2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby cornfused » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:41 am

grapesmoker wrote:relatively inexperienced teams (I got a tossup on some dude named Francisco de Vittoria)

He came up in a 300-level poli sci class for me, though I've never heard of him in quizbowl. So that I think squares with the bit about experience - it's tough to tell which of the this-dude-is-obscurish people from your studies are quizbowl-easy, quizbowl-hard, or quizbowl-what-the-fuck-man-come-on-really until you've played a good amount of packets.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Auroni » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:59 am

As with all difficulty levels, at ACF Nationals you should be asking about things that you can expect multiple people to know with levels of clues multiple people will know. Just because something showed up in your class doesn't guarantee that anyone else knows it and doesn't mean it's a good idea to make it a tossup that multiple teams will be playing on.

Relatedly, stop writing tossups that only one or two specific people or teams at ACF Nationals will convert.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Rothlover » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:23 am

jonah wrote:
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.


Ooh, is this the equivalent of the "Jewish Mafia" in quizbowl? Tu-Bishvat is certainly "gettable" etc, but it's not particularly exciting. Given the relatively small amount of Jewish non-Biblical religion that can come up in a tournament, most attempts to write on holidays outside of the "Shalosh Regalim"/big fasts tend to end up like chicken on an airplane, you are happy you got it versus the alternative, but would never subject yourself to it if you weren't in a confined, moving space.

At nats, I can certainly think of 10-15 tus that would at least achieve the same conversion that would have exciting clues. I do admit that my theological bias is towards Orthodoxy and law-y stuff, as opposed to more of the lay piety/generally accessible material.

I wish that tossup on the Vilna Gaon had been written, but I'd settle for the Bescht question that mentioned Frankists, who are really the most practically influential false Messianic movement in Jewish history.

From what I playtested, Magin included a lot of good modern and old literature with "Jew-y" elements, so I was fairly happy with much of that.

Assuming they made it in unedited, I hope people appreciated hard bonus parts on Artscroll and Rebecca Goldstein.

Hopefully that's basically it on the set from a Jewish perspective.

P.S. I know what narrative therapy is from a graduate class I took on narrative (and some personal reading because I found it interesting), but it seems REALLY specialized.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Excelsior (smack) » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:44 am

Can I see the tossup on Runge-Kutta? If I'm remembering correctly, the leadin was something to the effect of "This algorithm can be made adaptive by allowing its timestep to vary" or something. This clue sounds like it could apply to pretty much any numerical algorithm that solves equations that have time as a parameter.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:04 am

Rothlover wrote:I wish that tossup on the Vilna Gaon had been written, but I'd settle for the Bescht question that mentioned Frankists, who are really the most practically influential false Messianic movement in Jewish history.


The only reason this tournament lacked a tossup on the Vilna Gaon was that there was a question at last year's ACF Nationals on Vilnius, which used primarily clues from Vilnius's Jewish community. I don't actually know with 100% certainty that the Vilna Gaon was mentioned in that question, but it seemed like too much of a potential year-to-year repeat.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Rothlover » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:27 am

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
Rothlover wrote:I wish that tossup on the Vilna Gaon had been written, but I'd settle for the Bescht question that mentioned Frankists, who are really the most practically influential false Messianic movement in Jewish history.


The only reason this tournament lacked a tossup on the Vilna Gaon was that there was a question at last year's ACF Nationals on Vilnius, which used primarily clues from Vilnius's Jewish community. I don't actually know with 100% certainty that the Vilna Gaon was mentioned in that question, but it seemed like too much of a potential year-to-year repeat.


Yeah, and I appreciated getting the chance to write a bit. I know you'd told as much to me about the Vilna Gaon, he's just a really good example of important "real" Judaism at the Nats difficulty level that springs to mind. Thumbs up for the Crown Heights riot tu which I am approving of without having seen (assuming I'm remembering this thread correctly).
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:37 am

I was interested in knowing who wrote the Lee Atwater question. I liked it and would like to see more "behind the scenes" types from US history come up.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:40 am

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.

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.

We're not disagreeing, mostly, though I think a bonus part is fine.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Cheynem » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:11 am

I assume you've seen it, Eric, but I wrote a tossup on Lee Atwater for the most recent of the American history packets I wrote (as well as the Crown Heights riot).
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:16 am

Ethnic history of the Vilnius region wrote:I was interested in knowing who wrote the Lee Atwater question. I liked it and would like to see more "behind the scenes" types from US history come up.


I wrote the Lee Atwater bonus; Mike Cheyne also independently wrote a Lee Atwater question a few weeks ago.

Crown Heights Riot was a submission, but one I gladly kept.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby grapesmoker » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:40 am

Excelsior (smack) wrote:Can I see the tossup on Runge-Kutta? If I'm remembering correctly, the leadin was something to the effect of "This algorithm can be made adaptive by allowing its timestep to vary" or something. This clue sounds like it could apply to pretty much any numerical algorithm that solves equations that have time as a parameter.


Sure, here it is:

This algorithm can be modified to an “adaptive” form by increasing the step size when the error is too small and decreasing it when it is too large, leading the error to oscillate about the optimum value. The local truncation error for this algorithm is proportional to the the interval being used raised to the power of one plus the order of the algorithm. The most common form of this algorithm is its fourth-order variant, in which doubling the number of steps leads to a 16-fold reduction in error. This algorithm improves on the Taylor algorithm by not having to compute derivatives, and it begins with a calculation identical to the Euler method. This algorithm’s fourth-order variant proceeds by computing the weighted average of four slopes, with values interior to a partition interval weighted twice as heavily as the edge values, using symmetrization to cancel out lower order error terms. For 10 points, identify this algorithm for numerically integrating ordinary differential equations, named for its two German formulators.
ANSWER: Runge-Kutta method


I don't know if the oscillating error applies to other algorithms, though it might. It's possible that the clue may not be uniquely identifying, and I think that's possibly a function of the answer itself. Numerical algorithms have lots of techniques in common so there's almost sure to be some cross-feed between possible answers. I thought about doing something with that first clue, but I left it because it is true that adaptive RK does exhibit the oscillatory behavior described, I didn't know of any other algorithms that did so, and I thought there was some benefit to getting people to think "hey, this is an iterative numerical algorithm of some sort." I guess I don't necessarily expect anyone to buzz on the very first clue, though.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:56 am

William Crotch wrote:
Horned Screamer wrote:Ave Maria

Can someone post this one? Sounds interesting.


Virginia wrote:This two-word phrase names an adaptation by Pierre-Louis Deitsch of the madrigal “Nous Voyons que les homes” by Jacques Arcadelt. Desdemona sings this phrase before sleeping in an aria that occurs immediately before she is murdered by her husband in the Verdi opera Otello. Josquin des Prez wrote a motet with this title which changes the lyrics to read “virgo serena” A lied frequently named for this phrase is Ellen Douglas’s third song in a cycle based on Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lady of the Lake. Charles Gonoud created a melody that sets this text over J.S. Bach’s first prelude from The Well-Tempered Clavier. For 10 points, give this two word Latin phrase for a prayer often sung in a lied by Schubert, which calls for the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
ANSWER: Ave Maria
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Cody » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:21 pm

grapesmoker wrote:Sure, here it is:

This algorithm can be modified to an “adaptive” form by increasing the step size when the error is too small and decreasing it when it is too large, leading the error to oscillate about the optimum value. The local truncation error for this algorithm is proportional to the the interval being used raised to the power of one plus the order of the algorithm. The most common form of this algorithm is its fourth-order variant, in which doubling the number of steps leads to a 16-fold reduction in error. This algorithm improves on the Taylor algorithm by not having to compute derivatives, and it begins with a calculation identical to the Euler method. This algorithm’s fourth-order variant proceeds by computing the weighted average of four slopes, with values interior to a partition interval weighted twice as heavily as the edge values, using symmetrization to cancel out lower order error terms. For 10 points, identify this algorithm for numerically integrating ordinary differential equations, named for its two German formulators.
ANSWER: Runge-Kutta method


I don't know if the oscillating error applies to other algorithms, though it might. It's possible that the clue may not be uniquely identifying, and I think that's possibly a function of the answer itself. Numerical algorithms have lots of techniques in common so there's almost sure to be some cross-feed between possible answers. I thought about doing something with that first clue, but I left it because it is true that adaptive RK does exhibit the oscillatory behavior described, I didn't know of any other algorithms that did so, and I thought there was some benefit to getting people to think "hey, this is an iterative numerical algorithm of some sort." I guess I don't necessarily expect anyone to buzz on the very first clue, though.
Oh, that lead-in. That actually applies to a lot of things, even outside of numerical algorithms--for example, adaptive filters have the same property (I actually thought about buzzing with LMS there but it didn't quite fit), and thus I assume the "adaptive" form of anything probably has that property. (Excitingly enough, I happen to have a plot at school of the error from this; maybe I'll attach it later!)

Edit: attached!
hsqb.png
(20.31 KiB) Downloaded 117 times
Last edited by Cody on Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby bird bird bird bird bird » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:56 pm

grapesmoker wrote:I got a tossup on some dude named Francisco de Vittoria


Important dude, but wow, that needs to be a bonus part. Even at nationals difficulty.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby The Toad to Wigan Pier » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:51 pm

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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Down and out in Quintana Roo » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:13 pm

Is quizbowlpackets.com just not being updated anymore or something? What is with the lack of packets posted there this year?
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby grapesmoker » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:21 pm

Down and out in Quintana Roo wrote:Is quizbowlpackets.com just not being updated anymore or something? What is with the lack of packets posted there this year?


I think they're now all on the HSQB archive.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby theMoMA » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:30 pm

Would someone mind posting the tossup on the Black Sea as it was played? It was apparently amended to remove the part that Chicago B protested against us.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Charbroil » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:32 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
Down and out in Quintana Roo wrote:Is quizbowlpackets.com just not being updated anymore or something? What is with the lack of packets posted there this year?


I think they're now all on the HSQB archive.


Are you referring to this? Because there are only 8 sets there.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:43 pm

theMoMA wrote:Would someone mind posting the tossup on the Black Sea as it was played? It was apparently amended to remove the part that Chicago B protested against us.


editors 4 wrote:Haci I, a member of the Giray Dynasty, established one polity that was based around this sea and had its capital at Bakhchysarai [bak-chi-sarai]. Operation Bustard Hunt was part of one battle on the shores of this sea. In this sea, admirals John Elphinstone and Samuel Greig won the Battle of Chesme. In late medieval times, trade in this sea was dominated by the city of Caffa, which became a Genoese colony. Polities found on this sea include the Empire of Trebizond and one nation gained access to this sea by the Treaty of Kucuk-Kaynarca. One port on this sea has been besieged by such commanders as Gheorghe Avramescu, Erich von Mannstein, and Lord Raglan. This sea is connected to the Marmara by the Bosporus. For 10 points, name this sea whose major ports include Sebastopol.
ANSWER: The Black Sea [anti-prompt on “Sea of Azov”]
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby gaurav.kandlikar » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:31 pm

This is a pretty minor nit to pick, but I have a beef with the tossup on heterozygote advantage. My evolution text (Evolutionary Analysis, Freeman and Herron) along with most of the Internet basically include some form of the phrase "also called overdominance" in the definition of heterozygote advantage. Perhaps you were referring to some other definition of overdominance, but I wasn't prepared to play synonym bowl in the second sentence of an ACF nats tossup and sat there thinking about what kind of phenomenon is attributed to heterozygote advantage and watched one of the few evolution questions slip out of my fingers.

On a more meaningful note, I think the science at this tournament did a good job of rewarding me for things I have learned in class or from reading things outside of class and made it painfully obvious when I hadn't learned the thing being asked about. Sadly, I had not yet learned most of the things, but it was fun to play regardless.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:17 am

gaurav.kandlikar wrote:This is a pretty minor nit to pick, but I have a beef with the tossup on heterozygote advantage. My evolution text (Evolutionary Analysis, Freeman and Herron) along with most of the Internet basically include some form of the phrase "also called overdominance" in the definition of heterozygote advantage. Perhaps you were referring to some other definition of overdominance, but I wasn't prepared to play synonym bowl in the second sentence of an ACF nats tossup and sat there thinking about what kind of phenomenon is attributed to heterozygote advantage and watched one of the few evolution questions slip out of my fingers.


Sorry, this is my fault. I've encountered heterozygote advantage almost exclusively outside of the classroom, and when you're in the lab looking at a phenotype and your heterozygote is doing something weird, almost no one says "overdominance" any more (unless they're very old, perhaps?). I did spend a lot of time looking at lecture notes about the things I wrote on trying to get a sense of how they were taught and what things seemed to be taught about them pretty much universally; obviously I fell down on the job with that clue. Again, sorry about that.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby cornfused » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:27 am

Susan wrote:
Virginia wrote:This two-word phrase names an adaptation by Pierre-Louis Deitsch of the madrigal “Nous Voyons que les homes” by Jacques Arcadelt. Desdemona sings this phrase before sleeping in an aria that occurs immediately before she is murdered by her husband in the Verdi opera Otello. Josquin des Prez wrote a motet with this title which changes the lyrics to read “virgo serena” A lied frequently named for this phrase is Ellen Douglas’s third song in a cycle based on Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lady of the Lake. Charles Gonoud created a melody that sets this text over J.S. Bach’s first prelude from The Well-Tempered Clavier. For 10 points, give this two word Latin phrase for a prayer often sung in a lied by Schubert, which calls for the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
ANSWER: Ave Maria

Fun tossup, but how is this not getting fraud-buzzed in most rooms?
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:33 am

Did it in practice?
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby grapesmoker » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:34 am

Horned Screamer wrote:Did it in practice?


In my room (I forget who was playing) the tossup seemed to go until the Walter Scott clue.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:44 am

My implied point is that, in game situations, I refuse to believe players on the whole are so good at frauding that they would hear the words "virgo serena" and immediately be able to jump from that to Ave Maria unless they know a little something about a clue that already came up, or if they're really on their game, which are both classes of people who should be buzzing there. All the Gerg Petersens in the world can proclaim to the boards that they can retroactively look back now that they know the answer and figure out how that clue works (which I bet good money translates to "I might have had like a 25% chance of buzzing there in an important game"), but unless I hear lots of reports in actual games about how that clue, which certainly was intentionally giving some context with the hope that maybe it would help prod people who weren't sure to buzz in, was producing lots of buzzer races because everybody figured it out in the real world, not on the internet, I'm content with how I (pretty intentionally) placed it.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby women, fire and dangerous things » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:23 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
Horned Screamer wrote:Did it in practice?


In my room (I forget who was playing) the tossup seemed to go until the Walter Scott clue.


Yeah, I buzzed on "Ellen Douglas's third song" in that tossup.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby gyre and gimble » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:33 pm

Just a couple of notes on my favorite subject: I don't know how many teams were denied 10 points because they said "Arawn" but Editors 1 Bonus 10 should have that as the answer and not Annwn, which is the Welsh underworld. Also, the guy in Editors 6 Bonus 8 should be Gronw Pebr and not Gronw Pedr.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby theMoMA » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:38 pm

This was a very good set. I thought it was challenging but fair, like Nationals should be. There weren't as many "oh, awesome, it's this" moments this year as they were last year (though there were still plenty), but I thought that the overall product greatly benefited from Jonathan's reining in of difficulty and Bruce/Susan/Jerry's hopping on board. Thanks for a fine set that was really fun to play.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:40 pm

gyre and gimble wrote:Just a couple of notes on my favorite subject: I don't know how many teams were denied 10 points because they said "Arawn" but Editors 1 Bonus 10 should have that as the answer and not Annwn, which is the Welsh underworld. Also, the guy in Editors 6 Bonus 8 should be Gronw Pebr and not Gronw Pedr.


Sorry, those are both my fault. Gronw Pebr was a typo, and with the hounds, I was thinking "Cwn Annwn" and inadvertently wrote the place rather than the dude. I hope this didn't affect anyone adversely.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Cheynem » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:48 pm

Here is an odd thought.

This is a dilemma that I'm sure has plagued many a religion player: the dreaded "Ezra or Nehemiah?" internal debate. Do/should Ezra or Nehemiah questions ever accept an answer of "Ezra-Nehemiah"? Wiki suggests this is A Thing and as the tossup indicates, the books were often initially combined together.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby naturalistic phallacy » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:44 pm

Cheynem wrote:Here is an odd thought.

This is a dilemma that I'm sure has plagued many a religion player: the dreaded "Ezra or Nehemiah?" internal debate. Do/should Ezra or Nehemiah questions ever accept an answer of "Ezra-Nehemiah"? Wiki suggests this is A Thing and as the tossup indicates, the books were often initially combined together.

Yes! This is the worst type of internal debate for religion players, no matter how much you know about them. Ezra-Nehemiah, from my understanding, were combined in the Septuagint (and possibly the Tanakh, but don't quote me on that) until they were separated sometime during one of those terrible "what is canonical" debates in the early Church. I'm not really sure what to do with answerlines, considering they do also exist as separate things. Maybe prompting on one for the other that is the actual answer, but that sounds just as stupid.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby theMoMA » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:50 pm

Maybe writing a tossup on "rebuilding the Temple" or just "the Temple" is the way to go, unless that's super-transparent? (I feel like tossups on Ezra and Nehemiah are actually pretty transparent anyway; I can usually pick them out starting at about line two, then sit for six to eight lines waiting for something that would distinguish one from the other.)
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Ringil » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:24 pm

I liked this tournament a decent amount. I was only a bit saddened that there was basically 0 Chinese literature and very little on Buddhism, but I suppose one cannot have everything.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Auroni » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:32 pm

A middle clue in the Nkrumah tossup was incorrect. There was a coup against him while he was on a state visit to North Vietnam, not North Korea.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby magin » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:32 pm

Ringil wrote:I liked this tournament a decent amount. I was only a bit saddened that there was basically 0 Chinese literature and very little on Buddhism, but I suppose one cannot have everything.


There was a tossup on Outlaws of the Marsh (which I wrote to replace a submitted tossup on the Chinese play The Chalk Circle) and a bonus part on rickshaws that mentioned Lao She. Other than that, the only Chinese literature submissions were like 5 questions on Lu Xun, which I cut since I think he's been coming up a ton in the last couple of years.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby theMoMA » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:35 pm

magin wrote:
Ringil wrote:I liked this tournament a decent amount. I was only a bit saddened that there was basically 0 Chinese literature and very little on Buddhism, but I suppose one cannot have everything.


There was a tossup on Outlaws of the Marsh (which I wrote to replace a submitted tossup on the Chinese play The Chalk Circle) and a bonus part on rickshaws that mentioned Lao She. Other than that, the only Chinese literature submissions were like 5 questions on Lu Xun, which I cut since I think he's been coming up a ton in the last couple of years.


Thank you.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Chimango Caracara » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:30 pm

Susan wrote:
gyre and gimble wrote:Just a couple of notes on my favorite subject: I don't know how many teams were denied 10 points because they said "Arawn" but Editors 1 Bonus 10 should have that as the answer and not Annwn, which is the Welsh underworld. Also, the guy in Editors 6 Bonus 8 should be Gronw Pebr and not Gronw Pedr.


Sorry, those are both my fault. Gronw Pebr was a typo, and with the hounds, I was thinking "Cwn Annwn" and inadvertently wrote the place rather than the dude. I hope this didn't affect anyone adversely.


My team lost a game because of it... but no hard feelings. The biology distribution was really cool so that made up for it.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:32 pm

Therizinosaurus wrote:
Susan wrote:
gyre and gimble wrote:Just a couple of notes on my favorite subject: I don't know how many teams were denied 10 points because they said "Arawn" but Editors 1 Bonus 10 should have that as the answer and not Annwn, which is the Welsh underworld. Also, the guy in Editors 6 Bonus 8 should be Gronw Pebr and not Gronw Pedr.


Sorry, those are both my fault. Gronw Pebr was a typo, and with the hounds, I was thinking "Cwn Annwn" and inadvertently wrote the place rather than the dude. I hope this didn't affect anyone adversely.


My team lost a game because of it... but no hard feelings. The biology distribution was really cool so that made up for it.


I'm glad you liked it! (And sorry again about my apparently pervasive problems with Welsh myth.)
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby cornfused » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:14 am

Horned Screamer wrote:My implied point is that, in game situations, I refuse to believe players on the whole are so good at frauding that they would hear the words "virgo serena" and immediately be able to jump from that to Ave Maria unless they know a little something about a clue that already came up, or if they're really on their game, which are both classes of people who should be buzzing there. All the Gerg Petersens in the world can proclaim to the boards that they can retroactively look back now that they know the answer and figure out how that clue works (which I bet good money translates to "I might have had like a 25% chance of buzzing there in an important game"), but unless I hear lots of reports in actual games about how that clue, which certainly was intentionally giving some context with the hope that maybe it would help prod people who weren't sure to buzz in, was producing lots of buzzer races because everybody figured it out in the real world, not on the internet, I'm content with how I (pretty intentionally) placed it.

No, I'm saying that I'd have taken a chance and buzzed on that clue, despite a lack of knowledge of several of the clues that came after it (specifically, the next clue I know - the first clue I know, technically - is the Gounod). I would definitely have buzzed there even without knowledge of the answer line - and if there's another thing that could lead to, well I guess I'm even less knowledgeable than I thought, but that's the risk that I would have taken.

[snarkiness redacted in case of possible typo]
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:23 am

So, like, I get like 50% of my buzzes ever on well edited regionals and beyond sets by hearing words whose meanings I don't actually know, plugging them together somehow I can't explain in my brain, and then buzzing in with a right answer despite literally knowing nothing about the subject. That's what good players do. Unless the clue actually makes the tossup too easy for the audience, a complaint I suspect isn't true based on my informal surveying of people who observed it in games, then I don't care to hear more bullshit about how "that's fraudable!" because it always just boils down to objecting to the game being accessible and led to difficulty being ramped up far too much at all levels.

And Mr. Powerson, I post what I like with little care as to your own opinion of me. I still don't understand how the board doesn't realize this yet when we're into year 6 of me posting things that offend some people here.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Cheynem » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:21 am

The question on Hiram Johnson states he was the first chairman of what is now the MPAA. What's the source for this? I thought the first man to head that was Will Hays.

Wiki asserts:

"After a year in office, he [Hays] resigned to become the choice of the Hollywood movie studios to become the first president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) until he retired in 1945. In the postwar period, this organization would be renamed the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)."
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Excelsior (smack) » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:46 pm

It looks like the packet/document from which tiebreaker questions were taken wasn't included in the zip file of the set. Would it be possible to upload that document somewhere? If not, could someone post the tossup on I think "cooling" which was read as a replacement in the finals?
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:08 am

8. The Field stability criterion holds when this process and its inverse operate on timescales much longer than the sound-crossing time. Its namesake function exhibits multiple stretches corresponding to stable equilibria, which are reflected in the multiple phase structure of the interstellar medium. This process generally occurs at a rate proportional to the square of the gas density, with the major contributions to it coming from collisional excitation, recombination, and bremsstrahlung. This process generates namesake flows directed towards high-density gas in the centers of galaxy clusters in which this process occurs efficiently through emission of x-rays, leading to a loss of pressure support. This process occurs by emission of neutrinos and antineutrinos from neutron stars and white dwarfs in the URCA process. For 10 points, name this generic process in which material loses energy, leading to a reduction in temperature.
ANSWER: cooling
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Gautam » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:17 pm

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

Which packet was this in?


Apologies for not answering earlier.

Now that I have the packets... looks like Finals 2:
14. This theory sometimes invokes the use of “oscillators” such as Welles Wilder’s RSI or Gerald Appel’s MACD, both of which convey information about the momentum of the variable of interest. One influential contributor to this theory developed %b [percent-b] bands which, along with the %R [percent-r] indicator and parabolic SAR lines, are used as overlays in its practice. In this theory, upper and lower bounds of a certain variable are described as “resistance” and “support” levels. Unlike its counterpart, it does not involve assessing the cash flow involved with a security. Pioneered by John Bollinger and Charles Dow, it entails following the price movement and trends of a security to determine whether to enter a long or short position. For 10 points, identify this theory of finance contrasted with fundamental analysis.
ANSWER: technical analysis [do not accept “fundamental analysis”]


Also, this is the bonus on the aggregation problem (somebody mentioned this question.)
9. Hicks and Leontief’s contributions resulted in a theorem suggesting that this problem can be overcome for commodities if they behave similarly in a twice-differentiable utility function. For 10 points each:
[10] Identify this problem which arises when translating microeconomic observations of individual agents to macro observations for an entire economy.
ANSWER: aggregation problem
[10] The aggregation of this factor of production was the subject of the “Cambridge controversy.” This factor of production refers to goods which may be used in production, are not consumed themselves, and undergo depreciation.
ANSWER: capital
[10] An influential contributor to the Cambridge capital debates was this female economist, who dismissed the notion that capital can be aggregated. This critic of the Neo-Keynesian movement also wrote The Accumulation of Capital.
ANSWER: Joan Violet Robinson


When writing this bonus, I think I overestimated people's knowledge of Joan Robinson. In retrospect, it seems to be of above-average difficulty. The aggregation problem has been an interesting topic of discussion (at least on the blogosphere, not sure about economics journals), so I thought people would be more acquainted with it.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Auroni » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:05 pm

Besides the stuff in my packet, I wrote the following questions:

tossup on Octavio Paz (Virginia)
bonus on Half of a Yellow Sun/Soyinka/Ekwensi (Virginia)
tossup on Elemental Odes (Northwestern/USC)
bonus on Three Apples/One Thousand and One Nights/Dunyazad (Northwestern/USC)
bonus on I-novel/Endo/Silence (Harvard)
tossup on learned helplessness (Illinois/Dartmouth/GMU)
bonus on shahada/peace be upon him/bismillah (Finals 1)
bonus on Graeme Gibson/Atwood/Richler (Editors 8)
tossup on Sunnah (Editors 2)
bonus on Ned Kelly/Carey/Fat Man in History (Editors 2)
bonus on Throne Verse/jizya/tawhid (Editors 1)
bonus on Bengali Renaissance/Ray family/Tagore (Editors 1)
bonus on Tancredi/Rossini/Turk in Italy (Minnesota)

Any feedback on these (or on the stuff in my actual packet) would be appreciated.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Tanay » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:36 am

Terry Riley wrote two "Persian Surgery Dervishes" and not "Persian Sugary Dervishes", though that's a great title as well.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby magin » Wed May 02, 2012 6:26 pm

Tanay wrote:Terry Riley wrote two "Persian Surgery Dervishes" and not "Persian Sugary Dervishes", though that's a great title as well.


I apologize; my brain didn't process that correctly. I hope no one was confused by this.

Also, I'd like to thank teams for my favorite submissions. In American lit, my favorite submissions were Quentin Compson, from Alabama's packet, and Richard Ford, from Virginia's packet. In British lit, I really liked Rutgers's tossup on The Revenger's Tragedy and Carleton's tossup on the Prioress's Tale. In Euro and World lit, I appreciated Michigan's tossup on "The Drunken Boat" and Maryland's tossup on the bombing of Hiroshima. All of these tossups needed very little editing and had fine answer lines, so kudos.

For arts, my favorite submissions were Yale's tossup on the symphonies of Sibelius, Ohio State's tossup on William Walton, GMU's tossup on the Battle of Algiers, and Illinois's tossup on Jasper Johns. As for my final category, social science, my favorite tossups were Maryland's tossup on bipolar disorder and Columbia's tossup on Richard Hofstadter (technically your choice, but I used it as social science).

When editing, I tried to keep tossups on reasonable answers as much as possible. Sometimes teams submitted good questions on very hard answers; I tried to make them easier when possible (turning a tossup on the Sienese school of painters to a tossup on Siena, or a tossup on completing The Art of the Fugue to The Art of the Fugue). In some cases, I kept a few well-written tossups on fairly hard things (like William Labov or Robert Frank's photography collection The Americans) instead of writing replacement tossups, but in general, the more reasonable your answer line, the more likely that your question would be kept.

If you'd like to know how your question was edited or why some of your questions weren't used, feel free to email me at jonathan.magin@gmail.com. I'll probably go back and explain what I liked about my favorite submissions so people can get a sense for what the editors were looking for in submissions in the next day or so.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Magister Ludi » Wed May 02, 2012 8:46 pm

I thought this was an absolutely first-rate set and I want to thank the editors for the obvious amount of work that went into producing it. Though, I have a few small suggestions for Jonathan to make next year's set even better.

I agree that the set definitely had a "Magin-y" feel to it, which isn't a bad thing since Jonathan's sensibility as an editor is one reason we want to play his tournaments. Though I think it would be a good thing if Jonathan reigned in his predilections (especially in social science) a bit. For example, in last year's set (2011 ACF Nationals) I counted only two tossups on a thinker or book in the entire set as nearly every SS tossup was on concepts or movements like "reading" or "structural-functionalism". Obviously these are all very important topics that reflect what people actually study in the social sciences, but I get the sense that Jonathan busts out all his cool, real-world answer-lines in the playoffs of ACF Nationals and avoids tossups on traditional topics. It's certainly a welcome development to have a tournament err on the side of having more questions about stuff that matters to social scientists since most other tournaments probably have too many questions on outdated thinkers, but I think it's desirable to have a bit more variety. I thought each SS tossup in the playoffs was great individually, but found them a bit overwhelming en masse since they often devolved into buzzer races and were vulnerable to lateral thinking. This may be a topic for a separate thread, but I think editors need to keep in mind that students encounter the social sciences in a wider array of forums. For example, bizarrely I've been assigned readings from Simmel in three different classes (including a linguistic anthropology class).

I think some of Jonathan's tossups on very easy authors could use an extra middle clue or two. I'm not saying he needs to write longer questions, but there were a few tossups with difficulty cliffs that made me (and the players on the opposing team) pause for a second, as a sort of suspension of disbelief, because a relatively easy clue seemed to come out of nowhere. Specifically, the tossups on Larkin (which went from "Dublinesque" to "High Windows"), Chekhov, and Marvell (going from a brief quote in "The Mower" to clues from "His Coy Mistress"). All the aforementioned questions were perfectly fine, but it's better to err on the side of more middle clues for easy author tossups than leadins since people are much more likely to have real world knowledge of the material mentioned i middle clues (especially for tossups on poets).


I don't want to take away from Jonathan's superb editing job this year, but just want to point out a few tendencies that it might be helpful for him to be aware of.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby magin » Thu May 03, 2012 9:56 am

Magister Ludi wrote:I thought this was an absolutely first-rate set and I want to thank the editors for the obvious amount of work that went into producing it.

Thanks, Ted.

Magister Ludi wrote:I agree that the set definitely had a "Magin-y" feel to it, which isn't a bad thing since Jonathan's sensibility as an editor is one reason we want to play his tournaments. Though I think it would be a good thing if Jonathan reigned in his predilections (especially in social science) a bit. For example, in last year's set (2011 ACF Nationals) I counted only two tossups on a thinker or book in the entire set as nearly every SS tossup was on concepts or movements like "reading" or "structural-functionalism".

I don't think you're correct about last year's social science tossups, which were:

Thomas Schelling
Elizabeth Loftus
Modigliani-Miller theorem
The Great Transformation
Germaine Greer
copyright
the kerplunk experiment
Robert Merton
code switching
One-Dimensional Man
Trobriand islanders
Daniel Bell
aspiration
utility functions
intelligence tests
structural functionalism
reading
scientific management
two-factor theory of emotion
auctions
Catalhuyuk
wh-movement
neoliberalism
Ludwig von Mises

So actually, over a third of the social science tossups last year were on books or thinkers. Also, I don't get how structural functionalism (which you learn about in the first week of Sociology 101), auctions, or intelligence tests aren't traditional topics. Would you rather I'd written a tossup on The Structure of Social Action? That's actually much less "traditional," since that you have at least take a class in sociological theory to have a chance of encountering its arguments, whereas structural functionalism is something you encounter early on in introductory sociology courses.
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