2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Old college threads.

2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby magin » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:51 am

I want to thank all the teams that showed up to this year's ACF Nationals. I saw a lot of excellent play from teams, and I hope to see you all at next year's Nationals.

We did our best to take the feedback from last year's Nationals into account and make this year's tournament much more accessible. If anyone still has complaints about the difficulty, I'd like to know so that we can work on it for next year's Nationals.

Congratulations for Haverford to winning the D2 title, and for Illinois for winning the Undergrad title. I'd also like to congratulate Penn and Michigan for placing 4th and 3rd, respectively, in a tough field, and for having a number of great buzzes in the third place game.

I was also very impressed with Virginia A's mental toughness to come back from a sizeable deficit in the second half of the finals. They deserve plenty of kudos for that.

Finally, I want to congratulate Yale A for repeating as champions of ACF Nationals. It's not easy to win Nationals once; winning it twice is even more of a feat.

I want to thank Andrew Feist, Andrew Lim, Matt Weiner, Aidan Mehigan, Adam Fine, Katy Peters, Aaron Rosenberg, Zeke Berdichevsky, Gary Weiser, Logan Anbinder, Brian McPeak, Isaac Hirsch, Chris Manners, Eric Douglass, Bryn Reinecke, Jeff Amoros, and Dennis Loo for staffing.

I also want to thank Paul Marchsteiner for his fine work doing stats, and Matt Weiner for being an excellent TD and ensuring everything ran smoothly.

Finally, I want to thank my fellow editors Bruce, Susan, and Jerry. I thought they did a very good job with their categories and I fully enjoyed working with them. For the editing breakdown:

Bruce edited history, religion, geography, and current events; Susan edited biology, chemistry, and mythology; Jerry edited physics, other science, and philosophy, and I edited literature, fine arts, and social science.

Many other writers contributed to the set, including Gautam Kandlikar, who wrote 1/1 religion and 2/2 economics, Zeke Berdichevsky, who wrote 5/0 world literature and provided feedback for many of the literature questions, Matt Lafer, who wrote 5/5 european literature and some ancient and American history, Charlie Dees, who wrote 4/0 classical music, Mike Bentley, who wrote 4/4 arts, Auroni Gupta, who wrote 1/1 religion and 3/5 world literature, Rob Carson, who wrote 0/4 world literature, Seth Teitler, who wrote 5/3 earth science and astronomy, Aaron Rosenberg, who wrote 1/3 engineering/other science, Mik Larsen, who wrote 4/4 classical literature, and Kyle Haddad-Fonda and Seth Kendall, who each wrote one history tossup.

Thanks again to everyone who helped staff, edit, and write this year's ACF Nationals. We are cleaning up a few typos/formatting issues in the set, which we hope to post tonight.

Feel free to discuss the tournament.
Last edited by magin on Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jonathan Magin
Montgomery Blair HS '04, University of Maryland '08
Editor: ACF
User avatar
magin
Gorilla Nurse Using an Old Fashioned Abdominal Exerciser While Listening to 'Angel of the Morning' by Juice Newton
 
Posts: 850
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:50 pm
Location: College Park, MD

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby JamesIV » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:35 am

The only repeat-style issue I noticed had to do with Wang Mang and the Han Dynasty. The tossup on the Red-Eyebrow Rebellion (don't remember which packet) mentioned that Wang Mang interrupted the Han Dynasty. "Han Dynasty" was then an answer in a bonus in the Virginia A packet.
Spencer J. Weinreich
Bethesda - Chevy Chase High School, Class of 2011
Yale University, Class of 2015
Freelance Writer, HSAPQ
User avatar
JamesIV
Conan O'Brien Hates My Homeland
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:21 am
Location: New Haven, CT

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:36 am

I want to thank Selene Koo for playtesting most of the editors' bio and chem and providing lots of helpful feedback. Thanks, Selene!
Susan
UChicago alum (AB 2003, PhD 2009)
Member, ACF
Susan
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:43 am

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:56 am

JamesIV wrote:The only repeat-style issue I noticed had to do with Wang Mang and the Han Dynasty. The tossup on the Red-Eyebrow Rebellion (don't remember which packet) mentioned that Wang Mang interrupted the Han Dynasty. "Han Dynasty" was then an answer in a bonus in the Virginia A packet.


There were also tossups on both "splicing" and "introns", which is kind of repeat-y if you ask me. I'll have more to say later tonight but I really enjoyed this tournament and want to thank the editors for their work.
Eric Mukherjee
Brown University '09
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania '17

"The accumulated filth of all their stupidity and irrationality will foam up about their waists and all the Jehovah’s witnesses refusing blood transfusions, drug-seekers, creationists, new agers, anti-vaccination nutjobs, scientologists, and AIDS deniers will look up and shout ‘save us!’…and I’ll look down, and whisper ‘no’” –Rorschach MD
User avatar
The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Cheynem » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:02 pm

It was nice to see some modern social science appear--I do not recall hearing questions about Vance Packard or the usage of George Lipsitz clues before, and they were both super exciting to see come up (I didn't play it because it was in the finals, but if anyone complains about that tossup on "whitneness," they are so wrong--the early clues are all extremely important within the field of modern race theory/relations).

The film topics were also really cool. Nice to see Once Upon a Time in the West come up.

It felt like history could sometimes be rather merciless with easy parts (as compared to the other topics).
Mike Cheyne
"He has a PhD in SUBURBAN STUDIES!"--Marshall Steinbaum
Formerly at University of Minnesota
User avatar
Cheynem
Forums Staff: Moderator
 
Posts: 4585
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Minneapolis, Moneysota

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:09 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
JamesIV wrote:The only repeat-style issue I noticed had to do with Wang Mang and the Han Dynasty. The tossup on the Red-Eyebrow Rebellion (don't remember which packet) mentioned that Wang Mang interrupted the Han Dynasty. "Han Dynasty" was then an answer in a bonus in the Virginia A packet.


There were also tossups on both "splicing" and "introns", which is kind of repeat-y if you ask me. I'll have more to say later tonight but I really enjoyed this tournament and want to thank the editors for their work.


I waffled a lot about including the tossup on "introns" (I ended up putting it in late in the editing process to replace a different editor's bio question that had unfixable answerline problems--trust me, the introns question was an improvement!). My rationale was that, while your splicing question was pretty much straight-up mol bio, the introns question was largely molecular evolution with some mol bio/genetics clues towards the end to help conversion. The two questions were thus written from pretty different perspectives and had no overlap in clues, so I ended up deciding it was okay. I hope it wasn't a big problem for anyone.

Relatedly, I had a couple of questions at this tournament that mixed evolutionary bio clues with molecular bio/cell bio/anatomy/what have you clues (including the introns question and the placenta question, which started off with some clues about leg morphology synapomorphies in eutherians). I was curious about how these played, in particular whether anyone was getting them off of the evo clues, and how people feel about that sort of a question as a way to work in some interesting clues about evolutionary biology (that unloved red-headed stepchild of the bio distribution) while keeping conversion at acceptable levels.
Susan
UChicago alum (AB 2003, PhD 2009)
Member, ACF
Susan
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:43 am

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Auroni » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:17 pm

I didn't play this tournament, but I noticed that it did a great job in guaranteeing meaningful, acceptable scoring games between teams in the middle bracket, which is a step up from last year. However, I did notice that it got harder near the end of playoffs -- with 6-6 Illinois having under 200 ppg for one example -- and I was wondering if this was intentional or just due to chance. Either way, from the stats alone (and not having seen much of the set), I think this tournament was a correct step in the reduction of difficulty.
Auroni Gupta
UCSD '12, Torrey Pines High School '08
ACF, PACE, HSAPQ
User avatar
Auroni
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 2603
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: san diego, CA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby magin » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:23 pm

Tokyo Sex Whale wrote:I didn't play this tournament, but I noticed that it did a great job in guaranteeing meaningful, acceptable scoring games between teams in the middle bracket, which is a step up from last year. However, I did notice that it got harder near the end of playoffs -- with 6-6 Illinois having under 200 ppg for one example -- and I was wondering if this was intentional or just due to chance. Either way, from the stats alone (and not having seen much of the set), I think this tournament was a correct step in the reduction of difficulty.


Any increased difficulty at the end of the playoffs was not intentional.
Jonathan Magin
Montgomery Blair HS '04, University of Maryland '08
Editor: ACF
User avatar
magin
Gorilla Nurse Using an Old Fashioned Abdominal Exerciser While Listening to 'Angel of the Morning' by Juice Newton
 
Posts: 850
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:50 pm
Location: College Park, MD

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby grapesmoker » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:26 pm

The editor packets were obviously authored entirely by us, so that might explain some of the difficulty gradient. For me, with regards to submitted material, I tried to use the question, then recycle the answer line, and then write a replacement. I wrote relatively few replacements (though I did rewrite a number of questions). I don't know that I exactly made the decision to put harder questions later (in the editor packets), but I definitely had some aesthetic preferences in the sense that "question X would be better in the finals than question Y." It wasn't really directly tied to difficulty.
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 5817
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby magin » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:04 pm

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't thank Paul Litvak, who looked over the social science and provided invaluable feedback.
Jonathan Magin
Montgomery Blair HS '04, University of Maryland '08
Editor: ACF
User avatar
magin
Gorilla Nurse Using an Old Fashioned Abdominal Exerciser While Listening to 'Angel of the Morning' by Juice Newton
 
Posts: 850
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:50 pm
Location: College Park, MD

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:22 pm

First of all, thanks to the editors for a fine tournament. I had fun for most of the event.

I found that the questions were really good for the most part, however I thought there were one or two tossups that should have accepted alternate answers. For example, "semi-empirical mass formula" should have been acceptable for Bethe-Weiszacker before it was said because in some resources (such as Krane) it is just known as the semi-empirical mass formula. Also, it seems that Inari and Uke Mochi are the same deity in some legends. I said Inari, I just figured it was wrong, but according to Wikipedia (I know, I know) she and Inari are actually the same according to some legends, so I lost that match by 5, bummer. I might try to find a more credible source after I get off work, but if anyone else finds something before to show whether I'm right or wrong, post away.

Regarding my 1Q84 question, I originally put the Sinfonietta clue around the fourth line or so. I figured putting it in as a lead-in would lead to buzzer races in many rooms because Murakami published the first chapter online and I was trying to reward those that read the whole novel before those that had read the first chapter and not actually read the rest of the book just yet.

Also, could you post the 1Q84 tossup and the Uke Mochi/Nihon Shoki/Susano'o bonus?
Jake Sundberg
Louisiana 2004-2010, 2014-20xx President Emeritus
Alabama 2010-2014, President Emeritus
Louisiana 2014-20xx, officer with unknown position
Lederberg 2 Champion - slowly assembling a legitimate quadruple crown
2009 COTKU MVP
Archdemon of Quizbowl
User avatar
The Ununtiable Twine
Mick Ferguson, The Guy Who's Awfully Proud of his Bullet Proof Legs
 
Posts: 713
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:09 pm
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:35 pm

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:Also, it seems that Inari and Uke Mochi are the same deity in some legends. I said Inari, I just figured it was wrong, but according to Wikipedia (I know, I know) she and Inari are actually the same according to some legends, so I lost that match by 5, bummer. I might try to find a more credible source after I get off work, but if anyone else finds something before to show whether I'm right or wrong, post away.

Also, could you post the 1Q84 tossup and the Uke Mochi/Nihon Shoki/Susano'o bonus?


Northwestern/USC wrote:After this figure's death, millet emerged from her forehead, and silkworms came out of her eyebrows. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this Japanese goddess of food who was killed after failing to please another god with her regurgitated fish and rice.
ANSWER: Ukemochi
[10] The oldest tale of Ukemochi is believed to be in this text that, with the Kojiki, comprises much of the mythology of Japan. It also discusses Japanese history, including the introduction of Buddhism and the Taika Reforms.
ANSWER: Nihon Shoki [or Nihon-gi]
[10] Ukemochi was killed by this brother of Amaterasu, who gained his sword Kusanagi by slaying a drunken serpent.
ANSWER: Susanoo


The specific story that's referred to in the leadin and general prompt is about Ukemochi (which is to say, there's no story about Inari being killed and turning into all that stuff). However, expecting people to know which clues don't apply to one of two interchangeable characters is unreasonable, and more credible sources than Wikipedia do bear out that Inari and Ukemochi are "identified with" or "often confused with" each other, so it was a mistake on my part to not anticipate a buzz of Inari and deal with it. (I think in retrospect what I would have done was to refer to Inari within the question, but at least a prompt on Inari would have helped even without changing the question's text.) I'm sorry that you lost a match on this, which I'm sure was frustrating. If you run into something similar in the future, please bear in mind that this is a perfectly acceptable thing to protest.
Susan
UChicago alum (AB 2003, PhD 2009)
Member, ACF
Susan
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:43 am

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby grapesmoker » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:41 pm

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:For example, "semi-empirical mass formula" should have been acceptable for Bethe-Weiszacker before it was said because in some resources (such as Krane) it is just known as the semi-empirical mass formula.


You can blame me for this. My sources named it as Bethe-Weizsacker and while I knew it was a semi-empirical mass formula, I did not think that was a term of art. Looking around more, it seems that you were right. My apologies.
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 5817
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:42 pm

Charlie Dees, who wrote 4/0 classical music

Liar! I wrote 2 bonuses too!

Speaking of which, I'm curious what people thought of my questions, since this was the first time I'd written anything for ACF Nationals. I wrote tossups on Jean-Baptiste Lully, Ave Maria, overtures, and G.F. Handel, and bonuses on Hans von Bulow-Herbert von Karajan-Berlin and the Radetzky March-Strauss the elder-landler. In my opinion these questions were extra focused on "important" things, especially a few things I don't think came up enough in quizbowl, but if people didn't like what I wrote, let me know.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08; University of Missouri '12
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White
User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
 
Posts: 5505
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:38 pm

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:Also, could you post the 1Q84 tossup and the Uke Mochi/Nihon Shoki/Susano'o bonus?


VCU/Alabama wrote:This novel begins with one of its main characters listening to Janacek's Sinfonietta while riding down an expressway in a taxi. A portion of this novel takes place in the “Town of Cats” in which another of its characters reads stories to his comatose father. One of its characters is ordered by the Dowager to kill the Leader of the cult Sakigake. Its other main character, a math teacher at a cram school, rewrites Fuka-Eri's Air Chrysalis to rave reviews, only to anger the Little People. Set in an alternate Tokyo whose sky contains two moons, it focuses on the connection between Tengo and Aomame. For 10 points, identify this Haruki Murakami novel whose title refers to a book about a totalitarian state by George Orwell.
ANSWER: 1Q84 [or ichi-kyu-hachi-yon]
Susan
UChicago alum (AB 2003, PhD 2009)
Member, ACF
Susan
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:43 am

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:04 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
The Ununtiable Twine wrote:For example, "semi-empirical mass formula" should have been acceptable for Bethe-Weiszacker before it was said because in some resources (such as Krane) it is just known as the semi-empirical mass formula.


You can blame me for this. My sources named it as Bethe-Weizsacker and while I knew it was a semi-empirical mass formula, I did not think that was a term of art. Looking around more, it seems that you were right. My apologies.


This reminds me of something. I accepted that answer based on knowledge (with Magin's permission). Can we open a discussion of whether its ok to do that?
Eric Mukherjee
Brown University '09
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania '17

"The accumulated filth of all their stupidity and irrationality will foam up about their waists and all the Jehovah’s witnesses refusing blood transfusions, drug-seekers, creationists, new agers, anti-vaccination nutjobs, scientologists, and AIDS deniers will look up and shout ‘save us!’…and I’ll look down, and whisper ‘no’” –Rorschach MD
User avatar
The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Cheynem » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:06 pm

In our room, someone just said Weiszacker and everyone agreed it was fine.
Mike Cheyne
"He has a PhD in SUBURBAN STUDIES!"--Marshall Steinbaum
Formerly at University of Minnesota
User avatar
Cheynem
Forums Staff: Moderator
 
Posts: 4585
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Minneapolis, Moneysota

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:09 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
The Ununtiable Twine wrote:For example, "semi-empirical mass formula" should have been acceptable for Bethe-Weiszacker before it was said because in some resources (such as Krane) it is just known as the semi-empirical mass formula.


You can blame me for this. My sources named it as Bethe-Weizsacker and while I knew it was a semi-empirical mass formula, I did not think that was a term of art. Looking around more, it seems that you were right. My apologies.


This reminds me of something. I accepted that answer based on knowledge (with Magin's permission). Can we open a discussion of whether its ok to do that?


Of course, but I'll be surprised if it goes anywhere other than "by all means it's okay provided you're right".
Susan
UChicago alum (AB 2003, PhD 2009)
Member, ACF
Susan
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:43 am

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Gautam » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:25 pm

I wrote the following:
TU on technical analysis (finance/econ)
TU on Ganesh (this was intended as Religion)
Bonus on MIT economists (Acemoglu/Diamond/Samuelson)
Bonus on full moons/Holi/Rakhi purnima
Bonus on aggregation problem/capital/Joan Robinson

Edit: Forgot to say that feedback is welcome and appreciated.
Gautam - ACF
Currently tending to the 'quizbowl hobo' persuasion.
User avatar
Gautam
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 1233
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:28 pm
Location: Zone of Avoidance

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Excelsior (smack) » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:35 pm

Long-tailed Sabrewing wrote:TU on technical analysis (finance/econ)

Which packet was this in?
Ashvin Srivatsa
Yale University '14 | Sycamore High School (OH) '10
User avatar
Excelsior (smack)
Frankenstein Wastes A Minute of Our Time
 
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:20 am
Location: Madison, WI

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:29 pm

Helping to edit ACF Nationals was the biggest honor of my quizbowl career. I am very thankful to Jonathan and the rest of ACF for the opportunity to live out one of my quizbowl dreams.

I was responsible for all questions on History, Religion, and Current Events/Geography. Almost all of the questions in these subjects from the editors packets were written by me, with a few exceptions that I will mention below.

In the submitted packets, most of the questions were submissions, though most of them were at least somewhat edited. The following questions from the submitted packets were written by me from scratch, or are only loosely based on a submission (read: almost total rewrite):

    History
  • Benjamin Lincoln
  • Sack of Rome by the Gauls (submission was Battle of the Allia River, I believe)
  • Manitoba Schools Question (submission was Wilfried Laurier)
  • Election of 1832
  • Pope Eugene IV
  • IWW (Magin heavily edited this)
  • The Chinese Navy
  • "United States and France"
  • Edward I
  • Habsburgs (submission was Maximillian I)
  • Battle of Talas / Ko Shinji / As-Saffah
  • Colfax / Belkanp / Washburne
  • Ziggurats / Nabopolassar /Etemenaki
  • Black Army / Beggars / Petrobrusians
  • Richard Cromwell / Convention Parliament / Indemnity and Oblivion Act
  • Rothschilds / Hesse / Lionel Rothschild
  • Richard Olney / Charles Bonaparte / John J. Crittenden
  • Gastein Convention / Peace of Prague / Ludwig von Benedek
  • Sinking of the Titanic / SS Californian / Robert Ballard

    Religion
  • Iblis
  • Animal Slaughter (submission was rams)
  • Semikahah / Halakha / Haskalah (why yes, I did find the last two near each other in an alphabetic list of things from Judaism)
  • Seven Valleys / Book of Certitude / Shoghi Effendi
  • Yama / Yamadutas / Ushash
  • Cao Dai Pope / eye of God / Hoa Hao

    Current Events/Geography
  • Bashar al-Assad
  • New Jersey
  • Cameroon (submission was Lake Nyos)
  • GSA / Treasury Department / Operation Fast and Furious
  • Rick Scott / Allen West / Pam Bondi
  • Philippines / Spratly Islands / Bo Xilai

In addition, I was responsible for the miniscule linguistics portion of the social science. This includes the tossup on Cuneiform, the tossup on "the future tense" that would have been used in any tiebreakers for getting into the finals, and a few bonuses.

I also wrote the following questions for the "Other Academic" distribution:
  • Trepanation
  • Triassic Period
  • bonus on warship types (dreadnought/destroyer/boomer)
  • bonus on insular dwarfism/homo floresiensis/weta (which Yale 30'ed in my room, apparently thanks to Kevin's phobia of wetas)
  • bonus on Bone Wars/Edward Cope/Yale (which Marnold unilaterally 30'ed in my room)

Some light-hearted notes/observations on the questions:
  • Nobody submitted a religion tossup on Islam. They say that Bahai is the official religion of quizbowl, but based on submissions it seems that Sikhism is the most popular faith among ACF Nationals players.
  • The history tossup on Yoweri Museveni was written almost six months ago, well before Joseph Kony became an internet sensation. Just wanted to point out that I was writing stuff about Uganda before it was cool.
  • Tu Bishvat was my favorite repeat from the submissions. We ended up using a bonus that included this greatest of Jewish holidays, but somebody also thought it was a good idea for a tossup.
  • Yale B submitted two Hungarian history tossups. What's the phrase Matt Weiner once used to describe Peter Austin - "like Bruce Arthur, but even more like Bruce Arthur?" I cut one and heavily edited the other one into "Mongol Invasions of Europe".

In no particular order, here are my favorite submitted questions (based on answer choice, not question quality):
  • GI Bill
  • Social Security Act
  • Geneva Bible
  • Crown Heights Riot
  • Condor Legion
  • Pink Slime
  • bonus on "fish ladders"

A few known issues with stuff I wrote/edited: there was a typo that incorrectly stated the tsar assassinated by the people's will: it should of course have been Alexander II, not Alexander III. And the history tossup about the Black Sea was just flat out wrong in saying that the Battle of Chesme took place there: it in in fact took place in the Agean.

Last but certainly not least, here are all the people I want to thank (apologies to anyone I left out - I assure you it's negligence and not spite):

Gautam wrote 1/1 religion (including the tossup on Ganesh), Auroni wrote 2/2 religion of which 1/1 was used (including the tossup on Sunnah). Kyle Haddad-Fonda supplied the history tossup on Iraq. Seth Kendall supplied the common link tossup on Tyrants of Syracuse. Matt Lafer wrote a few ancient and American history questions. Dan Passner wrote some bonuses about Judaism.

Rob Carson, Bernadette Spencer, Dan Passner, Seth Teitler, and Dennis Loo supplied tiebreaker/extra tossups.

Auroni, Matt Lafer, Ryan Westbrook, Susan, Matt Weiner, and the guy whose IRC username is "Mewtwo" playtested tossups from my category.

Matt Weiner was a very good TD and was very understanding when my laryngitis prevented me from reading any matches on Day 2. Eric Douglass let me borrow his flash drive to transfer tiebreaker packets to Dennis Loo's laptop. Dennis Loo let me comandeer his laptop to read a tiebreaker round, even though this apparently meant that he was unable to watch some really important Spanish soccer game. Bryn Reinecke took over reading for me when I developed laryngitis during the final rounds on Saturday.

And of course mad props to Philip Humber for pitching the 21st (well, 22nd) perfect game in MLB history during Day 1 of ACF Nationals. You are now excused from not moderating.
Bruce
Harvard '10 / UChicago '07 / Roycemore School '04
My guide to using Wikipedia as a question source
User avatar
Skepticism and Animal Feed
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 2810
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Fond du lac operon » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:58 pm

Long-tailed Sabrewing wrote:Bonus on aggregation problem/capital/Joan Robinson


I'm very interested in seeing this bonus, as I've long privately thought quizbowl needed more material on Robinson, Sraffa, etc.

(Also, Bruce, if you're going to count Galarraga, you might as well count Ernie Shore, Harvey Haddix, and Pedro Martinez, since all of those would have been perfect games 25 years ago.)
ONE-TIME HSQB BRACKET POOL CHAMPION Harrison Brown
Centennial HS (GA) '08
Alabama '13

"No idea what [he's] talking about."
User avatar
Fond du lac operon
World's Fastest Menorah
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby marnold » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:59 am

I thought this was a lot of fun and a really good set. Two points though:

(1) One comment I heard at the tournament that I tend to agree with: at times, some things seemed a little "pet." There was plenty of classic Magin social science ("hey, these are what people think about stuff - maybe these are preferences or attitudes or opinions or any number of other terms that, yes, if I had perfect knowledge I could pick out, but since I don't I have to sit here wondering when I should guess as the entire question goes by"); some of Bruce's Bruciest favorites came up (the one that jumps out at me is the Petrobrusians, but I think I only know that's something Bruce likes because of working with him RMP-Fest); Eric claimed Susan rewrote a bonus to be about her thesis. As a disciple of quizbowl auteur theory I don't really have a problem with this, but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

(2) As someone mentioned above, the easy parts were not always very consistent across different subjects.
Michael Arnold
Chicago 2010
Columbia Law 2013

2009 ACF Nats Champion
2010 ICT Champion
2010 CULT Champion
Member of Mike Cheyne's Quizbowl All-Heel Team

Fundamental Theorem of Quizbowl (Revised): Almost no one is actually good at quizbowl.
User avatar
marnold
Mick Ferguson, The Guy Who's Awfully Proud of his Bullet Proof Legs
 
Posts: 700
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: NY

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:34 am

Eric claimed Susan rewrote a bonus to be about her thesis.


If I'm thinking about the right bonus here, what happened is that I edited a submitted bonus (on a topic related to my thesis) to avoid reusing a hard part from a previous ACF Nats (and also to help pyramidality and accuracy). This actually had the effect of taking the topic further away from anything I've ever worked on.
Susan
UChicago alum (AB 2003, PhD 2009)
Member, ACF
Susan
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:43 am

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Tees-Exe Line » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:03 am

I mentioned this to a few of the editors, but I wanted to note that the economics in this tournament was especially good. I thought it covered a selection of the most interesting stuff in the field and did so with clues related to actual economic research.
Marshall I. Steinbaum

Oxford University (2002-2005)
University of Chicago (2008-2014)

We went and saw the Elgin marbles again today

Love
Daddy
User avatar
Tees-Exe Line
Mick Ferguson, The Guy Who's Awfully Proud of his Bullet Proof Legs
 
Posts: 552
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:02 pm

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby grapesmoker » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:03 am

marnold wrote:There was plenty of classic Magin social science ("hey, these are what people think about stuff - maybe these are preferences or attitudes or opinions or any number of other terms that, yes, if I had perfect knowledge I could pick out, but since I don't I have to sit here wondering when I should guess as the entire question goes by")


I'm obviously a biased party to this debate, but for what it's worth, as someone who works in a psychology department, I hear about things you call "classic Magin social science" all the time. Attitudes, prejudices, arousal, whatever; these things are actually terms of art in the field, no less than "electron" is a term of art in physics. I'm actually rather happy that we're mixing in modern psychology with some of the older stuff that tended to dominate that part of the distribution in the past.
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 5817
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Cheynem » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:26 am

I thought the set obviously had things Magin likes, but I mean this in a non pejorative way--Jonathan is an intelligent, well-read Renaissance man, so he's going to like a lot of important and interesting things from social science and literature.

As my friend Bruce Arthur would say, though, now that Marnold has let the "Bruce writes on what he wants" cat out of the bag, I might offer some rumblings that it seems like Eastern Europe history was coming up quite a bit. And the question on the Reptile Fund, out of all the Bruce Arthur questions in the world, was potentially the Bruce Arthur-iest. That said, there were a lot of great history questions and the Manitoba Schools question was particularly interesting. Bruce is free to correct me if I'm off base here.
Mike Cheyne
"He has a PhD in SUBURBAN STUDIES!"--Marshall Steinbaum
Formerly at University of Minnesota
User avatar
Cheynem
Forums Staff: Moderator
 
Posts: 4585
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Minneapolis, Moneysota

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby grapesmoker » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:27 am

For the stuff I edited, I tried, in accordance with my usual philosophy, to keep as much of a submission as was feasible. If an answer was good but the question was not, I would rewrite the question from scratch with that answer line. If the answer line was not a good one, I would try to change it to something related and write the question on that. A great number of bonuses were rewritten to be made easier (a subject I'll be addressing in another thread). The following questions were originally written by me:

Tossups:

Debye length, Fermi gas, Compton wavelength, diffraction, Poisson bracket, reionization, Stokes parameters, gauge transformation, Friedmann equations, potential, Runge-Kutta method, Boltzmann machine, differentiable, heap, planetary rings, residues, De Rerum Natura, Parerga and Paralipomena, The Myth of Sisyphus, Critical Dictionary, free will, The Oversoul, Georges Sorel, just war theory, pain, Theory of Moral Sentiments, baryon number, Peter Kropotkin, the culture industry, geoid

Bonuses:

nonrenormalizable/ LQG/ Planck length, isenthalpic process/ Joule-Thomson/ inversion curve, cavity/ Q/ Gaussian beam, MHD/ continuity/ mean free path, circulation theorem/ viscosity/ pressure, Green-Kubo/ linear/ diffusion, time-orientable/ causality/ light cone, normal modes/ Green's functions/ delta function, deep inelastic scattering/ quark/ pertubative QCD, order parameter/ second order phase transition/ superfluid, Sylow theorems/ conjugate/ 5, elliptic curve cryptography/ discrete log/ prime factorization, quantum cascade laser, SVM/ classification/ Bayesian method, Nussbaum/ Symposium/ capability, Lucian/ cynics/ beard, Condillac/ Locke/ Diderot, Mental Events/ Davidson/ radical interpretation, Tragic Sense of Life/ Unamuno/ Don Quixote, The Ego and His Own/ Max Stirner/ Karl Marx, Foucault/ Discipline and Punish/ The Order of Things, Prison Notebooks/ Gramsci/ Fordism, Speech Acts/ Searle/ promising, Michael Polanyi/ tacit knowledge/ Copernican revolution

I'd like to thank Seth Teitler and Aaron Rosenberg for contributing 5/3 and 1/3 respectively. Seth wrote tossups on rivers, cooling, cratons, seismic tomorgaphy, and the Eocene, and bonuses on Rubin/ Andromeda/ Slipher, swash/ longshore drift/ littoral and lake eruption/ CO2/ maars. Aaron wrote the tossup on amplitude modulation and bonuses on shear stress/ principal stresses/ Mohr's circle, valence band/ gallium arsenide/ quantum cascade laser, and eutectic/ peritectic/ martensite.

General observations: I appreciated people scaling down the difficulty of their submissions for the most part. We had a lot fewer of these really bad "random thing named after random guy" bonus parts. It would have been good to see more computer science submissions; this year was the year of math, with a lot of math questions showing up in the "other science" category. One thing I would advise all writers to do is to make their "other science" bonus subject different from the tossup subject. I saw a few packets that had this distribution issue.

If you have any questions about the edits I made to any of your questions, I'd be glad to answer them in this thread or in private (grapesmoker@gmail.com).

edit: the misdistribution snafu in Editors 3 is mostly my fault. I should have caught the fact that there were only 3 science tossups in the first 20 (the Fermi gas question was tossup 21) earlier, but I only figured it out when it was too late and I had no time to figure out which question should be replaced and then run around the entire building telling people to stop reading. I apologize for that fuck-up.
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 5817
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby marnold » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:37 am

Oh yeah, I don't doubt those things are real. I got the arousal question somewhere in the middle since I know Yerkes-Dodson, so I get that there are clues that are pointing to specific terms of art. But a lot of times those questions degenerate into everyone figuring out the kind of thing to say, then waiting until the end to guess one of the plausible terms. I don't think I want to argue about whether that's good or bad quizbowl (at least not here), but since those things do undeniably characterize Magin's writing and it happened a handful of times here, it supports the point that the tournament had something of a pet feel (which I don't intend pejoratively).
Michael Arnold
Chicago 2010
Columbia Law 2013

2009 ACF Nats Champion
2010 ICT Champion
2010 CULT Champion
Member of Mike Cheyne's Quizbowl All-Heel Team

Fundamental Theorem of Quizbowl (Revised): Almost no one is actually good at quizbowl.
User avatar
marnold
Mick Ferguson, The Guy Who's Awfully Proud of his Bullet Proof Legs
 
Posts: 700
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: NY

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby women, fire and dangerous things » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:58 am

The social science in the editors' packets definitely had a Magin-y feel, but I don't think that's a bad thing. It did a good job of asking about interesting yet gettable things which are important in the field (the whiteness tossup was probably the coolest example). There were some similarly good ideas in the philosophy, too, like the tossup on pain. Incidentally, could someone post the tossup on free will?
Will Nediger
-Proud member of the cult of Urcuchillay-
University of Western Ontario 2011
University of Michigan 2016
User avatar
women, fire and dangerous things
Frankenstein Wastes A Minute of Our Time
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:34 pm
Location: Örkko, Cimmeria

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:02 pm

Cheynem wrote:As my friend Bruce Arthur would say, though, now that Marnold has let the "Bruce writes on what he wants" cat out of the bag, I might offer some rumblings that it seems like Eastern Europe history was coming up quite a bit.


I adhere to strict and rigid subdistributions when I write. For European history, that ratio is 1:1:1:1, where the 1's stand for Great Britain, Western Europe (France, Italy, Spain, etc), Central Europe (the Germanic world), and Eastern Europe (ex-Warsaw Pact). Thus, the percentage of Eastern European history in the editors packets was exactly 25% of the total European history. 5 tossups, 5 bonuses. This is the exact same ratio I used for Harvard International, T-Party, Sack of Antwerp, or any other tournament that I've written some or all of the history for in the past. It is a simplified version of the ratio I used for all of my history side events.

As far as submissions go, I actually received a lot of Eastern European history submissions. More than chance could explain: my guess is people were playing to the stereotype of me. But I banished most of these questions to the land of wind and ghosts. There were only 6 eastern euro tossups in the submitted packets (23%) and only 3 bonuses (11.5%). I don't believe that this is either egregious or out of whack with regular tournaments. Rather, I suspect that there is a priming effect going on here: based on my reputation, you are expecting egregious amounts of eastern european history to show up, so when a tossup does show up, you make more note of it than you would if it came up in a set edited by somebody else.
Last edited by Skepticism and Animal Feed on Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bruce
Harvard '10 / UChicago '07 / Roycemore School '04
My guide to using Wikipedia as a question source
User avatar
Skepticism and Animal Feed
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 2810
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby grapesmoker » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:04 pm

Galen Strawson argued against this concept a 1983 work which examined the "cognitive phenomenology" of belief in it. In a paper which concerned this idea and the "Concept of a Person," Harry Frankfurt argued that it is connected to second-order desires, and paradoxes concerning this idea are sometimes known as “Frankfurt cases,” due to a 1969 paper of his. John Martin Fischer has proposed a "Garden of Forking Paths" model of this idea, and in a book in which he coined the notions of sphexishness and intuition pumps, Elbow Room, Daniel Dennett wrote about the "varieties" of this which are "worth wanting." Non-causal, event-causal, and agent-causal accounts of this idea belong to incompatibilist theories of it, while compatibilist theories of this idea attempt to reconcile it with determinism. For 10 points, identify this philosophical idea, which is usually presented as the possibility of doing something other than what you actually did.
Answer: freedom of will (accept logical equivalents)
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 5817
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Cheynem » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:12 pm

Fair enough, Bruce. Perhaps we can eventually re-collaborate on some other history tournament in which the priming effect will be that everyone expects Eastern Europe questions linked with entertainingly pointless anecdotes.
Mike Cheyne
"He has a PhD in SUBURBAN STUDIES!"--Marshall Steinbaum
Formerly at University of Minnesota
User avatar
Cheynem
Forums Staff: Moderator
 
Posts: 4585
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Minneapolis, Moneysota

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby women, fire and dangerous things » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:16 pm

The clue about the Frankfurt cases could have been worded better. I negged with "determinism" on that clue (obviously the first two clues unambiguously point to free will, but I didn't know them). As I understand them, Frankfurt cases are situations where causal determinism is true, under the assumption that determinism is true if an agent cannot have done otherwise, and yet the agent still seems to be morally responsible for their actions. So, they directly have to do with determinism, not free will.
Will Nediger
-Proud member of the cult of Urcuchillay-
University of Western Ontario 2011
University of Michigan 2016
User avatar
women, fire and dangerous things
Frankenstein Wastes A Minute of Our Time
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:34 pm
Location: Örkko, Cimmeria

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Muriel Axon » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:25 pm

women, fire and dangerous things wrote:The clue about the Frankfurt cases could have been worded better. I negged with "determinism" on that clue (obviously the first two clues unambiguously point to free will, but I didn't know them). As I understand them, Frankfurt cases are situations where causal determinism is true, under the assumption that determinism is true if an agent cannot have done otherwise, and yet the agent still seems to be morally responsible for their actions. So, they directly have to do with determinism, not free will.


That's a good point, and I agree the clue is worded poorly, but Frankfurt's rejection of PAP with the Frankfurt cases are part of an argument about free will. Determinism is an assumption of the scenarios in the argument, but the argument isn't actually about determinism, except that it's compatible with free will. So buzzing on determinism was reasonable (especially giving "paradoxes concerning this idea"), but I don't think the clue was really that ambiguous.

I didn't play this tournament, so I don't know how this tossup played out, but I do think the Frankfurt clue is a bit early, considering that much of the compatibilist/incompatibilist debate over the past few decades revolves around the validity of Frankfurt cases.
Shan Kothari

Plymouth High School '10
Michigan State University '14
User avatar
Muriel Axon
Frankenstein Wastes A Minute of Our Time
 
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:19 am

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby grapesmoker » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:34 pm

women, fire and dangerous things wrote:The clue about the Frankfurt cases could have been worded better. I negged with "determinism" on that clue (obviously the first two clues unambiguously point to free will, but I didn't know them). As I understand them, Frankfurt cases are situations where causal determinism is true, under the assumption that determinism is true if an agent cannot have done otherwise, and yet the agent still seems to be morally responsible for their actions. So, they directly have to do with determinism, not free will.


Yeah, I apologize for the loose wording there. You should definitely have been prompted and it was an oversight on my part to not instruct on that, or alternately dig a little deeper into the meat of the paper.
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 5817
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby grapesmoker » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:35 pm

Amon Goeth wrote:I didn't play this tournament, so I don't know how this tossup played out, but I do think the Frankfurt clue is a bit early, considering that much of the compatibilist/incompatibilist debate over the past few decades revolves around the validity of Frankfurt cases.


It takes highly specialized knowledge to be aware of this. I'm fine with that clue where it is because it will reward people with deep knowledge.
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 5817
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Cody » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:42 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I don't believe that this is either egregious or out of whack with regular tournaments. Rather, I suspect that there is a priming effect going on here: based on my reputation, you are expecting egregious amounts of eastern european history to show up, so when a tossup does show up, you make more note of it than you would if it came up in a set edited by somebody else.
I am unsure about other people, but I certainly wasn't expecting anything egregiously Bruce (this is Nationals after all) until I heard the Reptile Fund tossup & the bonus on the Bone Wars, the "Bruce Arthur-iest" questions in the world, as Mike Cheyne might put it. After those, I was definitely under the impression that Brucian topics were coming up too much.
Cody Voight – CBGS '09, VCU '14. HSAPQ Science Editor.
Member, Order of Heroes of Socialist Quizbowl Labor.
Quizbowl at VCU Facebook page
User avatar
Cody
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 1060
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:57 am
Location: Richmond

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Kyle » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:54 pm

Just for the record -- Bruce wrote me an email in February and asked whether I would write him some history, particularly Middle Eastern, so that there could be different styles of history questions in the editors' packets. I responded with one tossup on Iraq using clues solely from the early mandate era, which I'm sure you could have recognized as the sort of thing I might be inclined to write and which (as has been noted) you all got to play. Had I or others responded with more than one question, then perhaps you would have gotten an even more diverse history distribution. But it should be noted that Bruce is very conscious of how the history will play and that he was proactive in seeking to make sure all types of questions were heard.
Kyle Haddad-Fonda
Harvard '09
Oxford '13
Kyle
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 1100
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Ifrane, Morocco / Oxford, UK / Issaquah, WA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby DumbJaques » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:48 pm

I've got plenty to say about this tournament (much good, some less) but have papers to write at the moment, so I just wanted to pop in and make a few observations:


-This tournament obviously worked hard to address the issues that plagued last year; the editors deserve our serious appreciation for what they did for us personally as competitors at this event and for quizbowl in general with getting this tournament back under control. I hope to see this attitude continue next year, because it's absolutely essential for the circuit. I'd also like to single out Susan in particular for responding to the reception of last year's bio/chem and working hard to make those categories much more accessible to the field this year (in fact, I enjoyed the bio and chem at this tournament as much as I have at any event in recent memory). My impression is that Jerry made an identical effort with his questions, though I'm sadly unqualified to speak on those topics, and will defer to others.

-People seem to be complaining about editor bias and question being "Magin-y" or "the Bruciest" or whatever, but I don't really get that. Sure, there were times I saw what I perceived to be Bruce or Jonathan-flavored material in this set. This did not surprise me, as I had been informed many moths ago that this set was being edited by Bruce Arthur and Jonathan Magin. Every editor will introduce their own bias, just in terms of the kind of things that occur to them as question ideas (this is one reason I think Jerry's preferential approach of "keep it, rewrite tossup with the same answerline, replace it" is so commendable). Sure, you shouldn't INDULGE your (assuredly bizarre; you're in quizbowl, after all!) personal tastes, but if you tried to wipe them from the set it would end up just as unabalanced. I do think it's important to recruit a variety of chip-in submissions across every category in editor packets to combat this phenomenon, though, so ideally I think you'd like to see a bit more of that than even this tournament relied on.

-Bonus variability and difficulty were, at times, pretty problematic. This was, I thought, the weakest portion of a (good) tournament. While it wasn't egregious and was often more consistent within categories, you sometimes got the feeling that bonuses were all over the place. Some questions (in particular, some of the RMP, SS, and history) had violently impossible hard parts AND really, really tough "middle" parts, which is a serious problem. Part of this I attribute to the more decentralized editing process this tournament obviously used compared to some past iterations of ACF Nationals, of which I will have more to say later. But even within some categories, this was still an issue - Bruce coindicentally listed these two bonuses in order in the post above:

Seven Valleys / Book of Certitude / Shoghi Effendi
Yama / Yamadutas / Ushash


I don't remember hearing the latter bonus, but ahhhhhh! These things are not close approximates, from either meaningful perspective (expected real conversion within quizbowl and academice importance within respective fields). I had trouble even figuring out what that last two things were; respectively, it looks like we've got some specific group in the Bhagavata Purana and some random fucking proto-god from the Rig Veda. It's just not clear to me how these kind of bonuses are compatible with ACF Nationals's primary purpose. Obviously this is a more extreme example, but I often found history bonuses even within my subject varied from pretty generous to abusively hard. That Talas River bonus is a less egregious example, but I don't know how you look at that and expect anything approaching high conversion. If I decided to call Talas an easy part, I sure wouldn't pair it with a middle part on Abu as-Saffah and a hard part on Gao Xianzhi (!!). When teams are getting 8-9 tossups each in close games, pretty much every team in the entire field would need two bonuses like that to make up one of the friendlier lit bonuses, and that causes problems.
Chris Ray
University of Chicago
University of Maryland, 2014
ACF, PACE
User avatar
DumbJaques
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 2912
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:21 pm
Location: University of Maryland - CP

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby magin » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:58 pm

After reading the set, I agree with Chris that there was more bonus variability in easy and hard parts than I would have liked, which is something we definitely plan on addressing next year.
Jonathan Magin
Montgomery Blair HS '04, University of Maryland '08
Editor: ACF
User avatar
magin
Gorilla Nurse Using an Old Fashioned Abdominal Exerciser While Listening to 'Angel of the Morning' by Juice Newton
 
Posts: 850
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:50 pm
Location: College Park, MD

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Cheynem » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:59 pm

Yeah, I just want to clarify again that my views on the editors' "preferences" are entirely subjective and based on feel.

More substantial points:

-The logistics for this tournament were superb. This was EASILY the best run of the ACF Nationals tournaments I have attended (not that you have to do much work to beat out 2009 or 2011). I think the format of the tournament was strong (although I kind of still have a fondness for the 14 team brackets of 2010), there weren't a lot of wasted moments, stats were prompt, and we got rolling basically on time and finished appropriately.

-In terms of difficulty, I think this was generally a pretty strong set, filled with great questions. While there is something thrilling about playing questions like 2011 (or even 2009), in which you truly cannot comprehend the true form of the question, they probably could be toned down a bit for a national championship, were so here, and were still fun to play.

-I really can't complain about the format, but I might still push for larger team brackets and longer prelims for next year.

-My biggest complain besides the bonuses as Chris pointed out was the current events questions. Some were fine. Some just seemed superfluous (another tossup on South Sudan?). Some I raised my eyebrows over (Costa Concordia, pink slime). I wrote a lousy current events question for this tournament (phone hacking), so I wonder how many of these were submissions, but I think I would give the editors more leeway to hack these questions in the future and replace them with Things Jerry Finds Exciting or something cooler.
Mike Cheyne
"He has a PhD in SUBURBAN STUDIES!"--Marshall Steinbaum
Formerly at University of Minnesota
User avatar
Cheynem
Forums Staff: Moderator
 
Posts: 4585
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Minneapolis, Moneysota

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby DumbJaques » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:48 pm

This is really just my next point, but it's getting it's own post because it's super-important that YOU KNUCKLEHEADS LISTEN THE FUCK UP:

Hey, teams writing nationals packets, here's the deal: You guys remember how packet submission works, right? Presumably many of you have even worked on your own packet-sub events in the past, but regardless, the implications ought to be rather clear. When you submit questions to a tournament, the point is for people to then PLAY those questions; ergo, what people actually hear during the event can be theoretically assumed to correlate with what you send in.

So, please, stop being idiots. ACF Nationals is not the time for you to unload that batshit insane tossup you wrote back in November. It's not the time to pick a random leadin/thing at a bottom of a wikipedia subject bar and go to town. It's not the time to see just how far you can push the bounds of reason before quizbowl suffers some kind of Big Crunch and we all die. This crap is not funny any more, it's not fair to the editors or the players (or the readers, for those of you 16-line-tossup-on-Vine-Deloria enthusiasts), and most importantly of all, it pisses me off.

Confused? Hurt? Shrugging your shoulders in anticipation of finishing off that ACF Fall tossup you're writing on The Social Construction of Reality? Let me show what I'm talking about, based on what's been revealed about submission by just by pretty much off-hand comments by editors so far in this thread:

Sack of Rome by the Gauls (submission was Battle of the Allia River, I believe)
I often teach players unfamiliar with writing that, to control difficulty, the best and easiest step is to ask yourself a question: Can I use the same basic information in the tossup I've written, but point it to a much easier answer line for people to convert? A good writer could really be overwhelmed by the sheer number of such possibilities in regards to the Battle of the Allia (Sack of Rome by the Gauls, Sacking Rome, Gauls, etc.). A good writer could be.

Tu Bishvat
It sounds like this maybe used to be more popular among some groups of Jewish people in the middle ages. Oh, who cares, I bet Matt Jackson will get it, pull the trigger!


Cameroon (submission was Lake Nyos)
SUBMISSION WAS LAKE NYOS??????


Yale B submitted two Hungarian history tossups.
This isn't necessarily a difficulty issue (but as one tossup was rewritten into "Mongol invasions of Europe," I'd be willing to bet it was that, too!) as much as a matter of pride in your product. Whoever is putting this packet together needs to take some responsibility here. If you're in a bind because the deadline is looming, send the packet and tell the editor that you'll be replacing the question presently. Or, you know, just check to make sure you don't write two tossups on Hungarian history. And maybe also stop liking Hungary so much.


I wish I could remember what it was, but Jonathan told me during the tournament that some (already difficult) tossup we'd just heard had originally been on something much, much worse. Though it's nice to see that people stopped submitting fictional bonuses on science stuff, I think there's clearly a problem here. Today, we've got more people writing questions - and more people writing them well - than at any past point in quizbowl history. Yet the editing team at ACF Nationals - ACF NATIONALS - has to deal with packets authored by some of the better writers in the field saturated with bullshit.

We all need to hold ourselves accountable for this. I'm speaking here, too, as someone whose team sent in a hellishly late packet to this event, but I can at the least say that it had a lot of tossups that were not fundamentally insane (and which unsurprisingly made it into the final packet). And yeah, sometimes we just misjudge things (I wrote a tossup on Frescobaldi for this tournament, which Jonathan at least thought was way too ambitious). But we all know that there's kind of a culture of anything-goes with regards to writing questions for tournaments like this, and it's time to address the problem. ACF Nationals did its part by scaling down last year's abusive difficulty, so now it's on us.

Since I'm pretty convinced that much of this problem is not attributable to laziness is due to people wanting to show off/demonstrate how legit their knowledge is to earn more hsquizbowl street cred or whatever, let me close by pointing out that it is not all that difficult to write a decent tossup on something hatefuckingly hard. For one thing, there probably haven't been other tossups on it, so you've got to singularly suck as a writer to fill it with stock clues or something like that. But if you want to actually impress someone, write a tossup that's eminently answerable but creative and legit within the discipline. THAT is how you really demonstrate you know what you're doing with this kind of stuff.

EDIT:
This isn't related to this post, but just because it bugged me: That bonus on types of therapy was pretty damned hard, Jonathan. I'm not aware of any therapists who play quizbowl, but I am aware of the half-dozen people psychologists I've asked (so far!) who have never heard of whatever the shit "narrative therapy" is. I do admire the intent, and would would love to see more questions on what's actually important in psychology today (it may interest quizbowlers to know, for instance, that Fritz Perls is a bazillion times more relevant to the contemporary field than Wertheimer/Kohler/Koffka). If there's a case to be made that narrative therapy is worth asking about (honestly it sounds really stupid to me), the place to do that a) probably isn't ACF Nationals and b) certainly isn't in a bonus where there other two parts are RET and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Yikes!
Chris Ray
University of Chicago
University of Maryland, 2014
ACF, PACE
User avatar
DumbJaques
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 2912
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:21 pm
Location: University of Maryland - CP

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby The King's Flight to the Scots » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:08 pm

I'll note that "narrative therapy" was the only part of that bonus we answered correctly. I'm not really sure how we did that, but it happened.
Matt Bollinger
UVA '14, UVA '15
User avatar
The King's Flight to the Scots
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 1154
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:11 pm

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:28 pm

DumbJaques wrote:
Tu Bishvat
It sounds like this maybe used to be more popular among some groups of Jewish people in the middle ages. Oh, who cares, I bet Matt Jackson will get it, pull the trigger!

I don't know, maybe I'm being too much my own stereotype, but I knew that holiday since eighth grade just from having some Jewish friends. I guess I don't know anything super-deep about it, so a tossup seems unreasonable, but still.
Andrew Watkins
User avatar
Mechanical Beasts
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby jonah » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:35 pm

Mechanical Beasts wrote:
DumbJaques wrote:
Tu Bishvat
It sounds like this maybe used to be more popular among some groups of Jewish people in the middle ages. Oh, who cares, I bet Matt Jackson will get it, pull the trigger!
I don't know, maybe I'm being too much my own stereotype, but I knew that holiday since eighth grade just from having some Jewish friends. I guess I don't know anything super-deep about it, so a tossup seems unreasonable, but still.
I haven't seen the tossup itself, but in my opinion that's not too difficult an answer line (if appropriate clues can be found). It is typically taught in Hebrew school curricula, at least.
Jonah Greenthal
NAQT member, writer/editor, and webmaster
jonah
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 1869
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Fake 4-ball » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:54 pm

Horned Screamer wrote:Ave Maria

Can someone post this one? Sounds interesting.
Robert Pond
Kings Park '10
Stony Brook '14
Wandering hobo '??
Anonymous wrote:naqt is much worse than plagiarism could ever hope to be
User avatar
Fake 4-ball
Frankenstein Wastes A Minute of Our Time
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 6:08 pm

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby grapesmoker » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:38 pm

In my areas, at least, the worst offenders were not the experienced teams, who (I would like to think) perhaps too last year's experience to heart. It was usually writers from relatively inexperienced teams (I got a tossup on some dude named Francisco de Vittoria and another on Julien de Mettrie... yeah). This is regrettable but hopefully as teams gain experience they'll be better positioned to understand what does and does not make for a good question. As can be seen from this tournament, I'm more than happy to let in a good tossup on On Liberty; that makes me way happier than receiving unusable tossups that I have to rewrite.
Jerry Vinokurov
LJHS 2000
UC Berkeley '05
Brown '10
Carnegie Mellon staff
User avatar
grapesmoker
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 5817
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby DumbJaques » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:45 pm

jonah wrote:
Mechanical Beasts wrote:
DumbJaques wrote:
Tu Bishvat
It sounds like this maybe used to be more popular among some groups of Jewish people in the middle ages. Oh, who cares, I bet Matt Jackson will get it, pull the trigger!
I don't know, maybe I'm being too much my own stereotype, but I knew that holiday since eighth grade just from having some Jewish friends. I guess I don't know anything super-deep about it, so a tossup seems unreasonable, but still.
I haven't seen the tossup itself, but in my opinion that's not too difficult an answer line (if appropriate clues can be found). It is typically taught in Hebrew school curricula, at least.


This actually betrays one of the problematic ways of thinking about difficulty that goes into creating the issues we're talking about. "If appropriate clues can be found" isn't a proviso to "that seems like a good answer line," it's a prerequisite of it! I don't know much about Jewish holidays, but it seems to me that there's about 3 lines of meaningful, useful, pyramidal gradation for a tossup on Tu Bishvat, and anything beyond that would be extraneous. If that's the case it ought to immediately indicate to you that the tossup is a bad idea.

If the author of the Tu Bishvat tossup wants to post it and argue the point, please do so, but I hope people understand that a knee-jerk reaction of "well, I've heard of that" is, in fact, not enough of a reason to justify having a tossup on something at ACF Nationals (anymore than someone not having heard of something necessarily makes the tossup a bad decision). That's actually the exact kind of logic that causes problems, and that point is correct even if I happen to be wrong about Tu Bishvat's askability.

As for Andy's point, I'm pretty much literally saying that a tossup on Tu Bishvat seems unreasonable and people should not submit things that are unreasonable, so I'm not sure what the point of disagreement is.
Chris Ray
University of Chicago
University of Maryland, 2014
ACF, PACE
User avatar
DumbJaques
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 2912
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:21 pm
Location: University of Maryland - CP

Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby jonah » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:54 pm

DumbJaques wrote:
jonah wrote:
Mechanical Beasts wrote:
DumbJaques wrote:
Tu Bishvat
It sounds like this maybe used to be more popular among some groups of Jewish people in the middle ages. Oh, who cares, I bet Matt Jackson will get it, pull the trigger!
I don't know, maybe I'm being too much my own stereotype, but I knew that holiday since eighth grade just from having some Jewish friends. I guess I don't know anything super-deep about it, so a tossup seems unreasonable, but still.
I haven't seen the tossup itself, but in my opinion that's not too difficult an answer line (if appropriate clues can be found). It is typically taught in Hebrew school curricula, at least.
This actually betrays one of the problematic ways of thinking about difficulty that goes into creating the issues we're talking about. "If appropriate clues can be found" isn't a proviso to "that seems like a good answer line," it's a prerequisite of it! I don't know much about Jewish holidays, but it seems to me that there's about 3 lines of meaningful, useful, pyramidal gradation for a tossup on Tu Bishvat, and anything beyond that would be extraneous. If that's the case it ought to immediately indicate to you that the tossup is a bad idea.
I think you misunderstood my parenthetical; maybe I didn't state it well. I definitely agree that sufficiently many clues of appropriate difficulty and appropriately graded difficulty are a requirement for a tossup answer to be good. I haven't tried to write a tossup on Tu b'Shvat, so I'm not sure offhand whether such a clue selection exists. However, if such clues exist I think the answer is fine, and even if they don't it would be a fine bonus part.
Jonah Greenthal
NAQT member, writer/editor, and webmaster
jonah
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
 
Posts: 1869
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Chicago

Next

Return to College area archives

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests