2009 NAQT HSNCT

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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by DumbJaques »

But we already know that they're also called Gauss integers,
Yes, this seems the key issue to me. If the answer given had been "Gaussian," I'm sure it would have been prompted or just accepted. Since saying "Guass" for "Gaussian" seems acceptable, it seems like another case of erroneous answer line instruction.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by New York Undercover »

uga_chris wrote:FYI here's a link to podcasts of all rounds (except 13, in which a student apparently did not want to be recorded): http://www.naqt.com/hsnct/2009/podcasts/index.html

This might help resolve some issues, although currently the podcasts are taking a long time to load for me.
out of curiosity, what is the sound in the background of the round 1 podcast? It reminds me of "alien" sounds from crappy movies.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by matt979 »

cvdwightw wrote: Second, I also noticed that La Jolla B was eliminated in the playoffs, in the first round, by its own A team. Also, Moravian was eliminated in the first round by Lafayette, a team that it had already played on Saturday.
My heart sank when I noticed the La Jolla pairing. Having already made some specific format announcements, I think we were committed to the playoff card ordering that the post-Saturday standings dictated (record, then points per tossup heard, where the 6-4 teams all got the cards one loss away from elimination).

In the future, depending on internal and external discussion, we potentially could give ourselves leeway to switch adjacent cards if that prevented a first-round A versus B pairing. (Should we also arrange to prevent second-round A versus B pairings? If so, then it becomes non-obvious where to draw the line.)

The only other thing we could have done in 2009 (that I didn't think of at the time) is overhaul, on the fly, the matchups shown on the cards. Since 2008, our Sunday card system has supported up to 40 teams with true double elim (cards 1-40) plus up to 48 teams already on the brink of elimination (cards 41-88). (Monte Carlo simulation suggests that the 192-card system we used Saturday permits up to 35 teams at 7-3 or better, and up to 45 teams at 6-4 on the nose. Round(er) numbers avoid some very messy mid-morning bye situations and provide a cushion for any particular black-swan situation.)

Exactly 38 teams finished at 6-4, thus 10 of those teams began with a bye. (Four of those teams already had "Bye" printed on their card, six of them had the bye denoted with a sharpie.) Rearranging (thus probably also reprinting) to start 8 (or 12, or 6, etc.) of those teams with a bye would have prevented the La Jolla A-B match but the act of executing this would have made a serious scheduling error exponentially more likely.

My immediate intuition is one-off flips are much less (potentially) catastrophic than schedule surgery, but that they should be reserved for relatively rare situations; preventing an A-B pairing strikes me as worthwhile, but preventing a "we already faced that team Saturday!" does not strike me as something that calls for breaking the points-per-tossup-heard tiebreak order. Your mileage may vary, of course, and my personal June 2009 intuition by no means dictates NAQT's policies 11-12 months later.

Along those lines: Solon obviously got a benefit from Flushing's situation/forfeit, that teams immediately above and below Solon did not get. We were split internally as to whether Flushing should even be assigned a playoff card. Neither answer to that question seems completely satisfying to me.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by matt979 »

cvdwightw wrote:First, I noticed that 6-4 Flushing played a total of 0 playoff games. I recognize that this may not at all be NAQT's fault - perhaps Flushing took off after the Saturday rounds and didn't check in on Sunday - but without knowing the circumstances, this seems eerily similar to the 2002 Hartland scenario.
Ironically, Hartland was* the only team this year whose self-reported record (on those white cards** we handed out upon teams' final Saturday games) failed to match our standings. Chad called them, and it turned out they were indeed 4-6 but had written "6-4" by mistake.

*- Unless I'm, days later, confusing them with a similarly named school.

**- That exist because I'm still mortified by the blatantly inaccurate initial Saturday 2008 output (caused by a caching issue in the stat program), and still profoundly thankful that Tressler and Dees were both in the lobby at the time.

By the way, split internal opinions regarding coach Reinstein's suggestion that those white cards also be used for consolation playoff pairing: The issue is the extent to which teams might change their minds overnight Saturday, and the extent to which they enjoy the freedom to enter, or exit, the consolation process as they see fit.

(For example, some early-eliminated playoff teams like to join in progress; some other teams like to get a couple rounds in but then check out and go explore the city or such.)
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Stained Diviner »

I can see why there is a split opinion on my suggestion. Another way to do it would be to tell teams that they could sign up for matches if they were sure they wanted to do it, leading to less waiting in the hallway, or just show up Sunday morning and get paired up then, leading to more hallway waiting time for them.

You definitely do not want to do schedule surgery on a format as complicated and involving as many teams as you have. I think that having a policy of moving a B Team down a notch when they are scheduled to play their own A Team in the first round would make sense. Because there are too many contingencies, especially with teams starting with double elimination, I don't think you want to make any promises beyond the first round unless you want somebody to spend some serious time creating a computer algorithm that will postpone any such potential matchups for several rounds.

I also understand the possibility of rematches from Saturday. Because a lot of 6-4 and 7-3 teams have played each other over the course of ten rounds of power matching, avoiding such a thing would require a good computer algorithm or somebody spending several hours on it Saturday night.

I think that Flushing should not have been assigned a card and that all teams behind them should have moved up a spot, but that's just my opinion, and I don't see it as a big deal.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by etchdulac »

Bad Boy Bill wrote:
etchdulac wrote:Mainly, I'm disappointed...a tragic end to a fantastic match.
I thought time was being enforced unevenly in several of the earlier matches that I watched and now I wish I had said something to someone before the final.
Unfortunately, I find it hard to imagine a system where timing is uniform with 65 moderators. Still, I think there are improvements to be made.
Bad Boy Bill wrote:I hope the point is clear: Will NAQT please decide whether we're going to give leeway to close answers or not?! My personal viewpoint is the strict one, but whatever decision is made is fine by me so long as it is enforced uniformly. Right now it feels like decisions are being made arbitrarily.
To me, this issue starts in question-writing. If the questions each list their own rules on prompting, and they don't all correspond with the same logic, then even telling moderators (as we were told this year) to blindly obey the underlining won't produce the sought uniformity. If everyone is familiar with the correctness guidelines set out by NAQT, I think you're still going to find some subjective disagreements in case-by-case application. So it's really crucial that the underlines share a common logic on what's correct, what's promptable, and what's wrong. That objective, apparently, hasn't been achieved yet.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by harpersferry »

Ken Jennings said:
"
I can't speak to the "Gaussian integers" question, but I think I was there for all of the resolution of the "Brahman" protest, since I edited the bonus. That the controversy wasn't given due consideration is untrue (and possibly unknowable, to the person who posted that). If the decision, and our long wrangling behind the scenes of it, wasn't explained as fully as necessary to the teams in question, that's something for NAQT to work on. I know nothing about Matt Bruce's grasp of Hindu theology, but he had nothing to do with the discussion. Once R. told us about the Britannica cite (I believe he wrote the question and used, among other sources, that very entry) and we verified it, we felt there was no way in good conscience we could reject that answer.

"

I am sorry, because you are absolutely right that it was unknowable to me. I clearly cannot say what happened behind closed doors, especially since I was not even in Chicago at the tournament at all. Therefore it was presumptuous on my part to said it was not given due consideration. I said that based on the impression I had gotten from this discussion. So far, the only explanation NAQT had given was the Britannica citation, and a lot of other people were bringing up things (such as quizbowl precedent, what Hindus refer to it as, all the Sanskrit stuff) which seemed to me a broader look at the protest which didn't seem to have been considered during the adjudication. The "long wrangling" was not evident to me, but again I was a few degrees removed from the whole ordeal. I would say, though, that having someone who had "nothing to do with the discussion" announcing the ruling to teams was probably not a good way to communicate the due consideration you gave to the protest.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by jonpin »

matt979 wrote:By the way, split internal opinions regarding coach Reinstein's suggestion that those white cards also be used for consolation playoff pairing: The issue is the extent to which teams might change their minds overnight Saturday, and the extent to which they enjoy the freedom to enter, or exit, the consolation process as they see fit.

(For example, some early-eliminated playoff teams like to join in progress; some other teams like to get a couple rounds in but then check out and go explore the city or such.)
Personally, it's my feeling that teams that make the playoffs but get knocked out early should get placement games. At the very least, those teams that are getting a trophy should get a final rank.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

Dan Greenstein wrote:...The key [to my proposed consolation system] is to have teams opt-out instead of opt-in.
This system will consistently fail as teams reliably leave without opting out, leaving a large fraction of non-matches.

MaS
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

This is an excellent post, Mike, and I hope someone from NAQT will listen to it. I have a proposal: NAQT ought to have at least two staffing meetings. Many of HSNCT's staffers (I include myself in this group, I admit) have run literally hundreds of NAQT games and could perhaps use a 2-minute briefing on the couple rules changes/commonly messed-up rules, where to send scores, etc. Conversely, it seems that some other staffers didn't understand all the rules even given the 30-minute session everyone sat through and could have benefited from even more briefing.

MaS
Cheynem wrote:I hope this is appropriate for a public forum and if it isn't, I apologize, but as the thread is meant to discuss the tournament and I wish to invite others' feedback and not just one person at NAQT via a private e-mail:

NAQT might want to be a little more mindful about how the moderators' meeting is organized. Frank Thomas is a nice guy and he was very helpful to me during the day, but there were times when I felt and I think others did too that we were being "talked down to" during the meeting and very real questions were being brushed aside. I realize that this is a short meeting and that the people in the room run the gamut from old pros to novices, but I think a little better consideration could be attended to in the future.

For example, the time to hash out basic gameplay rules should be Friday night during scrimmage sessions, not in this meeting. A quick reminder on the 3-2-5 thing and other things would be great, but if people are genuinely unsure if bouncebacks should be applied by Saturday morning, then those Friday night sessions didn't help much. I guess what I'm saying is that there should be time for people who have very real and important questions about protest resolutions, answer acceptabilities, etc. to ask them and have, ideally, several people from NAQT on hand to answer them. At the risk of sounding like a jerk (and I admit I am not super involved in high school quiz bowl), I am not sure to the extent of Frank Thomas' quiz bowl experience (i.e., perhaps someone who typically serves on protest committees and has experience dealing with this could have fielded questions on protests).

On the plus side, all of the NAQT people I dealt with were super nice to me during the course of the day, so on that front, I'm cool.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

everyday847 wrote:The situation is very simple. We are playing quizbowl in English, and no one speaks Sanskrit, so players answer questions in English...
This post is unnecessarily confrontational. It also happens to be wrong. We know there's at least one authoritative source (Encyclopædia Britannica) that lists "brahma" as an answer to that question and claims to have checked that as being true. We ought, therefore, accept that as the answer, simple as that. [PS: This is more or less exactly what Ken Jennings said already.]
However, it's even more wrong than that! The claim "no one speaks Sanskrit" is dubious at best: many terms in Hinduism are in Sanskrit, so many people know many Sanskrit words (and some grammar, etc.) I suppose one might claim that such people aren't speaking Sanskrit per se, but I don't see that as important, since Andy's point here must be that nobody could plausibly be using a Sanskrit term as such and that's simply not true.

MaS

PPS: Andy's succeeding series of arguments is, at best, underwhelming. When quizbowl's conventions and the contents of authoritative academic sources differ, the latter are right (and the former have been wrong all along.) That's clearly what's happened here. We ought be making a good-faith effort to reward legitimate (even potential) academic knowledge. In this case, that clearly means either accepting brahma or determining that the source is somehow wrong (which it apparently isn't.)
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

Ken Jennings wrote:Should we enforce some distinction in quiz bowl answer lines that isn't technically correct, for ease of adjudication? I guess you could argue that something similar is often done in mythology. English-language retellings of classical myth have often mingled Greek and Roman names indiscriminately, but quiz bowl answer lines are often more clear-cut, for sake of convenience.
I'll re-make the claim that we ought not effect this distinction in the case of classical myth, either. Either Greek or Roman names should always be acceptable for Greek gods; rarely, only the Roman name should be acceptable (in the case of a question with clues exclusives from the pre-syncretized Roman religion.)

MaS
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

Matt Weiner wrote:How is this any different from the Invisible Man/The Invisible Man situation...
To start with, no authoritative source gives the title of Invisible Man as "The Invisible Man" or vice versa. Conversely, that's exactly what's happened here.

MaS
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Matt Weiner »

Captain Sinico wrote: When quizbowl's conventions and the content of authoritative academic sources differ, the latter is right (and the former has been wrong all along.) That's clearly what's happened here. We ought be making a good-faith effort to reward legitimate (even potential) academic knowledge. In this case, that clearly means either accepting brahma or determining that the source is somehow wrong (which it apparently isn't.)
It's my contention (though I can't say if it is Andy's) that saying something that, hundreds if not millions of times more frequently, refers to a different but related concept, is not "legitimate" knowledge; it's confusion of the correct answer with an incorrect one. Despite what the nominative form of the word may be in a Sanskrit dictionary, anyone who has taken an eastern religions class or anyone who practices Hinduism (two classes of people who have posted in this thread to the following effect) will rush to point out that "brahman" refers to a concept entirely distinct from the god "Brahma."

Again, you may know everything about The Invisible Man by Wells that "legitimate knowledge" entails, but tough; there is also a book called Invisible Man that comes up in quizbowl, so you don't get to sneak into points by effectively giving both answers.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

Matt Weiner wrote:It's my contention (though I can't say if it is Andy's) that saying something that, hundreds if not millions of times more frequently, refers to a different but related concept, is not "legitimate" knowledge; it's confusion of the correct answer with an incorrect one.
An authoritative academic source disagrees with your contention. Your contention is, therefore, likewise wrong.

MaS
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Even if a player's intention in giving the answer is wrong, it seems plainly obvious that if they give an answer that is technically correct, they have to receive points for it.
Last edited by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) on Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

jonah wrote:What if the question's answer is "John Quincy Adams" and, either upon buzzing or after a prompt on "Adams", the player says "Quincy Adams"?
That should be accepted since there are a lot of contemporary sources (The Education of Henry Adams for one) that refer to the man that way. I guess it'd be less clear were that not the case; I'd certainly say take it if you want me to draw up some rules.

MaS
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

jonpin wrote:Directly relevant to this thread is NAQT's rule stating "In rare cases, an otherwise acceptable answer may be ruled incorrect when it creates ambiguity with another plausible answer." As such, I would think this answer should not be accepted as it creates clear ambiguity.
That rule does muddy the waters quite a bit vis-á-vis the technically correct resolution given NAQT's rules. I guess in the absence of criteria for when such an answer will be ruled incorrect and how plausible "plausible" is, it seems to do little else... One might argue, for example, that nobody with enough knowledge to know his name could plausibly believe the god Brahmā fits the clues; one might counterargue that teams frequently just throw an answer from a category out there and hope it sticks. So, I really have no idea what's the right here given NAQT's rules. If you gave me latitude to design the rules, though, Brahma would have been acceptable.

MaS
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Matt Weiner »

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:Even if a player's intention in giving the answer is wrong, it seems plainly obvious that if they give an answer that is technically correct, they have to receive points for it.
No it doesn't. If you say "Adams" for "John Quincy Adams," you get a prompt. If you then say "John Adams," your are wrong. The man's name was in fact John Adams, but too bad; there is another person (more) frequently called "John Adams," and it's your responsibility to precisely identify what you are trying to answer rather than give an answer which nearly always refers to something entirely different. I see the alleged technical correctness of the "brahman" thing (which, again, has been disputed by many people who know what they are talking about) as the exact same situation.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

Captain Sinico wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:It's my contention (though I can't say if it is Andy's) that saying something that, hundreds if not millions of times more frequently, refers to a different but related concept, is not "legitimate" knowledge; it's confusion of the correct answer with an incorrect one.
An authoritative academic source disagrees with your contention. Your contention is, therefore, likewise wrong.

MaS
But there are many other academic sources that point in the other direction as well (e.g. World's Religions by Huston Smith).
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

tetragrammatology wrote:But there are many other academic sources that point in the other direction as well (e.g. World's Religions by Huston Smith).
What does "point in the other direction" mean, precisely? All non-EB sources I have at hand give the answer to this question as Brahman, but that doesn't make Brahma wrong necessarily. Conversely, one authoritative source conscientiously* gives Brahma and that should be enough to make Brahma right (just as a couple math books saying "Gauss integers" makes that right, even if many, most, or all the remaining ones say "Gaussian integers.") I suppose it's possible that sources might say "This is definitely not Brahma, but only Brahman;" I'd still stand by my contentions in that case as long as this is a bona fide (explicit) disagreement of sources and not an error in one source, since it's possible (and, given enough play, inevitable) that a player will only have encountered the Britannica article.

MaS

*This whole line of discussion is predicated on the source (Britannica in this case) being correct and providing a variant usage. If it turns out that Britannica is incorrect in this case, then Brahma certainly seems wrong given the absence of other sources, but my contentions still hold for other answers that fit the assumed situation (of which many exist; Hermann for the last name of the figure usually called Jacob Arminius, to provide another example.)
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Matt Weiner »

For what it's worth, I consider the appeal to the rules more relevant to why this is being discussed in the first place. Just as NAQT has a rule about not needing to repeat common nouns that makes "Gauss" indisputably correct for "Gaussian integers" under the rules of the NAQT HSNCT, it also has a rule about "ambiguity of another plausible answer" that makes "brahman" indisputably incorrect. One can (and should) argue to change rules that seem unfair or pointlessly pedantic, but one cannot choose, while the tournament is in progress, to selectively apply rules to certain teams. Thus, returning to the original topic of discussion here, regarding the moderator errors and botched protest procedure that effectively decided nearly every game among the top four teams at this tournament, we can only conclude that the tournament operators erred severely and must reform their procedures in the future, regardless of what we think about the related factual point about "brahman" itself.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

Matt Weiner wrote:...[NAQT] has a rule about "ambiguity of another plausible answer" that makes "brahman" indisputably incorrect.
Perhaps you missed this post? To reiterate its points, I'll claim to have the same knowledge of NAQT's rules that you do, yet I don't find Brahma "indisputably incorrect" (your argument is that Brahman is correct, by the way, but I trust this is a simple misstatement from someone who actually knows better.)* I do concede, though, that, given NAQT's rules, the proper resolution is ambiguous, even assuming that Brahma is a correct variant answer to the question (as Britannica seems to claim.)
Matt Weiner wrote:...[NAQT] cannot choose... to selectively apply rules to certain teams.
I don't hear anyone saying that happened. Does anyone?

MaS

*OH SHI...
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Matt Weiner »

Captain Sinico wrote:your argument is that Brahman is correct
It is?
I don't hear anyone saying that happened. Does anyone?
I am by no means saying that anyone in NAQT was attempting to favor certain teams intentionally; I do not believe that happened. Rather, the consequence of the fact that NAQT chose, on multiple occasions, to forget or ignore its own rules, was that unfairness ocurred without any specific person intending for that to happen.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Captain Sinico wrote:Andy's point here must be that nobody could plausibly be using a Sanskrit term as such and that's simply not true.
Eh: for the sake of the game, I think the only plausible perspective to take is to assume that respondent is not declining the word "brahman" in a case in which it's not usually declined in English (save, apparently, one source--Britannica) because if respondent is able to do so, he's also able to give the term that doesn't create ambiguity (or he's willfully choosing to be ambiguous; then again, if you have enough of a command of the material to know that brahma is some other case of the noun brahman, but are worried enough about your answer that you choose the ambiguous term, you have more problems) and should be expected to for the sake of quizbowl answer lines. We can't respond to the player and ask "do you mean brahma, as in brahman, or brahma, as in Brahma."
Captain Sinico wrote:PPS: Andy's succeeding series of arguments is, at best, underwhelming. When quizbowl's conventions and the contents of authoritative academic sources differ, the latter are right (and the former have been wrong all along.) That's clearly what's happened here. We ought be making a good-faith effort to reward legitimate (even potential) academic knowledge. In this case, that clearly means either accepting brahma or determining that the source is somehow wrong (which it apparently isn't.)
Eh, I don't think so. To some extent quizbowl requires additional knowledge from the strictly academic world; we need to code our responses so that they fit the answer line. It's a shame that we don't have the necessary mind-reading technology to detect that a respondent with a stammer knows the answer before five seconds are up, either. But at some point, we have to have a default value for ambiguous answers, have prompts like "can you give another word form of that answer?" (the problem is that this implies to someone genuinely responding "Brahma" that their answer isn't right but that it IS really close; all such prompts that I know of lead the witness, so to speak, to some extent), or develop such technology. I certainly appreciate that we have to reward all possible academic knowledge, but this is academic knowledge (the almost-never-used-and-ambiguous word form) that we can't reward.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Brian Ulrich »

Captain Sinico wrote:
Ken Jennings wrote:Should we enforce some distinction in quiz bowl answer lines that isn't technically correct, for ease of adjudication? I guess you could argue that something similar is often done in mythology. English-language retellings of classical myth have often mingled Greek and Roman names indiscriminately, but quiz bowl answer lines are often more clear-cut, for sake of convenience.
I'll re-make the claim that we ought not effect this distinction in the case of classical myth, either. Either Greek or Roman names should always be acceptable for Greek gods; rarely, only the Roman name should be acceptable (in the case of a question with clues exclusives from the pre-syncretized Roman religion.)

MaS
I agree with this, though it would be confusing to implement. There were, for example, some Persian gods later amalgamated into the mix, Astarte came to be identified with someone or other, and so on. Thanks to my pushing it a number of years ago, NAQT accepts both standard English and Arabic for Biblical/Qur'anic figures, since they are literally just translations of the same name. Amalgamation ultimately leads to a similar situation. I mean, the Old Testament shows what many scholars consider clear signs of amalgamation with Elohim, the tetragrammaton, El Shaddai, and perhaps some others I'm forgetting.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by jagluski »

Captain Sinico wrote:This is an excellent post, Mike, and I hope someone from NAQT will listen to it. I have a proposal: NAQT ought to have at least two staffing meetings. Many of HSNCT's staffers (I include myself in this group, I admit) have run literally hundreds of NAQT games and could perhaps use a 2-minute briefing on the couple rules changes/commonly messed-up rules, where to send scores, etc. Conversely, it seems that some other staffers didn't understand all the rules even given the 30-minute session everyone sat through and could have benefited from even more briefing.

MaS
Cheynem wrote:I hope this is appropriate for a public forum and if it isn't, I apologize, but as the thread is meant to discuss the tournament and I wish to invite others' feedback and not just one person at NAQT via a private e-mail:

NAQT might want to be a little more mindful about how the moderators' meeting is organized. Frank Thomas is a nice guy and he was very helpful to me during the day, but there were times when I felt and I think others did too that we were being "talked down to" during the meeting and very real questions were being brushed aside. I realize that this is a short meeting and that the people in the room run the gamut from old pros to novices, but I think a little better consideration could be attended to in the future.

For example, the time to hash out basic gameplay rules should be Friday night during scrimmage sessions, not in this meeting. A quick reminder on the 3-2-5 thing and other things would be great, but if people are genuinely unsure if bouncebacks should be applied by Saturday morning, then those Friday night sessions didn't help much. I guess what I'm saying is that there should be time for people who have very real and important questions about protest resolutions, answer acceptabilities, etc. to ask them and have, ideally, several people from NAQT on hand to answer them. At the risk of sounding like a jerk (and I admit I am not super involved in high school quiz bowl), I am not sure to the extent of Frank Thomas' quiz bowl experience (i.e., perhaps someone who typically serves on protest committees and has experience dealing with this could have fielded questions on protests).

On the plus side, all of the NAQT people I dealt with were super nice to me during the course of the day, so on that front, I'm cool.

I agree that there were some issues with the information presented at the moderators meeting this year. I'll be taking a look at this over the next couple of months and look to improve this for next year, probably with some sort of Friday/Saturday combination as you suggest.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by cvdwightw »

Yeah, there's absolutely no good answer on this one. We need to either (a) penalize someone whose only knowledge of the term comes from Britannica (or some other reputable academic source that uses what appears to be non-standard terminology), and have them protest the acceptability of their answer or (b) reward someone for saying something that could very well be a variant of the answer, but is equally or more likely to be totally wrong. I do not find the problem to be the use of either (a) or (b); rather, the problem is that NAQT apparently went with (a) on the Gaussian/Gauss issue and (b) on the brahman/Brahma issue. As long as one of these two alternatives is not explicitly preferred (I'm pretty sure there's no official ACF ruling either on which is preferred, but if there is, feel free to correct me), then we'll end up with both (a) and (b) situations being haphazardly scattered throughout the tournament - and while not ideal, it's not the end of the world as long as you have someone in charge to consistently, uniformly apply ruling/philosophy (a) or (b) on protest resolution. The root problem of this entire discussion is not whether Brahma should have been accepted for brahman or Gauss should have been accepted for Gaussian; the root problem is that (in what appears to be the same game) the NAQT protest committee did not consistently apply ruling/philosophy (a) or (b), but rather applied (a) in one situation and (b) in another (or, in this situation, would have applied (b) if it mattered, if I understand the complaints in this thread). Regardless of whether NAQT knew which teams were playing and/or which teams were protesting, if Gauss/Gaussian had mattered, and Gauss had been denied, that team would have had a legitimate beef precisely because the standards that applied to the Brahma/brahman situation did not apply to the Gauss/Gaussian situation.

Also, to Matt Bruce: You appear to have been the person doing Internet searches on the "Gauss integers" vs. "Gaussian integers" protest. I submit that you should have actually looked at the results rather than just the number of hits. Because this book by physicist Manfred Schroeder was result #9 in my Google search for "Gauss integers", and problem sets from UC Davis and MIT were also on the first page. Moreover, a Google search for "Gauss integers" "Gaussian integers" yields at least two presumably academic sites that use the two terms interchangeably on the first page.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Brian Ulrich wrote:I mean, the Old Testament shows what many scholars consider clear signs of amalgamation with Elohim, the tetragrammaton, El Shaddai, and perhaps some others I'm forgetting.
A bonus on Adon/ Melekh/ Eloheinu or something would make my day.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! »

everyday847 wrote:
Brian Ulrich wrote:I mean, the Old Testament shows what many scholars consider clear signs of amalgamation with Elohim, the tetragrammaton, El Shaddai, and perhaps some others I'm forgetting.
A bonus on Adon/ Melekh/ Eloheinu or something would make my day.
People who are better at Jew than I am, correct me if this is wrong, but it's commonly "Adonai," and any religious Jew wouldn't be able to say that. And they'd have to say Elokeinu. Talk about your answer line confusion.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

Matt Weiner wrote:
Captain Sinico wrote:your argument is that Brahman is correct
It is?
Well... yes. Brahman is what every non-Britannica source has; its correctness isn't in question. Your argument is that Brahma is definitely incorrect given the rules since accepting Brahma would create unacceptable ambiguity with to-you-plausible answer Brahmā, the creator deity (you actually made the stronger argument that the respondent must have meant Brahmā.)
everyday847 wrote:Eh, I don't think [that the conventions of quizbowl are wrong where they conflict with authoritative academic sources].
I hope you'll really think through the ramifications of what you're saying there before you really decide you want to cleave to it.
everyday847 wrote:I certainly appreciate that we have to reward all possible academic knowledge, but this is academic knowledge (the almost-never-used-and-ambiguous word form) that we can't reward.
I'd reply to what I think this contradiction must mean by saying, on the contrary, that we can and do reward (what any reasonable person would assume, granting the respondent the benefit of doubt, to be) such knowledge in quizbowl and in academia. NAQT certainly did in this case and there are many other analogous situations in which other forms of quizbowl do so uncontroversially (for example, amaze that the game doesn't crumble around you while you ask yourself next time it's relevant "Just which 'Cauchy's theorem' did they mean there?") Frankly, I fail to see how the game is even diminished, much less existentially impossible as you seem to claim, by our doing so; I claim that accepting things that are non-erroneously listed as right answers in important academic sources in fact makes for a better game.

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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

HKirsch wrote:
everyday847 wrote:
Brian Ulrich wrote:I mean, the Old Testament shows what many scholars consider clear signs of amalgamation with Elohim, the tetragrammaton, El Shaddai, and perhaps some others I'm forgetting.
A bonus on Adon/ Melekh/ Eloheinu or something would make my day.
People who are better at Jew than I am, correct me if this is wrong, but it's commonly "Adonai," and any religious Jew wouldn't be able to say that. And they'd have to say Elokeinu. Talk about your answer line confusion.
Yeah, Adonai is more common, and really, asking about the names of God only will get confusing and, at times, forbidden.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by jonpin »

tetragrammatology wrote:
HKirsch wrote:
everyday847 wrote:
Brian Ulrich wrote:I mean, the Old Testament shows what many scholars consider clear signs of amalgamation with Elohim, the tetragrammaton, El Shaddai, and perhaps some others I'm forgetting.
A bonus on Adon/ Melekh/ Eloheinu or something would make my day.
People who are better at Jew than I am, correct me if this is wrong, but it's commonly "Adonai," and any religious Jew wouldn't be able to say that. And they'd have to say Elokeinu. Talk about your answer line confusion.
Yeah, Adonai is more common, and really, asking about the names of God only will get confusing and, at times, forbidden.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by etchdulac »

jonpin wrote:
tetragrammatology wrote:
HKirsch wrote:People who are better at Jew than I am, correct me if this is wrong, but it's commonly "Adonai," and any religious Jew wouldn't be able to say that. And they'd have to say Elokeinu. Talk about your answer line confusion.
Yeah, Adonai is more common, and really, asking about the names of God only will get confusing and, at times, forbidden.
"Captain, your answer?" "I defer to the blasphemer."
And in the case of a team without a gentile?
Or of a Jewish moderator?
Not good. :wink:
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

tetragrammatology wrote:
HKirsch wrote:
everyday847 wrote:
Brian Ulrich wrote:I mean, the Old Testament shows what many scholars consider clear signs of amalgamation with Elohim, the tetragrammaton, El Shaddai, and perhaps some others I'm forgetting.
A bonus on Adon/ Melekh/ Eloheinu or something would make my day.
People who are better at Jew than I am, correct me if this is wrong, but it's commonly "Adonai," and any religious Jew wouldn't be able to say that. And they'd have to say Elokeinu. Talk about your answer line confusion.
Yeah, Adonai is more common, and really, asking about the names of God only will get confusing and, at times, forbidden.
I thought this (my main source for god is the whole "Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam" thing) but then cross-checked with Wiki. Stupid me.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Matt Weiner »

Again, the fact that various respected/informed/experienced members of the community are engaging in a protracted technical debate about this just goes to show that re-inventing the wheel ad hoc for every protest is a terrible idea. This is why tournaments have rules and need to follow them even if there are arguments, valid or otherwise, for changing them after the tournament is over. Under the current HSNCT rules, there is no wiggle room on these two situations. While we may wish to see the rules changed for various reasons, the key point here is that the people resolving protests once again made up new rules of their own regarding the correctness of answers, rather than following the rules they had published in advance of the tournament. I hope we all agree that such a practice has to stop, whether it's NAQT or anyone else doing it.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by at your pleasure »

"Adonai" is acceptable only in a religous context. For that matter, "eloheinu" may also only be acceptable in a religous context, althogh I could be wrong.I'm not sure about El-Shaddai and the other ones; since they're fairly archaic. If you really have to do a bonus on biblical scholarship, just do a J-source/P-source/E-source bonus.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

Matt Weiner wrote:Under the current HSNCT rules, there is no wiggle room on these two situations.
You're misunderstanding me; I'm saying the opposite of this. It seems to me that, under current HSNCT rules, Brahma is plausibly a right answer and, if it's wrong, it's wrong on pure, unguided judgment under the "otherwise right answers might be rejected if they might create ambiguity with a different plausible answer" rule (and for no other reason.) You're saying that, for one, Brahma would be wrong in any case (for reasons you haven't exactly specified) and, for two, even were it not, it's definitely wrong under the "plausible ambiguity" rule. So I'm not talking about the rules themselves here: we still disagree in very important ways, even given the current rules (which, we seem to agree, are suboptimal.)

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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Matt Weiner »

Reasonable people can disagree on what the rule should be, but I just don't see how you can deny that answering "brahma" for the thing that is almost always called "brahman" (if it is indeed "otherwise right" as you/Britannica claim) is creating "ambiguity" with the god "Brahma," or that "Brahma" is in fact a plausible answer to a question about Hinduism/religion/India. Both of those claims (that "brahma" referring to one thing and the exact same morpheme "Brahma" referring to another thing are close enough to be ambiguous, and that "Brahma" the god is a plausible answer) seem self-evidently true, and I likewise fail to see how there is not an ironclad link from the truth of those assertions to the invocation of the rule we are discussing.

Similarly, NAQT correctness rule B.5, which I quote below:
If an underlined section includes a generic word (e.g., "war" in Korean War) and that generic word appears in the question itself, then a player need not repeat that word if he or she is answering after it has been read
seems to make the issue of whether "Gauss" is acceptable for "Gaussian numbers" or "Gaussian integers" after both "numbers" and "integers" have been read in the bonus part into either a closed question, or one that boils down solely to the issue of whether "Gauss" is always acceptable for "Gaussian."
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico »

I already made a post detailing how I believe that and then directed you to it. To reiterate: the rule doesn't say how plausible "plausible" is, nor how ambiguous "ambiguous" is, nor when an answer will be denied even given that it's plausible and creates ambiguity (the rule says only that such an answer "may" be rejected) and there are cases that fall on either side (c.f. "Cauchy's theorem"), so it's pure interpretation. I don't think that Brahmā is that plausible an answer for Brahman/Brahma, so I don't think I would apply this rule in this case, though I wouldn't call it outside the rule if someone else did. I don't think that the question "Should Brahma be accepted?" is decidable, given the rules as written*.

MaS

*Assuming, as before, that the reference has an unmistaken valid variant usage.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by jonah »

Anti-Climacus wrote:"Adonai" is acceptable only in a religous context. For that matter, "eloheinu" may also only be acceptable in a religous context, althogh I could be wrong.I'm not sure about El-Shaddai and the other ones; since they're fairly archaic. If you really have to do a bonus on biblical scholarship, just do a J-source/P-source/E-source bonus.
"Elohim" ("God") is generally accepted as meaning God, where the tetragrammaton is closer to a specific name for him. "Eloheinu" ("our God") is a form thereof. "Adonai" means "my Lord" (form of "adon", meaning "lord") and is effectively synonymous with "Elohai" (the "my" form of "elohim"), though of course individual prayers and other writings always use a specific name. Outside of prayer service settings some Jews substitute "elokim", "elokeinu", "elokai", "adoshem" for "elohim", "eloheinu", "elohai", and "adonai". "El shadai" appends the adjective "shadai" ("almighty") to "el", which is a form of "elohim", and is sometimes shortened to just "shadai". There are a few other names and a whole bunch of titles given to that entity in Judaism, but most of them are rare. I think for quizbowl purposes, any question whose answer is the Judeo-Christian god (or God) should accept any of the following: elohim, elokim, el shadai, Jehovah, Yehovah, Yahweh, and perhaps just "the Jewish God" or similar. So it gets a bit unwieldy, but it would be fairly unreasonable to not accept any of those, in my opinion. There is an argument for accepting adonai, but it's not as strong because its use is closer to that of an honorific.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

Anti-Climacus wrote:"Adonai" is acceptable only in a religous context. For that matter, "eloheinu" may also only be acceptable in a religous context, althogh I could be wrong.I'm not sure about El-Shaddai and the other ones; since they're fairly archaic. If you really have to do a bonus on biblical scholarship, just do a J-source/P-source/E-source bonus.
Oh, that happened at HSNCT 07.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

jonah wrote:There is an argument for accepting adonai, but it's not as strong because its use is closer to that of an honorific.
So this one time I was at a bar mitzvah service and I was reading some rabbinical commentary about how use of "elohim" and "adonai" refer to two different aspects of the OT god. What's up with this? (It was seven-odd years ago, so I've forgotten specifics.)
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by jonah »

everyday847 wrote:
jonah wrote:There is an argument for accepting adonai, but it's not as strong because its use is closer to that of an honorific.
So this one time I was at a bar mitzvah service and I was reading some rabbinical commentary about how use of "elohim" and "adonai" refer to two different aspects of the OT god. What's up with this? (It was seven-odd years ago, so I've forgotten specifics.)
I'd need more context to be sure, but I'm guessing they were talking about the documentary hypothesis about the composition of the Torah, which proposes that different parts of the Torah were written by different people (or groups of people) that emphasized different things and qualities of God. For example, the Yahwist source emphasizes stories and generally uses the tetragrammaton while talking about God in human terms, while the Priest source focuses on laws, rituals, and genealogy, using the name "elohim" and treating God as a distant figure. There are a few other postulated sources too. Hope that helps.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Whiter Hydra »

tetragrammatology wrote:
Anti-Climacus wrote:"Adonai" is acceptable only in a religous context. For that matter, "eloheinu" may also only be acceptable in a religous context, althogh I could be wrong.I'm not sure about El-Shaddai and the other ones; since they're fairly archaic. If you really have to do a bonus on biblical scholarship, just do a J-source/P-source/E-source bonus.
Oh, that happened at HSNCT 07.
I think Tetragrammatology knows what she's talking about here.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Ken Jennings »

Matt Weiner wrote: Similarly, NAQT correctness rule B.5, which I quote below:
If an underlined section includes a generic word (e.g., "war" in Korean War) and that generic word appears in the question itself, then a player need not repeat that word if he or she is answering after it has been read
seems to make the issue of whether "Gauss" is acceptable for "Gaussian numbers" or "Gaussian integers" after both "numbers" and "integers" have been read in the bonus part into either a closed question, or one that boils down solely to the issue of whether "Gauss" is always acceptable for "Gaussian."
Maybe I shouldn't wade in here, since I had nothing to do with this question or resolving this protest, but just to clarify--you are exactly right and the exclusion of "integers" in the answer had nothing to do with the decision here. From what I saw, the decision hinged only on the "Gauss/Gaussian" distinction, and I'm guessing it would have gone the other way with the knowledge that the term "Gauss integers" is occasionally used instead.

To continue the threadjack on Greek/Roman names for gods: I definitely want NAQT practice here to be fair and reflect current standards. Our correctness guidelines tell players we'll accept either name, Greek or Roman, UNTIL the word "Greek" or "Roman" appears in the tossup, or other characters from the corresponding pantheon are mentioned. I usually interpret this to mean: "accept Jupiter" for _Zeus_ after a clue about a mortal, like "this father of Perseus," but not after a mention of a fellow deity (like "this son of Cronus"). Does this differ from standard practice in other quiz bowl formats? Does it even make sense? I'd love to hear pros and cons either way, possibly in another thread if that's more appropriate.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by DumbJaques »

Does this differ from standard practice in other quiz bowl formats? Does it even make sense? I'd love to hear pros and cons either way, possibly in another thread if that's more appropriate.
This is a separate issue so if people want to discuss it we'll make a new thread, but the topic is definitely one of the more debated issues, rule-wise, in the game right now. People point out that by analogy, you don't really refuse to accept Germanic names for Norse figures or various Mesopotamian incarnations interchangeably (or at least, you shouldn't refuse to accept those answers), even when something that may or may not be exclusively from one belief system is mentioned, so it doesn't make a lot of sense that we do it differently for Greek/Roman. As Mike said, it's not really "wrong" in a purely academic way unless you're talking about a pre-syncretized Roman figure, which is pretty much never the case when these situations arise.

It is true that lots of figures were syncretized with lots of other figures (I believe Bruce once brought up a highly amusing example of Greeks associating Krishna or someone with Heracles, maybe), but with Greek and Roman myth, these guys aren't just melded together, they're the same entities - the stories are pretty much identical, etc. Since we are neither in ancient Greece nor ancient Rome, I think that if we use either identity that is validly accepted academically, it should be fine. In a less technical sense, I would find it dubious that someone who calls Ares "Mars" after buzzing in in the middle of a pyramidal tossup really does not understand something fundamental about the clue on which he buzzed. Punishing this kind of thing seems like a shortcoming that should be remedied, to me.
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at your pleasure
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by at your pleasure »

I would agree with Chris. The caveat that they should not be accepted after clues that could only possibly apply to one version are used makes sense, but that may still screw knowledgable people over if they learned from a source that dosn't really clarify which aspects come from which traditions.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by cvdwightw »

My standard answer to this is:

1. Bullfinch, a somewhat reputable source that I assume lots of people may read to learn mythology, uses almost exclusively Roman names.
2. Hamilton, another somewhat reputable source that I assume lots of people may read to learn mythology, uses almost exclusively Greek names.
3. There are a significant number of instances in which Roman writers borrowed entire stories from Greeks and just slapped new names on them.
4. Most questions that ask for a Roman figure do not test knowledge of pre-syncretized Roman figures and are, in fact, designed to punish people with knowledge who answer with the standard Greek name.

Therefore, unless the question is saying something like "the Greek equivalent of Ceres," or it's a literature bonus asking for characters from The Odyssey, I'd be very hesitant to disallow a Greek/Roman equivalent.

The same debate occurs over what, if any, distinctions we need to make when monotheistic religions use different names for the same figure. It strikes me as a roughly analogous situation; I highly doubt that a Muslim answering "Ibrahim" somehow has a fundamental misunderstanding about Abraham.
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Re: 2009 NAQT HSNCT

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Have the surveys we filled out been looked at yet? Will it be possible for us to see/describe the results from them?
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