to the racist comment allegation and the hypothesis that people criticizing CBI questions on the board is keeping HCASC teams away from real quizbowl. Also, all of his former players loathe him. What does that tell you?


This is yet another of Matt Weiner's wildly hyperbolic and factually inaccurate claims. It's simply not true that "all" of Tom's former players "loathe" him. I happen to know that one of those former players only feels vague disdain for his former "coach," while another of them prefers to pity Tom for his vehement and prolix cluelessness. If Matt Weiner had any interest whatsoever in being honest, rather than willfully tarring the world with his broad and probably elitist brush, he would restrict himself to such factual statements as "the vast majority of Tom's former players think he's a pompous idiot."

--the Baron
Baron Jacobi
 

Postby iamsam » Sun May 08, 2005 11:45 am

rdunlap wrote:To iamsam, I think the point I'd make is that CBI questions are *different*, not "systematically bad". Not every format is to everyone's taste... that doesn't mean you call for its demise. Back in "the day", I clearly enjoyed CBI and the NAQT-precursors more than ACF, but I've never seen ACF as a blight that should be wiped off the face of the earth.

I see it is a shame that you have so little substance in your argument, that the only way you can counter my assertion is with a euphemism, and a bad one at that.

rdunlap wrote:The Minnesota example is a striking one... but it does reflect a team choice regarding which format to focus on, as well as the talents of the individual players. In my days as a player, it was not unusual to see a playoff-caliber team at the invitational formats from which NAQT grew go sub-.500 at ACF (before Eric Tentarelli came to Cornell, *we* were such a team). That a team would perform so differently at CBI and NAQT, though... well, I'll admit I'm still thinking about that one... it's unexpected (especially in light of the number of times I saw CBI and NAQT questions this year that I would swear were written from the same article :-) ).

To continue the NCAA analogy, I'm sure that it would be completely legitimate if Washington won the NCAA tournament because they chose to systematically shoot their oponents in the knees before each match. I mean, they choose the way they want to play, so they must be good.

rdunlap wrote:But the big picture is, society has changed since the 50's and 60's, when College Bowl could be a top-rated television show and Charles Van Doren could be a national celebrity for answering *hard* questions (albeit it dishonestly), and people involved with quiz bowl are simply geeks (a badge I proudly wear :-) ). Again, an interesting separate thread would be whether Millionaire and Ken Jennings are emblematic of a swinging of the pendulum back in the direction where quiz bowl can reemerge. If one's objective is to remain accessible to spectators, adjustments due to changes in society may be necessary.

Wow, we've changed since the sixties, no way! Well guess what, parents used to beat their children in the 1800's, but society has changed since then. Maybe you should try the same thing with your ten month old, so you will be in a prime condition to take over when it comes back in popularity.

rdunlap wrote:For now, I'm going to stand by my assertion that, if schools stop particpating in CBI, for the *majority* of schools involved, that money would go to some other intramural activity, and not to the quizbowl team where one exists.

I'm sure that a *majority* of schools have enlisted you to represent their finances.

Your premises basically all reside in your belief in your own omniscience, and that the 60's are coming back to us (is communism coming back too?).
Carpe Cerevisi
User avatar
iamsam
potter wasted among his clays
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 5:51 pm

Postby grapesmoker » Sun May 08, 2005 4:40 pm

The old alt.college.collegebowl group is full of wisdom:

Joe Wright wrote:Another thing people seem to miss in anti-CBI arguments is what you are buying for your money when you buy into CBI. What you are buying is a hint of legitimacy in the outside world (or at least in colleges and universities) that is given by ACU-I.

Unless something radically changes, invitationals, ACF, and NAQT are student-run activities that are a big deal to us and mean absolutely nothing to anyone else. Even within schools, people not involved with the game are likely to see it for what it is--a small group of students, staff, and other university hangers-on who are running an incestuous little group of activities that only they understand or care about, and which have no sanction by anybody and in which students are running everything, and there's not even a governing body. (pardon the run-on) That is, if they notice us at all. For all the hard work that has gone into the game, all the tournaments that have been run, and all the fun we've had, the lack of (a) a governing body and (b) recorded history prevents any sense that we are doing something intransient. This has been demonstrated by the communications chaos that has arisen--which I don't think would have had nearly the effect if there WERE a sense of history and a national body.

Now, how many times have you tried to explain this organization of this game to people who have nothing to do with it, only to find yourself very frustrated. "Well, there's this CBI thing, which purists don't really like, then there's ACF, then most of the tournaments are run by individual schools..."

Whether we like it or not, people want to see a structure and an organization. This is why administrators can look at ACU-I/CBI and see something in place, and are much more willing to give money for participation. CBI provides many programs the only legitimacy it has in the eyes of its own administration. It's easy to dismiss CBI's prices as not reflective of the market, but when you look at it, CBI provides something that no other organization can. Perhaps with diligence, effort, and luck, NAQT can someday obtain a similar amount of legitimacy. ACF does not seem to have tried to do so, which is fine--it has been happy as something only hardcore players have an interest in, and has defined itself as such. Maybe NAQT will be different.

Has NAQT given any thought to approaching ACU-I and trying to replace CBI's contract? If CBI is in the financial hot water people have speculated about, it might just be possible to do so.
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
groom of totemic guanacos
 
Posts: 5809
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Postby grapesmoker » Sun May 08, 2005 5:51 pm

I'm personally inclined to be far less strident in response to your sentiments than others, so I'll take your comments at face value.

rdunlap wrote: Interesting debate tactic -- throw out three non sequiturs and ask me to apply them to the right place in an argument... something I never let teams get away with in my days as a high school policy debater and judge. And I'll pretty much ignore them as non-responsive here, except to clarify that we do agree that CBI and ACF are fundamentally different, but that I would classify them both under the broader heading of "quiz bowl". As you could tell from my original post, I see CBI and NAQT as close cousins.


NAQT is not my favorite format but it beats out CBI by light years. Whatever deficiencies NAQT may possess, they pale in comparison with the complaints people have regularly launched against CBI, both administrative and those related to question quality. Not letting players go to the bathroom?! You can't seriously be trying to justify that. Moreover, please go take a look at those questions posted in the link and just try and prove to any rational person that they test anything but quick reflexes.

Matt Weiner wrote:The fact is that CBI is composed of horrible human beings...


I should say that I don't know any CBI employees and that even if I did, it wouldn't matter one bit. They could be the nicest people on the planet and their product would still blow.

rdunlap wrote: I'll grant that they do not always reward the same *depth* of knowledge as other formats... OTOH, a criticism of ACF I've heard from current players is that it's often times "get past the clues no one knows to the reasonable clues". There's room for variation in the sport. At the same time, I think CBI does a better job than the other formats of rewarding lateral thinking (i.e. "where could this question be going?") -- and whether that belongs in quiz bowl, and to what degree, is probably a topic best spawned onto a separate thread if folks weant to pursue it.


The false conception of ACF has been refuted sufficiently many times to be a credible argument anymore. The CBI question-writing philosophy is profoundly antithetical to the view that quizbowl should be about rewarding knowledge. Claiming that this "variation in the sport" is acceptable is like saying that foosball is an acceptable variation on soccer.

The Minnesota example is a striking one... but it does reflect a team choice regarding which format to focus on, as well as the talents of the individual players. In my days as a player, it was not unusual to see a playoff-caliber team at the invitational formats from which NAQT grew go sub-.500 at ACF (before Eric Tentarelli came to Cornell, *we* were such a team). That a team would perform so differently at CBI and NAQT, though... well, I'll admit I'm still thinking about that one... it's unexpected (especially in light of the number of times I saw CBI and NAQT questions this year that I would swear were written from the same article :-) ).


The top teams at ACF are regularly the top teams at NAQT and vice versa. This has been the case for at least the last 5 years, modulo changes in lineup or attendance (e.g. Berkeley and Stanford this year, respectively). Now, unlike many people on this board, I played Minnesota at NAQT ICT this year. They had the same lineup at NAQT and CBI and finished 28th at NAQT. Whatever they were, they were no championship material, and that was quite obvious to me from playing them. I don't mean to be this big mean bad guy who is bashing on them, but them's the facts. Any national tournament in which Minnesota comes out the winner given their other performances is by default suspect.

ImmaculateDeception notes that CBI is not currently a spectator activity, and he's correct... but the point is that it once *was*, and they are maintaining a position to be so again. That's a goal that each quiz bowl organization chooses to emphasize in its own way... it's a non-goal for ACF, I believe it's a partial goal of NAQT, and I don't have a clue if TRASH sees that as a goal or not (for this one piece of the discussion, TRASH is relevant).


Get over it with this "spectator activity" nonsense. This whole notion that CBI is fixing to be a spectator sport is a sham and should be seen as such. They are in no such position and any arguments toward that end are pointless because quizbowl is not a spectator sport.

My original comment has provoked some private side discussions, and I think I have firmer evidence on the way to compare old era CB and modern era CB.

But the big picture is, society has changed since the 50's and 60's, when College Bowl could be a top-rated television show and Charles Van Doren could be a national celebrity for answering *hard* questions (albeit it dishonestly), and people involved with quiz bowl are simply geeks (a badge I proudly wear :-) ). Again, an interesting separate thread would be whether Millionaire and Ken Jennings are emblematic of a swinging of the pendulum back in the direction where quiz bowl can reemerge. If one's objective is to remain accessible to spectators, adjustments due to changes in society may be necessary.


Yes, society has changed, which is why quizbowl won't be on TV any time soon. I fail to be convinced by your argument that we should lower ourselves to the level of Jeopardy/Millionaire, however.

And since I've chosen to stay actively involved in quiz bowl as a moderator (and certainly, you aren't implying that all moderators should be active players, with the problems that would cause at any NCT), I'll gladly stick my nose in to influence the direction of the sport, thank you very much. I still plan to be around quiz bowl ten years from now, influencing the sport for the involvement of my kids twenty years from now... will you still be discussing quiz bowl then, or are you concerned only with your short-term enjoyment and glory?


That's an unjustified dig at people who over the last 5 years have worked very hard to develop the circuit in the regions where they play. If you plan to stick your nose in to influence the circuit, you'd better be doing it in a way that benefits the circuit; so far, you've devoted your energies to the defence of an organization that produces an inferior, overpriced product, and which maintains its dominion over the game by exclusive contracts with student-government organizations. Hardly the sort of legacy one ought to be proud of.

For now, I'm going to stand by my assertion that, if schools stop particpating in CBI, for the *majority* of schools involved, that money would go to some other intramural activity, and not to the quizbowl team where one exists. That *is* a consequence of the CBI/ACUI connection, but it's not CBI's fault -- it's because the primary mission of student unions is to support campus life, not intercollegiate competition.


No, it very definitely is CBI's fault, since if it weren't for CBI, that money would be available. Again, if your group's money comes from student fees, as it does in most places, any money that goes towards CBI doesn't go towards quizbowl.

Matt was simply the latest to mention HBCU's -- I remember your earlier discussion as well. Anyhow... if you were paying attention to Charlie Steinhice in the Yahoo! thread on this subject, you'd know HBCU's show up in Chattanooga periodically. Nothing's stopping you from coming to one of those tournaments. :-)


Yeah, except distance.

To iamsam, I think the point I'd make is that CBI questions are *different*, not "systematically bad". Not every format is to everyone's taste... that doesn't mean you call for its demise. Back in "the day", I clearly enjoyed CBI and the NAQT-precursors more than ACF, but I've never seen ACF as a blight that should be wiped off the face of the earth.


I love how in order to not offend anyone we like to pretend that nothing is "better" than anything else, it's just "different." If you hold real knowledge about important things in history, literature, science, and so on in high regard, and expect an academic competition to reward that knowledge, then CBI is bad. It's detrimental to real quizbowl and to the fostering of development of real academic competition.

If you care about quizbowl, you should be doing your best to persuade schools not to play CBI and to play NAQT/ACF instead. Otherwise, you are helping promote an organization that makes a mockery out of the idea of academic competition.

Jerry
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
groom of totemic guanacos
 
Posts: 5809
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Postby Matt Weiner » Sun May 08, 2005 7:47 pm

To pre-emptively address some of those things in that old Joe Wright post, I find myself resorting to Jeopardy comparisons to explain qb. No one our age remembers the CB television show.

By the way, Jeopardy is a good example of something question-and-answer-based that works on television, mainly because it 1) actually IS on television, so the adjustments made accordingly are sensible, and not the product of hallucinations 2) makes no claim to be the same thing, superior to, or legally in possession of ACF or NAQT. When CBI defenders figure out why we're angry at CBI but not angry at Jeopardy, they will figure out a lot about what the problem with CBI is.
User avatar
Matt Weiner
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 8196
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Postby PabloEscobar » Mon May 09, 2005 7:57 pm

CBI is a hard rough smelting crucible that steels for the end times.

The apocalypse flowers from what is inward.

NAQT and especially ACF promote knowledge for knowledge's sake. Idolatry. Will we murder our children, have our wives raped before the altar of knowledge.

Of course we fucking will.

This is the true Islam.

Allahu AKbar.
PabloEscobar
 

Postby iamsam » Tue May 10, 2005 3:17 pm

Wow, quite the philosophizer!
Carpe Cerevisi
User avatar
iamsam
potter wasted among his clays
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 5:51 pm

Postby STPickrell » Fri May 13, 2005 6:29 pm

Matt sez: "NAQT has a better bottom line, more of the top teams, and better moderators, an important TV factor. Since ACF is not interested in getting on TV, I'd give the edge to NAQT here. "

I'm gonig to agree with you that NAQT could well be a viable TV product.

I'm not sure, however, aboot the balance sheets and cash flow statements of CBC-I and NAQT-LLC. But given that CBC-I declared bankruptcy a few years back, I'm fairly sure CBC-I is not doing so well, financially.
Shawn Pickrell, HSAPQ CFO
STPickrell
groom of totemic guanacos
 
Posts: 1496
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 11:12 pm
Location: Vienna, VA

Previous

Return to Best of the Best

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests